|email@example.com 14/10/2016 15:38:36
There’s been a lot of nervousness about Brexit in the construction industry, and across a lot of industries in general, but a few months after the referendum we can start to feel more confident about our prospects looking forwards.
The Federation of Master Builders surveyed 108 smaller house-builders in England and found that 69% didn’t see any impact on their business after the referendum. Only 10 businesses had seen a project cancelled since the vote in June and 23 saw delays to some projects, but the majority had just seen ‘business as usual’. The biggest impact was a delay on decision making, rather than cancelled projects.
The survey also asked SME house builders what they needed the UK government to secure as part of leaving the EU. Over half of respondents said that they wanted to see unnecessary regulation dropped, while over a fifth said that they needed skilled tradespeople from the EU to be able to work in the UK and fill any skills shortages the UK has.
Other responses included ensuring that material imports are still tariff free, and ensuring that EU investment in UK construction is replaced or maintained.
Brian Berry, the Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said “Despite some fears that the referendum result might put new projects on hold, the overwhelming majority of SME house builders are reporting that no decisions have yet been influenced by the referendum result. This matches the view expressed by many small construction firms that so far, the market appears to suggest that it’s ‘business as usual’. Only one quarter of small house builders have seen any negative effect on their projects from the Brexit decision, and most of these are the result of delayed decisions rather than actual project cancellations.”
|firstname.lastname@example.org 21/09/2016 15:39:50
Whatever your views on June’s Brexit vote, there’s no denying that it has had an economic impact on the UK. While many of the initial changes were due to panic (like the stock markets dropping and then regaining all their lost capital just 3 days later), other slowdowns seem like they will take longer to resolve.
Construction was a fairly conservative industry when it came to the referendum, and only 15% of property and construction executives favoured an exit from the EU. That’s no surprise to people who know that construction is easily hit by economic instability, since investors pull out of projects, commercial builds are shelved, and even domestic builds are less likely to take place.
Growth forecasts for construction have now been downgraded three times in the last 6 months – housebuilding and commercial have both seen an output drop which is affecting builders throughout the country.
The important thing to remember is that the exit hasn’t actually happened yet. Article 50 – the process of separating from the EU – has not been invoked and when it is, it will still take another 2 years to formally leave the Union.
British construction is largely domestic – there is a housing shortage, the infrastructure needs repair, and all the needs of the British people were the same on June 24th as they were on June 23rd.
For construction businesses to weather the upcoming changes, whatever they may be, they need to maintain a quality and reliable supply chain and make sure that customers can find them, whether relying on word of mouth or online search.
87% of UK builders’ business suffers due to poor online presence, which is one of the items to focus on in order to improve work volumes and reduce quiet periods. Working with suppliers and forecasting requirements is another way to reduce delays and ultimately promote good word of mouth, which in turn can promote business.
Lawsons’ trade partnerships are one way that we help construction businesses reduce their costs and improve reliability when it comes to both the delivery and quality of materials. If you have any questions or requests to help you with your projects, please get in touch with your local branch.
|email@example.com 08/09/2016 13:04:17
At Lawsons, our staff are just as creative as our clients. Working around building materials every day means that a lot of our staff start thinking about how they can use our timber, decking, or railway sleepers and how they can improve their homes.
One of our drivers from the Romford branch decided to do just that when he built a raised seating area in an unused area of his garden. The weekend project required lengths of timber, some fencing supplies, and decking, as well as gravel for the planted area on the side of the platform.
As you can see the sloped area of the garden was fairly disused – these areas are perfect for improvement. Projects like this can even make your garden seem bigger, since you get more use out of a larger area of your home.
Installing some posts was an essential first step to ensure that the platform was level – adding some joists in provided more structure to build on. If you’d like to make our own raised platform, it’s important that you take the time to ensure that the structure is level – all of the other stages rely on this being sound.
Once that’s done, you just need to add some closeboard panels around the edge and decking to the top to complete the platform and create a level, inviting space to spend your evenings or weekends. Once that’s done, you can add some plants and seating then pour yourself a drink to celebrate a job well done.
