Archive: Oct 2012

  1. bathrooms

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    Designing a bathroom



    The bathroom area is  the most used area and is often the smallest room in the house.  It has to provide daily use by each member of the household  and needs to  provide for all ages.

    The needs of the user varies from small children to adults and their personal preferences. In addition the nature of the bathroom  requires that it  meets the difficult conditions of moisture and wet floors.

    The design and décor in the bathroom are more durable  and changing the décor and style is not as easily achieved as in other rooms e.g. bedrooms and lounges so it is essential that the finish be carefully considered. Work on the bathroom can be disruptive  to the daily routine, most contractors will minimise this as far as possible  but there will be periods when facilities will be limited.

    Replacing a bathroom can be expensive so decide  if you want to completely replace or just update the present facilities, either way planning is paramount and each decision has to be considered carefully before starting work. The following points should be considered for guidance.

    Consider the present facilities

    Is there a separate toilet and bathroom area?

    If there is would it be desirable or possible to combine the two areas. This would provide a larger area but would the layout provide a more usable area or would it create awkward spaces.  Also the work would be more disruptive and costly. Consider alternatives could positioning doors provide a more user friendly area without  combining them?

    Is the location of the  amenities making the best use of the available space?

    Is the toilet best positioned?

    The position of the toilet is dictated by the  position of the main drain outlet  moving   to another location  may not be possible and would be costly and very disruptive , some  adjustments may be possible as the  the more modern suites have smaller cisterns and  plumbing can be adjusted to some degree .

    Hand washing Basin

    Is this convenient would a larger or smaller basin be preferable. Is pedestal or fitted unit wanted?

    Is bath positioned to provide easy access?

    Again the location  must consider the position of the main drainage but if  planned carefully it may  possible to re arrange  the orientation of the bath or to accommodate a corner or free standing bath.

    This needs to be decided in the planning stages so that the feasibility can be discussed with the contractor, the position of the taps and drainage  need to considered  before the bath is purchased so that   the connections are made before the bath arrives, consult your contractor to ensure that  the plumbing is compatible with the bath.

    Will it be possible to  get in and out easily , if bathing small children is it possible for a parent to support and assist them in bathing? If the location is fine are there any adjustment  required e.g. Fitting of an over bath shower or a ledge for toiletries ?


    Do you want the shower running from the mains or have an electric shower. Do you want the shower  surface mounted or  fitted into the wall?

    If there is space would a separate shower  cubicle be preferable.

    What about a wet room?

    These may be  desirable for  adults and provide a space saving  solution for  small flats , however in a family home  where there are children  providing a bath  is preferable and  will have an impact on resale values.

    What next ?

    Once the planning for the location and  a decision on which bathroom suite is to be fitted  the next step is to consider  the doors, windows, walls and finish.


    The condition of the windows  should be considered as replacing once the bathroom is finished may effect the choice of décor , tiling may be damaged if windows are replaced after the work is completed. If the window needs replacing or an extractor fan fitted  to a tiled wall it might be better to incorporate this into the refitting. If this is not possible it could influence  the choice ao wall covering

    What heating is in the room  are  radiators in the best place is a heated towel rails requied.

    What are the wall coverings ?

    There will be tiled areas in the bathroom already  are these to be kept or replaced? Is the tiling going to be of the same area and location or is it to be extended . If extended the current tiles will need to be removed prior to re-tiling to obtain a flat surface. What is the condition of the plaster. If an area is to be painted  is it worth having the wall skimmed to provide a smooth finish ?This enables a  high standard to be achieved to the final finish.

    Choice of tiles and finish is a matter of personal choice  however , bearing in mind that you will probably have to live with your choice for a longer time  you might like to consider the following points.

    • Full floor to ceiling:-full tiling is more expensive and cannot be easily changed  but is durable and easily cleaned.
    • Part tiled  with painted  walls , this can allow changes to the décor by changing the colour of the un-tiled areas.
    • Lighter coloured  tiles  will general provide the illusion of a larger room whilst dark colours tend to make a room feel smaller.
    • Will the colours have a number of  colour matches should you wish to change painted walls or soft furnishings?


