|Posted on September 19, 2014 at 3:10 PM||comments (0)|
Bristol Builders 4U have undertaken hundreds of jobs, big and small, varying from domestic home improvement to commerical business and covering a wide range of tasks from planning and designing kitchen extensions, Side and rear extensions to domestic permitted development projects.
To get your free, no-obligation estimate CALL 01179 696926
|Posted on November 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
If you want high quality block paving driveways then Bristol Builders 4U are the answer. Despite having developed a reputation for sinking and moving, block paving is beneficial when having work carried out on services at your property, such as gas mains or drains, as the blocks can be taken up and re-laid after work has been completed. Another advantage is that as long as the driveway has been installed to a high standard, you could have a new and different driveway in 10/15 year’s time, by laying the latest designer blocks on to the existing sand bed and therefore saving a significant amount of money. Maintenance is vital to ensure your driveway stays in good condition. We recommend that driveways are cleaned and sealed every 2-3 years to keep the natural stone paving looking first-rate.
Driveways need to be excavated to a minimum depth of 250mm, sometimes this will need to be increased if we find bad ground or soft spots. The subbase should be constructed using MOT type 1 material to a depth of 175mm and compacted with either a heavy duty roller or a heavy duty wacker plate and not a small lightweight wacker plate as so many contractors use. The subbase should not be constructed using broken flags, concrete, bricks etc as they will not compact together unless they have been through a crusher machine.
We have carried out block paving in Bristol and the most effective results occur if it is laid on 25mm of Zone 2 grit sand with the correct falls to allow all surface water to drain away. To achieve the best finish all cuts should be made with a Sthil saw that has a diamond tip blade. Marshalls’ blocks are high quality paving blocks. Competitors will try and convince you that their blocks are better being 20% thicker than the industry standard, however, they are in fact poorer quality. This has been concluded after extensive testing. As long as the subbase is constructed to the correct specification then 50mm blocks are more than adequate for residential driveways. Marshalls have now reduced their carbon footprint in the manufacturing of their products and are way ahead of their competitors on environmental issues.
Many companies offer discounted prices, but this is only possible by inflating the original price.
Many companies offer discounted prices if they can use your house as a show house, but this is only possible by inflating the original price. Because we want to provide top quality block paving Bristol Builders 4U are committed to providing excellent workmanship and materials at the right price.
Bristol Builders 4U has invested heavily to acquire our own plant and equipment which enables us to carry out our projects with great efficiency. We do not have to depend on any third party to move our waste or supply our aggregates etc, which enables us to be in full control of all our projects at any given time and avoids any unnecessary delays.
|Posted on September 23, 2013 at 3:45 PM||comments (0)|
The UK's construction sector has returned to growth after six months of contraction, a survey has indicated, helped by an increase in the level of house building.
The Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.8 in May from 49.4 the month before.
A figure above 50 indicates expansion.
"The construction sector seems to have turned a corner after six dismal months," said David Noble, CIPS chief executive.
The government announced measures in March 2013, such as Help to Buy, to support people looking to buy their first home and to spur construction of new properties.
The PMI survey found that house building in May was at its fastest pace for 26 months,
The amount of spending on commercial and civil engineering projects continued to fall, according to the survey, although in both cases the decline slowed from April.
Despite the promising figure for the sector overall, Markit chief economist Tim Moore sounded a note of caution.
"The latest figures suggest that the sector is worryingly reliant on residential building work for thrust," he said.
The construction sector has been an area of weakness in the UK economy.
Construction activity fell 2.5% in the first quarter of 2013, amid overall growth estimates of 0.3% and it still remains more than 18% lower than it was before the start of the financial crisis in 2008.
The positive PMI survey adds to signs that the UK economy is recovering. It comes a day after news that the manufacturing sector grew at its strongest pace in more than a year.
That survey indicated that British factories created jobs for the first time in four months and that both production and new orders had picked up, with the domestic market driving demand for new business.
