Homes and Gardens

Crittall Sliding Doors

Open and Shut Case

New InnerVision® steel-framed sliding doors from Crittall add a further dimension to your home

Creating a seamless transition between rooms, by opening or closing space is now possible with new sliding doors from Crittall’s range of InnerVision internal screens. These bright, beautifully crafted walls of glazing will complement timeless styles of period property or contemporary homes.

On-trend, open plan living takes on a different dimension by partitioning open interior areas to create contemporary zones with steel-framed single or double sliding doors, without compromising light or space.

Available in a variety of options, InnerVision screens and doors are designed with modern living in mind, giving a sense of space, light and understated beauty, with clean lines and subtle detailing. The sliding doors feature concealed running gear to provide a sleek finish.

Gliding gently

Light-in-weight, and with a soft-close feature and floor tracks, they are so easy to use, gliding effortlessly on opening and closing. These new interior sliding doors offer wider opening areas than more intrusive hinged doors, maximising use of inside room space, particularly where it may be limited.

Elegantly slender, the slim steel framing is unobtrusive – the distinguished-looking installation makes a wonderful talking point. Natural illumination inside is increased, while enhanced acoustic properties ensure privacy and reduced noise levels.

Fully compatible with other InnerVision products, the sliding door option features a secure latch-able configuration. They are available with a wide range of handle styles and brass finishes.

Ideal solution

Unmatched by other materials, these long-lasting slimline sliding doors look like traditional Crittall windows, providing minimalist retro-looks with a contemporary twist – and larger expanses of glass than others in the marketplace.

Cleverly dividing space without impeding light, they are the ideal solution, whether for an extension with dramatic steel-framed glazed screen forming a brighter space for a living room, a light-filled area off the kitchen, or a partition from bathroom to bedroom. 

For more information about Crittall’s range of sliding doors please visit the website at www.crittall-windows.co.uk

Or Telephone: 01376 530800

The Potted Garden Tips

Here’s To Heather

This month we’ve got some great new gardening ideas from The Potted Garden to bring some colour to your garden in January, and for the Springtime ahead.

Heather gardens provide a rich tapestry of purples and greens during the autumn and winter months and look good all year round making them an excellent choice for gardeners wanting some seasonal interest in beds and borders. 

These low level, evergreen plants need little in the way of maintenance and provide a wonderful natural environment for wildlife, bees and birds.  They can be planted in large swaths in the garden or alternatively in tubs or window boxes where they can be treated as temporary residents and replaced in spring when they have stopped flowering.

The soil type will govern the types of heather you can successfully grow and as a general and simple rule the Winter or Spring flowering varieties will grow on acid or slightly alkaline (chalky) soils whereas the Summer flowering cultivars require a lime (chalk) free acidic soil.

Winter/Spring flowering heathers are the families labelled as Erica carnea, Erica x darleyensis and Erica Erigena – all of which cope with most soil types. 

The Calluna vulgaris family, flowering in the Summer and late Autumn require an acid soil and a lighter soil structure so that their fine roots can penetrate the soil easily.

Plant heathers in open, sunny locations and make sure that the foliage is resting on the ground and no part of the root ball is showing above ground. Water twice a week for the first few months to help strong growth. After a couple of seasons the plants can take care of themselves.

For companion planting you may like to think about some grasses that provide lovely textural contrasts or buxus balls that give structure and can sit within the flow of the heather. You can also fill any gaps with spring-flowering crocuses, dwarf irises or miniature narcissi such as ‘Tete-a-Tete’. 

As spring is a few weeks away just yet, here are some expert tips of what to put on your January gardening ‘to do’ list

In January, your garden could need protecting from frosts, gale-force winds and heavy rain. Check stakes, ties, fleeces and other supports for damage and consider moving plants to sunnier positions to maximise light.

Don’t forget to keep feeding the birds, food is scarce for them over winter. You can also start planning this year’s vegetable plot. 
Royal Horticultural Society

Protect any tender herbs from frost. January and February are usually the coldest months. Bay, myrtle, olive and French lavender can be brought undercover, or near the house if in containers, or covered in fleece in situ.

