Saving Money On Bathroom Refurbishments

bathroomrefurb

Bathroom refurbishments can cost up to £5000. For those keeping to a tight budget, this expensive price tag is enough to put someone off having a make-over of their bathroom. However, there are plenty of ways to save money, so that you can give your bathroom a slick new appearance at a cost that will not break the bank. We have outlined some of the ways that customers can cut expenditure:

There are plenty of bathroom products available for those looking to refurbish their room, and they will come at a varying degree of prices. It is essential that you shop around and compare prices to make sure you are getting the best deal on everything. You may also want to avoid natural products like stone if you are looking to save money, and wait for the sales if your refurbishment is not a pressing concern as prices will be much lower. However, you may not even have to invest in brand new products; a simple scrub up of your current ones might be just as beneficial. For instance, refinishing your bath could have the same effect as buying a brand new one, while leaving old fixtures in place could also save you hundreds of pounds.

There is no shortage of articles online that will help you with various aspects of bathroom refurbishment, from installing new plumbing to finding the best way to tile your walls. Furthermore, as has already been stated, it is not hard to find suppliers of shower walls, washbasins, wall units, etc. This means the means are there if you wish to do the job yourself. For those with a lot of DIY experience, refurbishing the bathroom yourself could potentially save some money.

However, if you do not have a lot of experience with labour or DIY, hiring a contractor to refurbish your bathroom is strongly advised. After all, there isn’t much point in committing to a new bathroom and spending many weeks working on it for the job to go wrong due to inexperience. Contractors can be a sizeable experience (they are usually available for between £400 and £5000 depending on the size of the operation) but you can guarantee that the job will get do to a professional standard, and no extra money will be spent afterwards in order to fix poor work. To save money, you should speak to several contractors and speak to friends who may be able to refer you to someone for a cheaper deal.

5 Things You’ll Need For Completing a Self Build

The world of self-building has become increasingly popular in recent years, mostly thanks to the rapidly overheating of the UK’s property market. For many, building their own home was considered the only realistic way to get the home of their dreams, and self builds now account for around 12,000 new homes in the UK each year.

The practice of self-building is by no means an easy feat, and can be eye-wateringly expensive without the right planning or foresight. However, with so much assistance out there for budding self-builders, there has been no better time than now to create your personal palace.

What Kind of Self Build?self-build-tips

Firstly, there are a few types of self-build projects that you might embark on. The most common ones are:

  • Self-built one-off homes. These are more for experienced builders or designers who have contacts within the building industry; however, inexperienced builders have also been successful in completing fully solo self-builds.
    A solo self-build one-0ff home gives you complete control over the design and building of your project, and which contractors will do the work. It can also work out cheaper too.
  • Contractor-built one-off homes. These are usually built in liaison with an experienced constructor or construction company, engaging their team of approved contractors and giving you a dedicated onsite manager who will report how the progress is going. It can be reasonably cost-effective (though it is easier for costs to spiral if you are not careful), but it alleviates much of the burden of taking it on by yourself.

Other types include independent and supported community-built projects, and developer-built one-off and group-led projects.

Here are the x things you’ll need to acquire before you start your self-build and throughout its duration.

1. Planning Permisplanning-permission-drawingssion

Your application for planning permission can be made through your local council. Obtain a physical paper form from the council office or complete the application electronically via their website instead.

If you are building a property from scratch, you’ll need to complete a full, detailed permission application for new buildings. This will encourage you to consider all aspects of the building process – some of which you may not have thought of – and include details of ownership for any surrounding land or roads that will be affected.

If you’re converting an existing building, you may also need to complete a change-of-use application as well the initial application. For extensions or outbuildings, you can simply complete a simplified app known as a householder application. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to build with a purpose of selling, then an outline permission application will be for you.

2. Self Build Mortgage

There’s a lot of financial help available out there for people interested in a self build, so be sure to talk to your local building society which will only be happy to help. Norwich & Peterborough, Saffron Building Society. BM Solutions, and Leeds Building Society all have a good reputation for assisting with self builds.

The end value of your mortgage will depend on permissions obtained; plans for the property and the stages of the build, so you’ll need to provide all of this information to your lender. According to Buildstore, you should be able to secure a loan that covers 75% of the land value and 75% of the end value for building costs.

