House Building: Laying the Foundations

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When your Devon builders construct a new property one of the first (and most important) steps is to lay the foundations. The foundations of a property are what connect the construction to the ground below it and transfer the weight of the property down through the ground. There are several types of foundation, depending on the type of building that is being constructed, although the principal types of modern foundation are either shallow or deep types. In this article we look at the three main types of foundation after discussing some of the history behind the development of different types of construction.

A padstone is probably the most straightforward type of foundation historically. It consists of one individual stone that spreads the weight of the construction across the ground.

Conventional Stone Foundations
Dry stones and stones that are inlaid in mortar have been widely employed in foundations around the world for many years.… Read more

The History of Painting and Decorating in Devon

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The task of the painter and decorator has changed over the years. Although many of the roles taken on by the professional decorator remain unchanged, certain aspects of the job are much easier than they were historically. For instance, a painter used to be responsible for mixing the paints that he used. Painters were also responsible for maintaining a readily available supply of pigments, oils, paint thinners and driers. Part of the training of a painter was to enable him to accurately assess the type of mixture that was appropriate for every job that he did. In other words, the painter and decorator had to do all of the things that are now carried out by the manufacturers and retailers of the paint, allowing him to now spend more time on the preparation and application work. The preparation work involved in a thorough and professional painting job can be extensive.

Preparation before Painting
Nowadays, the responsibilities of a painter include the preparation of the surface to which the paint is to be applied, including filling holes, employing masking tape and applying a bond to porous surfaces.… Read more

The Importance of Building Insulation

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Everyone want to keep their household bills as low as possible and the cost of heating is no exception. Keeping the temperature in your home at an acceptable level, especially in the colder winter months, is important for your health and well being. Older people, in particular, are susceptible to the cold, and it is therefore all the more important that they are able to keep the house warm. The issue of keeping domestic properties suitably heated (either warm or cool) takes up a substantial amount of the world’s energy consumption and underlines the importance of proper insulation. This is the reason your Devon builders will always be happy to advise you about whether your home requires insulation.

Insulation Benefits
A well insulated building is much more energy efficient. This not only keeps the building at the correct temperature but also results in substantially reduced household energy bills. in addition, insulation provides for more uniform levels of temperature within the building.… Read more

Devon Builders Tips: Three Coat Plastering

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The plaster that we apply to our internal walls is applied in various different coats or layers on walls or lath and the type of application depends on the number of these coats. One coat is reserved for course, cheap work that does not a decorative feel. Outhouses and brick sheds are often subject to only one coat. Two coat plastering uses one coarse base coat topped by a smooth layer using a trowel and brushed smooth. Most modern houses are plastered using this method, with the two coats being applied to plaster boards. The type of application that was most used in many older domestic properties is three coat and this article describes the process of three coat plastering.

Coat 1
The first coat consists of a layer of well-haired coarse plaster, of approximately one inch in thickness, which is applied with a laying trowel in a diagonal pattern. Each trowel full overlaps the one applied previously.… Read more

Devon Builders Tips: Prepare for the Winter!

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As the summer isn’t over yet it may seem a touch premature to talk about how to prepare your home for the winter. However, the best time to take action to make sure that your property is in the best condition to meet the challenges that the winter weather will bring is when the weather is still fine. Leaving things until the winter weather sets in is likely to create problems and additional expense if something goes wrong. Here are some tips on how to prepare your home for the winter.

Fill the Gaps
When the weather is warm you are unlikely to feel the effects of drafts that enter the property through spaces around the door and window frames. These gaps will be all too apparent when the cold winds of winter take effect. A thorough inspection of the house will help to identify and plug those gaps well before winter arrives.… Read more

South Devon Builders, Roofers and Plumbers – Our Group of Companies

The Builders SW TeamBuilders, Electrical Work, Flood Protection, Green Building, Kitchens, New Build, Plumbing, Rendering, Renovations, Roofing, Uncategorised, Windows, Windows and ConservatoriesLeave a Comment

After another successful year catering to our loyal customers in and around Torquay, Newton Abbot, Exeter and the rest of South Devon and the South Hams, The Builders SW have launched the third of their group of specialist companies, The Plumbers SW. Following on from the successful launch of The Roofers SW, the management and staff are confident that the new branch of the company will be of benefit to the group and its customers. The group now consists of these three companies and we thought we should write a short blog post setting out the various specialities of all of them.

The Builders SW

Devon Builders

The first in the group of companies, The Builders SW offer a complete range of building services in South Devon. These services include a comprehensive list of different trades, including new builds, general building work, roofing, plumbing, extensions, renovations, electrics, painting and decorating, plastering and rendering, windows and conservatories, kitchens and driveways and patios.… Read more

Devon Builders Articles: The Beauty of Cement Render

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Many properties that come under the work of our Torquay, Newton Abbot, Exeter and South Devon builders are of the Victorian type. In many cases, the properties will be finished with a cement render. In fact, rendering has been used for many years to improve the look of a property and to add weather resistance and insulation. Cement rendering involves applying a ready mixed coating of sand and cement to the external walls of a property. The render coating may be textured, infused with a particular colour or white, which can be painted once it is dry.

The render can be in various styles, depending on the taste of the individual property owner. Some people prefer it to be fine and smooth whereas others prefer a course, more textured finish. These different finishes are achieved through the employment of a variety of tools, including sponges, brushes and trowels. The final finishing effect is achieved by either applying a thin finishing coat or by what is known as a finishing wash.… Read more

Devon Builders Article: The Role of the Architect

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When you are considering the construction of a new house or adding an extension of any significance to your existing home it is almost inevitable that you will require the services of an architect. The architect is an essential member of the team of professionals who will be involved in the project and because their involvement begins at the very outset, it will be the key to a successful conclusion. This is because it is the architect who, through the drawings that he or she produces, translates the ideas of a property developer or home owner about the construction that they wish to be built into a working model on which the builders and all other involved tradesmen can base their work.

The Architect’s Work

As we have already stated, the architect is involved in a building project from the outset. The first stage of the architect’s involvement will be in the planning process, consequent upon which the drawings of the planned project will be produced.… Read more

Devon Building Article: The Septic Tank

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If you have a property that does not have the benefit of a connection to the mains sewage system you will need to have an alternative means of draining your foul sewage away from your property. The conventional means of achieving this is through the employment of a septic drainage system which transports the waste to a septic tank.  Although the number of properties that are served by a septic tank in the UK is relatively small, primarily involving properties that are in rural locations, in other countries, such as the USA, they are a more common feature.

How They Work

Septic tanks are usually constructed from plastic or concrete, which are both long-lasting materials. They connect to the property via an inlet pipe. There are normally two chambers in the tank, with the waste draining into one, followed by the other before the fluid element is allowed to drain from the tank into a leach field.… Read more

Soundproofing Your Devon Home

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One of the greatest sources of stress in the home is unwelcome noise pollution. Whatever the type of noise that finds its way  into your home either from the exterior or the home of a neighbour, it can have a  detrimental effect on your enjoyment of your own property. Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken to keep the incidence of noise pollution to a minimum and in this article we describe how soundproofing can achieve that effect. Before investigating methods of soundproofing, however, we should explain exactly how and why sound travels.

Sound is, in fact a chain of vibrations, or waves, that move from the source of the sound to your ears by agitating the surrounding air particles. Because  the presence of particles is vital to the travel of sound, it can not travel across a vacuum. When sound hits the wall or windows of your house some of it will be reflected, some of it will be absorbed but some will almost certainly be transmitted into your property.… Read more