Tag Archives: renovation

6 Bathroom Trends of 2014 to help you stay on track

Here at the Healthy Hideout we would like to wish all of our readers a very Happy New Year and prosperous 2014! We’ve decided to take a look at the top 6 bathroom trends that will sweep through homes across the nation, so if you’re short for inspiration on your renovation, keep on reading.

Vintage-Style Bathroom Vanity

1. Vintage-style Fittings

They’ve been around for a long time, but the addition of second hand vintage fixtures and fittings can bring a much needed warmth of nostalgia to any room. With the 1920’s at the forefront of most bathroom renovations (think high wall mounted cisterns with a pull chain), you can be sure to see Buckingham Palace style elegance popping up on wanted lists.

2. Rimless WC’s

With a very much quiet introduction into the UK marketplace over the last few months, rimless WC’s are poised to make an impact on UK bathroom design. With a wealth of attractive designs, rimless WC’s are more hygienic & easier to clean when compared to conventional WC’s.

3. Frameless Shower Enclosures

When given the opportunity to install a frameless shower enclosure, many would find it hard to say no. Sleek seamless design combined with unobtrusive doors (or lack thereof) can make quickly transform a standard looking bathroom into a contemporary home spa haven.

4. Colourwatch – Monochrome

We saw a lot of pastel colours last year, complimenting the uprising trend of “up-cycled” vintage furniture. We predict that colour may take a bold turn in 2014, reverting to the ever reliable boldness that a monochrome black & white palette can bring.

5. Texture & Materials

There’s been a strong prominence of gloss finishes in both bathrooms & kitchens over the last decide, but the abundance of matt finish options available for everything from tiles to kitchen worktops points towards another design shift for 2014. Other popular finishes & textures include linen & wood grain – great for feature walls or natural work surfaces.

pp6360-swedish-oak-pgn-worktop-pp1340-white-sco-bb

What do you think will be big in bathroom design this year? Be sure to tweet us your feedback @divapor – We’d love to hear from you.

5 Home Renovation Clean Up Tips

Renovating a home is a big task. There are several things that go into such a large project, and the stress level can be immense. Even after the job is done, you may find yourself sitting in front of large amounts of trash and debris, which can be more difficult than the renovation itself. One of the biggest offenders of causing a mess is dust. This may be caused by dust from objects that have been sitting in place for long periods of time, or simply from sanding and cutting out various objects.

Regardless of how the dust got there, it is important to know how to address the problem. If not done correctly, you will end up making a bigger mess for yourself instead of cleaning up your desired area. Here are some simple steps to follow when cleaning up dust so that you do not pull your hair out.

1. Scrape off The Trouble Areas

One of the biggest reasons why debris keeps appearing is because it was not cleaned up properly in the first place. It is suggested that you take a scraper or blade and cut off anything that could eventually end up on the floor. Trimming, for example, is something that may become troublesome after the project is done. By making sure that all surfaces are smooth and have no edges, you will be able to start your cleaning process on the right foot.

 

2. Wipe The Walls Down

What most do not understand is that simply vacuuming the area will not get rid of dust. Instead, take care of the dust by wiping off the walls first. What you use to clean your walls up to you. If you use cleaning chemicals, try to use ones that are not very strong for 2 reasons. The first is that you do not want to harm your wall that you have just worked so hard to renovate. However, those strong chemicals are also harmful to yourself as well, and you do not want to hurt your lungs because of all of the chemicals. Most of the time, a damp cloth is enough unless you are trying to get rid of scuff marks and the like.

 

3. Vacuum

After that dust has settled from the walls, vacuum the floors. The vacuum is able to pick up most of the dust that has fallen on the carpet or floor. There is a slight problem with using a vacuum cleaner since the dust can be kicked back up again, but this step will help you get most of the larger pieces of dust and debris. If you want, you may also want to take the vacuum hose out and run it against the walls and ceilings so that you catch any of the other dust that may still be up there.

 

4. Mop

If you were working on a hardwood floor, follow the vacuuming with a thorough mopping of the area. Some people think that mopping creates a problem because it makes the dust wet, which can create lines of dust on the floor. This is why you want to mop after you vacuum; it allows you to pickup the finer dust particles instead of winding up with large clumps of it. That being said, you can use the wet dust to your advantage to collect smaller pieces that were missed before. Wiping the floor after it is wet will help you get most of the dust up off of the floor.

 

5. Check Back The Next Day

Leave that area alone for the rest of the day and follow up the next morning. If you still see dust, do the same steps and you will be able to get rid of the rest of the dust. By combining these steps, you be able to rest assured that you will not be finding dust for weeks after you clean.