When asked, construction firms said they were optimistic about the future. 40% of the firms questioned expect to see a rise in output over the next 12 months.
Employment levels in the sector were broadly unchanged in May. Firms attributed this to subdued overall demand in the industry, which means companies are not yet operating at full capacity
|Posted on July 22, 2013 at 7:25 AM||comments (0)|
Kitchen refurbishment is a complex work, involving adjustment of electrical installation, plumbing, plastering, painting, tiling, kitchen fitting. Just to make it clear - we do not manufacture kitchens, we only do the kitchen installation. Here is how the project goes: first you go to a kitchen suppliers or (we can offer you our own kitchen suppliers) for a design - they will make drawings for standard size kitchen cabinets or If you are after bespoke kitchens they also cater for this. Once drawings are done, you supply the kitchen cabinets, appliances, fittings. We will supply all the basic materials and do your kitchen refurbishment as quickly as possible, getting your new kitchen ready for cooking in the shortest possible time-Bristol Builders 4u style.
|Posted on July 4, 2013 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
So, you finally have all the funds, plans and permits necessary to start the so long awaited and dreamed of your Bristol home renovation, house extension project, or even building of a new house. The final result of any building project depends on the workforce that implements your vision. Whether the project is a full or partial renovation or a new build, you have three options: hire a building contractor, individual tradesmen to carry out different project stages (and become yourself a contractor) or do-it-yourself.
Usually the last option is not considered because of lacking time, knowledge and experience. In this article I will discuss the first two options: hiring a contractor versus hiring individual tradesmen.
A general building contractor is a person responsible and managing the project from the beginning till the final touches. He must have necessary knowledge, experience, resources in all project stages and must be able to plan terms, costs, manage all the tradesmen working on the site. Hiring a general building contractor gives you these advantages:
1.clear written estimate – you know what materials will be used, what jobs included;
2.work and payment schedules – you know in advance what jobs and when will be done, what and when payments will be required;
3.advice when you need it – very often once everything is stripped out, some building problems become obvious and need to be addressed before any planned work commences;
4.peace of mind – once you hire a contractor, his job is to arrange tools, materials, workforce when they are required to get the project going smooth, meet deadlines and expectations;
5.any extra work, project specs changes you only have to discuss with one person.
6.saves you a lot of time, stress.
When considering of hiring individual tradesmen, there aren’t any advantages other than saving some money. However, dealing with one person (general building contractor) greatly reduces the risk of being ripped off. On the other hand, hiring many individual tradesmen not only may result in higher project costs, but also in lower job quality. The disadvantages are obvious:
1.It is almost impossible to plan timing: very often a plumber or an electrician may get some extra work in other projects – showing up later in your project and thus disrupting, delaying the planned work schedule.
2.A customer himself becomes a contractor (which also requires a lot of time), responsible for the whole project. Usually customers do not have necessary experience and may not have work schedule or knowledge: e.g. some plastering or carpentry work may be already done and later electricians or plumbers have to open up walls, partitions, ceiling thus making damage.
3.The other problem that so often occurs – if something goes wrong, individual tradesmen blame a person who worked in the project earlier stages and he already may have been paid and long gone or he argues the opposite.
All of this creates unnecessary stress, increases the project costs and term. This is why it is always better to hire a general building contractor, with necessary building experience in all building jobs and managing the whole project.
|Posted on June 19, 2013 at 1:10 AM||comments (0)|
Home renovations and property refurbishment are projects that require a great deal of time and effort to achieve, without proper planning your ability to complete the tasks appropriately is quite low. This article aims to give you some guidelines to serve toward the finalization of your project.
We can begin with the first step:
Make sure you get as many recommendations as possible for the contractor you're planning on using. Call references if they are provided to ensure the people you're working with are really as good as they say. The person working in your home will have access to everything you own, so make sure you are fully aware of what they can do.
Plan your renovations ahead, so you can have a perfect understanding of what you want done. You have to do that to avoid spending extra money you never intended to deal with.
