Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Signs You Need To Replace Your Immersion Heater!

This post is provided by Laura Williams.

Immersion heaters can offer homeowners a wide range of benefits, such as the ability to continue working even if your gas boiler has broken down. Immersion heaters are also super easy to work in general. 

However, it is important to know what sort of signs you should look out for that your immersion heater is in need of replacing. Let us explore!

1. Reduced Efficiency

Firstly, if your immersion heater appears to be offering lower efficiency (whether gradually over time or quite suddenly), it could be a sign that your immersion heater is no longer up to the task.

Evidence of reduced immersion heater efficiency can include the water taking longer to heat up, hot taps or hot shower/bath water taking longer to become hot or struggling to reach the levels of heat (per the setting of the tap you have selected) that it would have before.

Of course, other factors could be at play, such as an issue with the pipework in your home (e.g. the building of slide and debris, which can be resolved by a professional performing a powerflush).

As with any of the signs listed in this blog, you will want to hire a heating engineer to come by and take a look. After all, you must hire a professional to repair or replace an immersion heater. Also, the heating engineer will be able to determine the nature of the problem to begin with (e.g. a faulty thermostat may prove to be the real culprit).

2. Immersion Heater Failure

In a similar way to the issues raised above, an immersion heater breaking down entirely could also be a sign that it is time to have it replaced.

Your immersion heater may be offering reduced efficiency, but it could also be simply failing to work. Should you find that your immersion heater is not working at all, while a repair may suffice, it is also possible it is in need of replacing. A professional must make this evaluation and perform the subsequent repair or replacement work if needed.

3. Other Issues

Here are some other signs that your immersion heater has run its course:

There is plenty of rust on your immersion heater element.

The immersion heater is leaking water.*

You notice strange noises coming from your immersion heater.

*Should you notice any water leaking from an immersion heater, it is important to take a very safe approach to avoid electrocution. You must turn off any energy source powering the heater tank. 

You can do this much more safely by turning off the relevant breaker at the circuit breaker box. Then, turn off the water supply if it is safe to do so, and you know exactly what to do. 

Finally, call out an emergency heating engineer to take a look. They may need to perform work there and then, so be sure to discuss the exact nature of the problem before they come by and briefly check whether they can fix the issue when visiting.

Cost Of A New Immersion Heater

If it turns out you need a new unit installed, you are looking at an average immersion heater cost of £100 to £120.

When looking to hire a heating engineer near you to replace your immersion heater, you should consider asking for quotes from 3+ professionals. 

This way, you can compare several quotes, looking at the pricing, levels of experience and any online reviews/ratings (if available) of each contractor/service you are considering. This can be a helpful way of securing good value for money.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Going Green: Sustainable Benchtop Materials For Your Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Project!

This post is provided by Will Bail.

It is an excellent idea to go green for your home improvement project, but materials should be selected properly to have an eco-friendly environment. One of the best materials for sustainable benchtops is bamboo, which is a quickly renewable resource that has many environmentally friendly qualities. It is also very durable and would not break the bank when it comes to small home renovations. Additionally, you can opt for concrete countertops or look into recycled and upcycled options for a truly unique and sustainable aesthetic. With these sustainable benchtop materials, you can easily make your next home improvement project green!

1. Bamboo: A quickly renewable resource that is durable and cost-effective.

Bamboo is quickly becoming the go to when it comes to sustainable benchtop materials for any eco-friendly home improvement project! Not only is it incredibly durable, but its renewable aspect is pretty unbeatable. Plus, you would not have to worry about going over your budget with bamboo's affordable price! Whether you are looking for a material for a new kitchen or bathroom project, take some time to do your research and strongly consider bamboo as an option - the environment will definitely thank you.

2. Concrete countertops: An attractive and long-lasting material that also has sustainability benefits.

There is no better option for your eco-friendly home improvement project than concrete countertops. Designed to last for a lifetime, concrete countertops have an attractive finish that can range from subtle to vibrant. Plus, these materials are incredibly durable and will not easily crack or break - perfect for busy households and cabinets that get plenty of wear and tear. They are made out of natural resources such as gravel, sand, cement, and pigments so they are environmentally friendly at the same time they look stylish and modern. They will not only last longer  but also in how sustainably they can be produced. Add a contemporary look to your kitchen with concrete countertops – you would not regret it!

3. Engineered quartz stone: Often locally sourced and more affordable than natural stone, engineered quartz is a popular choice for benchtops with a modern edge.

If you want your home to be more eco-friendly, you should choose an engineered quartz stone benchtop. This sustainable material is often locally sourced and its affordability makes it a great option compared to natural stones. Perfect for modern homes, many people opt for engineered quartz for its robustness and reliability without compromising on style or quality. With the option to choose from various shapes, sizes and shades, quartz can fit into any type of design motif - making it easy to create beautiful benchtops that are affordable and environmentally friendly.

