Category Archives: Derbyshire

Weather warning – High Winds


The met office has issued a weather warning for high winds across the UK today with inland gusts reaching a predicted 65mph in places.

Strong winds can cause damage to your property in a number of ways, blowing tiles off the roof, falling trees damaging roofs and in extreme cases an up-rooted tree can cause damage with it roots effecting your foundations and drains.

Once the wind has died down have a good look around your property for signs of damage especially the roof area, also check inside your loft space for any tell tell signs of movement or daylight. If you suspect there is any damage to the roof get a quote for repairing it from a reputable builder who will carry out a full risk assessment before climbing onto your roof as roofs can be dangerous places especially on windy days!

Sun Tunnels

Do you have an upstairs room that is starved of natural light?

Have you considered the installation of a sun tunnel?

The sun tunnel increases the amount of natural light even on a cloudy day, the reflective surface of the tunnel make it as light inside your property as it is outside, meaning you may not need to turn on the light so often therefore reducing your energy bills.

One of the many advantages of fitting a sun tunnel rather than a roof light is that the flexibility of the tunnel between the roof and the ceiling allow you to have the tunnel fitted where you want it rather than being governed by where the timber structure of the roof is.

The most common areas to have a sun tunnel fitted are bathrooms, stairs and landings because they are traditionally areas which have a lack of natural light

Bedroom Tax


Labour MP Frank Field has urged council landlords to take action against the “grossly unfair” changes that are due to be made to housing benefits, even going as far as telling them to “brick up doors and Knock down walls”

If you were thinking of undertaking some “re-modelling” of your property and are tempted to “knock down a wall” be sure to employ the services of a qualified structural engineer before taking the hammer to the wall, and always consider what re-modelling your house could do to its future saleability and value!

Fire Protection

Fire protection is imperative to save life in the event of a fire.

Around 38% of the population have smoke alarms fitted to their houses, which means that 68% or three fifths of the population are in danger of fatal or live changing injuries in the event of a fire in their homes.

In 2010 – 11 Fire and Rescue Services attended 624,000 fires or false alarms in Britain, 5% fewer than the previous year, which can be attributed to early discovery of fire due to alarm systems.

In the year 2010 -11 there were 388 fire related deaths in the UK 28 fewer than the previous year.

This again could be attributed to the increased amount of fire protection in dwellings.

The majority of fire related deaths occurred in domestic properties, with the highest percentage being 80 years of age or older.

The old and infirm cannot always deal with or attend to a domestic fire within their dwelling therefore even a smoke alarm system could not always prevent death or serious injury.

One way to address this serious concern could be to install an automatic fire extinguishing domestic sprinkler system.

These modern systems only activate in a room where the fire has taken hold and does not affect the rest of the property.

If these systems were to be installed in Hotels, Care Homes, or Residential Multi Occupancy flats and like for like properties. The system when activated would not only extinguish the fire and save the life of the occupant it would prevent the spread of fire throughout the property preventing complete destruction or serious damage to the rest of the property.

Think about it:

What’s the worst that could happen in a fire with no fire protection?


What’s the worst that could happen in a fire with automatic fire protection?


To deck or not to deck, that is the question!

To deck or not to deck, that is the question!

The sun is in the sky (at long last!) and soon our minds and eyes will turn to the garden and all the jobs that spring brings with it.

We once again will hope for an Indian summer so that we can enjoy the great outdoors and beauty of our gardens, and maybe you’re thinking of installing some hard standing from which to enjoy the fruits of your labour from, “To deck or not to deck”

There are a huge range of different timber types and colours to consider if you are thinking of decking and also some fantastic slabs and flag stones in a range of different colours and shapes. With the introduction of slabs you can create a fresh modern look with decorative diamonds, circles squares, or with the use of weathered slabs create an area that looks like it’s been there for years. The use of decking brings a more modern look to your garden with clean lines and the option to add a balustrade or ornamental rope and there are also a huge range of outdoor decking lights to add a bit of sparkle!

Have a look at what other people have done with their gardens, in magazines and search on-line for different ideas from around the world, let your imagination run wild!

The right Ironmongery

What is ironmongery? Ironmongery is an item such as a door handle, door knob, hinges, screws, door closure, letter plate any many other iron related items.

