How to refresh your out-dated home and be proud of it

How to refresh your out-dated home and be proud of it

When we’re proud of who we are, we reflect in the space we live in. When we’re proud of the home we’ve built for ourselves, we feel at home. Homes, however, require constant maintenance. It’s hard! When wear is starting to show in your home, it’s time to consider some easy DIY projects. When your windows or your doors are rotting and in disrepair, you need to reinvest in your home for more than just its kerb appeal. Your home means so much to you. Put a little love back into it (and maybe save some money in the long run).

Painting wood

Repainting

Nothing is a better instant fix than a fresh coat of paint. If your home has beautiful features like wood or brick that you absolutely do not want to paint over, a good power wash is the way to go. For wood, however, remember that unless you treat and take care of it, it will rot. Constant upkeep is an absolute must! In most cases, however, especially if your home or fence was already painted, a fresh, clean coat of paint will instantly brighten the look and feel of your exterior.

Tip: Ce sure to fill holes, fix cracks and other sources of disrepair before you paint!

Brass dolphin knocker on a bright blue door

Installing new fixtures

Rusting fixtures, or even just out-dated ones, can really bring down the look and feel of your home. Installing a uniform set of doorknobs, door knockers, and outside lights will really make your home look like new. Having a set of fixtures (meaning they all look similar, or are sold as a set) will make your home look like a professional did the job!

Cream room with light streaming through a window

Install new windows and doors

Single glazed windows and doors that let a draught in are often not only a bit old and sad looking, they can also cost you a lot. Updating them is an absolute must! This investment can save on heating bills in the long run, too, so over time, your investment will have paid for itself! Choose energy-efficient doors and windows, and find the right scaffolding equipment and installation team for you. Sourcing a lot of the materials yourself, instead of through a builder, is a great way to save money (if you have the time to find the best deals). Just make sure that everything is to the correct specifications!

Watering plants in a garden

Landscape your garden

Nothing will make you feel more relaxed and at home than having a perfect getaway in your back garden. Fixing the cracks and getting rid of the weeds between paving is a quick and easy way to make your garden look well cared for. Replace any dead or sad-looking plants with architectural or flowering plants for a new look!

Tip: Buy flowering plants that will bloom throughout the year, so you’ll always have colour and interest!

Being proud of your home is something for which to strive. It means coming home and loving the feel of it. Keeping your home fresh and updated is how you’ll continue to be proud of your home throughout your life.

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5 Tips for adding an extension on to your home

5 Tips for adding an extension on to your home

As a home-owner, you often consider ways in which to improve your house. A growing family might mean that your house is no longer able to accommodate you all comfortably. Improvements to consider include adding an extension or embarking on some renovation/remodelling jobs. People’s homes are usually their largest single financial outlay in life, so you want to get things right. Major updating work can mean a big investment of money and time. However, if the additions to your house are done properly, it will not only improve your quality of life, but also add value to your house. These simple tips will help you achieve those goals.

Circular saw and ear defenders

  1. Determine what type of addition are you planning

Some forward thinking is the first and most important step. You should establish what improvements will have the greatest benefit – and if it’s possible to do it both in terms of budget and building regulations. Jot down thoughts, draw rough sketches or create mood boards. Most house additions aim to improve flow or add extra internal rooms, conservatories, terraces or verandas. Once you’ve determined the kind of additions that would be of most benefit, you can start contacting the professionals – architects, planners, builders and other tradesmen.

Building professional

  1. Consult the professionals

Always consult the professionals – they have years of training and experience upon which to draw. Architects or engineers will give you expert insight on your planned extension. They can also give safety suggestions and will advise you at an early stage as to whether your plans are attainable or not. You can’t just set about work just because it seems like a good idea on the surface… it might cause catastrophic problems to the structure of your home making it unsafe or unsellable in the future. Architects can give you designs that will compliment the rest of the house enhancing its value. They’ll also probably throw ideas into the mix that you hadn’t even considered. Engineers can make sure that your plans are safe. It’s essential to consult the professionals to assure the quality and safety of your additions.

