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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Important things you should consider before renovating your home

Important things you should consider before renovating your home

Though HGTV uses fun demo days and trips to the design board to make renovations look glamorous, there is in fact quite a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ action. In order for you to better focus on the fun stuff and dream up your perfect space, this post is here to help you by highlighting some important things you should consider before you begin renovating your home.

Tall stepladder in a hallway

Your ultimate goal

What’s your main goal for renovation? Are you looking to capitalise on your home or are you intending to spruce it up and make it your ‘forever home’? This decision will help guide and influence your entire renovation.

If you’re looking to renovate and then sell your home, aim to keep your project budget-friendly, with a design that will appeal to the majority of potential buyers.

On the other hand, renovating your home for your own benefit in the long-term is the perfect opportunity to create your dream home. Use the materials you love and a timeless design that you will enjoy for years to come.

Room in a state of disrepair

Planning and design

As you picture the final results of your renovation, what do you see?

It takes a lot of effort to get there but it’s important to plan each step of the renovation process. When it comes down to the details of your project, the more you plan and the more detailed it is, the better. Then, once you make your plan, do your best to stick to it! Extra additions and product switches add up.

If you’re tackling the interior design solo, books, magazines and blogs can be great sources for inspiration. From there, you can save what you love on Pinterest or create a mood board to help guide your project. Or, if you are looking for some support, a decorator or interior designer can help you plan the design for your space.

Painting a wall black with a roller

What to DIY and what to outsource

Before renovating, consider what things around the home you want to renovate yourself and the things for which you should seek external help.

A few home projects that are great to do yourself are painting, sanding, building furniture and laying tiles. For the larger and more complex modifications, such as electricity-related projects, it would definitely be better to use the services of a professional electrician and opt for reliable, high quality low voltage products like circuit breakers for example, as they play a crucial part in protecting the whole electrical circuit from damage caused by electricity overloaded wiring.

Measuring with a spirit level

Budget

As you plan your budget for your renovation, it may be helpful to pencil in a safety net that leaves room for going 15% over. After all, renovating is an expensive business.

To help your project start off on the right foot, a builder or quantity surveyor can help you figure out what you are working with.

Go over your design and check out online shops to understand what pieces you can find that will fit into your budget.

Box of grey ceramic tiles

Timing

When it comes to renovating, timing is everything (especially for your pocket).

Be sure to consistently check in with your contractor and make sure the renovations are going according to plan. After all, you wouldn’t want your delay with the final touches and painting to run into the delivery date of the items of furniture you ordered.

Moreover, if you make a schedule, sticking to it will be important no matter if you’re planning to live in your home during the renovations or out of it. Your patience, extended family or hotel bills will appreciate the project wrapping up in a timely manner!

Your home renovation will be exactly what you make of it. Prepare for some bumps in the road, but the planning, budgeting and timing you work out will only help your project run as smoothly as possible. Most importantly, however, remember to enjoy the process!

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6 Things to consider when remodelling your kitchen

White contemporary kitchen dinercredit

If you’re in the planning stages of remodelling your kitchen there are a few things you should bear in mind before embarking on major work. A little bit of forethought can make all the difference between an acceptable kitchen and one that is a real pleasure in which to work.

Hansgrohe PuraVida electronic kitchen mixer tap

Waterworks

Like many homeware products, kitchen taps have got very high tech in recent years. Gone are the times where all you could find to buy were ordinary hot & cold or plain old mixer taps. These days, you can get instantaneous hot water straight from the tap – no need to stand and wait for the kettle to boil before you can enjoy your first cuppa of the morning!

Heavy-duty kitchen taps which used to only be seen in industrial kitchens are now available for the domestic market. You can now get those rugged taps with extendible, flexible hoses for jet spraying debris from plates, pots & pans before they’re loaded into the dishwasher. If that’s the kind of thing you’re after, some of this range of Grohe kitchen taps may be suitable.

Many, such as Hansgrohe kitchen taps, incorporate sensor control – just move your hands back & forth under the spout and temperature-controlled water will flow automatically, great if your hands are dirty or you’ve been handling raw meat or fish. You can find a huge range of these kind of kitchen taps at Superbath.

Kitchen with hard-wearing red rubber flooringcredit

Take to the floor

The kitchen floor is probably the heaviest area of use in most houses. It needs to be durable, non slip and easy to vacuum and mop. There’s a huge range of options available – rubber, laminate, linoleum, ceramic & stone tile, wooden boards and polished concrete to name a few. The choice depends on your favoured look – and budget too of course! Some surfaces are suitable to carry through into another room or even garden to give real flow to the space.

Aga range with blue tile splashbackcredit

Off the wall

Choosing the right wall covering and material is an important factor in your kitchen design. Most importantly it needs to be resilient and easy clean to clean particularly above the stove and around sink area. Ceramic tiles, sealed natural stone, glass and stainless steel are all great options. The wall covering is also an opportunity to inject a desired colour into a scheme – from subtle natural tones to attention grabbing feature walls. Ceramic tiles and specially formulated kitchen paints provide a limitless range of options when it comes to completing the look.