    What floor covering

    The existing surface will affect the choice of flooring to some extent but generally the choice is a matter of personal preference but, bearing in mind that the floor will be subject to water spillage, often a vinyl  material with sealed edges   is the material of choice as it  ensures no egress of water into the rooms below.

    In conclusion

    The decision to update or re design your bathroom  might seem daunting but  the end results of planning  will be well rewarded  by the daily pleasure of a well designed, functional and skillfully  fitted facility, which increases the value of your property.

  2. general tiling

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    If your a bit of a D.I.Y enthusiast tiling doesn’t have to be hard as long as you think about what your doing

    always tile from a middle of a wall to keep cuts equal on the ends but if you only tiling round a bath then you should start

    from the edge of bath then work in towards the cuts into the corner on ends of bath.

    also ensure the walls are as flat as possible even if you have to plaster or bond out to create a flat surface

    getting the surface flat is really key to your tiling looking any good make sure you use spacers and start the first line level

    it looks much better if you start on a level line just below the first tile line yes that creates more cuts on the bottom but most floors are never level. some people think its better to start from floor height just my opinion but always seems to work or me .

    im a good believer you should always try things once if you not able to do it then at least you had ago

  3. customers always first

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    we as a company always try to think of our customers first by balancing the cost of a job without compromising the quality
    we understand we are in a recession and that we all full victim to it.
    we all want nice things but don’t always think you can afford it
    we at Essex property maintenance try our hardest to complete a job to the highest standard at cost prices without producing poor quality to yourself s.
    I have seen many company,s in Essex trying to produce good work but are not able to. normally due to people being paid price work or poor wages this would always produce poor work.
    All our staff are paid weekly wages to encourage quality workmanship and will not stand for that will do attitude.
    we at Essex property maintenance pride our self’s on not cutting corners having an attention to detail and care about what we do we always produce outstanding work at affordable prices.
    we also are prepared to go that extra mile for you.
    and will always talk you in depth to ensure that you get what you want.

  4. How to create a Future-Proof Kitchen

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    Ensure your kitchen lasts a lifetime with our top tips and expert advice. The kitchen is the focal point of the home, where we use our creative skills to cook and our sensory skills to enjoy the end result. It’s a place for taking time out, meeting up with friends and exchanging thoughts with the family. It is little wonder then that we spend so much money on getting the design and interior right.

    With this in mind there is no doubt that a newly fitted kitchen is a big investment, so it is vital to get it spot on the first time round. And, if you are planning to stay in your home for many years to come, you need to ensure that your new kitchen will stand the test of time and not be dated in a matter of months or years. With so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to know where to begin, so here at Essex Property Maintenance we have compiled a handy quick guide to give you a head start.


    Blow the budget?

    It is very easy to get carried away with the idea of creating your dream kitchen, so it vital spending time working out what you can realistically afford to spend. Apportioning budget between all the elements including furniture, appliances, worktops, flooring and lighting for example, is an important process.
    If you are lucky enough to be able to open up the kitchen area by removing a wall to create more space, or even adding an extension, you are able to redefine the entire room and take full control, starting from scratch. If this is not an option, splashing out in some areas may mean you need to compromise on others so bear this in mind when deciding on what should be in your kitchen and the quality of certain elements.


    Future Plans
    It can be difficult to think too far into the future, but it is important to consider how your lifestyle may change in the next few years.
    Will you be starting a family and having children? Have your children grown up and left home? Or will you be retiring and having more time on your hands to entertain? Could you be taking in an elderly relative or lodger who will be using the kitchen too?
    All of these factors need to addressed and thought through thoroughly before your new kitchen is designed and installed. Forward thinking will ensure you make right the decisions and choose things that will last.