Never underestimate the importance of ironmongery on your property, something as simple as the right handle choice can be the difference between a dull or beautiful front door!

When it comes to choosing the right ironmongery there are a number of different things to consider, the age of your property, the finish required, which lock to choose, are you in a conservation area? These are a few of the questions you must ask yourself.

Choosing the right lock for your doors is hugely important, it is imperative that you check your insurance policy to see if there is any stipulation to which locks you must have, do they need to be British Standard? Then you need to consider if you want a Yale nightlatch, a mortice sashlock, mortice deadlock or even a rim lock?

Next you have to make the decision on which finish you want your ironmongery to have, brass, stainless steel, satin chrome, polished chrome, black wrought iron, aluminium, bronze? There are also many more to choose from, but take your time and have a good think about not only the front door, but the whole house. Do you want to have the same finish flowing throughout the house or do you want each area to be individual? Have a good look around and see what is available, if you decide to go for the same finish throughout your home, make sure that you can get all of the items of ironmongery in that finish such as window locks, kitchen cupboard handles and even bathroom furniture!

So, next time you’re thinking about changing your knobs and knockers think about the effect it will have on your whole property!

Builders Derbyshire

Many home and business owners are looking to get their building projects underway for the spring and summer of 2013. Larger building projects like home extensions and structural alterations will require building regulations approval and planning permission. This will mean that the majority of these projects will require drawings. So if you want to get your building project underway ready for the spring and summer the best time to start is now. If you need to get drawings done this will take at least a few weeks before you can submit them for planning or building regulations approval. So it is best to allow a 4months to get your project designed agreed with the relative authorities. This gives you a good opportunity to find a building contractor to carry out the work. Good builders are usually booked for at least a month in advance and the building tender and quotation process usually takes a minim of four weeks. So most builders will need at least eight weeks from when you first enquire to getting their team on site. Chose a building contractor who has experience in the type of project you are undertaking with most builders they will specialise in two or three fields of expertise. These are usually interlinked so for instance if your builder has experience in period properties they will have a good understanding of damp issues, structural issues and matching period details. If your contractor specialises in contemporary structures they will be used to working with glass, steel structures and modern building techniques like specialist renders and finishes like cedar cladding. Ask to see projects that they have been they have undertaken previously and speak to some of the professionals they work with. Most building contractors will have an alliance with other property professionals like surveyors and architects. Again building contractors will be able to recommend professionals that work in their area of expertise so a building contractor who specialises in conservation will be able to recommend a specialist conservations surveyor.

Building refurbishments and alterations

When carrying out building refurbishments it is important to plan out the end result that you would like to achieve. This is sometimes done by professionals like architects or surveyors but often it is left to the property owner and building contractor to finalise the specifications. This needs to be managed carefully because you do not want the works to not comply with the UK building regulations and other statutory requirements that can potentially cause expensive re-working if not done correctly. So your building contractor will need to have a good understanding of the building regulations and other statutory requirements. These are not always well known or understood by some building contractors, you will be able to get a feel for your builders knowledge by asking them some simple questions about the UK building regulations for instance what sections covers the structural elements? It is section “A”. There are other regulations for instance if you are going to use a computer screen in a commercial environment you will need to select the correct light fitting to meet the required regulations. This is not always known to some building contractors and could potentially have you paying for the same item of work twice. Again as with most things it can be a case of buy cheap buy twice.

Building refurbishments

Most property owners need various building refurbishments and repairs doing from time to time. These range from simple roof repairs through to electrical and building works. Many homeowners and in fact some building contractors are either unsure or unaware that even some repairs will trigger the need to inform the local authority building control department. This is usually done through a building regulations building notice. These vary in costs dependant on the value of the works being carried out, the building inspector will usually be required to conduct a site visit at various stages throughout the building works to check each element of the works as items are covered in. They will want to see drainage, insulation footings details and structural elements that fall under part “A” of the UK building regulations. Good building contractors will take care of managing the building notice as part of their service but ultimately the responsibility lies with the property owner. So make sure you check with your local building control department if your works will require a building regulations building notice application. Some works may not require a building regulations application when you start the works but a change to the works if an unforeseen issue arises can trigger the requirement for an application. Very often this is an issue under part “L”, of the UK building regulations. This is because if more than 25% of any external surface for examples roofs, floors or walls are being repaired it will require a building notice and site inspections.