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Never mind the rogue builders: Pricing website starts rogue customer list

builders tools
  • HaMuch.com to compile list of debtor customers, complainers and con-men
  • Builders report increase in non-paying customers, rogue complainers & cancellations
  • Some customers hire tradesmen with no intention of paying quoted price

We are all used to seeing rogue tradesmen on early morning television shows, BBC’s Watchdog and regional news shows, but what these programmes never portray is the number of rogue customers that builders and other trades have to deal with.

Are customer who fail to pay up rogues too?

Building work-pricing website HaMuch.com is now attempting to redress the balance by compiling a list of customers who have failed to pay up, cancelled major jobs at short notice or consistently made unjustified complaints to get significant discounts. This list of nightmare customers will be compiled via feedback from plumbers, electricians, roofers, bricklayers and other tradesmen and tradeswomen who use the unique pricing website, before being made available to trades who sign up for the service. read more

Builders and Plumbers in the southeast 25 times more expensive

Regional / local: The UK’s cheapest tradesmen are in Birmingham / Nottingham / Nuneaton / Blackwood / Doncaster

  • North-south divide in builder costs as much as £240-per-hour
  • Surrey and London most expensive for tradesmen/women
  • Midlands offers best value to homeowners, according to HaMuch.com

A new data survey by building work pricing site HaMuch.com has revealed the stark differences between the southeast and the rest of the UK when it comes to the cost of building work. The divide appears to be drawn at Watford Gap, with the Midlands offering best value, whilst Surrey and London have the most expensive tradesmen.

The spread of prices for common household jobs across the recently-launched website’s 12,000 tradesmen ranged from £10-per-hour to an incredible £250-per-hour, with builders in Surrey charging as much as 25-times more than their counterparts in Nottingham. Plumbers in Surrey also charged an eye-watering 20-times more than those in Caerphilly. Meanwhile, hiring an electrician in London could cost you £250-per-hour, compared with a bargain basement £10-per-hour in Birmingham.  read more

Scourge of Festive Veg Causing Spike in Christmas Call-outs for Tradespeople

christmas tradesman callout

From Brussel Sprouts blocking sinks to red-wine stained carpets and furniture, tradesmen at www.hamuch.com have revealed the most common reasons they’re contacted by panicking homeowners over the festive period.

The poll of 1,000 tradespeople from cleaners to plumbers has also revealed an 18% spike in the number of call-outs over this period, as people struggle to cope with the aftermath of the frenzied festive period.

Pete, a plumber at www.hamuch.com, said: “Homes have suffered over the Christmas period with blockages being a common issue. Dishwashers and sinks regularly need to be unclogged and the remnants of a festive dinner removed from the pipes….People can panic, particularly if they’ve tried to tackle the problems themselves but just end up making things even worse!” read more

Upgrade Your House: Update Light Switches to Programmable

old style light switches need replacing

There are many ways in which you can upgrade your home and one of these is to switch over to programmable light fixtures throughout your home. It helps you to save energy as you can program these switches to automatically come on when you need it to.

Switching over to these fixtures will add versatile and convenience to your home and it’s a great way to add value to your property in general. read more

Make Home Safe: Install a Security System

Security System Installation

Making your home safe is easier than you think; by simply installing a security system you will make your entire property significantly safer for you and your family. If you plan ahead and choose the right system, it will be a cost-effective investment that will definitely pay off.

Although there are a lot of DIY security systems and solutions available, it’s always recommended to rather have a professional install your home security system to ensure that everything works as it should and to have a guarantee on the workmanship.

Here are a few key components to a modern home security system:

  • An alarm panel with keypad. This is the main panel and the ‘brain’ behind your alarm system. You can use the keypad to switch features on or off and you can quickly see if there are any problem areas in your home, or where an intruder might be.

  • Sensors. The sensors of every alarm system are at the heart of its security. It monitors your doors and windows for any motion and will sound an alarm when a door or window is opened. These should be installed at every window and door in the home.

  • Motion detectors. These are typically positioned in every room of the house, usually in the corners. It picks up any movement throughout the room and will sound the alarm when movement is detected. You can choose which motion sensors to ignore, for e.g. the ones in your bedroom while you are asleep.

  • Security beams. Beams are usually put outdoors to help detect any unwanted movement in your yard. You can have them trigger the alarm when movement is sensed or you can have a silent alarm warn you inside the house.

