Category Archives: Members

Paper Hanging Tips by Multiple Award Winning Painter & Decorator Wayne de Wet

As with all decorating  projects, the secret to a good finish is to do your home work! By that I mean to; prepare yourself, prepare the room/area and the surfaces being decorated and make time!
A very helpful way to learn the basics of wallpaper hanging can be reading books and ‘How To’ articles on line and of course watching YouTube videos as they also let you know about which tools to buy.


My advice is to get the best tool kit that you can afford. This will make the whole project much easier, as using quality tools that are made well will always be better than using cheap and cheerful tools.

  • Start off with a small project until your confidence builds.
  • Always prepare the surfaces that are to be wallpapered, time spent preparing the surfaces to be wallpapered is time  well spent!
  • Wash old paste off the area to be wallpapered and rinse well, this is to prevent mould growing through the new wallpaper.
  • After washing the walls – fill, sand and line.
  • Make sure you buy enough wallpaper and some spare (it’s also very important to check the batch and colour codes are the same.)
  • Have all the tools that are needed before you start.

My wall paper tool kit has evolved over 38 years but even now I still add to it whenever something catched my eye!
However, the basic kit always remains the same…


Wallpapering Kit

To hang wall paper. the following tools are a must;

‘Paste the Wall’ wallpaper

‘Paste the wall’ wallpaper is becoming the standard now. It basically means what it says, you paste the wall instead of pasting the wallpaper. This makes the process much faster.
The main plus of using this type of wall paper is that you don’t need to wait for the paste to soak in and you can hang straight from the roll…..with a bit of practice!

For the novice, the first thing you should do is check the pattern match.
This could be a straight match, where the pattern is straight across the wall or a reverse hang, where every other length is hung upside down. It could also be a drop pattern where every other length the pattern is seen to drop.
This and the other information can be found on the hanging instructions so make sure you read them as every wallpaper will have its own unique instructions.
You also need to make sure you buy enough wallpaper plus at least one spare roll.

It’s worth checking if the ceiling line or coving is straight. You can do this by drawing a straight line around the room with a spirit level and pencil then measure from that line to the ceiling/coving.

When setting out, position the pattern so its pleasing to the eye.
On the paste table; measure, match & cut each length allowing an extra 50mm to the top and bottom then mark the back of the paper at the top/bottom on the left, right and in the middle.
You do this so if you trim part off a length to fit some where else, you may cut this mark off.

A good habit is to gently reverse roll all the lengths of paper at both ends. This helps to stop the paper curling up when you have it on the table.

You will need to set our your room or feature wall by centering any patterns on say a chimney breast (remembering that the pattern on the paper is not necessarily on the edge of the paper).
Once you have done this, create a straight faint line using a Plumb Bob & Pencil, check it with a spirit level and then hang the first drop using the line as your guide.
Using a small roller pole, a roller/tray with a medium pile sleeve and a 50mm brush, paste an area of wall that’s just a little wider than the width of the wallpaper. This is so you never have to paste up to the length on the wall.
My trade tip is to position the pattern at the top of the paper so that its  pleasing to your eye, then simply let the wallpaper make contact but not stick to the wall then smoothing the paper from left to right and up and down as you go. You can then align the pattern to the plumb line or pattern if you have got more than one length up.

A key tip is to keep the face of the wallpaper clean at all times.

Traditional ‘Paste to Paper’

Paste to paper is the traditional method and it also has its good and bad points.

Pasting a sheet of wallpaper and keeping the face clean is very important.
This is made easy by keeping the wallpaper in line with the edge of the paste table then pasting down the centre of the paper gently working your way to the edge. You must make sure you are always spreading the paste on the outward stroke.

The good points in this method is the paper becomes softer to handle and fold, creases less and can be stretched a little with skill and experience but it can only be pasted on the paste table and is then cut off the roll.
I always number every length, making sure to mark what is the top & bottom. When marking, do this on the left, middle and right as if you need to trim the paper you may cut off the markings.

