The roof is one of the most important parts of a home. However, the bad news is that roofs don't last forever.
Asphalt shingle or composition roofs last 20 years on average. There is a good chance that you will have to repair or replace the roof at some point.
Replacing an ageing and degraded roof is amongst the most expensive home repairs. For this reason, many homeowners want to try DIY roofing. They save money on labour by taking on the project.
Read on to learn how to roof your house. Explore five effective steps that will help you do a good job.
1. Identify Your Roofing Material
Before you start roofing, you need to know what material you're working with. There are many different types of roofing material and it's important that you choose the right one.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most common roofing types. There are also metal, slate, and clay-tiled roofs. In addition, solar shingles are growing increasingly popular.
2. Inspect the Roof
The next step is inspecting your roof. There are a number of signs that you can look for.
From the ground level, look for any roof stains or fading. Curled shingles near the gutter are another negative sign.
Some homeowners discover discoloured water in their gutters. This is an indication that the shingles are breaking down and sediment is running off the roof.
Another thing to look for is degraded shingles. Physically touch the shingles and see if any powdery substances or sediment come loose.
3. Remove Old or Damaged Roofing
The first physical task you will perform is removing old or damaged roofing. You can spot damaged roofing by visible cracks, tears, or curling.
There are certain tools required, such as a pry bar, to help remove roofing. You will also need to remove staples, nails, and fasteners.
Many professional roofers recommend working from the bottom up. The reason is that you get a good angle and leverage to easily remove shingles.
Roof shingles do not provide enough protection from the elements. Water and ice can work itself underneath and leak into the attic. Every roof has an underlayment as a barrier against water intrusion.
The first layer is waterproof and adheres to roof sheathing. This barrier is nailed down as well.
The next layer is a thin, felt underlayment. You achieve this by nailing drip edge along the sides of the roof.
5. Replace Shingles
Now that you have removed old and damaged roof shingles, it is time to replace them. Bring your matching shingles, hammer, and galvanized roofing nails on to the roof.
Next, start hammering in the shingles to the roof with your nails. Each shingle requires four galvanized roofing nails.
A Recap of How to Roof Your House
Roofing your house is one of the tougher DIY jobs. It is more complex than most, but definitely possible for handy homeowners.
If you enjoyed this article about how to roof your house, contact Lee West today to discuss other refurbishment projects that will drive up your home value.
Commercial property accounts for a whopping 13% of the value of all buildings in the UK. Investors are more than happy to join the 486 billion pound industry.
Are you one of them?
If you own a commercial building, you have proper commercial property management on your mind. Though receiving rent checks is your favourite part of the process, there are other important aspects as well.
One of these aspects is proper building maintenance. No one will want to rent from you if your building is falling into disrepair!
Let's look at how to keep up on maintaining your building.
Have Cleaning Staff at the Ready
Having a dedicated cleaning staff is a big part of keeping up on the maintenance in your building. People will turn away from a brand-new building that's dirty and go rent in an older building that's sparkling clean.
If you own an apartment building, you might wonder if a cleaning staff is really necessary. Residents will be responsible for cleaning their own units.
This is true, but you'll need someone to regularly clean the common areas. The lobby/entrance is an important feature both for finding new tenants and keeping your current tenants happy.
You'll also need someone available to thoroughly clean the flats when tenants move out and prepare it for new occupants.
Keep Up on Repairs
It is imperative to keep up on repairs. The is important not only for keeping up the appearance of your building but also for liability. If someone trips over a broken step that you've had plenty of time to fix, you could be liable for their injuries.
Assign certain staff members to regularly inspect your building and be on the lookout for any needed repairs. Have your tenants alert you as soon as possible when they have maintenance concerns that need to be addressed.
You'll save money with this approach. Making repairs while problems are still small typically costs less than waiting for them to get serious.
Occasionally, you may have major repairs that your regular staff can't handle. Be sure to call in a reputable contractor as quickly as possible.
Don't forget about the exterior of your building. Kerb appeal is very important for making a good first impression and the exterior is the first thing people see.
Keep the building in good repair and don't forget about the landscaping. Have someone on hand to cut the grass and keep the shrubs in check.
Don't be afraid to get creative with it! Colourful flowers and bright blooming trees give your building a cheerful appearance that is appreciated on the dreary days we so often see in London.
