Interior Design

Architecture & Building, Design and Inspiration, Interior Design

Swimming Pools: Things You Need To Know

There are 3 types of in ground swimming pools  

  • Concrete  
  • Vinyl-lined 
  • Fiberglass 

Concreate pools 

Concrete swimming pools take longer to install than most. Generally, it takes between 3-12 weeks. However concrete pools are the strongest and most durable. Unlike other types of pools, existing concrete pools can be remodelled, enlarged and updated. 

Vinyl pools 

Vinyl pools are made from a performed flexible liner that fits into the evacuated hole. It’s secured to a reinforced frame made of steel, aluminium or non-corrosive polymer. The majority of vinyl pools are rectangular. Its takes about 1-3 weeks to construct this pool. When wanting a vinyl pool, you must be aware that pool toys, pets and sharp objects can puncture the liner, needing it to be replaced. 

Fiberglass pools 

Fiberglass pools are factory moulded into one giant bowl, which is set into the evacuated hole by a crane. Pools made from fiberglass can be installed much faster than other pools. It can take as little as 3 days. Fiberglass pools are extremely durable and stain resistant. However, fiberglass pools come in fewer sizes and shapes meaning you may not be able to have one if you have a small or uniquely shaped back garden. 

Frequently asked questions about  

What is the most efficient way to heat pools? 

If you want an energy efficient way to heat your pool, you should consider using a pump pool heater in mild climates. Solar water heaters are cost competitive with other types of water heaters and have low annual operating costs. 

Which is better a heat pump or gas heater for pools? 

Heat pump heaters cost more than gas pool heaters. Gas pump heaters typically have lower annual operating costs because of their higher efficiencies. However, with decent maintenance heat pump heaters last longer than gas pool heaters. 

Is a heated swimming pool worth it? 

Pool heaters have potential to be an incredibly worthwhile investment if you want to use your pool all year round. 

What is a conventional boiler? 

Conventional boilers provide both heating and hot water with the use of a cold-water tank and hot water cylinder. 

Do solar rings work to heat a pool? 

Most solar-rings can absorb up the top 50% of the sun’s energy to heat water in your swimming pool. 

How efficient are pool heaters? 

Pool heaters can operate between 80-90% efficiency. 

When should I start heating my pool? 

Using the heater only when the water clips below a certain point keeps the energy consumption down. For the average person, a pool that is at 78 degrees or higher is comfortable. 

Cheaper ways to heat your swimming pool 

  • Use of solar cover 
  • Pool heat pump 
  • Solar sun rings 
  • Combine a solar cover and heat pump 
  • Liquid solar pool cover 
  • Black hose trick 
  • Windproof pool enclosure  

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Design and Inspiration, Interior Design, Materials

Double-Glazing and Triple-Glazing Advantages

Advantages of Double Glazing and Triple Glazing 

What is double-glazed glass? 

Double glazing is used in all kinds of glass installations and involves two panels of glass set in the same frame that are separated by a thin layer or air or sometimes gas such as argon. Double-glazed windows keep the cold out and the warmth in keeping away the draft. 

What is triple-glazed glass? 

Triple glazing is a window that has three panes of glass separate my argon gas. This extra layer makes it even more difficult for heat to escape and cold to come through. 

The benefits of Double and Triple glazing 

Double glazing 

  • Reduces heat loss and drafts – Double glazing reduces heat loss by not allowing the heat to escape. 
  • Provides acoustic insulation – This attempts to prevent sound leaving and coming into the home. 
  • Increases security – This increases security as it’s a lot more difficult to break than standard glass, making burglars want to avoid trying. 
  • Reduces build-up of condensation. 

Triple glazing 

  • Reduces condensation on your windows 
  • Reduces heating bills – This keeps the heat in your home and the cold outside. This will prevent the heat leaving your home meaning you don’t need to use the heating as often. 
  • Makes home noticeably more comfortable  
  • Reduces carbon output and greenhouse gases. 

Types of double glazing 

  • Low-E glass 
  • Float glass  
  • Laminated glass 
  • Toughened glass 

Advantages of Low-E glass 

  • Makes your home more energy efficient  
  • Potentially saves money on heating bills 
  • Reduces the glare from the light 
  • Reduction in your heating bills correlates to a reduction in total energy usage, reducing carbon footprint. 
  • Low-E glass helps keep unwanted UV rays out of your home that can damage your skin or furniture. 

Is Low-E glass worth double-glazing? 

High-efficiency double-glazed Low-E glass is really good at reducing heat loss saving on bills in the long run. 