Put a cloche over thyme you use for cooking and it will stay leafier. Prune wisteria and grape vines if they have not been done already. On any frost-free days, plant bare root or container trees, shrubs, hedging, fruit bushes and canes. 
The National Herb Centre

Birds need a range of food provided in different ways and kept as clean as possible. Water is just as important as natural resources freeze up.

Create a pond or water feature and make sure birdbaths stay ice-free (a floating ball does the job, and if it freezes take the ball out to leave a hole). 
RSPB

Recycling Safety Advice

Hedgehog’s Recycling Nightmare

Recycling is a good thing to do, but for one little hedgehog it resulted in a near death experience!

Tania of Hopton Castle, South Shropshire was checking her recycling box before putting it out for collection the following day.  To her amazement she found a tiny hedgehog trapped in an empty cat food tin. 

She immediately called her partner, Jack, who managed with great difficulty, to slowly and carefully cut the little hog free.  They then contacted the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to find out what to do next. 

Tinny, as she has since been named, was only 290g, hypothermic and desperate for food, being far too small to hibernate successfully.  She was also found to have lungworm and fluke, both of which needed medical treatment. 

She is now recuperating with a hedgehog rehabilitator after her very lucky escape.  We can only imagine how many hoglets and other creatures may have perished this way.

People are urged to not only wash out their used food tins, but also to crush them, thereby ensuring that this near tragic episode may not happen again.

Sadly, hedgehogs are in decline and our prickly friends now need all the help they can get. 

Please see the Society website at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk for more details on how you can make small changes to assist them in their plight.

Winter Gardening Advice

18 Top Gardening Resolutions for 2019

Green-fingered Brits have been urged to make New Year’s resolutions and help their gardens and backyards thrive over the next twelve months. Researchers from outdoor specialists GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have rooted out 18 pledges that committed UK gardeners should make in 2019, such as get scientific and save water.

GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk says, “2019 will be the best year of your garden’s life, if you make some simple New Year’s resolutions. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or a complete newbie, pledge to put some of our nuggets of wisdom in to action in your backyard and you could make it a more pleasant and efficient space.”

Here are the 18 gardening resolutions for 2019 from GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk

Be organised

Keep on top of garden tasks every week and month rather than letting the to-do list pile up; lay firm foundations for the coming months by noting down a detailed and timed plan.

Plant a crop

Make the garden feed the family this year by planting some tasty and nutritious homegrown fruit and vegetables. Great options for British gardens include anything from parsnips, peas and potatoes, to blackberries, strawberries and raspberries.

Start composting

When meals are finished, leftovers and suitable scraps should be taken from the kitchen to an appropriate location in the garden, to cut food waste and provide a nutritious natural fertiliser.

Sort out tools

The onset of a new year is a perfect time to clean, repair, organise and replenish collections of outdoor tools and equipment.

Tidy up

Making a concerted effort to tidy the garden will make it look so much better, so regularly remove any weeds, dead species or fallen leaves; also trim the borders and grass frequently.

Get scientific

Test the Ph (acidity) level of soil in the backyard, to learn what plants could be most suited to the conditions; make amendments as necessary based on the test results.

Take care of timber

Treat any wooden decking, fences or sheds with a layer of protective paint or varnish to see them through the year.

Nurture seeds

It’s always nice when someone else has taken care of most of the hard work, but bored Brits gardeners should also take on the rewarding project of nurturing a new plant from birth more often.

Use natural remedies

Purchase organic pest solutions and fertilisers or find recipes online to make them home, as an alternative to ones that damage the environment.

Save water

Wise gardeners will toss sink or even bath water over outdoor plants, whilst the best prepared will collect rainwater.

Plan for holidays

Green-fingered Brits shouldn’t allow their gardens to be forgotten about when they spend time soaking up the sunshine abroad; ask a kind friend, relative or neighbour to water and tend to everything.

Welcome winged wildlife

Birds can be helped in the backyard by leaving out specialist food or feeders, a water bath or bowl and appropriate shrubbery or bird boxes to shelter in.