Commercial Property Management for the Win
Owning commercial real estate is an excellent investment. People will always need a place to live and places from which to do business.
But whether you're just getting started in real estate or have been at it for a while, handling your own commercial property management can be a pain. Maintenance, though important, is mundane.
Need help or have questions? Feel free to contact me, Lee West. I'm very happy to help however I can.
Homeowners spent an average of $60,000 on renovations in 2016. This same study revealed that spending appears to be rising among the younger generations.
There may be a few different reasons for this. Personal preference is certainly one of them since we all want to like the house we live in. Another has to do with investments and personal finance.
Interior renovation can increase the value of your home if done properly, so homeowners will often renovate in case they want to sell their homes later.
However, not all renovations are going to help your bottom line. Some may even lower the value of your home. We'll talk about a few common renovations mistakes in the paragraphs below.
1. Misjudging Cost
The cost of renovating a home is often much higher than homeowners expect. The result is that less ends up getting done than was originally planned.
Interior renovation can improve your home's value, but it can be disappointing to see your grand plans only half-realised. If you really want to make everything on your list happen, add a bit to the budget.
A good rule of thumb is to calculate 120% of what you first expected.
2. Not Consulting Professionals
There's nothing wrong with wanting to be the house handyman or woman. However, there's a difference between replacing a tile on a roof and trying to stop the roof from caving in.
As with any type of job, it helps to have the right tradesmen. If you need something built, hire a good builder and hire them before undertaking anything major. This will help you avoid major mistakes and may keep costs down as a result.
3. Be Selective About Materials
It's easy enough to make something work when you have the right materials. By the same token it's almost impossible if the materials are all wrong.
Think through your ideas to make sure they're practical. For instance, bathrooms limit your flooring options, because the material will need to handle water well. That means wood and carpet are right out.
4. Have a Plan
Planning ahead will help you save money. Having a plan in place will keep you from changing your mind halfway through.
Sudden changes in design will increase the amount of time and money spent on a project. Not only do new materials cost more, but designers and other contractors often charge by the hour. The hourly rate is there specifically to prevent the client from making too many changes to the plan.
Interior Renovation: What Not to Do
Interior renovation can be very fulfilling. The end result may make you love your home more and even increase its value. If your letting the property it will certainly make it more attractive to potential tennants and increase the rentable value.
However, it's important to know that it's very easy to make mistakes, and mistakes in home renovation can cost a lot.
Knowing about some of these mistakes and how to avoid them is a great way to start. We've talked about a few in the paragraphs above, but there are many more pitfalls to catch the unprepared. We encourage you to do more research on your own.
If you want to know more about property design please visit our site. We can give you a great checklist for maintaining a property.
Whatever your project you can get in touch with Lee West who will be happy to advise you on your best options.
More and more people are choosing rental properties as a source of income with each passing year. There's always a market for renters. It's a good investment, as well, as rent continues to rise year after year.
Finding a fixer-upper is one of the classic ways to turn a profit on a rental property. A lot of people hear this and jump in blind. There's more to renovating a rental property than people realise, however.
Here are a few things you need to know about renovating a rental property, to make your renovation as easy and painless as possible.
1. Don't Expect Fast, Easy Money
Flipping properties was all the rage a few years ago. Flipping properties was all over the media, causing a gold rush of investors looking for the next get-rich-quick scheme.
The bottom has officially fallen out of that market, however. The average profits for flipped properties have fallen for the last three quarters.
There is money to be made, however. Reports show that buying and selling a house within a year yields £30k on average.
2. Stick to a Budget
Remember, the point of a fixer-upper is to maximise profits. You need to know ahead of time how much you're able to spend to get your rental property up to date.
The average cost of a home renovation is around £30,500. Renovations can cost much more than that, however. Especially when you get into more expensive renovations like the kitchen or bathroom.
Make sure to do the math and see how much you're able to comfortably spend for your property to remain profitable.
3. Decide to DIY
You should also realistically assess how much of your renovation you'll be undertaking yourself. A lot of people get this notion of buying a property and then putting in the hours to restore it to its pristine condition.
The problem is, they might not have the experience in home renovation in the first place to realise what they're signing up for. Renovating a property is very, very hard work. It's time-consuming and labour intensive at the best of times.
