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Posts Tagged ‘home improvement’


How to fix a leaking tap

November 15th, 2011 by steph

how to fix a leaking tap

It’s no secret that hiring a plumber to come to your house and make repairs is very expensive indeed; usually a basic call out feel is charged before there is any sign of work being started and then you are charged by the hour after that. It’s fair to say that there are a large amount of problems and tasks that only a qualified plumber would be able to handle, as they have experience and appropriate equipment to suit each job. But there are also certain ‘cowboy’ plumbers who are more than happy to tinker under a sink for 3 hours and charge you hundreds of pounds for what should have been a 45 minute job. Here we will look at some basic advice that could help you learn how to fix a leaking tap.

We’ve all heard the unbearable sound of a constantly dripping tap, anyone who has lived with one should know exactly how annoying it can become. Rather than waiting for days to find an available plumber there are basic checks and repairs you may want to do yourself. Keep in mind; this is basic information on how to fix a leaking tap, if you suspect the problem may be complex or serious then do not attempt to repair it yourself. You could cause further damage to the tap and result in a more costly overall repair.

The most common problem behind a leaking tap is a damaged/eroded rubber washer. If the tap in question is a mixer tap be sure to check and replace both rubber washer. If there is visible damage to the valve seating, do not attempt to repair it unless you are confident in your plumbing abilities and you have researched the repair properly.

Firstly when practicing how to fix a leaking tap, be sure to switch of the water supply (the mains are commonly located under the taps or under the main sink in the kitchen). If you begin to remove the headgear from your tap without shutting off the water supply you are very likely to flood the room. Once you have shut of the supply of water, drain your taps by leaving them all the way on and cover the plug/drain to prevent any small parts being lost.

Unscrew the tap cover and you will find the retaining screw underneath; once this is removed you are then able to take off the head of the tap. Using a suitable spanner to remove the headgear nut, (it is important not to force the headgear nut, applying too much pressure can cause serious damage to the tap) if you need extra leverage here use some oil on the joint and hold the tap in place as you twist.

Here you will find the rubber washer; if there is a small nut securing the washer in place then remove this before tackling the damaged washer. Replace the damaged rubber washer and if possible, lubricate the thread on each section of your tap before re-assembling.

So there you have it, some basic tips about how to fix a leaking tap yourself. Remember, if you do not feel 100% confident about disassembling your tap yourself, seek advice or professional help.

Posted in DIY Hints & Tips | Comments Off

Guide to Building an Annexe

August 22nd, 2011 by steph

For those who are lucky enough to have a spacious garden, an annexe can be an excellent way to utilise the space if the home is becoming overcrowded. Annexes provide independence to family members who may require assistance, adult children who don’t quite want to leave home or to provide extra income from a lodger. Annexes can also add to the value of the home.
granny flat annexe

Before heading straight to the tool shed, there are a few things you need to consider. Planning permission is usually required off the local council before building any form of annexe in the garden. This can take a while to be granted, so if you have a deadline for completion the planning permission application should be completed well in advance.

Before deciding to build an annexe for rental purposes research what is generally charged for a rented annexe in your area. Also, your income tax and council tax rates may be affected by the lodging of another person on your land. You may want to consider whether the financial benefits will be as great as initially thought.

When planning to build the annexe, you need to take utilities into account such as hot water and electricity. It’s no use having cold water running out of your bath taps. If you’re not knowledgeable about plumbing or electrical wiring, a suitable tradesman should be hired to ensure the granny flat is safe for people to live in. Dodgy wiring and plumbing can cause many complications and even be hazardous to the resident.

In order for your family member or lodger to live in it, it must be spacious, functional and comfortable for the new occupant. Many people combine the living room and kitchen to save some space if there’s not heaps of room. If an immobile family member is planning to move into the annexe it needs to spacious and have suitable disabled access and facilities. Making the bathroom into a wet room can be extremely helpful for wheelchair users.

Security of the annexe also needs to be outlined. Because they’re generally ground floor the windows and doors should be double locking and double glazed to enhance security for the member. If it’s easily accessible without passing through the house, any access points such as gates should have locking features. A smoke alarm is another necessary appliance that can easily be forgotten.

Annexes can be a great independent place to live for family members. They’re particularly useful for someone who works from home too, as they can have complete peace and quiet. Although annexes aren’t too costly, home improvement loans can often help to ease some of the costs. Whoever you decide to build your annexe for, you can add value to your home whilst catering for a loved one or supplementing your income.

Posted in DIY Hints & Tips | Comments Off

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