Top Tips for Better Car Maintenance

 

It’s easy to forget that our cars need constant maintenance in order to ensure that they’re driving to the best of their ability. Sometimes, all we need to do in order to prevent us a lot of money at the garage is to perform simple checks ourselves at home. That’s why we have compiled a list of the best DIY tips for better car maintenance in order for you to save some pennies.

To prevent future breakdowns or unexpected failures in your car this winter, here are some simple checks and tips you can keep on top of with your vehicle:

Change your Windshield Wiper Blades

Wiper Blades tend to last from about 6 months to a year, depending on their use and your car.  Asking a local garage to change them for you can set you back a pretty penny, which is why changing them yourself is cost effective and easy to do. Firstly, you will need to buy new Wiper Blades. You will be able to find them for cheap online, depending on your car. Sites such as eBay will have a large range of wipers to suit your vehicle. Once you have wipers that will fit your car – follow these instructions in order to fit them correctly. Some cars have a different process to this, however most cars will be able to fit new wipers using this method:

  1. Note how the older blades are attached to your wipers
  2. On the majority of cars in the UK, there will be a tab underneath each wiper. Push this in order to release the old blade, and slide it out by hand.
  3. Attach your new wiper blades in the same way the older blades had been attached. Be careful not to pull too hard on the wipers, or scratching the windscreen on your car.
  4. Place your Windshield Wipers back to their original position, and check they work before driving anywhere.

Check your Tyres

You should be checking your tyres every two weeks. Making sure that they are within the legal limits of pressure will ensure safety on the roads.

Check and replace your Water Level

While your engine is cool each week, check that the coolant level is set between the MIN and MAX marks in your car. It is also advisable to check your anti-freeze before the cold weather sets in.  Top up where applicable.

coolant-check

 

Replace your Air Filter

Air Filters will usually last you one year, or 12 000 miles, depending on your car. You may think this process can be hard, however, it can take up to 10 minutes. Plus, it saves you the time of taking your vehicle to a garage in order for them to replace it for you. You can buy Air Filters online for roughly £10. In order to replace your Air Filter, follow these steps:

  1. Find the filter under the hood of your car. This can be done by opening the hood and locating the black rectangular box. Release the metal clips on the side of the box in order to open the box. Now you will be able to access your Air Filter.
  2. Note which way the filter is facing, and how it fits within the black box – this will come in handy when placing a new filter inside.
  3. Remove the current filter by pulling it out of its housing.
  4. Replace the old filter with your new one, ensuring it is placed right in order to work correctly.

Replace your Fuel Filter

This can be tricky, and should definitely only be attempted by people who know what they’re doing, so we understand if you’d rather take this matter to your local garage. However, for around £15, you can change your own fuel filter in about half an hour. You will need to buy a new fuel filter, as well as new fuel line washers, and open end wrenches.

Replacing the fuel filter in your car can save you from nasty and pricey damages along the line. Fuel filters will usually last around 12 months, which is why we advise replacing them every year.

  1. The first thing you should do before replacing your fuel filter is relieve some of the pressure in the system. You can do this by finding the relay which can operate the fuel pump in your car. By running your car and pulling out the right fuel pump, your engine will stop running automatically. Don’t worry! This is normal.
  2. Once you have done this, you will want to make sure that the fuel lines are not connected to the fuel filter.
  3. Connect two open end wrenches around the fuel filter fittings. Once done, place a small towel on top in order to save you and your clothes any spills if there is any remaining pressure.
  4. Turn the wrench on one bolt until it comes off
  5. Release the fuel line from the bolt
  6. Do this process again on the other side of the filter
  7. Remove the old fuel filter, be careful in doing so
  8. Change the fuel filter washers, and make sure to match the new ones up correctly in order to avoid any accidents or damage to your car
  9. Install the new fuel filter, in the same way that the old filter was fitted into your car
  10. Return the fuel pump fuse or relay before you try to start the car.

If your car has broken down, or there is an element which has stopped working, ringing the DVLA for advice may be your best option.  On this number, you can also find information on vehicle registration, SORN, and license checks. We also advise ringing a garage local to you in order to get your car fixed ASAP.