Before you even begin to think of renovating a property, realistically access your renovation skills. Think about what of the renovations you can undertake yourself, like painting or landscaping, for instance. Then create a budget with those factors in mind.
4. Find the Right Help
Finding the right person or team to help you with your renovation is often easier said than done. Simply looking up 'home renovators' on Google or in the phone book is going to tell you who spent the most on advertising, not what they're capable of.
Your best bet is to join some homeowner organisations in your area. Find some other people in your vicinity who've recently renovated their homes. Ask them for their recommendations and you'll get the inside scoop of what contractors and construction agencies to work with.
Rental properties are still an excellent source of income when you know how to go about it. Just remember that renovating a property requires hard work and dedication, the same as any other investment.
Are You Renovating a Rental Property?
You're in luck! we've been helping homeowners and property owners restore their properties to pristine conditions for years. It's one of our greatest joys.
If you're renovating a rental property, get in touch today to take advantage of our passion and experience.
Are you thinking about upgrading your old bathroom? Whether you are refurbishing a room in a residential property as a homeowner or landlord, it’s important to make sure that you are taking the right steps.
If you are making changes to a bathroom, you always need to make sure that you are considering the plumbing. It’s important to consider where the pipes are before completing any significant work. This is a key reason why you need to hire a professional for a bathroom installation.
Find Your Style
It’s important to think about the style of bathroom you want to complete before you start work. This will help shape the budget and ensure that you have a plan moving forward. It guarantees that you don’t have to worry about making changes later.
Understand Your Limits
It’s important not to underestimate a bathroom remodel. This is a complex and challenging job. You should be aware of what you can do and what you will need assistance with. As well as plumbing, electric and wiring will require the expertise of a professional.
Keep It Waterproof
Finally, a crucial element of a bathroom remodel will be waterproofing. It’s important that it is designed to ensure that there are no issues with water leaking through the floor. You need to make sure that problems with moisture have been considered and are handled effectively.
If you would like to learn more about bathroom installations, please contact Lee West today. I will provide expert support and advice on your project.
Do you need a plumber to complete work on your residential property? If so, it’s important to find the right professional you can trust. There are a few steps you can take to ensure that you do get the right expert on your project.
Look At Reviews
You do need to make sure that you are considering what other people who have used the service are saying. It’s possible that the plumber has no reviews online at all. Believe it or not, this is actually a worse sign than a plumber with mixed reviews. It suggests that they could be hiding their reputation.
Ask Family And Friends
You can also consider asking the people you know what plumber they trusted. You will usually find that people who you know have used a plumber in the past. It’s a service that we all require at some point or another. If they received great service, you typically won’t have to worry about an issue with a plumber letting you down.
Qualifications And Insurance
You should make sure that you are choosing a plumber with the right insurance in place and who has the needed qualifications. This will provide peace of mind that they can deliver the quality solution that you want.
Finally, you should check whether there is a negative or positive buzz around the business online. Ideally, by searching the company name on social media you should find positive comments. Be wary if the comments associated with the business are mainly negative.
We hope this helps you understand what you should be considering when searching for a reputable plumber for your project or home repair job.
If you would like some advice or help with your plumbing project please contact Lee West
Are you completing renovation work or refurbishments on a property that you own? It’s important to approach this the right way. Here's how to avoid problems and find a reputable builder.
For a landlord, health and safety should be the first priority. Choosing a building contractor with high standards of health and safety who are also certified by a nationally recognised Safe Contractor will avoid poor workmanship that could be a danger to the builders and a threat to the people living there. Property owners will also need to consider how the work will affect the value of the property. Poor renovation work will reduce the value of the property and in the event make it harder to sell.
So, how do you find the right builder for the job?
Look At Reviews
More than 80% of people researching companies and products online will now check reviews. This is a smart choice because you don't have to believe the marketing of the business itself. You need to explore unbiased opinions. That’s exactly what reviews allow you to do.
Google is the best place to start when exploring reviews. However, you can take a look at websites and resources like Yelp too. If you do this, you’re sure to find the information you need.
Check Their Portfolio
You need to make sure that you are looking at work that the builder has previously completed. They should have a portfolio of recently complete refurbishment projects and this needs to be easily accessible.
