New website!

Our new website for Dean Taylor Bathrooms Ltd went live this morning – please take a look here and let us know what you think!

After many years working as general builders we have found ourselves doing more and more bathroom installations, so we made the decision to specialise in bathrooms and wetrooms.

Specialising will allow us to concentrate on one area, and can only improve our service. So we look forward to installing bathrooms across Kendal, Windermere, the South Lakes and beyond!

Installing a quality bathroom is really rewarding. There is nothing better than the look on a client’s face when they finally get the bathroom of their dreams!

As most of our bathrooms or wetrooms can also be fully accessible, the relief of no longer having to climb into the bath just to take a shower can be very liberating.

If you or someone you know needs an accessible wetroom or shower room, why not get in touch with us and see if we can help? We are always happy to visit you and discuss any possibilities, with no obligation.

www.deantaylorbathrooms.co.uk

 

Autumn 2014 blog post – I’m on TV!

In this issue:

News:                     See me on BBC2!

Jobs so far:           Block paving, garden
                                clearance & decorating.     

Latest videos:       How to wallpaper

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Welcome to Dean Taylor’s Blog – about all things Property!

 

Autumn 2014

News

 

I’ve had to keep quiet for a while, but I can finally tell you about my exciting summer.

Back in May I was invited to join the team of the BBC2 show Great Interior Design Challenge as one of the regular decorators.

In the show, amateur designers get a grand and two days to transform a room. I was part of the small team working to make their designs happen.

On every shoot the houses were a different architectural style and ranged from houseboats in Surrey to townhouses in Edinburgh and even a stately home in the Lake District.

The challenge for the decorators was working fast enough in the middle of the chaos of filming but to ensure the standard was as good as for any everyday client. I also had to decide what could realistically get done in the timescale and advise the designer if things needed to be cut back on.

The shoots were hectic but I had a great time. I ended up working on ten of the 16 shows and my first 15 seconds of fame is due to be shown tonight, October 28th, at 7pm on BBC2! A beautiful Cotswold village was the gorgeous setting.

It might well be a case of blink and you’ll miss me but it was good fun and really interesting to get an insight into how programmes are made.

 

Here I am being filmed for one of the episodes.

Recent work

Other than enjoying TV stardom I have had a really busy summer. From garden makeovers to full house decorating, I don’t think I have stopped for more than a day! Here are photos of a very few of jobs from this summer.

This garden was heavily shaded and the lawn was also quite boggy in areas. First task was to remove the trees.

Finding the source of the water under the lawn was more challenging. This meant digging for a length of over 40 metres to find the underground stream and for a while the garden looked more like the trenches! Once identified, a drain was dug and the water now drained safely away.

Another garden before and after.

Decorating The Dog House Cafe in Yeadon – a great little dog friendly cafe which will be perfect for warming up after walks round the Tarn!

Video of the Month

I’ve added a few more films to my YouTube channel – Dean Taylor Property Man.
 

This is the link to my latest video – the first in a series of wallpapering advice.  Hope you find it and others helpful – if you do please give me a Like and feel free to subscribe to the channel. I think it notifies you when a new video comes online.

Also let me know if you have any requests for video subjects.
 

See you next time

I hope you have found this newsletter helpful and interesting. Please visit my website at www.deantaylorproperty.co.uk or my Facebook page Dean Taylor Handyman & Property Services. And you can follow me on Twitter at @CallBaldy

Copyright © 2014 Dean Taylor Property Services, All rights reserved.
DEAN TAYLOR PROPERTY SERVICES JUNE 2014

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July 2014 – Blog Post

Welcome to the July 2014 blog post from Dean Taylor Property Care Services.

In this issue…

General news:                    Checkatrade, Hedging progress.

 

What to do this month:     Waterproofing your sheds & outdoor buildings

Video of the month:           How to prepare a wall for painting & decorating

General news

www.checkatrade.com

I am pleased to announce that I am now a fully certified member of Checkatrade.com, a website which helps people find tradespeople that they can trust.

I had to go through quite a strict selection process to get on board. I was visited by Checkatrade staff at work who took details of 12 references from previous customers, together with dates and details of work done, as well as proof of insurance etc. Checkatrade then spoke to all 10 people to verify what I had told them and that the references were really theirs.

Those initial reviews were not published, but I now hand Checkatrade reference sheets out to all new customers and my first references are online – my current average is 9.7.

Checkatrade started on the Isle of Wight and has steadily spread northwards. It is a brilliant idea which gives customers peace of mind when they need work doing.

You can check out my Checkatrade page here.

Our Great Front Garden Makeover

Just a quick update on our front garden which we finally got round to doing something with earlier this year. Just over two months in, the 94 new trees we planted are doing well with only 4 trees that haven’t taken.

