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building services cardiff

Is it better to move or stay home?

Should you be moving out of your house to somewhere bigger? This is the question that gets asked over and over again. Well when the house becomes a bit chaotic, kids coming in and out and the house suddenly feeling like it has shrunk this can leave you feeling more than de-flated.

So should you move out or decide to extend your current home to make it large enough for the growing family? In some situations yes of course that is the right move to make. If you have a house with outside space or a loft with enough headroom then extending your property becomes a real possibility and the whole feel of the house can change with it.

Now in order to be able to benefit from the extension of a house you need to consider a variety of factors. If you are looking to add value to your home then you must do your homework when it comes to extending, make sure you have planning approval, something which we spoke about in our blog about building your dream home 

You also need to think about the financial implications of a project, for example, expanding your house is great to obtain extra room, but what if you are looking to make a profit from your house? You must look at the costs of the extension and decide whether the value increase on your house is worth it or not. This can come down to many factors, with location being the biggest determent on whether it is worth it.

Contact us for more advice!

 

 

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astro turf laying cardiff

The wonder that is Astro-Turf!

Just last week we had a customer come through our business looking for an astro-turf to be laid in his garden, this kind of job can be tackled in many ways. I wanted to write a blog on the different types of pitches you can get.

Artifical grass can be made primarily out of 3 components; polyethylene, polypropylene and nylon. Each of these materials have different characteristics and are used depending on the type of pitch needed.

Astro turf or synthetic pitches have a general life span of 10-15 years. Many schools have installed artificial grass surfaces, most commonly as part of an all weather training capacity.

The most popular type of synthetic turfing is called Third generation (3g) turf. The turf contains rubber crumbs and sand in fills for extra performance. This type of surface utilises longer fibres to ensure it can hold both rubber and sand infills. The third generation synthetic pitches are generally regarded as being about as safe to play as natural grass surfaces. In cold conditions the ground does not freeze over, therefore providing a safer ground for children to play physical sports on, such as rugby.

3g turf surfaces are normally used for football but can also be used for rugby however a shock pad is required to be installed underneath it. The benefits to artifical grass is that is looks and feels natural and can be played on at all times. The turf also retains its characterisitcs and is maintenance friendly. The turf is also environmentally friendly and requires no water in most cases which means no water wastage. There is also no need to have to mow the lawn which results in no weed removal and no CO2 emissions or pesticides.

The drawbacks to artificial turf is that it can be a heat hazard as the ground absorbs the heat, this can make it dangerous to play on there. Also really important to note that once you choose artificial turf you have no choice but to install another synthetic turf as it kills living organisms in the subsoil making it impossible without years of remediation to grow anything on that surface.

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The Circuit of Wales dream could be over!

The circuit that promised to create 6000 jobs in Wales most deprived area has been given the run around! It is now dead and has upset a whole county.

The Welsh Government has now dropped the bombshell that it cannot provide a 100% funding guarantee for the £400 million it needs.

However, in a statement the company behind the project, the Heads of Valleys Development Company (HoVDC) , said it would continue negotiation to secure “revised terms” that will be acceptable to all parties.

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Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Economy Minister Eluned Parrott says that “This will be a bitter blow to families and businesses in and around Ebbw Vale who will have been hoping to see jobs and investment breathing new life into the area. Instead, this community will feel badly let down.

“Why did the Welsh Government spend £9million of tax payers’ money on a project that only now they feel lacks economic credibility? Why did they build up the hopes of the local community in this cruel way, only to disappoint them now? How many jobs could £9million have created if invested more wisely?”

Overall this is a big blow for the Welsh economy however would this really be a good investment? Here at BestBuilders™ we feel that Wales should be focusing on services where we can attract the best talent from around the world, Wales has a great heritage of quality exports and world famous products, we need to continue focusing on this and growing our country and selling our country to the rest of the world. We hope that this project does get off the ground.

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building company cardiff

The 5 BEST ways to your dream self-build

1. Find a place to build 

Finding the right site is key in order to carry out a successful build. We have touched on this before with previous blogs [insert flat pack url] but finding a plot can be a real nightmare, BUT don’t panic. There are lots of resources our there to help you find your dream plot. Sites such as plotsearch and government sites are super useful.

2. Set a realistic budget

Not all building projects have to be money pits, not at all. Take a sensible approach to budgeting and you should not fall over any hurdles. Always have a contingency of around 10%-15%. This should be used for any unexpected costs during the project.

3. Get in touch with planning departments

Getting in touch with planners is the best way to figure out whether your project is viable. Most local authority planning departments offer pre-application advice.

This can help you get a strong idea of what your planning officer will and won’t accept in terms of size, style and any materials that must not be used.

4. Preapre your plot

The first step to getting your plot underway is to prepare the site for building work. That means sorting the groundworks, such as clearing vegetation and levelling the ground and setting out trenches.

5. Get Building 

This is the most exciting time. There are generally two ways to build a home, the first way is brick and block which is traditional but more and more houses are being constructed using timber frames, which is great for quick schedules. Another way of building is flat-pack homes, something we touched on in previous blogs.