If you're not a smoker, make sure you let people know you don't want them to smoke in your home. This applies to the workers dealing with the refurbishment, since they have to be aware of what is acceptable in your home.
Ensure all details for your refurbishment project are put in writing by the contractor before you sign anything. This must be done to save yourself a lot of headaches, unexpected expenses and more. Make sure you point things out and ask about them separately to have a clear understanding of what exactly needs to be done and at what expense to your pocket.
Don't be shy in criticizing if the need arises. If some of the workers are not doing their job, address that with the head contractor and ensure you are getting your money's worth. It may not be a pleasant thing to do, but the end result is your home's quality and that is more important than anything else.
Keep some paint available for small fixes and touch-ups if the need arises. Ensure you also know the type and brand of paint you used if you need to refresh the coats. Write them up on a piece of paper and keep this information well-documented somewhere among your belongings.
Ensure the contractors leave a clean working area after each day. The last thing you want is dust flying all around your home as a result of negligence.
Change the air filters often enough during your refurbishment to avoid choking them up. Working with drywall often creates such issues, so make sure you protect your HVAC system by working with clean filters.
Prepare yourself for a lot of important decisions concerning your entire home or property. Pay close attention and make sure you are making the right decisions. Doing things in a hurry won't produce any good results, so take things into consideration before the project is done.
Avoid making the last payment until the project is completely finished. Some contractors may disappear or delay works if payment is made in full, sometimes small details might not be worth their time, so they won't return.
Contact the team for a free quote
|Posted on May 8, 2013 at 10:10 AM||comments (0)|
Chancellor George Osborne announces a new scheme to help new and existing homeowners buy properties worth up to £600,000.
RBS will be working with the UK Government to help make a new house purchase scheme work for thousands of potential homebuyers who are unable to afford the deposits necessary to buy a property.
Chancellor George Osborne announced a new scheme, Help To Buy, in the 2013 Budget which will help the buyers of both newly built and older properties secure mortgages with deposits worth as little as 5% of the property’s value.
The scheme will work in two ways. The first part of the scheme is an equity loan, where the Government will lend up to 20% of the value of a new build property, while the buyer will be expected to put forward a 5% deposit.
The equity loans, which will become available on April 1 through participating housebuilders and HomeBuy agents, are interest free for the first five years, with a 1.75% fee payable from year six, rising annually by RPI inflation plus 1%.
Unlike previous, similar schemes, the Help To Buy Equity loan will be offered to existing homeowners on any size of income who are struggling to move up the housing ladder to a more expensive property.
The loans can be repaid at any time within 25 years, or on sale of the property.
The second part of the scheme is a mortgage guarantee on both old and new build homes. The Government will make £12bn of guarantees available to the UK’s leading lenders, including RBS and NatWest, to enable borrowers to buy with small deposits of between 5% and 20%.
This option will become available from January 2014 for three years, and further details are expected later this year.
Both options will be offered on properties costing up to £600,000, and the buyers must live in the homes bought through the Help To Buy scheme. It is not available for buy to let purchases or for purchases through incorporated companies.
The Chancellor said: “We will help families who want a mortgage but who cannot afford deposits. We’ve worked with the biggest mortgage lenders to get this right.”
Moray McDonald, Head of Lending for RBS and NatWest, said: “We welcome the additional support for home buyers announced in today's Budget. RBS has been growing its mortgage lending and we will look to use the support announced today to lend more, helping stimulate the housing market and the wider economy.”
RBS used the Funding for Lending scheme to support first time buyers, with around 4,000 homebuyers benefitting from cheaper rates on mortgages totalling more than £500m in the second half of 2012.