The negative points are it has to be allowed to soak for the right amount of time and cut to a length that can be trimmed when on the wall.
I generally cut the whole room or feature wall on the paste table allowing for a pattern match, add an extra 50mm top & bottom for trimming but that comes with a life time of experience.

Make sure you always always read the hanging instructions label and follow the manufacturers recommendation on adhesives.
Vinyls and sponge-able wallpapers will require a fungicide adhesive.

Where I can, I always use a ready mixed trade quality adhesive as this has a thicker consistency but can be sometimes thinned to suit the various wallpapers like heavy duty hessian, vinyl’s, and  embossed papers as well as flocks.

You should always use the same wallpaper adhesive to hang the lining paper and wallpaper.

Sachet or packet paste is still used and the secret to using this adhesive is to mix it to the right strength, and make sure it is lump free. Some powder adhesives are instant mix, which means its very hard to get lumps when mixing. When mixing your paste, always use clean cold water and clean tools.
My trade paste mixing tip is to get the water moving fast in a circular motion and whilst it’s being stirred gently pour the powder in, a little at a time.
Allow the mixed  adhesive to “stand” for about 5 mins then give a final stir, it’s now ready.

Count how many rolls you’re going to hang then the wallpaper adhesive packet will have a chart giving helpful tips on how much water you need to add depending on the type & quantity of wallpaper you’re using.
When you’re overlapping any wallpaper in corners, around windows or hanging boarder;, use a strong border & overlap adhesive and always keep the paper clean by rinsing with warm water.



Hanging wallpaper around sockets and switches is easy once you know how but caution should be had when this is being carried out and you must always turn off the electricity when hanging wallpaper.

Cut a cross to each corner and trim the excess off or for the best results,  ask an electrician to remove them.
To trim at the ceiling and skirting lines, gently crease the wallpaper into the crevice then push the paper in with a thin bladed spatula and holding your scalpel at an angle, trim the paper to the desired shape.
The spatula protects the wallpaper as the blade cuts it so always cut above the spatula.
Repeat this where ever you need to trim and also make sure the blade is fresh and sharp.

Papering around windows is easy once you know how too. It is, however, only possible to wrap the wallpaper into one side of the reveal, so its always best to wrap the sides.
To do this; hang a length straight, visualise your cuts as at some point their will be a little overlap and/or cut & splice.
Match a new piece to go on the face above the reveal and under into the window and splice though the two on the face. Take your time as patience makes for a job well done.


In many properties, both internal and external, corners can be out of level. It is so important that you understand this, and even more important to know that the wall paper must always be hung straight.

Cut a line right on the corner where the paper meets the skirting corner and also where it meets the coving corner which will allow for the paper to be smoothed round the external corner.
Check it is straight with a spirit level and once it’s right, carry on!
If it’s not straight, you will have to trim the returning paper about 15mm to 20mm then match a new length after trimming off the same section that is on the wall.
Depending on the type of wallpaper and pattern match, it can be overlapped by keeping it a few mm back from the edge and using over lap and border adhesive, but a much better finish can be achieved if it is spliced.
This process uses a straight edge and a very sharp snap blade knife. You cut gently through both papers and peel the underside off, roll with your seam roller and wipe with a damp cloth.
Never wrap wallpaper in and out of an internal corner – always trim about 3mm to 5 mm onto the unpapered wall.

Use overlap  paste and plumb a straight new length out of the corner after matching it.


Good Practices

Always clean any adhesive paste off the ceiling or coving, skirting, windows and frames.
Change you water regularly.
Wash and rinse the cloths or sponges often.
Twitter; @Decorum28
Instagram; @Decorum28


£5,000* and Paid Apprentice up for grabs to the Ultimate Tradesperson



IRWIN®’s Ultimate Tradesperson Competition Calls on Outstanding Tradespeople to Nominate Themselves, Friends and Colleagues for the 2016 title

LONDON, UK [August 3rd, 2016] – IRWIN® Tools, innovation experts in the hand tool and power tool accessories industry for over a century, has launched its annual Nominate a Tradesperson competition to find the UK and Ireland’s Ultimate Tradesperson.

