If you are planning an extension, halfway through updating your interior or dream of building a sustainable house from scratch, a visit to The Southern Homebuilding & Renovating Show from 1-2 July 2017, at Sandown Park, Surrey, will give you practical help to turn your ambitions into reality.
Across two full days, visitors can speak to over 220 exhibitors and access more than 500+ advice sessions, 20+ free masterclasses on essential topics which can tackle any problem, from implementing the latest intelligent security systems to funding a remodelling project.
Resident property specialists will be on hand to help people with all building and renovating queries and leading companies will be exhibiting their latest ranges of services and products from an array of industries including architecture; design; financial topics; kitchens; bathrooms; doors and windows; lighting; heating; ventilation; planning permission and much more. The show venue will become a useful platform for all consumers who are facing similar challenges throughout all stages of their projects, as they can soak up advice and guidance and take inspiration from successful case studies.
To claim a free pair of tickets usually worth £24 (price in advance), follow this link www.homebuildingshow.co.uk/checkatrade, insert your details and print your tickets to bring to the show.
Please note that tickets must be redeemed before the link expires on 3PM 30 June 2017. Additional T&Cs apply: www.homebuildingshow.co.uk/terms
The completion of a long DIY project is a very satisfying feeling, days, weeks, even months of demanding work culminating in a lasting piece of furniture or a change to the home. Summer is the perfect time to put those long-standing plans into action and make your ideas a reality, even if it’s just a spot of painting!
If you’re fresh to DIY, don’t let the idea of an arduous project or lack of experience with the requisite tools hold you back. There are plenty of ways to spruce up your home or garden, without any prior experience. Here are just a few ways to change up your property this summer…
Make use of a bright day and get creative with your home
Yes, while most will see a bright, summer’s day and flock to beaches or parks for a leisurely day, a spot of clear dry weather can be the perfect moment for an opportune piece of DIY. If you fancy adding a fresh lick of paint to your walls, it’s a great time to shift furniture into gardens and will also allow rooms to fully air out. Perhaps if you’ve worked on a summer house or other outdoor unit, it can be fully utilised between your DIY breaks.
Bring plants indoors
And for those rainy days, it can be great to have a bit of life indoors, primarily with plants! They can brighten a room and freshen it up, both visually and literally by keeping air temperatures down and reducing airborne dust levels. There are plenty of innovative ways of showing off your new additions too, with hanging up a few lighter greens on rope shelving or even hanging them from a spray painted wooden or plastic dowel rod. Stylish and healthy!
Using old furniture, perhaps not fit for its original purpose anymore, is a brilliant way to do things both on the cheap and it’ll give you a unique piece too, that may even become the envy of your home. Trends involve using old doors, re-painting them and shaping them to become a new bed backboard, while wood plank crates can have metal legs attached to create rustic-looking shelving and side tables. Repurposing dilapidated pieces is a great way to express your creativity and improve your skills, too.
Get creative with wall art
Livening up your walls is a fantastic way to change your home up with very little effort. But rather than spending small fortunes on pieces of art, you’d be just as well to get creative, mounting an artsy shower curtain onto a wooden frame could do the trick. If you don’t have a spare shower curtain lying about, you could use wooden boxes and picture frames to create a shelfing/wall art hybrid, practical and good to look at.
Are you indulging in any big DIY improvement projects this summer season?
This blog was provided by Craig Phillips.
Working in construction, like me I suspect the last thing you want to see when you get home is a cement mixer, brickies, plasterers, plumbers and all the other trades you’ve been working around for the previous 9 hours.
But there is something different about the BBC’s DIY SOS that sets it apart from the usual ‘someone buys a house, does it up, lives in it’ show that is a staple of so many of the channels these days. Nick Knowles and his team (in case you haven’t seen it) arrive at a property where there is genuine need and where the property that they live in is genuinely unsuitable for them. It might be a disabled child who needs specialist lift equipment as they grow, or somebody with a disease that makes them deteriorate and need a lift in the house, or a ramp to the garden.
