Tag Archive for: Plumbing

The UK is ranked 23 out of 28 European nations for “national environmentally conscious housing practices”, according to the landmark Green Living Index report.

The report looks at energy and recycling as well as sustainability and engagement, with Portugal, Sweden and Germany scoring well. Portugal places at the top of the Green Living Index, which is in part due to the low levels of private energy consumption, and Germany, in third, is a pioneer in solar energy.

Austria, Denmark, Spain, Latvia, Greece, Slovakia and Finland all rank in the top ten.

Why is UK so low on the list?

More of our homes are cold, old and leaky than not. Just 12% of the UK’s household energy comes from renewable sources, and a mere 8% of energy used for UK domestic heating and cooling is fuelled by renewables.

Smaller household sizes also contributes to a higher per capita consumption, with fewer extended families, more household split-ups and an ageing population, meaning that the average British household is made up of just two people. Not only that but only 15% of us live in flats, which are easier to heat than houses.

The UK did, however, score well for recycling, with 44% of household waste being reused. And we are committed to sustainable living (even if our homes aren’t well-insulated) according to the report.

What does any of this mean and why should we pay attention? Well, perhaps we have to try a little harder. Some of this is down to policy makers and money spenders; making smart decisions that enable us to upgrade our homes to more energy efficient models. Some of it is down to homeowners; to invest now for long term gain.

If you’re thinking about home improvements (plumbing, energy or installations), feel free to contact the team on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk – we’re happy to help.

Oh, it’s tempting to just do it yourself—save some cash; do the tiling, replace the toilet, hook up the new shower. According to a new survey by Water Regs UK, you may end up spending more money in the long run.

Over 2,000 people across the UK were asked which home maintenance jobs they or a family member or friend had attempted, only to end up calling out a professional to fix the problem—plumbers came out tops!

Almost a fifth (18%) of those surveyed said that they had called in a plumbing professional to complete a DIY job they had tried to do themselves.

The survey compared a range of typical jobs that are carried out in UK homes and recorded how many people have tried but failed to complete the jobs themselves. Whilst plumbers were the most called upon trade, electricians (15%) and plasterers (10%) were next on the list, followed by roofers and tilers.

It might seem like the best option at the time but sometimes trying to fix a problem in your bathroom yourself can make it worse. If this is the case, it’s important not to panic and call the first number you find but be sure that you check credentials, and call an accredited plumber!

The internet is full of bathroom hack jobs and you want to be sure that installers are committed to quality working standards.

The Watersafe register is the only one in the UK supported by all water companies and the drinking water regulators. All WaterSafe approved plumbers are trained in the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws, which help prevent the risk of contamination of drinking water from poor plumbing practices and sub-standard fittings and products.

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.

When it comes to cleaning bathrooms, our natural inclination is to bleach the daylights out of everything… but have you wondered how the harsh chemicals we use might affect our health, the environment and even the longevity of the surfaces to which they are applied? The good news is there are cleaning hacks that offer alternatives to heavy duty cleaning products:

  1. Toilet – bicarbonate of soda and water. Mix bicarb with water (three parts bicarb to one part water) to cut through dirt and grease, and use neat (it’s slightly abrasive) to scrub away tough stains. A teaspoon of bicarb on a damp cloth can be used on the toilet seat, cistern etc.
  2. Bath – grapefruit/lemon sprinkled with coarse salt. Cut the grapefruit in half, sprinkle it liberally with salt and scrub the grime away.
  3. Tiles – lemon juice. Cut a lemon into two halves and rub the tiles with the flat juicy side, then rinse off with plain water. Stained grouting can be cleaned with a bicarb and water paste, and a toothbrush.
  4. Bathroom mirror – vinegar OR tea. Mix water with some white wine vinegar (half and half) and use a spray bottle and newspaper for a streak free result. A black tea solution also works to clean greasy spots from mirrors (something to do with the tannic acid found in tea).
  5. Showerhead – vinegar. Soak the shower head overnight in white wine vinegar, wipe down residue and it should be clean.
  6. Floor (tiles or laminate) – vinegar. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and stain remover; mix eight teaspoons of vinegar with three litres of hot water and clean as you usually would.

Of course, there are plenty of eco-friendly cleaning products available in stores but there is something deeply satisfying about not relying on a marketing plug or sales pitch.