IRWIN is on the lookout for trade professionals – joiners, electricians, plumbers, metal workers and mechanics to nominate themselves or colleagues and share their stories of when they have gone above and beyond to get a job done, no matter how big or small.

Tradespeople worldwide rely on IRWIN for superior performance on the job and now IRWIN wants to celebrate the UK and Ireland’s best. The successful candidate will receive a year’s paid apprentice for 2017, £5,000 (€6,440) to help build their business and a range of IRWIN products including IRWIN’s new Pro Comfort Screwdrivers, WeldTec™ Circular Saw blades and VISE-GRIP® cutting pliers.

The winner will be announced at the Build Show on the 18th and 19th October at the NEC in Birmingham.

Ahead of the 2016 winner being crowned, between June to October a monthly winner will receive a prize package bursting with IRWIN tools to the value of £660 (€851) as well as an all-expense paid trip for two to the Build Show to the value of £850 (€1095).

The competition now in its second year gives IRWIN the opportunity to recognise the positive difference tradespeople are making to the UK and Ireland. IRWIN spokesperson Amber Popowicz, Senior Brand Activation Manager explains: “We established Nominate a Tradesperson to find tradespeople who through their skills and dedication make a real difference. This could be a tradesperson who has shown their commitment to instilling their skills in the younger generation by working with apprentices or someone who always goes above and beyond to deliver exceptional client service.”

2015 Winner, Stacey Greenwell, from Stoke-on-Trent added, “When I began my career over 15 years ago I never thought I would become the UK’s Ultimate Tradesperson. I started buying uninhabitable derelict properties and renovating them to provide affordable housing to help my local town. It’s been such an experience to have won and it’s been great to have been recognised by such a long-standing company like IRWIN.”

To nominate yourself, a friend, a colleague or family member who you think deserves the recognition of UK and Ireland’s Ultimate Tradesperson, and to find the full terms and conditions of this promotion visit:

Marxman and Dragons Den Deborah Meaden

Marxman leaves a lasting impression and sees all Dragons vie to invest

Jenny, 50, a special abilities school assistant and Martin Chard, 50, a self-employed building maintenance man, are a typical couple bringing their four children, two Labradors and rabbit up in the picturesque county of Hertfordshire. But last night they found themselves in the enviable, and rare, position of having 5 of the UK’s biggest and most respected business people vie to invest in their business as all dragons made them an offer in the den.

Each of the dragons immediately saw potential in Martin’s invention and were keen to get on board.

Jenny and Martin were delighted to choose Deborah Meaden to be their partner and mentor given her vast experience and previous success with similar brands in the past. They gladly accepted her £50k investment for 30% of the business even though this wasn’t the top offer they received.

Jenny commented, “We had our sight set on Deborah from the very beginning.  She’s a fantastic businesswoman with a huge amount of knowledge and experience in this sector that will really help us develop our offering and expand our network.”

Marxman is a new tool addressing the common problem of being unable to clearly mark a drilling hole, something regularly encountered by professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. With one push the Marxman delivers a burst of brightly coloured chalk that marks any surface ready for drilling or fixing, even at a distance from the wall.*

Deborah Meaden commented, “The best inventions come from people solving a problem that lots of us experience but don’t do anything about. Martin is exceptional in that not only did he recognise and solve the problem through his invention, but he did so in a simple, elegant and affordable way. I can see widespread use of the Marxman with it becoming an essential part of all home and professional tool kits.”



Martin Chard came up with the idea for Marxman six years ago while trying to fit a sink. He couldn’t mark the drilling position on the wall and see the marks clearly so after a few time wasting attempts he reached for a can of black spray paint in desperation and marked it with that. After several other frustrating incidents like this and lots of wasted trips up and down ladders with broken pencils and felt tips not doing the job he started the process of developing Marxman so other workers could benefit.

