Timber Framing and Its Advantages

Timber framing, as opposed to 2×4 stick framing, is simply using traditional joinery in wood for post and beam construction. Usually, pegs are used to secure mortise and tendon joints. You can see timber frame structures that still exist today since some 2,000 years ago. This attests to how durable and strong it is. Today, it is still used because of its unique character and styling, as well as its exceptional strength. It is also used if open spaces and beautiful exposed beams are preferred. Many builders use timber framing for many of its other benefits.


Basic Types

There are three basic types of timber frames. The first one is the box frame, which is a simple frame consisting of straight horizontal and vertical pieces with one rafter roof, and with no purlins. Box frame is used to define framing other than the cruck framing method. Next type is cruck frame, which is a pair of curved and crooked timbers that form either a crossframe or a bent. The timbers are called blade. Cruck frames are available in many other types, such as full cruck, raised cruck or middle cruck, to name a few. Third type is aisled frame. It uses one or more piles of interior posts. These posts usually carry more load than the exterior walls. This is typically used in church buildings. Buildings with aisled frames are wider than those with simple or cruck framing. They also normally have purlins that support the rafter.




  • Aesthetics: Builders usually prefer timber framing because of its beautiful effect, especially in contemporary homes. The heavy timbers can be seen on the interior. This results to a warm effect, giving the structure texture and character.
  • Energy Efficiency: Structures using timber framing are totally enclosed in SIPs or structural insulated panels. This results to an efficient and strong enclosure, having high insulation and low filtration.
  • Durability: Building with timber frames are structurally sound, and can last up to hundreds of years. Many of them have even endured disasters and remain in good shape for years.
  • Ease of Construction: Most builders believe that timber framing is easier compared to conventional studding. In timber frames, fewer pieces of wood are handled and tolerances do not have to be exact. It is also easy to change floor plans because it can be open since there is no load bearing walls in the interior.
  • Economy: Timber framing is also more economical compared to finished lumber especially if they are bought in local sawmills.

Aside from the mentioned benefits of timber framing above, it is also essential to note that this process has less effect on the environment. Reclaimed timber is used and this is taken from old structures, saving trees and resulting to timber with character. Like other wood, it also results to energy efficiency, which is good for the environment. It is important for builders to consider earth-friendly materials to produce less harm in nature, which is also why new products are developed, including glulam, or glued laminated timber. This one can even be a substitute to steel and has multiple advantages.

Swindon, Britain’s Disney World

Believe it or not, Wiltshire based town Swindon is a close relation of Disney World Florida. In 2009 the pair became twinned! The whole concept started from a competition where Disney World Florida asked the residents of the United Kingdom to vouch for their towns and express to them why their town is suited to become twinned with the theme park. Rebecca Warren, aged 20, rose to this challenge and came up with a winning slideshow boasting Swindon’s premium qualities. Twinning has been described as a way to exchange cultural ideas, so would that mean we can expect to see a Space Mountain in Swindon?

kitchens in Swindon

 What is so great about Swindon?


Swindon is host to a number of festivals. The Summer Breeze Festival is an annual based music experience that has been host to some top names such as KT Tunstell, a Grammy Award nominated female singer songwriter. The festival is run voluntarily by music enthusiasts with all profits made being donated to charity or put into funding for next year’s event. Maybe Mickey has a soft spot for Folk, Indie and Ska music. There is also a growing art scene in Swindon, based inside the Arts Center, where amateur productions are put on from local talent. Swindon also has its fair share of museums (like the STEAM Museum) and many shopping outlets. Swindon sums up Britain in the the space of a large town. The town promotes a healthy local economy, while the green spaces boast qualities of the great British countryside.

A Disney Comparison


There’s really not much you can compare. I guess if you were clutching at straws, you could mention Disney has films with kitchens in them like Ratatouille, and there are also kitchens in Swindon. One’s a glorious world of fun where animals can talk and humans fly around on magic carpets; the other is a standard British town. I suppose the goodwill of Swindon represented by such events as the Summer Breeze Festival mentioned earlier reflects the good nature Disney bases its’ values on.

I’m not sure that twinning with Disney World will necessarily help Swindon in any way. Perhaps they will get a few Disney enthusiasts who will add a visit to the town to their bucket list. For Disney, however, it was one fantastic public relations stunt that got the whole of the UK talking in 2009.

Why Use Modern Furniture for Your Office?

