The ‘Ins and Outs’ of Plumbing

Here in the UK we have a very diverse plumbing infrastructure, made up of many different fixtures and approaches. Growing up in Liverpool, I have perplexing memories of pipes banging in the middle of the night and water damage due to frozen blockages. These are experiences shared by many who live in this area but not everyone actually understands what plumbing is and more importantly, how it functions. Plumbers themselves have had a bad rep over the years, with many people looking upon them skeptically. The plumbers Liverpool love the most, are those who do a great job for a reasonable price but those unfortunately are few and far between. This article will help you better understand your home system which will place you in a better position to deal with any issues you may encounter.

Plumber

What Makes Up Our Plumbing Systems?

When we talk about indoor-plumbing, we are essentially talking about your homes water circulatory network which meanders through your house, unseen by the naked eye, buried deep in your walls and flooring. You generally carry out your daily duties, blissfully unaware of this structure, until that is, something goes horribly wrong. At this point we generally panic and reach for the Yellow Pages in hope we can find someone to remedy are issue and still have the shirt on your back after the experience but we need not be so hasty. For a start, things are often nowhere near as bad as they seem.

Plumbing Techniques

Basic plumbing fixes can be applied by anyone and sometimes using everyday household materials. On this website alone I plan to post a number of articles detailing these quick fixes. These are fixes even the most simplistic of five year-olds could carry out. These articles will include in-depth instructions on how to repair leaking toilets, sinks, baths, showers etc. Leaks are the number one problem for any homeowner, so a large part of this section will be dedicated to this subject. Blocked drains is the second most frequent occurrence and this is even easier to resolve, with sometimes only a liquid drain un-blocker required to fix the problem.

I will show you how to troubleshoot most issues with your plumbing before you even think about getting a plumber involved. If you can assess what the problem is yourself, you can save yourself a costly callout charge by a plumber. This way if a plumber is required for the job, you can tell them exactly what you want and can therefor get a quote over the phone. This makes it a lot easier when negotiating a price, as it is way less intimidating dealing with this sort of barter over the phone than in person.

Plumbing Network

As you can see, I am very passionate about this issue and hope to instill some of that passion in you. I just want you to realize you are not as helpless as you think and you are certainly not at the mercy of any tradesman. Be brave, carry out the diagnostics yourself and if possible, fix the problem yourself. Your self-worth will increase ten-fold and you will feel an awful lot better for the experience.

 

Gardening 101 – Ornamental Grass

As I have previously stated, I am by no means the best gardener in the world and it is true that I have not been born with ‘green fingers’ but I do enjoy the process. I want this blog to tackle all of the issues affecting the external parts of your property and the garden is a major area of this. Gardening is a noble pursuit and it is regarded by many as being a past-time they thoroughly enjoy. I want to get people excited about gardening and let them know that regardless of your skill level, you can create something truly special. This week I will take a look at how ornamental grass can be used to accentuate a space, giving a tired looking garden a fresh vibrant look.

oriental grass

 

There are many ornamental grasses to choose from but they all add an oriental feel to the garden, sensually transporting all those who enter to the far reaches of the eastern world. This long but light group of grasses, sway and dance in even the lightest of breezes which helps to soothe the emotions of those who sit there. These grasses have been used in aromatherapy gardens for centuries because they have an incredibly relaxing affect. This is something you must experience firsthand, if you are to truly understand what I am trying to convey here.

Ornamental Grass

Advantages to Planting Ornamental Grass

  • They come in a variety of colours and textures, making them suitable for almost any style.
  • They flower throughout the year, attracting all kinds of wild life to your garden. I find a garden teaming with life is a lot more interesting than a sterile environment.
  • There is plenty of scope for shaping the grass to achieve whatever look you want. The grass can either be cropped short or allowed to grow up to a foot in length.
  • This flexibility leaves it incredibly easy to maintain. It does not need cut regularly and requires very little fertilizer to thrive.

