Top winter tips

Avoiding frozen pipes in your home this winter.

Pipes are most likely to burst when we have a really cold spell and your home is empty. If you are planning on going away set your heating at a minimum 12C-15C, if your expecting freezing conditions in your area.

Ensure all your pipes in the loft are insulated as exposed pipes are the most likely to freeze and make sure you lag your cold water tank.

Its a good idea to leave the doors open on your kitchen cupboards. This allows the warmer air from your home to circulate and reach any pipes under sinks.

You can also leave your loft hatch door open which allows warmer air to reach the loft space can help prevent your cold water tank from freezing up. If you have an outside tap make sure the water supply is turned off. Unless you have a combi boiler that requires constant mains pressure it is worth turning off the mains water at the stopcock.

If you have been away and do return to frozen pipes, use a very minimum heat to thaw them, towels soaked in warm water or a hair dryer on a low setting are good for this.

Start from the end nearest to the tap, which should be open. Never ever use a naked flame to thaw pipes as this can cause serious damage.

These precautions are well worth taking and could save you a very costly plumbing bill if followed correctly.

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Reinvent a Room

Adding an extension to your home can be a costly project.

Although you do recoup some of this cost when selling up, costs can quickly get out of control. You only have to tune into one of the home improvement TV shows on every other channel to see them ending up over budget due to builders giving unrealistic quotes at the start of the project, something the team at NE Build and Design are proud to be able to say has never happened.

Instead of going down the extension route why not reinvent the existing space in your home to save money but still give you the feel of extra space. Why not convert your garage or convert the loft to a bedroom, this is a very cost effective way of adding value to your property.

Lots of homeowners have the option of extending over their garage which can make a great apartment style room for a teenage son or daughter giving them the space they crave for.

But before you start knocking down walls, try to think about the ways that you, and potential buyers, can use the existing space. Versatile is what you’re aiming for as this has more appeal to potential buyers and you just never know when you might decide to sell up.

The team at NE Build and Design are always here to help and advise so if you have any building or repair queries just pick up the phone and we’ll help you where we can.

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Home Tips for when the cold weather hits.

While we can’t change the winter weather, we can minimise some of the biggest threats to our home that the weather will bring.

Snow build up can pose a serious threat to your property as it accumulates and as it melts.

Theres a few things you can do to prevent any damage being caused:

Watch for snow accumulation on your guttering where snow will collect, especially if you have a conservatory below. For safe removal its best to consult a roofing contractor.

Remove snow from, window wells and any walls it may have gathered on. Excessive melting snow could lead to water damage and moisture getting into your property.

If your loft isn’t well insulated this melts snow on the roof, which causes water to run down and freeze up on the edge of the roof. If the ice builds up and prevents water from draining, the water will then be forced under the roof and into your loft area or into the cavity on the walls of your house.

Burst pipes happen when frozen water in your pipes cause a pressure buildup between the ice blockage and the closed tap. Pipes in lofts, and outside walls etc are extremely vulnerable to cold weather conditions. To prevent water in your pipes from freezing it is worth following these guidelines:

Keep a slow trickle of water running through taps connected to pipes that may run through an unheated space.
Cover any exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping. There are lots of different types available on the market.
Seal any cracks or holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes.

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Planning a bathroom

If you are planning or designing a new bathroom it can be difficult to know where to start.

The Ne Build and Design team know this all too well, so this blog holds some pointers that will hopefully give you some help.

Start off by measuring the room. Gets heights and lengths of all the walls, doors and windows and note down where the existing plumbing points are in the room. It is best to work with these rather than try and create new ones as that can end up being expensive and will make it take much longer. Sketch onto paper some ideas of how you want to lay your bathroom out.

Don’t just do one, do a couple because you might just surprise yourself with a layout you hadn’t already thought of. Take a few layouts which you like and draw them up to scale, using the dimensions of items such as the bath, shower, sink etc. Consider any special requirements that you may need such as disabled access. Don’t forget the little things; towel rails, mirrors, cabinets – they all need a place to go! Put these on your plan. Make sure you know what you are going to do with the walls as well.

Bathroom tiles are the more practical option as they are easily cleaned, durable and waterproof. Wallpaper is never a good idea as that and plain, painted walls can often absorb damp. There are some rules and regulations which you must abide by when installing a new bathroom.

These are: A certified electrician has to install lighting and other electrics in the bathroom. All electric points must be approved ones as well. An external ventilation system is required, such as an extractor fan and duct. Rooms containing a toilet must be separated by a door from any area in which food is prepared. Hopefully this blog will give you some help in planning and designing your new bathroom. And remember if you need any help installing it will be happy to help!