Usually, you will find the portfolio of work on their business website. If you are meeting them in person, then they should be able to present this to you. Make sure that you follow up with the references provided. Again, you don't necessarily need to take a builder at their word.
Make sure that the work they have completed matches what you need and reflects the level of quality that you want.
Ask About Awards
Some of the better builders will have won awards for the jobs that they have completed. This might include anything from awards for exceptional levels of customer service to an award for a particular refurbishment of building project that they completed. The trick here is to make sure that you know what the award is and when they received it. If it was more than five years ago, the quality of their work may not be the same.
Builders will typically advertise award wins on their website and it is also here that you are also going to find information about their standards of service and health and safety.
Check The Guarantees
You need to know where you stand when you choose a builder for property maintenance and refurbishment. The first aspect to consider is insurance. It’s vital that you select a company that is going to provide you with full insurance coverage. If the business can’t guarantee that the building work will be insured then you should consider another contractor.
The builder should also provide you with information about what will happen if the work does not meet your expectations or if your requirements aren’t met. How will this be dealt with and what can you expect in terms of support?
Ideally, you should find a builder that will continue to work until you are completely satisfied with the results provided.
If you would like further advice or have a property renovation or refurbishment project that you'd like to discuss please contact Lee West Builder and I'd be very happy to help.
Are you looking for a quick way to give your rental property a complete makeover?
Interior design trends are changing all the time. And, if you're having trouble finding new tenants, it could be because your property isn't as stylish as it once was.
That said before you start on a complete remodel, there's a much easier way to breathe new life into a house.
New floors can completely transform the look of a house from the ground up.
Need a few stylish and unique flooring ideas to help you get started? We've got you covered.
Here are five fantastic flooring ideas that are sure to help you attract new tenants.
Herringbone is the epidemy of a timeless look, as it got its start back in ancient Rome. To this day, this intricate inlay can create a simple but striking design in any room.
You could shell out the extra cash for natural wood herringbone. That said, you can create this delicate design out of nearly any flooring material, such as vinyl planking.
2. Honeycomb Tiling
Whether you want to add a pop of colour to a bathroom or create a striking monochromatic look, hexagon, or honeycomb, tiling can help you get there.
Honeycomb tiles are generally associated with more vintage design. But, they've recently fallen back into style in a big way, and will likely not be going anywhere anytime soon.
People generally use tiling in rooms like kitchens and washrooms. But, the intricate design of hexagon tiles fits perfectly in any area.
3. Painted Planks
If you want your rental property to stand out to tenants, painted floors are the way to go.
The best part about painted floors is that you may not even need to install new flooring at all.
Even if your floors are looking a little drab, if they are still in decent enough shape for everyday use, a little paint can make them appear brand new.
On top of that, with paint, you can create some pretty stunning decorative touches your tenants are sure to love.
4. Faux Vintage
If you would like to give your rental property a facelift, while maintaining a rustic look, you may want to consider fake vintage floors.
While distressed floors can add a rich, antique air to any home, traditional hardwood may not be able to stand up to whatever your tenants may throw at it.
Fortunately, you can get the look of distressed wood floors without using any real wood.
Distressed vinyl planks can have the same effect as antique wood at a fraction of the cost. On top of that, vinyl is more durable than wood, so you won't have to worry about renters tearing up your new floors.
5. Going "Greige"
For those who aren't familiar, greige is a combination of grey and beige that has been one of the hottest hues in interior design for the past few years. And it won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
Greige is the ultimate neutral tone. So, no matter what style your tenants prefer, this fair and unobtrusive colour will give them the canvas they need to create their dream space.
Bringing These Flooring Ideas to Life
Now that you have an idea of what you would like to do with your rental floors, it's time to get to work revamping your property.
Need some help bringing these flooring ideas to life? We can help.
Contact Lee West for more information about our services, or to schedule a consultation today.
Do you know when to replace your roof? Are you unsure of the early warning signs which come before home repair?
Your roof is in the main line of defence against the elements. But, if you don't keep your roof in check, the rest of your home can suffer over time. This is why studying the red flags for repair is a must.
If you want to know when to repair, carry out maintenance, or repair a roof, keep reading for the information you need to know.
