Property inspection tips for March

Cold weather and damp, with the threat of more ice and snow, are a particular problem for properties in London – particularly older ones. Where paintwork has started to crack or peel, wooden door and window frames become vulnerable to damage, eventually requiring expensive repair or replacement. This is where paint starts to fail in its primary job of protection. An outside paint job, other things being …[Read More]

BulgerWicks now repair flat roofs

With ever rising house prices there has been a huge increase in loft conversions or the building of extensions as people look to maximise the value of their property or to gain more space when moving house is not an option. Very often these have been constructed with a flat roof as the initial costs are much lower than constructing a pitched roof (or in …[Read More]

Practical points about painting masonry on London properties

Painted exteriors are a well-established feature of some London buildings, and almost define certain familiar architectural styles and periods. We are frequently called on to inspect exteriors and advise on options for exterior painting – here are some of the principles on which we base our advice. Georgian half-painted exteriors have become an iconic London style Where clients are considering painting walls that have not …[Read More]

Useful decor apps

Dulux, Crown and other paint manufacturers have introduced Apps for showing your house interior in different colours, and they can be very useful. We’ve written about them before and you can find them in our News page. But more Apps for Apple and Android phones take the process one stage further. We checked out a few of them here: 1. Colorfy Capture and Convert Colors …[Read More]

New design app for architects and specifiers

We recently featured the latest version of Dulux’s tablet or phone-based colour-picking app, aimed at home users. Now a comparable app has been produced for professionals. Architects, designers and specifiers can use the new app to research and create a full coatings specification from a mobile device following the launch of a new app from Dulux owners AkzoNobel.  The Design app allows users to develop a …[Read More]

What is quality in paint?

We are sometimes asked about the difference between brand-name paints and cheaper alternatives. Although marketing plays a part in pricing, the differences are important. It is far from just being marketing hype. Vinyl and Matt Paint is composed of Pigments (for colour and coverage), Resins (for strength), Solvents (to make the paint liquid) and Additives (including things like fungicide). Resins give paint a degree of …[Read More]

About Weathershield paints

We are often asked to recommend exterior masonry paints to clients. In most cases we prefer to use the Dulux Weathershield range, and I thought I should explain why. First and foremost, longevity is the most people’s prime concern when choosing exterior paint. The quality of protection that it will give is rarely discussed, because most people assume that any paint will do that job …[Read More]

Preserving house values

  We are not about to add to debate about property values in London following the Brexit decision. But there is sensible advice that will help to protect the value of your property regardless of market conditions, and summer is the ideal time to think about it. Exterior woodwork, if not well protected, can be very costly to repair or replace. We see some properties in …[Read More]

The perfect time for painting the exterior of your property

It may seem too obvious to state, but summer is by far the best time to get the outside of your property painted. Besides the obvious reasons such as dry weather, longer days, more light, and better temperatures, there are some other points worth taking into account. From a decorator’s perspective, the increased chance of consecutive dry weather means that drying times are shorter and more predictable. …[Read More]

Long-term repair for window frames

I wanted to let you know about our repair service for windows. Many London homes still have fine wooden window frames which are in many cases well over 100 years old. The workmanship of the original carpenters and the longevity of the original lead-based paints are hard, if not impossible, to replicate today. Even the original woods used were more slowly grown and reputed to be better aged than …[Read More]

Adding house value by redecorating

Estate Agents sometimes refer clients to us for redecoration before properties are put on the market, to help achieve the best price. Depending of course on numerous factors, we have been given estimates that resale price can be increased by between 2% and 12% when a house is redecorated prior to sale. That is certainly enough to expect that redecoration should pay for itself. This is particularly true in London: …[Read More]

The colours of 2016

“Edition 11” is this year’s influential colour design catalogue for 2016 from Azkonobel, owners of Dulux. Newspapers will talk about a “Colour of the Year’ for 2016, but the catalogue is a lavishly-produced design tour de force aimed at designers in just about every industry you can think of, and it influences everything from vehicle paint to lipstick. While “My Gold” is featured as a defining shade for …[Read More]

Dealing with lead paint in London properties

It’s not uncommon to find London properties still painted with old lead-based paint. Sometimes properties haven’t been redecorated since the 1960’s, but more often older lead paint has simply been over-coated with more recent gloss or eggshell. Despite its dangers, lead paint was very popular with decorators because of its smooth, durable finish and the fact that it would go on in a very thick layer …[Read More]

Adding value to houses in London

As London house prices maintain their strength, new types of improvements are becoming fashionable. One recent announcement from skylight manufacturers Sunsquare suggested that a skylight could add £50,000 to the value of a property in the capital for an outlay of £5,000. Two separate surveys, by peer-to-peer lenders Zopa and the Daily Telegraph (who spoke to Estate Agents) compared the value of more traditional improvements, with interesting …[Read More]

Decorating a Bedroom

We (hopefully) spend about a third of our lives in bed, so getting the bedroom right is important. As Autumn approaches it may be a good time to put some thought into the subject. Subtle colouring, and coordination with fabrics, including curtains, has been made easier with the various online tools now available (see our earlier item about the Dulux Visualiser here). But there is …[Read More]

Popular and cost-effective home improvements – survey

A recent study of home improvement trends from Barclays gives some interesting pointers to cost-effective home improvements. Over half (53%) of UK homeowners choose to make improvements to add value to their homes rather than move to a new property, and home improvements add on average £31,000 to a property if sold within 12 months. The Home Improvement Report 2015 is based on a survey …[Read More]

Visualiser lets you see your home in new colours

If you own a tablet, or even a smartphone, the Dulux Visualiser App (for iOS and Android) is well worth a try when you’re thinking about redecoration. The App will show you – quite accurately – how your room will look in whatever combination of paint colours you want. In fact, it lets you virtually paint your walls without a tester pot in sight. The …[Read More]

