Tag Archives: bathrooms

Steam Showers pay for themselves!

Many of us do not need a reason to purchase a steam shower enclosure for our own home, as there are already many obvious explanations including health and relaxation benefits. One reason that may have already been overlooked by yourself and many others is how much financial gain you can get from installing a steam shower in your home. According to real estate experts, individuals who install steam showers or saunas can expect to gain back at least 5 times what you initially paid for it, increasing the overall value of your home.

The Cascade Duo – A popular 1200mm x 900mm corner model

In addition to this, having a steam shower or private home sauna immediately makes your home unique and compelling to buy. Luxury additions such as these are considered just that – Luxurious. If a potential buyer finds themselves torn between your home and another with very similar price tags, the inclusion of a sauna or steam room may be the exact thing that sways them towards you. Not only does it increase the overall value of your home, you improve the chances of selling your home quicker.

A typical freestanding steam shower enclosure combines standard showering features such as a shower head, with the added benefit of a steam generator. Users can then enjoy a 30 minute steam session followed by a cold invigorating shower to wash away all the toxins – All in the same space. There is no need to allocate the steam generator at another point in the house, as typically they are built onto the back of the unit itself. This results in a straightforward installation that’s completed at a fraction of the cost of a wet room.

Unlike a wet room, you dont’ need to worry about creating a water resistant enclosed area, inclusive of membrane and selective tiling. Furthermore, you need to ensure your door system is air tight to ensure that water and steam alike stays in the room. Creating a waterproof membrane can be quite costly, especially if not done correctly in the first place.

If you’re looking to add instant proven value to your home, consider the option of a steam shower enclosure when upgrading your bathroom. You’ll be benefitting both your body and your wallet.

4 reasons why you need a steam shower this Christmas

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a steam shower, and even if you haven’t, here are 4 great reasons why you should buy one:

1. Improve General Health

Steam showers enclosures are good for your health.  The hot steamy environment causes the core body temperature to increase, causing the user to sweat.  The body happens to use sweating as a way of both cooling itself and ridding itself of toxins that are harmful.  As a result, when we sweat in a steam shower, the body will push some of these toxins, which were sitting just under the skin, out of the body through the sweat and oil glands.

Steam Shower Enclosure

2. Improve Skin Appearance

The Finn’s have a saying, ‘You look your best 2 hours after a sauna‘.  The same principle applies to steam showers.  When you are relaxing in the steam, tiny capillaries which are at the surface of the skin are filled with blood.  This is in an attempt to eject heat out of the body, however the process has great benefits to the quality, look and complexion of the skin.  Along with the heat, the blood carries nutrients and oxygen which are life giving miracles to the skin, which make the skin look healthier, more vibrant and simply makes you look better.  Steam room benefits are many and varied.  Try it, you’ll see real results.

3. Reduce Stress

When stressed out, a lot of people find the best solution is to just get away from everything and relax, to clear their mind.  The steam shower not only causes great relaxation through the warmth which heats up the muscles of the body, it’s also a place where you can escape and be by yourself.  A perfect place to unwind and think.

4. Desirability of Your Home

Steam Showers
also add desirability to your home.  If you’re ever wanting to sell your home, owning a steam shower will certainly add desirability and value.  A steam shower shouldn’t be seen as a luxury but rather an investment into your home.  In the meantime you’ll be the envy of all your friends!

So there you have it; 4 fantastic reasons why you should buy a steam shower.

5 ways of making your project affordable

If you’re planning an upcoming home renovation project such as a bathroom or kitchen, you’ll quickly realise that funds disappear when not managed properly. Budgeting your project down to the last “nut & bolt” can be a menial task, but this attention to detail can save you headaches in the long term.

In addition, sourcing financial support from a number of widely available options can help spread the cost of your project, allowing you concentrate on the finish rather than the finance. Here are 5 top ways of making your project more affordable:

A Home Improvement Loan

Many people turn to a home improvement loan when it comes to financing a renovation, with many banks offering competitive products that are quick and easy to apply for. They work in the same way a personal loan would, with different banks offering different deals depending on your circumstances. As with anything, shop around for the best possible interest rates as they can vary from 5% – 8% depending on your credit rating.  Providing you tick all the boxes, you’ll get the money straight away so your project can be finished quickly and efficiently.

Retailer finance

With an abundance of suppliers in the marketplace, competition has never been stronger. Many retailers now offer their own versions of finance deals to help make your dream kitchen or bathroom become a reality quicker than you’d expect. The interest rates are often very low making retailer finance an affordable option for anyone, with some of the larger retailers offering 0% finance on complete supply & fit options.

Credit cards

Many of us would instantly turn our noses up at credit cards, branded with the image of high interest rates and unrealistic minimum payment options. However, credit card companies have changed their methods in a fast track way to attract new customers, offering 0% interest on purchases for those with strong credit ratings. Be sure to pay off your amount within the grace period (or switch it to another card) as you may face interest rates of up to 25%.

