CDR Central

Construction. Design. Renovation

Welcome to CDR Central

As avid and passionate DIYers and home-improverment nuts, we wanted to create a plentiful and reader friendly resource for other like-minded people on the web. Our aim is to offer as much cost and time saving  help, tips and advice on all topics in around your home.

Choosing A Construction Company in Swansea

It’s going to happen one day so you might as well just bite the bullet. If you are a homeowner then someday you will need the services of a decent and reliable construction company in Swansea.

But if it’s your first time then it might fill you with panic. After all, not everyone is an expert and for many of us, DIY is more DI-don’t!
 

So, who do you turn to when your floorboards collapse or you really need the drains unblocking? Here we have compiled a short guide to choosing the right building contractors in the Swansea area – what to watch for and what to avoid.

Cold Shoulder- Avoid Construction Companies Cold Calling

First things first, NEVER employ someone who cold calls to your house. Genuine builders are busy people and they do not have the time to go door to door touting for trade.

Any good home builder in the Swansea area will be booked up in advance and is unlikely to be chasing business in person.

Go With Your Gut: The Appearance Of Your Building Contractors

When meeting your potential contractor, be sure to switch on your radar. What are your first impressions of this person? Do they seem trustworthy? How do you feel about them?

In addition to your gut instinct, there are few other things to watch out for.

If the contractor is too squeaky clean, then it may pay to be suspicious. Most working builders are not scrubbed clean or professionally dressed. They are likely to have come from a job and be in work clothes. If someone is too presentable it is possible they are not a genuine construction worker.

Likewise, they are likely to be driving an unmarked van and less likely to turn up in a flash car or arrive on foot.

Word of Mouth: Go Old School to Find The Best

When it comes to choosing the best construction company, we advise all our clients to go old school and rely on word of mouth.

Wherever possible, go on personal recommendations from friends and family when it comes to hiring.

Testimonials online are all well and good, but a personal recommendation is worth a hundred internet reviews.

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered: Get It In Writing

Before hiring any building contractors in Swansea, we advise you to get it in writing. This means written quotations, a written contract and a written receipt for work.

We would suggest you get three quotes before choosing a contractor and make sure they are quotes and not just estimates, which may change.

A written contract need not be complicated, but it lets everyone know where they stand in the project. Pay particular attention to the cost, timescale and troubleshooting any issues that may come up.

Check Their Reputations

Take care to not only ask for, but to check the qualifications of all construction companies who give you a quote.

This means making sure their certificates are genuine and checking if they are members of a professional association.

Follow these simple tips and you won’t go wrong with your home building project!

Construction Companies’ Guide To Avoid Cowboys

Can you spot the signs of a cowboy builder? The top building contractors know a thing or two about cowboy builders – and how to avoid hiring them!

HE NEVER RINGS YOU BACK
Like a bad date, rogue building contractors will keep you hanging on the telephone when you try and call them.

Getting halfway through a project and then ‘losing’ their phone is a telltale sign of a cowboy in our contractors’ experience!

Before you get to that stage, check out your builder answers their phone and check out their registered business premises. A website is a bonus, but you need to check out a business address and working phone line.

HE COOKS THE BOOKS
A genuine builder in Swansea will accept card payment and give a receipt. Be suspicious of any contractor who offers to do the job for cash or off the books.

Trustworthy construction companies will not work for cash in hand and you may find yourself out of pocket in the long run.

HE TURNS UP LATE AND LEAVES EARLY
Poor timekeeping should ring alarm bells for any homeowner engaging a tradesperson. If your contractor is arriving more than a few minutes late regularly, it is possible they have another job on the go.

Genuine building contractors won’t try and run two jobs together but give your project the attention it deserves until it is completed.

HE LAUGHS IN THE FACE OF DEATH
Okay, not literally. Then again, sometimes, actually, yes! Hanging off roofs, no hard hats, and a lack of safety equipment are all the classic hallmarks of a cowboy.