The Chancellor also announced further support for the Funding for Lending scheme, which was implemented in August 2012.
|Posted on April 29, 2013 at 11:50 AM||comments (0)|
Stage 1 - Architectural Visit
When Bristol builders 4u undertake Lofts and Extensions in Bristol we can provide a special design and planning team who are experts in gaining you planning approval. An architect will be sent to visit you at your home and will explain to you the various options you have available for your home improvement ideals. The architect will also take down all the relevant measurements that are needed for your CAD plans (computer aided design) and your structural calculations.
Stage 2 - Architectural Plans Designed
After your first initial visit, our Bristol home improvements design and planning team will come together and go over the various options your home conversion. The team will look at your home and local area to see what the restrictions are in your area, as every area has different rules. Then Computer Aided Design plans (CAD) will be designed and drawn up for you along with any structural calculations that will be made by a structural engineer.
Stage 3 - Drawings approved by you
once all your home extension plans and structural calculations have been designed by our design and planning team, a member of our team should again visit you at your home. The technician will bring with them your CAD plans and structural calculations to be approved by you. Now you will have a much clearer picture about how your home improvement project will look and be built, once the architect's drawings are approved by you! They are now ready for council submission.
Stage 4 - Council Submission and Planning Approval
once you are happy with your CAD plans, a member of our team will now submit them for you, to your local council authority. If you are going through building control you will be provided a receipt of submission within approximately seven working days, you should receive written approval from your local council to commence work. If you are submitting your plans through planning control it will take up to eight weeks.
Stage 5 - Party Wall Notices
The Party Wall Etc Act 1996 requires that notice be given to neighbouring owners where it is considered likely that the proposals of a neighbour will be likely to affect another neighbouring structure. It is a legal duty for a Building Owner to serve the appropriate notices in the correct manner. Failure to do so can result in an injunction being sought to stop the work!.
Stage 6 - Project Management
Bristol builders 4u - Lofts and Extensions specialists understand that any large building work can be a very daunting experience for a home owner, this is why for each build we designate you, your very own project manager to project manage your home conversion from plans to completion. You will have direct contact with the project manager, who will be on site to make sure everything runs smoothly. If there is anything you are unhappy about your project manager will deal with it for you instantly, will also have a shop in Westbury on trym.
Stage 7 - Completion Certificates
During your build council inspectors will visit your site to check the standard of work and after your last inspection, providing the inspectors have found your home conversion built to a high specification and within building regulations rules, you will be issued with a completion certificate from your local council. You will also be issued with an electrical certificate and a gas safety certificate (depending if any gas work is undertaken).
|Posted on April 21, 2013 at 6:20 PM||comments (0)|
Government plans to ease planning rules in England for three years have been amended to give neighbours the right to be consulted on building work.
It comes after 26 coalition MPs - 16 Conservatives and 10 Lib Dems - voted against the government on Tuesday.Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has written to MPs setting out a "light-touch neighbours' consultation scheme".He said he wished to tackle "head on" concerns about the effects the plans would have on "neighbours' amenity" The amendment will be debated in the House of Lords when the Growth and Infrastructure Bill returns there on Monday.The Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith - a leading critic of the government's proposed changes - welcomed the watering down of the plans, calling it a "sensible approach".Boost trade Ministers announced last year that they wanted a three-year relaxation of the planning rules to allow single-storey extensions of up to eight metres for detached houses and six metres for other houses to be built without planning consent being required.
They argue that this will bring economic benefits and boost the building trade.The proposal, which is still under consultation, has angered some local authorities and is also opposed by Labour. MPs are concerned the plans may result in permanent unsightly developments, over which local communities will have no say. Under the revised scheme, as set out by Mr Pickles, homeowners wishing to build extensions under the new powers would notify their council with the details and the local authority would then inform the adjoining neighbours.If the neighbours do not object the development can proceed, but if they do raise concerns the council will have to consider whether it had an "unacceptable impact on neighbours' amenity". Mr Pickles said this would allow ward councillors to be involved. The application could also be considered by a planning committee - as is the case in the current planning process - if the council deemed it appropriate, he added. He said the approach would build consensus, ensure uncontroversial projects were fast-tracked and save householders money.
