Friday, 31 March 2017

Outstanding Apartments - Soon!

We’re delighted to tell you that our favourite development of the year – The View By Blue Bay Homes – has commenced on phase two of their wonderful The View Development, which is set to incorporate a series of high quality and very high end sea view apartments for sale in Conwy.

As Blue Bay Homes are quite storied and proof of their works form some of the best housing options within the North Wales area – we’re more than excited to learn that phase two of this development, stunning high-quality apartments situated within Colwyn Bay – are already off to a good start.
These apartments are designed to perfectly compliment the fantastic new build luxury apartments standing alongside – the beautiful and fantastic The View Townhouses, which have all been sold within their first month of being on the market.

Both of these outstanding developments are designed and developed by Blue Bay Homes – a team of expert developers that endeavour to provide high quality luxury housing in select coastal locations. Specialising in design which is perfectly married to the majesty of the coastline, Blue Bay Homes provide sea view apartments for sale North Wales that’s more than a little bit special. So what exactly can you expect from your home at The View?

Quite a lot, it seems.  

While it’s no secret that Colwyn Bay is perfectly central to very many locations and attractions along the North Wales coast, there are a series of beautiful and interesting towns which will provide you with very many things to see and do. Llandudno is very close to The View – this Victorian town both historical and filled to the brim with all manner of high street shops and very many independent shops for something a little bit different.

The fantastic town of Bangor provides excellent restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars, which will ensure that you don’t miss a good night out. Caernarfon is also very reachable, and its beautiful castle is an excellent day out for all of the family.

North Wales has had a lot of investment within it throughout the past 20 years, and it’s really becoming an excellent destination to holiday, thanks to its very many beautiful towns and things to do, and it’s becoming more and more worthwhile to settle down there. 

Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Human Benefit to Sustainable Building

The construction industry is a finicky one, and notoriously and historically, it has been very well known to reject most concepts of change. The construction industry is rather unique as well – of all industries, it has been one of the rarest ones – which wilfully adheres to old principles and old ideas, before change seems to be too difficult, and too hard.

When it comes to concepts which have been proven to lead toward a better and a more profitable future, such as sustainable building, the construction industry at large seems to have snubbed it. Though it can’t be stated of all civil engineers and construction companies, there has been the same reaction toward the need to move toward green building and BIM based systems which has been plaguing the construction industry in other areas, such as the presence of women in construction as well as a deficit in fresh blood to an industry which is suffering a lack of workers, as older contractors retire.

What exactly does sustainable building offer which traditional methods don’t, you might ask.

The answer is so very many things. There’s the obvious, such as taking measures to ensure that the toll on the landscape by construction is minimised, as well as less known facts such as the fact that sustainable building is attractive to buyers due to its mission of decreasing the impact the built environment has on human health. Essentially, sustainable buildings sell well-being – something which you really can’t put a price on due to the fact that it is a new and exciting product to the market.

But, there’s also the industry in itself which directly benefits thanks to sustainable building. Take North Wales based Brenig Construction, for instance. This civil engineer in Denbighshire , North Wales, is very well known for its dynamic and open minded approach toward new things within the construction industry, and in addition, adhere to all manner of sustainable building guidelines.

Throughout 2016 they partnered with North Wales based social housing provider Cartrefi Conwy in order to build Maes Glanarfon in Llanfairfechan, some very much needed affordable homes within North Wales – an area well known for being deprived.

How does this change the construction industry, you might ask. The answer is rather simple. As part of their guidelines within sustainable building, Brenig Construction were tasked with only using local firms and local materials in order to complete these houses. As such, Brenig Construction have directly supported 300 jobs within the North Wales construction industry as result of only a single project – including 4 apprenticeships.

Sustainable building almost certainly has its uses within the long term. It can be seen everywhere – not just limited to the happy residents of Maes Glanarfon, but in the whole of North Wales.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

DIY Garden Paths - Gravel Pathways & Stepping Stones

Warmer days are on the horizon, which means many of us will be spending more time outdoors, especially within our own gardens.

If you’re planning on hosting a few BBQs in the upcoming months, or perhaps just want a beautiful garden to relax in, it might be the right time to give the place a bit of TLC and a makeover.

Giving your garden a makeover doesn’t have to mean forking out hundreds of pounds to have a professional come and do it, with building merchants North Wales, you can buy all the supplies yourself and give it a go. It doesn’t have to be a huge change, but knowing you’ve successfully completed some DIY on your own is a great feeling.

Before making any drastic changes, take a look at your garden and try and think of what it is lacking. If it’s looking a bit dull, adding flowers and plants can make a huge difference. If you have sheds in your garden, adding a bit of paint or re-varnishing them is also a good way to make a change.

