One of the last jobs for most people moving into a new property is laying a new patio in the garden to enjoy on those long summer evenings. No matter what your project or materials, if you have decided to go against the game and not hire a company that deals with the construction of Expert Driveway layer Tonbridge or Home Patio Paving Services in Tonbridge, there are a number of factors you need to be aware of when doing it all yourself.
In this article, we are going to detail for you the things to do when deciding to lay your own patio and not call in Tonbridge groundwork builder. Before you start, you have to make sure you draw a plan – a simple one – of your house and garden. You need to know and sketch the areas you would like to be paved versus the rest of the garden. Once your plan is mapped out, use string to mark out the dimensions of the patio in position and once you’re happy with that, get digging!
Preparing the site is very important before you begin your work. Use pegs to mark corners of the patio area and this is also going to help you indicate the depth. Remember to allow for a gradual slope away from your property as this will help to avoid rainfall building up. Remove all topsoil, which is easily done using an edging iron and cutting the turf into manageable squares. All you have to do here is scoop with a spade and remove using a wheelbarrow and skip. The depth you have excavated should be 150mm or six inches from the finished patio and using pegs and string, you can measure the depth available. If you find soft spots in the soil, further excavation may be needed and these spots can then be filled with sub-base material. Make sure you check and double check all corners and depths thoroughly before putting down the material required.
Once you’ve tipped the sub-base material into the right area, rake it into position to a consistent four inch depth. Check the depth using a spirit level for evenness. Use a vibrating plate compactor to compact the whole area and make sure the area has been compressed twice at the very list and check again for any sinking areas. When you prepare the cement mix, avoid direct handling of the cement and keep your skin well covered. Starting in the corner, towel a bed of mortar to cover the area intended for the first paving flag.
Great care is needed when laying paving flags down and it is essential to use all the correct equipment for this operation. Check you are wearing the right clothing and mark the paving flag surface with the intended cutting line for guidance. Place the paving flag on a platform and carefully saw using a diamond disc cutter. You can either buy ready mix compound or using the shovel and trowel, prepare a jointing mix. Firm it into the joints using the trowel and finish with the pointing iron, compacting the mix.
Laying patio can be easy as long as all the steps are followed correctly.
We live in a technological world now and everything is monitored by Big Brother. You cannot walk down the high street without seeing cameras perched on top of buildings or lampposts and every shop and mode of public transport is covered in cameras ‘for our protection’. The thing is, it’s hard to know whether they actually work as a deterrent to violence or burglars. CCTV is cited whenever there is an assault, robbery, altercation that results in the police coming to the site of the crime. It’s there but it doesn’t seem to make a difference to stabbings in the night, shootings during the NottingHill Carnival or simple break ins to people’s homes during the night.
For this reason, many households put off installing cameras because they are of the opinion that they just don’t work. What’s the point if you’re woken in the night by an alarm ringing in your street and apparently no one is taking any notice? The thing is, the burglars DO take notice and it’s for this reason that contacting a company such as afass.co.uk is in your own best interests. Take a look at your street and see how many people have installed alarms or cameras. The obvious point here is that those who have an alarm will have an alarm box and maybe even an outside automatic light. The light will probably be triggered by motion. Both of these things can be deterrents, the noise the alarm makes is usually not. Of course, there are those who decide that a deterrent is enough and instead of having a complete alarm system installed, will simply pop a false box on the wall.
There are a number of problems with this approach, but the most obvious is that thieves have access to the internet too and they can see which alarms are fakes very easily. If an alarm does go off, it could be connected privately to the police as well as the homeowner, making the burglary not so attractive after all. Of course, the benefit of a professional alarm with multiple zones and protection comes into play when the thief has planned his deed. Although rare, some thieves have a particular reason for entering a house. Often they are found to have been ‘stealing to order’ and their goal will be to find and retrieve a certain item of value. Statistically, burglaries are shown to be mostly opportunistic, that is a burglar will see an open window or door, or a lack of basic security and decide to have a go. The chances of them having a go at robbing your house are increased when they see something of value like a television through the window. The chances are greatly reduced when they can see that by trying to gain access, an alarm is likely to go screaming at them.
A good alarm system won’t just act as a visible deterrent, but it will also provide protection for such items and give intelligence as to where the perpetrator is, and even stream video footage of the crime in progress. Should the burglar get away before the authorities turn up, you then have valuable evidence that can be used to prosecute.