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Consider Solar Power

These days we are constantly being reminded about the need to decrease our carbon footprint and to be more eco-friendly. The dangers of not doing so are catostrophic, however people are still failing to take note.

We here at are strong believers in home improvement to be green as possible and that is why we are here to tell you the benefits of solar powering your home.

Firstly, solar power is free. Of course you do have to buy the panels and for it to be installed but once it’s up and running your solar energy equipment will pay for itself before you know it. It will also mean you are using less electricity, so you will notice your monthly bills start to go down.

It is also a much, much greener option to heating and cooling your home compared to the conventional heating systems found in most homes today. It does not produce any carbon dioxide omissions which cause serious damage to the environment.

In a time when nonrenewable energy sources such as gas, coal and oil are looking scarce, solar energy offers a renewable option to power. As long as there is a sun in the sky, your panels will be able to produce energy.

Installing solar power equipment in your home can also increase the overall value of the property, which is a bonus if you decide to sell up and move on. Having a home that can generate it’s own energy is a massive selling point thesedays and many people now actually look for it when choosing a new place to live.

If these benefits aren’t enough to make you want to go solar powered then just do a simple search on the internet and read the dozens more reasons why this renewable power source is becoming more and more popular wordlwide and you are sure to want to join the millions enjoying cheaper, more envirnmentally friendly energy.

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How to Calculate The Cost of Building Your House Extension

Thinking about extending your home? Well it is essential to work out a budget before you delve into the project. In this article we will talk about the benefits of extending your home and then indicate levels of cost for the work.

1. Benefits of building a house extension

With the way the UK economy is at the moment, people are opting to extend rather than move, the reason for this is because it can be a cost effective way of adding value to the property. Depending on size, an extension can add around 25% of value to the house and basement or loft conversions will, as a majority, will add 10-15%.

2. Calculating the cost

Estimating the cost of an extension can be tricky, there are a lot of factors that can have an effect on the pricing, such as ground condition, access to the site, location and services. An estimated prices are based on a presumption that all of these issues are within reason. The actual cost of building an extension primarily depends on the size and style.

3. Obtaining an estimate from a builder

Many factors will make this fluctuate and depend on the preferences of you, the home owner. For example, stone or tiled flooring will incur a greater cost than a cheaper timber flooring. If you are after a more detailed estimation then just head up the builder at the planning stage with full information about your needs.

4. Contingency fund

Because you can not budget for the hiccups that may happen when building an extension, we suggest to have a fund of some sort that you have set aside for any problems that may occur.

This can significantly increase the value of your home, with the right designer and team you can make this a fantastic edition to your house.

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Things to Think about when building a house!


Today we are just going to touch upon a few things we think you should think about when building your dream home, these 5 points are for informational purposes only.

1. Decide on a budget – Start as early as possible to think about the size of your budget, building a new home can be both expensive and cheap, you have to be realistic when thinking of a budget. Everyone has an idea of what they want, but it’s not always what they can afford, look into applying for a construction loan and a mortgage as early as possible.

2. Choose you plot – We know that you need to choose the land before you can have any floor plans drawn up. Please, we cannot stress this enough, do a thorough investigation of the area, think about drainage, soil condition, zoning and building regulations or conditions. If not researched properly this can seriously hinder your plan to build.

3. Take the time to research your building team – If your clued up on building homes or are in the building industry then this will be a case of calling in some favours, if however you are not then you will need a team of professionals to design and construct you dream home. People who are key to this project will be a builder, a surveyor, an excavator and a home designer or architect.

4. Choose a plan – Majority of new homes are constructed using stock plans from a catalogue. Whoever you have hired as the main designer may make slight changes to the room sizes, window style or other minor details. If you opt for a complete custom built house you will more than likely need to hire an architect, licensed of course! Remember this house needs to be around for years to come, make sure you choose the right plan or construct the right design for you.

5. Finally, Negotiate a contract – Please make sure you get a written contract which has been signed and dated by you, your builder/contractor and the architect or designer. Be sure to get a written contract which has been signed and dated by both the builder or contractor and the architect or designer. This contract will basically break down the project in details and include a list of materials needed to complete the project, remember to amend the contract should you or the team make any constructional or design changes to the house.

This is just a guide on what you should be thinking about when taking on a project as big as designing and building a house, we hope to see you guys back next time for more construction news.

Visit our services page to see if we can help today!