Once a search of the patent office came back clear in 2009, Marxman began to take shape in 2010 as the first early stage prototype was developed.  The first product was sold in 2014 and in March this year the duo secured a contract with trade retailer Wickes.

It was Jenny’s son Oren who came up with the name Marxman and up until recently the family have been manufacturing every unit themselves in order to achieve the level of perfection they wanted to ensure Marxman does the job.

Jenny commented, “Being on Dragons’ Den was extremely daunting and we were very nervous, we definitely got flustered when being grilled on the numbers – that’s not our forte!

“We are the first to admit that we have very little business experience and we know we need a lot of help.  We’ve been able to get this far thanks to the extraordinary support we’ve had from friends, family and the various businesses big and small we’ve asked advice from along the way. We are extremely grateful to everyone that has believed in Marxman and played a part in our journey so far.”

Jenny and Martin plan to use Deborah’s investment to increase manufacture and grow the awareness of such a useful tool.



Find out more:

Marxman Product Information

  • Marxman is available from and
  • It retails at £9.95 and dispenses 250 doses
  • Both Standard and Deep Hole Marxman can be used to mark a reference point directly onto any surface. From tiles and pebble dash to wood and metal, whatever the surface the mark will show clearly
  • The Standard Marxman can mark clearly through depths of 45 mm and under
  • The Deep Hole Marxman can mark clearly through depths of 45mm and over
  • Marxman is a British made product which uses non-toxic ingredients and has very low global warming potential


See how Marxman works –


Website –

Facebook – marxmanpen

Twitter – @marxmanpen

Duratec security solutions become members of Checkatrade.



We’re delighted to announce that we have been accepted to be part of the website – the directory of recommended and trusted tradesman – and would like to thank all our customers who have helped us achieve this. To be included, we have undergone a strict vetting procedure and have been monitored to ensure we meet the required standards of trading.

Checkatrade is a free online search engine for consumers that offers a directory of trades and services in one place. By using the Checkatrade website, customers who are looking for reputable and reliable tradesmen in a specific area can be assured they will find high quality tradesman in one place in order to complete their projects. Customers also have the opportunity to view a full list of qualifications and insurance details without having to enquire.

All businesses on the site are continuously monitored to a strict standard by Checkatrade, as they gather feedback directly from consumers on the completion of all projects.  This ensures that all feedback posted is honest and reliable.

We are very proud to have 100 % transparency and we strongly believe in all of the statements mentioned within the Checkatrade standard: are happy we have found a site that cares about its customers as much as we do.

We hope this news will bring us closer together with our customers and allow us to show you how important your project and feedback is to us

Cricket Derbyshire Foundation ‘bowled over’ as support rolls in for makeover project. But we need more help!

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Hodgkinson Builders is rallying the troops in a bid to turn the former changing rooms in the 3aaa Pavilion at Derbyshire County Cricket Club into a room, which can host community programmes delivered by the Cricket Derbyshire Foundation.

Checkatrade are appealing to members to give a helping hand.

The first of these programmes is designed to support and provide advice for those affected by suicide and mental health issues.

The makeover project – which is appealing for local trade’s people to come and help has even attracted support from Craig Phillips of Big Brother fame.

The makeover will take place on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 July, and the Foundation is calling for those wanting to contribute, help out, supply materials, or even make tea, to get in touch.

Andrew Bowley, Head of the Cricket Derbyshire Foundation, was recently approached by Mark Boynes, whose best friend, Alex Miller, committed suicide back in late 2012.

In 2013, Boynes launched Opening Up Cricket, a non-profit organisation in Lancashire which used the power of cricket to address mental health issues in young adults.

The team now hopes to roll this programme out in Derby at the newly-revamped location.

Boynes said: “In 2012, my best friend Alex committed suicide leaving an irreplaceable void at Sefton Park Cricket Club, where he played as a wicketkeeper, and he left a massive void in my life too.

“Alex had a history of depression and mental illness, but I’d be happy to admit that as a group of friends, we didn’t know how to deal with this. There was a period after where there was no help available to our knowledge, with trying to cope with the after effects of suicide.