In the mothering world, sleep training is a hot topic. There is the belief that children will eventually learn to sleep in their own time and shouldn’t be made to do anything that they do not want to and there is also the belief that children need to learn to sleep, just like any other skill we teach them. In the world of baby sleep, there are three very common sleep training methods: cry it out, controlled crying and pick up and put down. Crying it out is the least recommended and it’s the practice of putting a warm, full, dry baby down on its back in its room while sleepy to go to sleep. Once in the cot, if they cry, they cry and you don’t go in to see to them. The downside to this is that they learn that no one will come when they cry, so they learn to stop crying. Controlled crying starts in a similar way, but you go into the room every minute for the first night and gently sooth the baby without picking it up and gradually increase the timings until they understand sleeping without you is ok. The last is a combination of the two but each time you see the baby you pick up, calm it down and put them back into their bed.
Being a slave to the baby monitor is not the way to embrace or embark on parenthood. Don’t get us wrong, babies are cute and small and they make our hearts clench with the enormity of the importance of the little life just created. Once your new born baby has arrived you are then in a situation – if you are extremely unlucky – of being woken every 2-4 hours a night for an absolute minimum of six months. You are busy being focused on what’s best for your baby and sleepless nights seem a small price to pay for that focus. By week six however, getting up every two hours to nurse the baby gets really old, really fast.
The trouble is if you’re breastfeeding you could be trying to establish a feed supply and that is a hindrance to your beauty sleep. You could be very lucky and have a baby who sleeps right through the night save for a feed or two but for the normal baby, that doesn’t happen. Only in fairy tales does that happen! Many babies get their days and nights mixed up, napping for long periods in the afternoon and waking up to play at bedtime. Sleep training is all about getting your little one to sleep and there are companies out there like hatacademy.co.uk that offer actual sleep training courses. What I will say though, is that you can read every book and take every course out there, but that doesn’t mean there is a magic cure. Our babies are born without instruction manuals and rule books and what works for one baby will not work at all for another baby.
There is a reason there is a magic time of six months of age. This is that a baby is actually supposed to wake up. Their stomachs are tiny for a start so regular feeding is the only way they will grow; they don’t stay full for as long as an adult does. When babies are born they have emerged from a warm, dark safe place in a small space to a world that is loud, bright, cold and absolutely huge. That is scary! It’s like being stuck inside with a broken leg for weeks and being allowed outside; you’re disoriented and may feel overwhelmed and seeing as babies can only communicate by crying, that is exactly what they do. All they want is to be held those first few months and the development that they go through during those months is huge.
In today’s unpredictable business world, permanent roles are not always suitable for the needs of an organization. Increasingly, companies are relying on contract or interim employees to augment their teams during periods of organizational change. Sometimes there is foresight to these changes such as busy season or project implementation, but there are also situations where employees are terminated or leave for other reasons, and employers are left in a pinch, needing talent immediately.
Here are six scenarios that demonstrate why you may want to consider general contractors in MA:
- One-off, short-term projects
Companies often find themselves struggling with a lack of resources or skills for projects that may be one-off or short term. This can include undertakings such as IT or systems implementations, compliance requirements for new legislation or policy, and process/efficiency evaluations, among others. A contractor provides you with a more flexible arrangement to complete these projects without needing the commitment of a permanent employee.
Contract workers often result in cost savings to organizations. While they may earn a higher wage, you will often save on costs such as taxes, benefits, training and development, redundancy payouts and vacation pay that ultimately end up being more costly in the long-term. In addition, you can protect your organization from unforeseen legal issues and costs as most contractors maintain their own liability insurance.
- Leaves of absence
Employees may go on leave for a number of reasons, such as parental leave, a sudden illness or sabbatical. Upon these departures, you may be required to bridge a skills gap or cover responsibilities for a certain period. It is helpful to utilize a contractor in these circumstances, as they can cover off a predetermined timeline or can be used for an indefinite period until you find a more permanent solution.
- Fill an immediate need
Imagine that you are in the middle of developing your budget and your CFO suddenly leaves. Contracting with an interim CFO is a great way to assist in this type of situation for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are experts at entering an organization at difficult times. They have experience dealing with new processes, cultures and teams at a moment’s notice. Secondly, their productivity is instant as they are trained experts in their field and are used to navigating various systems and procedures. Hiring interim support not only helps fill the immediate need, but also gives the organization time to critically think and assess their next move.
- Specialized knowledge and expertise
As an organization, you may come across situations where you require specialized knowledge in a particular functional area. Whether it be, specialization in compensation, labour relations, project management, systems integration or technical experts in fields such as engineering, or geology, there are a variety of individuals with specific expertise that are available for contract or interim positions.