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Cut your energy bills with a new roof

We’re fast approaching that time of year again when the weather starts getting a bit cooler as the autumn and winter seasons approach. This is when the dropping temperatures start effecting your energy costs, and as homeowners start looking at ways to keep their energy bills down its definitely worth considering what state of repair your roof is in.

Taking the usual precautions to keep your energy bill down, such as finding drafts and sealing them off, replacing old loft insulation, and checking your windows and doors for wear and tear are all futile if your property has an old weather beaten roof.

How much is your old roof costing you?

Just as a wooly hat keeps you warm during the winter months, your roof provides a similar service to your property – a good quality roof holds the heat in. But if the roof on your property is old, battered and worn, your efforts to keep your home warm will literally be going out the roof. Another disadvantage of an old roof is that it is often leaky, which contributes to mold, damp and bacteria in your property.

This could lead to chronic allergy problems and respiratory infections as you are constantly breathing in contaminated air.

The first thing you do should be contacting a professional roofing contractor, like the team at NE Build and Design, as they will be best-equipped to identify any problem areas on your roof and evaluate whether minor repairs need to be done, or whether or not a replacement roof is needed.

The cost and value of a New Roof

The best way to think of a new roof is an investment. It will help to cut your energy costs and will also increase the value of your home.

Before getting prices for a new roof

A poor-quality roofing job will more than likley not show any signs of a problem for many years, but getting a new roof is a major investment, so make sure you choose the right firm for the job. Always ask see a portfolio of all their previous projects and ask for references. Its always worth making it your business to call a couple of the references they provide. At NE Build and design it is standard for procedure for us to supply this to any potential customers.

Here at NE Build and Design we are qualified professionals who use the best materials available and strive to give our customers peace of mind, that should you need and repairs done to any work we’ve completed we are only a phone call away.

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The Benefits of a loft conversion

The majority of people are familiar with what exactly a loft conversion is and will no doubt have seen one at some point, if not in person, then on one of the numerous home improvement programs that are on every other television channel these days. But what are the benefits of a Loft Conversion? Below we’ll take a closer look at this.

What are the alternatives?

Extending your home is a great way of gaining that much needed space that everyone craves and a far easier route to take than the stressful, time consuming and very costly process of moving home. A lot of people achieve this extra space by building either a conservatory or adding a ground floor extension to their property. The downside to a ground floor extension though is the amount of garden space that can be lost. The beauty of a loft conversion is it simply makes the most of space that is already there. Adding velux windows to this also gives you lots of natural light and can also give you stunning views of the local area. The beauty of a loft conversion over a conservatory is it offers a lot more versatility in terms of the type of room it can turned into. You don’t have the option of turning a conservatory into a bedroom or bathroom as it just isn’t a viable option, whereas converting a loft gives you the option of transforming it into one, or both, of these.

Adding value to your property

Converting your loft is never really done to simply add value to your home, but the fact that the value of your property will increase as a result of a loft conversion is a massive plus. According to recent Housing Market Research, a quality loft conversion can add up to as much as 20% on the value of a property, in today’s market this could amount to up to £25,000.

Regardless of what type of room you convert your loft into, it will increase the value of your home.

The extra space

The biggest benefit of a loft conversion is the extra space it provides. A loft before a conversion is usually a dusty and empty space just waiting to be put to use and it can be put to good use in many ways. The loft can be converted into a much needed extra bedroom or maybe a second bathroom is needed – the loft is the ideal location for either of these, the options are endless…

If you’re thinking about moving home for extra space, think about your loft first – its likely it has all the space you and your family need!

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The advantages of extending your property

There are lots of advantages to extending your property when compared to moving.

The cost of an extension is usually cheaper than moving home. There are lots of reports available online on the cost of moving but the final total will always vary depending on the property you are currently in and the property you intend to move to.

As an example, if you currently live in a 3 bedroom house worth £200,000 and there is a 4 bedroom house in the same area for sale at £270,000, then the cost of moving would be around £70,000, you would also have your moving costs on top of that.

If you were to then compare this to the cost of extending your current property, which may be for example around £50,000, then you would make a saving of £20,000.

The most common reason for people planning to extend or move home is to gain more space, but one of the benefits of extending your property is that you are in control of the space you create from start to finish and it can be done how you want it.

If you’re looking for more space in one particular room and less in another, or you want to make the whole property bigger, then that is your choice.

When moving into a new property, rarely will you find a layout and finish exactly how you want it,when extending, you get to choose the finishes throughout which in turn means your making savings you wouldn’t by moving into a new property as you’re not replacing fittings someone else has chose and that aren’t to your taste.

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