Installing a new roof with a crane

  1. Work out your budget

After all your consultation and planning, options available ultimately come down to the budget. It’s better to determine your budget first and how high are you willing to go. The larger your extension is, the more expensive it tends to be. When you’re coming up with the budget, you should consider the other expenses such as the consultation fees to the engineers and architects, the contractor team and the materials. Remember to include a contingency fund for those unforeseen complications or problems. Researching suppliers at the start of the process might actually contribute to formulating a realistic budget.

Building materials

  1. Cost your materials

Once you have your budget sorted, it’s crucial to start sourcing and purchasing materials wisely. Ordering early could avoid the increasing costs of materials over time or paying premium prices for urgently required products or parts. If you’ve already made a deal with the construction supply company regarding prices, hopefully they wont increase the price for additional orders of the same products. And getting materials ordered and delivered early in the process is important so as not delay the start of building work. It will also prepare you for any unexpected shortages on the materials.

Large pile of building debris

  1. Hire a dumpster for the debris

After you’ve finished your extension or remodel, the only task left is to remove the inevitable debris created during the process. The best way to deal with this is to hire a dumpster / skip to take it all away. A disposal company can take care of those unwanted wood off cuts and piles of broken wall. They’ll have all the relevant licences for legal disposal. There’s nothing worse than doing the bulk of a job, then not clearing the area properly – or doing it painfully slowly. Weeks pass by, the work is finished, yet your house still looks like a building site. Remove the rubbish quickly and efficiently – then all that’s left to do is enjoy your new look home.

If you want to search for the best deals, you can visit http://eagledumpsterrental.com for further information.

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What should you do if you hit a gas main while digging?

What should you do if you hit a gas main while digging?credit

Modern life has made construction difficult. Digging on your own property used to be a simple task that just involved tools and some physical labour. These days, there’s an entire world of pipes, wires, lines and cables criss-crossing the land – all waiting to get in your way once you break ground.

The field of utility mapping has become very successful, helping people figure out just what is under their property, so that digging and construction can be done safely.

While cutting the cable line is an inconvenience, damaging a gas main is a serious hazard. Once there’s a gas leak, even the tiniest spark can cause an explosion. Keeping that in mind, what should you do if you hit a gas main?

garden spade in the ground

Start with prevention

The best first step is to avoid the whole problem to begin with by accurately determining what is underground at your dig site. You can either call your various utilities and get as much information from them as you can, or use your region’s “call before you dig” service (which is typically free). The service should cover all the utilities, so it’s a more efficient approach.

Most of these services will check with their records to determine precisely what is (or isn’t) under your property. Even though we’re talking solely about gas lines here, it’s good to get info on all possible obstacles. For a more direct view of what’s underground, to cover all the bases and to include things that may not be on record, hire a company to do a mapping with ground penetrating radar.

Be warned, that many places will hold you liable if you do dig and hit a utility without having called the service for guidance.

mini-digger clearing pile of bricks

You’ve hit the gas main

Even with all your planning, accidents can still happen. If you hit a gas line, you should immediately evacuate everyone out of the area. Clear out an area of at least 100 feet, and turn off all power equipment in the same range. That means electrical as well as any gas-powered machines. Battery-powered flash lights or task lights should also be off. Any slight spark can ignite the gas.

Don’t base your actions on whether you can smell any gas. Though natural gas should have an odour, a small leak may be undetectable outdoors, and will continue to seep gas as you work.

Once you’ve cleared the area, call the gas company. Be clear that you think you’ve hit a gas pipe and they’ll let you know what to do next. They can likely clarify that the pipe is indeed a gas main (if you aren’t positive), and they’ll send out a professional crew to deal with it.

If you haven’t called the dig safety line beforehand, don’t let that stop you from calling. Fear of litigation or fines shouldn’t prevent you from doing the right thing and reporting the damage. The risks of fire or explosion are too serious for that.

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How does wall cladding work and why should you have it?

Exterior wall cladding on an apartment building

If you want to improve the look of your home, and save on the amount of energy you use, investing in exterior wall cladding may be a good idea. In addition, cladding the outside walls of your home can offer them protection against the elements.

In this article, we’re going to look at these areas in more detail. We’re also going to explain the different types of wall cladding that exist and how they work.

