Looking to hire a roofing contractor?

When you need a new roof there’s lots of things to consider. It is a huge investment in protecting your home from the elements, and as it supposed to last a long time it should be something you don’t need to decide on often. Apart from repairs, a roof should really be doing its job with little maintenance and hassle.

If you are thinking of getting a new roof, there are several options to consider, from materials to fascias, soffits, drainage and gutters. To the general homeowner where a roof only becomes a problem when there’s something wrong with it. If you are getting the roof str

So what you really need is someone who is going to be open and honest, someone who is going to give you a breakdown of what exactly you need to do. Finding a roofing contractor who will do this is the hard part! This post aims to give you the main things to consider when hiring a roofing contractor.

Don’t think price is the most important part of your decision

Everyone is terrified of getting ripped off these days. However, it’s really all about knowing how to get the best bang for your buck. Some roofers will charge a massive amount for not a lot of work, relying on their reputation in you hiring their firm, and justifying the cost with happy previous customers.
Others will charge not a lot, but their inexperience will speak volumes. You could also however be getting a good deal. A cheaper quote might also mean you have to get more work done down the line.
Your best bet is to get a lot of quotes in writing and look at them all objectively. Analyse what work they are doing, what materials they are using, and how long it will take. You should also take into account your gut feeling, especially when discussing the quote face to face with your potential roofing contractor.

Once you have decided on who to hire, they are entitled to ask you for a deposit so they can purchase materials, however never pay for the whole job before it’s finished. You remove the sole motivation for the roofer to complete the work and you may be left with an unfinished project.

While the work is being undertaken

One thing that people forget is to think about when the work will take place. Do you want to be around to oversee the project? Do you work nights, and have to suffer sleepless days of hammering and banging? If you’re having a total re-roof have you somewhere to stay while the work is complete? Minimising the amount of hassle roofing work will have on your routine is paramount in a job going smoothly.

It is a good idea to find out when the roofers would like to work – will they be early risers, on the roof before you’re out of bed? Or still up there while you’re sitting down to your evening meal? Do they work short hours? If this is the case the job would take twice as long as roofers who work a full day.

Many roofers don’t work when it is raining due to bad weather – it can get very slippery up there and removing slates and other roofing materials during a downpour will probably result in leaks. Have a look at the weather forecast. It might be a bad idea to schedule in roofing work at the beginning of monsoon season.
Once the roofing work is complete, will they be tidying up? Check the small print. Many contractors will include removal of debris in their quotation, however it’s definitely worth checking unless you want your old roof dumped in your back garden!

Warranty and Guarantee information

Always, always check the warranty and guarantee. Without it, you may find you are out of pocket if there are any issues with the work, even having to pay another company to come in and fix the problem. If a warranty is offered ensure that the guarantee also applies should the company go out of business.

You also need to know if the warranty covers both the materials used and the workmanship. Even the most reputable firms can go out of business due to financial reasons, retirement or ill health.

To conclude

You need to consider both cost and quality when looking to hire a roofing contractor. If you are looking for roofers in Preston, we would recommend Total Roofing Solutions.

How to Hang Christmas Decorations Without Damaging Your Roof

That time of the year is fast approaching – when the twinkling of Christmas lights can be seen in neighbourhoods across the UK! If you’re eager to join in with the festive spirit, you might have been thinking about decorating your house, specifically hanging decorations from the roof with minimal damage and maximum effect. Whilst decorating the home is exciting, it should also be done with both your roof’s health and your own at the forefront of your plans, and most importantly, as safe as you can be. Below we’ve spoken to Total Roofing Solutions, a Preston roofing firm, about how to hang Christmas decorations without damaging your roof.

Plan and prepare

Preparation is the most important thing to start with. You will need to make a plan of where your decorations will be hung and what sort of effect you’d like to produce. This means you can check all your lights for any unsafe elements such as loose wiring, faulty plugs or broken bulbs. It also has the added bonus of not being a wasted effort should the lights not work! Anything that could potentially be a fire hazard should be avoided, for example having too many lights connected to one power source. An important tip is to always ensure that your chosen lights are suitable for the outdoors. Also make a note of any overhead power lines above your house; these will need to be avoided during decoration.

