Tag Archives: home improvement

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

The Finnish Secret!

Saunas have long been used in Scandinavia and are still considered a staple in everyday life. It is estimated that there are more saunas in Finland than there are television sets. The population of Finland is approximately 5.25 million (2005), therefore there is one sauna for every 2.6 people. When you contemplate this fact, it is quite evident how important saunas are in the Finnish culture. Why is it then, that these wooden houses are so popular, and why do the Finns hold them in such high esteem?

Saunas trigger the body to heat up, and sweat. This has two main benefits. Firstly, this heat causes the body to excrete toxins which build up in the body. Secondly, the high heat, which ranges from 80°C to 100°C, artificially triggers the body’s immune system into thinking a foreign virus has taken a hold of it. The body then releases antibodies and white blood cells to combat this virus. As a result the body’s immune system is strengthened, helping to ward off any future viral attack.

Without going into a full article on this, I challenge you to try a sauna (after given the all clear from your medical doctor of course), and see if you don’t feel like a million pounds afterwards.