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Yearly Archives: 2015

31 
Dec

Which Type Of Roofing Material Is Right For You?

It may not be the most exciting part of your house, but on average the roof makes up 20%-30% of its visible area, and a faulty roof can cause serious damage, cost and inconvenience. Therefore it is important that when choosing a roofing material you make sure that you consider all of the available options carefully and make your decision based on more than just cost. Have a look at our round up of some of the most common roofing options and then why not give the friendly Bolton builders of Wisecraft a call and get us round for a free, no obligation consultation?

Interlocking tiles

This modern type of tiled roofing system comprises of tiles that are shaped to securely interlock. This reduces the need for overlap that you find with some of the more traditional tiling systems and so can reduce both cost and weight. Interlocking systems are weather tight and easy to lay and can be manufactured to replicate the look of traditional tiles including slate.

Clay tiles

Clay has been a traditional material for roofing for centuries and can have an extremely long lifespan. In fact clay tiles have been found on some buildings dating back to the 14th century. Clay tiles can be formed into many different shapes and styles and so can be a great choice for period buildings which can take advantage of dramatic ridge tiles, finials and fish-tail and bull-nose shapes. If you are considering clay tiles ensure that they meet the UK’s frost requirements as the British winter weather classically has repeated cycles of freezing and thawing which can take its toll on some poorer quality clay tiles.

Concrete

Concrete tiles are one of the most common types of roofing material in the UK. They are available in a vast range of styles, shapes and colours and so can be used to create or match a heritage look at a reduced cost. Concrete tiles are also available in interlocking formats which improve weather proofing and can also be used on shallower roof pitches. However the disadvantage of concrete tiles can sometimes be their longevity, resulting in higher maintenance costs and the need for expedited re-roofing.

Slate

Due to a plentiful and local supply of slate, many areas of the UK have slate as their most common roofing material. However traditional slate requires higher overlaps to achieve waterproofness and is most effective on simple shaped roofs rather than curves etc. Many companies are now producing composite lookalike versions and recycled slate which can be more cost effective.

To discuss your roofing options further contact the experts at Wisecraft Ltd  today.

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Published Date: 31st December 2015
Category: Handy Tips, Roofing


 

15 
Dec

Get Your Home Ready For Christmas

Yep, you can’t escape it, Christmas is definitely coming! And for many of the good people of Bolton that means that along with the big fella himself, comes the invasion of family members near and dear (hopefully!). And as much as Aunt Marge’s teary eyes during the Queen’s Speech is thoroughly endearing, her critique of all of your home’s little imperfections can be thoroughly infuriating! So why not get the Wisecraft experts in to give things a good sprucing up?

Electrics

We have a team of dedicated and qualified electricians who will come and comprehensively inspect your home’s current wiring and can make sure that everything is up to date and as safe as possible. A high percentage of house fires each year are caused by faulty electrics, and so getting a simple survey, replace or repair now could keep you and your family safe this Christmas. And also why not consider getting some extra sockets (both internal and external) installed to run all those Christmas lights from? Much easier and much safer than acres of trailing wires and overloaded extension leads.

Painting and Decorating

With the insurgence of extra guests at Christmas also comes the yearly ritual of finding them all somewhere to sleep. Opening up your little used spare room is great, but subjecting your guests to faded wallpaper and peeling paint in a room that hasn’t been used for decades is not the most gracious method of hosting. However a quick lick of paint can make all the difference. But let’s face it, who has got time in the run up to Christmas to start decorating? So give yourself a break and let the professionals at Wisecraft spruce up your home instead.

Brickwork and Pointing

No one wants their Christmas ruining by leaks and/or damage caused by faulty brickwork and pointing, so let our highly trained professionals get it all sorted for you before the festive period hits properly. Repointing and brickwork repair can be a long and difficult job to tackle on your own, but our team can get your brickwork looking spick and span in no time.

Merry Christmas from everyone at Wisecraft Ltd.

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Published Date: 15th December 2015
Category: General, Handy Tips


 

14 
Dec

How To Save Money On Your Heating Bills

“It’s (nearly) the most wonderful time of the year”! Yes, you can hardly fail to avoid it; Christmas is just around the corner. The shops are heaving with all of their Christmas stock (and some have been since September!), there’s already panic about what this year’s must-have toy will be and the hard-core Christmas fans amongst you will have already broken out the mince pies. But what else does Christmas bring? Cold, that’s what. And in the colder weather our thoughts inevitably turn to keeping warm and cosy in our homes. However along with all of the other expense of the looming festive period, there’s also the worry of looming heating and energy bills.