  • Cameras. CCTV cameras can be installed with your home security system to help you monitor your property. You can set the cameras to record as well so that you have footage available should something happen.
  • read more

    Summer Home Improvement: Ceiling Fan Installation

    Ceiling Fan Installation

    With this warmer weather homeowners like you will want to be enjoying their home by turning it into comfortable, enjoyable spaces. You can make a few minor changes to your house to turn it into an enjoyable summer house, and one of the easiest ways to do that east to install modern ceiling fans.

    Ceiling fans are not only great to keep you cool during the summer, but it can also help you to save energy on your cooling costs. This is why it is important to make sure that you choose the right type of ceiling fan and that they are professionally installed.

    While ceiling fans the necessary completely cool down the room, it does help to circulate air throughout the house and this results in a lower temperature overall. Whereas an air conditioner requires you to have all doors and windows closed, ceiling fans are comfortable to use as you can keep the doors and windows open throughout the home.

    Installing A Ceiling Fan

    Modern ceiling fans come with a variety of options, including having the fan only, or with a light as well. Some of the standard ceiling fans consist of six plates and can easily cool down a standard room in no time.

    When it comes to a roof fan installation, the process is not extremely difficult, however, it’s important to know the basics so that you can get it right the first time and safely, so you will always need to hire a professional certified electrician or ventilation engineer to do that. With Hamuch you can find electricians for your ceiling fan installation near you in few clicks.

    They’ll start by measuring the ceiling slope, removing the old lightbox to install a fan brace, assemble and hang the fan, and finally wiring it and switching it on. Let’s go into a little more detail.

  • Measure the ceiling slope. They use a two-feet level against the ceiling and measure the vertical distance from the ceiling to the level. Then, divide that number by two and you’ll have the drop over 12 inches of horizontal run. This will help determining the blade diameter you need. Most manufacturers require that the blades of a fan be at least seven inches above the floor.

  • Install a new fan brace. Next, it’s needed to remove the old box in order to install a brand-new fan brace. The engineer will shut off the power before you start then remove the current electrical box loose from the framing with a block of wood and a hammer and pull the electrical wires loose from the hole.

  • Install the new box and wiring hanger. Now they’ll be able to feed the new wire through the clamp of the new box, position the box over the screws, and tighten the nuts. Crimp grounding wire around the grounding screw and tighten.

  • Assemble the fan. Finally, the engineer will  assemble the fan and hang it. Place the motor right side up and thread through the downrod, into the mounting collar. Then assemble the wiring, and it’ll be ready to switch it on.
  • read more

    Improve your property value: Rewiring your house

    Security System Installation

     

    Considering the vast number of electrical items we use around the house in our everyday lives, =&0=&

    every few years is really not a bad idea. A proper full rewiring of your house would mean that the electrical wiring contained in each room of your house would be replaced. Ranging from the switches, light fittings to sockets, each will be removed and replaced with new ones. While rewiring your house might not increase property value per se, but it will definitely save you from picky buyers from noticing such issues and trying to reduce the price because of this. read more

    Getting a Smart Thermostat

    Danfoss Smart Thermostat

    Purchasing a smart thermostat will help you set the right temperature throughout the day and in accordance to your daily schedules, making your life a whole lot easier; not to mention, smart thermostats save you heaps of time and money.

    What is a Smart Thermostat?

    If you haven’t heard about a smart thermostat, it’s basically a thermostat with advanced communication and connection features which allows you to set up automatic temperature settings based on your daily needs and individual schedules. Certain thermostats with Wi-Fi connectivity have advanced functions that can be made great use of.

    Programmable or Non-programmable Thermostats

    Smart thermostats can either be programmable or non-programmable.=&2=&can help you to set your house temperature automatically based on preset timings. This will help to conserve energy since the device will ensure minimizing the temperature while you are out of home and maximize the temperature while you are home. Non-programmable thermostats on the other hand require the homeowner to put it in the heat or cool mode manually.

    =&3=&are the new line of thermostats in the market that do not contain moving parts to measure the temperature. There are built in thermistors and resistance temperature detectors to measure the temperature. The overall built up of digital thermostats is different to old thermostats that require constant setting.

    Different Types of Thermostats

    The following is a list of several types of thermostats that you can consider purchasing based on your specific requirements:

    =&5=&– under non-programmable thermostats, this is considered the best smart =&6=& presently available in the market. This one is considered extremely intelligent and helps to save energy.