Build an insect hotel

In a quiet corner of the garden, pile up a selection of bricks, logs, rocks, twigs and leaves to create a mini monument that will quickly become home to all sorts of insects, bugs and spiders.

Enjoy the garden

Spend more time in the garden socialising and entertaining, or even just relaxing and appreciating the surroundings, rather than only stepping outside to do gardening.

Take inspiration

Get out and about to see neighbours’ gardens, to attend any classes or courses, to visit public or botanical gardens, or to talk to friends for tips and tricks; don’t be afraid to steal ideas from online research either – imitation is flattery.

Try something new

Buy a relatively unknown species, add bright colours to replace boring greens or plant a tree, which could also provide fruit such as apples; there’s a first time for everything, and it’s 2019.

Picture it

Take a few photographs of garden highlights and share them with the world on some of the popular social media channels; be proud of hard work, success and beauty.

Get the family involved

Sharing your passion for planting with your partner or teaching your children how to take care of the backyard will lighten your workload and could give them a new hobby.

For further information please click on GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk

The Benefits of Gardening

Grow Yourself Healthy This January

With Gardening Is Good For You!

Research from around the world has confirmed something many gardeners already know – gardening really is good for you!

So, it’s time to grow yourself healthy this year with support from the Gardening is good for you campaign. Month-by-month you can explore the many benefits of gardens and gardening to your health and wellbeing.

Gardens are great places to relax, and just being in or looking out onto gardens and green spaces has been shown to relieve stress, improving wellbeing and creativity. By creating a beautiful garden outside your own back door you’ll have a personal sanctuary to step out into, and somewhere to grow healthy food, welcome in wildlife, and spend time with family and friends.

In fact, gardening could be described as the Natural Health Service, as doctors recognise the numerous benefits gardening brings without the need for costly therapies and drugs, with their unwelcome side effects.

For instance, eating well can start by growing your own organic homegrown crops – all part of the ‘5 a day’ we all need. Herbs for example not only add wonderful flavours to our home cooking and teas but bring many health benefits too.

Did You Know?

By choosing the right plants we can design gardens that encourage birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife to drop in for food, water and shelter, or even take up residence.

Developing an all-year-round wildlife-friendly garden satisfies our own creativity and feeling of achievement, bringing us outside and closer to nature to reduce stress and improve our wellbeing. Contact with plants and the soil also enhances our health and boosts the immune system, too.

Plants Of The Moment: Create Year-Round Colour and Interest

By creating a garden that looks great all-year-round you’ll not only have a beautiful outlook but more opportunities to be tempted outside throughout the year to stay active and grow yourself healthy.

To give your garden structure and form choose plants that offer more than one season of interest. In particular, pick evergreen plants and architectural shrubs with green, coloured or variegated foliage that also produce seasonal flowers, and perhaps fruits or berries too.

Plant these to form the backbone to your garden, giving it structure, and adding height at the back of borders. Use their bold shapes and sizes to obscure eyesores and cover boring fences, cut down noise from roads and neighbours, and create a sense of privacy and seclusion.

Plant Suggestions

Choisya eg ‘Sundance’ AGM, ‘Aztec Pearl’ AGM

Hebe ‘Red Edge’ AGM

Skimmia x confusa ‘Kew Green’ AGM

Skimmia japonica ‘Fragrans’ AGM

Photinia eg ‘Red Robin’ AGM

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’  AGM

Japanese spotted laurel – Aucuba japonica ‘Crotonifolia’ AGM

Osmanthus x burkwoodii AGM

Elaeagnus x submacrophylla ‘Limelight’

Euonymus, Pieris, etc, etc.

Follow ‘Gardening is good for you’ at www.hta.org.uk/gardeningisgoodforyou

Scandinavian Home Styling

Beat the Winter
Blues Scandi-Style

As the winter kicks in and we start getting shorter days and longer, darker, colder nights, for many Brits it also brings with it the onset of the winter blues.

No stranger to cold, dark winters, Catharina Björkman, Lifestyle Expert at Swedish wood burning stove brand Contura, shares her very own ‘happiness hacks’ to help us beat the blues, Scandi-style.