So, if your home builder seems blasé about health and safety, then we advise you think again about hiring them. Remember, they’re not only putting themselves at risk but also you and your family.

Ultimately, you are liable for their safety in your home and if their lax attitudes lead to accidents it could be you that foots the bill.

HE WANTS IT ALL NOW
One sure sign of a rogue trader is asking for a job to be paid in advance of ever setting foot in your property.

If your chosen construction company in Swansea is demanding money upfront, do yourself a favour and find a respectable firm who will not.

It is not normal practice for genuine contractors to ask for payment before work is completed – so be aware when hiring!

Have you ever hired a cowboy builder? If so, share your experiences on our Facebook page with our local community!

Building an house Extension

7 Sure Fire Steps To Build a Stunning Extension on a Budget

Thinking about building a home extension but you’re concerned about whether you have the sufficient funds to fiance the venture? It goes without saying, extending your home is no small project, and can cost a pretty penny to complete. However, building an extension doesn’t have to break the bank, there are a range of ways that you can build your dream extension project on a budget. In this article, we are going to find out how.

1. Stick To The Basics

Ask yourself, do you really need a uniquely shaped extension with a roof that would look out of place in wonderland? While this might seem like an appealing idea, keeping to ta basic shape and design will greatly lower the cost of your extension. But simplicity doesn’t have to mean boring – after all, less is more!

2. Plan, Plan And Plan Some More

It can be all too easy to go rushing in with the hopes of getting your extension finished quickly. However, if you’re working to a tight budget then the best way to get everything you want is to spend a good chunk of time researching your options and planning every detail down to the very core. You might just stumble across something that saves you a lot of money.

Extending your home on a budget

3. Think About Where Your Extension Will Go

If you want to save on hefty labour costs, avoiding additional ground work will definitely help in this area. If you want to place your extension somewhere where the ground will need to be heavily excavated and prepared, then you are going to face higher costs.

4. Don’t Go OTT With Fixtures And Fittings

It is a lovely idea to be able to have a range of custom fixtures and fittings that bring your own personality flooding into your new extension but the reality is that these come with a much higher price tag. Why not consider going off the shelf in an attempt to save a lot of money and stay within your budget. These days there are some beautiful pieces and even though they may not unique to you, they will certainly create a stunning aesthetic appeal.

5. Recycle

The world revolves around recycling now that people are more aware of how it is not only good for the planet but also a massive money saver. If you have existing materials that can be reused in the building of your extension then it makes sense to make use of them.

6. Take Your Time Finding A Builder

It’s no secret that there are plenty of cowboys out there who will charge an arm and leg for seriously substandard work, so it will greatly benefit you to take the time to find the right builder for your project. Make sure to take a detailed look at their reviews, policies and previous work and don’t be afraid to ask questions-a good builder will readily supply you with the right answers.

New Kitchen Home Extension

7. Avoid Planning Fees

With any building comes the dreaded planning permission, however there are certain rules and regulations in place that allow for certain structures to be erected without planning permission. This means that the fees associated with gaining this will be eliminated. So work closely with your architect to ensure that the design meets these standards.

 

Building the perfect extension doesn’t have to be a pipe dream, there are plenty of ways in which you can create that extra living space on the smallest of budgets. So whether its recycling or researching

White Kitchen With Furniture and Appliances

8 Steps Yo Must Follow When Fitting Your Own Kitchen

If you want to fit a new kitchen, the choice you have to make is to either hire reputable local kitchen fitters,  or take the plunge and attempt to do it yourself. Choosing the latter could seem daunting and much will depend on the work involved, the size, and style. However if you do fancy rolling up your sleeves and stepping out of your comfort zone, then here’s a summary of the basic steps to follow:

Step 1: Select an Efficient Design

Before any work can start in your kitchen, choose an efficient design for your kitchen. Go through as many kitchen plans as possible and zero in on what meets your needs and preference.

The design will depend on the space available, the shape, the appliances to use, location of sinks, and lighting. Some of the popular kitchen layouts include the gallery kitchen, U-shaped, L-shaped, and G-shaped designs.