If you have a weekend project you’d like to show off, just send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest @LawsonsUK. We’d love to see what you’ve been up to and what you’ve created using Lawsons’ timber and building supplies.
|email@example.com 16/08/2016 09:52:42
Brick matching is an essential service, especially if you are building an extension onto an existing home. Experts such as Lawsons’ brick matchers will help you find the right colour and texture of brick to ensure that the addition blends in with the original structure.
Finding the Right Brick
Working with a range of suppliers is essential to finding the perfect brick for your building project. London’s homes have been built over centuries – brick factories have been opened and closed many times over since the buildings were created so it can be difficult to find the right colour and texture to match, especially when the bricks themselves have aged since the home was built. Lawsons’ brick matchers insist on on-site meetings to assess the true colour of each brick lot, rather than relying on photographs that are affected by lighting conditions and camera settings. This insistence means that we offer the best possible match for every job, regardless of the age or design of your property.
The Importance of Accurate Matching
Accurate matching is not only preferred, but can be essential to certain builds. If you are applying for a kitchen extension or particular type of loft conversion in a conservation area or listed property, accurate brick matching is likely to be a condition of your planning permission. It ensures that the new additions don’t negatively affect the overall aesthetic of your building or the entire street, where houses are likely to look similar or even match identically.
Matching Old and New
Lawsons’ brick matchers work with a huge number of suppliers throughout the south east, to supply reclaimed bricks, imperial bricks, Class A and B engineering bricks, and regular 65mm facing bricks. Even if you live in a period property, we will be able to find bricks from a similar period to ensure consistent wear, colour, and texture.
To find out more about our brick matching service, please get in touch with your local branch to arrange a consultation.
|firstname.lastname@example.org 29/07/2016 11:39:11
As with most products the lifespan of garden buildings can be dramatically prolonged by taking a bit of time throughout the year to look after the building and tend to any repairs before they become more serious.
To help you get the best out of your buildings we have prepared a list of some of the key requirements in maintaining your garden buildings and a list of equipment you will need.
Tools you will need
- Paint Brushes – to apply preservative, make sure to cover those awkward corners.
- Paint Kettle – save spilling and wastage.
- Sandpaper – remove any flaking or rough splinters.
- Dust Sheets – cover ground area to prevent any splashing, especially if on paving
- PPE – Goggles to prevent splashing preservative in your eyes, Gloves to protect hands.
How to maintain your Wooden Garden Sheds, Summerhouses and Log Cabins
- Check your base: With most wooden sheds and structures the key to maintaining the building is ensuring that it remains on a firm and level base and protected against moisture penetration, monitor this regularly. Any movement of the base under the building can lead to twisting of the timber or dropping of the doors.
- Seal your windows: It is essential that all windows are sealed inside and out as soon as is possible after assembly. This could be achieved via the application of silicone, timber beading or any other suitable ‘water tight’ solution at your own preference.
- Treat your building annually: Although it may come with a factory basecoat you should treat your new garden building shortly after installation with a good quality water resistant treatment. This process should then be repeated annually with care taken to brush the treatment into all wooden components involved within the construction of the building, inside and out.
- Ensure nothing is in contact with your building: Any overhanging tree or hedge growth poses a threat to your garden building and should be cut back at regular intervals. If a tree branch makes contact with your building it may pierce the roofing felt and encourage water ingress.
- Check and replace any damaged felt: If you do find any damage sustained to your roofing felt over time it is essential that you act upon this without delay. Should you discover a rip or tear in the felt it is recommended that this area be stripped from the roof and a new covering of high grade, heavy duty, mineral felt (which can be purchased from all our branches) be affixed immediately.
- Ventilation: It is important to ensure adequate ventilation to your garden building as this will help to prevent condensation which could lead to deteriation of the timber, this is highly necessary when using as a workshop and may be advisable to fit an air vent.
- Lubrication: All hinges and locks should be lubricated with suitable oil to ensure continued ease of use.
