Common Signs That Your Roof May Be In Need Of Repair

Your roof is the first line of defence against the elements. It helps to protect your house from the weather and keeps you dry, safe and warm. Maintaining your roof is important in ensuring it functions as it should and no damage occurs.

If damage does occur, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent it from worsening. There are several common signs your roof may be in need of repair which you can look out for easily.

The first is missing tiles of shingles. These can be easily spotted on slanted roofs from the front or back of your house usually, however it can be useful to check the roof for missing tiles every so often to ensure you haven’t left any unnoticed.

The shingles on your roof help to protect the underneath of the roof from the elements and missing tiles can lead to moisture seeping in. If you notice any missing, it is important to have them replaced as soon as possible.

Following on from this, if you notice any leaks or water staining inside the house, it can indicate a cracked or missing tile which you haven’t noticed which needs to be repaired.

This shows the water has already managed to penetrate the roof and therefore more extensive repair work may be necessary, which should be conducted as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

If you notice an extensive growth of moss or build-up of debris on your roof in certain areas it could show the roof is sagging slightly and therefore moisture and debris is accumulating in the dip.

This could indicate a structural issue which should be addressed immediately as it can be extremely dangerous and even cause the roof to collapse, therefore having this solved as soon as you can is vital in preventing this.

7 Considerations To Make When Buying A Kitchen

The kitchen is the heartbeat of the home. Think about it, it’s where we cook, socialise and eat our food, making it a vital part of the household.

If you’re thinking of getting a new one fitted, these are no doubt exciting times. However, before you jump straight in, there are lots of considerations to make to ensure you get the kitchen you want.

Whether it’s down to excitement or naivety, some individuals fail to do their research before getting their kitchen designed and fitted. In some cases, this hastiness can lead to somewhat disappointing results.

To help you avoid making the same mistake, here we’ll go over some of the most important considerations to make when getting a new kitchen. We’ll also give you some priceless tips that should help you get your dream kitchen.

Design

When it comes to the design of your kitchen, there are lots of considerations to make. Everything from the type of kitchen doors you choose to the gadgets and layout of your new kitchen will need to be mulled over, and if you’re not careful this can soon start to get overwhelming.

This is why you should always seek some advice from the experts. Whether you’re buying your kitchen as a package from one of the leading kitchen providers or you’re going it alone by picking up the pieces separately, you should always consult an expert to help you with its design.

These professionals can work out your dimensions and get a good idea of what you need. They’ll also advise on different specifications and go through your options on your appliances, which will be invaluable.

Appliances

Speaking of appliances, this is another area to consider if you want your new kitchen to be a beacon of functionality! There are many appliances you can add to your kitchen and depending on what you choose, this could make all the difference.

For instance, if you hate washing plates and cutlery then don’t forget to add a dishwasher. Likewise, anyone who fancies themselves as an amateur chef should pay special attention to the oven they select.

In all honesty, there are many types of appliances and the list is growing all the time. Just a few short years ago, nobody knew what an air fryer was – these days they’re everywhere! So give some serious thought to your appliances and be ready to upgrade them. 

Natural Light

Nothing improves the mood and ambiance of a space quite like natural light. As well as lifting the mood in your kitchen, natural light is also known to provide mental benefits, while you’ll also save on your energy bills as you won’t need to switch on the lights as much!

Hopefully, you’ll already have nice, big windows to allow as much light as possible inside. To boost natural light in your kitchen, opt for light-coloured curtains or blinds, use mirrors to reflect sunlight and remember to keep windows clean to maximise brightness, creating a brighter and more inviting space.

Budget

Establishing a sufficient and affordable budget for your new kitchen is paramount. As well as being practical, your budget can help steer your project. Consider not just the cost of materials but also how much professional design consultations and a skilled installation team will cost.

A well-defined budget ensures responsibility, guiding you towards options that not only enhance your kitchen aesthetically and functionally but also align comfortably with your financial constraints. 

Clever budgeting can ensure your new kitchen is a roaring success, preventing overspending and allowing you to make informed decisions throughout the process.

Walkways And Workspace

If you want a functional kitchen then you’ll need spacious walkways where you can move freely and thoughtfully arranged workspaces to allow easy cooking. 

Clear and uncluttered paths prevent congestion and potential accidents during cooking, making your kitchen a safe and enjoyable place to knock up your culinary delights. 

The strategic placement of countertops and storage ensures a seamless and efficient cooking process, where functionality meets visual appeal. It’s not just about making the kitchen look good; it’s about crafting an environment where practicality and aesthetics work together, turning every cooking venture into a smooth and delightful experience.

Decoration

Decorating your kitchen will put the finishing touches on your dream space. Whether you prefer bright and cheerful or calm and soothing, you’re free to get creative so add some colours that make you feel happy.