Step 2: Preparation

Fitting your kitchen will be easy if you take the time to prepare. Start by removing the old units, disconnecting power and gas supply, leveling the floor, plastering the walls, and applying the first coat of paint on the walls.

At this point, you can hire professional kitchen fitters as well such as electric & gas technicians or plumbers to handle more complex tasks. You can also watch videos and visit blogs related to this topic for kitchen fitting tips.

Also, assemble the equipment, materials, and tools you’ll require for the job. Some of the tools you need include claw/lump hammer, battery drill, masonry drill bits, spirit level, electricians screwdriver, pipe/power detector, bolster chisel, side cutters, pliers, saw, pump pliers, jigsaw, tape measure, sealant gun, marker pens, square, etc.

Identify where you’ll place base units and appliances after choosing the ideal layout.

 

White Kitchen With Furniture and Appliances

Step 3: Assemble the Units

Start with the wall cabinets following your plan. Then work on the base and high cabinets and finally, the drawers.

Step 4: Installing the Cabinets

After assembling the units, install them in respective areas. Finalize the process by fastening the doors, door fronts, kickboards and plinths. Ensure all the units are perfectly level with each other to guarantee the worktops join as intended and the counters sit flat.

Step 5: Installing the Worktops

It’s now time to fit the worktops. The laminate versions are easy to install; they also come with strips to cover the edges. If you’re planning to install, stone, timber or composite worktops, it’s advisable to seek the input of professional installers. Start by measuring the lengths, marking corner seams, cutting a hole for the sink, and sealing the edges.

Step 6: Installation of Wall Tiles and Kitchen Splashbacks

At this point, you’ve already handled most of the demanding tasks; you’re left with the cosmetics. Fit the wall tiles and splashbacks.

 

Fitting Your Own White and stainless steel Kitchen

 

Step 7: Fitting the Sink

Before installing the sink, fit the taps and apply a bead of sealant under the edge of the sink. Position the sink in its rightful place and tighten the clips to secure it. Remove the excess sealant from the sides of the sink.

Step 8: Final Painting

When everything is in place, apply the final coat of paint on the walls. Use specialized kitchen paints.

Finally, arrange the appliances in the right position. And now you have your new kitchen. On average, the cost of fitting a kitchen ranges from £5,000 to £6,000. If you do the job, you can save upwards of £3,000.

A majority of DIYers can fit their kitchen without any significant challenges, but if you lack the skills, consider bringing in a reputable and specialist kitchen fitter Swansea.

Decorating Your House Like A Pro

Decorate Your House Like A Pro with These 4 Simple Tips

The need to paint and decorate is an inevitable job for all home and property owners. While renovating and sprucing up your house can be a little challenging, it isn’t impossible, especially when you have the right tips and guidelines that can even make the job enjoyable. A painting and decorating job that you do yourself can give your home or property the transformation you want, but you still have to be strategic about how you handle it.

  1. Prepare

All the good decorators will tell you that the first step in every painting job is usually adequate preparation. This is a crucial step that will ensure your DIY decoration looks like a job done by professionals. Start by filling any holes on your walls and sanding them to get rid of any roughness. Find a place for your furniture and everything else that could be damaged by paint. You can move the furniture to the center of the room as you work on the walls, but make sure you cover them with a drop cloth. Mask everything with the right tape that will not peel off the surface when you remove it. Try to avoid masking tapes because they are difficult to remove. Unscrew the switches and store them safely before you prepare the surface.

painting and decorating your house yourself

 

  1. Choose your tools

Even a job done by professional painters and decorators will look shabby if the right tools are not used. High-quality painting tools may be a little expensive, but they are effective in their functionality. There are different high-quality brushes and rollers you can choose to get the finishing you desire. When using the roller, clean its sides frequently to prevent tramlines that can result from paint build up. You should also clean your brush with a damp cloth to prevent a build-up of paint.