- Conclusion: Our tips and advice offered above should help you keep that Garden Building in tip top condition and add value to any property.
See Our Range Of Garden Buildings Online
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|email@example.com 01/07/2016 11:34:11
Pergolas are a beautiful addition to any back garden, offering shelter and shade in the summer months as well as an attractive frame for vines and climbing plants. Hiring a professional is the simplest way to make this addition to your home, but building your own can save you hundreds of pounds and offers a relatively simple and rewarding DIY project for experienced enthusiasts. Ideally, you should have at least one other person to work with when building and installing your pergola so that you can complete the project safely.
Plan the Space
The first step is deciding where you want the pergola to go – if the area isn’t already paved or decked it’s best to do that part before you start the pergola project so that you have a sound foundation. Your space will define the size, shape, and the style of your pergola so it’s important that you get this part right before you start measuring up. Moving one is harder than it seems!
Your pergola should be built away from major tree roots and buried underground utilities.
Find Your Perfect Design
Once you’ve decided where the pergola should go, it’s time to choose a design and start planning. Here are just a few considerations you should look at before making a decision:
- Do you want a slatted roof or a completely covered one?
- Do you want climbing plants on the pergola? If so, will you want to put planters at the base?
- Will it be a wall-leaning pergola?
Sketch or Use a Plan
If you’re buying timber rather than using a kit, it’s important to figure out your plan before you buy anything to ensure you have everything that you need. This is one of the most comprehensive plans we’ve seen online (from Popular Mechanics).
Your location will determine whether you dig holes for the posts or secure your posts using base anchors. Base anchors will take less time to add but your terrain and position should be the deciding factors rather than time spent on the project.
Your sketch/plan will offer information on the sizing and details for your materials. We recommend using treated carcassing timber because it ages well and resists decay. You can apply a stain/sealer to suit your home and other garden buildings.
Install Your Posts
Depending on your area, this will either involve digging post holes or installing base anchors. If you are digging holes, make sure that you have called the local utility companies to find out whether there are any underground services you may disturb. Mark your post locations with stakes and verify that the positions are accurate by measuring diagonally from corner to corner on both sides – the measurements should be identical. You can dig the holes with a Fencers Grafting Tool, Power Auger, or a Post Hole Digger, and the depth of the holes should be around a quarter of the height of the post. Once you have placed the posts in their respective holes, temporarily shore it up with stakes set at 45 degrees to the ground so that the posts stay still while the concrete sets.
If you are using post-base anchors, lay out the positions and measure them diagonally to ensure that they’re accurate. You can bore holes with a hammer drill before using screws or expanding bolts to fix the bases in place. Once you have the base anchors secured in place, hold each post plumb and drive nails through the anchors.
Add the Crossbeams and Rafters
Once your post concrete has set or the bases are properly anchored, you can assemble the crossbeams. Sandwich each corner post between two 47 x 200mm timbers (or whatever your plan requires) and set it at your preferred height (remember that your rafters will add height to your pergola once they’re installed). You may need a centre splice if your crossbeams aren’t long enough. It’s best to add an inner and outer beam for stability.
Measure and mark your positions with a circular saw and use a level to make sure the posts are at the same height. Secure each beam to the top outside face of the post with two 100mm (4 inch) screws to temporarily hold them in place – once all of them are in position secure the beams with your bolts. Then you can add your rafters, whether they’re at 300mm (one-foot) intervals or grouped together in two’s or three’s.
Once everything is perfectly in position, permanently secure the beams and posts using 200mm (8 inch) galvanized bolts.
If you would like decorative ends on your rafters it’s important that you cut this before you install them.
If you would like to add climbing plants to your pergola, you can run twine around the sides and wave vines around the twine until they’re mature enough to grow up to the rafters.
Once that’s done, all you need to do is pour yourself a drink and enjoy your new space.