Don’t damage your roof

Don’t drill or make holes in fascias or shingles. These materials are brittle and even more so in winter, leading them to crack easily. Try not to attach the decorations to your exterior with staples or nails, as these holes will allow water to enter your roof structure, wreaking havoc and causing water damage and rot. Instead the use of clips is advised, as these will cause no damage to your roof. These handy items will clip your decorations onto gutters, shingles and eaves, and are easy to attach and remove.

If you have any inflatables or figures such as Santas and reindeers, beware that strong winds may blow them from the roof if they are not secured properly. Once again, avoid roof damaging nails and staples, and instead experiment with more gentle attachments such as duct tape, ropes or cords.

Keep safety in mind

Hospital is the last place anyone wants to spend Christmas, so make sure to consider roof and ladder safety during the wintry weather. Avoid walking on your roof or using a ladder in the middle of icy spells, as they can become slippery and hazardous to walk on. In general, walking on your roof should be avoided as it can cause damage to the roofing material and potentially reduce its lifespan. If you must walk on the roof, try and step on the middle of shingles rather than the overlapping edges, as this reduces damage.

Hire a professional

If you struggle with vertigo, or if you just don’t fancy braving your rooftop in winter, another alternative is to call in a roofing professional to install your decorations safely – we would definitely recommend Total Roofing Solutions who specialise in roofing in Preston.

The 7 most common boiler questions

What should the pressure gauge on my boiler be reading?

Normal operating water pressure for your central heating system is between 1.0 and 2.0 bar. If the pressure drops below 1.0 bar, you need to re-pressurise the system. If the pressure goes above 3.0 bar, you will see water coming from the pressure relief valve. You can easily reduce the pressure by bleeding a radiator or draining some water out of the system using a drain point , usually found underneath a radiator.

Why isn’t my water hot?

Combi boilers provide central heating and instant hot water from one single unit. When you turn on the hot tap, a diverter valve inside the boiler opens to let water into the heat exchanger, temporarily closing off the water used for your space heating. When you turn off the hot water the valve switches back to divert heat back to your radiators.

If the water at your tap isn’t hot, it’s possible that the diverter valve is either worn, faulty or just stuck in the ‘radiator position’, therefore not allowing the water to heat up in the first place. 

My hot water fluctuates. Is this right?

Depending on heat output, combination boilers can only supply a one tap at a time. Turning on additional taps will reduce the flow of hot water. If the water is not hot enough you may have to reduce the flow to increase the temperature. This may be necessary especially in winter when the water supply to the boiler is colder.

How often do I need to get my boiler serviced?

Your boiler should be serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered installer (we recommend APG Domestic Services!) to make sure it is working safely and efficiently. Annual services are required to ensure your warranty remains valid. An annual service is a legal safety requirement if you live in a rented property.

Where can I find the serial number of my boiler?

The serial number can usually be found on the drop down panel on the front of the boiler. Some boilers have a tag underneath the boiler that slides out to reveal the serial number. 

How old is my boiler?

Visit the official industry database. Fill in details of your boiler and the dates when manufacture of that model began and ended will be displayed. You can search for all brands and models of boilers in this database. Or you can look at your boiler’s serial number. This can usually be found on the drop down panel on the front. The serial number has all the information needed for us to tell you when your boiler was manufactured. Contact us with the details.

Where in my house is it safe to install a boiler?

You can have your boiler installed safely in most rooms, or even the loft. There are, however a few things to consider:

  • Your boiler should be installed inside a building and can be fitted to any suitable wall strong enough to take its weight when full of water.
  • The boiler’s flue must be able to pass to the outside, either through an outside wall or through the roof. The boiler installation manual gives the minimum legal distances the flue terminal must be from windows, air bricks, other buildings etc, to comply with Building Regulations.
  • As well as the flue, you must consider where to fit the condensate pipe that takes away the liquid that condenses as the gases cool inside the boiler. We recommended that this pipe discharges internally into the household drainage system. If the condensate pipe is fitted outside, it could freeze during cold weather and make the boiler shut down.
  • Our heat only boilers don’t require a pump overrun or permanent live. This means you won’t need to worry about getting a wire from the pump to the boiler or a permanent power supply to the boiler.
  • If you decide to have it fitted in a garage or outhouse, we recommend you get additional frost protection fitted to protect the system pipework, even if the boiler has its own frost protection. When positioning the boiler, you must allow sufficient clearances and access for servicing. Please check the installation instructions for details.
  • The boiler may be fitted inside a cupboard without having air vents. Modern boilers are room sealed and will run sufficiently cool without ventilation.
  • If the boiler is fitted in a bathroom or shower room, please refer to the current Wiring Regulations and Building Regulations, which explain the different zones in the bathroom where it is safe to install and boiler, and where it is unsafe to do so (In GB this is the current I.E.E. Wiring Regulations and Building Regulations.
  • In IE reference should be made to the current edition of I.S. 813 “Domestic Gas Installations” and the current ETCI rules) If your house is a timber framed building, please refer to the current edition of Institute of Gas Engineers Publication IGE/UP/7 (Gas Installations in Timber Framed Housing)
  • If your boiler runs on LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas), you should not have it installed in a basement or other position below ground. This is because LPG does not rise, and will therefore not be dispersed should there be a gas leak. 
  • Your Gas Safe registered installer will be able to survey your home and tell you the most convenient, safest and legally compliant place for your boiler and discuss where the flue and condensate pipe should go.

If you are stuck or need some advice with your boiler, please call APG Domestic Services if you are struggling with your boilers in Preston.

The many benefits of taking a day excursion by coach

Climbing aboard a coach and heading off to a fun destination with your friends and family used to be one of the best ways to get to the UK’s tourist attractions for anyone who didn’t have access to a car.

In many ways it still is – and we offer some fantastic day excursions from Preston should you want a low-cost, no hassle adventure!

Cheaper than the train, taking you right to the door of your destination and then home again, coach trips also give passengers the opportunity to have a wee tipple during the day without worrying about getting behind the wheel later on.

The good news for AvaTravel fans who fancy a day out at a reasonable rate this year is that there are plenty of grand days out to be had in winter 2017.

What is Counselling for depression?

Counselling assumes that people have a core or natural ‘self’ and that people have a natural tendency to want to be in harmony with their ‘self’. When someone develops psychological difficulties, counselling assumes that they have lost touch with this natural self in some way.

Counselling for depression follows the NICE guidelines and has been developed to help people suffering from depression, specifically. The type of depression counselling we offer typically suits those who present mild to moderate depression.

The aim of counselling for depression is to help patients access underlying feelings, make sense of them, and draw on the new meanings which emerge to make positive changes in their lives. Typically, people will receive six-10 sessions, once a week, for 50-60 minutes.

How does it work?

This form of therapy tends to view depression primarily as an emotional problem along with interpersonal processes (such as excessive self-criticism). Through the provision of a safe, confidential environment, counselling for depression helps people explore and understand the feelings underlying their depression; how to express these feelings; and then empowers them to develop new ways of looking at themselves and the world around them.

Is it effective?

It has been reported that counselling has a significant impact on depression and anxiety; and has also been found to be equally as effective as cognitive behavioural therapy. Counsellors have reported that they see noticeable changes in their patient’s perceptions of themselves and of their relationships.

4 things you could use your garden store for

Never seem to have enough outdoor storage space? From wheelie bins to garden tools, there are so many things you could stow away and keep safe in a timber garden store.

  1. Wheelie bins

If you feel like your bins have a mind of their own and seem to wander around whenever there’s a strong gust of wind, a wheelie bin store would be ideal. It would also stop them blowing over and spilling rubbish all over the street.

  1. Garden tools

If you’ve got garden tools falling out of your shed and you don’t know where to keep them, a garden store might be the solution. As well as protecting your best tools from weathering and wear, it would keep them secure; after all, they were expensive!

You could also use it to keep all of your seeds, garden growers, watering cans, gloves and anything else you need to create the perfect garden all in one place.

  1. The kids’ play equipment

Stop your kids losing their footballs, tennis rackets and other play equipment by stowing it all away in a garden store – perfect if you want to relax without anything spoiling the look of your garden!

  1. Dealing with surplus items from the garage

If your garage is overflowing with all sorts, put all of your excess items away in a garden store and create more space in your garage.