Check out Mumsmakelists.com and bathroomcity.co.uk for more top tips.

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.

Installing a new bathroom will not only increase the value of your property but also be the source of much comfort and pleasure while you live in your home. It’s worth the investment but it’s good to have an idea of what an instillation is likely to cost before you make any big decisions.

Whether you’ve decided to do it yourself or hire a professional, here are a list of things that are likely to affect the overall cost of your new bathroom:

Plumbing – probably the biggest amounts you’ll spend will be on plumbing; new taps, toilet, shower or bath and sink, and anything related. The greater the alteration, the higher the cost (as more plumbing work is required).

Electrics – if you’re looking to upgrade your lighting (usually the case if your bathroom is quite old) for a look you prefer and lower running costs, you’ll need to spend money. Other electrical work may include installing a hand dryer, shaving socket, extractor fan or power shower.

Tiling – this is one of the more difficult mistakes to fix post project so it’s important to get it right the first time; the size of the area you’d like tiled as well as the type of tiles you choose, will affect the cost.

Flooring – you can keep the cost of flooring low by just fitting a vinyl floor, which is usually a cheaper option; if, however, you’d prefer to tile your floor, the cost will be higher.

Space – the size of the bathroom will affect the cost; a larger surface area will require more tiles and a bigger space might require more fittings, costing more money. The more things to do and the bigger the space – the greater the cost (usually).

How long the job takes – time is money; the longer the project takes to complete, the more you’re likely to pay.

Quality of fittings – the more ‘high end’ the fittings, the more they will cost although it’s worth remembering that sometimes the cheaper option doesn’t last as long and so you’ll end up spending money to replace worn-out fittings in the long run.

Waste disposal – tradesmen will charge a fee (usually modest) for disposing of the waste on your behalf. You could choose to dispose waste on your own (which may cost you anyway) and sometimes, depending on the type of fixtures you currently have, there may be scrap value to them (they could be traded by you or your contractor).

The skill set required for the installation of new bathroom suite is extensive, from plumbing and electrical fitting to decorating and painting. You might decide that you could do some DIY on your installation but you’d need to call in specialists for certain jobs. This could be expensive but compromising on quality could mean that you end up paying more anyway.

We’d love to help you put together your dream bathroom but 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.

Sources: Guides 4 Homeowners, Household Quotes

Mould is like missing socks and dust on shelves – incredibly annoying! It isn’t always obvious and recurs no matter how hard you clean. Or does it? Could there be a way to rid your bathroom of mould?

Understanding why mould occurs is the best way to combat the stuff. Typically, mould is caused by high levels of humidity and your bathroom is the wettest room in the house. Poor ventilation incites mould – lingering moisture trapped inside your bathroom (when you close the door to have a shower, for example) will attach itself to surfaces (walls, mirrors, the floor, etc.) giving mould the perfect condition in which to flourish. Damp mats and towels are also conducive to high levels of humidity in a bathroom.

Here are some top tips to creating a mould resistant bathroom:

  • Get rid of excess water by using your bathroom ventilation fan when you use the shower or run a bath, and leave it on for 30 minutes following the end of your bath; if you don’t have an exhaust fan, install one.
  • Remove anything that provides a place for mould to flourish – like toys, shampoo and shower gel, sponges, loofahs and cloths. If you keep a mat or towels in your bathroom area, wash these regularly and make sure they are dry when placed in the bathroom.
  • A mildew-resistant shower curtain is a good option. Otherwise be prepared to wash/replace your shower curtain frequently.
  • Keeping household humidity levels below 50 per cent prevents moisture from gathering; an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help.
  • Open windows and doors (where possible) to promote a dry interior.
  • Fix leaky toilets, sinks and plumbing pipes immediately as the resulting damp will encourage mould to grow.

Good luck!

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: Houselogic.com

The most recent Bathroom Market report by AMA Research has revealed a growing preference for minimalist, wall-hung and counter top bathroom designs, with the most popular products supporting space saving solutions.

If you have a small bathroom (or a bigger one that you’d like to neaten up) there are some nifty ideas that are trending at the moment, including slim-line wash basins and short-projection furniture. Compact shower baths, small freestanding baths and space-saving ‘back-to-wall’ D-shaped/skirted baths also work well in smaller spaces.

‘Invisible’ storage solutions are a great for de-cluttering as are prefabricated solutions including installation frames and concealed plastic cisterns.

