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6 Benefits of Air Conditioning in the Workplace

Building Contractors, Air Conditioning, Renovation, Refurbishment, Extensions, Conversions, Kitchens & Bathrooms


As the summer gets ever nearer, many are wondering if we will have much hot, dry weather this year. Heat can be pleasant if you’re in the garden relaxing, but not too much fun if you are in a warm, stuffy office. Once back at the office and trying to work, you may just appreciate the advantages of air conditioning. It’s well known that a stifling work environment is uncomfortable and not conducive to concentration. 6 benefits of professionally installed, high quality air conditioning include:-

1. Energy Efficiency

Air conditioning systems of all types are becoming increasingly energy efficient, with evolving technology. They can cool and heat a building extremely effectively, ensuring a constant and comfortable temperature. This is achieved while at the same time limiting energy use and reducing fuel costs and also the building’s carbon footprint.

 2. Comfort & Control

Changes in temperature whether exterior or interior are responded to immediately maintaining consistently comfortable surroundings. Some advanced systems can recover heat from areas that are warmer, and distribute it where needed.

 3. Humidity Reduction

The result of a humid atmosphere is general discomfort, as the body feels hot and sticky. Workers may feel sluggish and disinclined to get their tasks done. They can also become thirsty, with the consequence of frequent bathroom breaks.

4. Air Quality

Offices filled with staff are breeding grounds for coughs, colds and worse! Air conditioning systems purify the air using special filters. This reduces bacteria, dust, allergens and odours. Filtered air is essential where people suffer from respiratory conditions.

 5. Quiet Function

The latest hi tech systems are exceptionally quiet, meaning less disturbance for busy workers. This is the case even when the air conditioning is working flat out dealing with excessive heat.

 6. No Equipment Damage

Technology in a modern setting produces lots of heat as well as humidity, which needs to be removed. Heat etc can interfere with the smooth operation of office equipment, which is where air conditioning can help.

For advice on reliable supply and installation of high performance air conditioning systems call CSM Installations on 0208 5965163


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Swimming Pool Refurbishments

Professional Renovations, New Builds, Extensions, Conversions, Knock Throughs & Complete Refurbishments

Do you have a swimming pool? Does it get used? If your pool has become drab, neglected and undesirable you might consider a refurbishment. Restoring your pool to the beautiful water feature it once was, could be the best thing you do this year. New technologies and methods mean your pool will be much more functional and usable all year round. Refurbishments can include:-

  • Lining replacement
  • New coping stones
  • Terrace addition
  • Re-tiling
  • Painting.
  • Repairs to concrete
  • Repairs underwater
  • Liners replaced
  • Upgraded heating or filtration systems
  • Internal finishes such as re-tiling
  • Freeboard to deck level conversions
  • Concrete to liner pool conversions
  • The addition or removal entry steps
  • Moving floors and lots of other features

You can ensure a clean, safe pool with safety or automatic slatted covers, so you wont have to put up with debris etc, meaning less maintenance. These additions also retain heat, and provide a neat and tidy look during the winter months. An upgrade can include a renewable, low cost, energy efficient heating system, always welcome! Air source heat pumps are a favourite for many, and are very effective for outdoor swimming pools.

Before making any big decisions, have an experienced swimming pool specialist like Pool Maintenance Ltd, inspect your pool. These skilled professionals will be able to assess what, if any, issues there are with your pool. They can also tell you how sound the structure itself is, and if the filtration system is working, or could do with modifying or replacing. This is an important aspect of any swimming pool, as bacteria build up can be extremely troublesome.

The team at Pool Maintenance are qualified to work underwater and in confined spaces and offer a full service. Contact them for advice on pool refurbishment, or any of their other services such as filtration on 01457 765533  or 07748 908201

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Drop Dead Gorgeous Windows

Building Contractors, Renovation, Refurbishment, Extensions, Conversions, Kitchens & Bathrooms

Windows provide visual impact to your home, and the dressings you choose are the key to a fabulous look. Curtains and blinds are not merely a way to control how much light enters the home, they should be attractive and functional also. If you want spectacular windows, made to measure curtains and blinds are the way to go. You can stay within your budget while having curtains that you love, and which have been skilfully made just for you. The range of bespoke, made to measure curtains from Applewood Interiors will have you spoilt for choice. Applewood source their fabrics and materials from some of the most outstanding manufacturers around. Names like Decora, Prestige Textiles and Tropical Paradise, offer exquisite designs and patterns to take your rooms to a higher level.