 

This guest post has been provided by author Tim Riley whom is currently working on a new site which deals with hoover bags. He is also involved in blogging, article writing and generally surfing the net.

 

How to Self Build – 7 top budget tips

If you’re planning to start your own self build project soon, you may or may not have realised how important it is to plan your budget in detail. With proper analysis of figures and costs, you may find yourself increasing expenditure and even extending your loan.

How to self build, and how you should be spending your available budget requires attention and skill, but with the right execution anyone can do it. Here are the Healthy Hideout’s 7 top tips for sticking to your self build budget:

  • Site choice – When choosing where you want your self build to start, be sure to pick a pre-levelled site with good drainage whenever possible. Slanted or sloped areas with poor ground conditions can quickly become a nightmare that eats through your self build budget.
  • Service location matters – If you ensure that all services are close at hand including water, electricity, gas and drainage you’ll spend less money having these services extended to where you need them. Installation charges for such services can be incredibly expensive.
  • Simple self build – Many houses rely on the classic four walls with sloped roof for a reason. A classic box is the most cost effective way of enclosing a space, with a sloped roof being very efficient at shedding rain and snow during bad weather.
  • Keep it standard – If you stick to using standard materials in standard sizes you’ll find yourself saving a lot of money as they are generally cheaper. Bespoke materials tend to cost to more, but if you do want to add a sense of difference, use effectively and sparingly.
  • Practical placement – When deciding where your kitchen, bathroom and toilets go, try and keep them as close to each other as possible. This will minimise the cost of further drainage pipes and makes long term maintenance easier.
  • Natural light is crucial – Maximising natural light into your property not only improves your sense of well-being and mood, it also saves you money on electricity bills.
  • Maximise insulation – Insulation is a cheap investment (even cheaper from utility suppliers) that will help protect you against rising fuel bills for many years to come. Be sure to complete insulation in the roof, exterior walls and ground floor – If you’re based in the UK, this is now required under building regulations.

Now all this may be denting the image you have of your perfect self build dream, but you don’t have to conform to the above and make it look boring. Budget restraints such as the ones we’ve discussed force us to come up with solutions we may not have come up with before. Let your imagination run wild!

Have you just finished your perfect self build? Did you stick to budget? We’d love to hear from you.

10 Renovation Tips you need to know

If you’re planning to renovate your home on a grand scale, it’s not uncommon to feel intimidated about the attention required to ensure a successful project finishes as you wanted it.

It may not be a problem for those of us who are moving at a manageable pace, completing room by room, but for those of tackling the entire establishment, sticking to schedule is key.

Top 10 home renovating tips

Here are 10 top tips you need to consider for your renovation:

  1. Try not to go on holiday leaving builders or workers on site to handle your project. If you managing the project yourself, you need to demonstrate your presence to ensure that build pace and concentration does not drop. Mistakes cost money to correct.
  2. Don’t compromise – If this renovation is for your own home, you need to remember that you will be living in it after completion, not the builders. This applies to both materials and build methods.
  3. If you’ve never managed a project with a scale such as this, try to get someone involved alongside you who has. Project management is a full time job and you can’t afford to lose your way.
  4. Watch your bank balance and keep track of all building costs weekly. When an invoice pops up make sure you pay it as soon as possible and file away the receipt safely. Utilise spreadsheets so you can keep an eye on the running costs throughout the project.
  5. Schedule the entire project and make sure your workers are keeping on track, meeting deadlines or preceding them if at all possible. This way your project moves efficiently whilst everyone knows what they are doing and when.
  6. Keep in constant contact with your foreman ensuring they have everything they need on site, when they need it. There’s no need for “We didn’t finish this because we didn’t have this.”

    Planning is key!

    Planning is key!

  7. Double check the specification of all products, appliances and materials before work begins on the site. Ensure everything is ordered and delivered to site on time – You simply won’t have time to be waiting around for a particular part to arrive due to delays etc.
  8. Trade discount can be your best friend when used properly – Pressure your suppliers to give you the best possible prices, ensuring that you visit multiple merchants comparing the best deals.
  9. Set up a trading account with the building merchant that you decide to use. Organising one at the beginning of your project means that you’ll qualify for trade discounts whilst making it easier for your site foreman to order extra materials should he need them.
  10. Get involved – This is your project at the end of the day. You can save money doing parts of the project that you feel comfortable completing, such as painting, digging or even sanding!

For more innovative ideas and expert advice, why not grab a copy of George Clarke’s latest book “The Home Bible” – An endless resource of information you should really know before starting any project. Click below for more information:

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