Monthly Archives: March 2017

A Guide to Help Renovate Your Home

Garden and House

If you have never renovated your home before, you know the task can be a daunting one. But there is good news as our guide will help you through this project and hopefully, eliminate the stress.

If the property you are renovating is habitable, then your task will be somewhat easier. However, if the property is non-habitable, then it is best to approach a lending company for a home improvement loan. Aside from the renovation project, there will be additional costs such as valuation fees, council tax, and utility reconnection charges.

See the potential
A home renovation project provides an opportunity for the owner to see past the works and see the potential. Look for signs of cracks that are wider than 3mm as these indicate subsidence. Most structural problems can be resolved but there are some others that can’t be changed. Consider whether the property has room to extend. What about loft conversion or a conservatory? Will these improvements add value to the property?

Get back to basics
Once you’ve had a structural survey carried out on the property, it’s time to prepare for the task. Old homes will require rewiring, new flooring, new heating, new roof, and possibly damp proofing. It is best to make a list of all the things that need doing and do them in the right order. For instance, don’t plaster the walls if there are cracks that require filling first.

Should you repair or replace?
Renovating a character property and restoring its original features can be highly rewarding, especially if you repair its sash windows, wooden floors, and the fireplace. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you should consider whether it would be more cost-effective to repair or replace. If the property is located in a conservation area, or if it’s grade II listed, you will need planning permission for any works you carry out on its exterior. Most windows on older properties can be repaired without the need to replace them, even if there is wet or dry rot. This task can be left in the hands of window restoration specialists who have adequate experience in this type of project.

The last part
Most renovation projects consist of plastering walls before painting them or installing wallpaper on them. This task can take as long as 6 weeks to complete, especially if you are doing the job yourself. The same is true with replacing the old wooden beams or varnishing them. To speed up the job and take the pressure off your shoulders, it is worth hiring a reliable painter and decorator. There are specialist companies that can carry out most of the renovation work and the best thing about them is that they offer warranty for their work. Renovating a property is labour-intensive, especially if you don’t have enough DIY experience. It is, therefore, best left in the hands of professionals.

Skips – How They Got Their Name and Who Invented It?

Skip word

Skips were traditionally used in the mining industry for the transport and storage of raw materials however at the time they were referred to as ‘skeps’. During the Industrial Revolution, specially designed carts constructed from wood and steel ran on a track system from the depths of a mine carrying a variety of cargo to the surface. However, the first recorded use of a skip being used for the purpose of rubbish removal was in 1922. As the population of the UK grew it became increasingly more difficult to collect their household waste and a lorry manufacturer in Southport designed a large horse-drawn container that could be transferred to a vehicle when full and subsequently taken to the nearest landfill. By 1926 companies in London were using sideways mounted skips and lorries often transported several at a time.

Large-scale construction projects and the popularity of DIY have ensured that skips are a familiar sight on roads and construction sites all over the world but despite their popularity no-one is sure of how the skip got its name. The most popular, yet surprising suggestion, is that the word is closely linked to the art of beekeeping. Before the invention of the modern beehive a portable product known as a ‘skep’ was used. The word can be traced back to the Old Norse word ‘skeppa’ that was used to describe an item resembling a basket and it’s generally believed that as time went on the word gradually morphed into the word skip.

The skips seen today originated in Germany during the 1960’s but their design can be traced back to the 1930’s when an American named George Dempster invented a piece of equipment that could be mounted on a truck and used to lift and transport containers that were similar to modern day skips. His invention was so successful that local authorities began purchasing skip trucks and containers to revolutionise the way they processed their waste. Several years later two brothers in Knoxville developed a skip truck known as the Load Lugger. By 1940 the Brooks brothers had invented a brand new system that consisted of two hydraulic arms that could lift a skip from the ground onto the back of a vehicle. Modern skip lorries still use a very similar system and it’s widely regarded that the Brooks brothers inspired the development of skips and the vehicles that carry them.