“When we found out about a local charity called CALM, we didn’t know it existed. We began working with them to raise awareness, and it led to Opening Up Cricket, which provides mind and body sessions to address suicide and mental health issues in young adults. By using the friendships that develop through playing cricket together, we can address the mental as well as physical health of young people who play cricket.”

Andrew Bowley, Head of the Cricket Derbyshire Foundation, said: “Ian Hodgkinson was keen to support us by turning the former changing rooms into a standalone centre dedicated to providing help and support to those most in need.”

Ian said: “A few years ago, one of my employees suddenly committed suicide. It is a challenge when you think that everything is against you. What seems impossible can become possible with access to the right help and support. The Cricket Derbyshire Foundation hopes to provide practical support to people who are affected by this awful situation. In particular young men, as it is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.

“We have received fantastic support from Craig Philips, Checkatrade Ambassador, who is set to muck in on day two of the project, and from Checkatrade, which has appealed to its members for hands-on help over the two day period.

“We are aware that so many people are touched by suicide and mental health issues and this space can to be a focal point for groups to use for survivors, carers and to raise awareness of this subject matter.”

The makeover will see the two rooms available, turned into one open space complete with computer terminals, sofas, disabled access and its own toilets.

Once finished, the room will be used to deliver the Opening Up Cricket programme and will also be used for schools for open learning and other community programmes.


Those able to help are asked to contact Andrew Bowley [email protected] Hodgkinson Builders or Tina Clough at Poppy-PR, who will also be helping on the day.

For more information, or to offer help to the community project, please visit The Hodgkinson Builders website


Checkatrade and Trading standards at CTSI conference

Checkatrade today are partnered with 8 Local Authority Trading Standards (TS) with many more in discussion. The Checkatrade team are going to be at the CTSI conference an annual event at The International Centre in Telford from Monday 20th June to Wednesday 23rd June. Chartered Trading Standards Institute is a professional membership association formed in 1881 representing trading standards professionals.

Local authorities will be attending the event to listen to a presentation from Kevin Byrne our Founder and CEO and to visit out more about partnering with Checkatrade in the fight against rogue traders and supporting legitimate businesses.

Last year’s CTSI conference Checkatrade held a competition on where TS professionals dropped their business cards into a hat and the winner won £500 towards a project for a worthy cause in their area, and a local Checkatrade member would do the work.  The winner was Rebecca Finch, Community Project Officer from West Yorkshire Trading Standards,  who decided to give the £500 to The Blind Society in Whitfield. They were delighted to receive the £500 and put the money towards having sensory lights installed. “We have been wanting to develop a sensory wellbeing room, so that we can offer holistic therapies to our clients and from people in the community. Part of the problem was that the lighting was too bright. This work has enabled us to proceed with the rest of the project and hopefully we will be able to offer Holistic therapies” said the home.


The work was completed by Checkatrade member JP Electrical. “I rewired the lights above the suspended ceiling, installed three warm white 600 x 600 led panels.  All lights have dimmable drivers and are controlled via a retractive dimmer switch to give complete range of lighting levels. The led panel above the door also incorporates a three hour rechargeable battery back up for emergency situations” said James from JP Electrical

Most people with sight loss need and benefit from enhanced lighting. Some eye conditions can cause individuals to experience glare problems when in normal light levels, which could be uncomfortable or even intolerable for them. The Whitfield Wellbeing Centre are a community organisation that provides a variety of activities for people with or without sight loss.

Checkatrade and JP Electrical are thrilled to be able to assist the home and the local community.



The Art of Organisation! – J Fridlington

I am a very clean and organised person, so as you can imagine from the beginning, I have always been obsessed with having a clean, organised van to enable me to  carry out my work as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

When I first started as Electrician I was working on a job and the carpenter rolled up with a huge pile of Festool “Systainer” boxes and from that day on – I was hooked! All I wanted to be able to do was to turn up at a job and wheel out all of my tools and materials without having to spend hours lugging my things back and forth to the van.  I started researching and found that the Systainer boxes at the time (over 15 years ago) were very expensive.