I’ve seen quite a few of these over the years and there is something amazingly moving and uplifting about the programme when to be honest it could just be a slightly depressing version of the standard make over show. I think it is the camaraderie on site when all the trades pull together for someone in need. Whatever the reason I was surprised and really pleased to get a call from Mark Millar who features in the show.
He needed help. The latest project was a house in Bristol where a young man needed various adaptations to the property to radically improve his quality of life. There was one stumbling block – damp.
Mark hadn’t come across the problem before, patchy damp in upper rooms with no sign of a leak, and even in the floor area which was over a driveway. After a short chat I knew we could help.
A few days later Neil and I were in the van on our way to Bristol from Worthing armed with industrial vacuums, compressors, generator and plenty of bags. We’d been told about the catering so we arrived early and after demolishing a massive free breakfast we set to work extracting millions of damp insulation beads from the house which were bridging the cavity and causing the damp.
It was a strange feeling to see familiar faces from the TV, to be interviewed on camera and see all the back room things that go in to a show like this. By 4pm we were on the road home, feeling a massive sense of achievement and to be honest, good old fashioned pride. What use would all the state of the art equipment be if the rooms were damp and mouldy? We’d had fun, done a good deed and were fed like kings.
If ever you get the call I recommend you grab the chance to help. You’ll be glad you did.
And the bacon sarnies are amazing!
Blog Post provided by Aydin Sigva of Cavitech UK Ltd.
This year’s National Brett Approved Installer Awards recognised 25 installers at the top of their game, in a celebration of the hard work of Brett installers across the country.
Throughout February, the South West, South East and Midlands/North regions each took their turns to vote for the best projects of the year. Each winner, as well as two runners-up and two highly commended projects progressed through to the National Awards held at The Belfry.
Both the Regional and National events represented a fantastic opportunity to commend those scheme members working at the cutting edge of landscaping design and innovation, as well as providing a chance for installers to give their feedback on current and future Brett products.
Below is a full list of winners:
- Best Large Driveway
- Winner: Paramount Paving
- Runner up: Mannmade Drives & Designs
- Runner up: Essex Block Paving Ltd
- Best Small Driveway
- Winner: M&S Paving
- Runner up: Mannmade Drives & Designs
- Runner up: T.S. McLaughlin & Son
- Best Large Patio
- Winner: Carew Drivesways & Patios
- Runner up: Mannmade Drives & Designs
- Runner up: Jake Brown Landscapes & Groundwork
- Best Small Patio
- Winner: David Greaves Landscape Design & Construction
- Runner up: KT Lake Paving & Landscaping
- Runner up: Stokes Baldock Ltd.
- Portfolio of the Year
- Winner: Mannmade Drives & Designs
- Runner up: Carew Driveways & Patios
- Runner up: Paramount Paving
- Project of the Year judged by T. McCormack of Paving Expert
- Winner: David Greaves Landscapes Design & Construction
- Runner up: The Secret Garden Landscapes & Design
- Runner up: Mannmade Drives & Designs
- Customer Excellence of the Year
- Winner: R&J Mole Ltd
- Runner up: Firmpave
- Runner up: M.H. Paving
- Resiblock Brett Approved Installer of the Year
- Winner: Style Home Improvements
- National Installer of the Year
- Winner: M&S Paving
- Runner up: Jake Brown Landscapes & Groundworks
- Runner up: Mannmade Drives & Designs
As well as providing a professional service of the very highest standards, using a Brett Approved Installer provides the peace of mind of 5-year Installer Guarantee and our 10-year Brett Product Guarantee.
Visit www.brettpaving.co.uk for more information.
Dive into Spring with Checkatrade!
Winter can see our houses and gardens suffer, often becoming neglected. Now we are moving into a season of warmer weather, there is more opportunity to spend time outdoors so with this in mind I have put together a blog to help you get into the swing of things this spring.
From minor maintenance to larger projects, giving our houses some TLC is essential.
Here are a few of my recommended DIY jobs to get your house and garden ready for the spring/summer season…
Give garden furniture a new lease of life
Garden furniture such as benches, tables and play equipment will likely have been stored away during the winter months. So, before summer officially arrives, check it over for any natural or deterioration and repair where necessary. With wooden furniture, once general repairs have been made, it is always worth re-staining/oiling to protect it from all weather conditions.