Laying Stepping Stones

Adding stepping stones to different parts of the garden can be a nice touch, and is a fairly easy task.

Once you’ve selected slabs to match your garden, arrange them on the lawn where you’d like them to go.

Cut around the slabs with a large shovel, take them off, and dig the soil out to allow for 50mm of gravel. Gravel works to support the slab, and needs to be compacted down before placing the slab back on top.

Alternatively, you can fill the dug out section of soil with cement, which will ensure your slabs will stay fixed down for much longer. For the best cement, one part water, two parts cement and three parts sand is the recommended measurement.

Laying a Gravel Pathway

 A gravel pathway can also look attractive within a garden, and is a task which can be completed within a day.

Before picking up your shovel, determine exactly where your path will go, and mark it out with string so you can keep it even and steady once you begin digging.

Once it’s all planned out, excavate the designated area down to around 4 or 5 inches. You’ll then have to add wooden edging boards to the sides of the path, holding them in place with wooden pegs.
It’s always best to choose edging boards which have been treated to withstand wet weather.

To secure the edging boards to the pegs, you’ll need to use a drill. Once the boards are secured, it’s time to add a layer of weed-proof material to the soil path. This can be cut to size with a utility knife. Allow the material to slightly overlap to the sides of the edging boards.

Now that the weed-proof layer is done, it’s time to add a crushed stone base. This should be about 2 inches high. After adding the stone base, you’ll need to ensure that it is compacted down. A rammer or a roller will get this job done quickly for you.

Once the stone base is compacted, you can then add your gravel. Rake the gravel along the path and leave to settle. You’ve now got a lovely gravel path in your garden!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Adriondack Chairs for Your Garden

One of the hottest trends of 2017 is the rainbow craze, which involves using the brightest and boldest colours in order to make even the most drab environment move from zero to fabulous in one fell swoop. Saying that, we don’t think the rainbow craze is likely to take off within your interiors. After all, there’s a fine line between livening something up and making it gaudy.

But what about your outdoors? Gardens tend to be considered free reign when it comes to self expression, and we’ve found just the thing to embrace the rainbow craze and probably have the most chic and bang on trend garden possible for 2017.

Greenhouse Staging, which is considered the UK’s leading shop for greenhouse staging, is an excellent little website which offers a number of seriously cute bespoke garden elements – such as custom furniture and more practical things such as greenhouse staging in all manner of varieties. Whether you’re after potting benches, greenhouse staging or even folding greenhouse stagings, the choice is there and a lot of it can be custom made.

You would consider greenhouse staging to be this company’s forte, (after all, the clue’s in the name.) but we navigated away from the more gardening related products within the website (sadly, we don’t have a greenhouse) and stumbled upon a fantastic find – and probably the cheapest legitimate set of Adirondack Chairs we’ve ever seen.

Greenhouse Staging offer a fantastic assortment of Adirondack Chairs which will turn your garden into a fantastic, fantastic place to be this summer thanks to their fantastic colours and functional, but quirky design.

Imagine sipping cocktails on one of these beauties, with all your friends around you. The colours on these chairs are so bold and so very bright, and the fact they’re made from 100% recycled plastic that would normally sit in landfill is amazing.

There’s so many colours available, we can’t see their stock of these chairs lasting long. Get in there and get yourself a bargain to really kick summer off!  

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Quick DIY Fixes - Bathroom Taps

Many of us shy away from doing DIY in our homes. Of course, having a professional come in and fix something is always a wise choice, but there are certain things which can be fixed through a little bit of DIY.

There are a number of plumbers merchants North Wales which can supply all the parts and equipment you need for the task, and online guides can help to guide you through the process step-by-step.

You’ll save yourself some money in the process, as well as having a sense of pride for tackling issues in your home without having to call a professional in. Never try to fix anything which involves gas, as this can lead to serious health risks.

Fixing a Dripping Tap

The non-stop dripping of a tap can drive even the most patient of us a little crazy. Thankfully, there’s typically a quick fix for this, which doesn’t take too long. A dripping tap is usually caused by a worn-out tap washer, which can be replaced without the need for a professional.

1. Before you start, remember to turn the water off!

2. To replace the washer, you’ll first have to unclip (or unscrew, depending on the style of your tap) the top of your tap off.

3. Once it’s off, a retaining screw can be found underneath. You’ll need to unscrew this to allow for the tap knob to come off, which will then reveal the valve.

