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Garage Conversion Tips

A useful way to add space to your property is to convert your garage. Transform the garage into a useable room and there’s no need to build an extension, you simply use the space you have available. This is a smart move. Property experts claim this will also add value to your property, so it’s an option well-worth looking at. You’ll save garden space and disruption is minimal with this type of home improvement. Where do you start with a garage conversion in Crawley though? We look at some of the common themes here and explain some of the basics in greater detail.

Do you have a single or double garage?

Depending on the size of your garage, you can either convert all of it or part of it, especially if you have a double garage and stacks of space. Typically a single garage will give you around 14m2 of space and this increases to 28m2 for a double garage. Consider whether you want to convert the whole garage area if this is a double. You might decide just to convert half of it and keep the other side for storage to maximise the functionality.

Planning Permission

Speak to your local planning department about the garage conversion to establish if there are any restrictions that might affect the work. If you are in a conversation area, for example, there might be a few restrictions in place and there’s a good chance you will need planning permission. You will also be required to submit a Building Notice to inform your local authority about the proposed works and they will send a building inspector to examine the property. This is to ensure you are conforming to the building regulations and a final certificate will be issued at the end of the project to confirm everything is okay.

Types of Use

The good news is, once you know there are no problems with your garage conversion you can use the space for all types of purposes. Some people create kitchens and dining rooms with the extra space, whilst others build a bedroom, playroom or home office. Whether this is going to be a den for your teenagers or a workout room, the extra space created is going to be a huge asset to your home.

Common uses for garage conversions include:

  • Master Bedroom with En-Suite
  • Dining Rooms
  • Recreation Rooms
  • Home Gym
  • Offices
  • Study or Studio
  • Guest Bedroom

Find out more

Whether you want a garage conversion in Crawley, Horsham or any of the surrounding areas we can assist you here at Slim Maintenance. Find out more and see how converting your garage makes a massive difference to your home. Simply contact us for advice and get a FREE quote to have your garage converted or call us today on 01293 277489 or 07792 004700.

You Should Clean This Every Week

It might be a chore but regular cleaning around the home is vital to safeguard against dirt, grime and bacteria. Although cleaning is probably the last thing you feel like doing when you have a little free time, it’s essential to keep your home as clean as possible. With some areas requiring a clean at least once a week, we list the main hotspots here.

Bathroom Surfaces

Bacteria is quick to build-up in bathrooms without a regular clean. The spray from a toilet, for example, can spread germ-infested water particles across surface areas so this is one area that needs to be addressed. Give your bathroom a thorough clean using a quality disinfectant and make sure you wipe down all areas. As part of the clean, focus on the toilet, shower and bath for sparkling results.

Furniture

Dusty furniture doesn’t just look unsightly it can also be bad for your health. Let the dust to build-up and this is particularly unhealthy if you suffer from asthma, with dust mites one of the most common triggers for asthma attacks in children. Wipe surfaces clean with a microfiber cloth at least once a week to prevent the growth of dust.

Bed Sheets

Changing your bed sheets once a week should form part of your cleaning routine. Beds are breeding grounds for bugs with dirty sheets containing sweat, dead skin cells and germs. Swap the sheets over once a week and wash dirty bedding with a fragrant detergent so it smells wonderful the next time you put it on the bed.

Kitchen Areas

Wipe down kitchen appliances, worktops and any area in the kitchen that might be harbouring bacteria you can’t see. Give surfaces a clean with disinfectant wipes just to make sure, and check and wipe the inside of the fridge to keep everything hygienic.  It’s a good idea to mop the kitchen floor to get rid of spills and spent bread crumbs.

Carpets

It’s not always easy to spot dirt that is hiding in your carpet, especially if you have purchased something with a deep pile. Although light dust and debris lie on top of the carpet, heavier particles sink into the fibres, and this often gets ground in. Cleaning your carpet at least once a week helps to address this. Depending on how many people live in your household, and whether you own any pets, you might want to vacuum the carpet daily to keep on top of things.

With so much to clean in the average household, it’s no wonder people hate doing these types of chores.  If you need help with domestic cleaning, let us assist you here at Slim Maintenance with a bespoke service that is tailored to your needs. You can contact us for more details or call us today on 01293 277 489.

Loft Conversions – Is Your Home Suitable?