Ensure your lawn mower is up to scratch
As we are now entering a period of better weather, it is time to make sure your mower makes the cut. Give the machine a thorough clean, replace oil/petrol where necessary, inspect the electrics, lubricate all moving parts and if needed, sharpen the cutting blade. Take extra care when handling the blade.
Spruce up outdoor living spaces
Conservatories or converted outbuildings get used much more in the spring/summer months as they become a relaxing place to enjoy the sun. Give these spaces a re-vamp before the summer season begins, by introducing pastel colours to the furnishings, lighten the walls with a lick of white paint, and bring the outdoors, in, by welcoming some plants into the space. This is an easy and effective way of transforming a space this spring/summer.
If you are turning your attention to bigger projects this season, then here are a few jobs that can make a big impact but that may require the helping hand of a professional…
Repair exterior damage
Roof tiles, gutters, foundations, windows and doors are all exposed to the weather. Throughout the winter harsh winds and torrential downpours can cause damage. Check all exteriors, seals and brickwork and if you spot something that needs mending and cannot be fixed by your own hands, then call a tradesperson to come and make any required repairs.
Paint the exterior of the house
A job that makes even the keenest DIY lover sigh. Painting the exterior of a house is no mean feat. It requires time, care and the right equipment so in my books it is one for a professional. An expert will be able to provide the scaffolding needed to reach each level of the house, and ensure the job is done safely and to a high standard. It is a job that needs to be done every few years so it is well worth looking and seeing if that time is now!
Re-landscape the garden
There is nothing better than spending scorching summer days in the garden, cooking up a storm on the BBQ and soaking up the sun, but if your garden isn’t attractive on the eye, it can take the excitement out of summer. Although not the cheapest project to undertake, getting a professional landscaper in will help you create the garden of your dreams, no matter the size of your outdoor space.
Whatever kind of tradesperson you require, make Checkatrade, a free to access directory of trades local to you, your first port of call.
Carpet is a type of textile flooring made of wool or polypropylene fibres and can vary in colour, production method and type.
Carpeting enables the creation of a functional, modern and cozy atmosphere with a wide range of models and colours and that is why they are so popular in London. Also carpeting is one of the most luxurious and comfortable flooring for office.
It’s disadvantage is that it requires maintenance more frequently . Depending on the intensity of use, it must be hoovered daily and washed periodically. This is because the carpet absorbs dust and quickly gets contaminated.
The easiest daily cleaning is done with a vacuum cleaner, but it can not remove all dirt and deposits, so the carpet needs a good wash regularly. The frequency of washing depends on how bright the surface is and how many people use it.
There is already a new generation of carpets – polymer with 100% polyamide thread and coloured core of fibres. The textile fibres are dyed by dipping them into a solution, which means the colour can not easily be removed and in the event of stubborn stains appearing, you can use a significantly more aggressive method of cleaning.
If you normally wait for spring to come round before you clean the carpets, there’s no need.
We offer professional cleaning service that does not depend on the season.
Worried that the carpet won’t be dry quick enough?
No need – with proper technique, it is washed and dried quickly and efficiently.
Go For Cleaning LTD offers heavy duty carpet cleaning service – http://www.goforcleaning.co.uk/steam-carpet-cleaning/
The preparations we use are different, divided into several groups: shampoos with active oxygen, hot water and powder extraction system with disinfectants and detergents to remove stains.
The technology can be used with different options depending on the degree of soiling on the carpet. The procedure includes cleaning of the contaminated surface by a carpet extraction machine. This is a method by which the product is injected under pressure and immediately thereafter sucked back to the machine.
Go For Cleaning cleans the carpets with five main stages.
- In the first stage, we pre-spray the product with active oxygen and appropiate pH and gently brush it into the fabric.
- Our second step threatens the congested areas, i.e. those who are undergoing the most intense utilization and pollution are treated with a concentrated detergent.
- The third stage is to rinse the carpet with a special detergent that crosses extracted solution and rinse again.