Advantages of toughened glass 

  • Strength – This glass is known as a safety glass is five times stronger that regular glass.  
  • Sound reduction  
  • UV protection 
  • Impact resistance 
  • Heat resistance  
  • If broken the glass will shatter evenly into small pieces so there are no shards or splinters of glass causing less risk of injury. 

Toughened glass is commonly used for car windscreens, greenhouses, shower screens, glass shelves and table tops. 

Advantages of Float glass 

  • Float glass has a complete even surface. 
  • Environment friendly  
  • Displays – its crystal-clear transparency   

Advantages of laminated glass  

  • Has a plastic layer between the two panes of glass which holds the shards when broken. 
  • Easy to apply colouring  
  • Reduces the effects of harmful UV rays. 
  • Improves sound insulation 

Laminated glass is commonly used for external and internal doors, shop fronts, car windscreens, shelving and security glass. 

Questions that are commonly asked  

What’s wrong with single-glazed windows? 

There is nothing wrong with single glazed windows, it still does its purpose but single pane windows can cause heat loss, noise and condensation. 

Do I need planning permission? 

You don’t need to apply for planning permission to double glaze windows. However, if your home is in a conservation area or your home is a listed property you may find yourself to be under restricted rules only being allowed single pane windows. If you live in a conservation area or listed property, check your restrictions before starting anything. 

Is triple-glazing more expensive than double-glazing? 

Yes, it is. Triple-glazed glass costs up to 33% – 50% more expensive than doubled-glazed glass. 

What frames can I use? 

  • Timer 
  • Aluminium  
  • PVCU 

There key benefits: 

Timber:  

  • Natural appearance  
  • Renewable raw material  
  • Excellent insulator  
  • Durability  

Aluminium  

  • Durability  
  • Easy care 
  • Modern look 
  • Eco-friendly 
  • Light weight 

PVCU 

  • Easy care  
  • Long durability  
  • Very good insulation properties 
  • Versatility  
  • Many colours available  
  • Light weight  
  • Lower price  
  • 100% Recyclable  

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House Renovation, Interior Design

10 ways to modernise your old house and make it feel brand new

As the saying goes don’t move, improve. Especially if you love your house but want to modernise it to become more of your style. Adding affordable improvements can also add value to your home and can maximise how you use it.

Remove walls – 

removing the walls between the dining and living room or even the kitchen can transform an older home. Creating an open plan living space and making the room feel airy and modern, without damaging the character too much. 

How to Divide an Open-plan Space With a Half-wall | Houzz UK

Replace or clean the flooring –  

If the older house has a dirty carpet, it would be best to either clean it or buy a new one and make the space feel fresh. And if the flooring is wood or dark in colour to modernise the place you should opt for a lighter colour choice. 

▷ How to replace carpet with vinyl flooring? And why? | L'Antic Colonial

Paint the walls – 

The walls in outdated houses often have crazy wallpaper or dark paint on them. To make your home modern you need to choose colours that will tie your home together. This is an affordable easy way to transform your house quickly.  

Bright Pieces gallery wall - White and gold - desenio.co.uk

Install larger windows –  

By replacing the old windows with larger ones or by adding bi-fold doors it can open up a space. By doing this you will be creating indoor/ outdoor living which has become a very popular style of home design.   

50 Living Rooms with Big Windows (Photos) - Home Stratosphere

Replace old fixtures  

From light switches to cabinet handles, fixtures can really date a home. Update these common fixtures in your home and they will bring your design.  

  • Light switches 
  • Outlets and plugs 
  • Cabinet hardware 
  • Door handles  
  • Indoor and outdoor light fixtures 
Modern Nordic Lighting | Wayfair

Hide the clutter –  

Having numerous ornaments, pictures and magazines can instantly make a home feel outdated and uninviting. Having multi-functional furniture and hidden storage is a simple way to declutter and give your space a modern feel.  

Amazon.com: HOMCOM 39" Modern Lift Top Coffee Table Desk with Hidden  Storage Compartment for Living Room, Coffee Brown Woodgrain : Home & Kitchen

Add new lighting to your home – 

Having proper lighting can bring a room to life. A poorly lit room looks small, dark, and cramped, while a bright room appears open and welcoming. The easiest way of doing this is by adding lamps to dark areas and replacing the ceiling lights.  

Lenny Smoked Glass Table Lamp | Dunelm

Landscape the garden – 

 Landscaping is often overlooked. Planting more trees and flowers or having freshly cut grass can transform the garden and the look of the house. Many outdated houses have overgrown plants or plants that need a lot of love. To modernise the house, you should show just as much care to the outside as you do on the inside.  