So what can you do to try and avoid your winter heating costs spiralling out of control? As trusted builders in Bolton, here are some of our top tips.

Only heat what you need, when you need to heat it

Ignore all of those myths that leaving your heating on low all the time will save you money in the long run as it will avoid the boiler having to power up and get up to temperature throughout the day. The main issue here is heat loss and even the best insulated homes will lose some heat whenever the heating is on. So remember that when your heating is on you are also spending money on heating the outdoors. The best thing to do is to ensure that you have an energy efficient boiler that is controlled with both a timer and a thermostat. This will ensure that your heating is only on when you need it and that it will shut off as soon as you reach temperature. Also fitting radiators with individual controls will mean that you don’t need to waste money heating rooms that you don’t use and that you can ensure that bedrooms etc can be heated less than, say, the living room.

Keep the heat where it should be

Even though a small amount of heat loss is inevitable, it is amazing just how small that amount can be if you ensure that your home is efficiently insulated. Here at Wisecraft we have extensive experience of installing highly effective insulation solutions. This can include loft or roof insulation, cavity wall insulation and under floor insulation. We can also provide highly energy efficient UPVC windows and doors that are fitted with 100% seals that will ensure that no heat is lost due to draughty window frames and poorly performing glazing.

Don’t waste electricity

It may sound obvious but a great way to save money on your energy bills is not to waste electricity! Simple actions like unplugging chargers when they aren’t in use can save you around £30 per year, as even when they’re not being used these continue to draw down energy. Also simply using energy-saving lightbulbs will save the average house up to £60 per year.

To find out more about saving money on your heating bills by eliminating heat loss from your home, contact the trusted Bolton builders, Wisecraft Ltd Bolton Builders today.

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Published Date: 14th December 2015
Category: General, Handy Tips


 

06 
Nov

Get your home ready for winter

Now that the clocks have gone back and it’s dark by teatime, we can certainly feel winter knocking at our door – but let’s just hope that it doesn’t knock the door down! Now is the time to start to protect your home from the ravages of winter, so have a look at our helpful tips below and make sure that winter leaves you cosy in front of the fire, rather than in the middle of a building nightmare!

Clear your gutters and drains

There’s no point in pretending that this is at the top of anyone’s wish list of fun things to do, but this relatively simple task can prevent serious problems later on. Clogged gutters and drains can cause leaks and water damage to the roof, walls and foundations of your house, so make sure that the winter rain can escape safely. Whilst you are cleaning them out, it is also a good time to check for any damaged areas of guttering or pipework and get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Insulate, insulate, insulate

As the temperature outside drops we all want to make sure that we are toasty and warm inside, but rather than just relying on cranking up the heating (and with it your energy bills), make sure that you are making the best use of the heating that you have. Approximately a quarter of the heat in your home is lost through the roof, so if you only do one thing, insulate your loft. Here in Bolton, Wisecraft have extensive experience of providing all forms of insulation so why not give us a call and we can come round, asses your needs and provide a free no obligation quote – we don’t even take sugar in our tea! What have you got to lose – other than serious amounts of heat that is!

Make sure your lagging isn’t lacking

Frozen or burst water pipes cause no end of trouble and can lead to pretty hefty repair bills, but it really is relatively simple to avoid this whole horrid problem, with the simple addition of some external foam insulation called lagging. This will keep your pipes nice and warm and protect them when Jack Frost visits. Simples really.

Banish drafts

As with insulation, there’s no point in heating your house just for it to just vanish out of cracks around windows and doors. In many cases a simple application of sealant around draughty window and door frames will be enough to solve the problem, but sometimes it can just be time to call time on old windows and doors and replace them with a newer and more energy efficient version. If so give Wisecraft a call and we can provide and install shiny new ones that are sure to keep your toasty all winter long.

For advice, to arrange a visit, get a no obligation quote, or even just for a chat, give the lovely people at Bolton Builders Wisecraft Ltd a call today.

