The Building That Needed To Be Repaired In Secret

When it comes to complex construction work, it is always best to work with professionals from design to completion.

Part of this is to avoid any headaches, as architects and builders in Wolverhampton know about local planning regulations and work with local planning authorities to ensure that your work is safe, legal and gets the proper permissions.

Another part of it is that the more expertise and greater care you have over a design, the less likely you will need to undertake expensive repairs later on, as was the somewhat infamous case of the Citicorp Centre

Completed in 1977 and designed by William LeMessurier, the Citicorp (now Citigroup) Centre had several rather unusual design features, including diagonal steel bracing to resist strong winds and a base that was raised on four stilts.

Typically the building would not be troubled by strong winds due to the mass damper system that absorbs vibrations, but in the case of a power cut, its ability to resist gale-force winds was reduced far more significantly than was originally thought.

An engineering student at Princeton University, Diane Hartley, was the first to raise concerns that in the event of a power outage that could be possible in hurricane conditions, which started a chain of events that led to a much bigger problem being discovered.

Ms Hartley’s discrepancy was combined with the revelation that the welded building joints had been substituted for bolts which was not a feature in 

his original design.

After a call with architecture student Lee DeCarolis, Mr LeMessurier decided to recalculate the wind loads and found out to his horror that a 70 mph wind could potentially knock the skyscraper down, causing untold casualties.

After contemplating hiding the issue or much worse, he ultimately decided to fix the problem in secret, setting up emergency generators for the damper and arranging for welded panels to be fitted at night to avoid causing panic, scandal and reputation damage.

As it happened, all three local newspapers were on strike at the time, and the story was only published in 1995, nearly three decades later.

How To Mend And Maintain Your Roof During The Summer

Summer is the perfect time to catch up on your floor care and maintenance as the weather is far less extreme than in the winter. This allows you to ensure your roof is in great condition for the rest of the year.

Once the weather clears up it is much easier to check for and address any issues you may be facing. The first step in maintaining your roof this summer is to get up there and inspect the roof for any signs of damage.

This can include missing roof tiles, loose shingles or any cracks and crevices that may have formed. It will be much easier to see these in dry, bright weather meaning this should be a much simpler job than checking during the colder, rainy seasons.

If you do find any damage it is important that you get it fixed as soon as possible to ensure no further damage occurs and to make sure your roof is in optimal condition.

The summer months also provide you with the perfect time to clean off your roof and gutters. Over the years, roofs can be prone to collecting leaves, twigs, dirt and debris which can cause damage to your roof over time.

Clear your gutters completely, sweep the roof off and ensure there is no damage under the collected debris. This prevents water build-up from sitting in the collected debris and causing issues with your roof, as well as simply making it look cleaner and tidier.

You may also wish to schedule a professional roof inspection. This will save you a job and also ensure that it is done correctly and to the highest standard.

Having this done in summer gives you time to fix the issues without the fear of rain, sleet or snow from worsening the issues and making them more difficult to fix.

Looking for roof repairs in Wolverhampton? Get in touch with us today!

What Kind Of Home Extension Can Add The Most Value?

The current economic uncertainty will leave many people worrying about the value of their homes. Fortunately, if you live in the West Midlands you are more likely to have seen its value increase in the last year than anywhere else in Britain, with the latest Halifax House Price Index revealing a 3.1 per cent year-on-year rise in prices across the region.

However, it is risky to count on such a trend persisting and while many people will add house extensions in the West Midlands purely for practical reasons or just to enhance the living space, it is worth considering how much it may add to your property’s value.

This has been a live issue recently, following an article in the Daily Mail by the head of sales at Purple Bricks Vince Courtney, in which he said conservatories can knock up to £15,000 off a home’s value.

Taking particular aim at “dated” conservatories built at the peak of their popularity in the 2000s, featuring “cheap-looking white plastic or dark wood”, he also slated them for poor energy efficiency and a lack of space.

Among other criticisms, he said the current fashion is for open-plan layouts instead, a point that may resonate with some people keen to extend their home without adding more internal walls.

Not everyone agrees with Mr Courtney; the Daily Telegraph published an article that acknowledged the issues concerning some conservatories, but also quoted India Alexander, the head of appraisals at two estate agencies, as backing them to add value to old homes that might otherwise lack natural ventilation, due to having “low ceilings and dense materials”.

Of course, your own plans and needs may not involve a conservatory anyway. However, it is worth considering research about the impact different kinds of home improvement can have on property values.

According to a Property Price Advice article in 2021, a cellar conversion came out top, but others high up the list included converting a garage into living space, or the loft into a bedroom.

Curiously, the list did also advocate adding a conservatory, claiming it would add ten per cent to a home’s value. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all.