How To Fit A Kitchen

Instead of paying hundreds (or even thousands) of pounds to have your new kitchen fitted by somebody else, why not fit it yourself? Most competent DIYers have the ability to do this kind of work, and if you fall short of all the required skills, you can bring in the specialists as and when required.

To completely fit a new kitchen you need to be a competent DIYer, with good skills in carpentry and a good knowledge of electrical and plumbing work. You can head to a showroom or you can buy some stunning luxury Kitchen Units. If some of the work needs to be carried out by a plumber, joiner or an electrician then these are costs that need to be considered. Even with these costs you can save a lot of money fitting the kitchen units yourself. I was recently quoted around £1500 to fit a basic kitchen and the quote excluded plumbing and electrical work so there are great savings to be made with DIY.

Don’t forget safety equipment such as goggles, face mask and gloves. If you are using 240volt power tools use an RCD protection device. Always remember safety comes first, check before starting work where the services are in the kitchen, use a power / pipe detector to check for hidden live cables and water / gas pipes before removing the old kitchen units, drilling holes or chasing out walls.

To plan your new kitchen layout start by taking measurements of the kitchen area.  When you have finished it is worthwhile double checking your measurements to save a lot of future problems. These are some points to consider with your layout :-

  • The sink unitis usually positioned under a window.
  • Sink units and hobs should not be positioned too near or on a joint in a worktop.
  • Washing machines and dishwashers should ideally be positioned near the sink as this will reduce the amount of plumbing required.
  • Hobs require space on either side for pan handles.
  • Extraction units should be installed either near, or preferably on, an outside wall.
  • Don’t ‘box in’ any gas appliances as they require good airflow for correct operation and safety.
  • Are the existing services in suitable positions for your new kitchen layout, i.e. sockets and switches should not be positioned above hobs or cookers.
  • Will the new kitchen be user friendly and practical?
  • Wall units and the base units below them, should where possible, be the same width, so doors and handles line up.
  • Sockets should be around 150mm from the finished worktop to allow room for the plug top flex, they can of course go higher, if you know the size of tiles you are going to use, it is in my opinion easier to tile if the socket(s) are on the tile line.

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Love Your Kitchen: Glass Splashbacks

Glass splashbacks in kitchens are gaining a huge amount of popularity in recent years across the UK and new build modern houses are being built with these in and companies that offer refurbished kitchens and new kitchen packs offer glass splashbacks. When you’re looking into luxury interior design company London you should look into your glass needs. Some glass splashbacks even have LED lighting built into them making them look smart and modern in the home. This replicates the trendiest bars and hotels in the city!

Stylish and smart glass splashbacks can achieve stunning results in a new kitchen or bathroom as they reflect and refract light, especially if the architect or designer has recommended you buy decorative glass. This fills the surfaces in your kitchen with colour and as glass is available in many designs with the most popular being frosted, they can be used to really achieve stunning looks and effects. Contemporary methods of manufacturing glass have allowed for glass suppliers to provide splashbacks with ridges, curves, grooves and ripples. Budget is always a consideration for glass design but being the practical solution they are for kitchens they’re still very popular.

Glass is an extremely tough material; surprising given how light it can be. It can manage the heat off pots and pans as well as the sharp edge of a knife during chopping. If you’re looking to buy toughened glass for your kitchen then ridged splashbacks are the best way to go as they are extremely easy to clean and don’t hang on to mould and mildew like wood can. Because of its easy maintenance it makes for an easy choice of decoration in the home especially for those who are busy.

Coloured glass for splashbacks is an option and it gives your kitchen a touch of elegance and adventure and the cut of the splashbacks can actually be moulded to a shape and style of your choice. You can have holes cut into splashbacks before installation to accommodate sockets in the kitchen or wires and they’re generally stain proof which makes them absolutely suitable for kitchens given the range of different types of stains that are apparent in a kitchen. Heat resistant is another feature as up to 220 degrees heat can be withstood by a glass splashbacks. There’s really no reason not to upgrade your kitchen with these amazing accessories and you get to choose both bold and subtle glass colours for your kitchen to allow that light to bounce.

Toughened glass is extremely hard to break and withstand all sorts of pressure being inflicted onto them and they are very low maintenance so perfect for those who have busy lifestyles and no time to maintain difficult work surfaces or splashbacks. Glass allows busy working mums especially to keep the kitchen squeaky clean with a quick wipe over. Wooden counters stain with food splash like beetroot, curry or pasta sauces and are notoriously difficult to get out but with glass splashbacks this problem isn’t even a problem.


