Tag Archives: home

Are you looking for a new front door

Your front door is the first impression that you get to make when someone visits your home, which means that many of us want to choose the most attractive door possible, to cast your house in the best light. Should you however be basing your choice on how the door looks, rather than how it performs? The short answer is no, because choosing a front door purely on looks, might be something you regret in the long term when it fails to meet it’s functional requirements. We’ve put together some guidelines below on how to buy buy the best exterior doors for your home, to help you to choose a door that will meet your practical as well as aesthetic needs.

Material

This factor is probably the most important of all considerations when buying your new door. While a solid wood door may look lovely you should be aware that if it gets wet, it is at risk of swelling and then subsequently shrinking as it dries out. A well designed and professionally fitted door will need to be carefully installed to ensure that the gap between your door and it’s frame is a consistent size, ensuring a snug but not tight fit between the door and the door frame. The constant expansion and contraction of a wooden door, that can be caused by it getting wet, will mean that it the door is more likely to become stuck on the frame, or to develop gaps which will let in air.

With the above in mind, our advice would be to only install a solid wood door in areas that are very much under cover, so that they won’t get excessively wet, or cold. If your door isn’t covered, then an alternative to a real solid wooden door, would be to go for a composite door which will have fewer of the issues that can be caused by damp and cold. A composite door will still look great, however it will need very little maintenance, unlike wood. A UPVC door will suffer even less than a composite door from issues surrounding damp, however they can be unattractive, with none of the rustic appeal of a wooden door.

Glazing

Do you want your door to have any glass? This is the next consideration to bear in mind when selecting a new door. You should be aware that any glazing will inevitably mean that you more draughts around the door, however glazing can be very practical for seeing who is outside and importantly for letting in light. You may prefer to have double glazed windows to each side of the door and a peephole instead. This is certainly down to preference as the best doors are still very secure even with glazing. A good compromise between the translucent benefits of clear glass, and the privacy aspect of a non-glazed finish, can be to install frosted glass that will still let light in, but won’t allow anyone to see into your home.

Security

No matter what type of door you choose you need to ensure that it has excellent security features. That means installing a good lock (even a double lock if necessary) or choosing a door that comes with the best lock you can afford. Some of these will have bolts that are at the top and bottom and some will have self locking mechanisms. Be aware that some doors can be manipulated through the letterbox to be opened from the outside unless you double lock them. Not only will a high quality lock give you peace of mind that your home is secure – having locks that reach a high standard can even save you money on your home insurance premiums. Generally a five lever mortice deadlock conforming to BS 3621 will be the minimum standard required to get a discount on your home insurance premium.

Colour

The colour that you choose for your door is of course down to personal preference. You can choose almost any colour for your door regardless of the style or material you choose, however one advantage of going for a wooden door is the fact you can repaint it any time you like, without having to replace the door. Many of the plastic or composite doors are made in white which is a very safe option, but for an attractive look to the front of your home, try a colour such as green or red. Your front door is highly visible, and therefore an important centrepiece when it comes to defining the style of your home. In summary, don’t go for the best quality door possible that will suit your needs – choose well and it should last as long as your home does.

Combi boilers is need on you home

If your home doesn’t already have a combi boiler, you may have considered replacing your current boiler for one – especially if you have heard good things about them. But do you really understand the full benefits? Here is the definitive list of reasons to buy a combi-boiler.

No need to store hot water

A combi boiler eliminates the need to have any storage of hot water and so you can get rid of that hot water tank that is taking up space in your loft or hallway cupboard. This can free up the space for other things. Pipework and cold water storage is also minimised.

Small unit

A combi boiler is usually a smaller and more compact unit so it can easily fit inside your kitchen cupboards. This more streamlined look makes it a more attractive option for smaller kitchens.

Incredibly efficient

A combi boiler is highly efficient – you are only heating water as and when you need it, so this will save you money in the long run. Combi-boilers are usually A-rated and will therefore offer huge monetary savings compared to any boiler than is more than 10 years old. It is estimated you could save up to £300 per year by replacing your old boiler with a combi boiler.