When to Replace Your Roof
As a homeowner, there are visible signs that tell you how long a roof will last. One of the biggest red flags is water damage and distortion of tiles, beams, and support. Since your roof is a structure connected to big areas of your home, you can spot roofing problems that might first seem unrelated.
Moss and Mould
For some homeowners, moss and mould might seem like a separate problem from a decaying roof. However, mould growth shows us that gaps in tiles are beginning to form, allowing water to enter and trap inside your roof. This is because moisture is the primary motivator for moss and mould.
If you spot moss on shingles or mould outside your roof, these are signs that your roof tiles are starting to distort unhealthily.
Take a look along the ridge of your home, and if it doesn't follow a straight line, that points to sagging. Sagging is an issue that emerges from the decomposition of materials, bad insulation, and heavy water damage. If you start to notice these symptoms, it's important that you call a professional immediately.
A big question most new homeowners ask is "how long should a roof last?" In an ideal world, roofs will last for 20 or more years. Yet, always take account for your environment and its impact on your roof over the years.
One of the biggest things you can do to keep an old roof together is roofing shingle repair. In the UK, shingles have long been a popular material for defending homes from hard and erratic weather. Still, with enough time and pressure, even the shingles of your home can come apart, calling for repair from a trusted group of professionals.
Keep Your Property in Check
You need to know when to replace your roof. Knowing the early warning signs can save you hours of frustration and thousands of pounds. The best way you can prevent replacing your whole roof is to stay well-educated, prepared, and steadfast in roof maintenance.
Still, sometimes it's key to accept when it's too late and you need the help of a professional. When this time comes, you need refurbishment from someone with years of experience that you can trust.
If you're looking for a solution, contact Lee West Property for advice or assistance. We can give you the tips you've been looking for and help your damaged roof feel sound again.
Don't wait for your roof to get worse, reach out to a specialist today!
Right now, one of five households in Britain is renting their home. That number is expected to increase to one in four households within a couple of years
If you own rental property already or are considering getting into the business, this is good news. However, it also means you'll be dealing with far more request for building maintenance.
By knowing some of the most common things tenants complain about, you can be ready to deal with them quickly so a small problem doesn't become a large one.
Keep reading to find out what maintenance issues are faced most often by building managers.
1. Clogged Drains
A clogged drain may not seem like a big issue at first, but this is one that can quickly turn into a nightmare if not taken care of as soon as possible. Whether it's a sink, tub, or toilet, clogged drains should be considered urgent repairs.
When a drain becomes clogged, it can cause sewage backups into other drains. This, in turn, puts your building at risk for water damage if these start to overflow.
Multiple clogged drains or numerous slow drains can also be a sign of a larger plumbing problem that needs to be addressed.
2. Leaking Pipes
A small leak may not seem like a big deal, but this is another plumbing issue you don't want to ignore for long. If you do, you may face water damage, mold growth, and structural issues.
Pipes that are cracked or broken can quickly do some major damage if the leak gets larger, so you'll want to take any complaint by tenants about leaks seriously.
3. No Hot Water
This is another common problem of tenants and although it may be able to be put off for a day or two during the summer, if you want to keep your tenants happy, you need to fix this problem quickly.
There are a number of causes of a lack of hot water, so go through a full maintenance checklist to uncover the root of the problem to get it solved.
4. Broken Appliances
When you can't cook from home because your stove isn't working or your food is going bad in your refrigerator, it's going to be frustrating.
That's why malfunctioning or broken appliance issues should be taken care of as quickly as possible. Your course of action will depend on the appliance and the problem but speed is key here for property managers.
5. AC or Heat Not Working
If your tenants are going without heat in the winter or AC in the summer, you can rest assured they won't be your tenants for much longer. Particularly for families, these issues need to be solved without delay.
Need Help with Building Maintenance?
Now you know five of the most common issues that need to be addressed when it comes to building maintenance. As you can see, taking care of these problems as soon as possible will keep buildings in good repair.
If you need help with building maintenance, consider hiring a company that specialises in just that. To learn more, check out our post with five reasons a property management company can help you.
Lee West has a wealth of experience managing and refurbishing high class properties in London. He has been the lead contractor in many prestigious buildings such as Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, Chelsea Royal Free Hospital, House of Parliament, Kew Gardens and many more.