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Roof Repair Tips

If you have water stains that extend across ceilings or run down walls, the cause is probably a roof leak. Tracking down the leak is the hard part; the fixes are usually pretty easy, but if you need to you could hire in roofing contractors in Canterbury. We’ll show you some simple tricks for finding and repairing most of the common types of roof leaks. But if you live in the Snow Belt and in the winter you have leaks only on warm or sunny days, you probably have ice dams. We won’t go into those fixes in this story. If you have a roof leak, you’d better fix it immediately, even if it doesn’t bother you much or you’re getting a new roof next year. Even over a short time, small leaks can lead to big problems, such as mold, rotted framing and sheathing, destroyed insulation and damaged ceilings. The flashing leak that caused an expensive repair bill was obvious from the ceiling stains for over two years. If the homeowner had dealt with it right away, the damage and subsequent repairs would have been minimal. Fixing flat roof Canterbury could be easy with some help!

When you’re trying to track down a leak, start by looking at the roof uphill from the stains. The first thing to look for is any roof penetrations. Items that penetrate the roof are by far the most common source of leaks. In fact, it’s rare for leaks to develop in open areas of uninterrupted shingles, even on older roofs. Penetrations can include plumbing and roof vents, chimneys, dormers or anything else that projects through the roof. They can be several feet above the leak or to the right or left of it.

If you have attic access, the easiest way to track down a leak is to go up there with a flashlight and look for the evidence. There will be water stains, black marks or mold. But if access is a problem or you have a vaulted ceiling, you’ll have to go up onto the roof and examine the suspect(s).

If a leak is difficult to find, enlist a helper and go up on the roof with a garden hose. Start low, soaking the area just above where the leak appears in the house. Isolate areas when you run the hose. For example, soak the downhill side of a chimney first, then each side, then the top on both sides. Have your helper stay inside the house waiting for the drip to appear. Let the hose run for several minutes in one area before moving it up the roof a little farther. Tell your helper to yell when a drip becomes visible. You’ll be in the neighborhood of the leak. This process can take well over an hour, so be patient and don’t move the hose too soon. Buy your helper dinner. If running water doesn’t reveal the exact location of the leak, don’t be timid. Start removing shingles in the suspect area. With them removed, there’ll be evidence of the leak and you’ll be able to track it down right to the source. You’ll see discolored felt paper or water-stained or even rotted wood directly below and around it.


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Top Five Tips for Securing Your House While on Holiday

Don’t let the anticipation of a much deserved holiday blind you to the risks of your home being unprotected while you’re gone. A lot of people go away of course but there are certain things you need to remember to do before you go otherwise you could be coming home to a burgled property. Having your house given a once over by yourselves, a security company that install alarms and even double glazing contractors Tonbridge are the best things you can do before you travel. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and a little extra vigilance will help keep your belongings safer while you’re not there. We’ve put together some tips for you to keep vigilant!

  • House sitters: consider hiring a house or even a pet sitter if you need one to stay at your house while you’re gone. You may well have had the best local double glazing fitters in Tonbridge install your windows but the best protection for your home is to have someone living in it. They’ll be pretty conscientious and water the plants, feed the pets and make sure you have fresh milk in for when you arrive home.
  • Lights! Make your home look lived in by setting timers on the inside and outside house lights. Having them come on at night will let people know someone is home – well, at least give the illusion there is someone home. If you have someone staying at the house you won’t need to worry about it but it’s still a good to have!
  • Locks! Have you bolted your back gates? Have you locked the front doors up properly? And how about the windows? I know it sounds daft but the excitement of going on holiday can actually make you forget the basic of things! Investing in a proper professional window fitting in Tonbridge means your double glazed windows will have that extra protection for your piece of mind. Locking the house and even the cat flap can make it less attractive to unsavoury characters lurking around the house.
  • Social Media! Don’t broadcast your holiday on social media. It is one thing sharing it with your friends on Facebook but if you start posting public photos on Instagram or twitter you’re effectively hanging a sign over the house stating it’s empty and ready to be robbed. Don’t be too careful with what you put on the internet.
  • Not just from social media, but the plugs around the house. Turn off the boilers and plugs to appliances that don’t require it like the fridge or freezer. Everything else can be switched off and this would mean that you save money on your energy bills while away. Your house will be looked after and secure and you can be happy knowing you’ve just saved the electric bill a little.