No more cold showers

Because the water is heated as it is used, it isn’t affected by other factors such as the water being used up previously. Combi boilers will also often have thermostats included that will keep the water at the temperature you choose. The water pressure is usually very stable due to the water coming directly from the mains feed however if you have a number of bathrooms the pressure may drop if they are being used all at once.

Cheaper to install

Because of the simplicity of a combi boiler system, there is less work to do to install one. In particular the pipework and tank system is very simple. However you will need to remove or disable the old system and tanks. The ongoing costs are likely to be less too as there are fewer parts to keep an eye on or to go wrong.

The caused internal damp problems

When you had your cavity wall insulation installed, you probably were excited about all the benefits. After all, the Energy Saving Trust suggests that you could save as much as £275 a year on your energy bills from having this type of work carried out. But has it become a nightmare for you because of damp issues? If so, you are probably wondering what on earth you can do to correct the problem. Millions of people are discovering that the insulation they had installed (often free of charge under government schemes), in the hope of reducing energy costs, are actually now having the exact opposite effect, causing damp and mould problems.

How can wall cavity insulation cause damp?

First of all, it’s worth noting that not all damp problems are caused by faulty cavity wall insulation, and equally not all cavity wall problems will end up causing you issues with damp. Despite the fact that most people’s cavity wall insulation will continue to provide them with energy and efficiency savings over it’s lifetime, unfortunately some installations can result in serious damp problems.

Cavity wall insulation is designed to do one thing; to insulate the cavity in your wall. Insulation material is pumped into the cavity between the outer brick of your house, and the inner brickwork. The type of material used for the insulation does vary, but essentially it serves the same purpose – which is to increase the insulation of your cavity – therefore reducing the transfer of energy between the inside and outside of your home. For the insulation to function effectively, the cavity must remain dry. If the material used to insulate your wall does get wet, then this can transfer moisture to your inner walls, causing mould and damp problems.

If you have cavity wall insulation but are not currently experiencing damp problems, then it is wise to try to protect your walls against the ingress of water, which could result in damp problems. One of the most common reasons for cavity wall insulation to fail, is simply due to outer brickwork being in poor condition. If you live in a particularly wet or windy area (for example on an exposed coastline), you should consider that you may need to ensure that your wall is regularly maintained, repairing any lose grouting or badly eroded bricks before they cause bigger problems.

What can I do?

If your home is affected by damp following the installation of wall cavity insulation then the only solution is to have the wet insulation removed or extracted. This is a job that needs to be carried out by a qualified and experienced contractor and can be costly. Your contractor will open the holes in your outer wall that were in place for the installation and use a vacuum pump to suck out the insulation. They may also need to use high pressure hoses to dislodge it. If you have solid wall insulation the process will be more costly as parts of the wall may need to be removed.

Your contractor will be able to tell you if you should consider having the insulation re-installed. If your walls are correctly repaired, then this might be suitable but you should be fully convinced that your home is not at risk of further damp issues. The Telegraph have recently reported on an increased volume of cases of wall insulation going bad, and we echo their concerns that there may be many more houses that will require their insulation to be removed.

How will I pay for the removal?

This is a tricky one and no clear answers seem to be available at the moment. You may feel that your guarantee will mean that the company that did the installation is liable, this isn’t always the case – but it should certainly be your first port of call. If you went through your energy supplier, you could also contact them for advice.

There is another organisation that may be able to help, if you aren’t getting anywhere with your installer – that’s the Cavity Installation Guarantee Agency (CIGA). If your Cavity Wall Insulation was guaranteed by CIGA (if it is then you would have been given a certificate by your installer at the time of installation, or from the previous owner if you have purchased the house with insulation in place), then their website states that they may be able to cover the cost of removal if the insulation has failed within the 25 year guarantee period. CIGA state that your installer must be notified of any problems as soon as possible, and that CIGA may then be contacted if the matter is not resolved satisfactorily within 2 months.

If neither your installer or CIGA can help, then your last report may be to contact your home insurer, as this type of damage may be covered under your buildings insurance. This is especially the case if the insulation has been affected by flooding or unusually poor weather.