See Our Range Of Garden Buildings Online
|firstname.lastname@example.org 01/07/2016 11:04:49
Engineered wood flooring usually looks identical to a solid plank floor once it’s installed, even to experts. Both solid and engineered wood floors use natural wood, but engineered floors are easier to install and cost far less than solid wood. If you’re struggling to decide between solid wood, laminate, and engineered wood flooring, this could help.
You can use engineered flooring on any storey, even though it was originally developed for use on the ground floor where it would be laid on top of concrete slabs or in a basement. It’s generally more tolerant of high moisture levels and instability because of the bottom layers of the board, which means engineered flooring can be used in places where solid wood might rot or warp.
Cheaper than Solid Wood, More Long Lasting than Laminate
When it comes to wood or wood-effect flooring, engineered floors have the convenience of laminate without the cheap look. They last over a decade and look much like a real wood floor, but at a fraction of the price. Since real wood is used for the veneer, rather than a wood image like you’d get on a laminate floor, you still benefit from the physical properties of wood and the textures, so your floor will still feel warm underfoot and you can see the grain and grooves of the natural timber.
Installation is almost as easy as laminate – a lot of engineered floors have a tongue and groove system that locks each strip in place, so you can place it straight over a concrete or cork floor or just over an older floor if you prefer.
Engineered floors can be more sustainable than solid wood, especially if you’re looking at exotic woods or timber that takes a long time to grow. This is because an engineered floor uses less of the top-layer timber, so fewer of those trees are felled to cover each floor.
|email@example.com 01/07/2016 11:02:50
DIY plank walls are an increasingly popular trend – whether you just want to add some texture to your walls or want to follow the reclaimed wood trend, adding a plank wall to your home is an easy project that’ll really transform the entire room.
MDF Plank Walls
If you just want the boards rather than the full wood texture, MDF is a cheap material that will achieve the effect you want. Before you even buy your materials, measure your wall and decide how thick you’d like all of the boards to be. That way, you can get your MDF cut to size in-store to reduce the amount of work you need to do.
Remember that your ceiling line may not be perfectly level, so check your angles with a spirit level before you add the first plank to your wall. Once you have that perfectly level, you can use pennies as spacers and just follow the first plank so the rest should be a lot faster to put up.
Once you’ve nailed all of your planks down, don’t forget to use some filler over the nails. Sand it all down before painting so you have a perfectly even finish to your plank wall.
You may want to use adhesive instead of nails, but this won’t hold warped boards to the wall so you will need to compromise and at least use nails on the boards that won’t sit flush with the wall.
Distressed-Look Timber Walls
Part of the charm of timber walls is the texture of the wood itself. Reclaimed wood is a major trend in 2016, but buying reclaimed boards can be expensive (and difficult if you don’t have an architecture salvage yard nearby). Luckily, you can fake it with stains and brand new timber. You can even use a few different stains to get a variety of colours to use together on your wall.
If you would just like a stain, it’s a relatively simply process of painting your stain onto the wood and waiting for it to dry. If you’d also like a distressed texture to the wood, you can achieve that in a variety of ways – hitting it with chains, sanding it, drilling small holes (to create fake termite holes), scratching the wood with a chisel tip, or using steel wool with vinegar to age the wood.
Image credits: Thank you to Design-Milk, Brooklyntowest.blogspot.com, and Home DZine for the images.
|firstname.lastname@example.org 01/07/2016 10:51:01
Just about everyone needs a little time out for themselves don’t they? No matter how large or small your home, no matter how many or how few people there are in it, we just sometimes need to get out and spend some quality alone-time.
The rise of the “Man Cave” in recent years was swiftly followed by the “She Shed”; the woman’s answer to the Man Cave is an artfully decorated feminine hideaway where women can disappear from time to time and indulge in reading, surfing the net, eating chocolate, or pursuing hobbies.
She Sheds are no different to Man Caves in their purpose, the only real difference is that the feminine versions tend towards the shabby chic or super-stylish in their décor whilst the masculine, towards the contemporary styled or vintage-cosy in theirs.
Summer houses make perfect Man Caves or She Sheds and if your household sometimes feels the strain of too much quality time together, then maybe you need to consider investing in the extra space a summer house can offer?