Advantages of high quality made to measure curtains and blinds include:-

Completely Personalised Solution
Your choice of window dressings and soft furnishings reflect your personality and taste, and there are so many variations these days. Whether you desire bold, rich and sumptuous shades and eye catching patterns, or a cool, sleek and minimal feel, you are assured a perfect result.

Mass produced ready made curtains and blinds will usually be cheaper than made to measure versions. Although with online companies such as Applewood Interiors, this is seldom the case. This is because their website is their shop front, meaning no overheads, and that saving is passed onto their customers. These curtains and blinds are carefully crafted, yet still cost on average 30% less than high street stores.

Perfect Fit
Professionally measured and fitted curtains and blinds are a world away from ‘off the shelf’ products. With Applewood, you can sit back while they visit your home and correctly take accurate measurements. This is particularly helpful where your windows are not the standard size or shape.

Applewood Interiors will come to your home in places like Billericay, Ingatestone and Wickford with a vast selection of samples from their range. You can browse at your leisure, and benefit from their expert advice and guidance.

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George Clarke’s Council House Petition

Building Contractors, Renovation, Refurbishment, Extensions, Conversions, Kitchens & Bathrooms

George Clarke is a well known TV presenter and architect who is on a mission! He is appealing for as many people as possible to sign his petition, calling for the building of more council houses. George was raised on a council estate in the north east, and currently lives in a former council flat in West London. He points out that the Right to Buy scheme introduced in the 80’s saw millions of council houses being sold off. The problem here was that they were not replaced with the same gusto, leaving over one million people on council house waiting lists.

He states “I’m proud to have been raised on a thriving council estate in the 1970s. My neighbourhood was a fantastic place to grow up and everyone was proud of their council-owned homes. This country’s obsession with home ownership over the last 40 years has created real stigma around rented council housing – and it breaks my heart.” He feels that high quality, well designed and affordable homes should be built at a rate of 100,000 a year for the next 30 years. His petition is hoped to raise awareness of this issue and prompt the government to act as a matter of urgency.

The timing of the petition is relevant also, as this year marks the centenary of the ‘Addison Act’ of 1919. The act granted local councils the power to build new properties in their thousands, however the process has slowed down considerably over the years. This has left many younger people with little choice but to stay in the family home, or rent temporarily. It is extremely difficult for them to buy their own home and have a family even if they work hard.

George Clarke’s petition has received an excellent response from the nation, and has already been signed by over 220,000. If you would like to join George in this endeavour, and sign his petition click here.

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The Importance of Safety Lighting

Building Contractors, Wide Range of Construction Services, including Building, Plumbing, Heating & Electrical

Emergency lighting provides a safe escape route where existing lighting has failed due to a fire or other incident. This type of safety lighting is designed to activate automatically, assisting occupants in exiting the premises. Smoke produced by even a small fire can make it almost impossible to see anything. Different kinds of safety lighting include:-

  • Emergency lighting – provides immediate lighting in a particular area and for a certain amount of time.
  • Emergency escape lighting – enables fast and safe exit from a building or location if the mains supply fails.
  • Emergency escape route lighting – Provides visual directions and helps people to locate escape routes safely in special settings, also allowing easier discovery of fire fighting equipment.
  • Open area or anti-panic lighting – attempts to create the conditions for safe movement in a calmer environment.
  • High risk task area lighting – is used wherever there is a potentially dangerous situation or process due to chemicals etc, and provides time for the correct shut down to be performed.

Buildings will usually have a range of different forms of emergency lighting, each covering a specific set of requirements. Decisions about which lighting is needed and where, are made after a risk assessment is carried out.

Extreme anxiety and confusion is expected in many emergency situations, but strategically placed emergency lighting luminaires and signposting can help to alleviate stress, and result in a successful evacuation. Consideration should also be given to the particular needs of people especially in certain situations. For instance older people may struggle in low light conditions, and their eyes might be slow to adapt, so they will need a stronger emergency light option. Specialists such as Fire Logistics Ltd are experts within fire prevention, and along with a wide variety of fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and safety training, they offer high quality emergency lighting.

