It’s all about kitchens and bathrooms—fix them up and you’ll add value to your property. This is not new news. But perhaps you’re not aware how much value?

The average house price in the UK (in 2020) was £235,298; research suggests that a kitchen renovation can boost the worth of a property by 10%, which is a massive £23,529.

Renovating a bathroom can add 5% to the value of a property (£11,647) – not quite as much as a kitchen but still worth the spend, depending how much fixing up you have to do.

Property experts suggest the most important kitchen features (in order of value) for new prospective buyers are:

  • Kitchen Island/ Breakfast Bar – supply & fit £600
  • Modern & Spacious Storage Units – supply & fit £4,000
  • Glass Doors (leading to outside) – supply & fit £3,000
  • Good Quality Tiles & Grouting – supply & fit: New Tiles – £35/sq.m. Regrout: £25/hr
  • Durable & Stylish Worktops – supply & fit £250
  • Adequate Lighting – supply & fit £100

Property experts suggest the most important bathroom features (in order of value) for new prospective buyers are:

  • Good Quality Tiles & Grouting – supply & fit: New Tiles – £35/sq.m. Regrout: £25/hr
  • Bathtub – supply & fit £500
  • Electric/Power Shower – supply & fit £100
  • Walk-in-Shower/Wet Room – supply & fit £8,000
  • Sturdy Fixtures – supply & fit £100
  • Neutral Colour Scheme – supply & fit dependent on scale of project
  • Underfloor Heating – supply & fit £100/sq.m

If you are hoping to upscale your kitchen/bathroom on a budget; cleaning the grout on your tiles, painting, replacing fixtures (taps etc.) or adding shelves (rather than entire units) can do the trick.

For all your energy-related needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk.

Source: Tap Warehouse

Three lockdowns have been undeniably tough but isolation has had its advantages. A new study by comparison site Uswitch has revealed that Brits have become more self-sufficient and in the process; more energy efficient. According to the research:

  • 83% of people surveyed said they are living more simply and frugally.
  • 43% of people say they have totally re-evaluated the way they live in the past year, and have become more concerned with sustainable living – saving energy and looking after the planet.
  • 23% have created their own vegetable patch, while 18% say they have started to compost.
  • 49% have switched from jars and packets to making meals from scratch.
  • Around 30% grow their own herbs instead of buying them from a supermarket, and 12% have even started to make their own jams and pickles.
  • 54% said they will try to continue their new sustainable ways of living even as restrictions are lifted.

Why did this happen, you might ask? Well, we had nothing else to do. No distractions – nowhere to go and no people to see, which seems to have given us perspective and created some good habits.

The greenest city as per survey response is Leicester, with 53% of residents saying they have made an effort to become more self-sufficient and energy-efficient. And good news is that 53% of 6-29-year-olds have become more environmentally conscious, compared to 45% of 30-44-year-olds and just 28% of over-60s.

In general, prices are going up (from food and fuel to gas and electricity) and homeowners are being forced to re-evaluate their budgets and make smart decisions that not only save money but save energy. Not only does the survival of our planet depend on it but our own well-being, too.

At AACooper we have the expertise and experience to support you as you make energy-saving decisions for your family and your home.

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

Wallpapering a bathroom might sound counterintuitive but it’s absolutely doable and, yes; is even a good idea.

Extravagant wallpaper in small toilet spaces comes highly recommended by design pros (it can liven up a space and because one is only in the toilet sporadically, bold designs do not become tiresome) and there are many ways to use wallpaper creatively in bathrooms: as a border around the ceiling or a mirror, to accent certain areas or walls, or simply wallpaper the entire bathroom (including the ceiling!).