How do you increase the size of your property without physically building a home extension?  One solution you might want to consider is a loft conversion, which utilises available attic space.  With a little bit of planning and a few building alterations, you will create a usable and practical room for any purpose you have in mind. This could be a home office or another bedroom, a playroom or workout room, the choice is yours!

Whatever you have planned for the property, it’s a good idea to assess your loft beforehand to see if it is suitable for converting.  Most properties are, just look for the following and you’ll be well on your way to transforming that attic space.

Loft conversions and things to look for:

Head height

To begin, determine how much available head height you have in the loft. To create a loft conversion you need at least 2.2m of useable roof height. Look at the angle of the roof pitch. This will determine how much space you actually have. A good tip is to measure from the bottom of the ridge timbers to the top of the roof joists to ascertain how much useable space there is.

Roof structure

Next, take a look at the structure of the roof. There are usually two types of roof structures depending on the age of the property. Older types of properties are usually built with traditional wooden frames consisting of rafters and ceiling joists constructed on the site. If your house is built with these it’s usually very easy to open up the space, all you need to do is strengthen the rafters and add a few necessary supports.

On modern properties, the roof trusses are constructed in the factory using slimmer wooden materials, with braced diagonal timbers added for structural integrity. Although this makes roof installations quick and easy on site, there are no load-bearing structures underneath, and therefore additional measures are required to give the loft structural integrity when the space is opened up.

Worried about roof height?

If your loft is lacking head height and you are worried there simply isn’t enough space to convert the area, there could still be a couple of solutions available to you. Although not the cheapest of options, you could either raise the level of the roof or if the room below has ample ceiling height, this could be lowered to create the necessary space. If you have any doubts, seek help from a professional loft converter.

Considering a loft conversion in Crawley? Contact Us!

Of course, it always pays to get expert help and advice if you are considering a loft conversion and this is where we step in at Slim Maintenance.   If you are thinking of having a loft conversion in Crawley and you would like guidance at any point, we’d be happy to assist with any type of home renovation and maintenance work.

We have completed many loft conversions in Crawley and the surrounding areas and you can contact us for more information or call us today on 01293 277489.

Property Maintenance to Sell a House

If you want to sell your property it’s always a good idea to present the property in the best possible condition which might involve a little home maintenance to get the house up to scratch. Interested parties are making judgement calls straight away when they come to view the property. To give your home the best chance of making the grade, it’s worth spending a little on the upkeep of the dwelling to achieve a good asking price. This way, you make your house stand out in a highly competitive market sector.

Certain areas of the home will almost certainly need a little attention. If you are seriously considering putting your home on the market, we suggest you address the following areas here at Slim Maintenance.

Roof

One of the first things we’d be looking at from the kerbside is the roof of the property. Sure, you might not see everything in close detail but you can spot missing slates, slipping roof tiles or guttering, fascias and soffits that are in obvious need of attention. Make sure your roof is in perfect condition and don’t give buyers the opportunity to haggle with you over the asking price.

Gates, fences and driveway

Give your property the maximum amount of kerb appeal by ensuring your gates, fencing and driveway areas are meticulously maintained. If the fences need a lick of paint, do this. If your driveway is in desperate need of a clean, have it pressure washed. If your gates are rotten or rusted, consider having them replaced and repainted. First impressions mean everything when you are selling a house.

Windows and front doors

What type of condition are your windows and front doors in? Could the glazing do with a clean? Does the front door need a lick of paint? Are the frames old, rotten and in need of replacement? Give your home the look of a well-maintained property and address all of these areas to make a positive first impression.

Electrics

House buyers like to know they are purchasing a property with safe electrics so it’s not a bad idea to have an electrical safety check carried out on your home for complete peace of mind. If the property needs rewiring or it could do with a new fuseboard, you might want to think about getting some of this electrical work done before you put the house on the market.

Kitchens and bathrooms  

Two rooms that are more or less guaranteed to sell properties are the kitchen and the bathroom.  Whether you simply need to give these rooms a deep clean, have them painted and decorated, or refurbish them to make them as appealing as possible, it’s worth investing a little time and money in both areas if you want to sell your house.

As a leading property maintenance company in Crawley, we know how important it is to sustain a home to the highest standards here at Slim Maintenance. If you are thinking of selling your home and require help getting up to speed with the maintenance of the property, don’t hesitate to contact us today or call us for a quote on 01293 277489.