How does wall cladding work?

Exterior stained clad wall with yellow door

Put simply, wall cladding is the art of covering the exterior walls of a property with a certain material. There are three main wall cladding materials and they all have positives and negatives; let’s take a look at them.

Vinyl wall cladding

Vinyl-clad front elevation of a housecredit

Over the years, vinyl wall cladding has been the most popular choice. You can choose from a selection of vinyl cladding suppliers. This type of cladding was originally introduced as an alternative to aluminium siding; it was cheaper and more effective. Today, vinyl cladding is still an affordable option. However, it does have a tendency to warp and fade over time. It is also easier to damage than some other types of cladding.

Timber wall cladding

Weathered exterior wood cladding on an apartnemt building

The main attraction of timber wall cladding is it’s appearance. It often blends well with the overall appearance of a property. If you decide to invest in this type of cladding it’s worth noting that it requires similar amounts of maintenance to other timber areas of your property.

UPVC wall cladding

Exterior UPVC cladding on an apartment buildingcredit

It’s worth stating from the outset that this type of wall cladding tends to be more expensive than the others we have mentioned. This extra expense does bring benefits, such as high levels of durability, appearance that does not fade and improved levels of insulation. There is also little maintenance required; you just need to clean the cladding with a damp cloth.

Now you have a better idea of what wall cladding is, let’s take a look at its benefits.

Why cladding the walls of your property is a good idea

House with exterior brick and wood cladding

One major reason why people have cladding fitted to the exterior walls of their property is that it improves the appearance. It’s not just about the look when it comes to cladding though. There are several other advantages.

  • Protection against adverse weather conditions such as hail, snow or extreme heat
  • Insulation against external noise
  • Insulation that keeps warm air in during cold weather and cool air in when the weather is hot. This helps to reduce energy use and resulting costs

As you can see, there are several significant benefits to be had if you decide to invest in wall cladding. Make sure that you do your research and seek expert assistance when it comes to having the work completed. No matter which type of cladding material you use your property will benefit, so you need to make the choice based on your requirements when it comes to cost, on-going maintenance and durability.

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5 things you should know BEFORE installing underfloor heating

Aerial view of a sofa on a wooden floor

Wave goodbye to radiators and hello to more space and a warm home for less! Underfloor heating is a great choice and if you’re thinking of taking the leap to luxurious warm floors, these are the five things you need to know…

#1 It provides a constant temperature across the home or in individual rooms

Feet in orange & blue spotted socks on a wooden floor

The great thing about underfloor heating is its flexibility. Therefore, it sometimes pays to spend the extra money to get a professional supplier and installation company to not only fit the system but design it for you in the first place.

With central heating, the boiler fires up and sends heat through to all the radiators on the system, unless you switch the radiators off in certain rooms (if you can) or lower the temperature of the radiator with its thermostatic valve.

This gives you some flexibility, but not a lot. Underfloor heating is completely different. You can create single zone underfloor heating areas so that the important rooms in the house are heated when you need them to be but other rooms can enjoy a lower level of heat.

The ability to control your heating at every point of day and night means you save money as well as having a more comfortably heated home.

#2 It’s best fitted with high thermal conductivity flooring

Child playing with a toy digger on a wooden floor

Sounds a mouthful, doesn’t it?! But what does it mean?

It means to get the best from your underfloor heating system, you need a top layer of flooring that’s incredibly efficient in grabbing hold of the heat and keeping hold of it.

This means the system doesn’t need to work as hard. There are many flooring options – wood, laminate, ceramic tile, polished concrete and carpet – that work well with underfloor heating.

It’s true to say that some options work better than others. Polished concrete floors are a great conductor and retainer of heat. Ceramic tiles also work well and some wood flooring solutions are also a great fit.

It’s possible to use carpet but it must be of a low TOG rating to allow heat through it and into the room. However, even then, it’s not so great at hanging on to the heat.

#3 A smart thermostat adds more flexibility & sophistication

Nest smart thermostat

Although we think of underfloor heating as a modern invention, it’s been around for some time. The Romans used ‘fire under the floor’ to heat their bath houses.