Now, you might be wondering about the whole ‘paper and water’ thing…

It’s true that bathroom wallpaper can be problematic as exposure to moisture can stain the paper or cause it to peel off, even with improved adhesives. There are, however, splashproof wallpapers that are specifically designed for high humidity areas and can even be wiped dry or clean. Here are a couple of quick tips for making wallpaper work well in a bathroom:

  • Vinyl wallpapers are resistant to moisture but choice is limited. If you prefer to use regular wallpaper (which is doable if your bathroom is not very humid) it is probably best to avoid high splash areas (or choose a splash-proof paper). And don’t write of wallpapering your shower – you can buy specialist wallpaper that is designed to be fitted inside the shower and wet areas.
  • Apply the wallpaper to a really well-prepped wall and use an extra strong wallpaper adhesive.
  • Ventilation is key to the durability of your wallpaper; you’ll want to avoid condensation on the wallpaper.

Wallpaper is usually cheaper than tiles, with more character than paint, and versatile in any space. If it appeals to you, go for it!

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

Sources: The Spruce and Sophie Robinson

Are you thinking of selling your home? It could be a long-term goal or perhaps you’d like to sell imminently. Either way, there are small things that any competent DIYer can do to make a home more attractive to buyers but first, you’ll need to know what jobs are worth your time, effort and money.

Homebuilding.co.uk has put together a list of common defects that put people off buying property – see below:

• Peeling paint
• Squeaking or sticking doors and windows
• Door latches that don’t work
• Mouldy sealants in kitchen and bathroom
• Dripping taps
• Loose tiles
• Sewer smells
• Broken or damaged windows
• Squeaky floors and stairs
• Cracks to ceilings and plasterwork
• Lifting flooring

Many of the defects mentioned on the list might seem like superficial but it’s worth remembering that the first impression of a home (how much care has been put into a property) is what will pique the interest of prospective buyers. Not only that but putting a little work into repainting, repairing flooring, eliminating mould, oiling hinges, repairing tiles and sorting cracks will up the odds of you getting the optimum price for your house!
Small things make a big difference.

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.

Summer is the perfect time to paint a bathroom – the weather is warmer; paint will dry quickly and
you can boot the kids outside while you get the job done. Of course, hiring a professional is certainly
an option but if you decide on the DIY route, here are some top tips that will set you on the path to a
job well done:

  1. Paint choice: bathrooms are high traffic areas and susceptible to wear and tear, so a mildew
    resistant, water-repellent, easy-to-maintain paint (satin or semi-gloss) is the best option.
  2. Colour choice: versatile colours like white, grey and blue as well as lighter shades are
    popular as they create a calm and relaxing atmosphere. That said, if you like a bolder look –
    go for it!
  3. Remove obstructions: before you paint and clean, remove wall hangings, bathroom products
    and appliances, and if you can’t reach behind your toilet (etc) remove that too (just
    remember to turn off the water supply, and flush and drain the toilet before removing).
  4. Repair blemishes: patch any holes or cracks with filler or a drywall compound; also
    sandpaper flaking or peeling paint.
  5. Clean the walls: the paint will not adhere if the surface is unclean. Use a sugar soap solution
    and sponge to remove any dirt and then wash again with warm water to remove soap
    traces.
  6. Prime the walls: if you’re changing colour or patching holes, prime the wall with an
    undercoat. You can simply ‘spot prime’ where you’ve made repairs if your paint is generally
    in good condition and you’re not changing colour.
  7. Masking tape: put masking tape around any fixtures/edges that that need protecting from
    paint.
  8. Start with the edges: use a brush around the edges before painting the walls. For best results
    on walls and ceiling, use a quality, plush roller cover, which will allow you to get as much
    paint onto the surfaces in the shortest amount of time.
  9. Apply a second coat: wait at least 4 hours (or as directed) for paint to dry before applying a
    second coat.
  10. Wait 24 hours to decorate: play it safe and wait until the paint is drier than dry before
    removing the masking tape and replacing fixtures and wall art.

Hey presto! – You’ll have an incredible new bathroom.