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Published Date: 6th November 2015
Category: General, Handy Tips


 

05 
Nov

How To Design Your Perfect Kitchen

These days the kitchen really is the heart of the home and so when embarking on a new one it is vitally important that you get the layout right. Even a shabby old kitchen with a great layout is better than a shiny new one where nothing is in the right place!

Here at Wisecraft the good people of Bolton have been relying on us to provide the very best quality kitchen with the very best layout for years, and that is what we promise to deliver. All of our kitchens are a pre-built exactly to your specification with solid backed carcases, so installation is quick simple and they are built to last.

So you know who to get your kitchen from, but what types, style, colour and layout should you choose? Our kitchen experts will help you with all of the decisions but there are few things that it’s worth bearing in mind sooner rather than later, and many of these centre on achieving the perfect layout.

The Kitchen Triangle

Accepted ‘Wisecraft Wisdom’ suggests that all of the very best kitchen layouts place the 3 most used spaces; cooker, fridge and sink, relatively close to each other in an equidistant triangle. There is nothing more annoying than continually having to traipse across your kitchen every time you want to grab something from the fridge, or blundering around with pans full of water from the sink on your way to the hob.

Proximity of Most Used Areas

Along with the kitchen triangle it is also important to think about where you should place other heavily used kitchen areas. For example try to ensure that your dishwasher is close to the sink – wandering across the kitchen with dripping pots is just an accident waiting to happen. Also think about the position of your bin. Ideally this should be close to both the dishwasher (for food leftovers) and close to your main food preparation area. Either that or spend hours cleaning up after bits of dropped food after ‘the great chopping board to bin kitchen traverse’!

Details

Finally make sure you carefully consider exactly what you use in your kitchen and make sure that you have sufficient storage for those. A drawer that’s positively crammed full of pans is never going to be anything other than annoying. And running out of room on the spice rack after putting on salt, pepper and mixed herbs could also be somewhat infuriating!

So to find about more about creating your perfect kitchen, contact Wisecraft Ltd for your free no obligation visit.

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Published Date: 5th November 2015
Category: General, Handy Tips


 

30 
Sep

Chemical Damp Proof Courses – What And Why?

One of the services that we are proud to offer as builders in Bolton is the installation of effective and appropriate Chemical Damp Proof Course into your property. Chemical Damp Proof Courses are required as part of building regulations, and have been so since the end of the 19th century. However there are still cases of some properties which have either never had a damp proof course, their damp proof course has failed over time or a sub-standard damp proof course has been installed which has then failed.

So what exactly is a Chemical Damp Proof Course and why does your house need one?

Chemical Damp Proof Courses are installed towards the bottom of any walls in your house which are connected to foundations through which moisture can be absorbed and rise into your house. If left untreated this rising damp can cause numerous damp issues throughout your home; not least mould and mildew, unsightly marks and damage to wall plaster and any decorative finishes. An effective damp proof course forms a vertical water resistant barrier around the base of your home’s walls that stops the water from travelling any higher up the wall than the course, thus eliminating the problems of rising damp.

Installing a Chemical Damp Proof Course involves drilling small holes (between 10-12mm in diameter) approximately 6 inches above ground level, into your exterior walls. A moisture resistant liquid silicone-based chemical is then inserted into these holes which joins up along the mortar line (into which the holes were drilled) to form a solid barrier. A high pressure pump is often used to achieve this.

One of the benefits of installing a Chemical Damp Proof Course is that this method is one of the least intrusive methods of damp proofing, as many other methods involves sections of interior plaster removing which can be a significantly messy job! As with nearly all damp proofing methods there can be some drawbacks of installing a Chemical Damp Proof Course. For example with this method it can take a few months for results to emerge. Also it is worth noting that this method won’t work on breeze block walls, as they are non-porous and thus won’t allow the chemicals to permeate properly. However we are able to recommend other methods that are suitable for breeze block construction.

For more information about our Chemical Damp Proof Course installations, or to book a free no obligation visit to assess your requirements, contact Bolton Builders Wisecraft Ltd today.

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Published Date: 30th September 2015
Category: General, Handy Tips


 

14 
Sep

Buying A New Build Versus A Resale Property

For many people venturing onto the housing market there is one big question to take into account – should I buy a new build house or go for something older from the resale market? This can be a very difficult decision to make and can be affected by different issues for different people. However there are a few factors that it can be worth taking into account when making your choice.