    =&7=& or =&8=& – this smart wi-fi thermostat is similar to the nest thermostat but is available at cheaper prices. You can purchase the honeywell thermostat in different colours as well. When it comes to non-programmable thermostats, this thermostat is in highest demand as it is easy to set and has a smart look to it. The features of a simultaneous display of set temperature and current temperature, slide switches which make switching from heat to cool or vice versa easy and overall ease of usage make it a favourite among home owners.

    Ecobee Smart Thermostat- this thermostat has the features of Nest Thermostat or Honeywell, except it is available in cheaper rates.

    =&9=&– these thermostats work to keep the house heated. There are a variety of central heating thermostats available in the market.

    =&10=& this thermostat, similar to central heating thermostats works to keep the house warm.

    =&11=& smart heating controls include connecting with your phone to make note of its location in order to control your heating. Basically, depending on how far or how close you are from home helps the app determine which temperature to keep your house in for your comfort. Certain apps need to be downloaded in order to keep your phone connected with the thermostat. Over 30% of energy can be saved using some of the smart heating controls.

    If you haven’t purchased a smart thermostat yet, it’s time to consider switching to one to make your lives more comfortable. After all, the right home temperature can either ruin your day or make it complete. Last but not the least, keep all your heating systems running smooth by providing regular servicing. Find the best heating engineers near you ASAP with hamuch.com for quick and easy setup and installation of your thermostat and stay free of all the troubles and worries!

    First time buyers: Top Five Tips to Avoid Homeowner Hassles

    Gas

    Buying your first house can be a stressful experience. Once all of the legal dealings are out of the way, and you’ve popped the cork on your ‘welcome to your new home’ bottle of champagne, the reality sets in – everything from the bricks and mortar to the knives and forks are now your responsibility.
    We at HaMuch have put together our top five tips to help make your first home run like a dream.

    1. Find the essentials

    When you first move in, it can be tempting to focus on where the TV will go and what colour the spare bedroom will be, first make sure you find the essentials. Locate your gas and electricity meters, the fuse box, and the stopcock on day one. Once all your boxes are unloaded from the moving van, you should take readings from your meters, as your suppliers will need this information, and it will avoid you getting over charged.
    If you can find your fuse box in the dark and can access (and shut off) your stopcock valve quickly, you will be covered for most major emergencies. When you need the services of an electrician or a plumber, they will ask you where these are, so it’s handy to tell them straight away.

    A fresh coat of paint or new wallpaper can help to make it your own

    2. Put your own stamp on it

    One of the best things about owning your own home is that you can decorate it the way you like. A fresh coat of paint or new wallpaper can help to make it your own. If you’re not keen to get out the pasting table or paint brushes, it’s worth finding a good local decorator who can work their magic on your walls and get the look you want.
    If you peel back the paper to reveal a cracked or problematic wall, a good plasterer should be able to skim it for you, making it the perfect surface to paint. You can then hang your mirrors, pictures and shelves to your heart’s content.

    Find trusted certified tradespeople in your area

    3. Make friends with tradespeople

    You’ve committed a lot of money to your new home, so it’s easy to become nervous when jobs too complicated for DIY need doing. Find trusted, certified tradespeople in your area, so you won’t need to worry next time your boiler needs servicing or you need a new plug socket.
    Make sure your electrician is regulated to meet UK safety standards, your plumber is WIAPS approved and your gas engineer is on the Gas Safe Register. You can check all of this information from HaMuch when finding a tradesperson.

    Double-glazing will also save your money long term on your heating bills

    4. Check your security

    When you first move in, it is worth making sure you’re happy that the doors and windows are secure. Consider changing the locks if the house is not a new build, or replacing the windows if they’re not double-glazed. This will make your home feel safer and give you peace of mind. Double-glazing will also save you money long term on your heating bills.
    You may also choose to invest in a burglar alarm or security lights to help keep your home safe when you’re away. Make sure you choose a reputable company to fit these to make sure you get a reliable service.

    A good local gardener on the case will help you fool the neighbour into thinking you're Monty Don with minimum effort

    5. Consider the extras

    If your house or garden is large, or if you’re working full time, think about hiring a cleaner or a gardener to help keep your house looking its best. It can lift your spirits considerably to come home to a spotless house, and having a cleaner to look after this for you can take a load off your mind.
    Gardens can start to look drab without regular TLC, and if you’re not green-fingered, this can start to feel like a chore. Getting a good local gardener on the case will help you fool the neighbours into thinking you’re Monty Don with minimum effort.

    HaMuch has more than 11,000 trusted local tradespeople who can help with every homeowner hassle.