Using your mortgage

The previously mentioned options are all quick and easy ways of getting your project started, but some people now are utilising low interest rates as a way of paying for large projects. By re-mortgaging your home to suit a better finance deal, you’ll often find yourself with a larger source of funds to work with. This isn’t a quick option however as the entire process can take time, not to mention potential fees which can be upwards of £500.00.

Plan & Save

At the risk of not confiding with the ways of modern society, you could always plan your project well in advance, using good old fashioned saving to gather the necessary funds. It’s the way it’s been done for many years before the dawn of credit! Put away a little each month for a set period of time to pay for your renovation, leaving no trail of credit repayments when you settle down to your first hot soak in your new bathroom. There is no better feeling!

How did you plan for your project? Let us know on Twitter @divapor or visit our newly renovated Facebook page!

 

 

Kevin McClouds top 5 green tips

As more and more homeowners begin to make the subtle shift towards eco living, many “off the shelf” products now make it even easier to make your home eco-friendly. With the upcoming Grand Designs Live exhibition being held in Birmingham at the NEC, Kevin McCloud reveals his 5 top tips towards making your home greener!

Getting Started

  • How do I get started? If your wondering what to do and what not to do in your quest to becoming the leading eco-warrior on your street, start by grabbing yourself a copy of Little Book of One Planet Living by Alastair Sawday. This book cleverley demonstrates how eco living can provide more choice and not less, whilst giving a key insight into sustainability and reusing everyday materials.

Reduce your energy usage

  • In order to green your home, the primary objective is to reduce the amount of energy it consumes. A simple, cheap and effective way to get started is to to go around every door and window sealing off any draughts. You can purchase  many different vareities from your local DIY store, and the results can be simply astonishing.

Use planet friendly products

  • Insulate, insulate and insulate! Double insulatation in the attic area is crucial in reducing heat loss from your home. Heat rises when inside a building, so be sure to keep it inside your building to reduce your overall energy bills. Ecowool is made from recycled plastic bottles, whilst Blackwool is made from Welsh sheepswool. Great planet friendly alternatives to the usual stuff!

Utilise an electricity monitor

  • Cut your overall energy consumption by fitting an electricity monitor – You’ll be surprised which devices in your home drink the most juice! Standby switches are useful to electronics such as TV’s, and if you looking to change supplier head towards Ecotricity or Good Energy. Aerator taps in your kitchen and bathroom will save you water, along with varible flush toilet cisterns.

Keep the heat in

  • Thick curtains or shutters for your windows will keep heat in and cold out. Even poorly fitted, cheap shutters can have a dramatic effect towards keeping heat inside your home, whilst offering increased security also.

Head over to Grand Designs Live this October 2010 – Will you be going?

Source: Grand Designs Live

Find a trader today!

If you’re looking for a particular trader to help you along with some of your home improvement plans, a good place to start is the Free Index. To find plumbers, plasterers, builders and architects alike try heading over to this online directory, which also features other services such as home removals, solicitors, shower installers and even estate agents. The method used on the site is fairly straightforward but very effective at the same time. You can get five traders to quote on a job that you may have available by filling in an online form. You can then follow up with a review after the work is completed.  The site itself doesn’t have reviews for every trader on their database, but more are being added each day.

A useful section on the site is the “Materials” section, which works in a similar way to getting quotes. For example, if you’re looking for someone to provide bathroom equipment and furniture, you can see each company in your area compiled in a neat list complete with any reviews if they have them, and photographs of past projects that they have worked on. If you’re a trader looking for work, there is a job directory section on there too.

http://www.freeindex.co.uk

Trust the Trustmark?

If your looking for a trader to complete some work on an upcoming project, be it a builder for your new extension or plumber for your bathroom renovation, be sure to look out for the TrustMark approval icon. TrustMark is a government backed trade approval body from which some 30 schemes operate including the Federation of Master Builders or the National Federation of Home Improvement. Any firm found on the publicly available database found on www.trustmark.org.uk, has had its work and financial status regularly checked. They even support a user-friendly complaints procedure should you need to raise any points after work completion.

Be weary however, as the TrustMark is by no means a guarantee that your project will run smoothly. TrustMark states that necessary checks are made on registered companies regularly, however small print shows that checks are carried out by a roster of “approved scheme operators” and may not necessarily be up to date. TrustMark also relies very much on some trade bodies carrying out checks themselves – and there is anecdotal evidence around of some homeowners who have relied on TrustMark only to find themselves caught in dispute.

The key to using the TrustMark is to be realistic with any expections you may have.  It also provides a great place to start when looking for a realible source of traders names who are more than likely to be reliable, but it shouldn’t be seen a quick way of selecting a trader and getting work started as soon as possible. Be weary to ensure that you get the bathroom of your dreams or that extension you’ve been waiting for without any hiccups.

Source: Homebuilding Magazine