Floating vanities and basins are a couple of the most popular wall hung bathroom features when it comes to maximising space in a bathroom, and a rounded vanity is a good idea if you’re worried about the inconvenience (and safety) of a sharp corner sticking out in a tight space.

A counter extended over the toilet creates an easy space to store items and mounting a towel bar on the shower door will save space (although the rest of the towels might need some cupboard space elsewhere in your home). And there are some styling tips that will create an illusion of space in a small bathroom: large-scale patterns can trick the eye into seeing expanded space, as can expanded mirrors.

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: Forbes.com

What does the UK’s most searched for bathroom look like? Google has the answer – and Sanctuary Bathrooms has been kind enough to analyse all the data for us. Check out the top décor and product trends for 2019:

  • Dark colours are IN, with black the most searched colour in sinks and toilets.
  • Back-to-wall, close-coupled toilets were the most popular of more than 14,000 monthly searches.
  • Double sinks with mixer taps are a popular choice.
  • Freestanding roll-top copper topped 35,000 monthly searches.
  • Grey is the top colour for herringbone flooring and wall tiles.
  • Traditional options and chrome are dominant for accessories.
  • Wooden mirrored cabinets were the most popular of 35,700 related searches.
  • Tall freestanding corner cabinets are a top choice.
  • Chrome topped the searches for toilet roll holders and towel rails.
  • Separate single shower enclosures are strong among 57,200 average monthly searches.

The common thread that marries these choices together is the sanctuary of a bathroom space, which is not only functional but an escape. Freestanding baths, chrome features and dark colours – there’s a sense of romance inherent in this type of look.

As specialists in bespoke bathrooms and plumbing we know how important it is for us to stay on top of bathroom trends, and to advise our clients according to their unique contexts and hopes for their bathroom space. 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: kbbreview.com

Drain blockages are entirely common and also, usually, entirely disgusting; no matter where it’s coming from, leaking water smells rank. From clumps of hair, fish filter tablets (but really) and small dolly shoes (parents will understand) to stranger things like false teeth and even clothing, there are some obvious no-nos when it comes to putting things down the plughole, take a look:

  • Baby Wipes – it’s so tempting to just flush a baby wipe (especially when potty training!) but don’t do it! They stick together and clog up drains in no time.
  • Hair – this is a tough one because hair easily travels down the plughole when bathing or showering. Usually it can be pulled back up the plughole if you notice a blockage…but not always! To try and prevent hair clumps in your drain, brush your hair before your bath/shower or invest in a ‘hair catcher,’ which could save you time, money and effort.
  • Fat – we all remember “fatberg,” right? That 15-tonne brick of fat found in the sewer below London. Well…enough said; don’t let fat float down the plughole.
  • Toys – there’s something about a plughole that is irresistible to children; they simply can’t resist sending gidgets and gadgets sailing down (clearly ‘IT’ is a thing of generations past). Even if little ones don’t it on purpose, the chances of a broken bath toy or other random paraphernalia taking an unplanned trip down the plughole are pretty high.
  • Coffee – If you use ground coffee rather than instant, make sure you get all of your grounds into the bin using a spoon or kitchen roll to help because over time coffee grounds can build up in drains, especially in the corners of piping.
  • Food Scraps – the odd piece of pasta here and there can do more damage than you might think. The thing about a lot of our foods is that they’re quite porous – especially carbs, like pasta and rice. They will soak up a lot of water and can easily expand to clog a drainage pipe.
  • Cotton Buds – Are meant for bins, not drains. It’s as simple as that.
  • …Fax Machines – No really! Scottish Water recently retrieved a fax machine from the sewers beneath the streets of Scotland. (Also – who’s using a fax machine?)

Usually a clogged drain is an accumulation of all of the above…things that have slipped down unintentionally. If you’re concerned about a blocked drain in your bathtub or damaged radiator pipes, call your local plumber; he/she may suggest a drainage contractor if the problem is serious, in which case, ask for references to ensure you hire the perfect person for the job.