Offices also go with the world’s ever-changing nature. They need regular transformation to keep employees feeling great as they work throughout the day. The changes in the office are not only limited to the work culture, but also the other aspects such as the need to enjoy office furniture Hampshire. Furnishing styles have always been evolving with us over the years. Today, business owners are looking for styles that would suit the current trend. Modern furniture has become highly popular to offices because of their functionality and affordability.

office furnitureModern office furniture Southampton have their own stylish way of furnishing the work space without making it look cluttered. This contemporary style has made waves with popularity because of its sleek look. Unlike traditional furniture used in offices, modern furniture has neat designs that would definitely give office owners a unique advantage.

When choosing modern furniture for your office, make sure that you are picking neat and sleek furnishing items because they give you ample space to work.  Gone are the days when business owners choose furniture just because of functionality. At present, furniture is known to also give a nice appeal. This means that you should choose furniture that will transform the overall look of your office. Most modern furniture looks more funky and fun than the elegant and classy than the traditional ones. Simply put, your office should represent the modern world and great progress.

Southampton has a population of over 239, 000 and is recognised as the cultural, retail and commercial capital of the south coast. It is considered as one of the best places in the United Kingdom to both live and work. With businesses flourishing here and there, it is appropriate for business owners to boost the morale of their employees with the right furniture.

One of the most important modern furniture in any office is the table. This is where employees accomplish their work and client presentations happen. All office tables must be designed according to function and should complement the comfortable chairs. They should look as appealing as possible, especially those at the conference rooms.

Some offices even have their own special arrangements to make a statement. Avoid large desks and too many drawers that would end up as an eye sore to everyone. Modern tables usually come in square or edgy shapes. They only cover up the needed space to make the office look more spacious. The place where guests are welcomed must have low height tables, cosy sofas with modern wall decors and lighting systems. If you are on a tight budget, you can always choose to buy used office furniture Southampton.

Contemporary office furniture brings a whole new look in a traditional office setting. You can slowly get rid of the old furniture by liquidating it so you will have more funds to purchase new furniture. Modern offices have this minimalist touch without making these places look empty. Businesses can get favorable loans from finance companies for office renovation at subsidized interest rates. Renovation is not an easy task because it requires careful planning. It has to be taken one step at a time. With the right layout plan, all the hard work will pay off like you have just entered a new paradigm in business.

The Roles of Online Estate Agents

Looking for someone to buy your house? What are the steps you can do to ensure that you will be able to sell it as soon as possible? Or if you are looking for a lot to invest in, how do you go about it? Fortunately, there are many professionals who can help you get through the more-than-simple tasks involved in buying and selling properties. There are many online estate agents UK, for example, who can help you dispose and acquire properties before their values change unfavourably.

House Tree

So what are the functions served by online estate agents?

  • An estate agent can provide assistance when it comes to setting up a plan of action by analyzing your needs and financial resources and matching your situation to what is happening in the housing or property market. Through this, you can make more meaningful decisions when it comes to purchasing or selling properties. This simplifies the process of pricing your property or determining whether the price of a particular house you are considering to buy is just right or too high.
  • An agent can conduct research on the neighbourhoods and homes that can suit the preferences and needs of a buyer. He or she can also look for buyers for properties being sold. This “matching” role helps property buyers and sellers avoid the hassles of negotiations and inspections without necessarily preventing the buyer or seller from doing personal discussions over the properties being sold or bought.
  • If you are unsure about how to make your property more attractive to buyers, an estate agent can provide assistance. An agent has enough knowledge and experience to guide you on how to stage and market the house you are selling, for example, to make it look more attractive. An agent can also help you in making an offer to a prospective buyer. Or if you are a buyer, an agent can help you make an offer to and negotiate with a seller for a possible price reduction.
  • Mainly serving as a link between a buyer and a seller, it is also one of the roles of an agent is to come up with a compromise that can be agreeable to both parties. However, the agent will expectedly try to find ways to make the transaction more favorable to his client (buyer or seller).
  • The handling of important documents may also be relegated to the agent. Document preparations and evaluations are not something many property buyers or sellers would want to deal with. Agents can provide assistance here without necessarily making buyers and sellers oblivious to the documentation involved. The goal is just to simplify the process but everything should be transparent.

There are many online estate agents UK like the ones at House Tree who will always be willing to lend a hand to help property buyers and sellers in finding and getting what they need and want. They even offer a money back guarantee and various service packages that can suit different needs and preferences.

Selling Your Home Made Easy with These Tips

Selling your home may not be an easy thing to do. First of all, you may already feel attached to the house especially if you have been living there for several years. There’s also the time and effort that you need to spend from making it ready for viewing and advertising. But if you need to move to a new place and you need to sell your property, there are various things that you need to do.