“There’s no need to despair of the longer, darker nights in winter,” says Catharina. “In Sweden we endure 24 hours of darkness for much of December, so we know a thing or two about tackling the winter blues!

“These tried-and-tested tips will help winter-fearing Brits not only make the most of the season, but also to celebrate all that the winter evenings bring.”

1. Put the kettle on

A cup of tea fixes all manner of woes, however, did you know that there is scientific evidence to back this up? 

Tea is full of natural antioxidants and amino acids which relax and calm the body and has also been shown to reduce mental fatigue and improve memory. Has there ever been a better excuse to put the kettle on?

2. Get your home in order

Home is where the heart is; it’s your own personal haven away from the chaos of the day-to-day. Make it feel like a sanctuary by keeping it clean, tidy and free of clutter. There are countless studies proving that a clean, healthy home coincides with a healthy state of mind

Trust us, you’ll be amazed at how much your mood is lifted simply by bringing order to your home.

3. Pursue ultimate höstmys

‘Höstmys’ is how us Swedes refer to cosiness as the colder, darker months set in and it’s about embracing whatever makes this time of year more bearable for you. So, whether you fancy snuggling up on the sofa and watching back-to-back episodes of your favourite boxset, enjoying glasses of mulled wine with loved ones, layering on the cosy knitwear, or enjoying freshly baked cake and tea, there is no wrong way to embrace höstmys.

4. Get outdoors.

It’s important to spend as much time outdoors as possible, even as the weather gets colder. Not only is the fresh air wonderfully invigorating, it encourages you to exercise in order to warm up!

Spending time outdoors surrounded by nature, whatever the weather, is proven to help you relax and de-stress and can also boost creativity. Add in some light physical exercise and you’ve got a double whammy of benefits to both your mental and physical health.

5. If in doubt, make your own sunshine

Natural light is vital for effective brain and body function, so it’s no surprise that in the darker winter months we can suffer with lower energy levels, lethargy and feeling less motivated.

Studies have shown that the warming, calming glow of a fire reduces blood pressure and stress levels, providing a quick-fix feel-good factor throughout the winter.

In more serious cases, this lack of exposure to natural light can also lead to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), so if you find yourself really suffering, consider creating your own sunshine by investing in a ‘light box’ which will provide both mental and physical benefits, including a healthy dose of vitamin D.

6. Find your happy

Whether you prefer playing sports, visiting art galleries or learning new skills, making the time to do the things you love is non-negotiable. You could try a new yoga class or gym group, try your hand at flower arranging or a craft such as knitting or painting.

Whatever your interest is, having a hobby makes us feel good and also benefits our mental health.

7. Relax and indulge

Cooking, baking and sharing food with loved ones is an integral part of Swedish culture, and is especially important throughout the winter months. Both relaxing and indulgent, we love nothing more than bringing friends and family together to enjoy a hearty meal.

Don’t be afraid to ask guests to each bring a dish to take the pressure off!

8. Share the joy

If you’ve followed all the above, you should find yourself positively beaming with joy, but don’t stop there…!

Being generous is proven to have a hugely positive effect on our happiness and wellbeing.

Altruism promotes the release of endorphins which then activates the parts of our brain that are associated with trust, pleasure and social connection.

So, no matter how small an act, be kind, make someone’s day and feel the joy.

For more information visit www.contura.eu

Creative Home Styling

Transform Your Home with Accessories

If you want to refresh your home but aren’t yet ready to embark on a complete redesign, the introduction of some new accessories can provide the ideal solution. Items such as lamps, cushions and rugs are the perfect way to inject instant colour, texture and character into your home.

“The great thing about accessories is that they can be easily changed according to the season,” says Roselind Wilson, Owner and Creative Director of Roselind Wilson Design.

“The addition of a delicate fabric or a pretty, floral print can completely transform the look and feel of a room. Reflect the changing seasons in your home and you’ll see how even just a few small touches can yield big results.”