- A fourth step includes drying the carpet with a powerful three-motor water vacuums.
- Finally, the last fifth stage is to inspect for stains and to be removed with professional preparation, the type of which is determined according to the type of stain.
We will also apply deodorizes for better aroma.
In the end your carpet will be clean, healthy and almost dry with bright and fresh colours.
This article is produced by the Carpet Cleaning Team at Go For Cleaning LTD.
Tel. 020 8460 8928
In this day and age, £1 0 only goes so far, but this season it could get you into Wembley to watch the Checkatrade Trophy Final.
Ticket sales for this season’s final have been selling fast, with excitement building as Coventry City and Oxford United prepare to go head-to-head on Sunday 2 April for the first time under the famous arch.
Current ticket sales, more than two weeks out from the big day, indicate that the attendance for the final will be one of the highest in the competition’s history with over 60,000 tickets already sold.
The £10 ticket price applies for supporters aged 16 and under.
The final has captured the imagination of young supporters from both clubs, with more than 10,000 junior tickets having been purchased to date.
It will be the Sky Blues’ first trip to Wembley for 30 years, but for Oxford, the national stadium is familiar territory, having played in the final of this competition last season, losing out to now Championship side Barnsley.
EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey said: “It has been very encouraging to see how ticket sales have progressed and it is great that so many young fans are coming to watch what promises to be an exciting and competitive final.
“The £10 offer is fantastic opportunity to experience a special occasion at Wembley Stadium, the home of football in this country, and I urge as many of our finalists’ young fans and families to take advantage.”
The two teams have met twice this season in the league, both claiming home victories with Coventry winning 2-1 in October, and Oxford claiming a 4-1 victory the following month at the Kassam Stadium.
Kevin Byrne, Founder and CEO of Checkatrade, said: “We’re delighted that the EFL are offering this fantastic deal to young supporters for what should be a great game of football. As a proud community-driven business, we’re thrilled that youngsters from across the country can experience Wembley at a competitive price.
This is a great opportunity to attend the home of football and we look forward to seeing lots of young supporters at the Checkatrade Trophy Final on Sunday 2nd April.”
Tickets can be purchased via the Coventy City ticket office. For Oxford United tickets, further information is available by visiting www.oufc.co.uk.
For further details regarding the Checkatrade Trophy, please visit www.efl.com/checkatrade-trophy.With 72 member clubs across three divisions, the EFL (English Football League) is the world’s original league football competition. It is the largest single body of professional clubs in European football and is responsible for administering and regulating the Sky Bet EFL, EFL Cup and Checkatrade Trophy, as well as reserve and youth football. The EFL, EFL Trust and our member clubs are at the heart of communities across the country, providing shared experiences for all and using the power of sport to improve lives.
Carpets are a huge part of the decor in your property and can have a massive influence on the first impressions that you will give off when people visit.
Choosing the right carpet can take a long time and can also be quite costly so when you are choosing, it’s always good to understand what they are made from and how durable they are.
For example, you wouldn’t want to pick a delicate carpet for high foot traffic areas.
Choosing the correct carpets first time can increase the length of time that the carpet will last and will prevent you needing to buy another new carpet a few months down the line.
There are so many different types of carpets that you can choose from, all varying in design, texture, colours, patterns and pile length/thickness. However, this doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to cleaning, the main thing to consider is whether you are buying a natural fibre carpet or a synthetic fibre carpet.
So Premium Carpet Clean Ltd have laid out what the differences between the two are to help you get a better understanding of what one will best suit your needs.
Natural carpets are made from natural sources such as wool which means they tend to look and feel a lot nicer than most synthetic carpets. The fibres in a wool carpet are usually a lot thicker which means that they have a way of bouncing back into shape whereas synthetic fibres fold and flatten considerably quicker.
The natural carpets will stay bouncy and thicker for a lot longer however they are prone to staining and can need a more delicate approach when cleaning. The fibres in Wool carpets if cleaned incorrectly can shrink, change colour and be damaged by the using the wrong cleaning products. The safest option is to ensure that natural carpets are cleaned by professionals so that no damage is caused.