If you’re not in the market for a fully-glazed or partially-glazed summer house, then a standard garden shed can make just as fantastic a hideout and at less cost. It’s all about how you choose to decorate your Man Cave or She Shed and where you place it!
If you’re fortunate enough to have a large garden at your disposal, then you’ve probably got a few areas to choose from in terms of placement. A word to the wise though, never place your precious hideout beneath a tree. While it might look pretty, there will be issues with leaves dropping onto your roof and also with birds doing what birds do.
Find a sheltered area that ideally isn’t overlooked and is far enough away from the main house that you can really feel a little privacy – the last thing you need when you’re enjoying your Man Cave or She Shed is constant interruptions.
Once your hideout is up and ready to decorate, it’s time to go to town on accessories, soft furnishings, paint, and even carpet!
Many people choose hard wearing floor coverings for their Man Caves or She Sheds; laminate style flooring off the roll is a good choice as it’s easy to clean and won’t mind being close to nature. You can add a lovely, large rug to cosy things up a little and during the winter months this can be stored indoors.
That’s not to say people don’t enjoy their cubby houses in the winter because they certainly do! A heater can be safely used within your summer house as long as you’re present at all times and as long as it conforms to safety standards.
Let’s face it, what could possibly be more comforting than sitting in your private Man Cave or She Shed, with a mug of hot chocolate or something a little stronger, while watching the trees sway in the wind outside and listening to the rain fall on the roof?
There’s something undeniably special about a little home from home in the garden and once you look at the wide range of summer houses, log cabins and sheds on offer at Lawsons you’ll be a convert in no time.
|email@example.com 01/07/2016 10:47:15
Gardening enthusiasts will know the frustration of keeping their beloved green space tidy and beautiful no matter what the time of year. In the UK, the weather alone causes some serious challenges – add to that the frustration of Autumn and wildlife and you’ve got a real issue.
Falling leaves which either dry up and blow into every nook and cranny or get wet and soggy, draping themselves over surfaces, tools, equipment and plant pots…gardens are home to lots of bits and pieces and detritus which can ruin the look of your careful gardening, but there is something you can do about it.
Garden storage has come a long way in recent years and there’s a wide range to choose from no matter how large or small your garden is. Even those with tiny courtyards can benefit from a good storage facility.
Keeping everything in its place is vital and most people want to avoid cramming their garden shed full of lawnmowers, cycles, rakes, and pots all at the same time. That generally just results in an impassable shed and a frustrated gardener who can’t reach what he wants!
Storage to keep your garden pretty
Some items might be very necessary in a garden but that doesn’t mean they’re attractive. Bins, cycles and children’s toys can all ruin the general ambience of a carefully planned space in one fell swoop.
Dedicated bin storage can make a world of difference to how attractive and organised your garden looks and specially designed binstores are the perfect solution to not only the look of the corner in which you keep your bin but also to the smell.
Binstores have a latched gate at the front to enable easy access when it’s time to put the bins out and a hinged lid to ensure ease of usage on a daily basis.
On a less unattractive front, children’s toys might not be as offensive as rubbish bins but they’re certainly not going to add to the atmosphere of your garden party or barbeque when they’re strewn across your otherwise perfect lawn.
This is why garden storage chests are a good idea; they’re great for hiding away balls, skittles, skipping ropes and larger toys such as swing-ball sets and even goal posts if they’re collapsible. You can tuck the paddling pool away rather than have it cluttering up the shed or permanently out on the lawn making your grass turn yellow!
For your own odds and ends such as lawnmowers or smaller tools like shears and clippers, you might find that a wallshed offers just the right amount of extra storage but without taking up the amount of space a second shed would.
Wallsheds are also a great option for keen gardeners to keep their composts and fertilisers in; they’re lockable and secure so you know that your potentially dangerous chemicals can’t get into the wrong hands.
Lawsons have a very wide selection of garden storage available and most options come in multiple sizes so you can tailor your ideal storage to your own garden.