DIY News Stories
22 December 2011
Decorator of The Year
Dulux Select Decorator, Wendy Macklin, is celebrating after scooping the grand prize in the Dulux Select Decorator of the Year Awards, which honours the craftsmanship of accredited decorating professionals. The coveted accolade was presented to Wendy at the annual Dulux Select Decorators Christmas Ball ceremony, where she also won her category for an interior painting and decorating project worth over £3,000.
The Dulux Select Decorators scheme is an elite network of professional decorators who are approved by Dulux Trade and whose workmanship is guaranteed for two years by ICI Paints AkzoNobel. The scheme was re-launched in 2009 with even more exclusive member benefits, strengthened training packages and increased support for members, helping them to 'brush aside the competition' and win more business.
Wendy Macklin, Director of Quality Decor in Surrey, which she runs jointly with her husband, triumphed in the competition for her efforts in transforming a large Victorian house into four stunning apartments in Surrey, using colour and intricate painting expertise to give the interior a new lease of life. Beating off entries from decorators across the country, her project was favoured by the judges as it showcased her extensive range of decorating skills, first class craftsmanship and outstanding customer relations. As well as receiving the two prestigious awards, Wendy was presented with £1,500 worth of gift vouchers.
Also receiving accolades on the night were Daniel Montgomery from Daniels Decorating Services for an interior painting and decorating project worth up to £999; Tony Pearson-Young, of TAG Decor in Surrey, for an interior project worth between £1,000 and £2,999; and Melvin Gibbs from Home and Building Services, who won his category for the best exterior painting and decorating project.
In addition, decorators Sean Wilkinson, Steve Dove and Wayne de Wet were presented with Long Service Awards in recognition of their 15 year membership with the Dulux Select Decorators scheme.
Delighted by her success, Wendy said: "As the very first female decorator to win this award, I'm elated to have my work recognised through such a prominent accolade. Winning my category as well as the grand prize has provided a real boost in morale for our firm. Becoming part of the Dulux Select Decorators scheme has been invaluable to our business and getting crowned with this title will certainly help to increase our chances of work, particularly in this tough economic climate."
31 October 2011
Feed-in-Tariff Will Be Cut
Energy minister Greg Barker has announced this week that the tariff for solar panels will be cut, as expected. In addition those homes which have solar panels will need to ensure a minimum standard of energy efficiency to qualify for the feed-in-tariff. It is hoped that this will encourage solar panel fitters to diversify into other home improvement areas, improving the construction and building industry.
The announcement was made at the Birmingham Solar Power UK conference. It was confirmed that the current returns on solar power for the domestic market are unsustainable and that a cut will be made. It has been estimated that the cut could drop the tariff by one half to around 20p.
Those in the industry have commented that a cut such as this could be devastating for solar installation businesses, who have made huge investments in recent years on the back of the continued government support. Solar companies have said that they need a level of at least 28p to make their business viable as it will allow those who make a purchase to break even over 10-12 years.
Meanwhile Barker has said that it is about ensuring that the available money is spread more widely and will offer a chance for more opportunities for those businesses already offering solar panels.
28 October 2011
Feed-in-tariff May Be Cut
It has been indicated by the government that the feed-in-tariff for those with small scale solar installations may be cut due to unsustainable returns.
The Energy Minister Greg Barker has commented this week that plans for adjustments to the tariff will be announced next week. He has said that the returns investors are getting on the panels are funded by consumer energy bills and do not reflect the fact that the cost of installation has fallen by as much as 70% in the last two years.
The subsidies offered to large scale solar installations were cut earlier this year by up to 70%, however it has come as a blow to the industry that further cuts for smaller scale investments will also be made as this will directly impact on homeowners.
Barker has pointed out that the growth in solar panels has come from consumers making the most of government backed subsidies and has seen those who can afford to do so making the most of the money on offer. This has been out of reach for the average person. He says this cannot be fair.
Homeowners are being warned by experts that if they plan on installing solar panels they should do so before any changes to the feed-in-tariff are made. This could be as early as April next year.
27 October 2011
Home Insurance Reaches Highest Ever Level
The latest AA British Insurance Premium Index has shown that the cost of home insurance has risen to the highest ever levels, probably due to two of the harshest winters on record.
The average UK homeowner with a combined buildings and contents policy is now paying an average of £205.55 which is 14% higher than it was just 12 months ago. The largest increase was seen in buildings cover which rose by an incredible 58% over seven years and 23% in the last two years.
It is expected that if the coming winter is as bad as the previous two, the cost of home insurance could rise even further.
Simon Douglas from the AA has commented that insurers are worried about more frequent and more severe weather events. These may include storms, wind damage, hailstorms, lightning and tornadoes. As well as the usual snow and rain.
The insurance company is offering advice to homeowners to avoid claims which could further push up premiums. These include lagging pipes to prevent water leaks, keeping central heating running during very cold weather and draining the water system if the house is to be left for long periods during the winter.
26 October 2011
Homebase to Launch Habitat Range
It has been revealed that Homebase will be launching 800 products next year under the Habitat name. The range will include paint, wallpaper and even possible concessions within the Homebase stores.
Homebase bought the Habitat brand in June this year, after it went into liquidation and plans have been underway to work out how best to offer a range of products using the high street brand to its best advantage.
Paul Loft from Homebase has commented that the presentation of the products is key and that it may take some trial and error to get it right. Her points out that the acquisition of the brand sets them apart from their competitors and that it will become a large part of the stores – taking up significant space.
Loft goes on to say that some people in the DIY world may have thought that the brand was dead and that it may be shelved, but he is convinced it simply needs to be relaunched in an innovative way.
In addition to the new products in-store, the Habitat website is also being redeveloped.
25 October 2011
In the ongoing battle between men and women, it seems that women have won yet again. A recent survey by power tools company Karcher has discovered that women can multi-task better than men – and men are ready to finally admit it.
The research found that 75% of men admit that women could do more things at once, while they could only manage two at the most. Meanwhile 98% of women agreed that they could easily cope with several tasks at once.
One quarter of men also said that when they tried to do more than one thing at once, they ended up doing all of the tasks poorly or hardly at all.
It was also revealed that women are unlikely to ask for the help of a man, with just 16% saying they would admit defeat. 69% said they received no help from their partners at all.
In fact, the average superwoman can manage to prepare food, do housework, complete DIY jobs and clean up as they went along. Four out of five women say they would never get anything done if they didn't combine at least four tasks.
24 October 2011
Who Does the DIY
Research released by Checkatrade.com has found that twice as many women believe they do most of the DIY compared with the number of men who agree that this is the case.
The result of a survey of 2,000 people revealed that 14% of men admit that their partners do most of the DIY. However when women are asked the same question, 28% of them say that they do most of the DIY around the house.
In addition men and women cannot agree on who books tradesmen. One quarter of men say it is the woman who does the booking, while half of women say that they are the one left to make that decision.
Kevin Byrne from Checkatrade has commented that based on the experience of his business, the women are more likely to be telling the truth. He says that when they speak to their members, they report that the initial call is almost always from a woman and that they are very careful about how they hire a tradesman.
In some cases the woman will get tired of waiting for a DIY job to be done and will do it herself.