In a world of lockdown and social distancing, many homeowners have turned to home renovations, bathroom especially – and the behaviour looks to continue into the new year. With much of life on hold, homes have become a necessary haven and 2021 design tends reflect the need for calm, comfort, space (clutter is a definite faux pas) and pure, unadulterated escapism.

For a bathroom that will allow you some peace and a place to reflect and relax, check out these 10 top bathroom design trends for 2021:

Minimalism – ‘less is more’ open-style bathrooms that are not crowded with stuff create a refuge for anxieties and cluttered thoughts.

Simple, geometric lines – design simplicity works in conjunction with minimalism to create a bathroom refuge. Organised, rectangular shaping is a consistent design choice in modern bathrooms, as is organised, subtle placement of features.

Efficiency – clean, practical design including adequate storage (for bathroom accessories) facilitates organisation and calmness of mind.

Home Spas – with people spending more time in their homes, luxury and comfort is high on the priority list. As well as home spas, massaging showers, hydrotherapy baths and steam rooms/saunas are up there on the list.

Green tones and wooden finishes – this clear hark back to nature reflects a desire to escape into the calm and quiet of a forest or meadow. These visual elements are not necessarily applied in conjunction but their synergy is obvious. A soft shade of green on a wall complemented with a contemporary wooden countertop is inspired.

Blooms and foliage – keeping with the nature theme, although a touch more vibrant, botanical walls and decors are an emerging design trend for 2021. Busy, bold, bright tropical prints or lush foliage and blooms area fun way to bring life to a tired, old bathroom!

Small tiles – mosaic tiling is being used more and more by home-owners; either in creative patterns or as a neutral wall covering to offer a bit of texture and interest in a bathroom.

Natural lighting – allow as much natural light into your bathroom as possible with large or cleverly placed windows, or mimic nature with adjustable lights that mimic the mood of the outside.

Big mirrors – a trend that has been around for a while; big mirrors create the illusion of space in a bathroom (big or small). Square or rectangular mirrors with rounded vertices are popular purchases for bathroom renovators at the moment.

Plants – another long-lasting bathroom trend adding a touch of beauty into a bathroom is the inclusion of indoor plants, which can be changed with season or design.

Whilst trends might seem contradictory (the excess of spas and saunas as well as geometry, minimalism, indoor plants and mosaic) there is scope to create one dedicated design or mix and match looks to reflect your ideal bathroom haven.

For more top bathroom design trends, visit Homesandgardens.com and Newdecortrends.com

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

The Government’s decision to extend its Green Homes Grant scheme for an extra year, up until March 2022, gives home owners extra time to apply for financial assistance for any energy-efficient improvements in their homes.

According to the scheme, the Government will provide a voucher of up to £5,000 that covers up to two-thirds of the cost of at least one primary home insulation or low carbon heating measure. If you choose to install at least one of the primary measures, you can use your voucher to help cover the cost of secondary measures, too.

The grant for the secondary measure is capped at the value of the grant provided for the primary measures. For example, if you receive a £500 voucher for a primary measure such as a cavity wall insulation, you will be able to receive a maximum of £500 for a secondary measure such as an energy efficient replacement door.

What are the primary and secondary measures acceptable under the guidelines of the scheme?

Primary measures: This can be an insulation measure and/or a low carbon heating measure.

Insulation measures:

  • solid wall
  • under floor
  • cavity wall
  • loft
  • flat or pitched roof
  • room in roof
  • insulating a park home

Low carbon heat measures:

  • air source, ground source or hybrid heat pump
  • solar thermal
  • biomass boilers

Secondary measures
 

  • draught proofing
  • double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazed windows)
  • secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing)
  • external energy efficient doors (replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002)
  • heating controls
  • hot water tank thermostats and insulation

As part of what’s been hailed a “Green Industrial Revolution”, the government aims to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028, and there are also plans to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade – all as part of a bigger initiative to decarbonise heat in homes across the country to meet the ‘net-zero carbon’ goal by 2050.

If you’d like to take advantage of the Green Homes Grant, visit Greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk to apply, and for more information.

And feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re always happy to help.

The average person uses 149 litres of water per day. Does this mean anything to you? – Considering we live on an island with plenty of rain and a seeming abundance of water. The impact of the amount is likely to depend upon our attitude to water conservation, and how much effort we put into conserving water in our homes. In which case, 149 litres might seem excessive if we are careful with our water use. And if we aren’t counting droplets, perhaps we should be?

Using water is using energy, which impacts the environment. Cleaning waste water (or ‘grey water’, as it’s called) is an energy-intensive process, so is heating the hot water that comes out of your taps – doing less of both these things makes a difference to the health of our planet. (Using less also means spending less.)