Start cleaning the house. It needs to be neat and presentable before you make it available for viewing. It may be difficult but all personal things should be packed. Your family photos and albums may have been there forever, but it’s time to keep them. If you need to rent a storage do so as you will need this for your things. It would be easier for your buyers to envision themselves living in the house if they cannot see photos and other personal things of the previous owners. Remove some furniture and decors that are not really needed to free up space, especially if the area is not that big. This will make the house look more spacious and comfortable.

 House Tree

Check all parts and areas of the house to determine what needs to be fixed or replaced. You need to make sure that everything is working properly including the lights, faucets, doors, cabinets, etc. Paint the walls, change the curtains and rearrange the furniture to make it more appealing. This should not just be done inside the house. The outside of the house is equally important so it should be given attention too. After all, this is the first thing that the buyers will see, which will create the first impression.

Once you are ready to sell your house, hire a reliable real estate agent to help you with the process. It’s true that you can always try to sell the property on your own. However, this may take much of your time, which may be inconvenient if you have lots of other things to do. Plus, you may not be able to reach as many potential buyers as professional real estate agents can as they have the tools, experience, skills and connection.

So how do you pick the right agent? It’s always best to ask for recommendations from trusted people. If you have friends, officemates or relatives that have sold their property before, you may be able to get a good advice from them. There are also sites online that would let you search on licensed agents offering their services in your area. If you are having second thoughts of hiring an agent because of the high commission fee, you have the option to hire online real estate agents.

There are real estate agents that offer their services on the web like House Tree. They offer the same services as the regular agents. The only difference is that they do not have a local office. Because of this, they can give their service at a lower cost but are still able to promote your property to potential buyers.

Detecting the Signs of Plumbing Problems in Your Home

The plumbing system in your home is what makes water accessible to different parts of the house including the bathroom, wash area and kitchen. This water is used for drinking, bathing and washing that is why it is important to keep it in good condition. Problems on your plumbing system may cause a huge inconvenience. There are various things that you can do for its care and maintenance.

For the bathroom, use strainers on showers and tubs to catch hair and soap that may cause clogging. Make sure to clean the strainers regularly as well. Do not flush anything on your toilet including diapers and sanitary napkins. Keep a trash container in the bathroom so you can throw these things there instead of flushing in the toilet. Running hot water on the drain every week will also prevent clogs. Leaky faucets can usually be fixed by tightening the loose part.

 Ian Smith Heating Engineers

When it comes to the kitchen, it’s also important not to throw left over foods or any food items on the drain. Even oil and grease should be thrown on the garbage can before washing the kitchen and eating utensils as these can harden and may cause blockage. The sink should also have a strainer. For the washing area, hoses of washing machine should always be checked. If you see any damage, have it replaced immediately to prevent leaks. Strainers are also needed for the drain to keep soap, hair and lint from entering the drain. Installing a flood alarm would also help determine leaks or water overflow.

These are only some of the things that you can do to care for your plumbing system. It’s also important to be aware of the signs of plumbing problems so you would know when to call a plumber for help. A sputtering or coughing faucet may be one of these signs. If it doesn’t always happen, then this could be harmless. But if you always experience it then this may be caused by a crack on the water pipe. Difficulties in flushing the toilet, overflowing sink and leaky faucets are other signs of plumbing issues.

If you experience any of these concerns, it is recommended that you call a professional plumber immediately to have the problem checked and fixed. Do not wait for the problem to worsen as this will not only cause big trouble but it will also cost you more on the expensive repair. But before you even have any of these problems, it’s best to start searching for the plumber that you can call in case of any plumbing concerns. With this, you’ll have more time to compare and choose the best one to hire.

Get recommendations from your friends or search online for possible experts to hire. Most of them have websites that you can check for their information. Find one that is licensed to provide plumbing services in your area as these people are trained and experienced. Read reviews and feedbacks and if possible get references of their previous clients. Only choose trusted providers like Ian Smith Heating Engineers. They should also be insured for the security of your property.

Ways to Tell It’s Time to Fix Your Home’s Electrical Wiring

A newly built house means that its electrical components and wirings are new as well. But as years pass, the house’s physical condition deteriorates, and its electrical wiring gets worn out with years and years of use. Just like any part of the house, the wiring should be replaced every several years to ensure that electricity flows freely and safely through the wires without causing any damage to the appliances or harm to the home’s occupants. A home’s wiring is one of the most important components that must be maintained to ensure the safety of the home and its owners. There are several situations to look out for which may indicate that the system should already be replaced.