"However, there are serious questions to be answered as to how this new separate scheme will work in practice," he said. "Government needs to clarify how this new scheme, which will require planning department to dedicate a significant amount of time and resources, will be paid for at a time when local authorities are already facing significant cuts to their budgets."Mr Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, said: "The red line for me was maintaining a neighbour's right to object. "The government has taken on board what we said, they've very definitely listened
|Posted on April 14, 2013 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
When your home in Bristol becomes too small or doesn’t meet your needs any more, you have three options. Two of them are- do nothing (leave everything as is – somehow we will survive) or relocate and move into a bigger, better property. However, the latter option very often is not available given the economy situation.
The third option is do something with your current home to add more space or just to modify it to meet your demands better. Generally speaking, a house is a box, partitioned into separate rooms with doors allowing us to go from one room into another, windows are the source of light and fresh air.
There are of course many things the home owner can do to improve the home when also doing an internal construction project, perhaps replacing windows and maybe the addition of a high quality composite door might help bring the whole property look up to date from the outside, as well as the work about to commence inside.
When it comes to any building alterations, you always have to think about two things. Is it structurally possible and is it legal? You always have to check with local authorities and building regulations whether you need a planning permission or not.
What home improvements can Bristol builders 4u do?
The house layout can be modified in two ways.
First – building an extension to provide more living space.
Second – the alteration of the existing layout and improvement.
We will look into few options – loft conversion, splitting one room into two rooms, joining two rooms into one.
Build an extension – major home improvement project. There are many factors that you have to consider before proceeding with the actual work. Firstly, you will have to get initial designs for layout and apply for planning permission. To get a good final result, increasing the value to your property, you have to try to maintain the same "look and feel" of your existing property such as roof type, wall finishing materials, windows and doors, etc. The Best extensions are those that do not stand out and look as if they were built originally. You will need an architect who will help you deal with the authorities and builders throughout the extension project. After the plans are approved you will have to get at least a few quotes to compare the price, and choose the right builder in Bristol for your project, and carefully plan the payments.
Loft conversion – unused attic space under the pitched roof, could easily be converted into a living space. Firstly you may have to get rid of all the rubbish accumulated over many years. And, don’t forget, you will lose some of the existing space for the staircace. We will talk about loft conversions in more details in other articles.
By repositioning the wall partitions on the upper floors Bristol builders 4u can create an extra bedroom, add a bathroom or extend one room on the expense of reducing another room. Usually there are ways of relocating a bathroom, a bedroom or a kitchen into another space in the house. If there is a garage in the property, you could consider converting it into a bedroom. You could also think of changing any room designation, especially if your family increased or decreased. The options of home improvement in bristol are discussed below and may not need planning permission but may need building control approval.
Splitting one room into two. For that purpose you will have to construct a new partition. New partitions are usually built with studwork, plasterboards and insulation inside although sometime we build solid type walls bricks or blocks, solid type walls there has to be a foundation done first – possible on ground floors.
Most likely a new window in one of the rooms will have to be installed. That means making a new opening in the structural wall and will require lintel installation to support the brickwork above the opening, some
plastering will have to be done. You will also need a new door installed, Always there is a need of electrical installation, heating system adjustment for new sockets, lights, radiators. In other words such projects transform your old home into a very new space.
Joining two rooms into one, first of all the partitions have to be removed. Before you do that you have to make sure that the wall to be removed is not structural (supporting the floor above). Even when it seems that partition is not bearing any load, it may have inherited some of it over many years. And after removing such partition you may discover some cracks in walls appearing on the floor above that may need some decorating work done. If the partition is structural,an engineer has to come in and do his calculations of what load the wall is bearing and what type of lintel needs to be installed. Another issue you may face very often, floor levels do not match in different rooms and that also would need to be addressed by Bristol builders 4u. Again, electrical installation, central heating system will have to be adjusted, plastering and painting decorating. Flooring installation always comes last.