The years rolled by and I started to notice Bosch had started selling their power tools in L-Boxx’s so I began to replace my power tool range so I could have lovely stackable boxes.

Over the years I have had different types and styles of van racking systems in my van such as tall metal units as well as various upgrades of home made wooden racking.

After thinking my latest van racking (which I made myself from heavy plywood) was the pinnacle of organization –  I  then discovered Vantainer who supply what I can only describe as the answer to all your possible storage and racking needs! Very light weight and the perfect solution for organisation of tools and materials storage. And it looks great too!

The Vantainer system is a very simple and ultra lightweight design, combined with the Systainer storage boxes – this makes going from job to job an absolute dream.

I have noticed that driving around the van not only feels a lot lighter and quieter and I have also seen a dramatic drop in fuel consumption.

When I arrive at a job – I can see the tools I need so much more quickly due to the simple and effective labeling system. I can then grab the boxes I want and stack them quickly on my sturdy Systainer trolley which is so easy to use – and lock all the boxes into place – then I am ready to go – saving my back and time in the process!



Great Product Features

I want to explain more about the superb locking feature these boxes have which make this system so unique.

This revolutionary locking device enables the user to attach and detach boxes perfectly which makes maneuverability and transport so easy. The beauty of this means that you can open any individual box to access the contents, even when they are stacked together using the innovative T-Loc system.

Make it work for your trade

Then comes the completely bespoke nature of this system – these boxes come in an array of different sizes with different inner compartments to suit your very needs – and the boxes no matter their size will always lock together – it’s genius!

And then there’s the racking!

This lightweight racking system which is so quick and easy to install (much quicker than the entire weekend it took me to build and install my plywood racking !) and no hard labour required! Mounted on aluminum telescopic arms – the shelving is perfectly safe and secure to support even the heaviest of your tools. It is also completely adaptable to your van size and shape.


You can probably tell I am a big fan and with Checkatrade , you get the chance to  treat yourself to a fantastic deal which you can not get anywhere else. I am not stopping with the my van – I am using the boxes in my garage and shed too as they are perfect for keeping the clutter out and making the space at home work for me as well.

Drive down costs

Make your working day more efficient with this great looking system and save yourself some serious money on fuel once your existing heavy racking is replaced with this lightweight system.

J Fridlington

Fully Qualified Electrician

Members – Go to the members area to find the exclusive code to access low cost deals on offer. –

Rogue Trader Victim Saved by Checkatrade and Trading Standards!

Friday 10th June will be the 8th Open Day that Checkatrade will sees a return to Suffolk, the first partnership, for a celebration of Consumer Protection. Local traders, consumer champions and protection agencies will all be there, as well as a local resident who fell victim to a rogue trader.


Checkatrade has long been committed to the protection of consumers and support for reliable, trustworthy tradespeople and businesses, so they are delighted to work in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities up and down the country to provide Approved Trader Schemes with the aim of solving, once and for all, the UK’s rogue trader problem.

Checkatrade also uses these partnerships to establish ‘fighting funds’ used to clear up the mess often left behind by unscrupulous tradespeople and it was with great relief that one unfortunate disabled homeowner was recently able to turn to Checkatrade having fallen victim to a Suffolk rogue.

After the all stress and anxiety of her ordeal, access to the Checkatrade ‘fighting fund’ has spared this vulnerable consumer, and her 90 year old father, further heartache, inconvenience and expense.

Suffolk resident Val knew she needed to deal with a tree and its roots that were affecting her driveway, so, when she received an unsolicited email from a firm that said they specialised in such areas, she was happy to explore the possibilities.  Like so many unlucky consumers, little did she realise she was making a costly mistake.

Having received a reasonable quote and having done the right thing and looked into the firm’s background using an unnamed trusted trader resource, Val engaged the trader and looked forward to work commencing.