Maintenance

The only maintenance that needs to be carried out is a yearly fertilizing. In my opinion, chemical fertilizers should be avoided wherever possible but instead compost should be used. You can make your own compost from any vegetable waste matter or you can buy it organically from shops such as B&Q. If you are experiencing an unusually dry summer, water lightly once a week to ensure the grass stays lush and vibrant.

So there you have it, our first gardening article. I hope you enjoyed it, as I plan to add many more very soon.

 

Should I Choose Slates For My Roof?

There are many factors that need to be considered when deciding on what type of roof you want on your new build. The number of options available is nothing short of astronomical but there are only a limited number of roofing types that are plausible here in the UK. This article concentrates on slate roofs, looking at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using slates.

slate

One of the main attributes of slate roofs are there sheer weight which can be up to 1000 kilos per 100 square feet. If you decide to use slate you need to get your home surveyed to ensure that it is feasible for your property. The last thing you want is for your home to implode in on itself because the roof is too heavy for the supporting walls.

When it comes to robustness, slate is by no means at the top of the scale. Although beautiful, this type of roofing is unlikely to stand the test of time without regular maintenance. It is also prone to weather damage, with tiles coming loose easily during storms and blowing off the roof. When this happens it is not easy to fix, as matching different grades of slate together is an arduous task. Whatever you do, don’t let roofers or other workers tread on your roof, as the stone shatters quite easily.

slate roof

How much will it cost?

If you want a cheap option, then go for any other type of roof tile. I would say one of the main disadvantages of opting for slate is the cost of the material and the cost of installation. Some roofing contractors do not install this type of roof, so you may need to pay for a specialist to carry out this work. If money is not a problem, then by all means go for slate but if you are on a tight budget you will want to stay clear.

It’s Not All Bad

The biggest plus is the aesthetic qualities of slate which gives you a stunning finish to your home. If you want to give your home a regal feel that exudes class and sophistication, then look no further.  Depending on what size or grade you go for, you can create a roof that perfectly complements the theme of your home. It really all depends on the style of your home as to whether slate would be a good match for you, with it being particularly suitable for traditional styled houses. If your house has a modern or contemporary feel to it, you may want to choose another type of tile.

 

Website Ethos

This blog deals primarily with tools and techniques on how to spruce up the exterior of your home (although there will be some articles targeting interior decorating). When people think about decorating their home, they seem to be primarily fixated with the inside as opposed to the outside. When it comes to my house, my girlfriend takes care of the inside and leaves the outside to me. This has helped me gain an advantage over many other households where normally one person takes care of the entire home.

gutters

When talking about the external part of a property, I am talking about the grounds and the building itself. I am not the best gardener or landscaper but I do try and more often than not I achieve fantastic results. My house is very noticeable in Liverpool because I have the most vibrant gutters on the street. In fact, I get complemented daily on my gutters and many people have asked me to design some rain gutters for them. Such requests, I am only too happy to oblige, as this gives me a chance to do what I love.

external walls

I have had many ideas for landscaping and always like to follow a theme. This differs from the approach adopted my most, where they tend to just throw shrubs, plants and ornaments at an outside space. If you do this, you may stumble upon a nice garden but the chances are it will just look like a mess. If you are unsure about what I mean by this, drop me an e-mail and I will be more than happy to discuss this further. I personally love Japanese gardens and always incorporate this theme at my own property. Come around to my house and you will see bamboo shoots, little ponds and bonsai trees, it really is a wonderful sight.

Here in the UK we do not like to be too adventurous when it comes to the colour schemes we choose for the external walls on our property. In countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark, they opt for bright reds, yellows and blues, whereas here in the UK it seems to be the duller the better. This is an aspect of design that I want to steer people away from, encouraging them to be more adventurous and push the boundaries of what they can achieve. If you can envisage something special, then do your best to achieve it.

External decor is an important aprt of the look and feel of your home. Frome the gutters to the tiling everything must be in sync.