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: DIY.com and Wikihow.com

If there’s one thing that might almost compensate for one of the strangest most heart-wrenching years ever, it’s The Great British Summer. Oh, how magical it is – when it happens. With hope and positivity on our side let’s prepare for the best, and figure out how to keep our homes cool when it gets so blisteringly hot we can do nothing else but complain. Check out these ten top tips:

  • Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.
  • Windows and ventilation openings NOT exposed to the sun should NOT be closed, but their openings reduced when the outdoor air becomes warmer than the air indoors – this should help keep rooms cool whilst allowing adequate ventilation.
  • Close the curtains, blinds or shutters closed to shield your home from the sun.
  • Growing plants outside your house can help to shade the walls from direct sunlight.
  • Paint your house white so that the walls reflect more heat.
  • Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise in summer to push air straight down helping to create a cooling effect and clockwise in winter to pull cool air up.
  • Seal gaps around doors and windows, and use draught excluders to ensure the cool air can’t escape.
  • Cooking dinner in the backyard or at the park may be a cooler alternative to being in a steamy kitchen too, so make the most of a cool breeze when you can.
  • Incandescent lightbulbs might be to blame produce a lot of heat, so switching to energy-saving bulbs can help cool your home (and save on energy bills).
  • Place a shallow bowl or pan of ice in front of a fan for an icy-cool breeze that won’t break the bank.

And if you’ve wondered why there’s no mention of air conditioning, well…air conditioners thrust hot air outside, increasing the neighbourhood temperature by 2°C. They are also not particularly eco-friendly; using massive amounts of energy thus adding to global warming.

We hope you have a cool, cool summer!

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: Environment.sa.gov.au, NewScientist.com and nhs.uk

In the pandemic world of varying forms of lockdown, many home owners have turned to renovating their properties; to pass the time but also to improve the value of their homes. With some spare cash saved thanks to travel bans, those long-awaited DIY tasks have finally been sorted out.

Some projects are quick and easy ‘fixer uppers’ whilst other projects are major overhauls, like extensions or renovations; both types can up the value of your property. Bathroom and kitchen tweaks and overhauls are obvious value adders but if you’ve ‘been there and done that’ and are thinking ‘what next?’, have a look at the list below for ten top renovations that will increase the value of your house:

Structural issues: these should be dealt with before making cosmetic improvements to your home. Things like: leaky roofs, damp, cracks to walls, bowing walls, rotten joists or roof timers, broken roof tiles, a collapsed floor etc.

New heating system: update an old-fashioned system (or install central heating if your home is older). This could mean a new boiler (if the one you have does not have adequate output or is archaic), adding insulation, sealing drafts, replacing/double-glazing windows, underfloor heating or new radiators.
Rewiring or replumbing: updating electrics and pipework is necessary before cosmetic work.

Solar panels: in today’s eco-conscious world, this could be a great way to increase the value of your property!

Paint work: this might be an obvious decorating project but clean, newly painted walls make a massive difference to first impressions when your home is viewed by potential buyers. It’s also nice to live in a newly painted home.

Garden work: some basic ‘tidy’ up jobs can make a big difference to the look and feel of your garden. The first thing to do is: weed, prune and plant. Then you could think about the privacy of your garden, which is high commodity if you’re in the city—fences and larger trees could add help achieve a feeling of seclusion.

Exterior: neaten up the exterior of your home, which could mean painting, tidying the front outdoor space or replacing your front door.
Built-in storage: this is a top selling-point for prospective home owners. Is there spare space in your home for shelves or cupboards?

Conservatory: if designed and executed well, this adds value to a property (it can also detract value if poorly done).

Outdoor office: in the new age of home working, an outdoor office space will be huge plus to the value of your home.

You’ll notice that not all of the above projects can be done without the help of heating engineers, plumbing specialists, building contractors and perhaps even structural engineers. Do ask for help if you need it as it will save you money in the long run!

For more DIY ideas, check out Homebuilding.co.uk. And 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.

It’s no secret that kitchen and bathroom renovations add the most value to properties but what specific renovations incite a bigger return on investment? Tap Warehouse consulted with property professionals to discover which elements in the kitchens and bathrooms are the most desirable for house hunters and could add the most value to your home. Here’s what experts said:

As far as kitchens go, the most valuable features are: glass doors, durable worktops, breakfast bar, quality tiles, kitchen islands, adequate lighting and modern storage units.
In terms of bathrooms, good quality tiles, power showers, bathtubs, walk-in showers, a neutral colour scheme, underfloor heating, and sturdy fixtures are the most desirable and valuable bathroom aspects. And to be even more specific, property experts hailed good tiles and grouting as the most popular bathroom investment by homeowners, and baths and power showers are the second most popular.