Unfortunately, the firm failed to show up on the agreed Monday and, as her anxiety grew, Val received no reply all week to her increasingly desperate calls, texts and emails. It wasn’t until the following Saturday that she received a call but the trader told her he had underestimated the job and that the price would now have to double.

The alarms bells rang immediately but the original quote had been competitive and Val, having committed to the work, wanted to get the job done. Like too many people in the same situation, she mistakenly trusted what she thought was a group of reputable professionals and reluctantly agreed to the work. But her problems had only just begun.

The firm this time showed up at the appointed time but Val was surprised to see how ill-equipped they were to carry out the task. Told that hundreds of existing bricks on the drive needed to be cleaned, she was so shocked that the team was armed only with a bucket and scrubbing brush she lent them her pressure washer.

The subject of driveway drainage had never been broached in all her conversations with the trader but Val was soon informed she needed extensive drainage to ensure the job was completed. Less than half an hour later, she was presented with an exorbitant extra £310 bill for drainage materials and sand.

Next came the wall adjacent to the drive. It was also compromised somewhat by the tree and she had been told it would cost her £800 to be fixed. When it came to it, that was only for what was termed a “bodged job” and that a “proper” solution would set her back another £1300.

Looking at the prospect of hundreds of extra pounds of unexpected expense, Val felt exposed. Understandably, she wanted the work to be completed satisfactorily but was now under real pressure to come up with the ‘necessary’ funds. She was even very nearly forced to borrow money from her worried 90-year-old father to pay for the work and was visibly affected by things that a concerned friend asked her what was wrong.

Her horrified friend contacted the Citizens’ Advice Bureau who immediately pointed her in the direction of her local Trading Standards Authority in the hope of resolving the issue. In the meantime, however, the rogue traders began to pester her for cash, demanding payment in a menacing fashion from a vulnerable, disabled lady.

Luckily, Trading Standards were on the case and made a timely intervention, accompanied by members of the Suffolk Constabulary, when the traders, all of a sudden five burly men rather than just three, paid her an intimidating visit. This unpleasant event ended in the arrest of the firm’s boss.

Val, saved by the authorities from an extremely harrowing experience, was still left with an unfinished driveway and hundreds of bricks piled up outside her home. At this point, alerted to Val’s predicament by Trading Standards, Checkatrade stepped in.

Finding Val a reputable, qualified trader, Checkatrade dipped into the ‘fighting fund’ and spared her even more expense and brought this awful series of events to a satisfactory conclusion.

Senior Trading Standards Officer Tony Doorley said “I got in touch with Checkatrade, who found her a fully vetted and trusted trader who offered her a quote that he would stick to, before carrying out the job to a high standard.”

Tales like this, of unsuspecting members of the public being taken advantage of by unscrupulous people trying to make a fast and easy buck are all too familiar. Checkatrade works hard to provide consumers with the information they need to engage reputable traders and leave no stone unturned in their quest to eradicate Britain’s rogue trader problem.

For more information about the awareness of rogue traders please visit

Time for a New kitchen? Protect Your Investment! – Yves Way “The Kitchen Guy”

Having a new kitchen is an expensive investment, so getting the design & layout right is huge. You can get plenty of free professional advice to help with this from kitchen show room designers or tradesmen quoting to renovate your kitchen. However, with all the experience and advice they can offer you, one thing they may not bring to the table is how to protect your new investment “long term”!

A new kitchen should serve you for around 20 years, but in that time trends and styles will change, a style which is sort after now may well look dated in 5 years time, and after all the money spent, do you really want to be stuck with a dated looking kitchen for a further 15 years?


Now I’m not trying to upsell you on “a neutral design”, I’m a big fan of kitchens with personality and I admire people with the gumption to make bold design choices, the point here is to protect your investment (your new kitchen) in the long term. When the time comes that your new kitchen starts to looks dated, wouldn’t it be great if on a very small budget and little to no professional help you could update and refresh the look of your kitchen! Well you can, all you have to do is be prepared for this within your original design! Add features and colours in easily changeable areas of the kitchen, if you commit to Plum coloured units or bright red tiles (not together of course) these are very permanent parts of the kitchen which would require professional help and be costly change. Use Neutral colours for the more permanent areas of the kitchen such as units, worktops and tiles and explore your adventurous side in the 5 areas I have laid out below. Each of the 5 areas below can be refreshed or updated by a competent DIYer, they’ll have a large impact on the design and can be changed on a very small budge.