Professional House Renovation, Refurbishment, Redesign, Extensions & Conversions, Joiners & Carpenters

Expand your Space

Building Contractors, Renovation, Refurbishment, Extensions, Conversions, Kitchens & Bathrooms

Many new builds are pretty compact these days without things like built in closets, and if your home has a lack of storage space it can be frustrating. A good way around this is to have an extension or conservatory added, or perhaps a garage/loft conversion will solve the problem. If these options are not possible for whatever reason, you can still create some extra space by using ingenuity.

Before you decide on your best course of action, try to have a bit of a clear out, most of us have items of clothing that we never wear, or wore once five years ago. Scaling down and getting rid of clutter can be a little nerve racking, but if you make your mind up not to keep anything damaged, badly fitting etc you could be on a winner. Once you have achieved this step you will know just how much storage space you need.

Storage that is built into items such as beds or headboards is ideal for keeping bedding and other items tucked away. An ottoman at the foot of the bed looks the part and comes in very handy for storage and seating. Airtight vacuum storage bags are a must for duvets and pillows, reducing their size considerably once the air is sucked out. Boxes may be kept under beds that don’t have storage drawers, and hidden using a valance sheet.

Mobile hanging racks for clothes can be used with covers to avoid dust settling, and over the door hangers for scarves and bags. You can affix cork boards to the wall with hooks or pins for hanging jewellery on. Look around antique and second hand shops for furniture that you can personalise with chalk paint or the like. You can also buy good quality bespoke storage systems from places like Ikea.

For items that are seasonal so not needed for half of the year like thick jumpers or Christmas decorations, consider renting a storage unit or container. These can be extremely affordable and serve to free up lots of space in your home. You won’t know yourself!

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Dry Weather and Strong Winds = a Recipe for Disaster

Building Contractors, Renovation, Refurbishment, Extensions, Conversions, Kitchens & Bathrooms


 As a result of the hot dry weather, it has been a devastating few months with regards to large areas of the UK including Saddleworth Moor in the North of England. Wildfires have raged virtually unabated across the country presenting some very real challenges to the various fire and rescue services. The latest blaze which lasted for three weeks before it was contained by fire crews, fire specialists and the army, is being called the largest wildfire in living memory within the United Kingdom.

Temperatures reached over 30C for several days making June 2018 the hottest in the UK since 1995, and the dry conditions were exacerbated by winds. There was at the same time a strong warm anticyclone caused by anticlockwise wind circulation around the UK and Ireland. These factors combined create a perfect recipe for fire to break out, which can then spread quickly. There was even a hosepipe ban imposed in Northern Ireland, the first one for over twenty years.

Late June saw persistent high pressure coming from southern Europe, and prolonged high temperatures, labelled an official heatwave throughout Britain. Porthmadog in Gwynedd, Wales recorded temperatures of 32.6 °C (90.7 °F) on 28th June.

The first fire on Saddleworth Moor bloke out in an area between Manchester and Sheffield on 24th June, but was put out the same day. Pockets of fire continued to ignite the next day, becoming uncontrollable over the next few days prompting a ‘major incident’ declaration. There were 2,000 acres of land alight by 27th June, and wind speed and direction helped to spread the flames far and wide across the arid moorland. Most of the time extinguishing the fire was futile, as it would simply smoulder for a time then reignite.

Air quality was affected due to the amount of drifting smoke, and nearby residents were advised to wear masks when outside, and keep doors and windows closed. A great deal of team work and some welcome rainfall eventually achieved success, although the Saddleworth Moor fire was just one of many awful incidents of fire that won’t be forgotten in a hurry in June 2018.

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Plant Machinery Hire in Harlow

Comprehensive Building Service, Refurbishment, Renovation, Plumbing, Electrical & HVAC Systems

Plant machinery is some of the hardest working equipment around, such as the Telehandler or Boom Lift. These tough, skilfully designed contraptions are used extensively within the industrial world and on construction projects, as they are versatile and perfect for a number of jobs. They sometimes get to do more exciting work too like the placing of sculptures!

