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environment agency

Homeowners go green to save money rather than to help the environment

Although eight out of ten homeowners are implementing ways to save energy in their homes, it seems like the majority of them do so to save money and not for environmental reasons. According to new figures released by M&S Bank, 80% of home owners have made at least one green improvement to their home in the last year including fitting energy saving light bulbs, recycling and switching off lights in unused rooms.

Architectural Plans

Planning Permission - a necessary evil?

Planning Permission.

It’s there to protect us, but often it can seem as if it’s there to frustrate us.

As you wander around Britain’s towns and you’re likely to wonder what the planners were thinking of when some schemes were passed. Part of the problem is that you don’t always need planning permission. There’s an amount of development that’s allowed in most areas under what’s known as ‘permitted development’, however if your building is listed, or you’re in a conservation area then you’ll need planning permission for pretty much everything, and sometimes that might even include painting your fence, or cutting down your trees. (more…)

Open plan kitchen

Design trends for 2014

We may already be more than a month into the new year, but what better time to start thinking about new ways to change the design in your home to be more trendy than now, when all your other resolutions have gone out the window? This year’s design trends are turning away from the shabby chic of the past and towards a more simplistic look created alongside bold and dramatic pieces.


Transforming your bathroom

There are some simple ways in which a competent DIY person can transform the look of a bathroom without having to dig into the credit card and spend a lot of cash. Creating the effect of more space can be achieved by some simple and easy additions.

insect screen

What are Insect Screens?

Insect screens are a type of blind that can be fitted to windows and doors to keep out insects, such as flies, wasps, moths and mosquitos. They are a good idea in conservatories, and will be of particular use in the summer months. Insect screens are used in commercial buildings, especially those where food is being prepared. However, they are also useful in the home setting as well.


Cutting ceramic tiles

No matter what shape your room is, you will have to cut tiles to fit around obstacles such as window frames, fixtures and to fit narrow margins at the edge of the tiled area.

Cutting ceramic tiles is relatively easy, but what sort of tools you use can make a big difference to the finish that is created.

sliding wardrobe

Different types of wardrobe explained

While there are many different styles of wardrobes on the market from ornate and traditional to sleek and modern designs, wardrobes usually fall into two categories, freestanding wardrobes and built-in wardrobes.

Draught proof and save fuel

Draught proof and save fuel

With all the price hikes in fuel costs that are due to descend upon us all shortly, it could be a time to look at ways to keep our homes warmer, without turning up the thermostat; keeping out draughts is without doubt the most effective. Of course you cannot hermetically seal your home but doing something about the cold wind coming in, under and around external doors is the best, cheapest and most effective thing to do.Now even if this has been done at some time in the past, the chances are that the sealing material will have become tried, consequently not doing the job very well. Not a lot of skill is needed to replace this and as long as you have a few simple tools the job can be easily undertaken by an average DIY person.Do not be tempted to use cheap internal door sealing kits as these are not suitable and the material will not work well in the colder months and can become so brittle they may break. Ensure that you use an external door sealing kit, these are readily available from most DIY suppliers and are not very expensive. This kit should include an aluminium extrusion with a rubber strip that is used in pressing against the external side of the door, across the top and down on both sides which should be trimmed to size using a hack saw.Fitting it is simple and is done from the outside of the door; you hold the strip firmly and evenly against the door; make sure that the strip makes a seal with the door and then mark this and secure with the screws provided. This is repeated for all the door sides and you should then ensure that the door opens and closes properly.Seal all external doors in this way and notice the difference to the room temperature, particularly when there is a strong wind blowing, you may even have to turn down the thermostat!

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