Construction, Extensions, Home Improvement, Maintenance, Plumbing & Heating, Renovations, Roofing

Finding Building Contractors You Can Rely On

Have you ever been the victim of a cowboy contractor, or otherwise regretting your choice after hiring someone? It’s not uncommon. After all, how are you supposed to know until you work with them? Hopefully next time you will have some idea, because we have a few potential answers to that question.

Compare quotes

Perhaps the number one piece of advice we can give you is to never settle on the first price you hear. There is really nothing to lose by shopping around and asking a few similar firms for price estimates. Although a low estimate doesn’t mean everything, you can judge the best value once you do a little more research into them.

Find personal recommendations

It is one thing to read reviews online, but even from independent sources you can’t be sure how they originated. If you know someone who can vouch for a builder or other tradesperson, ideally after a similar project to your own, you should trust them.

Look locally first

Although you may be able to come to a good agreement with someone who doesn’t live in your area, it’s probably going to be less costly for both parties if the contractor doesn’t have to travel far. They will probably be travelling to and from your property at least once a day for the duration of the project, so this clearly adds up.

Check their qualifications and experience

Obviously professional people in any trade will need certain qualifications to confirm they can work on your property safely, especially with gas or electricity supply work. Check these and make sure they have at least a few years’ experience when it’s a major job. It’s likely that someone who’s never worked on a project like yours before will end up costing you more, even if they don’t plan to deliberately.

Agree a timescale

It’s not advisable to work with only a rough estimate for any project. If it seems too complex to predict, that means you simply haven’t planned in enough detail yet. It’s important to have a start date and completion date pencilled in.

Have it all in writing

Of course, agreements are meaningless if they’re only verbal in this situation. The only way to really ensure you’re going to get what you pay for one way or the other is to have a professionally written contract covering every aspect of your agreement. If the contractor really plans to deliver, they shouldn’t have any problem agreeing to reasonable terms.

Plumbing & Heating

Tips to Improve Your Heating System

Maybe your heating only becomes a priority when it breaks in the middle of winter, which is probably true of many homeowners. Unfortunately that’s not the ideal time to start wishing you had planned out your system more carefully! Now is the perfect time to look at the setup you have at the moment and find ways to improve it before you’re in need of emergency assistance. Luckily we have some simple steps you can start with.

Firstly, remember even the most experienced landlords and homeowners can’t necessarily be expected to know everything about how to maintain a heating system. It’s a great idea to get a professional boiler service from a local professional company, as many of us have boilers and plumbing that have been in place for a long time and they may develop problems you might not be aware of. If you haven’t recently replaced an element of your heating system it should be cleaned and serviced regularly by a professional to make sure it’s efficient and safe, which will save you money later. Continue Reading

Home Improvement, Plumbing & Heating

The Advantages of Column Radiators

Column radiators are a classic staple in home heating systems and they’re enjoying a revival in popularity thanks to the unique and modern designs widely available in the UK. They are now readily available in home improvement stores like Wickes and Home Hardware Direct. Alternatives are available which offer different practical applications, and some people are still put off the idea of basic radiators that don’t look up to date when surrounded by more modern features in a room, but here are some key points to remind you why it’s important to consider high quality column radiators.

1) Compatibility

It’s easy to fit classic column radiators onto almost any standard hot water system, so whether it’s your bathroom, bedroom or anywhere else you don’t need to make any major plumbing changes to accommodate your radiator. It helps to have a professional plumber to fit your radiator but you can be fairly sure it’s not going to cause any complications when you go for a column format. All you normally need apart from the pipe connections are wall brackets on which to mount your radiator. Continue Reading

Home Improvement, Plumbing & Heating

Luxury Features You Need In Your Bathroom

If you’re not planning to remodel your bathroom, we have great news. After reading this list, you will be! We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite bathroom features and once you’ve seen all these for yourself you’ll wonder how you managed without them all this time. If you were already thinking about ideas for your new bathroom, then you’ll definitely want to re-think before you miss any of these.

1) Designer Radiators

Radiators are pretty much essential in any bathroom, but there’s no reason you should be stuck with basic designs that don’t match your style. Designer radiators come in a variety of styles and hardly cost more than traditional options, but can add so much to your design. Choose pure white or black to complement a monochrome style, a classic column radiator design or a flat panelled look that looks great with wooden features. Our favourites are tall, narrow radiators with a shiny metallic finish which are very popular at the moment and look amazing in most modern bathrooms. For more designs, check out the selection of bathroom radiators from The Heating Boutique.

2) Heated Towel Rails

To add a touch of luxury to your re-modelled bathroom, you needn’t rely on your central heating to enjoy a warm towel every time you step out of the shower. Although many fabulous designs can be plumbed in like radiators, you also have the option of freestanding heated towel racks powered by the flick of a switch. Depending on the look of your bathroom, you might opt for a small, classic silver design, thicker poles that look impressive and make it easier to hang your towel, or a full-sized metallic rack that looks perfect with a modern colour scheme. Continue Reading