When it comes to eco-friendly home improvement projects, sustainable benchtop materials are key. From bamboo to engineered quartz and even Caesarstone's new porcelain benchtops, there is a range of options available to suit any style or budget. You can build your home more sustainable without compromising on aesthetics or quality by investing in materials that are both durable and environmentally friendly.

Monday, February 6, 2023

How To Stop Extension Costs Spiraling Out Of Control!

This post is provided by Kane Hughes.

You are not alone if you are considering building a house extension but need to find strategies to lower the cost of your extension. Since the cost of labor, materials, household furnishings, and fittings has all increased recently, people considering an extension may be approaching it cautiously. 

Most likely, you are adding an addition because you need more space. While it is reasonable to be concerned about how your budget may be impacted, there are solutions to cut costs. Instead of not developing, you need to learn to manage your costs more carefully. 

In light of this, we will outline various strategies for preventing out-of-control expansion costs.

Get Professional Advice

Planning will help you avoid spending much money and suffering later on. Write out your goals and desires and what you hope to accomplish as your first piece of homework. Then, instead of nice-to-haves, list your top priorities or must-haves. It is crucial to know what is feasible, given the budget. In this situation, an architect can be helpful. 

A talented architect will suggest additional design options that you or your builder may have yet to consider. As a result, you can accomplish your goals without spending money on a new extension. For instance, you might modify your home by tearing down interior walls or cheaply turning a loft or garage into a livable space.

Avoid Scam Artists

Like any other trade, the architectural and design industries have their fair share of con artists. These include those who grossly underestimate costs, either out of ignorance or to get a job; those who charge more for changes or "extras"; and those who request some or all of the payment upfront, leaving you with no recourse if they do not produce quality work. 

Always ask for references before choosing someone, and check them out. 

Additionally, only pay for work you are satisfied with after finishing it. Never pay for supplies up front. If a builder is unwilling to provide the materials, you should buy them yourself.

Pick A Straightforward Style

Keep your extension's design straightforward. Keep your designs square and rectangular. Stay away from strange forms if you want to prevent your extension costs from spiraling out of control. Building curves and L-shapes are expensive. A gable or pitched roof's exact shape makes it simple to build. However, a hip roof with slopes on all four sides requires more labor, and a curved roof is ten times more. 

Extensions with only one story are less expensive and easier to construct than those with two stories. Select standard-sized windows and doors because they are less expensive and easier to install. Avoid building close to drains or other underground facilities to save money on costly groundwork.

Limit Changes To The Structure 

When building an addition, you must consider how to make the remainder of the house accessible to the renovated space; this sometimes necessitates tearing down interior (and occasionally exterior) walls. Think about which of these layout modifications are required. 

Construction will require much more labor and money if structural changes, such as pulling down walls, are made to the current building. However, you can significantly reduce the cost of structural steel by designing your addition so that the window into the current open garden will serve as the new entrance to the kitchen addition.

Save On VAT 

VAT of 20% will be charged on several extensions for labor, supplies and professional services. Hiring self-employed tradespeople and specialists with a turnover below the VAT registration requirement is one option to reduce your construction costs. This might save you thousands of pounds on your construction expenses. 

Some additions, including those made to buildings that have been empty for two years, are eligible for VAT exemption. However, since you cannot personally claim the tax, you must hire a builder registered for VAT to be eligible.

Do Not Overextend

It would be best if you weighed the cost of your addition against the increased value it will bring to your house. Then, before extending, discuss the effect it will have on the value of your home with a reputable local estate agent. Then, moving rather than improving could be more cost-effective.

Repair, Recycle And Reuse  

Instead of throwing away existing resources, they can be repurposed or sold. It is possible to clean and refinish old flooring, doors, kitchen cabinets, and other items. What you are unable to use, sell or exchange. 

Remember that purchasing salvaged materials can often be far less expensive than purchasing brand-new ones, and they also instantly provide character. For example, roof tiles, brickwork, interior doors, wood flooring, and fireplaces are inexpensive items. 

Reducing waste will also result in lower skip rental and disposal expenses. Also, remember that you are free to dispose of rubbish at your neighborhood council tip as a private citizen.

Identify Your Spending And Saving Priorities

If you want to stop your extension costs from spiraling out of control expansion, figure out where you can spend and where you should save. There are many ways to build a space with a wow factor without breaking the bank. Spending time and money working with a professional designer and architect may help you lower your overall expenditures with creative, cost-efficient house expansion ideas.

Be Your Own Project Manager

To compensate for their time supervising a project, builders often add 15% to 25% to the total cost of labor and materials. Therefore, you can save money by acting as your building contractor. To do this, you must hire tradespeople like electricians and plumbers, coordinate their work, acquire materials, communicate with your architect and the local government, and rent scaffolding and skips. Of course, it takes a lot of time, and your extension will take much longer to complete, but the savings could be significant.

Muck In The Easier Tasks 

Decorating the expansion yourself after it is constructed will lower the overall cost. Another option to save money is to sweep up the site at the end of each day. But it is usually advisable to hire a professional for the drawings, blueprints, electrics, plumbing, bricklaying, plastering, and roofing to minimize costly errors.