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cardiff home extension

What is a Flat-Pack Home?

If you want to move into an energy efficient home then why not consider flat pack homes? We are going to look at what they are and how they can be a green choice for home buyers and self-builders.

Flat pack home are built from sections made in factories and assembled on the construction site. They are not a new idea though? Pre-fab homes became very popular after the second world war due to the housing shortage.

In this day and age flat pack homes are very different for their post war beginnings. Made to the latest stylish designs they can come in a variety of different styles, colours and sizes. They can also be highly efficient in terms of energy.

The Advantages

Quicker to build and a new flat-pack home which can take as little as 8 weeks to assemble, rather than months.

Building a flat pack home can cost up to 25% less than a conventional home.

Many flat pack homes are built from renewable materials to high energy efficiency standards. They come ready insulated and with features such as triple glazing windows. So whether you build, buy or rent a flat-pack home, you could end up saving on bills.

Many councils in the UK are investing in flat pack homes and have benefited from the decrease in time it takes for individuals to be able to re-locate to a newer location.

How to build a flat pack home?

Find land for your flat pack home. You need to make sure the land you choose is not subject to any rules that prevent homes being built on it. Visit selfbuildportal to find plots of land readily available to build on.

Find a reputable flat pack supplier. There are big firms on the market who supply kit homes in materials from timber to brick. A good place to start looking for a supplier is by following this link selfbuildportal

Getting planning permission from your local authority is a must.

Mortgages are available but you will need to look for a specialist provider. 


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groundwork cardiff

TOP 5 DIY TIPS IN YOUR HOME

–        If there is ever an option to save money, our builders in Cardiff feel you should take it! Using dimming switches for your lights and using energy efficient bulbs can seriously save you some money over the duration of the year. Why wouldn’t you want to save some of your hard earned money by such a simple yet effective tip? If you are having difficulty installing a dimmer switch, give our builders in Cardiff a call.

–        Whenever you need something for the house, going to a local retailer who stocks materials to help you with your home DIY is the best option. Our builders in Cardiff feel that taking pictures of what has maybe broken or needs repairing, as it can be a good referencing point for the staff member dealing with you to ensure they are giving you exactly what you need to complete the task.

–       If you are a newbie to home DIY our builders in Cardiff recommend that you start small! By this we mean, don’t try to attempt a home extension on your own… Completing the small tasks will build your confidence and in turn give you experience using the tools needed to complete the job. When you have gained some DIY experience you will feel a lot more comfortable attempting to complete the bigger home DIY jobs.

–       Another good tip our builders in Cardiff will recommend is giving the walls in your bedrooms, lounges and kitchens a fresh lick of paint! When a room in a property has new paint it gives that room an updated, modern feel which in turn spells our VALUE added to your home. When choosing paint colours or Cardiff builders feel that Neutral colours appeal to the majority of people and from experience it is what is mostly desirable to people in South Wales.

–       Regular inspections we feel are vital to ensuring you find out whether any work actually needs to be carried out. Our builders in Cardiff have worked on numerous jobs for clients that had no idea that they had deteriorating roofs or outdated electrical systems. If you feel you cannot complete general home inspections yourself, then feel free to call us and we will happily deal with that for you.

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roofing repair cardiff

The Future of Construction & Building

The future of construction is one filled with innovation and opportunity. Advances in tech has allowed many builders in Cardiff and the surrounding areas to find where the opportunities are. Self healing concrete and 3d printed houses will be part of the future of building.

    • For example, the TERMES system was developed by Harvard researchers to develop a system of self organising robots to work together to build structures. The system was inspired by termite colonies who demonstrate swarm like intelligence. These robots are fitted with sensors and are given some sort of blueprint to work from and a set of traffic laws which tells them where they can and can’t go during construction. The huge advantage of this is that the robots can go where we are unable to easily build or places where it is too dangerous for humans to go.

 

    • This technology isn’t directly associated with construction but it could benefit construction companies in terms of costs associated with travelling to sites. Smart roads are roads with wireless charging technology, first seen in South Korea these roads charge your electric vehicles whilst on the move. With this tech, there will be no longer a need to re-fuel thus saving money on cutting back on the dangerous fossil fuels.

 

    • Now to all you builders out there, self healing concrete is one that we came across time and time again. A concrete mix is embedded with capsules of sodium silicate. When a crack forms, the capsules rupture and release a gel like healing agent that hardens to fill the void. The main advantage to this is the elimination of concrete cracks and expensive concrete maintenance.

 

  • Finally, plant based foam. A polyurethane foam made from plant materials like hemp, kelp and bamboo that can be used in turbine blades, insulation and furniture. This material is not just non toxic but is made from sustainable sources. Hemp grows 3x quicker than trees. These materials are obviously much better than plastics currently being used and it has better insulation properties and higher thermal resistance.

 


Thanks for reading our blog. Here at bestbuilderscardiff we are the number one management home construction company in South Wales.  Call our offices on the 0333 335 0411 and speak to a specialist builder manager who will sort everything out from start to finish for your project. Like us on Facebook and keep up to date with all our offers & news. 
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