As soon as your build is finished, be sure to ask your lender to perform a valuation as this may help you to get a lower rate mortgage, as well as kickstart you on a repayment mortgage.self-build-mortgage

3. Utility Connections

It is recommended you get in touch with your utility provider at least a year before the build is expected to be finished so that a connection date can be agreed in advance. The provider will also be able to supply you with a map of nearby service locations so that you do not accidentally interfere or clash with any of these facilities during building.

If you or any of your contractors are going to be living on-site during the build, it is essential you get a temporary water service set up in the meantime. Even if nobody will be living on-site for the duration, a water supply is still a useful thing to have to hand when carrying out the strenuous work.

4. Materials

Whether you’re working witOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAh a construction company or managing your project solo, you will likely be involved in the process of sourcing and obtaining the materials for your self build. The materials you will need will largely depend on the construction method you wish to use. This will itself depend on factors like the design of your home; availability; practicality and convenience of moving the materials; whether or not your home will be an eco-friendly home and your budget.

Most British builders for example choose to use masonry or brick-and-block, whilst in Scotland. timber-framed homes are more common. Other types of commonly-used materials for construction include:

  • hemcrete
  • oak
  • cob
  • steel frame
  • straw bales
  • structural insulated panels (SIPs).

Taking all practical aspects into account as well as your personal hopes for the project, you should be able to seek reputable advice and decide on the right materials for your project.

5. Tools and Equipment

As with materials, there may be a stage during the build where you will be responsible for sourcing the appropriate tools and equipment needed for the work. You will be able to liaise with your on-site manager (if relevant) about this, to find out what will be needed and at what stages. Above all however, its important to plan ahead so that the contractors have everything to hand when they need it, avoiding holdups.

One thing you will most certainly need for your self build project is scaffolding, which will line the perimeter of the building site to prevent theft of equipment and injuries to the public. You may also need MEWP-hire-self-buildexcavation equipment to take care of groundwork such as trenches for plumbing and cabling, and access equipment is essential for the moving of tools, men and equipment; as well as working at height.

Access equipment, or MEWPs (mobile elevated work platforms) can be hired for use and there are a range of different types of platform to suit your requirements. A construction company is likely to provide their own, but it is nevertheless important to consult your on-site manager to make sure that all contractors and subs are IPAF trained in the use of such equipment.

Set up accounts with local tool companies who will be able to advise you in the hiring/buying of appropriate tools, or point you in the direction of another source.

Remember that the construction method you choose will also bring its own requirements for alternative or additional equipment (as is the case for steel frame; insulating concrete forms and SIPs).

4 Reasons Why You Should Choose Shower Wall Panels

These days, more and more people are starting to choose shower wall panels as an easier way of acquiring the bathroom design they desire. With easy fitting and almost effortless maintenance, shower wall panels give you the fuss-free experience you always wanted, without compromising on choice or quality.

Here are the four main reasons why you should choose shower wall paneling today.

1. Easy installation & fitting

Shower wall paneling is fast to install, much quicker than traditional bathroom tiles. Without the risk of cracking during the fitting process (as is the case with tiling) the application of shower wall has little room for mistakes and can even be fitted without the need for a professional.

Since there’s no drilling involved, shower wall installation leaves minimum mess and no rubble. Just use the trims and sealants that come with your shower wall to attach it directly to plastered walls, existing tiling or onto battens. There are many tutorials and guides available to assist you.

2. Stunning bathroom designs at a fraction of the cost.

Don’t think for one moment that by choosing shower wall, your design options are limited. Shower wall comes in an endless range of styles, textures, designs and colours, so you’re sure to achieve the look you want even if you’re reluctant to forego tiles.

Choose from plain; flecked; mosaic; marbled; rippled; sparkled; matte; glossed; granite-look or even a tiled-look. Finding a reputable shower wall fitter with the style you want is likely to bring you closer to making your dream bathroom a reality.

3. Complete water-tightness, guaranteed

With shower wall, you can be certain that there’ll be no water leaks that can come from cracked or broken tile grouting. With proper installation, shower paneling is one of the best ways to ensure a completely waterproof bath or shower stall area.

As it lasts fifteen years on average before needing to be replaced, shower wall may also be more long-wearing than tiles, which need to re-grouted regularly to maintain their function.

4. Easy maintenance

Unlike tile grouting which offers crevices for bacteria to hide in, shower wall panels are a much more resistant way to combat dirt and soap scum build-up. Throw out the abrasive cleaning agents as your shower wall won’t react positively to them. Instead, simply wipe down with a good-quality anti-bacterial spray at least twice a month.

