Electrical Maintenance Contracts – The Benefits for Property Maintenance

Posted on Posted in General Article

A property’s electrical system is one of those necessities in life that is not visible and often forgotten until suddenly it ceases to work, with the possibility of causing untold damage or inconvenience and potentially expensive emergency electrical repairs. Suddenly something that was invisible becomes an urgent problem as you must decide “Who do you call to fix it? What is a reasonable price to pay? How do you fund the unexpected cost?”

Such emergency measures can be avoided if the property’s electrical installation is periodically tested and inspected by a qualified electrician. In the UK, the requirements for testing and inspection of electrical installations are detailed under British Standard BS7671. Electrical Contractors registered with the NICEIC are audited to ensure they comply with these requirements. Many commercial properties and properties open to the public require regular electrical testing and certification in order to satisfy local authority regulations and to obtain insurance cover. However, domestic installations are often neglected, and are more likely not to be maintained or upgraded until a fault occurs.

An electrical maintenance contract with an NICEIC certified electrician or electrical contractor ensures a property receives the recommended or required periodic inspection & testing each year. In many cases a visual inspection by a qualified electrical engineer will identify potential problems that can be rectified before an incident occurs, e.g., hidden problems such as poor earthing or high resistance connections that are potentially dangerous. In addition, a valid NICEIC test certificate will be issued to the property owner documenting the results of the tests carried out by the NICEIC contractor.

The maintenance contract may also include 24/7 call-out service at a set price in the event of an emergency, so you won’t have to a) wait longer than expected for an electrician, and b) wonder if you’re being overcharged by a rogue call-out electrician. These services may also be offered for a fixed monthly price thus spreading the costs out over the year.

Damage to a property from not maintaining its electrical system can occur from many causes, the most direct cause being fire. This is particularly so with older properties and buildings which were constructed to what is now an outdated specification. Like most products, wiring has a shelf life and old wiring is often an accident waiting to happen unless it has been inspected and tested by a qualified electrician. When buying a home the purchaser will often obtain a valuation survey for mortgage purposes and save money by not purchasing a full survey and thus never realize the true condition of the wiring. Modern electrical systems have protective devices that will automatically trip the circuit and make it safe in the event of a fault. This protects against electric shock and also helps to avoid dangerous conditions which may cause a fire. Older properties may not have such protection.

Care Home facilities and other buildings with 24/7 operations find an electrical maintenance contract is crucial to have in place. Having contractually agreed a … Read More

Bathroom Renovation – DIY Style

Posted on Posted in General Article

When you consider bathroom renovation, DIY (do it yourself) is an attractive option just because of the costs involved. The bathroom is one of the most expensive of rooms to renovate. If you enjoy learning new things, getting your hands dirty and have patience, then there are some parts of bathroom renovation DIY style which can be done. However, if you have a major plumbing or electrical problem in your bathroom, get professional help. Your home could risk major structural damage, otherwise.

When you think of bathroom renovation DIY projects that you can do, all plumbing and electrical work should never come to mind. Legally, only a licensed plumber or electrician can and should fool around with such equipment. If you plan out your bathroom renovation project in advance, you’ll have enough time to get a few estimates from plumbers or electricians. Getting it done right will save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.

The facts:

1. You are NOT permitted to do any electrical or plumbing work yourself.
2. You will need to check with your local council before doing any structural work yourself.

Next you need to ask yourself these questions:

– How big is the job?
– How long will it take?
– Do I have the time and skills to do it myself?
– Have I got the necessary tools to do the job?

Some of these questions will be easy to answer, e.g. you can hire the necessary tools. However when it comes to skills and time, think carefully. It may pay to break down the job into smaller jobs. Know what you can comfortably do versus what an expert can do. Reaching a compromise where you complete the finishing touches yourself may the most economical and personally satisfying method.

With that out of the way, if you are still keen to do it yourself you should plan your workflow so that you do things in the right order. You will also need to give yourself plenty of time because there’s a fair chance you will end up spending more time on the smallest room in the house. Now here’s another consideration: Do you expect to still be using the bathroom while you are doing renovations? If your answer is ‘yes’, then it’s a bad idea. If you haven’t got a second toilet or don’t have access to a shower then peace and harmony in the household will be stretched to the limit. Best to pack up the household inhabitants and send them off for a long weekend. You’ll get more work done and you won’t be hassled by someone looking over your shoulder thinking, “Do you know what you’re doing?”