Common Home Maintenance Issues You Can’t afford to Ignore

Homes need constant maintenance to prevent issues arising in the future. On average, the typical UK household spends many hundreds of pounds on home improvements each year, with unexpected repairs and unforeseen maintenance arising at the most inconvenient moment.

What are the most common home maintenance repairs that need to be completed on households, though?  Here we list the main culprits you are likely to experience if you own or rent a property.

Leaking taps   

Dripping taps aren’t just annoying they are a total waste of water. Issues with taps dripping should be addressed straight away to prevent further complications in the future. If you have a dripping tap or pipes that are leaking call a plumber and get the problem fixed as soon as you can.

Blocked toilets

A blocked toilet is unsightly and smelly. Try as you might to remove a blockage from the loo, there might be a time when expert help and advice is required. More serious blockages can be caused by a number of reasons. Normally this is waste material compacted in the waste pipe, although it could also be the sign of something slightly more sinister. Get your toilet checked by an approved plumber if there is any doubt and flushing will soon be back to normal.

Boiler breakdowns

Central heating issues are quite common, especially during the winter months. If your boiler fails to work and you are left without heating and hot water, it can be massively disruptive to the household. Regular boiler servicing can help to prevent these problems and this is just one of the specialist services we provide here at Slim Maintenance.

Electrical Glitches

Electric and wiring problems are another main cause for concern, with many homeowners and tenants experiencing glitches with fuse boxes, sockets and switches.  When main appliances trip your circuit board, it’s time to call an experienced electrician to get the electric working as soon as possible.

Grounds maintenance

Gardening, deck cleaning, exterior pressure washing and other aspects of ground maintenance are things you cannot avoid as a homeowner. If you want the outside of your home to look as good as the inside you will have to perform basic maintenance tasks on regular basis. The simple solution to this problem is to have somebody complete this level of work. This is another area we specialise in here at Slim Maintenance.

Own a property and there’s no avoiding home maintenance if you want to prevent future costs. Don’t worry, we’re here to handle all of your property problems here at Slim Maintenance, why not give us a call today for a FREE maintenance quote on 01293 277489.

Baking Soda for Home Maintenance

Cleaning is one of the key staples of effective home maintenance, keep your house tidy, clean and hygienic, and you present the perfect impression of a well-maintained home.  Various cleaning materials will help to keep your home spotless and by choosing and using these items with care, you can easily keep on top of the domestic cleaning.

One really useful base material to use for cleaning is baking soda, this can be used in various ways and it will seriously help you as you tackle the dirtiest household chores.

Baking soda is brilliant for all of the following situations, it can be handy to keep at home as an emergency cleaner, or use it when you like for regular cleaning duties.

Your child’s wall art

A clean wall is like a blank canvas for some children. Armed with crayons or pencils they can’t resist the temptation to doodle and draw on your freshly painted interior walls. When this happens, count to ten, do your best to remain calm, and head to the cupboard where you keep the baking soda. You can use a damp sponge drizzled with a little baking soda to gently remove the marks from the wall. Kids will be kids, so remain cool, calm and collected by keeping a box of baking crystals on standby.

Worktop counter cleaner

If you run out of regular counter cleaner there’s no need to panic if you have a packet of baking soda close to hand. Simply mix 4 tablespoons of power with a pint of warm water and create your own multipurpose cleaner. You can make this even more practical by pouring the soda and the water into a spray bottle, the type you might use to mist domestic plants. Simply spray the soda onto the areas you want to clean and wipe grease and grime away.

Pet Beds

You might love your waggy four legged friend but you probably don’t love the way their pet bed smells. If the cover removes you can wash this by hand or on a low temperature in the machine, and to freshen it up during the week, sprinkle it with baking soda, leave for 10 minutes or so, then vacuum over it to remove all traces of the baking soda. This will help to deodorise the bed and get rid of those wiffy pet odours.

Bath and sink drains

Baking soda will help to clean the sinks in your bathroom and within the kitchen. It is very useful when you notice the waste water is draining away slowly and showing signs of a blockage. Simply sprinkle some of the baking soda down the drain, leave for a few minutes then flush the soda away using hot water straight from the kettle.

Shower curtains

Remove signs of dirt or mould from the bottom of your shower curtain. Use a damp sponge or soft bristled brush to scrub the curtain with baking powder, you can rinse it clean then leave it to hang dry afterwards. Do this whenever the shower curtain starts to look a little grubby and you will extend its life and prevent having to buy something new.