They feature a telescopic boom and can be fitted with a variety of attachments to suit each job, as one of the biggest advantages of these machines is that they are multifunctional. They can be easily transformed into aerial work platforms, lifting gear, tractors, earth-moving machines or cranes. The average telehandler has some impressive hydraulic functions to move up and down, extend and retract, tilt forwards or backwards, extend or retract stabilisers and a levelling ability for unstable surfaces. They also offer three types of steering which include:-

  • Front-wheel steering: The safest option when using these machines on the road as only the front wheels turn
  • Four-wheel steering: Great for off-road use and in small, awkward areas, front and rear wheels each rotate in an opposite direction providing a small turning circle
  • Crab steering: With this action all four wheels rotate in the same direction, which lets the vehicle drive sideways, perfect for confined spaces

Pieces of heavy plant machinery are often designed to provide more than one function, which makes them good value for money especially when hiring. This way you can choose your machinery, and complete several tasks during the hire period. Always ensure that you use a reputable hire company like Rhino Plant Hire, who cater for customers in Harlow and throughout Essex and London. This means a safe and efficient project, without having to invest in expensive equipment.

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Digging the Excitement

Professional Renovations, New Builds, Extensions, Conversions, Knock Throughs & Complete Refurbishments

Builders don’t very often find much of interest when digging up soil for redevelopments and renovations, [except maybe the odd worm] but occasionally there is a flurry of excitement on site. In 2017, while carrying out a building project at Hertfordshire County Museum, workers found a glass container hidden behind a stone plaque. The bottle was in fact a time capsule from 1898, and contained historic stamps, a Victorian half-penny coin and copies of the Herts Advertiser and St Albans Times dated 16th July 1898.

The bottle, which had lain for more than a century before being discovered, was placed behind a stone plaque created to commemorate the construction of the museum in 1898. The discovery included a note written in elegant handwriting, which explained when the bottle was put there, and that it was during the ceremony to lay “the Foundation Stone of Hertfordshire County Museum by Dame Maria Millington Evans”. Dame Evans was an archaeologist as well as an author, and was married to a wealthy founder of the museum, Sir John Evans.

The site at Hatfield Rd, which was being developed into homes had another surprise, when a second time capsule was found dated 1960. This capsule also contained a copy of the Herts Advertiser, stamps and a coin, and is thought to have been added when the stone was moved from its original position.

The revealing items will be displayed at the Verulamium Museum, before being concealed again at the old museum site once work is completed. The St Albans location will gain ten council owned homes, and any money raised from their sale will contribute to the £7.75m cost of the council’s project to produce a new museum and art gallery at the Town Hall in St Peter’s Street.

As you can see, you never know what you may find when you embark on building, so start thinking about the project you’re planning in St Albans. Save money by hiring your heavy or small plant machinery, tools and equipment from Rhino Plant Hire, and you’re good to go!.

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Be Brave with your Interiors

Building Contractors, Wide Range of Construction Services, including Building, Plumbing, Heating & Electrical

In many areas of life, people like to take risks, maybe not scary ones but just enough to stimulate. That tempting investment, a slightly tricky bicycle manoeuvre, or a challenging competition or activity. This type of thing can inject a little excitement into the everyday routine, and provide a subject for conversation. However, when it comes to interior design, most people are a little more conservative, and usually like to err on the side of caution. Even when they desire something adventurous and wildly different for their abode, they often eventually decide to play it safe.

Some schools of thought advise people to ‘just do it’, take a gamble and create a home which is individual and that reflects the unique personality of the occupants. Vibrant colours, daring artwork, bold patterns will tempt you out of that ‘safe’ haven and open up a world of new emotions and confidence. Making a visual statement is extremely liberating and refreshing, and will provide a focal point encouraging comments and conversation.

An ideal time to consider a complete change of this kind, is when planning some home improvement work, such as an extension or conversion. Be brave and look around at ideas on the internet, in magazines or notice décor when watching TV. You will see a wide range of looks, some contemporary, some quirky, some arty and others which deliver a dynamic impact while being chic and sophisticated. Choose your own favourite theme such as depictions of animals or tropical scenes.

However perfect your home décor concept seems, it is always wise to have the benefit of experienced eyes. SJP Building Services in Wigan, offer among their comprehensive range of services, professional interior design. Interior designers who work closely on a project with builders can gain an invaluable insight into the process and any issues which may arise. Also a designer who is familiar with the particular approach of the contractor and knows how they work, is more informed about possibilities, leading to a successful outcome.

Professional House Renovation, Refurbishment, Redesign, Extensions & Conversions, Joiners & Carpenters