Price

In many cases new build houses can have a higher price tag than comparable properties on the resale market. However for many people the government’s Help to Buy scheme can offset some of these costs by offering part loans against your mortgage and requiring smaller deposits than are often required on traditional mortgages for resale properties.

Maintenance

Many people are put off choosing an older property from the resale market due to envisaged higher maintenance costs than for a nice shiny brand new home. And in many cases they may well be justified. However at the end of 2011, Which? surveyed 200 homeowners who had bought new in the past five years and found that more than half had experienced problems with their homes. It is also often possible that a well maintained older property will have greater longevity than a new build which has been built to less rigorous building standards that were employed a few years ago. Also if you get a full structural survey of any resale property that you are buying and contract a reputable firm of builders (such as Wisecraft in Bolton) to remedy any issues at the beginning of your ownership then less maintenance expense can be occurred than for a new build 5 years down the line.

Energy Efficiency

Many people will prefer a new build home due to perceived higher energy efficiency ratings than will be exhibited by an older resale home. However if you are thinking of buying a new build for that reason ensure that you check the actual overall energy certificates carefully. New home builders are obliged to build homes with between A and C energy ratings (out of a possible A-J rating). However to cut costs many developers will build to a C rating and no further, and this is often no better than a solidly built and well insulated older home. Also if you choose a resale property then building companies such as Wisecraft can often quickly and easily increase your home’s energy efficiency with new windows, doors and insulation.

So whether you chose a new build or resale property ensure that you have a great builder such as Wisecraft Builders Bolton to help you through any issues.

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Published Date: 14th September 2015
Category: General


 

10 
Aug

Benefits Of Upvc Windows

One of the jobs that many of the good people of Bolton approach us with, is asking whether we are able to fit new UPVC windows. Many of our customers have had unpleasant experiences with traditional double glazing firms who have sent round incredibly pushy (and sometimes downright offensive) salespeople. In many cases our customers have simply been interested in finding out a bit more about the benefits of having brand new UPVC windows fitted and getting a rough idea of cost. But instead of being given the facts and a quote, these sales-bullies have tried to pressurise them into committing to a purchase there and then. Thankfully once they managed to get them out of the door, they contacted Wisecraft Ltd and we were able to offer a no hassle, no obligation advice and quote service.

So if you are thinking about investing in UPVC windows and would like to know more without having to crowbar a salesman out of your house, then read on for our view of some of the benefits of fitting UPVC windows to your house:

Cost effective

UPVC windows are often significantly cheaper to buy and install that the more traditional timber or aluminium frames. If this isn’t reason enough to choose UPVC then the cost of ongoing maintenance and upkeep of UPVC is also significantly less than with other frame materials. Whereas timber requires painting and filling and aluminium can be affected by rust, UPVC frames need little more than a quick wipe over to keep them looking in tip top condition. The longevity and resistance to weathering that UPVC windows offers means that many companies will even offer them with a 10 year guarantee.

Another cost saving benefit of fitting UPVC windows is the energy saving effects that they produce. Draughty windows can cost you a fortune in heating as most of that precious heat escapes straight out of them. However if correctly fitted (as if by Wisecraft!) UPVC windows offer a significant reduction in heat loss and so can make a real difference to your energy bills.

Security

UPVC windows also offer a significant security benefit versus other window types. Many come with complex locking systems and even in general are much more difficult to breach then old peeling timber frames. As a result of this, homes with UPVC windows tend not to be targeted by intruders and this could also mean that you see a reduction in your home insurance premiums.

Style

When UPVC windows were first introduced onto the market they were only available in the classic white frames. Whereas this may suit some styles of housing, many homeowners will be pleased to know that UPVC window frames now come in a myriad of different colours and finishes – so if you thought that UPVC wasn’t for your period property then think again!

For more information about the benefits of engaging Wisecraft the Bolton Builders to fit UPVC windows to your home, contact us today.

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Published Date: 10th August 2015
Category: General


 

27 
Jul

Benefits Of Upvc Doors

As trusted and award-winning (not that we like to blow our own trumpet, but have you seen how many awards we’ve won?!!!) builders in Bolton we are dedicated to providing the very best advice and service for all of you and your home’s needs. And so that is why we have spent time and effort training all of our staff in the correct installation of UPVC windows, doors, soffits and facias. Unless you have a particular yearning for wooden doors and window frames (in which case we will supply and fit you some absolutely amazing ones!) we would always recommend opting for UPVC as it has many benefits over the traditional wooden options.