Pick durable and easy-to-clean materials for countertops and floors because, let’s face it, spills happen. Think about smart storage solutions, so everything has its place, making your kitchen tidy and efficient. Add a splash of your personality with accessories like funky towels or a quirky clock.

Remember, your dream kitchen is all about making you feel good and comfortable, so trust your taste and have fun bringing it to life!

Fitters

Last but by no means least, hiring the right kitchen fitters is absolutely crucial. In fact, this may well be the most important part of the whole process as you can opt for the best units, a beautiful worktop and state-of-the-art appliances, but if your fitters botch the installation then the end result will be disappointing!

So when you come to get the work done, be sure to hire a reputable company with many years of experience which specialises in kitchen installation. Failure to do so could lead to tragic results! 

When looking for a company to fit your kitchen, be sure to check reviews as these can tell you a lot about past performance and the level of service you can expect. 

While it’s not always wise to take every review as gospel as customers are more likely to leave bad reviews than good, if there’s a common theme emerging then you can get an idea of what to expect.

So those are the main considerations to make. Stick to these and you can’t go far wrong!

6 Common Problems With Roofing

Few parts of a building are more important than its roof. After all, the roof stands between your home and the outside world, protecting your property from rain, wind and extreme temperatures.

So when your roof starts to develop issues, it’s time to act fast to prevent the problem from exacerbating. Failure to do so could result in damage to your belongings and a very uncomfortable situation for you and your family.

In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the most common problems with roofs here in the UK. By going over the issues you can expect with your roof, you can remain vigilant, spotting any damage early to prevent it from getting worse, which should save you money in the long run. 

Structural Damage

Let’s start with the biggie: structural damage. Put simply, if your roof has structural damage then you’ll need to get it fixed sharpish!

A structurally sound roof is crucial to maintaining a safe home. If your roof is subsiding or showing signs or deterioration then this poses a massive safety risk for you and your family.

A collapsed roof could cause catastrophic damage to your home and anything sitting beneath it, so if you’ve noticed your roof is lagging on one side then get this addressed by a professional immediately.

Leaks

One of the most common problems with roofs is leaks, which are clearly never ideal! From attic and ceiling damage to mould to structural problems, water leaks can cause a wealth of problems.

So if you’ve noticed any wet patches on your ceiling then you’ll need to act swiftly. Failure to do so could see your problems multiply, especially if there’s a lot of rain, which you can pretty much bank on here in the UK!

Clogged-Up Gutters

Leaves, branches and other debris commonly get trapped in your gutters, and over time they can start to accumulate. 

While clogged gutters may not seem like such a serious issue, they can eventually lead to significant damage to your property if they’re not cleared. That’s because this debris can block your downpipe, meaning water collects in your gutters as it’s unable to drain properly.

Once this happens, it can put a lot of strain on your gutters, which may break under the increased weight. You may also experience leaks and other issues, so what was once a small issue can develop into a big one!

Loose Tiles Or Shingles

If you’ve got a tiled or shingled roof, these can commonly become damaged or loose.

While shingles don’t tend to weigh much, some slate tiles can weigh a few pounds each. So you don’t need us to explain why a loose tile can pose a serious safety hazard to anyone walking below!

Damaged tiles are less common due to their hardy, durable nature, although shingles can show signs of wear and tear after a few years. 

If you spot any damaged or loose tiles or shingles then have these replaced immediately. You should also get your roof inspected on a regular basis to detect any issues early.

Flashing

If you’ve ever seen those thin metal strips or sheets installed around joints, intersections, or transitions on your roof, this is called flashing. Its purpose is to ensure a watertight seal and protect the vulnerable areas of your roof from potential leaks.

If this starts to peel or become damaged, it can lead to moisture and eventually water seeping into your roof, creating all the risks we mentioned in the section on leaks.

Inspect your flashing regularly to ensure it’s fit for purpose and make any repairs where necessary.

Poor Ventilation

If your attic has poor ventilation then this can be the cause of a number of problems for your home. When air isn’t allowed to flow, with changing weather, isn’t heat and moisture accumulate in the attic, accelerating the ageing process of roofing materials. Over time this can shorten their lifespan. 

Moreover, in summer trapped heat can also raise the temperature in your home, forcing your cooling system to work harder to maintain a low temperature, which can drive up energy costs.

Regular checks by a professional and improvements where necessary should help you avoid these ventilation problems.

So those are the most common roof problems. For all your roof repairs in Wolverhampton, speak to us today.

How Worried Should You Be If Floors Are Uneven?

Quite a few homeowners, particularly those who have bought or inherited an older building will sometimes notice that when they walk around, they can feel divots, lumps or even a slanted underfoot. In some cases, you can even see that something is not right let alone feel it.

There are a lot of different factors that can cause a floor to feel uneven, some of which are the relatively innocuous result of decades of constant floor traffic, however others are a sign of a much bigger, more significant potential problem with the foundations.