There are many household appliances that use water (dishwashers, washing machines, kettles etc.) but the bathroom (home of the delectable bubble bath and steamy shower) is the biggest water usurper on your property. If you’d like to reduce the reduce the amount of water you use in your bathroom, here are five top tips to help you do that:

  1. Preference showering over bathing. The average bath consumes 80 litres of water; in comparison, a shower uses 46 litres per use.
  2. Turn your taps off! You don’t need to leave the water running when brushing teeth or shaving, or even when you are running the water warm before you wash your face in winter.
  3. Use water-efficient equipment. An aerated shower head, for example, or a cistern displacement device in your toilet cistern to reduce the volume of water used in each flush (you can get one of these from your water provider).
  4. Check for leaks (and have them fixed!). A dripping tap can waste 15 litres of water a day, or 5,500 litres of water a year.
  5. Install a water meter. When you’re paying your utility provider for exactly how much water you use, laid out in an itemised bill, there’s an incentive to waste less of the stuff.

The great thing about being economical with water is that it doesn’t cost money – only effort! Entirely worth it, if you ask us.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Sources: Edenproject.com, idealhome.co.uk

Your pipes are creaking, your tap’s leaking and your toilet won’t flush – but we’re living in a pandemic and you don’t really want to ask for help if you can fix it yourself.

The good news is: 24% of plumbers and heating specialist are starting to use technology to diagnose issues remotely (mobile app, video, photos), according to a new survey by Eurekasear.co.uk. This might sound like a small number but considering the current climate, it’s likely to grow.

It’s best not to DIY your plumbing problems if you are not sure what you’re dealing with and how to fix it – it’s not safe and you run the risk of a botch job that is likely to need fixing again anyway. If you’ve managed to organise a diagnosis via app etc. and feel confident that you can fix the problem – great! If not, nearly 4 in 10 installers are now considering quoting for jobs using remote technology.

If it is essential that a plumber or heating technician enter your house to do repair work, businesses have indeed changed their working policies to accommodate government guidance, which includes:

  • maintaining a 2-metre social distance from other people around me on a job
  • ensuring homeowners stay in a different part of the property
  • only using click and collect merchant services (or phone ahead)
  • wearing gloves at all times (when previously I didn’t)
  • wiping down where I have worked with anti-bac spray/ wipes
  • wearing a mask

And whilst the plumbing and heating sector are not likely to respond to an emergency call to fix householder’s DIY mistakes (with many businesses being hit hard by the corona-recession), many are operating a ‘normal’ emergency response service for issues relating to the following:

  • Boiler/ heating
  • Leaks/ burst pipes
  • Quick & easy repairs
  • Toilet issues

Be confident that there is help available if you need it. Equally, trust your common sense to made a safe, savvy decision – there’s no harm in calling an expert!

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

What do we do when we’re stuck inside our houses with nowhere to go and four months’ worth of free weekends? We renovate!

The 2020 Renovation Nation Report has found that UK homeowners have spent have spent £55billion on renovations to create their perfect property. That is an average of £4,035.70 each on home renovations since the lockdown restrictions began in March.

Of course, not everyone has had the financial freedom to fix up their living space but almost 65 per cent of homeowners did invest in their properties over lockdown. And even with lockdown easing, findings suggested that the trend for investing in homes is set to continue with three quarters (73 per cent) of homeowners questioned admitting they will continue to stay home as much as possible.

Other than the obvious ‘more disposable time’ factor, top reasons for fixing up homes in lockdown were articulated as: increasing the value of the home and making home more comfortable in anticipation of spending more time there (due to lockdown and the pandemic). Plus, 40 per cent of homeowners experienced ‘Zoombarrassement’ over the appearance of their homes, inspiring renovation projects.

Almost a quarter of homeowners (24 per cent) stated they have used money originally intended for a holiday to finance their new home improvements, which is second only to general savings (26 per cent). Some even admitted to sacrificing their ‘big day’ as 4 per cent of British homeowners revealed they used savings originally intended for a wedding or engagement ring.

How are people changing their homes in this new, pandemic-centric world in which we find ourselves? Garden upgrades (34 per cent) top a list for the most popular lockdown renovation project, closely followed by the living room (23 per cent), bedroom (22 per cent), kitchen (22 per cent) and keen to make the most of staying home, green-fingered Brits have also been turning their hand to growing their own vegetables, with just over one in five (21 per cent) homeowners investing in a greenhouse or vegetable patch during the pandemic.

We strongly suspect that with people at home more, bathrooms will become a top priority for keen renovators. With home-working the status quo for now and probably the next while, bathroom footfall in our homes is on the up, the natural result of which is an increase in general wear and tear. We are also more likely to want a comfortable, relaxing, pleasurable facilities space in our homes as we spend more time there. Another key thing is the importance of good ventilation in terms of keeping coronavirus in check. Now this is less of a deal in our homes than in our work space but as lockdown eases and winter approaches, it’s important for us to think about keeping our bathrooms (and homes in general) free from stale air.