Kitchen Walls

Use bold colour paints or designer wall paper to give your kitchen an impacting backdrop. You can easily change this down the line for very little cost so be as adventurous as you dare!



The right shelves can be a statement on there own, use them as a platform to dress up or down your kitchen with some charismatic items. whether its cookbooks, pots & pans, glass storage jars or plants, display whatever takes your fancy and simply change it as it loses its appeal!


Whether your opting for one accent colour or half the colours of the rainbow, accessories are the easiest way to achieve this, use tea towels, tea & coffee pots, vintage tins, spice racks even a bread bin to add personality to your kitchen.

Worktop Appliances & kitchen Tools

Worktop appliances such as Kettles & toasters and kitchen tools such as a knife block, utensils rack or pot & pans, these are all available in an array of shape and sizes along with the option of bright colours as well as the more traditional stainless steel and Copper. Use these to dress up neutral work surfaces or open shelves.


The last area is flooring, depending on which material you choose as flooring this may be one of the more expensive areas to change, although it can be worth it. No matter how large or small your kitchen floor area is, the colour will have a big effect on the overall design, so in pro rata changing it will have a big effect also.  Bear in mind it will be costlier to change a tiled floor compared to laminated or vinyl flooring and prepare yourself for this in your initial design.


To summarise, don’t enter your new kitchen project with the glum and negative out look that your new kitchen will at some point once again look dated, enjoy the design process and express yourselves, just be aware that the inevitable fact of styles changing will happen and be prepared! Don’t “play it safe” “play it long term”, have fun with your design, be strategic and yield the best return on your investment.

Enjoy your Kitchen

Yves Way

Having gas work done around your home? Trust the Triangle!

Did you know Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are qualified to work safety and legally on gas appliances? Always check your engineer is on the Gas Safe Register and check their ID card.  It’s the only way to keep your family safe.


In the right hands gas is safe, but in the wrong hands badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can be deadly and can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas, you can’t see, taste or smell it, but it can kill quickly without warning.

With hundreds of thousands of illegal gas jobs being carried out every year in the UK, people are putting the safety of their families in the hands of people they don’t really know and whose competencies they certainly haven’t checked. We’re seeing far too many people prioritise cost over safety when hiring a tradesman. To find a reliable, trustworthy tradesman in your area visit

We are therefore urging people to trust the triangle. Look for the triangular Gas Safe Register logo on your gas engineer’s ID card. It’s also really important to get appliances safety checked every year by an engineer who is qualified and Gas Safe registered. All Gas Safe registered engineers have a list of the work they are registered to do on the back of their ID card.

Top tips for gas safety

  • Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix or service your gas appliances
  • Find or check a Gas Safe registered engineer by visiting or calling 0800 408 5500
  • Get your gas appliances regularly serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and safety checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • Always check your engineers Gas Safe ID card. Check your engineer is qualified for the work you need doing – you can find this information on the back of their ID card.
  • Remember the six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning; headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.

If you rent your home, by law, your landlord must maintain each gas appliance they provide for your use and have them safety checked once a year. To prove this has been done, your landlord must give you a copy of the Landlord’s Gas Safety Record.

For more information visit or phone 0800 408 5500. We’re here to help you make the right choices when it comes to you and your family’s gas safety.


If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak or a leak of fumes: turn off the gas at the meter, put out naked flames, open windows and immediately call the gas emergency number for your area:

  • Great Britain 0800 111 999
  • Northern Ireland 0800 002 001
  • Isle of Man 0808 1624 444
  • Guernsey 01481 749000
  • Jersey 01534 755555
  • For LPG contact your LPG supplier.

Gas Safe Register