If you hate cleaning why not call us?

Baking soda is such a practical cleaning material but you will still have to use elbow grease to clean and sanitize your home. If this sounds like hard work, turn to us here at Slim Maintenance and make enquiries about our domestic property services.  You can contact us for more details or simply call us to find out more about our home maintenance services on 01293 277489 or 07792 004700.

The Importance of Roofing and Gutter Maintenance

It’s a great time to check your roof and gutters if you haven’t done this for a while. The roof above your head keeps your property watertight, without this level of protection all manner of problems can arise. Maintaining a roof can actually save you money in the long run. Have simple things like slipped tiles fixed now and this prevents further damage occurring, which can result in additional and costly repairs.

Why do I need roof maintenance?

Expert roof maintenance helps to keep your tiles or slates in perfect condition. If you have slipped or missing roof tiles, this enables water to seep into the property, and this can penetrate wood, plaster and ceilings, not to mention your home electrics. Routine maintenance on the roof prevents this. Not only will it highlight smaller issues, it will also give you early warnings of much bigger problems which could easily be prevented.

Get tiles fixed and have missing slates replaced to mitigate the chances of problems arising. A visual examination of your property by a reputable roof maintenance company will soon clarify the level of work required.

Why do I need gutter maintenance?

Gutter maintenance is vital if you want rainwater to run away from your property. Left unattended, gutters quickly fill with fallen leaves, moss, algae and other debris which blow onto the roof. Over time, this can lead to gutter blockages or signs of gutters sagging. At this stage, you might notice water flowing over the sides of gutters which cascades down the side of the house. Fail to address this and bigger issues might arise such as damp or damage to exterior brickwork.

Regular gutter maintenance ensures your gutters are clear of blockages and free from debris that could affect the performance of your roof.     

Tips to keep your roof in great shape  

  • Leave roof inspections to the experts – ladders can be lethal
  • Have the roof examined twice yearly if you can
  • Replace missing slates as soon as possible
  • Check for signs of damage after windy weather
  • Look for signs of debris on the ground which could indicate roof problems
  • Get into the loft to check the underside of the roof – look for daylight through the tiles

Get a quote for roof maintenance

You should always get a quote for roof repairs and roof maintenance before you agree to any work being carried out.  Any reputable contractor will gladly provide you with no-obligation quotes for roof maintenance services and we are no different at Slim Maintenance Ltd.

For more information about how our expert roofers in Crawley can be of service to you, contact us here at Slim Maintenance or please call us on 01293 277489.

Different Types of Smoke Alarm You Need in your Home

We all know that smoke alarms are a compact way of detecting a fire and warning us of the danger, especially when we’ve burnt a piece of toast! At Slim Maintenance, we regularly fit these self-contained devices to the ceilings of a number of rooms, helping households to escape in the early stages of a house fire. Understanding the different types of smoke alarms and where to put them in your home will give you the precious time you need, should the worst ever happen.

 

Ionisation smoke alarms – suitable for landings

Ionisation smoke alarms are incredibly cheap to buy and are the most suitable type of smoke alarm for landings. Fast flaming fires that produce small particles of smoke, like wood and paper fires, will be detected very quickly.

 

They are a little bit slower to detect smouldering or slow-burning fires that tend to produce large amount of smoke before flames, and ionisation alarms are a bit too sensitive to place close to kitchens.

 

Optical or photo electronic smoke alarms – suitable for bedrooms, living rooms and hallways

Whilst optical alarms may be a bit more expensive, smoke from slow-burning fires typical with burning upholstery and wiring is detected far more quickly. However, optical alarms can be slower to detect fast flaming fires.

 

You should install optical smoke detectors near your kitchen, as opposed to in your kitchen as they ‘re less likely to be set off by burnt toast, but are still very sensitive.

 

Heat alarms – suitable for kitchens and garages

These alarms don’t detect smoke, but rather detect increases in temperature – making them ideal for installing in your kitchen. The downside of heat alarms is that they can only detect very localised temperature increases, so you may find yourself having to install multiple heat alarms in your kitchen.

 

Combined optical alarms and heat alarms – suitable for landings, hallways, living rooms and bedrooms

Combined heat and optical alarms not only reduce the number of false alarms, they also increase the speed of detection, making them potential life savers if your home falls victim to a fire.

