Chimney Cowls

  • Maximising existing space is 'most cost effective' way of adding home value

    The most cost effective way of adding value to a home is maximising existing space, one expert believes.

    Loft and cellar conversions are two of the most profitable routes of adding value to a property, although the cost of home improvement work has not gone down over the last year, according to a representative from Homebuilding & Renovating magazine.

    Jason Orme, editor of the magazine, also suggested that extensions can help to increase value.

    "The thing really is about maximising space, rather than necessarily refurbishment," Mr Orne explained.

    He added that Victorian or Edwardian houses could particularly benefit from extensions, as they often have small kitchens.

    His comments come after a study by HSBC found that the potential rise in a property's value, due to home improvement work, has dropped in the last year.

    Despite this, 52 per cent of Britons plan to complete renovations during this year's Bank Holiday weekends.

  • Conservatories can 'improve properties'

    The addition of a conservatory can help to significantly improve properties, one specialist has underlined.

    The structures can help to boost the value of homes for people who are looking to sell, while offering a number of benefits for people who want to increase the size of their home, according to a spokesperson from the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC).

    Andrew Leech, director at the NHIC, said: "If they are planned and executed properly they can be either an integral part of the home or they can become a piece which you can shut off so you don't lose any energy efficiencies through the doors and windows."

    Mr Leech recommended that it is much more economical for people to extend their current homes than search for a new property.

    People may also wish to make other improvements to their house, with Ideal Home Improvement ambassador George Clarke claiming that more Britons are conducting DIY work in the current economic climate.

  • Use summer to dry out wood for winter fires

    The summer time is the ideal period for drying out wood ready for it to be thrown on to the fire during the winter.

    With spring around the corner, households will start to get busy in the garden and might even be planning on chopping down trees or taking apart old benches.

    While wood can get damp during cold, wet wintry conditions, leaving it to dry out during the summer will allow families to reap the benefits during the cold season.

    Dry wood will also give off a lot more heat whereas if it is still damp then a lot of energy goes into evaporating the water which is inside the timber.

    It is important to keep the wood on a dry base, preferably off the ground so that air can get underneath it.

    StovesOnline.co.uk recommends that the moisture content needs to be taken down from between 45 and 30 per cent to around 20 per cent in order to produce the best wood burning conditions.

  • Use summer to dry out wood for winter fires

    The summer time is the ideal period for drying out wood ready for it to be thrown on to the fire during the winter.

    With spring around the corner, households will start to get busy in the garden and might even be planning on chopping down trees or taking apart old benches.

    While wood can get damp during cold, wet wintry conditions, leaving it to dry out during the summer will allow families to reap the benefits during the cold season.

    Dry wood will also give off a lot more heat whereas if it is still damp then a lot of energy goes into evaporating the water which is inside the timber.

    It is important to keep the wood on a dry base, preferably off the ground so that air can get underneath it.

    StovesOnline.co.uk recommends that the moisture content needs to be taken down from between 45 and 30 per cent to around 20 per cent in order to produce the best wood burning conditions.

  • Protect the chimney by having a spring clean

    Spring is nearly on the horizon and property owners will soon be thinking about jobs around the home which need completing.

    One of the most important could be to take care of the chimney, especially if it is showing signs of weeds growing out from between the brickwork.

    This will need the attention of an expert, who will be able to work at height to rid the chimney of any plants, while some re-pointing of the cement may also need to be undertaken.

    A chimney cowl will also be a useful addition, particularly when birds return to these shores and fly from roof to roof.

    One of these fittings should prevent animals and other debris falling down the chimney and into the room where the fireplace is based.

    If the chimney is not looked after, then this could lead to serious problems, which in turn might cost a lot more money in the long-run to fix.

    A new roof is not a cheap option if a chimney were to collapse, while falling bricks also cause safety problems for people and objects below.

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