4. Now that the valve is exposed, use a spanner to unscrew anticlockwise and remove it. The valve contains a washer on the bottom of it, which is what will need replacing.

5. Typically, washers are held in place with a screw. Remove the screw and remove the old washer before replacing it with the new one.

Fitting Bath Taps

Whether you’re fitting taps onto a brand new bath, or perhaps just replacing older ones, it’s a task which can easily be completed within 30 minutes.

1.      Before starting, ensure that the hot tap is ready to be installed on the left side of the bathtub.

2.      Unscrew the nut from the bottom of the tap, then lower it into the tap hole on the bath. If there are no tap holes present, you will have to drill them yourself.

3.      Underneath the tap hole, you then need to screw the nut back on. This can be done by hand.

4.      Tighten the nut with a spanner once you are happy with the taps position.

5.      Tap tails may need to be fitted onto your water pipes, depending on how your plumbing has been set up.

6.      Check for any leaks by turning the water back on. If a leak occurs, try tightening the connections with a spanner.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Know Your Coastal Defences

North Wales is a region that is dependent on the sea – whether for tourism, travel, or any other aspect of life within the region – and therefore most of the region remember the pain of the floods of 2015 which closed a large part of the A55 and saw the River Elwy burst it’s banks in St Asaph. 

Otherwise, there’s the December floods of 2015 which saw 15 separate warnings throughout Denbighshire and Flintshire, and going back even further, there are the distant memories of the Towyn and Kinmel Bay floods which saw 6,000 residents evacuated on February 26, 1990.

The case for coastal defences is not one that can be ignored, but not many seem to know the effort that goes into them. While indeed near-disasters like the floods mentioned above simply can’t happen again thanks to the £300k Sea Wall being placed at the town of Rhyl, by North Wales civil engineer Brenig Construction, Coastal defences remain a much-discussed part of council policy in North Wales.

Rhyl’s sea wall is a structure which is incorporated into the promenade itself, and is built to limit erosion which is caused by the sea. Brenig Construction’s Coastal Defences utilises material such as timber, steel, masonry blocks, and precast concrete in order to protect the area from a tidal surge, but look attractive. The sea wall within Rhyl is also curved, to reflect back the energy of the waves and limit overtopping in far more of an efficient manner than older designs.

Brenig Construction’s work also included the construction of varying gabions, which are steel mesh cages which are filled with rocks, concreate and also aggregate, which is used to stabilise vulnerable stretches of Rhyl’s coastline by absorbing the energy the waves generate.

North Wales is an area which holds a considerable amount of people throughout very many towns – whether these towns are holidaying destinations such as Llandudno within Conwy County Council’s territories, or even remote villages such as Ruthin within Flintshire.

As a region which is blessed with the sea, the increased commercial opportunities such as shipping, fishing and tourism should be encouraged, and that starts with looking after the region. Coastal defences alike the ones which protect Rhyl for the entire region are both wanted, and needed.  

What is BREEAM?

If you follow the construction industry, you would have likely of heard of BREEAM. This construction body is the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method, which was first launched within the UK in the early 90s.Essentially, what the organisation is all about is developing accepted guidelines of best practise in the construction industry, by grading environmental performance of buildings through design, specification, construction and the operation.

Essentially, BREEAM is embraced by the construction industry, as for it’s close ties with BIM. That, and the benchmarks BREEAM sets for standard categories of development works such as offices, retail developments, educational and healthcare buildings is very well established. The fact that it also offers bespoke packages for non-standard buildings increases it’s influence, as well as the fact that BREEAM certification also applies to new developments and refurbishment projects. There are also international BREEAM projects that exist outside of the UK.

Some clients require the use of BREEAM, and generally the scheme allows clients, project teams and facility managers to be certain that a required standard of best practise is met, and in active use on their project. Furthermore, the prestige of a BREEAM certified building is gigantic for companies which pay attention to the world’s growing focus on sustainability.

Even in the smallest areas of the world, there are companies which actively embrace BREEAM. Take North Wales based Brenig Construction, for instance. This construction and civil engineer North Wales has benefitted in a large way from BREEAM, as well as CEEQUAL standards – if not through public opinion, through the workload they are qualified to do when the rest of the construction sector may drag its feet toward change in general.

For instance, Brenig Construction carry out Local authority work which is part of local plans, and for the future, embracing a commitment to sustainability and the environment seems a great thing for future work – given the presumption in favour of sustainability in the National Planning Policy Framework. 

The Pros and Cons of Wood Burning Stoves

Wood burning stoves, such as the coveted Aga and Charnwood stoves are a popular heating solution for homes across the country.