- Mentoring or coaching
Many companies are faced with an aging workforce and as their businesses have grown, have neglected effective succession planning at the leadership level. In many cases, organizations have strong technical talent willing to take the next step, but have not yet mastered the strategic skills required to take on leadership roles. The use of an experienced interim professional with both a functional and mentoring/coaching mandate may be beneficial to the long-term success of organization. Furthermore, these individuals can be utilized in technical development and performance management scenarios.
If you’ve just sold your car with quickcashcars.co.uk then congratulations! Trouble is, what do you do about your personal plates? Not to worry we’ve put together this informative guide on how to transfer your plates easily.
- Get yourself online and download the form V317 from the DVLA website and fill it in. if you’ve already bought yourself a new car you’ll need the details for the new car as well as the old one so you can fill in the information for which car plate transfers to which.
- Send the form along with the either the new keeper V5c with a completed V62 to the DVLA and this does come with a small fee so make sure you send a money order or a cheque for the correct amount.
- There aren’t very many conditions but obviously you need to ensure that both the old car and the new car are registered in the UK and taxed. If your old car does not have road tax and has already been sold to quickcashcars.co.uk, then you should make sure that you have declared the old vehicle off-road. This needs to be less than five years old to be valid.
- If your personal plates will make your new car appear younger than it actually is you won’t be able to transfer the plate.
- Make your car available as the DVLA may pop along and inspect the new car to ensure its age.
- You’ve then got to wait and find out if the change has been approved and if so the old plate will be withdrawn and the new plate will be transferred on the same day.
- Lastly, inform your insurer! Don’t get in trouble by having incorrect plates on your insurance or worse, the incorrect car registered to the now invalid plate. You want the whole process to be as smooth as possible and the best way to do this is to take your time.
You won’t be able to transfer a licence plate number if it starts with a Q or NIQ for Northern Ireland registered vehicles. The DVLA will send out new registration certificates for both vehicles and that can take 4 weeks to arrive.
When you want to sell your car, van or bike with quickcashcars.co.uk they can advise you every step of the way about your vehicle registration, insurance and tax issues so you’re not going to be left in the lurch! Not only will you have cash in hand with your car sold properly or scrapped the correct way, you’ll have been dealing with a company you can trust who don’t charge you random and hidden fees during the process. Being able to have your car sold at a time convenient to you from your workplace or home is something that you should be proud of! Being associated with a company that offer such a fast service is convenient and easy. As it should be.
Most homeowners figure they need a new roof after they spot a leak in their ceiling. This leak could be due to many different roofing problems. But, what factors really determine whether a roof repair will solve the problem or the house needs a roof replacement? The roof is responsible for protecting the home and its occupants from the elements, and as a result, it endures substantial wear and tear. Severe weather, like high winds and hail storms, can cause considerable damage to the roof and put its structural integrity in jeopardy. Companies like http://www.roofbuildhomeimprovements.co.uk can assist with your roofing needs.
Replacing a roof is an expensive process, and it’s not something most homeowners will have to do more than once or twice in their lifetimes. The best way to ensure a long life for your roof and to minimize costly repairs is to perform regular, routine maintenance.
Here are some tips to help you determine if you need a new roof:
1. Roof age
How old is your existing asphalt shingle roof? Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years. It also depends on whether the old roof was removed and you only have one layer of shingles, and if it is properly ventilated. If the roof was installed over another layer or several layers and it is older than 20 years, chances are you need a new roof.
2. Shingles curling and buckling
Shingles that are curled or buckling are another sign that you may need a new roof. Look at the slopes of your home that get direct sunlight and if you notice the shingles are curling and losing granules, it could mean the shingles are past their life expectancy. There could also be a possibility that the roof is defective.
3. Roof valleys
If your roof shingles are falling apart or missing in this area, it’s a definite sign you need a new roof. Valleys are one of the most important areas of your roof. Snow and rain flow through valleys and into gutters. If the valley is compromised, you could be susceptible to roof leaks and companies like http://www.roofbuildhomeimprovements.co.uk can help.
4. Missing shingles
These are another sign your roof could be failing. Check to see if all of the shingle “tabs” are intact.
5. Chimney flashing
This is another area to be concerned about. If your flashing consists of roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with a long-term, water-tight fitting, which would be a metal flashing system.
6. Shingle granules in the gutters
Look in your gutters to see whether they are loaded up with shingle granules. Roofs tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle. Inconsistent or darker colour on some parts of the roof is another sign the granules have worn away.
7. Daylight through the roof boards
You notice a spongy feel or trampoline bounce when walking on the roof, which means the underlying decking is weakened from moisture. Check your attic to see if there is any daylight coming through the roof boards. Also check for moisture in the insulation.