Although you can’t touch the lighting or the plumbing yourself, that still leaves you with a lot you can do for bathroom renovation DIY projects. Since you are in the bathroom so often, you’ll want to make it as pleasing to your eyes as possible. You can tackle new … Read More

A Tale Of Home Improvement

Posted on Posted in General Article

A Tale Of Home Improvement

Once upon time, in a quiet village, stood a small bungalow, which suffered from neglect because its owners didn’t have any money to maintain it properly. A sign "for sale" had been standing in the front garden for a very long time, but nobody was interested since the bungalow was of very modern design, which was a sharp contrast to the rest of the historic village. Day after day the wood rotted away and nature slowly took over the garden, until only a complete make-over could help the bungalow to survive…

Posted by Flitshans on 2013-05-04 19:31:45

Tagged: , Home Improvement , bungalow … Read More

7 Popcorn Ceiling Removal Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor

Posted on Posted in General Article

Popcorn ceiling removal is very common these days. So is getting ripped off and scammed by your contractor. There are many good contractors doing great work, but there are also many scam artists and fly by night companies who are only looking to rip you off. Since real estate values across the nation have been depressed, many homeowners are choosing to update their existing home by easy and inexpensive interior renovations like popcorn removal.

Home owners need to ask their popcorn ceiling removal contractor these 7 questions before they hire them for the job. Removing popcorn ceilings is very common these days as many home owners are updating their existing homes. Popcorn ceilings are outdated and many home owners prefer knockdown texture over popcorn. Knockdown texture just looks better and there is a great return on investment because popcorn removal is an affordable improvement which may add incremental value to the home. Before hiring a contractor in the Orlando area, be sure to ask these 7 questions to avoid getting ripped and scammed.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal Question #1 – “Do I need to worry about testing for lead in my house?”

If your home was built before 1978, then the answer is “yes”. If your home was built after 1978, the answer is “no”. According to EPA.gov, “Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.

To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning April 22, 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

EPA requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA and that they use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.” It is important to use Lead Safe Certified contractors for popcorn removal projects.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal Question #2 – “Can I remove my popcorn ceiling by myself and save some money?”

The short answer is “yes”. However, saving a few bucks may turn out to be a major headache in the long run for a few reasons. The first reason is the work will be difficult. You will need special equipment, respirators, eye protection and so on. In most cases, homeowners simply lack the expertise to do the job correctly and it can become very time consuming. Another reason is the work may cause damage to other areas in the house, the furniture, the walls and the floors. It becomes even more difficult if your popcorn ceilings have been painted.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal Question #3 – “Is it more difficult to remove popcorn ceilings … Read More

Bathroom Remodeling Tips – How To Budget

Posted on Posted in General Article

Designing and planning your bathroom remodel project is one of the most important steps of the bathroom remodeling process. Planning your bathroom remodel is not as easy as going to the local home improvement store, buying some tile, a new vanity, and some new fixtures, and going home to start tearing your bathroom apart. If you try this approach, you will quickly realize that it is not an effective or productive approach.

A very important component of the bathroom remodeling project is establishing your budget for your project.. To provide you with a starting point, I detailed the basic material costs for a bathroom remodel. Please realize that these costs are general estimates for a basic bathroom remodel to guide you when establishing your budget.

* Permits – I budget around 10% of the total construction costs for permits fees.

* Tile – $7 to $15 a square foot
– The cost for tile varies by the amount of tile needed and type of tile chosen
– For more information on tile, please refer to the previous articles that I recently wrote
– Along with the tile you will also need grout and tile sealer
– In-floor heat $14.00 a square foot.

* Bathtub – $500.00
– This is the average cost for a 60″ long by 30″ wide bathtub; 60″ long bathtubs usually range in width from 30″ to 36″ and in height from 14″ to 18″
– Soaker tubs start at $1,000
– Whirlpool tubs start at $1,500

* Vanity – a good estimate is $125 per linear foot for the vanity
– This amount is for a semi custom made vanity of Maple, Cherry, or Oak, with soft close drawers

* Vanity top
– Cultured marble – staring at $80 a square foot
– Granite – starting at $90 a square foot
– Cambria – staring at $90 a square foot

* Sink – A good starting estimate is $200
– Depending on the vanity top that you select, you may need to purchase a separate sink. Cultured marble vanity tops have the sink molded in the top as one unit.

* Bathtub and shower Faucet – $350
– The finish you select for your faucet will impact your cost; a chrome finish is generally less expensive while brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze cost more.

* Vanity Faucet – $150
– The finish you select for your faucet will impact your cost; a chrome finish is generally less expensive while brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze cost more.

* Mirror – $200

* Bathroom Accessories – $200
– Towel bars, toilet paper holder
– Again, the finish you select will impact the cost

* Lights – $200
– Be sure to have adequate lighting in your bathroom; the bathroom is where you begin and end each day.
– Use more than one light for the services of the bathroom such as vanity, mirror, and the shower space.

* Primer, paint, accessories – $125
– To help … Read More