Things To Remember Before Moving A Staircase

 

Moving your staircase sounds about as challenging as moving your walls. A huge part of your building and its structure, many homeowners will think that moving the staircase is simply unfeasible. But it can and has been done. It will be tricky, lengthy and probably very expensive costing somewhere in the region of £10,000 and £20,000 depending on the size of your home. But it can be done.

You will need to speak to your local building office first to see what advice they can provide you with in regards to building regulations. If you get the go ahead, you should speak to a joiner about moving your staircase and see what recommendations he or she can give. They may suggest knocking down a wall, restructuring the house and alternating the floor plan in order to accommodate for the moving staircase. However, one thing is is for certain: there will be a lot that needs changing if you wish to go ahead.

There are a few other variables that you should be keeping in mind before you commit to a renovation though. You will, of course, have to think about the stairs that are replacing it. Not only where they would ideally be located (and what else would have to be taken down to do it i.e. walls, ceiling space) but how it might look. Would they be made an old-fashioned wood style? A more industrial and post-modern metal one? Or would glass better suit your needs by creating more space and allowing more light to enter the room? You should also think about whether it might be a simple staircase or a bespoke one with a more unusual style.

Keeping Your Staircase From Creaking

A day will not go by in which your staircase is not used at least a handful of times. For this reason, a creaking or squeaking staircase can be a headache for any owner. It is easy to happen. Susceptible to wear because of the frequency of their use, things will inevitably work their way loose or slip out of place. Generally, it occurs when the tread (the steps on which you stand) rub against the riser board (the vertical bit that raises each step) because something is unfastened, or when . However, the good news is that staircases are just as easy to fix as they are to damage. Even with bespoke staircases, homeowners generally will not need to call someone to fix the problem. All you need is the correct tools and the right know-how.

Glue Blocks

Glue blocks can be used the strengthen the hold between the tread and the riser board. These are miniature triangular blocks on wood that will snugly fit behind the tread and between the riser. Those with decent DIY skills will be able to make them without too much hassle, but those who don’t have the skills (or the time to implement them) may instead ask a local joinery to do it for them. Some pre-made ones are also available to buy.

Screws Or Nails

Another way to help strengthen the hold between the tread and the riser is to screw them or nail them into place, which can be done by drilling holes through the former and into the edge of the latter. One thing to keep in mind when doing this, however, is that complications could arise if the nail or screw is not firmly tucked in. It could come loose easily and result in even more noise. Furthermore, people using the stairs could catch it if it is sticking out, causing physical injury or damage to clothing.

Molding

The other option you have if creaking staircases are a problem is to apply molding to the angles between the riser and the treads. Moldings can be purchased from various DIY outfits and will be available based on the design of your staircases. These can be applied to the front of the stairs (unlike the aforementioned glue blocks which fit around the back) and will be glued to either the top or bottom of the riser.

3 Ways Give Your Staircase A Brand New Look

Your staircase is one of the most important parts of your home. Aesthetically, it is something that makes a room stand out. Meanwhile, its function cannot be overstated – there is rarely a day that you don’t use the staircase on at least a couple of occasions.
However, the staircase is still something that often gets overlooked when people decide to renovate their home. Even as new decorations enter the home and new colour schemes are introduced, staircases often remain exactly the same.

It’s a surprising fact – especially because there are many fantastic, creative and appealing ways to transform your staircase. You can easily transform it from that boring old necessity into something unique that makes your home seen brand new. Some ideas are more expensive, but many can be achieved without the need to break the bank
So what are the best ways that you can give your traditional staircase a brand new look?

1. Try A New Colour Scheme

Bringing a bit of colour to your tired old staircase doesn’t come a lot easier than, well, bringing a bit of colour. Find a new pattern that might complement the appearance of your room and get to work. If you have a wooden staircase, it is very easy: grab a small, angled paint brush to fill in some of the edges then a larger one for the stair tiles themselves. If you have carpet, it’s even simpler: try a few samples and see what fits best, then install it when you see fit.

2. Be Creative With The Design

Or perhaps you might attempt to be really creative. Some people have decorated each step a different shade to replicate a rainbow, some have given each one a favourite quote, and others have even designed their steps in the style of book spines. All you need to achieve this is an artistic eye and a few simple painting tools.