 

For more information about how the professionals at Slim Maintenance can install your smoke detectors to help keep your home safe in Crawley and the surrounding areas, please call 01293 277489 or contact us online today.

How to Choose a Professional Home Painter or Decorator

If you don’t have the time to paint your new home, professional painting contractors provide a highly useful service, but in an industry with a fair amount of rogue traders and cowboys, how can you ensure your painter is right for your project? By following these tips and advice, you should soon have a professionally decorated home you’re proud of.

Get recommendations

A great way to find a painter you can trust is to ask your friends and family if they’ve had any good experiences with a decorator. Often, people won’t give a word of mouth recommendation unless they’re extremely satisfied with the result, and if the same decorator is mentioned more than once, you’ll know they offer an excellent service.

Ask around for estimates

It’s natural that different contractors and decorating companies will have different prices, but it’s essential you ask at least three different painters how much your project will cost. The prices should be in a relatively small range of each other – if the estimate of one contractor is significantly different from the others, make sure you know what they don’t offer or where they cut corners.

Talk with prospective contractors before signing anything

This may seem obvious, but it’s essential to talk to the people who will potentially be decorating your home before you contract them to carry out any work. Whether it’s face-to-face or over the phone, there are a number of questions you should ask (unless you already know the answer) before making a decision, including:

  • How long has the company or individual been in the decorating industry?
  • Does the company or individual have the appropriate insurance?
  • Are they part of any decorating associations or something similar?
  • Do they have references you could check out?
  • Do they offer written guarantees for their work?
  • Which products and brands do they use?

Talk about what you want

Whether your decorating project is indoors or outdoors, it’s a wise idea to talk to your potential contractors about what you want from the project and if anything you want will affect the price. Ensure you’re specific and explicit about what you want painted (such as walls, skirting boards, doors, ceilings, etc.), and both the colour and finish of the paints.

What is the painter or decorator like?

If you meet face to face with contractors to discuss what you want from them, pay attention to how they act around, including:

  • Does the contractor have a professional attitude?
  • Are they courteous and polite?
  • Are they busy? Often, a good painter or decorator will be in high demand
  • Are they on time for their appointments, do they return your phone calls and an estimate in a reasonable amount of time?

Check the references you’re given

Make sure you speak directly with at least three references for any contractor you’re considering. If you can, visit their homes and inspect the work carried out. It’ll give you a good indication of the quality of work.

Check the contract

Once you’ve found the painter or decorator you want to carry out work on your home, ensure you have a written contract drawn up between you and your decorator, and that you read it carefully before signing. Don’t be afraid to question any part of the contract and make sure the following is specified:

  • Exactly what is going to be painted
  • Details regarding preparation before and tidying up after painting
  • Paint colours and brands to be used
  • How the decorator plans to protect your furniture and floors
  • How long the project will take, from start to finish
  • How much and by which method you will pay

Once you’ve found a decorator you want, you’re well on your way to achieving the dream home you desire. For more information about the services at Slim Maintenance, call 01293 277 489 or contact us online today.

Crawley maintenance

Property maintenance is a major consideration for any landlord with property in the Crawley area. Any home you rent out must be fit for occupation, and even brand new properties need regular maintenance.

Here are some of the issues you need to be aware of when planning the maintenance of your Crawley property:

  • Gas safety – all rented homes must have a current gas safety certificate. It’s also a good idea to have a maintenance service in place for your boiler, as there’s nothing worse than receiving a call from your tenant in the middle of the night, saying that the boiler has broken!
  • Water leaks – any water escapes can cause serious damage if left untreated. Keeping on top of maintenance issues such as lagging your pipes and inspecting the pipework after any very cold weather can save you large amounts of money in repair work.
  • Trees and shrubs – if there are trees or shrubs growing very near to your Crawley property, an important part of your regular maintenance should include trimming these back. If left to grow, they could end up undermining the structural integrity of your property.
  • Smoke detectors – any good landlord should ensure that smoke detectors are installed in the property they let out, and should encourage the tenants to regularly test them. If your have a maintenance service for your Crawley rental property, then why not add this to the list of regular jobs to be carried out?

Keeping on top of all this and more can be a big job. This is why many Crawley landlords choose to engage a property maintenance professional to look after all aspects of their properties. So if you could do with a helping hand to keep on top of your property, why not consider a professional Crawley maintenance service?

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