Mark The Changing Seasons

“Cushions are a really easy way to introduce seasonal colour into your home,” says Roselind. “A beautiful floral paisley pattern is perfect for a fresh seasonal update. We particularly love Zimmer + Rohde’s Portland Paisley linen fabric which we used for a statement cushion in our Hamilton Terrace project. The Indian-inspired pattern features intertwining flowers and leaves in lovely jade and blue tones.”

Also make sure you don’t forget to ‘bring the outside in’ wherever possible. A vase of fresh flowers in a sitting room or a pot of textural succulents in a dining room can be the small change that makes a seriously big difference.

“The choice of flowers is a personal preference, but adding a bright bouquet into an interior scheme is the perfect way to reflect the changing seasons,” says Roselind. “Adding fresh flowers also injects a wonderfully individual touch to a design.”

Play With Texture

“Accessories offer the ideal opportunity to introduce texture into your interior scheme,” says Roselind. “Why not play around with different types of texture to create depth, interest and character? Combining rough and smooth finishes such as leather, woven fabrics and metallics can completely transform your space and provide a much-needed contrast to a neutral scheme. In our experience, the tactile elements in a room such as a chunky woven rug or a luxurious velvet cushion are the ones which make the greatest impact.”

The introduction of a textured rug can create a brilliant foundation upon which the other elements of a room can be built. In the case of Roselind Wilson Design’s Bromptons project, the pale grey, hand-knotted rug anchors the scheme and provides the perfect foundation for the surrounding layers of colour and texture.

Reflect The Latest Interiors Trends

Antique brass is big news in the world of interiors at the moment, but you don’t have to totally revamp your home to make a nod towards trends like this. Just by changing a few key accessories you can update your look easily and affordably.

“A great example is to introduce aged brass light fittings – a really simple update,” explains Roselind. “Or why not reupholster an existing piece of furniture in a tactile velvet with antique brass details as per the beautiful dusky pink ottoman we had made for our Carlton Hill project? The great thing is that when trends move on, as they inevitably do, you can simply change your accessories to create an entirely new look.”

Show Your Personality

The great thing about accessories is that you can afford to be a bit more daring than you might be in other aspects of your interior because they’re so easy to change. Roselind Wilson’s advice? Be brave!

“Make sure you go for bold choices and really grab the chance to express your personality,” says Roselind. “Accessories also offer the chance to experiment with colour, pattern and texture in a more adventurous way than you might in the core elements of your scheme. Contrast is key here.”

For the entrance hall of Roselind Wilson Design’s Bromptons project, the client’s existing pair of ornate bronze vases were turned into two beautiful, bespoke table lamps which link with the striking details of the interior architecture and provide rich layers of colour and texture.

“When it comes to artwork, why not have a constantly evolving display?” suggests Roselind. “You can change the pieces you hang according to your mood or taste, and that way you will always have something new and stimulating to look at.

For the kitchen of our Belsize Park scheme, we designed a ledge display made from Carrara marble which gives the client the chance to vary the artwork they have on show simply by swapping the canvases around. A clean, contemporary solution which the client absolutely loved!”

For more information visit www.roselindwilsondesign.com

Make Money from Your Home

Top Tips for Making Money From Unused Items in Your Home

By Nick Lisher, UK Country Manager
for Nextdoor

With the expenses of Christmas behind us, most of us are tightening our belts and reining in our spending. That’s why now is the perfect time to find ways of making a little extra cash, and your first port of call should be examining how you could turn the unused or unloved items in your home into a much-needed cash injection.

The average UK household hoards up to £3,500 in unused items and clutter that could be turned into a tidy windfall for you. Most people never consider that they could use them to make money, so here are five simple ways you can turn your clutter into cash!

1) Sell your unused items via local listings sites and apps

The digital age has made selling items quickly online almost effortless. Take advantage of local listing sites and apps to bring in some quick cash. To sell to locals, all you need to do is download the app or visit the website, take photos of your stuff, post a description, add a price and away you go.