Synthetic carpets as the name suggests means that this carpet has been made from artificially produced materials which means that they are usually considerably cheaper than natural fibre carpets.
The most commonly used materials found in synthetic carpets are acrylic and nylon. There are various reasons why these materials are used.
Acrylic is less likely to become stained and doesn’t absorb a lot of moisture which means it is one of the easiest fibres to clean and keep clean. It can also be placed in direct sunlight because it doesn’t fade in the light.
Nylon is known best for its incredible strength and it is very resistant to staining and matting. Seeing as synthetic carpet materials are so easy to acquire and make, the cost of production is a lot lower than the cost of making a natural fibre carpet.
A professional carpet cleaning company will understand what cleaning chemicals will need to be used on the different types of carpet and they will all test all of your P.H levels before and after cleaning your carpets.
You’re wondering what a P.H level is?
Well we are going to explain this for you too so you know what is safe and what isn’t!
P.H stands for ‘Potential of Hydrogen’. To check your P.H levels, the cleaner will come to your property with equipment including a testing kit.
They will test a strand of your carpet on the strips provided in the kit and determine the readings by the colour against the colour chart.
It’s a measure of the Acidity and Alkalinity of cleaning solutions and is measured on a scale of 0-14.
The levels that they will expect to find after a clean has been completed is a 7.0. This is the midway reading and confirms that your carpets have been left with a neutral result so nothing has been left behind.
A P.H reading will not identify the capacity of the product but the intensity of the product. For example, using temperature will tell us how hot a item is but not how much heat its emitting.
Any reading below 7.0 tells us that the product contains a lot of acid whereas anything above will tell us that it is high in alkaline.
The reason you are left with your carpets at a level 7.0 (Neutral) because you don’t want to be left with a buildup of chemicals in your carpet. Leaving a higher or lower reading can cause corrosion and damage to the carpets over a period of time.
We are WPJ Heating , a boiler installation company based in London and proud members of Checkatrade.
In our previous two articles, we covered boiler prices and boiler types. Part 3 is a list of ‘Dos and Don’ts’ to help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure you’re getting the job done correctly when having a new boiler installed.
● Always use a Gas Safe accredited installer or company.
● Get 2-3 boiler quotes from local boiler installer companies. Price, guarantee and quality of workmanship can vary drastically.
● Make sure you have a magnetic filter included in the installation, or at least have a good reason to omit it.
● Make sure the system is suitably flushed to remove sludge and debris at the time of the installation.
● Make sure corrosion inhibitor chemicals are added at the time of completion to protect the new boiler.
● Ensure the installer will cover the surrounding area in protective sheets.
● Make sure the manufacturer’s guarantee and Gas Safe Register paperwork are completed, sent off and logged online.
● Enquire about follow-up care and annual servicing.
● Ask about the relevance of new programmers, pumps, thermostats and other components on the system.
● Expect the old boiler to be properly disposed of.
● Use an installer with a conspicuous lack of previous customer reviews. Reviews don’t lie and it’s the one tool you as a customer have to asses if the company is reliable.
● Forget to do your research on the make of boiler being recommended by the installer to make sure it is appropriate.
● Be afraid to ask any questions at all so that you are clear on what to expect.
● Feel you have to hang around all day during the installation. Good firms are tidy and responsible and can be left to it.
● Expect to clean up afterwards or be left with piles of rubbish – This should all be taken care of.
● Pay the balance until you are satisfied.
● Be bamboozled by jargon in the quotes. Get at least three and seek clarity when comparing them.
Whenever you look at making some changes to your home, there is almost always some confusion about where you should start and how to go about it.
Thankfully, the team at Sainsburys Bank have put together a very helpful Guide to Home Improvements.
This handy little document has hints and tips on everything from improving your existing areas to creating brand new spaces.
There’s also some information on how to make your home more energy efficient.
We hope you find this guide useful but if you discover a job that might be a bit too big to tackle yourself, why not find a reliable trader on Checkatrade.com?
With over 24,000 recommended, vetted and monitored trades…we’re bound to have the right one for you!