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Carpet Cleaning Machines: The Low Down

When it comes to hiring in a professional company, you can be assured that the carpet cleaning company will have paid thousands of pounds for the proper equipment and will employ and train their staff to use the machines competently. This way, you know you’ve paid for a high quality service and a high quality job will be done. A good company will carry out an inspection of your carpets before thoroughly cleaning them. They can check the type of carpet you have and make a choice on how to clean that particular material. Having your carpets cleaned usually falls in the same category as spring cleaning; a very boring necessity. When you choose to clean your carpets it’s a choice between hiring a machine out to do it yourself, or hire a professional company for professional Carpet cleaners Aberdeen. Doing the job yourself may be a little more cost effective of course, but it may not do the best job. There is a difference between using a professional company and cleaning it yourself with a carpet steamer. Hiring a steam cleaning machine definitely don’t compare with those used by professional carpet cleaning companies as they are generally nowhere near as powerful and not very effective.

The chemicals that come with the machines are rather cheap and your carpets can be left wet or discoloured. The machines don’t effectively suck the water back out of the carpet fibres and therefore can leave mildew smells coming from the carpet pad. In areas of heavy traffic, a special pre-conditioning agent is applied to help break down heavy soiling. Any individual stains are treated with the correct chemicals to ensure that they are removed completely and you can really see the difference in the carpet straight away.

Your carpets will be steam-cleaned using a top-spec, super-powerful carpet cleaning machine. This machine removes all the dirt, allergens and stains from your carpets, whilst simultaneously sucking out any moisture, thus avoiding over-wetting and totally avoiding mildew stenches. Home steamers can leave the carpet too damp for too long! A professional cleaning will always be the more expensive option but when you think about it, hiring a steam cleaning machine to do the job several times if it leaves your carpet stained, will cost you less in the short term but you’ll have to repeat the job over and over. If you pay once or twice for a professional that job will last a lot longer and you’ll be able to enjoy cleaner carpets for longer. If you do decide to go ahead and do your own make sure you run the machine outside first with some water just to enjoy the pipes and the tanks are clean. Using a proper company to do the carpet for you can really make all the difference to your home or office.


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Why You Need Home Insurance

Did you know that most insurance companies now insist that you have adequate home security? Maybe your home insurance company has come through with its insurance renewal and if you are one of those who unquestioningly renew each year, throwing the paperwork into a drawer until next year, you should dig them out this weekend and check your small print. You are at risk of being rejected when it comes to making a claim – and if your home is broken into, not only will you have that to deal with but you’ll also have the bellyache of an insurance company that will not pay out.

Insurance companies up and down the country are changing policies to include the fact that you may now need to have the right locks on the windows and doors and you have to find good buy a burglar alarm in newcastle to get the right alarms in throughout the house. If you decide not to read new clauses or small print you are risking your home and your policy not paying out for you if you ever need it.

The trouble here is that insurance companies rarely explain policy requirements in common English and insurers are quick to use such terms to deny a burglary claim if the customer fails to double lock the front door, or put on the alarm, if these are the conditions of the policy. What you should do about security really depends on where you live and how much you are insuring. Households in low burglary areas are rarely required to have alarms as a condition of insurance. However, if you seek a high level of cover – like more than seventy five thousand pounds worth of goods – insurers often want an alarm. Insurance application forms tend to ask whether an alarm is fitted and how it’s monitored. Sometimes, householders will obtain a small discount because they have an alarm, but not always.

Make sure that whatever alarm you have installed, it’s done by a NACOSS/SSAIB approved installer but if you already have an alarm installed and your installer is no longer trading then it’s anyone’s guess as to whether they were certified. If you do not use the alarm and get burgled, well I hate to say it but not only are you inviting trouble by being lax in your vigilance, your insurer could turn down a claim. You can, as a householder, appeal this with the Financial Ombudsman Service if you feel it wasn’t made clear at the time of the policy sale or in subsequent communications.

Some insurers out there say that alarms have to be switched on at night time for all the rooms where no one is sleeping, which causes issues if you have a cat or dog as they can turn on the alarm when moving around. If your home policy requires night activation, contact your insurer and ask for the clause to be removed. There are insurers out there that don’t require the alarm to be used but just installed as they hope the existence alone is enough of a deterrent.


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