    It’s a Material World
    What trends should you aim for in your new kitchen?


    The best advice is to try not to be influenced too much by current kitchen trends as these tend to come and go and become dated quite easily.
    When it comes to cabinetry, you should buy the best cabinets and units you can afford as they will be well used and need to last as long as possible. The same applies for things such as work surfaces and flooring, and materials such as real wood, granite and stone may cost more initially, but they will last and are a much better option than the false economy of buying cheap materials and having to replace them much more often.


    Choosing a kitchen style which reflects your personal taste is a great decision but you need to opt for a kitchen that is also simple, functional and up to date with technology. The endless advances in technology in recent years has meant that the kitchen has moved into the twenty-first century with a bang; soft close options for cabinets add luxury, roll out bases on cabinets make everything more accessible while new cooking options such as grills, woks and griddles help to accommodate a wide variety of cooking styles.


    Storage solutions
    Considered and accessible storage is crucial to an ergonomic design. It is important to create a well organised space that is not only a pleasure to use but also assists our lifestyles. The best advice is to take a walk around your current kitchen and think about what works and what doesn’t in regards to storage.

    The aim is to create a better flow in the kitchen area so think about having the plates near the dishwasher for easy unloading, baking trays and casserole dishes close to the oven for cooking and condiments beside the hob with instant seasoning. These choices will pay off once you are using your kitchen everyday so don’t forget these essential factors when designing your new kitchen.


    The priority when deciding on kitchen flooring is that it looks good, is easy to maintain and will withstand people walking over it and all kinds of spills. Choose wisely and opt for investment flooring options where you can; stone tiles, luxury rigid vinyl or solid hardwood flooring, can literally last a lifetime and can outlive the kitchen cabinetry so take your time and think about the most suitable for your home.

    A combination of materials will add texture as well as show off your kitchen design and a tendency towards the plain and simple always works well. A combination of natural stone for its earthiness and natural wood for its warmth and tactility means that tone and texture work in harmony to produce a beautiful yet workable space.


    It is often a factor which is overlooked in kitchen design but if you get the lighting correct, you will instantly benefit from a brighter, more efficient space that’s a pleasure to work in. Kitchen lighting needs to be considered in several stages as different types offer various options. For example, task lighting may include under cupboard lights, helping to ensure that work surfaces are well lit. Accent lighting may involve up-lighters on top of wall cabinets, while focal point lights can include a dramatic chandelier over the dining area, or perhaps a symmetrical row of industrial-style bulbs or aluminium shades above the breakfast bar, if you have one.
    With all of these factors in mind, it is essential to consider your lifestyle and the way you really live, focus not only on function but aesthetics too and work hard to establish your budget. Once these elements have been covered, call Essex Property Maintenance on 07411 118936 or 01702 340197 for more details on how we can help you achieve your dream kitchen today.

  5. painting front of house

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    we are painting the front of the house using tower rather than scaffolding to save the customer money





















  6. refurbishment

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    This is a refurbishment were doing at the moment we will be
    plastering all of both flats
    new kitchen/bathroom new boiler and rads electrical work
    and general decoration.
    As you can see from pics we do sort out some ruff looking places

  7. joist job

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    Turned up to a job to look at why the floor had a 2 inch gap between the floor and skirting. As you can see in  the photo someone has had a go at trying to repair the problem and not done very good job. The two joists they repaired have now rotted. They should also of jacked up the ceiling from below to level the floor back to the original level.  The law has now changed. We now have to fit all joists in hangers which stops the joists rotting. Every joist should of been repaired or replaced along that wall. The people below were lucky that whilst watching eastenders their neighbours didnt pop in from the ceiling above!!


  8. extension

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    just been and done a quote for a new extension 🙂

  9. day 2 of flats

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    day 2 on the flats finally all cleared out, new dorrs and locks done, now to sort out the windows!

  10. new flats

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    pictures will follow with our progress throughout the whole refurbishment