Nextdoor is a is a social networking service for neighbourhoods with its ‘For Sale and For Free section’ allowing super local trading. Buying, selling, or giving away items has never been easier. You can connect with your local community and sell bits and bobs that you no longer have a use for. As all members have to have their address verified via a postcard, you can be sure that the people you’re speaking to live within a few streets of you You’ll also definitely save on postage, as you can arrange for things to be picked up!

Facebook Marketplace allows you to buy, sell, or give away home items in your local community on the veteran social network. Buyers and sellers use direct messaging to figure out details like final price and pickup/delivery, with sections such as ‘household’, ‘appliances’, and ‘furniture’.

Gumtree is well known for being a marketplace for everything and anything, from second-hand cars to wardrobes and bicycles. Generally, Gumtree is better suited to selling larger items such as second-hand furniture. Do be cautious, as anyone with a Gumtree login can view your contact details, and site bosses recommend that meetings take place in public and you should always take someone with you, too.

2) Sell items online

Most people will have heard of eBay, it allows you to list anything and everything either for a ‘buy it now’ price, or via an auction. Unless there’s a deal on, expect to pay commision on your sale, however, eBay allows you to sell things from the comfort of your home.

Zeek allows you to buy and sell second-hand gift cards. Never going to use that bungee jump voucher you got for Christmas? Don’t worry – It accepts all kinds of vouchers, from store cards to experience days, and allows you to make some money back on unwanted gifts.

Amazon Marketplace allows Amazon users to sell their new or used products at a fixed price on the main Amazon site. It helps pay for postage and offers buyers the chance to collect, which cuts down on trips to the Post Office. Anything you earn goes straight into your Amazon account.

3) Visit a car boot Sale to declutter your home

A car boot Sale is a great way to get rid of a large collection of items in a single day, although you will need to dedicate a good chunk of time to set your table up, manning your stall and haggling over prices, it can be a fun way to make some extra cash.

4) Take unique items to specialists

Whether you have a valuable watch, painting, a piece of antique furniture or a vintage bottle of wine, there is likely to be a specialist sale with the right audience for you to sell your unique item. Taking your item to a specialist sale will help you to get the best price and ensure that you’re getting a fair deal.

5) Repair and resell

Another option is to take those items that are completely unusable and to repair them. Get a valuation on the cost of repairing an item and figure out what you could sell it for. This requires more time and effort, but it can be worth it if the repaired item increases dramatically in value. This is a more viable option for those who have DIY skills.

Those who don’t know how to handle a set of tools may find it better to simply sell the item as it is. Recycling items’ is not only a great way to extract value, but also a great way to reduce waste.

For more information about Nextdoor visit https://nextdoor.co.uk

Money Saving Ideas

12 Tips to Keep Your Heating Costs Down

Colder days and longer nights mean that many UK householders are turning up their thermostats, but how can you heat the home without losing your shirt?

The money saving team behind PromotionalCodes.org.uk have compiled a list of advice to help keep more cash in your wallet as the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Fuelling the house is one of the largest expenses for UK families according to the Office for National Statistics.

So following the guidance below could leave you with more disposable income to spend on things like holidays, family outings, clothes, food and other basic necessities.

From closely monitoring your heating temperature to DIY insulation, this easy guide will have you warmer and wealthier in no time at all.

A spokesman for PromotionalCodes.org.uk comments, “Following these little changes could get household costs right down for any UK resident.

“Many of us have accepted that the high cost of heating ours houses is just a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

“There are lots of different tricks we can all use to keep more pounds in our pocket and also enjoy more comfortable homes as winter sets in.”

In no particular order, here are PromotionalCodes.org.uk’s 12 top tips to keep heating costs down this winter:

1. Turn that thermostat down. Every single degree lower could save you several pounds per week. Experts recommend 18°C as an ambient level, rather than a costly 20°C or 25°C.

2. Leave the oven door open after cooking. A box full of toasty 200°C air released into the kitchen will be the perfect remedy to stave off the cold in the evening.

3. Keep a jumper on. Throwing an extra layer down as soon as you get home from work is literally throwing money away. The more clothes you put on, the less the heating will be on and you’ll be saving cold hard cash in no time.