3. Make Your Staircase Into A Storage Space

Every homeowner in the world understands the agony of finding storage space. With every new purchase comes the anxiety of where you might be able to put it. There are plenty of solutions to this crisis. Home extensions and loft conversions are available from businesses such as Mersey Developments. But there is another way: turn the underside of your staircase into something that not only props up the fixture but simultaneously serves as a storage space.

5 Bespoke Staircase Designs Guaranteed to Inspire

A bespoke staircase can bring a whole new energy to your home, particularly in the way in which it connects the floors together. Having a bespoke staircase measured and built to fit your requirements will not only greatly improve the look and feel of you home; it can also help to encourage the flow of energy by making the most of tight spaces, low ceilings and hard-to-reach places.

In addition, with a range of materials, colours, styles, designs and themes to choose from, there’s no longer an excuse for your home not having the ease of accessibility it so deserves. Speak to a dedicated staircase fitter or experienced architect to come up with a unique design that’s built to suit you.

In the meantime, take a look at these five bespoke staircase designs for some inspiration on how it can transform your home.

1. contemporary-bespoke-staircase

This classic and elegant staircase makes the most of its space thanks to its quarter turn with three winders. Built out of rich and vibrant oak, the staircase gives a warm and cosy feel to its surroundings whilst still displaying an element of country-fresh briskness.

Solid and dutiful, this is a staircase certain to last for years to come, with its glass-paneled banister adding a light and delicate touch.

 

2. hovering-bespoke-staircase

Certainly not one for children, this fragmented staircase spotted in a park house in Tokyo gives the illusion that the stairs are ‘hovering’ in mid air. It gives an ultra modern and minimalist feel due to its smooth almond finish and neat alignment.

This staircase would not be ideal when there are elderly people or little ones around, but it certainly helps to maintain a clean, simplistic look without compromising on function and durability.

 

3.glass-bespoke-staircase

This beautiful glass staircase is a surefire way to catch the eye of any guest that may come into your hallway. Encased by strong glass paneling, it is kept supported and protected, whilst also giving the illusion of more space thanks to its transparency.

Many people don’t tend to think of glass as a strong candidate for building a staircase, but be assured that it is. It can be more expensive, but this is one material to invest in if its both luxury and dependability you’re after.

 

4. bespoke-staircase-storage

Not just a pretty architectural piece – your bespoke staircase can also be doubled up as an extra facility; in this case, storage. This clean, white staircase with traditional banister design has handy, spacious drawers in which to store bedding, linen, books and other miscellaneous items or household equipment effortlessly.

When closed, these drawers are almost invisible to the eye, blending seamlessly with your staircase’ design. Consider this for an easy and clever way to keep your home looking spotless!

 

5. bespoke-staircase-limestone

If you’re looking for something a little more extravagant, this stunning back-lit staircase made with French limestone is a perfect example of how far your bespoke staircase can go. Perfect for hallways, outdoor areas or basements, the limestone gives a soft yet glamorous look to any interior, whilst the bare-brick interim panels maintain a Grecian, rustic effect.

Add in some back-light by placing LED spotlights at the top of the staircase, and watch as a pastel-coloured hue is glanced off the steps and onto the surrounding walls. For this work, you’ll need to choose either soft lights or use spotlight covers to control how much light is allowed to illuminate the stairwell.

Why Get a Loft Conversion?

Loft conversions are by far one of the most common types of home improvement we see on the market today. With housing prices rising, many people are looking for new ways to get more out of the property they own rather than browsing the listings. A loft conversion can be just the thing to give your home that long-desired boost, with minimum disruption and fuss, yet benefits that will last a lifetime.loftconversion4

Space and utility are the main benefits that often spring to mind when talking of loft conversions, but there are actually a number of others that may not have crossed your mind.

1. Minimum Disruption

loft-conversion-processLoft conversions are done from the outside using scaffolding, so you can continue to live at home during the process with minimum disruption to the other rooms in your home.

This is often not the case for most types of home improvement, where inhabitants are often required to move out of bedrooms; rearrange their living quarters or go  without water for some hours of the day.

2. Increased House Valueselling-home

A loft conversion is absolutely a good investment for the future. Not only will you get the instant benefit of the extra space, you’ll also be adding up to 20% to your home’s current value.

This puts you in a good position should you ever wish to sell the house in later life.