If you decide that you could do with advice or specialist help on certain jobs, do get
in touch! We’d love to help you put together your dream bathroom but also understand that installations can be costly. Why not apply for finance online? Visit our dedicated page HERE. The application form is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Limescale. It’s a villain; taking over our kettles, pipes, taps, shower heads, and it’s tough to clean – the toughest! The hard, chalky deposit (consisting mainly of calcium carbonate), whilst not unsafe in a consumption capacity, will take away hours of your life in a “cleaning it away” capacity – especially in relation to shower heads, where a build-up of limescale can quickly block the flow of water.

So, how do you clean it?

The first cleaning tip to note is that not all showerheads are removable, and cleaning/descaling a fixed shower head is likely to be a touch more difficult than an adjustable one (so remove it before cleaning if you can) but the principles are the same:

  1. Use a sponge/scourer to wipe as away as much debris from the holes as you are able.
  2. Place the shower head in a plastic container and submerge it white vinegar for 30 minutes to an hour, depending how bad the limescale build-up is.
  3. Take the shower head out of the vinegar and rinse it with cool water. Be sure to spray some water inside the handset to help dislodge internal limescale.
  4. Give the shower head a good scrub and remove any remaining limescale with a toothbrush, paying special attention to the nozzle. This shouldn’t be too difficult as most of the surface limescale should have been dislodged, if not removed.
  5. Rinse again with water and rub clean with a soft cloth.
  6. Reattach the shower head to the hose and turn on the shower to flush out any remaining limescale.

(With fixed shower heads, fill a plastic bag filled with vinegar and submerge the head using an elastic band to tie the bag in place.)

How can you maintain this beautiful state of cleanliness? It requires a simple routine:

  1. Keep your shower head dry; after every shower use a small towel to wipe off any surface water.
  2. Clean your shower head once a month – it should simply require a rinse to remove limescale preventing a mega build-up over a long while.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Source: Mirashowers.co.uk.

New research by Aldemore Bank reveals that DIY or home renovations are taking over lockdown life for 38 percent of us, with a further 17 percent of respondents planning to do some form of DIY or renovation soon.

Of the household renovation projects carried out, gardening (57 percent) was the most popular, followed by spring cleaning (47 percent) and then painting walls and wallpapering (34 percent). While the research shows the popularity of small-scale projects, Brits are also keen on major DIY jobs such as redecorating a room (23 percent), renovating a room or bathroom (20 percent), replacing flooring or tiling (13 percent) or planning an extension or major construction on their homes (5 percent).

With more time at home and many of us on furlough, lockdown has offered the perfect opportunity to finally start (and finish!) the home projects we’ve been meaning to get to for ages. With bathrooms one of the most likely rooms to renovate, here are some DIY priority areas in your bathroom that might help you decide what to do next:

1. Walls – peeling wallpaper, discoloured paint or mould are a real dampener in a bathroom. Painting walls a fresh, light colour will make the space lighter and also make it feel bigger. Carefully chosen wall paper will give your bathroom an instant facelift.

2. Re-tiling – if your bath or shower area is looking scrappy and bleach and a cloth have not done an adequate job of revamping the atmosphere in the room, then re-tiling could be the way forward. This is likely many DIY projects rather than one but will be well worth the final result. It will require techniques related to Removing, Smoothing, Waterproofing and Installing.

3. Lighting – dark, dingy bathrooms are simply the worst but this can be fixed with good lighting fixtures; opting for light that is bright enough, but not too bright, and also designed for high-moisture areas is the best idea.

4. Fixtures – updating bathroom taps, shower fixtures, toilet paper holders, wall hooks and other bits and bobs are easy DIY projects and will add the finishing touch to the overall look and feel of your bathroom.

5. Mirror – every bathroom needs an excellent mirror. The bigger, the better – but also be aware of the size of your bathroom. Choose one that is in proportion to the space you’re working in, and installing a light above your mirror will increase light reflection in your bathroom.

Good luck! And if you decide that you could do with advice or specialist help on certain jobs, do get
in touch! We’d love to help you put together your dream bathroom but also understand that installations can be costly. Why not apply for finance online? Visit our dedicated page HERE. The application form is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

For more top DIY tips visit Homedit.com

Now that lockdown is easing a little, some bathroom fitters have reopened for business and you might  even feel a little easier about letting your trusted tradesperson in to finally fix the leaking tap that’s been nagging at you for the last month.

Tradespeople are allowed to work in homes as long as they stick to the government’s latest guidelines, including social distancing (limiting face-to-face contact with people who aren’t in your household and maintaining a two-metre distance between one another).