We just got in there before it got too late in the season. Trees are best planted while they are dormant – ie during the winter months – and we nearly left it too late this year just like we had done in previous years.

But luckily our selection of mostly native trees have taken to their new home and are already starting to look a like a hedge. We also added a variety of wildlife-attracting plants including buddlejas (loved by butterflies) and these are also doing well. We have been very careful about keeping them well watered which is crucial for young trees as they get established.

I will post again later in the year about hedging with more details and some links if you are considering adding a hedge this winter.

What to do this month – Waterproofing your outdoor buildings

We’ve had some belting weather recently and judging by many of the calls I’ve been getting everyone’s been thinking about improving their outside space.

It’s important to remember the more mundane work too and one thing that is much easier to do while the weather is good is checking and fixing (or replacing, if necessary) shed and garage roofs.

The storms of last winter meant that I got lots of calls from people whose shed roof had blown off or the roofing felt had been damaged and the rain was seeping in. That can be disastrous for any expensive tools, furniture or equipment you are storing in there and can damage your shed in the long term.

Even if a winter isn’t too harsh, just general wear and tear can eventually test the strongest of roofs and felts. Best advice is to give everything a good check over at least once a year.

Here are a couple of photos of a garage I recently re-roofed. This is a slightly pitched roof which had been leaking for some time, but luckily the roofing timbers were still in good condition so did not need to be replaced. It was also overgrown with ivy which was adding a considerable weight. I cleared the ivy and used corrugated roofing sheets and it is now a dry space again.

     

Safety first

Replacing a shed roof will entail working at height so it’s important to put safety first. Check all equipment like your ladders are up to the job. Also, many roofs will not support the weight of someone working up there so double and triple check before you go up and you may need to prop the roof from inside. If in doubt, do not attempt it.

Asbestos

Asbestos can also be a very unwanted discovery especially if your building is a garage or larger shed and was built some time ago. If the roof is a grey, corrugated material and is NOT stamped with NT, then it is may well be asbestos cement. The good news is that if the asbestos is still in good condition it probably isn’t immediately dangerous – the fibres become a health hazard when they are breathed in, so watch out for any areas that look to be crumbling or flaking and act as soon as you find any.

If you think you do have asbestos in your roof, never use any tools like a saw or wire brushes on it as they could release the fibres. And if an asbestos roof is leaking it is probably at the end of its useful life and should be replaced.

Repairing shed roofs

If the roof is covered with roofing felt, small areas of damage can sometimes be repairable without replacing and re-covering the whole thing. There are a wide variety of products such as this spray from Ronseal which is a spray-on mastik which claims to seal and repair water leaks on a range of roofing materials. This paste from Good Ideas claims to be able to stop leaks just about anywhere, and says on roofs it will bridge tears up to 10mm, although I have never tried it.

 

Most sheds are roofed using roofing felt and as with most things there are different grades. You generally get what you pay for, for example this roll costs £25.99 for 10m x 1m. However this roll costs £34.99 for 8m x 1m but has a 15-year guarantee and because it has added polyester, claims to be gale and storm resistant. It all depends on the building, its position and the wear and tear you are expecting. A rabbit hutch in a sheltered corner of the garden will obviously take a lot less battering than a large shed on the brow of a hill.

If you do decide to re-roof your shed yourself, once you have removed the old felt, take extra time ensuring the roof is flat and smooth before you put your new felt down. A couple of old sticking out nails or jagged bits of timber could quickly ruin your new felt – and your mood!

Video of the Month

I’ve been doing some work recently on a very exciting painting and decorating job, which is something I always love doing.

More details will follow as and when I can tell you them, but in the meantime here’s a link to my latest YouTube video on preparing a wall for decorating. It covers how to cover a radiator and also how to mask up around woodwork before painting.

 

 

 

 

 

First Blog post – June 2014 – Fencing, Redecorating, Father’s Day

Welcome to the first blog post from Dean Taylor.

I hope this blog will be of interest to you and plan to cover a wide variety of property improvement and maintenance issues covering both domestic and commercial properties. I will always include some tips and advice, but if you have any property work that you can’t cover yourself, give me a call on 07841 622484 or email me here.

 

In this issue:

Job of the month: Fencing.

Product of the month: De Walt drill

What to do this month: Spring clean, de-clutter and Redecorate

Video of the month: How to fill a plasterboard wall

 

Gardens and Fencing

I’ve had a lot of calls recently about fencing – either putting up new, or doing repairs to existing.

It’s typical of this time of year when everyone is spending more time outside and starting to think about changes or improvements they can make to their gardens and outside space.

The storms of early 2014 took their toll on many garden fences so now is definitely the time to get any weak spots fixed.