Having a wood burning stove installed into your home is a big decision, and requires some thought into both the advantages and potential disadvantages a stove could bring to your home.

Many stove owners would argue that the positives of wood burners far outweigh the disadvantages. Here is a fair review of both the pros and cons of owning a wood burning stove, to help you make your final decision.



They Look Great

Wood burning stoves are not only a great source within the home; they also act as an attractive centrepiece.

When browsing for stoves, you’ll notice that there are a huge range of stove styles, which come in a range of shapes and sizes to suit every home.

Whether you have an ultra-modern home or prefer a more traditional style, there’s a stove style for you.

Wood burning stoves offer a much cosier and warmer feeling, especially during the winter months. Watching real flames flicker within the stove is an experience which is simply not imitable with electric and gas stoves.

The crackling and popping of logs within a stove also adds to the cosy atmosphere, which something you won’t experience with other heating methods.

They Produce Dry Heat

Wood burning stoves produce a dry heat, making them a good choice for homes which can become quite damp. Gas heaters give off moisture, which can create a humid atmosphere within homes over time.

Many stove owners leave their washing to dry next to the stove, as it saves on using the tumble drier. You can even boil food or a stove-top kettle on them!

They’re More Eco-Friendly

As wood is a truly renewable source, wood burning stoves are more eco-friendly than gas and electric fires.

Burning scrap wood retrieved from either the outdoors or local suppliers is a great way to save money, as well as cutting down emissions from transportation costs.

Modern wood burning stoves produce a clean burn, which means that no harmful emissions are released into the atmosphere whilst your fire is roaring.

It Can be Cheaper

Wood burning stoves can be a cheaper option compared to gas and electric stoves, depending on your accessibility to fuel.

If you live in a rural area, there’s a good chance there will be plenty of opportunities for scrap wood or local suppliers doing cheap deals.

If you’ll have to buy your wood from a large supplier each time, a wood burning may not be the cheapest option for you.


Installation Costs

Having a wood burning stove installed within your home can be a costly job.

An installation of a wood burning stove should always be performed by a qualified professional, as there are always a number of risks involved with a DIY installation of a heat source.

Depending on how much work is required to fit a stove within your home, the costs could total up over £1000, but you should think of it as an investment.

Regular Maintenance

Wood burning stoves require quite a bit of maintenance, especially in comparison to gas and electric stoves.

The ash tray will need regular emptying and cleaning, depending on the size of your stoves. With smaller stoves, you’ll find yourself doing this every time you have a fire.

The viewing glass on the front of the stove will also need to be cleaned regularly. There are plenty of cleaning solutions specially designed to clean stove glass efficiently, so with the right products, this task won’t take you too long.

Tending the Fire

Once you’ve got a fire going, you’ll have to keep tending to it in order to maintain a good heat. Many enjoy the aspect of this, however for some it can be a bit of a chore.

To keep a fire in for longer, consider a multi-fuel stove and add coals to it. Coal burns much longer than logs, however logs produce a hotter flame and are better for starting a fire with.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Architects in Chester With Something Special

All of us have been there. There’s a large amount of difference between the satisfaction and optimism that comes with moving into a new home, and a few years on when all you can think about is things which really aren’t adequate and you’d give almost anything to change.

What is it for you with your house that makes it not quite suited to your needs? A large number of us are dissatisfied with our kitchens. For the fact that these rooms are used so much, it can often feel extremely disconcerting to have something that isn’t right. Think about it. You wake up and head to the kitchen immediately to prepare breakfast.

You leave for the day, and come home to prepare your evening meal. Kitchen. Afterwards, you can retire to the lounge or wherever else you like within your home, but as a bare minimum, you’re looking at being confronted with something you don’t like (at the very least!) twice a day.

But what can you do? Is it prudent to look for a new home immediately, in order to get rid of glaring inadequacies once and for all? No. Moving, for a start, is very stressful, and you’ll certainly lose the things you like about your residence by moving. What happens if you move out and into another home and then a few years down the line, you’re struck by something else that isn’t perfect?

You’re in the same situation again, of course – and while you can tell yourself to stop being such a perfectionist, your home is your home, and for the amount of time you’ll spend in it, the amount of money you’ll end up spending on it, it should be perfect. You should love coming home and spending time with your loved ones at home.

In order to help you achieve this, there’s help out there, and it comes in the form of an Luxury Architect in Chester.

BR Architecture are a well respected architect in Cheshire with an extremely strong portfolio and a number of very happy customers, and can assist you from the initial concept stage right through to planning, as well as provide you with your choice of contractor for the final project.

Don’t hate your home. Get help with it, and turn it into the envy of the street.