  1. Choose your paint

When choosing paint, start by visualizing what you want the room to look like. Determine whether you want the room to be warmer or cooler with neutral or saturated colors. Factor in the furniture and furnishings you may have and how they will blend in or contrast with the new colours you’re visualizing. You can then get a few shades of the colours you have pictures to test them out. If they don’t give you the results, you hoped for you can change them.

  1. Be systematic

It’s always a good idea to start with the ceiling before painting the walls. Have enough paint so that you won’t have to reload regularly and use a bigger brush that will cover the cutting between the walls and ceiling. To get a clear line between the ceiling paint and the wall paint, bring down the ceiling paint past the corners then cut the wall paint at that point before reaching the corner to get a better line. If you can’t remove your doors to paint them, you can mask the hinges and remove the handles.

Conclusion

Remember to stir your paint using a wooden stick throughout the job. If you’re not sure about the quantity of paint you’ll need or you may even decide that you need a professional to tackle your home decorating job after all, then seek the assistance of a expereinced and specialist Swansea painter and decorator.

A Guide to Skip Hire

Dummies Guide to Skip Hire

Hiring a skip can be a difficult task for anyone who hasn’t done it previously. Local skip rental companies can often assume you are familiar with all the procedures and jargon for skip hire. When faced with questions involving different building materials, cubic yards, and other jargon, a newbie can quickly and easily get confused. Here is a dummies guide to hiring a skip.

#1 What size skip do I need?

Skips come 4 standard sizes,

Four cubic yards

Six cubic yards

Eight cubic yards

Twelve cubic yards

The size you need will depend on the amount of work you intend to do. The best advice we can give is to overestimate rather than end up paying for an extra skip. You will always find a way to fill any extra space.

# 2. What are the different types of waste?

There are three types of waste, general waste, inert waste, and plasterboard.

#3. What general waste can go in a skip?

Everything listed below can go in your skip:

  • Bricks & blocks
  • Soils & stones
  • Wood
  • Plastics
  • Metals
  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • Clothing
  • Cardboard & paper
  • UPVC windows

#4 Can all inert waste go in a skip?

Yes, all inert waste that is not contaminated can go in a skip.

non-Permitted Materials in a skip

#5. What can’t go in a skip?

The following items cannot go in skips

  • Asbestos
  • Batteries
  • Clinical/ Medical Waste
  • Fridges/ Freezers
  • Food waste
  • Gas cylinders/ Aerosols
  • Hazardous/ Toxic Materials
  • Liquids
  • Oils, petrol & diesel
  • Paint cans
  • Plasterboard
  • Solvents/ silicon tubes/ Hilti gun cartridges
  • Tires
  • Electrical appliances

#6 Can I put plasterboard in a skip?

No. plasterboard is not allowed in general waste skips. You should either get a separate skip or a plasterboard bag.

#7. Explain what is meant by a wait and load service?

This is a standard service offered by skip companies; the driver can be hired to help you load your skip for 45 minutes. The skip will then be removed; you can pay for extra time if needed

#8. Are there any weight restrictions?

By law, lorries are only allowed to carry a load of up to 18 tonnes. To avoid any issues, make sure the skip is light enough for the truck to pick up when it arrives. It should be noted that any damage caused due to excessively heavy skips is not the responsibility of the skip hire companies.

#9 What is a skip permit?

In the event you do not have space on your property for a skip, you need to get a permit to keep it on the street. These usually take a few days to issue. Local councils charge different fees depending on the size of the skip.

Skip hire Permits

#10 What the skips height restrictions

You can fill your skip to the top of each side; drivers can refuse any skip that breaches this rule on the grounds of it being a health and safety risk.

#11 Will I receive any paperwork?

Paperwork is usually delivered by email. You will also receive a waste transfer note.

#12 How can I pay for a skip?

Most skip companies offer different payment options, including cash or cheque on delivery, as well as a card or online payments.

We hope this guide will provide as many answers to the various questions you might have. For further information reagarding waste disposal and skip hiring then get in touch with aone of the leading skip hiring services in Swansea.

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