Exactly how worried you should be will depend on the circumstances, but if it is bothering you at all, then calling experienced builders and structural experts will either diagnose the issue or give you peace of mind.

Sometimes a sloping or sagging floor is simply the result of improper installation, and in that case, it is simply a matter of taking up the carpet, parquet or flooring surface, reinstalling the floorboards or sub-floor correctly and putting everything back.

Sometimes an additional floor levelling compound is poured into the area to fix the issue, but in either event, it is a relatively simple and affordable task.

What is more of a potential issue, and typically is the case if the entire bottom floor has developed a slant, is that an uneven floor could potentially be the result of poorly constructed or poorly maintained foundations.

This would require more specialist solutions and a thorough inspection of the foundations by a structural expert.

There are ways to fix the foundations depending on how serious the damage is, which involve either filling space below the foundations or using hydraulic machines to essentially lift the foundation and build a stable platform below it.

Sometimes this can happen if the ground the house is built on top of shifts, although in most areas this is unlikely since the ground is heavily compacted before any foundations are laid.

How Do You Know If An Extension Is Right For You?

Most parents will be forgiven for insisting on having a house extension in Telford as the end of the summer holidays approaches, wanting to have a larger living area so everyone in the family can have space from each other. 

But, how do you know if you really need a house extension even after the schools go back and you get your home to yourself again?

  • You need a place for work 

Since the pandemic, more people have continued to work from home. However, in order to have a good work/life balance, it is important to have a distinct space for office tasks. 

If you don’t have a study or a spare room, it could be worth having an extension so you can shut away work in the evenings. 

  • You need an extra bedroom 

Lots of children share bedrooms, but there comes a point when they want some privacy from their siblings. If your little ones are nearing their teens, you may find they want to have their own distinct space.

Having an extra bedroom put in the loft could let them have this independence, and could reduce sibling arguments in the house at the same time. 

  • You like social gatherings

Some houses have the right amount of square footage but the wrong layout. Those with properties from the turn of the 19th Century through to the 1990s, for instance, will have separate living, dining and family rooms, as well as kitchens. 

In fact, popular in 1950s interior design were room dividers, such as mirrored or glass block walls, aimed at keeping spaces separated.

However, the trend for the last couple of decades has been for open-plan spaces incorporating all these spaces into one large room. 

If you enjoy social gatherings or want to be close to your kids while cooking dinner, you might want to extend the downstairs to make a large kitchen-dining area. 

Why A Loft Conversion Could Be A Very Timely Step

If you live in a town like Telford and want to upsize in your next house move, now may seem a tricky time to do so. House prices may have dipped a bit, but mortgage costs have soared after a series of base rate increases.

However, one of the biggest problems is that the number of new homes being constructed is low and falling, a problem not just in Shropshire but across the UK as the housing market slows.

New figures from the National House Building Council have shown that the number of new home registrations in England in the second quarter of 2023 was down 42 per cent on the same period in 2022. Every region except London saw falls, with the West Midlands plunging by 54 per cent with just 2,877 new properties.

This means the number of options for anyone seeking a bigger house is shrinking, making it harder to find one that is suitable. In such circumstances, it makes sense to consider the benefits of a loft conversion in Telford.

Not only could this give you the extra space you are looking for, but it brings further benefits too. You don’t have the upheaval of moving home, while the improvement can add significantly to the value of your home if and when you do sell up and move at some future date.

How the housing market will progress in the coming years is uncertain. Speaking at a housing development that is taking place in the West Midlands, prime minister Rishi Sunak signalled a possible watering down of current targets to get 300,000 new homes built per year by the mid-2020s.

Saying he was “proud” of the “progress” made in raising housebuilding numbers so far, he said: “But we’ve got to do it in the right way, I don’t want to concrete over the countryside, that’s something that is very special about Britain.”

That may not just mean lower numbers of homes being built, but a larger proportion that are constructed in regions like the West Midlands being built on brownfield in bigger urban areas such as Birmingham and the Black Country, rather than newer towns like Telford.

Garden Offices ‘Could Boost Home Value By £30k’

Home offices have become increasingly popular since working from home took off during the pandemic, so much so that having a separate study could significantly increase the value of a property. 

Since national lockdown was announced in March 2020 and those who could work from home were forced to do so, office workers have been less than inclined to go back to the old way of doing things. 

In fact, most people have set up an office space in their house one way or another. Having a distinct room for working has its obvious advantages, including helping to create a better work-life balance. 

That is why lots of homeowners have opted to build extensions or transform garages into offices.

The Express reported that David Wilson Homes said there has been growing demand for garden buildings recently, as a result of high interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis. 

Consequently, this has meant homeowners are unable to afford to purchase bigger homes and are choosing to add to their existing property instead. 