3. Opportunity to get Creative

The loft is often a wasted space, rarely used to the fullest of its potential. But when you think about converting it, you open up the doors to a whole range of ways in which you can get creative with your new room.

home-recording-studioWith an imaginative use of large windows or glazing, you can make a breathtaking space where you’ll enjoy spending time. Or, you may decide to turn it into a purpose-built storage room, such as a recording studio, rehearsal room or home cinema. Many people also use it to incorporate nifty storage facilities that are disguised or hidden in the existing interior.

The choices are endless. Consult your architect or an interior designer for inspiration on how to use your space.

4. Increased Energy Efficiency

When you create another room above your house, you are adding space on top of your home that can improve its energy efficiency. A loft conversion helps to keep things warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer – its essentially like putting a ‘hat’ on the top of your house, experts say.

5. Experienced Fitters

Loft conversions are one of the oldest home improvements going back 30 or so years, says Lindsay Cuthill, head of residential sales for Savills.  There is likely to be no problem they haven’t encountered, so experienced builders such as Liverpool Joinery Company can be trusted to give the right verdict when it comes to creating your loft.

That means that when they say it’ll take six weeks, you can probably take their word for it, and other measurements or potential problems that may arise will be dealt with appropriately.

6. Salvage home-garden-spaceyour Garden

By opting for a loft conversion, you don’t have to forego your garden to create extra floor space in your home. Whether your garden is large or small, its no doubt likely to be a valuable asset, particularly for those living in urban neighbourhoods.

Converting the loft is a fantastic way of transforming an otherwise unused, non-functional space, allowing you to maintain full use of your garden and therefore enjoy the best of both worlds.

How Much Does A Loft Conversion Cost?

There are a great many benefits to converting your home’s loft. At a time when housing prices are high, converting your loft is an easy way to guarantee more space in your family home. Similarly, it will make your house far more desirable when it comes time to sell, increasing its value by almost 25%.

However, there is one problem that those who wish to convert their loft inevitably encounter: the cost. Converting your loft can often be an expensive venture with lots of work involved at a varying degree of prices. But how much does your average loft conversion cost a homeowner, and what are you getting for the price?

loftconversion2What types of loft conversion can I have — and how much do they cost?

There are three popular types of loft conversion that many people choose from. The first, and most inexpensive, is the Dormer loft conversion which costs as little as £20,000. This involves bringing the back or side of a sloping roof outwards. The second option that homeowners frequently select is the Hip To Gable conversion which involves altering the sloped side of your roof (known as the hip) into a flat gable end. As this often requires seeking planning permission, the conversion could ultimately cost in the region of £30-35,000. Finally, you might wish to choose a Mansard loft conversion which alters the back slope of a roof to a steeper gradient. This also requires planning permission as work must be done on the structure and could cost up to £40,000.

loftconversion3What can I add to a loft conversion — and what will these things cost me?

A lot of people who are looking to convert their loft may hope to add some unique features while doing so. Some have transformed their loft into an en-suite bathroom by adding plumbing for sinks, toilets, baths, etc. Others have installed stairs in order to provide better access to the loft. Depending on what add-ons you desire, these additional items will boost the price of your conversion. For instance, stairs that are manufactured and fitted to meet the specific requirements of your loft could set you back between £500 and £800. Meanwhile, installing new roof lights will cost homeowners somewhere in the region of £600.

loftconversion4Does the size or location of my house impact the cost?

There are different costs for loft conversions depending on where your house is located. Loft conversions in London are, for instance, going to cost significantly more than loft conversions Liverpool. It’s estimated that people living in London will generally have to pay close to £40,000 for the job while those living outside of the capital will be paying between the £20,000 and £30,000 mark.

The other major factor that will impact how much a homeowner spends on a loft conversion is the size of the house itself. Those with a standard 20 square metre loft will be paying a reasonably low cost of between £10-12,000. Meanwhile, the more common 20 square metre deluxe lofts will be in the region of £24-27,000. If you are residing somewhere that has a standard 30 square metre loft this price will be between £12,000 and £13,000 while deluxe lofts of this size could be setting you back around £25-28,000.

Welcome to UK Workmen

Greetings from UK Workmen. We are a group of workmen who provide home improvements in the UK.

Whether you are looking for tips for your next DIY project, so building a new home extension. Our home improvement experience and tips on this website will help you.

We will also be providing our home improvement projects, to give you some inspiration and ideas.