As a very rough guide, it is sensible to spend a maximum of five per cent of the overall value of your house on a new kitchen, to avoid losing money if you sell. Fitting a cheap and cheerful kitchen can have a negative impact on value, which makes your choice of cabinets and finishes so vital. You will have to invest carefully to get a beautiful finish on a limited budget.
On any budget it is wise to first factor in the cost of any known quantities. These include appliances, decorative finishes and necessary electrical works to add extra sockets and lights etc; deduct these from your total budget before choosing how much to spend on the units and fitting. You could save over £1,000 by installing the kitchen yourself, but you will compromise the finish if your DIY skills are not up to scratch.
If you have a total budget of between £5,000-10,000, you may be surprised at the quality of cabinets you can afford. The majority of kitchens within this price bracket will consist of flat-pack carcasses with doors mounted on to the front using hinges screwed into the chipboard. The units are generally all the same on the inside – although some are made sturdier than others with an 18mm frame – with the look dictated by the style and colour of doors and decor panels.
The cheapest way of getting a kitchen with a solid wood finish is to buy affordable off-the-shelf carcasses, such as from Ikea, and then get a joiner to make solid wood door fronts. You can even order them online – try diyluxurykitchens.co.uk.
The beauty of this type of kitchen is that it can recreate the look of a more expensive in-frame design for less, which can then be dressed up with luxurious fixtures and finishes, such as a beautiful Belfast sink and bridge tap. Smart storage solutions, such as pull-out carousels, can also be installed into the units at a fairly low cost.
It is possible to purchase a bespoke solid wood, traditionally jointed in-frame kitchen, where the doors sit within the frame, for about £5,000. The style of sink you choose will be dictated by how much space you have available and what will work with the look of your kitchen. Most sinks are inset into a hole cut in the worktop, so they are easier to fit and tend to be cheaper. Sinks can also be under-mounted (fixed to the underside of the worktop) which creates a cleaner finish and works well if you choose to have draining channels cut into the adjoining work surface.
Also look at British Standard Cupboards from Plain English (which sells bespoke kitchens with an average price of £50,000-60,000), launched in recent years to offer a more affordable range of quality cabinets – from £5,000 for a complete setup. These have solid wood doors and carcasses made from white melamine faced European birch ply, with beech shelf lippings and traditionally dovetailed drawers.
When it comes to finishes, premium worktops will lift the look of the whole kitchen. Granite and quartz surfaces are a real investment, at several hundred pounds per 3m run, but durable composites, which replicate their intrinsic character and sparkle, are much more cost-effective.
Solid oak work surfaces can be ordered online for as little as £100-120 per 3m run. If opting for a high-quality laminate, choose a good depth with a squared edge, and overhang it slightly at the end of unit runs.
Mix and match worktop materials, for example a granite island against timber topped units, for a bespoke finish. This also allows you to use a cheaper and more durable material where you do most of your work and prep, then inject a bit of luxury with a breakfast bar or plinth in something more high-end such as quartz.
If you’re a bit of a buff when it comes to designing or arranging your interiors at home, then you may well be thinking about becoming a professional interior designer. If you enjoy decorating or rearranging your house regularly then you may have a knack for matching colours of Feng Shui. There are definitely some things that should be known before going down that route as like with any career, there are highs and lows.
There is a definite difference between decorating and designing. Anyone, literally anyone can be a decorator. A person with a good eye for colour and a natural flair for mixing textures can become a decorator all you need is to print out a batch of business cards and market yourself online. An interior designer needs a degree as a requirement for working in the field. Companies like capitalinteriors.co.uk supply different types of bespoke glass to companies who are interior designers and architects and as the direct supplier you can even contact them yourself from home.
Interior designers need to have a knack for design itself. Sounds really obvious doesn’t it but designers can really project their passion for their craft if they know what they’re doing. It’s not all fabrics and fun textures it’s a hard job and the education behind it is difficult. Interior designers need to know the history of structures and structural designs, building codes, spatial concepts and a lot of the time designers need to have a qualification in computer-aided design. Designers work with a broad range of people and having an eye for detail is extremely crucial. However we don’t just mean an eye for which colour matches with which fabrics, we mean having an eye for detail so that they can deal with builders, architects and business owners.
Being a people person is always a good idea as you can then engage easily with those you’re working with or working for. The companies that are dealt with on a daily basis for materials by builders and architects filter down to the interior designers and they then use the information they have to make the best decision for the job available. Logging online to a website with types of designs available for bathrooms and kitchens and why stop there? Being able to design the concept of an entire house or office building shows flair and excellence in creative ideas. Competition is fierce in interior design so using the best companies and the best materials is imperative and the more you know the better off you will be. Staying abreast of current designs and trends is extremely important for an interior designer who wishes to be successful in their field. Learning the local laws and building codes may seem tedious but as mentioned, the more you know, the more education and qualifications you have and are able to apply to your work the better off you’ll be and the more renowned you can become in your field.