In particular today, we wanted to discuss some of the benefits of getting Wisecraft to fit you a brand new UPVC door. For the uninitiated UPVC is an acronym for unplasticised poly vinyl chloride and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for new and replacement exterior doors for many of the reasons outlined below:

Security

UPVC doors are actually made from a core of galvanised steel around which the UPVC is wrapped. This makes the doors incredibly strong and almost impossible to break through, unlike their wooden counterparts. Also as most UPVC doors are fitted with a 5 point locking system, they are significantly more invader-proof that a wooden door, especially if it only has a single Yale style lock. It has also been reported that home invaders are less likely to target properties that have UPVC doors and other fittings, as they know that they are so much more difficult to breach. Instead they are more likely to move on to easier pickings elsewhere. 

Long Lasting

Another advantage of UPVC doors is their long lasting qualities, so much so that many manufacturers offer them with a 10 year guarantee. Unlike wooden doors, UPVC doors are not affected by the elements and can stand up to the worst that the British weather can throw at them (and we certainly know about wet weather here in Bolton!). Whereas wooden doors in a damp climate such as ours can be subject to warping and shrinking, UPVC doors will stay solidly resolute and continue to fit snugly into their surround for many years. 

Simple Maintenance

UPVC doors also require very little maintenance, as they are not affected by the ravages of the weather. You can now choose your UPVC door in a myriad of colours that will not fade or weather and will therefore never require repainting. At most to keep your door looking spick and span simply give your fixtures a polish and wipe down the surface of the door with a damp cloth.

So if you are interested in replacing your exterior doors with UPVC, contact Wisecraft Ltd today.

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Published Date: 27th July 2015
Category: General, Handy Tips


 

07 
Jul

The Pros And Cons Of A Loft Conversion

If you are looking for ways of creating more space in your home, a loft conversion is often the first thing that comes to mind. It has the benefit of usually being very easy to organise in terms of regulations, require no planning permission and dependent on the size of your home you may be able to get one or even two rooms out of the space available.

If you need to make more room on your home and haven’t decided if a loft conversion is for you, take a look at our pros and cons before making your final decision.

Pros

Extra Space

This may sound quite obvious but if you have a relatively small home then a loft conversion could really open it up and provide you with that additional bedroom or office that you need. There is no need for a traditional home extension and simply adding space upstairs means you can skip the need to gain planning permission or agonise over whether you want to sacrifice garden or yard space for more rooms.

Affordability

Loft conversions are almost always cheaper per square metre than a traditional home extension as though there is building work, there is no need for major structural changes. Adding a loft conversion to your home can also increase its value, by as much as 20% according to some property experts and this means it is a great investment for the future, should you plan to leave your home in years to come.

No Effect on the Neighbours

An extension, especially a double storey one, can affect the views and experiences of your neighbours, you could also find that your new space is overlooked and therefore it feels awkward and less private than you would like. With this in mind a traditional extension is quite strictly limited with where windows can go and how they have to be laid out whilst with a loft conversion you can choose the style of window you like and enjoy your space in privacy.

Cons

Losing Storage Space

If your loft is currently your main storage area, where will all the things go? It can be difficult to find new homes for everything you store in the loft when it is turned into a functioning room but you could choose to use the lowest points of the room to build in cupboards and utilise this for storage.

Tight and Narrow

You may find that your loft conversion is not suitable as a room for sleeping in, simply because of the sloped ceiling that many conversions will have and ceilings less than 2 metres could be problematic when it comes to fitting in furniture let alone standing up with ease.

Not Always Possible

Getting your heart set on a loft conversion is not a good idea until you have had an expert’s opinion. Houses with low pitched rooves are not always suitable to be converted and therefore you could find yourself disappointed. Others can be converted but they require roof remodelling and it can get costly. There are also strict regulations surrounding roof remodelling for the purpose of loft conversion so it is worth talking to an expert before you make your decision.

At Wisecraft we have worked on many loft conversions and can provide impartial advice and suggestions, helping you to decide if it is the right choice for your home.

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Published Date: 7th July 2015
Category: General


 

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