Avoid the danger of cowboy builders

When it comes to choosing a tradesperson, a lot of it boils down to trust, but how can a homeowner select a tradesperson that will get the job done to a good standard for a fair price?

Doing your research is crucial and although it may be tempting to choose the first one you find or someone who knocks at your door you do not know the standard of their work and their reputation. Try searching for whichever tradesperson you need on accreditation sites for that particular trade in your area or get recommendations from other customers that have been happy with their work. Social media sites are a good way to ask for recommendations in the local area and it may even be possible to view completed jobs.

All reputable tradespeople should have public liability insurance that will ensure that should something go wrong and there is a dispute you can take legal proceedings against them. It is important to see evidence of this either on their website or in person.

It is always a good idea to shop around for quotes as this will highlight any tradesperson who is much cheaper than others and who may be giving a cheaper quote to entice you to use them.

3 Ways to Make the Most from Your Roller Shutter Door

There is no other way to cut it, purchasing a garage door is a big upfront expense. For some of the basic models of garage door, you can expect to pay a minimum of five hundred pounds, but the cost can reach all the way up to fifteen thousand for some of the bigger models that come with all of the customisations and add-ons that are possible. Just purchasing a five hundred pound door comes at a massive opportunity cost though, and you may be left ruing the day that you chose forego some of the ways that you can improve it at a slight increase in cost.

To start with, a basic model of a roller shutter garage door comes in at around three or four hundred pounds. While this is certainly nothing to sniff at in terms of costs, you have to bear in mind that a garage is something that you should be using on a regular basis, ideally for storing a vehicle, and therefore the door will see a lot of use. What you get from this is a roller shutter that is constructed from small and thin aluminium slats along with a roller assembly that the slats can be rolled up into. As a consequence, the door is light weight, but not very secure. The door will be manually operated, meaning that if you’re driving to and from work everyday in your vehicle, you will have to get out of the vehicle on either side of the door in order to open and close it. This can really eat up a lot of time, and is unnecessary.

The best way to upgrade your roller shutter garage door is to include an electric motor in the device, converting it into an auto roller shutter. These can be automatically opened through the use of a remote control that can be mounted into your vehicle, allowing you to open and close it without emerging from your vehicle. Besides being a massive convenience there are many other ways in which this would benefit you. Firstly, you will get a product that may last up to ten years. Secondly, the remote control access is a secure device that will enhance the security of your property as well. Thirdly, the inclusion of a small motor and a remote control can be bought for just a few hundred more pounds.

An auto roller shutter can be further enhanced in a number of ways. The most important thing to do next is to improve the materials used in the construction of the door. The first part of this is to improve it from aluminium to galvanised steel. Galvanised steel is a much stronger and heavier material to work with than aluminium, which does place a greater burden on the electric motor, but this is more than made up for in the improvement in the durability and security that the door has. Accidentally making contact with a garage door with a vehicle isn’t an uncommon occurrence, but a garage door made from galvanised steel will stand up to it much more effectively. A weak garage door is also one of the key targets for breaking into a house, as there is high chance that there will be expensive items in there, such as a vehicle. If you upgrade to galvanised steel, this weakness will be massively reduced, and they will likely require heavy machinery to successfully breach.

The next thing that you can look at for upgrading your auto roller shutter door is to include insulation. In this day and age, reducing our carbon footprints is one of the areas that we all need to work on, and one of the key methods for doing this is to upgrade our homes so that heat loss is kept to an absolute minimum. A garage door that has been enhanced with insulation panelling on the rear of the door is much better equipped to help with this matter, but it can also add value beyond this. An insulated garage door will help to make the garage a more comfortable space for you and your family year round, as well as keep the temperatures above freezing. We all have experience with trying to get a freezing cold vehicle started, but with an insulated auto roller door, this concern will be a thing of the past, helping to make your life more comfortable, as well as helping the environment, and saving you time with getting your car started.

Health and safety in the construction industry

Although the UK construction industry has made excellent progress in improving its health and safety record recently, it still unfortunately remains one of the most dangerous places to work in Britain. The Health and Safety Executive statistics show that while only around 5% of the British workforce is employed in construction, it accounts for 22% of fatal injuries to employees. It has also been found that construction workers face a high risk of occupational ill health, as a result of exposure to respiratory, skin and physical health hazards, such as asbestos, dust, noise, hand-arm vibration and cement and so it is vital that everyone involved in construction whether it be clients, designers or contractors takes steps to ensure the health and safety of the tasks and projects they are responsible for.

Contractors are particularly at the forefront when looking at the risks on site such as working at height, vehicle movements around the site and protecting workers from injury from asbestos and dusts. In order to effectively control the risks from construction work, all parties involved must therefore work together to identify hazards and implement suitable control measures. This involves planning for and managing hazards on site no matter the size or duration of the construction project.

Project managing major alterations to the home

For some people, the challenge of project managing the renovations or alterations to their own property is one that they relish whereas others may feel that tackling this task may be beyond their knowledge and skills and they take it on purely to save money. It certainly should not be embarked on lightly and having tradespeople that are reliable and trustworthy will definitely make things run more smoothly. Always ask for references from tradespeople and if possible visit sites that they have worked on previously and speak to clients.

It is essential at the outset to set a realistic budget for the work to be done and to add ten percent for any contingencies. Getting quotes based on an accurate schedule of work ensures that like for like comparisons can be made between different builders and the more detailed the schedule the more accurate the price will be. Remember to make your plans fit your budget not the other way round to avoid going way over budget and having to cut corners towards the end of the project.

Before any alteration work starts it is important to check whether any planning permission is needed and if so how to go about getting this. An experienced builder will usually be able to advise the homeowner on this issue and recommend an architect if necessary. Do not be tempted to do any works without the required permission as it can be costly at a later date to put things right.

Planning the timing of work to be done is a tricky issue as some work needs to be completed in a specific order especially concerning electrical or plumbing work that involves first fix and then later after plastering has been completed, second fix. Research will need to be done or advise asked of the builder to ensure there are no holdups in building progress.

It is inevitable that there will be hiccoughs along the way but most of these small problems can be overcome and so it is important if you are to manage the project successfully that you do not panic and plan carefully how to proceed.

In order to keep tradespeople on side it is a good idea to provide a kettle and even tea and coffee so that they can get a drink during the day, it will be appreciated and may help the project to run a little more smoothly if you are lucky.

Install a light tunnel to bring light into your home

If you are carrying out alterations to a property, the situation may arise that a window has had to be removed or blocked off resulting in there being insufficient light coming into a room. This can often happen in a bathroom or on a landing. Light tunnels, which can sometimes be called sky tunnels, sun tubes, roof lights or tube lights are an ideal solution to this problem and can be installed into most roof structures.

Installing a light tunnel into an external roof is a similar process to that of installing Velux windows, and can be fitted by a professional or by someone with some building knowledge and experience.

A Light tunnel consists basically of a roof dome connected to flexible or rigid reflective tubing leading to an internal lighting unit. This lighting unit acts as a diffuser which spreads the light from its source evenly into the room. The main purpose of the tube itself is to carry the light from the roof, down the tube and out of the internal diffuser with as few bounces as possible, keeping in mind that every bounce that occurs can degrade the amount of light.

Many people choose light tunnels as an alternative to artificial lighting as it is free and does not require any energy to run it and because it gives a much nicer lighting effect during daylight hours.