Avoid wall house problems

In recent years, due to government campaigns and free offers, more and more homeowners have been having wall cavity insulation added to their homes. In most cases this is a welcome addition that can save a homeowner as much as £275 per year according to the Energy Saving Trust. But in some cases, it has been shown to cause damp and mould problems and it may even need to be removed.

What is cavity wall insulation?
Most homes are constructed with exterior walls that have a gap between the outer brick and the inner block. This air gap can promote heat loss from the inside and wall cavity insulation is designed to fill this space. Usually an insulation material is pumped into space – a job that should be done by experts to ensure that it no gaps are left and that your home is suitable.

Does wall cavity insulation cause damp problems?
Not always, but if it has been incorrectly fitted or your home is not suitable, it can lead to problems. The consumer company Which? carried out an investigation into wall cavity insulation problems a few years ago and they discovered that some homes are not suitable, but that some installers were not aware of the problem. If your home is affected by the following this may not be suitable for you:

Your outside walls are affected by driven rain or regular rainfall – this applies to certain parts of the UK where wall cavity insulation should not be fitted at all.
Your home is in an unsheltered position and not protected by other houses or tree cover.
Your brickwork is in poor condition with cracks or blown grouting or render.

If these issues affect you, water could penetrate the outside walls of your home and literally soak the insulation. This is then transferred to the inner walls of your home causing damp and mold. The only solution at this stage is to have the insulation completely removed, the outer walls repaired and the insulation re-installed – a lengthy but effective solution.

Should I avoid wall cavity insulation?
Not necessarily. If your installer understands the risks and is able to correctly assess your home, then this type of insulation can be effective. You should check to see that your installer is a member of a body such as the National Insulation Association as this will reassure you that they understand and can assess your home for suitability.

If your home has been built in the last ten years you probably already have insulated walls and therefore won’t need to concern yourself with this at all. In all cases, loft insulation is a universally great idea – so don’t skimp on that.

Kingspan under floor insulation

When there is winter and snowfall there is a necessity for the room heating system. Whatever heating system is put there is a good effect if there is insulation. To increase the effect of the under floor heating system it is better to use Kingspan under floor insulation.

Not only the floor but the whole room is warm with this insulation. The consumption of electricity is reduced to get lesser utility bills. This insulation gives a good performance. It is fiber free and thermoset insulation. This rigid core has the foil of low-emissivity insulating coating on both the sides. The insulation is for the concrete on one side and the suspending ground on the other.

  • Heat Resistant and Does Not Allow Heat to Pass-through

Thermal insulation is the property used for warming the room quickly. It has the capacity to resist the compression of normal foot traffic. It is light weight helping to handle it easily while installation. The material used is rot resistant as it is in between the layers of concrete and ground. There are different thicknesses of insulation available in the market. It is better if the thickness of insulation is more. The engineers decide the type of insulation necessary for the building. It mostly depends on the height of the finished floor level. There are many holes in the insulation which are mainly meant for allowing water or vapor through. If these holes are not present then there are chances of the water to get collected under the flooring.

  • Adhesive to Be Used

The adhesive used for fixing the insulation depends on the texture and material of the floor. For cement floor water based adhesive is necessary. It is better to fix the wooden flooring boards properly before the adhesive is applied. If the insulation is put properly the whole room is warm and ready for the cold climate.

Insulating may be a bit costly but there is a lot of utility bill savings. Without insulation, the room heaters take a lot of time and electricity for heating the room. This forms a barrier between the inside and outside surfaces of the room. The room heat cannot escape out and thus keeps it at a particular temperature for a longer time. It suits with any type of flooring and thus many people are benefitted by this. Once installed, this stays for a long period and there are not much maintenance issues. The room heaters temperature can be controlled.

  • Easy to Install

Kingspan under floor insulation temperature can be reduced or increased according to the convenience of the people of the house. It is easy to install as professionals do it very easily. There are many types of insulation in the market. It is better to investigate, about the thickness, effectiveness, and many other factors to get the perfect temperature effect. If the features are not understood properly then we cannot purchase the correct insulation. If not understood then it is better to meet the shopkeeper and explain about the type of room and the number of people in the house. He can give the correct suggestion about the type of insulation to be used.