9 Peter Fudge Gardens ideas | modern garden, landscape design, outdoor  gardens

Revamp the fireplace –  

A fireplace is a great focal point to a room. However, because fireplaces first became popular in the 70s and 80s you may need to make some changes for them to become modern. 

Traditional or Modern Fireplace? | Heat & Glo

Refresh or replace internal doors –  

You can give any room an update with a new door. By repainting or adding glass windows to the doors it can transform the entire layout of a home. Glass doors create an open-plan area without removing any internal walls, which is perfect for families.

An inspiring guide to French door perfection.

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Design and insperation, Interior Design

Important Information About Adding A Wet Room Into Your Home

A wet room can definitely add a wow factor to your home by giving it a stylish, modern look. While also being accessible to everyone especially if you struggle with mobility.  

What is a wet room?  

Wet rooms are a space that is entirely open plan. The floor is altered to allow water to flow away through a drain on the floor. They can also feature a shower screen to reduce spray in the bathroom.  

How to install a wet room floor –  

  • Firstly, prepare sub-floor, install extra noggins. 
  • Install waste support within joist space, fit flat floor area. 
  • Fit supplied wet floor waste into waste support and connect pipework.  
  • Fit the shower tray in accordance with application instructions and make good around the edge if necessary.  
  • Install aqua proof tape, corners, and sleeves in line with full application guidelines.  
  • Fully waterproof room with aqua proof system, clamp shower outlet sleeve into position with membrane clamping ring.  
  • Tile from waste outwards treating the tile set frame as your first tile.  
  • Place the tile set into the frame.  

Advantages –   

Easier to clean – the Maintenace and cleaning is made easy due to the minimal appliances and fewer things to clean around.  

Accessible for children and people with mobility problems – being accessible is one of the biggest benefits. For anyone who may have trouble getting in and out of the bath or shower, wet rooms can be liberating. You can simply just walk in and out, as the floors are level and water and slip-resistant.  

Increases the value of your home – having a wet room as a second bathroom is a feature that many homeowners look for. “Adding a new bathroom to your home will add an extra 2.88% to the value of it, a wet room is likely to add even more”. Quoted by Phil Spencer

Works in small bathrooms – if you’re struggling with space then adding a wet room can create a great illusion. And because everything is waterproof wet rooms can give you more space.  

Disadvantages –  

Wet rooms can get damp and steamy – dampness can be a problem especially if your bathroom is small. However, this can be easily fixed with good ventilation and an extractor fan.  

Not practical for everyone – not everyone wants a wet room in their house, they may prefer a traditional bathroom. So, it could become more expensive for the homeowner if they were to get it removed  

Costs of a wet room –  

The average-sized wet room will cost around £16,100, including the materials and the labor. They cost about 20-30% more than a typical bathroom installation. The job will usually take around 4-7 days.  

Top 20 | Wet Rooms – CECILIA MOYER : Lifestyle Blogger

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House Renovation, Interior Design

The Best Beginners Guide To Removing Internal Walls

You can transform your home and save on the cost of an extension by knocking down the internal walls that separate your kitchen and your living room. 

If you want a spacious open-plan living space but fear the cost of an extension, removing internal walls is a great alternative. You could open up a dark room and create a fresh living space without the hassle of the expense and construction of an extension.  

Do you need planning permission? 

Usually, you don’t need to apply for planning permission for internal alterations, such as removing walls. However, if you live in a listed building, you would need listed building consent or any works, internal or external.  

Can you remove an internal wall yourself? 

 You can knock down a wall yourself, but you need to first make sure that the wall isn’t load-bearing.  

A load-bearing wall is an active structural element, which holds the weight of the elements above it, by conducting its weight to a foundation structure below it.  

If the wall is a load-bearing wall it is advised to seek out professional help otherwise the removal could have a major effect on your home. In contrast, a non-load-bearing wall doesn’t support anything above them. Which makes them easy to remove all it takes is a sledgehammer and some common sense.  

Removing an interior non-load-bearing wall is messy, dusty work, but it’s not a difficult job and most walls come out more cleanly than you might expect.  

How long does it take to remove internal walls?  

Removing internal walls can take between 2 and 5 days once the work starts. The removal of load-bearing walls usually takes the longest amount of time due to the need for additional work and the installation of the steel joist, plastering, skirting, and painting. Whereas, smaller non-load-bearing walls take as little as four hours of total labour to remove.  

How much removing the walls will cost  

The average cost of removing a load-bearing wall is in the region of £1,250 to £1,750. Whereas, a non-load-bearing wall will cost between £400 – £800, depending on the size of the removal. 

HLN Engineering | How to Identify a Load Bearing Wall

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