This will ensure your shower wall panels stay looking clean and shiny…all with no scrubbing!

Ideas For Your Bathroom Refurbishment

bathroomrefurbishmentWith housing prices at an all-time high, the prospect of moving home is almost incomprehensible for many British homeowners. Therefore, instead of moving to a new residence when in need of a change of scenery, a lot of people choose to refurbish their current one instead. One of the simplest rooms to begin with is the bathroom; it’s generally the smallest place in the house and can be transformed in just a few weeks. But where exactly do you begin? We have listed some ideas you might wish to consider for your bathroom refurbishment.

Be Creative With Your Floor Tiling

Many people simply decide to use colour or design of floor tile for their bathrooms. Turning this on its head and experimenting with various shades of tiles is one of the trends we are seeing from people making a bathroom refurbishment in 2014. Think about what colours might complement each other well and get creative; mix and match them in unconventional ways to make your bathroom chic and quirky. You will however want to be consistent with the material you use, whether it’s the dirt-resistant travertine tiles or aesthetically-pleasing marble tiles.

Change Your Shower Walls

Most homeowners will have showers with ceramic tiles that are difficult to maintain — everyone seems to have a theory about the best way to purge the tiles rid of grout, from a baking soda and vinegar paste to a mix of laundry detergent and water. If you are in the process of considering a bathroom refurbishment, now may be the time to finally switch them for something much easier. High Quality wall panels for your shower, for instance, can be set up in just 12 hours in a variety of designs and colours. This alternative simply requires a squirt of anti-bacterial spray once a month to keep them clean.

Consider A Level-Access Shower

The biggest appliance in a bathroom, the shower is the first thing that people will notice when they enter the room. Therefore, no bathroom refurbishment is complete without making a major change to your shower. One of the most popular styles that people have been choosing this year is a level-access shower which seamlessly blends your floor into your shower. It’s a cool, clean look that will make your bathroom look very modern.

Make The Most Of Free Space

Unlike most of the other rooms in a home, the bathroom doesn’t require a lot of items. Your average room will just have a shower, sink and toilet. This leaves homeowners with a lot of free space that they can work with. You could erect storage cabinets, install television screens or squeeze in some exercise equipment in order to fill this empty space. It will make your bathroom stand out from the rest; a unique room that will be the envy of all your house guests.

Universal Hire athe Queens Diamond Jubilee

IPAF TrainingAt the Queens diamond jubilee, Universals 52M Bronto truck was asked to work with a TV company that was filming the celebration in addition the filming of the event was only possible because of the skill of staff tasked with operating the truck. Also Universal stated that they where proud to be part of the filming and felt a sense of achievement.      

In addition Universal are constantly updating there fleet so that there customers have access to the latest in specialised equipment. Universal also provide a service where some of there experts will come out provide site surveys and offer informed chooses for what you might require for you job.

 


About Universal Hire

Universal hire is a UK based access hire rental company, with over 30 years experience in there field they provide  an impressive range of equipment. Universal’s hire fleet consists of over 70 types of MEWPS.

Universal also pledge that all your access needs will be met, they also have a IPAF Rental+ accreditation.

The equipment supplied by Universal includes  self drive and operated truck mounted  cherry pickers and specially designed narrow access units.

 

 

Nationwide Platforms’ 2014 Expansion Plans 

69540_2_previewBritain based company Nationwide Platforms recently spent £24.5 million on its rental fleet for 2014.

The money will be used to purchase around 700 new boom and scissor lifts. They will be taking place of the companies older fleet that is made up of around 10700 units. The 2014 cash injection marks the third year of mayor fleet replenishment. In addition more than £70,000,000 has been spent on the fleet since 2012 the company stated.

The majority of the 2014 investment will go towards new diesel boom lifts  and scissor lifts  from Genie. The company will be making a further cash  injection in their specialist vehicle division spending 3.5million on truck and van mounted platforms from suppliers Bronto and other companies.

Nationwide Platforms’ director, Jeremy Fish, said:

[quote]Here at Nationwide Platforms we strive to deliver the industry’s most positive customer experience and service.[/quote]

Jeremy Fish went on to say that the companies investment demonstrates the companies commitment to customers. He also suggested the company will continue to honour their longstanding commitment to providing a leading hire fleet across there 26 UK locations.