4. Tin foil behind the radiators. Cutting sheets of this kitchen essential to fit behind radiators will work wonders for the temperature of a room. The tin foil will use its scientific properties to reflect hot air back into the room, rather than allowing it to drift away through cold walls.

5. Move your furniture. Blocking a radiator with something like a bulky sofa will not help anyone get warm this winter.

6. Close your curtains. Why let all that cosy hot air seep through cold glass windows, when you can block its escape by simply drawing your curtains or blinds.

7. Draft-proof. Plugging all those little holes around the house will make a big difference to your heating bills. Simple gaffer tape can be used to seal cracks in floors and walls, whilst the bottom of doors could be blocked with old clothes, towels or specifically purchased draft-excluder.

8. Forage for firewood. Any fuel you find in the woods is free and the if your fire burns for longer, the heating will need to be on less and those bills will be smaller.

9. Get a hot water bottle. Sometimes the old ones are the best; using a traditional hot water bottle in bed could lead to a significant reduction in overnight heating bills.

10. Buy a rug. It may sound simple, but you won’t be so cold walking around the house if you cover those wooden or laminate floors with an insulating cotton rug.

11. Open doors. If you have a lovely south facing room that gets loads of direct sun light, it will naturally be the warmest in the house – leaving the door open will allow that heated air to circulate around the house.

12.  Close doors. Yes, both. Once the sun has set, close the door to your living room or bedroom to keep all that cosy air trapped inside.

For more information about Promotional Codes visit the website at www.promotionalcodes.org.uk

Electrical Safety at Home

Save Your Home
And Source The
Right Bright Spark

Many homeowners take their electrics for granted. Faulty electrics can be one of the most dangerous, yet invisible, risks to the home which is why it is imperative to hire qualified, registered contractors who will be able to complete any work to a safe and high standard. 

According to research by NICEIC, the UK’s leading name for registered electricians, as little as 7% of homeowners in the UK would think to check professional accreditation bodies before hiring a tradesperson. Instead, 30% would take their friends word as a justified recommendation.

Aligned to this, a worryingly 57% of homeowners would feel confident enough to have a go at tackling DIY jobs around the house without any prior experience, with 38% admitting they would even dabble in electrics.

Darren Staniforth, technical expert at NICEIC says, “It’s shocking to see that so many homeowners will happily hire an electrician without checking for any professional accreditation. Unfortunately, this is something that we have seen a lot of in recent years, with many taking to social media to ask for help.

“While it’s all well and good asking friends for advice, homeowners need assurance that any tradesperson visiting their home is competent to carry out the work required and that their work has been checked and assessed by a recognised approval body.

“NICEIC-registered electricians provide the ultimate assurance and peace of mind.”

Top four reasons to hire a registered electrician

1. Cheapest is not always the best

Using an approved tradesperson provides additional assurances that the work will be carried out safely and to the appropriate regulations.

You should always get at least three quotes for all work to contrast and compare – but remember, the cheapest is not always the best.

2. Ensuring safety and competence

NICEIC registered electricians are assessed to the highest standards. They undergo a rigorous assessment process, as well as being re-assessed on a regular basis to ensure continued compliance.

3. Compliance with building regulations

Part P of the building regulations requires certain electrical work carried out in the home to be notified to your local building control authority (England and Wales only).

If the homeowner cannot produce the right evidence to prove that the electrical work has been carried out in accordance with the building regulations, then your local building control may insist that the work is re-done at the homeowners cost.

In addition, not having the appropriate certification may cause problems when it comes to selling your home further down the line.

A straightforward way of meeting the requirements is to use an electrician who is registered with a competent person scheme such as NICEIC. They can self-certify the work and notify the local building control department on your behalf.

4. Platinum Promise

All NICEIC registered businesses are covered by the Platinum Promise – a guarantee that protects the homeowner against all non-compliant installation work.

Should any work carried out by a NICEIC registered contractor be found to not comply with the Building Regulations, they can be instructed to return and complete the work to the required standard.

5. Use a NICEIC Registered Contractor

For more information, or to search for a NICEIC registered contractor visit www.niceic.com  

Back to Top