If you are looking to erect a completely new fence, it’s worth spending some time choosing your style. There are so many different styles and variations available it can get confusing. Think of the sort of look you like – for example natural or contemporary, and also consider how you will use the fence. Do you want a fence primarily for privacy or security, for example, or is it more to boost the kerb appeal of your property?

Also bear in mind your neighbours and various legal restrictions concerning fences and boundaries. Make sure you know who the boundary belongs to before you make any changes! Under UK law you will also need planning permission for any fence, wall or gate over 2 metres in height. However if it borders a public highway used for vehicles you may need planning permission for anything over 1 metre. Your own property may also have additional restrictions or covenants on it – best to check first before you spend time and money!

 

Our Great Front Garden Makeover

I don’t get a lot of time these days to work on my own property, but after it has been on our to-do list for the last couple of years I’m delighted to say I finally got round to sorting out our front garden.

First I dug beds all around, added top soil and soil improvers (the soil here is heavy clay – yuk!) and planted hedging and flowering plants to make it more wildlife friendly. It’s fantastic to see the plants thriving and getting bigger every day.

Next, I covered some unsightly manhole covers with gravel and sleepers. This isn’t a solution for every manhole cover but as we had not needed access to them in over five years we figured they would be safe to cover. However the beauty of gravel is that it isn’t a permanent cover and, if we do ever need access to the manholes, gravel can be quickly cleared away.

Final stage of the great garden makeover involved fixing these new Featheredge vertical fence panels which really smarten the place up. I plan to replace the existing older fence made out of Overlap fence panels around the back garden with the Featheredge panels when I can. The Overlap panels have been great and stood up to some weather recently but personally I prefer the look of the Featheredge panel fence.

The DIY shops like B&Q all have a good selection of fencing materials right now but if you like the look of the panels similar to the ones I have used, here is a link to 6 foot (1.83 metres) high panels:
Brown Eco-Treated Softwood Featheredge Fence Panel 6ft x 6ft

 

What to do this month:

Spring Clean, De-clutter and Redecorate

These long early summer days are our reward for the long winter months and hopefully the weather will continue to let us get outside as much as possible.

There is plenty to be doing in the garden this month, so take the opportunity while your indoor space is not needed so much to have a good spring clean, de-clutter and think about redecorating.

De-clutter

The amount of clutter, paperwork and just general stuff we acquire every day is breathtaking and it can feel like it’s getting on top of you.

Be as brutal as you can when you clear out – it’s rare you miss something once it has actually gone. If in doubt create three piles – Chuck (or recycle/donate to charity), Keep and Not Sure. Get ride of the Chuck pile as soon as possible so you don’t have chance to change your mind!

Then keep going, splitting what’s left further into another three piles – the amount will start to dwindle and you will start to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

And remember, someone else will be getting enjoyment or use from the things you donate, and the charities will also benefit.

Redecorate

There is nothing like a new look to your home to cheer things up and maintain the summer brightness for as long as possible.

If you don’t know what colours to choose, I recommend picking up some tester pots of paint. Apply the colour to pieces of paper which you can then stick to your wall. Seeing the colours in situ really helps and you can see exactly what shade they will be when they dry.

According to paint company Farrow & Ball, the key colours for 2014 are reflecting our love of natural shades – like Cooking Apple Green (a lovely bright but soft green), Stiffkey Blue (a serious, warm dark blue), Purbeck Stone (think seashore pebbles) and Mole’s Breath (a warm slate grey). Follow this link to see some photos of those colours in situ.

My Top Tips for best wallpaper results:

  1. Take time to ensure your walls are clean as possible before you start – I always brush off any dust with a soft brush and wipe down with sugar soap. Fill any holes and sand down once dry.
  2. Use a 2 inch (5 cm) brush for cutting in. Any wider and it gets harder to control and keep the line straight.
  3. Try to get your first roller coat on before the cutting in line dries, to avoid leaving a mark.

 

Product of the Month

Father’s Day – June 15th

Every dad deserves a good drill and my De Walt cordless drill hasn’t let me down.

It is fairly lightweight, the batteries charge quickly, it has a good hammer action and is serving me well, no matter what I ask of it.

If you have someone to treat this Father’s Day, here’s a link:

18V Lithium-Ion 2-Speed Combi Drill Complete with Batteries

I do like De Walt tools, I generally find them very reliable and good value for money. And no I’m not on commission from De Walt!

 

Video of the Month

I often get asked for DIY advice so I’ve decided to start sharing a few tips on my new YouTube channel – Dean Taylor Property Man.

This is the link to my first video – hopefully the first of many:

I hope you find it and others helpful – if you do please give me a Like and feel free to subscribe to the channel. I think it notifies you when a new video comes online.

Also let me know if you have any requests for video subjects.