 FES Bristol


  • Burnt smell near outlets. When you go near electrical outlets or sockets and you notice a burnt or charred smell, it may indicate that the wires inside the outlets are burned. This means that the electricity flowing through the wires can harm people, as the wires are no longer sealed and safe. This may result in electrical shock, which may vary in strength depending on the amount of electricity that passes through the wires.


  • Lights turning on and off. If you notice that your lights keep flickering during the night, this may mean that the connection leading to the receptacle is damaged. This may cause short circuiting and sparks, that when left unrepaired may cause fire. This situation must be given attention to avoid damaging the lighting system altogether.


  • Grounded electrical outlets and switches. Have you ever plugged an appliance and you suddenly feel a slight shock course through your hand? This indicates that the outlet, switch or wires connected to them have short circuited and need to be repaired at once. Just like flickering lights, a grounded switch or outlet may get worse over time if left untreated.


  • Burned wires or outlets. When you see external wires’ insulation that are no longer in their original color, which may sometimes look blackish, it could mean that the wires inside have already burned. Burnt wires should be replaced right away, as they can become very hazardous when left neglected. Sparks cause the wires to burn.


  • Circuit breakers conk out. Circuit breakers protect the house from fires by tripping when the electricity that is flowing through the wires is more than they could handle. Overloads usually happen when there are many electrical appliances plugged in at once. The job of the circuit breaker is to lessen the electricity that flows to avoid a fire. Just like any other electrical component, circuit breakers get worn out over time, so when they have reached the end of their life, they conk out more often. This may result in the inability to trip the incoming electricity. If this happens to your circuit breaker, replace it at once.

When you notice one or more of these signs in your home’s electrical wiring, do not hesitate to hire FES Bristol to repair the damage at once. Not only will you and your family be safe from the dangers of fire, you also get to prolong the life of your electrical appliances.

4 Great Ways to Maintain Your Gas Boiler

Doing a regular maintenance to your gas boiler would be very beneficial to your unit as well as to you as the owner. Aside from the fact that you are prolonging the life of your gas boiler that can needless to say be expensive, you also avoid paying for expensive repairs or replacements. Maintainance does not need that much time or money. With just a little effort, you can make sure your boiler would operate smoothly and effectively at all times.

boiler services

 Boiler services must be considered especially if you are facing complicated boiler situations.

 1.       Keep the manual. This is a very important step to maintaining your gas boiler. Make sure to keep your gas boiler manual even after the installation is done. Put it in a place that is convenient and accessible, possibly the same place where you put your important documents. Your manual may contain some of the most common troubleshooting guides and solutions to several difficulties you can experience with your boiler. Your manual is also essential in case you like to change some settings like programming, timer and etc. with your boiler for the approaching summer or winter season. That makes it highly beneficial.

 2.       Have a scheduled maintenance. A regular and continuous maintenance is a way to ensure that your boiler will always be in operational condition even for the years to come. And to do that, you may want to consider a regular yearly boiler maintenance service. This is important especially if you are the type of homeowner that does not have a thorough knowledge about boilers. A boiler expert will look at all the possible aspect of your unit that may cause any potential problems. Maintenance is best done before the winter.

 3.       Prevent boiler from freezing. The freezing temperature can be detrimental to your boilers so you should void such thing from happening. Although it is not the most practical thing to do, you can opt to just leave you boiler at a lower temperature than its normal setting. If you do not particularly like that idea, you can also try other methods to keep your boiler from freezing. One way is to have your pipes insulated.

 4.       Replace faulty parts. Boilers are a system, which means all parts are essential for its operation. If you think some parts are starting to experience wear and tear or do not fulfill their purposes anymore, then it is time that you have those parts replaced. After all, heating problems can be a waste of energy. This is another way to ensure your boiler will have more effective and smooth operation in the long run.

If you notice some trouble with your boiler and you cannot seem to determine the problem, it would be best to seek professional help. For complicated boiler situations, it would be best to look for boiler services instead of trying to solve the problem by yourself and risk your safety while also making the problem worse.

Power Flushing: The Solution to Common Boiler Problems

Long and cold winters are made bearable and comfortable by smooth running and efficient boilers. Life without them would mean unimaginably miserable winters. So to make sure that we will enjoy the warmth that these boilers give when we need them most, it is a must that we do a thorough check of our boiler system even before the onset of the cold season so that needed repairs can be done in preparation for the cold spell.