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

Sources: Blockbusters.co.uk – Top 10 Things That Will Block Your Drains; Draindepot.co.uk – “Gutterly odd: the weirdest things found down drains”

A new year is always a great time for change – new beginnings…a fresh coat of paint on the walls, those kitchen cupboards you’ve been dying to install or that freestanding bath that would look so perfect in your en suite. Exciting! Except remodelling; it can be such a stress; invasive, expensive and time-consuming, and yet so worth it at the end – right? If you need a little push toward realising your home-owner’s dreams, have a look at these ten top design trends for 2018:

1. Bolder colours around the home

Grey may still be the neutral of choice for many interiors but colour is set to be bolder this year – with navy, violet and emerald key colours for both walls and furniture pieces. Warm greys paired with camel, rust, tobacco and brown-blacks, as well as earthy reds and yellows are also trending, and the classic white typically used in kitchens is likely to be replaced with warm wood tones (mahogany) and neutrals (greys and blues).

2. No more white sinks

The rustic home decor trend that was in vogue last year will continue to flourish – think concrete, stone, copper and granite composite sinks (nothing white or stainless steel) in darker hues of grey, bronze or black. Trough and bucket sinks will also be popular in 2018.

3. Floral, botanical and tropical prints

Small-scale flower and botanical prints (like out of an artist’s sketchbook or forager’s handbook) are trendy this season, as are pineapples (yes, pineapples – in motif and accessory form), palm leaves, lush greens, exotic birds and carnival brights.

4. Vintage lighting

In fact, vintage everything – as well as sconces, lanterns, pendants, chandeliers, other retro-chic fixtures around the house are also hot this season.

5. ‘Less is more’ bedrooms

Modern, minimalist furnishings are trending in bedrooms, with soothing, neutral colour palettes and soft fabrics favoured by homeowners.

6. Metallic accents

Metallic finishes (rose gold, brass and copper, specifically) will add a touch of sophistication as well as an earthy hue to any room in your home.

7. Concrete accents

A versatile, accessible material, concrete is a hit in homes this season. Used on floors and counter tops, concrete is also great on all sorts of hardscaping surfaces and even as an accent on home accessories including pendant lighting and furniture.

8. Dark woods

Dark wood furniture will complement the season’s retro trends.

9. Wallpaper…but not

Forget subway or hexagon tiles in your bathroom; contemporary tiles that look like wood, concrete, resin, fabric or even wallpaper are the must-haves of 2018.

10. 70s chic

The decade to re-emerge in home design this year is the 70s, with its velvet and geometric patterns, warm palettes, funky textures and abstract silhouettes – don’t be shy!

Sources: Independent.co.uk – “TEN HOME DESIGN TRENDS TO EXPECT IN 2018”; Idealhome.co.uk – “Home decor trends 2018 – we predict the key looks for interiors”; Huffingtonpost.com – “18 HOME DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2018”

If you’re thinking about a bathroom or kitchen revamp this year, AACooper will be able to assist with all your plumbing needs. For any questions or information, contact the team on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk.

Is there a water leak on your property? Perhaps your bill is higher than usual – in which case, you may have a leaky pipe or appliance. Other common signs that you might have a leak on your home or business premises are:

  • Your water pressure is reduced to a weak trickle.
  • You might have a swamp for a front lawn.
  • There are worrying new soft patches and depressions in the ground. Your lawn might be looking much healthier in some areas than others, despite your efforts at watering evenly.
  • The outside paving, bricks or concrete around your house are damp and unstable.
  • There are damp patches inside your property.
  • You’ve noticed a constant noise of flowing water coming from the pipes in your home or business.

It’s not always easy to tell if there’s a leak but you can do an initial check yourself by following these steps (if you’re on a water meter):

  • Turn off all the taps in the house and make sure there is no water being used.
  • Write down your current meter reading.
  • Take a second reading after a few hours, making sure no water has been used in the meantime.
  • Check the meter reading again. If the reading is higher, this means there could be a leak in your home.

If, after doing the checks, there’s a strong possibility that there is a water leak on your property, you’ll need to contact a plumber immediately. Leaks that are not tended to can damage buildings, foundations, and landscaping, and can result in a mega water bill! (In the case of water leaking from a pipe outside your home; contact your water supplier to have the pipe repaired.)

If you suspect faulty plumbing; contact the team at AA Cooper on 01689 485007 or info@aacooper.co.uk. AA Cooper offers free consultation and no-obligation quotes, and we will take your problem seriously, no matter how minor you think it might be.

Sources: Mottplumbing.com.au – “How to Spot the Common Signs of a Water Leak” and Watersafe.org.uk – “How do I know if I have a leak in or around my home or business”.