Curchods estate agents in Weybridge agreed, with its managing partner Grant Letts saying having a small garden studio can add £30,000 to a property.

He also noted these extra buildings “may help your property sell faster”, which is appealing to sellers in this difficult market. 

There are many ways homeowners can add offices to their homes, from building a garden study to extending into the loft. 

For more information about loft conversions in the West Midlands, give us a call today

Most Infamous Design Flaw In British Construction History

Designing and building a new project, whether it is a standard home, some kind of elaborate architectural project or a community building, is a long and involved process involving a large number of different people and careful ideas.

It involves architects, planning officers and builders in Wolverhampton who know their stuff and the local area.

This makes it baffling that a farce such as 20 Fenchurch Street could ever have occurred.

Initially proposed as London’s highest public park, 20 Fenchurch Street and its top floor “sky garden” were designed by Rafael Vinoly, an Uruguayan architect known for daring and typically very effective designs such as the Curve Theatre in Leicester and the Tokyo International Forum.

Its initial design had an unusually bulbous shape that was wider at the top than it was at the bottom, resembling the look of a two-way radio, quickly garnering it the nickname “Walkie-Talkie”.

There were concerns that it would affect nearby St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower Of London, although it was ultimately approved.

However, besides being considered amongst the ugliest buildings in the capital, it was found that for two hours each day, the curved glass facade focuses light onto the streets south of the building.

The result is a death ray effect and street-level temperatures of over 90 degrees Celsius, enough to fry eggs on the pavement, melt cars and set a doormat on fire.

This led to the building becoming known as “Walkie-Scorchie” or even the “Fryscaper”, and it was a particular point of embarrassment until the temporary screens were installed to stop this happening.

Whilst this was later fixed with a brise soleil and installing non-reflective film, it did not help the reputation of a building that was considered to be amongst the ugliest in the country and with a selling point that visitors argued did not live up to expectations.

Why Loft Conversions Are Better Than Buying New Homes

There are many times when homeowners will feel they need more living space. It might be because they have a growing family. It could be because they want a room for more storage, or it might be that they want to have extra space to host visitors.

A couple of options exist. One is to upsize, moving home to a new place that gives you the space you need and perhaps has some other attributes your current home lacks, such as a bigger garden. Alternatively, you can extend your existing home or convert a space such as the loft to create more space that way.

Right now, there are particularly good reasons to get a loft conversion in the West Midlands, which are connected to the property market. These are both national and regional.

The latest house price survey by the property website Zoopla has shown prices are now moving into negative territory. Although the annual average price was still up 1.2 per cent in the year to June, this was down from 1.9 per cent in the year to May and the site believes the point where mortgage rates rose above five per cent is a ‘tipping point’ for the market.

Consequently, Zoopla expects prices to drop five per cent over the course of 2023 and while that may sound like good news for bargain hunters, it also means your own home will command a lower price.

Moreover, the analysis has noted there are regional variations at play, with more expensive areas set to see greater falls. So if your home is in a higher-priced area of the West Midlands, such as Solihull or Sutton Coldfield, the drop could be greater.

On top of all this is the higher cost of taking out a new mortgage. The Bank of England’s decision to hike the base rate to five per cent may not be the last, as inflation remains stubbornly elevated, so this could soon be even costlier.

Because of these market conditions, now may be a good time to upgrade your home with a loft conversion, giving you the extra space you need as well as boosting its value, which would otherwise fall.

What Is Mimetic Architecture & Can You Build What You Love?

Whilst not always a common question, something builders in Codsall are sometimes asked is about whether it would be okay to personalise their homes or places of business and design them in a way that reflects their personality, interests, history or some combination.

The answer is complicated and it is always worth asking architects, builders and your local planning authority, but there are plenty of cases where people have taken personalisation to the next level.

Officially known as mimetic architecture, it is a design principle built in response to the common building motto that form follows function, by having buildings where the form is the function itself, typically resulting in, for example, shop buildings shaped to resemble the products they sell or part of the brand’s identity.

An example of this would be the Tonneau Bistro & Bar in Okinawa which is built to resemble the look of a beer barrel, complete with a pouring tap.

Other examples include the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles, which resembled the hat of the same name, the High-Heel Wedding Church in Taiwan, the Wolfartsweier Cat in Germany and the Longaberger Basket headquarters in Ohio.

Because these buildings are unusually designed and typically require some more unusual materials to construct and clad, they can be trickier to get planning permission for but are often worth it if you want to stand out.

However, there is one exceptionally notable exception to this in Ireland, with the mimetic architecture concept being adapted not to stand out but to blend in.
The Mimetic House is built in rural Dromaheir, County Leitrim, and uses a mirrored facade to reflect the changing countryside around it, taking the concept of reflecting the external world that mimetic architecture was constructed around and flipping it around entirely to build closer to nature.