The windows are the eyes of the home. Not only can you see out of them but people can see in and there a lot of window types out there to choose for your house. Windows let in light primarily and they also can have the ability to heat a home and make it very cold if you haven’t double glazed. There are companies out there like jpglass.co.uk that will install double glazing in place of single pane windows. Windows play a huge role in the efficiency of your home, but that’s not all they do; if you’re planning on selling your house in the next few years, new windows are a huge selling feature.
They’re one of the top five things potential buyers ask about a home, so the investment can add considerable value. If your house has only got single pane windows you’ll be very aware of creeping cold and damp specifically in the winter months of the year. New windows also instantly create curb appeal and can make a dated exterior look fresh and modern. If they’re doing their job properly, you shouldn’t notice the windows in your house. But if you’re in the market for an upgrade, there are tons of options that can add value to your home and make a stylish statement. Bay windows supplied by jpglass.co.uk can dramatically improve the value of the house as they’re designed specifically for home improvement.
There are some very telling signs that your windows need replacing and to make sure that you recognise the signs you have to be aware of what can happen to your windows. You should make a point of inspecting them regularly for drafts, condensation or fogging, rot and mould. There are different types of windows you can choose from and have installed and companies like jpglass.co.uk can offer a variety of choices. We’ve put together a list of the types of window you can have installed to your home:
1) Casement: Swinging in and out like a door and operating with a crank, they offer a high level of ventilation and have a tight seal when closed. This is a great choice for hard-to-reach or awkward places because they’re easier to open and mean less condensation.
2) Double-hung: One of the most common types of windows through the home and popular with builders, they consist of two sashes that move up and down. They are great for ventilation and complement any style of house.
3) Picture: Large and fixed and usually flanked by two casements or double-hung windows, their big, dramatic shape allows for lots of natural light and unobstructed views. They can be pricey because of their size, and keep in mind that they offer no ventilation. Beautiful though they may be they’re not practical!
4) Bay: Made up of one large fixed window in the middle and a casement on either side, they project from an exterior wall and are a staple in many Victorian-style homes. Take caution when installing – they’re large and heavy, meaning they need adequate structural support.
It’s no secret that interior design can be expensive to incorporate into your home budget. Even shopping online with http://furnitureless4va.com can be hard because of all the choice! Even if you’re only looking at redecorating a single room, the costs can add up quickly. Do you want to buy carpeting or install hardwood to cover the floors? What paint colour will you choose? How much of it will you need to cover the space? Are you going to buy new furniture? What about new light fixtures and other accessories? Don’t forget about wall hangings and décor.
- Plan Before You Begin
While proper planning is essential for any home improvement project, its necessity increases tenfold when you’re working on a tight budget. After all, no one wants to find themselves in a situation where they’ve found the perfect couch only to discover that they don’t have enough money in their account or that the non-refundable corner cabinet they’ve ordered online won’t fit into the space. Doing a little legwork beforehand will drastically cut down on the likelihood of encountering an unpleasant surprise along the way.
First, find your design inspiration. Look at magazines and the internet to figure out what style you’d like to emulate in your design. Then, break the project down into its components – flooring, furniture, paint, accessories, and décor. Browse stores to get a solid idea on how much the components will cost. Be sure to take into account any associated costs like hiring handymen.
Once you have a price point in mind, take a look at your finances. Be honest about how much you have available for spending. If that amount falls short of your project price point, set aside a manageable amount of money each week until you reach your goal. It may take longer than charging purchases on a credit card, but you’ll thank yourself later.
- Repurpose What You Already Have
There’s no denying that repurposing your old design elements won’t be as exciting as waiting for all new pieces to arrive from the store. But, with a little bit of elbow grease and an investment in free time, it’s possible to totally transform the look of almost any component of your interior design. Plus, it will allow you to save money for must-have purchases later on.
Look around your existing space and think of out-side the box ways to repurpose items that you’re currently using. Do you really need all new kitchen cabinets or can you just get them refaced? Are there hardwood floors underneath the current carpeting? Can you freshen up your old bedroom suit by giving it a new coat of paint?
As you begin to get a feel for what you can repurpose, do your research. Chances are that you’ll be able to find DIY guides for most of the projects. Be sure to study the guides thoroughly before starting a project and continue to consult it as you go. Ask a handy friend or family member to provide guidance, if possible.