Ideas with wallpaper

Recent years have seen a revival in the use of wallpaper, particularly for feature walls and to complement plain painted walls. Well done, the effect works well and avoids a starkness that plain flat walls can create. The range of wallpapers available is vast, from organic materials to advanced plastics, along with a revival of handmade traditional paper. They can be very suitable for both contemporary …[Read More]

Choosing paint finishes

Paint finishes, from matt to gloss, have different characteristics – understanding them can be useful and may affect your choice. Paint is made of: PIGMENT to provide color, cover the underlying surface, and give ultra-violet protection BINDER to hold the pigment together after drying, provide adhesion, and carry the pigment. Different binders will affect the durability of end product. THINNER to help control consistency and …[Read More]

Getting a house ready for sale

January is the busiest month of the year for house sales, if you believe the local Estate Agents. With mortgage approvals moving back to pre-crash levels, the housing market has come alive again.If you are putting a property on the market, there is a wealth of advice on preparing it for the best sale value. Investing a little on decoration can repay the effort many times over. We often …[Read More]

Touching up interior paintwork

Advice on running repairs Like it or not, interior paintwork is going to suffer minor scuffs and knocks. We always leave clients with unfinished paint cans for running repairs, but there are some useful tips which can make your DIY touchups blend in to the rest of the paint on a wall. Step 1: Before making repairs, clean the area with a sponge, mild detergent and water. This will not …[Read More]

An autumn checklist for your property

Cold and damp are the two things that will most quickly expose problems in your property. Before the autumn really sets in, we recommend a check of several important points. The effort needed to prevent damage is much less than the cost of repair. 1) Check the gutters and downpipes. If there is any blockage, get them cleaned. 2) Make sure pipes are lagged and insulated. 3) …[Read More]

Window repair – the right way, so it lasts

Photos: Window repairs at a property at Grove Park Road in Chiswick – the repair system is guaranteed for 10 years but with proper maintenance will last very much longer than that. We frequently find properties in London where windows are suffering from their continued exposure to the elements. Replacement can often be avoided with the Repair Care system. BulgerWicks are approved suppliers of the …[Read More]

Do you need to to strip wallpaper before re-papering or painting?

At one time or another, we have all faced the dilemma of whether or not to strip existing wallpaper before painting or perhaps repapering our walls. It’s a decision which really needs experience and good judgement and we’re often asked to give our advice. There is no easy right or wrong about it. The only guiding factor is what you see before you when inspecting your walls. For example, there are a number …[Read More]

Your Home vs. The Elements

For some of us, the inside of our homes can be more important than the outside. The inside is where we can show our creativity with colours, furnishings, lighting, etc. The inside is where we entertain our friends, relax after a hard day, and where we raise and nurture our children. So in many ways it’s easy to forget about the outside. While an expression …[Read More]

Spring cleaning advice from your decorator

As the Spring-cleaning season begins, we are often asked for advice on care of paintwork and walls. For most jobs, which only involve surface dirt, we recommend a light touch. Avoiding the use of harsh chemicals where possible is also sensible, for the benefit of both the paintwork and the people cleaning it. We gathered a few tips: Our suggested cleaning supplies include: Mild detergent Distilled …[Read More]

Tools for choosing decorating colours

Many people want to be a bit more daring when it is time to redecorate, but worry about that colour schemes might not turn out as they hoped or be easy to live with. In London we have many traditions to choose from, so there are few ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ decorating choices. The most important thing, of course, is whether you are happy living with the …[Read More]

Which? Trusted Trader recognition for Bulger Wicks

The Which? Trusted Trader award is an endorsement scheme which recognises reputable traders who successfully pass a rigorous assessment process by Which?. The scheme operates in London and the home counties and selects from traders working in the home improvements industry.We are happy to announce that Bulger Wicks has just been recognised by the scheme, after passing a thorough selection procedure including credit checks, checks of customer references, …[Read More]

Dealing with damp

Older properties without full double glazing are prone to problems caused by damp at this time of year. But even double-glazing doesn’t always solve the problem. Modern flats often have very high levels of insulation. This has been positively encouraged by building regulations and obviously has many advantages. However in many buildings the high level of insulation also prevents air-flow, and interior humidity levels can …[Read More]

Brickwork care in winter

Long periods of wet weather followed by freezing temperatures can have particularly damaging effects on brickwork. If pointing (the mortar running between lines of bricks) is damaged or eroded, or if the bricks have become spalled (broken up at the surface), water can get in. When that water then freezes, there can be serious problems. The wrong kind of mortar is unfortunately often found in …[Read More]

Householder checklist for winter

With snow forecast, it’s probably a last chance to get any work done on the outside of your home before winter really sets in. London is apparently due for a cold, damp winter. It’s still possible for companies like ours to do some jobs outside, but not for too much longer. We made a list of some of the jobs that we’d really recommend. 1. If …[Read More]

Window care for winter

As we move into winter, many properties can start to suffer from problems with windows. Cold, damp weather can create problems with window frames if the paint is cracked or becoming porous – and rot thrives in the wood as soon as it starts to get a foothold. Repairing window frames will cost about a tenth as much as replacing them, so it pays to …[Read More]

Restoring cornice detail on a 19th Century property in Chiswick

Every day in London we pass by houses from different eras.  Like most Londoners we like to help preserve the variety on view, so we welcomed the challenge of a current project in Chiswick. The area has a fine mix of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian properties, much of it built in the 19thCentury as the population grew by 10 times. Chiswick in this period developed …[Read More]