Modern monochrome kitchencredit

Let there be light!

There are so many options when it comes to lighting in the kitchen. It needs to be practical in that it provides light for working, yet it also has the potential to create atmosphere and drama. Home design often combines cooking and dining into one open plan space these days and lighting can help define these different zones. Therefore, spotlights, task lighting, strip lights, under-counter down-lights for worktop tasks, over-table pendant lights for dining, extractor units with integral lighting for cooking can all be incorporated into a scheme as required. When it comes to bulbs, energy saving LEDs initially cost more, but you won’t have to get the stepladder out to change them as often as normal halogen bulbs.

Corner built-in kitchen drawerscredit

Maximum storage

Whether your planning on installing a fitted or free-standing kitchen, you can never have too much storage. My dream house would contain a separate pantry area for storing surplus jars, tinned food and other dry goods.

Fitted kitchen designs are very clever these days with a combination of overhead and low cupboards in a myriad of sizes, shapes and configurations – with special corner drawer units and under stair shelving to make use of often wasted space. A well-designed kitchen makes the most of drawer, counter-top and shelf space. Decide whether you’d prefer cabinet doors, open shelves or a mixture of both. Some things look lovely on display – jars of different shaped pasta, preserved fruits, pulses and so on.

Free-standing kitchens can be more quirky and unique. Express your style with vintage kitchenettes, butchers blocks, welsh dressers and plate racks. Finish the look with wicker or wire baskets in various shapes and sizes.

Plug sockets installed into work surfacecredit

What’s the point?

With plug points, similar to storage, you can never have too many. When planning your new kitchen, think about the best place to install them. As well as needing to plug in white goods such as the fridge, stove and dish washer, think about where small appliances such as kettle, toaster, coffee-maker, microwave, food processors etc are going to be situated. Where would the best place be to plug in the vacuum cleaner? Space saving plug points can pop up from within the work surface or embedded flush into the floor.

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Modernise Your Bathroom in 6 Easy Steps

 

house bathroom / wetroom

One of the most expensive home makeover projects can be the bathroom. Things such as demolition, fixtures, hardware, flooring and plumbing can cost a fortune. An out-dated bathroom is unsightly and could have other hidden issues.

Take this opportunity to give your bathroom a makeover. Don’t break the bank but take the time to recreate your bathroom with modern, yet efficient features.

Blue painted bathroom

Step 1

Start with paint. This is always an easy and inexpensive way to freshen up your bathroom. Whatever colour you choose, you want to be sure that it’s perfect for the space. Anything overwhelming, too light or too dark can be an eyesore. Typically for the bathroom, clean and fresh hues are used. If you aren’t sure, stick to neutrals: grey, taupe, white, beige, etc. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to go bold!

Wood-panelled bathroom

Step 2

Your shower. How old are your tub, shower and tiles? Are you stuck with soap scum build-up that just won’t go away? Chipped tiles? Now is the time to fix all of that. If you’re going to splurge, splurge on a wet room. A wet room is convenient, cleaner and safer than a traditional bathroom. Using a wet room kit, you should easily be able to install the proper equipment. It fits perfectly in small places, accommodates those with mobility issues and increases the overall value of your home. Wet room shower kits, drains, waterproofing and other features are easily accessible – another benefit. It might cost you a little more up front, but it’s sure to pay off in the long run.

Masculine dark coloured bathroom

Step 3

Wall décor. Everything in your bathroom will generally focus around the mirror, so make it special! Find a mirror that is functional but makes a statement. It should complement the modern style you’re trying to achieve. If you decide to hang anything else, keep it simple and sophisticated. Glass shelves are a functional and modern way to keep your bathroom updated and organised.

Marble bathroom with corner bath

Step 4

Lighting. Take your time when it comes to the lighting in your bathroom. There are many modern options available to you that will fit within your budget. Keep in mind that it is a bathroom and the lighting shouldn’t be too harsh but, rather, soft and relaxing. This is one room that should be well lit. If you’re displaying art work, adjust your lighting around it to draw attention.

Blue and white bathroom with open shelves of towels

Step 5

De-clutter the space. One strategy for updating your bathroom is getting rid of all the clutter. Add storage if needed, but clean off the counter space. Store things in drawers and cabinets. The key to modern design is cleanliness and organisation.

White double bathroom sink

Step 6

Pay attention to detail. Giving your bathroom a makeover can be as simple as replacing the hardware. Items such as towel racks, shower curtains, knobs, etc can really date your space. This strategy is simple and cost-efficient.

Don’t burn a hole in your pocket with expensive renovations. Use these 6 easy tips to get your bathroom looking and feeling new again.

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Author, Rylie Burns, is an experienced Content Creator for Wet Rooms Design. Her passions are writing, home renovations, modern bathroom design and puppies.