With this in mind, here are some top tips to staying safe whilst having your bathroom renovated or your plumbing fixed:

What YOU can do:

  • Keep your distance from any visitors and avoid physical contact (which means no serving tea or sharing mugs with your plumber – shocking, we know!).
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home such as door handles, light switches and your kettle.

What your TRADESPERSON can do:

  • Use of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as disposable gloves and face masks.
  • A commitment to regular handwashing or use of hand sanitiser, with tradespeople responsible for bringing their own soap, paper towels and sanitiser.
  • Breaks should be taken alone – outside or in a vehicle off property.
  • If work on the room cannot be carried out on a separate floor the guidelines suggest that residents should stay in a different room with the door closed.

If at all possible, limit the number of people in your home at one time, this will make social distancing procedures much easier. If work is not essential it is perhaps better to delay projects but if work is indeed necessary, tradespeople and clients should have an open and frank discussion before work starts and about any extra costs that protective measures might involve.

For more detailed advice visit Homes&Property and Which.co.uk.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Life in lockdown can get a little claustrophobic, sharing space all the time – and whilst the risk of us catching coronavirus from the outside world is significantly decreased, experts say that it can be brought in on hard non-porous surfaces. Therefore, keeping home hotspots as clean as possible (especially if someone in your house is self-isolating) is important to staying healthy.

Bathrooms are high traffic areas in a home, and door handles, toilet seats, taps, switches and surfaces in this area could be primed for the spreading of germs. So, how should you be cleaning your bathroom?

You may have caught Dr Javid Abdelmoneim (A&E doctor) and Dr Lisa Cross (virus expert) on Channel 4 recently, giving the UK a crash course in home and bathroom cleanliness. Here are top bathroom cleaning tips, according to the pros:

  1. Clean your toilet first, and use with bleach – regular bleach is good enough. No need to dilute. Just pour it in.
  2. Surrounding areas and surfaces (including the floor) can be cleaned with a simple soap and hot water solution, or a diluted bleach solution if you prefer.
  3. Door handles, light switches, taps, toilet brush handles, shower screens and towel rails can all be cleaned with hot, soapy water.

And a couple of general hygiene tips that you probably apply anyway but can’t hurt to remember (especially if you’ve got little ones at home)!

  • Put the toilet seat down after us (to prevent particles from escaping).
  • Each person should have their own towel (sharing a hand towel was identified as an easy way for coronavirus to be passed from one member of the family to another).

What helps massively with keeping areas clean is following the basic guideline suggested by WHO, which is to wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds) to reduce the risk of infection.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Source: Idealhome.co.uk

In the current climate of social distancing, isolation and lockdown, it might not be as easy to get a plumber or engineer to tend to your plumbing emergency (especially if it is ‘minor’) at the minute. If help is going to take some time, there are some things that you can do to manage the situation until such time as a professional can sort it out:

Firstly, take action!

  1. Turn off the water – if it’s a minor emergency, shutting off the water supply in that particular area will do the job but if you’re uncertain as to the seriousness of the problem, it’s best to turn off the main valve that brings water into the house.
  2. Turn off the water heater – you’ll do this if you’re dealing with a major emergency, in order to prevent overheating and subsequent bursting of the valve. If you have a gas water heater, the gas should be turned off first.
  3. Manage small leaks – by stuffing rags or old towels into the leaky apparatus or close it with plumber’s tape if you have any to hand. Use buckets to collect water if necessary.
  4. Drain excess water – even after turning off water valves, there will still be water lurking in the pipes. Water can be drained from these pipes and away from your home by opening up any spigots outside the house. If water is clogged, a plunger wills sometimes do the trick!

Secondly, get advice!

  1. Call your plumber to find out what to do next. A professional will be able to assess the nature of your emergency and either recommend an immediate repair job or advise measures you can take in the interim, until such a time as your emergency can be resolved.

Thirdly, follow the advice!

  1. Having a trusted tradesperson on your speed dial is always beneficial. If, however, you are uncertain about the advice you have been given, get a second opinion…and a third, if necessary.

Some examples of a plumbing emergency might be:

  • Dripping taps
  • Leaking pipes
  • Extremely hot water
  • Frozen pipes
  • Leaking water heater
  • Clogs and plugs
  • Toilet problems
  • Waste smells
  • Gas leak
  • Burst pipes
  • Sump pump failure
  • Clogged drains and bath tubs
  • Leaking hoses of washing machines
  • Broken water lines
  • Broken downpipes, roofs and gutters

An absolute top tip in a plumbing emergency is not to panic. Act decisively and calmly, and if help cannot come immediately there are professionals on standby to advise you.

For all your plumbing and installation needs, feel free to contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Source: Emergency Plumber London