 

 

 

This entry was posted in News.

Why Construction Site Managers Should Be IPAF Trained

ipaf trainingHealth and safety is of the utmost priority when you are managing a construction site. More so than meeting deadlines or saving money, making sure all the members of staff under your supervision is crucial. The problem is that while the broad stokes of health and safety are fairly obvious, the regulations that surround them are often very complicated. When you consider that the demands of health and safety are constantly changing too, it is an area that can be quite problematic for site managers. Quite simply, it is difficult to keep up. This is why IPAF training is absolutely essential for those who manage construction sites.

What Is IPAF Training?

IPAF stands for the International Powered Access Federation. It is a not-for-profit trading body that represents the interests of workers who operate or oversee the operation of power access equipment on a daily basis. This can include mobile elevated work platforms like cherry pickers and scissor lifts. The International Powered Access Federation and its members have developed IPAF training courses in order to both teach and refresh some of the essential skills related to this field. It is commonly regarded as one of the best courses in the industry and is widely used.

Why Should Construction Managers Consider IPAF Training?

One of the many courses that the International Powered Access Federation offer is a MEWPs For Managers course. It is an essential one day training programme that provides education about the knowledge and responsibilities that site managers might need to know. It intends to equip managers with the skills to deal with problems they might face in their day to day work regarding health and safety. The IPAF course covers the likes of machine classifications, regulations on lifting operations and equipment, and a refresher of the Health And Safety At Work Act of 1974. Many of these things are legislation that you are legally obliged to know as a site manager. You will be issued with an IPAF MEWP Managers certificate at the end of the course if you are successful following an assessment.

How Much Does The MEWP For Managers Course Cost?

The International Powered Access Federation’s courses usually cost between £140 to £220 depending on how many people you wish you apply with and how many categories you wish to study. You can expect the aforementioned MEWP for Managers course to set you back somewhere in the region of £170.

This entry was posted in News.

Essential Tips You Need For Managing A Construction Site

constructionsiteIt is far from an easy job being the project manager for a construction site. It’s a position that requires you to coordinate and oversee every aspect of the construction. From acquiring the right equipment to managing the men and women on the job, it bears an enormous responsibility. Project managers need to be prepared for the challenges that a construction entails and the problems they might face. Here are some essential tips that every manager should keep in mind before they begin.

Keep To An Efficient Schedule

One of the most important aspects of managing a construction site is keeping to a schedule. Not everything will be achieved to deadline as there will always be unforeseen delays, unexpected hiccups and jobs that take longer than anyone could imagine. However, keeping a loose plan of what you are trying to achieve and by when will help to keep all of your staff on task. You could establish milestones and define key performance indicators in order to do this. Setting timeframes on everything from ordering construction equipment like cherry pickers to having the foundations completed. The earlier you do this, the smoother your site will run.

A Daily Log Can Save You In An Emergency

It’s often required that project managers on construction sites keep a daily log of the activities that occur. It means that if a problem occurs during the job, you may be able to understand exactly what the chain of events were that caused it to happen. Next time, you’ll be able to improve your construction site’s performance based on this knowledge. However, daily logs serve an even greater purpose: they can be used as evidence if any dispute arises on the construction site.

Have The Latest Software

As with most industries, technology has reached a level so advanced that it has become an essential part of managing a construction site. It’s there to help you, so don’t be afraid to use it. The most useful tool to assist you in your duties is project management software such as BuilderTREND, Co-Construct or Maxwell Systems Estimation. These will allow you to manage your budget, documents, schedules and orders in one organised place. It means you can also access these details from any location and on a number of devices. It’s a far better platform than doing it all by hand.

Safety First

Safety comes first. None of the advice listed above means a thing unless your workers are guaranteed a safe experience working on your construction site. No matter how many unexpected issues or delays you encounter, this should never become less of a priority. Manage your employees to make sure that they are given the correct safety equipment and training. Ensure they are also given sufficient breaks and instructions that will help them perform to the best of their abilities.

Be Prepared To Manage

Project managers on construction sites often forget one of the most basic aspects of the job – management. Once work has begun and your team are busy working on achieving their tasks, it’s very common for project managers overseeing a construction site to step back to the sidelines and simply be an onlooker. This is not recommended. Managers should be hands-on. They should be providing a helping hand, they should be asking their staff how it’s going and they should be on the floor congratulating good work.

This entry was posted in News.