 Plumber Bristol

 Plumber Bristol can ensure that your system works efficiently and keeps you warm and comfortable during winter.


Common symptoms of boiler problems


It is commonly suggested by boiler technicians that one of the best way for boiler owners to find out if their boilers are still functioning well after months of not being used is to turn them on for a number of days and closely monitor their performance. Observe your boiler and watch out for the following:

  • Does your boiler take a long time to heat up?
  • Is it not warming your home the way it should?
  • Are their strange sounds coming from your boiler or from the pipes?
  • Are there any leaks coming from the radiators?
  • Is there dark water coming out of your radiators?
  • Is your radiator’s top portion hot while its bottom cold?
  • Does your boiler keep locked down, requiring you to reset it?

If you said yes to one or more of the questions then there is obviously a problem with your boiler. The conditions stated above are actually symptoms indicative of circulation problems in your central heating system. It may sound serious but there is an available and effective solution to it.

Cause of boiler circulation problems


Because of long hours of constant use circulation problems in central heating systems occur due to corrosion and build-up of scale and sludge in the heating system. Overtime this build up can cause a blockage in the system restricting water to flow to radiators. Debris may also accumulate in the boiler’s heat exchanger causing the boiler to make unusual noise. Debris build-up can also reduce your boiler’s efficiency and sometimes may even lead to boiler failure.

Correcting boiler circulation problems


Boiler circulation problems can be remedied by the process called power flushing sometimes also referred to as jet flushing or hard flushing. This process involves the use of a power flushing pump to clean your heating system using water at high velocity but with low pressure to avoid any damage to your heating system. This special pump can loosen corrosion and sludge deposits and pump them out of the heating system. Special cleaning or mobilizing agents are sometimes used in power flushing to make the process more effective.

Power flushing can correct many boiler problems and improve your heating system’s circulation and over-all efficiency. Power flushing can likewise prevent leaks, rust build-up and can even reduce your energy bill.

Although there are DIY videos that show how power flushing can be done by homeowners, many still rely on heating specialists like Plumber Bristol to perform power flushing on their system. These professionals do not just have the expertise they have the right equipment too to perform the process with utmost efficiency.

Antique restoration hardware

Decorative antique hardware adds the finishing touch to a home makeover

Improving your living space with antique, or indeed reproduction elements such as doors, window frames and light fittings for example is only as good as the finishing touches. From a loft apartment to suburban townhouse or rural retreat, adding the finishing touches completes the authenticity of the look you’re trying to create.

Antique restoration hardware

Antique restoration hardware – the difference is in the finish

A vanity project

Let’s face it; making over your home is a vanity project, but hey, I am all for vanity. Our homes are our castles as our English cousins across the pond would say, and they know a thing or two about castles and authenticity. Our home is our escape from reality, an escape from the daily trudge, the 9 to 5 grind and the school runs. The very least we should do is make our nest, our home, our escape from the humdrum, a place which we are comfortable with.

Talking of castles and old stately homes, if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to visit the UK and managed to take in one or two, you may have noticed a couple of things. Everything, from the lamp switches to electrical sockets, door handles, door fittings and panels, cabinet latches and drawer pulls are all authentic antique.

Restoring old furniture

Whether you are into restoring old furniture for yourself, or you buy up old furniture to re-create a period home interior, it is the attention to detail which really counts. Antique, industrial vintage and shabby chic furniture deserves an authentic finish. Why settle for anything less in your search for perfection.

However, antique furniture is just the start. I have been in so many homes where the interior décor is styled around a certain era. It may have been the roaring twenties or the austere fifties, the swinging sixties or a taste of Victoriana, but in many cases the end result has been let down by a lack of attention to a small detail.

Bakelite switches and sockets

As long as the switches and sockets are tested and passed for safe use by a qualified electrician, you’ll have no problems with insurance. These old style switches, which make an excellent addition to any interior décor style or period theme, are still as efficient and safe to use as they were the day they were manufactured.

Look around your home and choose a color. Bakelite switches and wall sockets can be sourced in brown, white and black and, dependent on the mood and background hues, you can easily find a match for your own interior scheme.

Remember, it is all a vanity project. If we cannot have a little vanity in our lives within the privacy of our won castles, where can we?

If you have the time, the energy and the cash to create a period interior theme in your home, don’t spoil it for the lack of authenticity. Antique restoration hardware, fixtures and fittings do make the difference, just wait and see when you have completed the project