Modern day underfloor heating is more sophisticated and flexible but to get even more out of the system, a smart thermostat is a must.

If you have a multi-zone system, you can set different temperatures in different rooms with a few taps of your smart phone – and alter it throughout the day.

Underfloor heating response time is slower than the boiler and radiator approach but that doesn’t mean it’s at a disadvantage. It just means that you plan your heating to fit with your activities from day to day. For that, you need the tools to set the heat of the system as and when.

#4 Correct installation is key

High-gloss kitchen floor
That’s why getting a professional and expert in all thing underfloor heating should install your system, even if they don’t design it.

Wet or water underfloor heating works by a series of pipe loops being laid in the sub floor and hot water circulating through them to heat the floor.

It’s an incredibly simple, yet effective system. But, this doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong when it’s being installed. Discovering that you have a leaking pipe when you’ve already laid the floor isn’t the opportune time to try and repair it.

All wet underfloor heating systems should be pressure tested BEFORE you start pouring high conductivity screed or laying insulation boards to protect the pipes. Once laid, the system will function without a hitch for years to come.

#5 Underfloor heating is a system that you’ll love!

Kitchen diner with wooden floorboard floor

Underfloor heating isn’t for everyone. If you like dry, hot heat that leaves your house stuffy, then underfloor heating isn’t for you.

If you prefer an ambient, constant temperature, as well as a luxuriously warm floor underfoot, then underfloor heating is for you.

However, you’ll need to have some patience. With some installation processes, the screed must dry thoroughly before the heat can be switched on because if you dry out liquid concrete too quickly it cracks. That means the floor isn’t as structurally sound as it should be, leading to problems further down the line. In other words, you may have to wait a week or two before the big switch on.

Underfloor heating suits any property and isn’t as expensive to fit as you’d think either. A proven technology, more and more people are realising the benefits of underfloor heating – why not you?

Underfloor Heating Trade Supplies understands the simplicity of underfloor heating but the amazing benefits it brings to any space, from a single room in a home to multi-zone systems in commercial premises.

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Why renovation is a good opportunity to consider pest management

Why renovation is a good opportunity to consider pest management

If you’re having renovation work completed you have an excellent opportunity to think about pest management at the same time. Before the renovation work begins it’s a good idea to speak to a professional exterminator in Chesapeake to ask them to conduct an assessment which can then be discussed with the renovation expert you employ.

We’re going to take a look at what pest control measures could be considered. We’re also going to explain why it makes sense to include them in your renovation project.

What pest control work can be included as part of the renovation?

Wasp nest on a ceiling

The reason why you should consult with a pest control expert before you have renovation work carried out is so they can put their expertise to use advising what pest control measures could be included in the renovation work. This could include:

  • Sealing gaps and cracks in the exterior walls of your property to help prevent pests from gaining access.
  • Sealing gaps around kitchen cabinets.
  • Repairing any leaks, or problems with water damage, that may be present.
  • Using pest resistant materials.
  • Applying boric acid to areas behind walls which can help prevent cockroach infestation

This is a selection of pest control measures that can be included as part of a renovation project. Hopefully, you can see why these measures are so important.

Why include them in the renovation?

Cockroaches being exterminatedcredit

If you’re spending money on having your home renovated, you want the final result to be as successful as possible. If you do not pay attention to pest control as part of the project then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to make sure your home is protected.

Of course, there’s also a chance that a pest infestation could damage the work that has been completed. This being the case, it makes sense to take all possible action to protect your property against potential pest invasion.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the issue of pest control is resolved forever. You should have your home inspected for pests at least once every two years. This doesn’t change even if you include pest control in your renovation project; unless the pest control experts advise otherwise. Having the work completed does mean that you are less likely to encounter a problem with pests.

Once the renovation work is complete, you should speak to the pest control experts about any further recommendations they may have. They’ll also advise you about future inspections.

Hopefully, we’ve shown you why a renovation project is a good opportunity to address any potential pest control issues. It makes sense to include any pest deterrent improvements, from a practical and financial viewpoint. If you neglect the opportunity you may have regrets if a problem with pests ends up causing damage to the renovation work you’ve just had completed.

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