Popular renovations and profitable renovations are, of course, not necessarily the same thing. A critical consideration when renovating your property (with the intention to sell) is who is likely to be your buyer. For example, if you live near schools, it’s probable your house will attract family buyers, which means that space will be of optimum value; over-compensating in a bathroom with a bathtub and a shower cube is not likely a win, even if you really like the idea.

Tailor your renovations to the market, and when in doubt go neutral and stay simple.

For more information on kitchen and bathroom renovation costs and return, visit Tapwarehouse.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.

Boiler niggles are typically annoying, especially when you can’t figure out what they are and whether
it’s worth calling in an expert. A boiler manual is a pretty great thing, in that it can help you hone in
on the problem and if you don’t have a hard copy there will almost certainly be a downloadable
version online.

Three common boiler issues identified by Which? that can usually be identified (and sometimes fixed)
by a seasoned DIYer are:

  • Frozen boiler condensate pipe – not quite a boiler fault but frozen pipes can put a boiler out
    of action.
  • Boiler losing pressure – usually the result of a leak, you’ve recently bled your radiators and
    the system has lost pressure, or your heating has been off for a very long time and lost
    pressure.
  • Water leaking from boiler – usually the result of old and corroded washers.

The aforementioned issues, whilst the most common, are three of many possible boiler faults that
require help from a heating engineer. To help you feel confident you’re not overpaying, here are
some average repair costs sourced by Which? from their Trusted Traders:

  • Thermocouple – £85
  • Automatic air vent – £98
  • Overheat thermostat – £101
  • Pressure relief valve – £106
  • Ignition – £106
  • Diverter/zone valves – £198
  • Water pump – £211
  • Gas Valve – £222
  • Fan for combustion – £229
  • Printed circuit board £259

The survey pinpointing these prices was taken in 2019 so costs may have gone up slightly. Which?
notes that there’s a difference of 44 percentage points between the best brand for sourcing the
correct part, and the ‘worst’ (according to Trader expertise). Lack of access to certain components
can add both time and money to a repair.

One of the best ways to avoid costly repairs is regular boiler maintenance – keep up with your yearly
inspection and always have a conversation with your go-to heating engineer if you have a boiler
problem.

For all your energy-related needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007
or info@aacooper.co.uk.

Living with all of the distractions of pandemic life it is so easy to fall into the trap of letting seemingly minor repairs and checks fall into arrears. The palaver of social distancing and sticking to strict government guidelines makes something as simple as going to the shop or calling a tradesperson a massive (albeit understandable) inconvenience.

New research suggests that more than three million UK households have never had their boiler serviced. A report from the Benchmark Steering Group stats:

  • 76% of homeowners claim that boiler servicing is either important or very important to them, with almost half of them admitted that they don’t maintain their boiler in accordance to the manufacturer’s guidance.
  • 80% of breakdowns result in homeowners being left without heat or hot water for at least a day, and one in 10 enduring this for three days.
  • 15% of homeowners are not sure if their boiler is in or out of warranty, supporting the need to further educate consumers to ensure they are well informed.

It’s essential that boilers are serviced annually to improve efficiency, prevent the loss of heating or hot water, save money in the long run and protect resident. The numbers suggest that there is an understanding of the of the essentiality of boiler maintenance and yet this does not convert into a proactive response – i.e. boiler servicing and maintenance. It is entirely possible that pandemic life will also push these figures higher.

It is important to know that according to current government guidelines, tradespeople may continue to work in people’s homes although those who are clinically vulnerable have been advised not to go to work.

If your boiler needs servicing do call your go-to technician and if he/she is closed for business, source a referral (always consulting to Gas Safe Register https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/ to confirm credentials).

For all your energy-related needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk.