I’m Jane

The Home Improvement Expert

Recent Posts

Tree Services For Your Home

When it comes to home and garden maintenance, tree surgery can be an invaluable service. A good tree service company can help you keep your trees healthy and safe, while ensuring that they look their best in your home or garden. But how do you choose a reliable tree service company?

Finding a good tree surgeon

The first step is to research the various companies available. Ask friends, family and neighbours for referrals, read online reviews, and check out the websites of different companies to get a better understanding of a good tree surgery company and the services they offer. Make sure they are certified by a nationally recognized organization like Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). Additionally, look for evidence that the company’s team is qualified; experienced arborists will have considerable knowledge about trees and their care. read more…

The Benefits of Tarmac

Tarmac is cost effective. Those seeking to improve the look of their home and to add some kerb appeal should consider a tarmac driveway over a concrete one. Tar is the black material we get from coal. It has aesthetic value and it takes about half the time to install than it does a concrete one.

The construction time of building a road or driveway in preference to a concrete one is also exacerbated by the maintenance of the two road surfaces. Tarmac drives and roads rarely need maintenance and if cracks, potholes or resealing is needed, the tarmac surface can be easily rectified.

The Hardy Nature of Tarmac

A tarmac surface can handle just about anything you throw at it. Heavy rain, snow, high winds and even thunderstorms just don’t seem to faze this surface at all. It will take on a motorbike or a 40-tonne lorry with consummate ease.

So, you can imagine how a tarmac driveway – which will only see your gently parked car moving on or off – will last a lifetime. Be sure to use a reputable tarmac company that has a proven track record of high quality installations.

Tarmac has a smooth surface that will help to prevent skidding. A handy finish knowing you are not likely to thump into the garden fence or the garage door. For the best finish local tarmac driveways companies use a topping of SMA.

Tarmac is good for the Environment Too

Tarmac allows for street markings to be easily seen by other road users. However, the impact on the environment makes tarmac a very good choice. While concrete is perfectly good for the planet in that it uses a mixture of ballast, limestone and plenty of water, tarmac is a special surface that can be recycled time and time again.

There is no limit to the amount of times you can dig up a tarmac road and relay the surface using the originally laid materials that have always been there. Tarmac also does not run into the water systems like some other materials do.

As any roadbuilder will tell you: tarmac is very quick to solidify and takes very little time to reach its solid state than concrete or mortar does.

Driveways made from materials other than tarmac have proven time and time again to be an inconvenience. A driveway made from block paving can see grass or weedy plants attempt to grow in between the cracks. A tarmac driveway has no such issues with ongoing maintenance from weeds or grass growing in areas where it is not welcome.  

tarmac drives stafford, cannock, staffordshire, stoke, wolverhampton

Is There A Difference Between Tarmac and Asphalt?

As far as road surfacing goes, tarmac and asphalt are the world’s most widely used materials; but try telling the difference between the two and you would have a very difficult task. Even the trained eye in road construction can struggle to see what road surface is tarmac and which one is asphalt.


Tarmac is an abbreviated term for tarmacadam. Tarmacadam was developed and constructed by the Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam. He created the method of the macadam road. This basically is where a road builder laid crushed gravel and stone to the road surface. read more…

Double Glazing Energy Ratings

Will double glazing cut my energy bills?

Most homeowners (around 67%) confirmed that their home was warmer after they installed double glazing.  In fact, this is one of the biggest differences that people generally said it had made. However, only around 35% of people said that they thought that the double glazing had actually reduced the amount they spent on energy.   

According to the Energy Saving Trust a homeowner in a detached property could save between £110 and £115 per year if they replaced all single glazed windows with A++ rated double glazing.  For a mid terrace house where heat loss is naturally reduced by its attachment on both sides, the saving would be around £60.

What are the energy ratings for double glazing?

The energy-rating system used for double glazing is quite similar to that being used for household appliances.  Windows are rated on a scale where A++ is the best and E is the worst, follow the link if you need help choosing the right double glazing. Current building regulations insist that all newly installed windows are rated at at least C.   The large double glazing companies claim different energy efficiency levels, some as high as A++.

The Energy Saving Trust estimates the energy savings for a detached house where all the windows are double glazed, at £95 for a C-rated window, which is around £15-£20 less than the A++ window.  For mid terraced homes that reduction would only be £10 lower, at £50. Some companies will offer additional energy saving measures. This is on top of the usual standard energy efficiencies provided by their  basic double glazed windows and doors. Safestyles have said that its Eco Diamond range of double glazing is recommended by the Energy Saving Trust as an option that exceeds heat retention and weather performance tests.

However, it is always worth checking out any claims by taking at look at our reviews and finding out what the customers of these double glazing companies really think. read more…

A Comprehensive Guide About Suspended Ceilings

Origin of Suspended Ceilings

It all started back in the Muromachi period (1337 – 1573) when the Japanese frequently used the suspended ceilings to make houses more attractive. In London, by 1596, a theatre named the Blackfriars became the first structure in the west to make use of suspended ceilings.

The patent for suspended ceilings in the US was first filed for in 1919 by E.E. Hall but was not accepted till 1923. These ceilings back then were created using interlocking tiles which restrict ease of access for maintenance and repair. To accomplish this, the tiles will have to be removed from the edges until the area that requires repair/maintenance is reached. This proved to be time-consuming and budget-unfriendly since the tiles still have to be put back in place after the repair/maintenance is done.

However, in 1958, Donald A. Brown made the effort of filing for the patent of an accessible suspended ceiling design which will solve the problem of difficult access to the ceilings and make the suspended ceilings easily accessible from any part for repair/maintenance. The patent, which was approved in 1961, made some people see Brown as being the founder of suspended ceilings.

Suspended ceilings with easy access have been in existence since then.

Types of Suspended Ceilings

Suspended ceilings not only are of various styles, but they are also of various functions. Not only do the ceilings beautify architectural structures, but they also help to increase the efficiency of workers in a workplace.

Based on the preferences and wants of people, there are several types of dropped ceilings available, some of which are:

Exposed Grid

This is one of the most prevalent types of suspended ceilings. Strips of long metals known as mains are connected to short metals known as tees. These make up the ceilings’ grids that are packed up with the ceiling tiles. Usually, the grids are exposed with the metal frames having a height of 15 or 16 inches. For the width, however, any length can be used depending on the structure.


Bandraster is another type of suspended ceiling popularly used in London. With this ceiling, multiple purposes can be met. The metals with short lengths (tees) are used with varying lengths of the metals with long lengths (mains). This type of suspended ceiling is commonly used among among companies like Only Suspended Ceilings in London because they  have the ability to form various patterns with the ceiling. Since the patterns formed will have different sizes, specially made tiles are used. This ceiling gives places making use of it a unique and attractive feeling.

Suspended Drywall Ceilings

In a suspended drywall ceiling, instead of using metal grids in the process of dropping the ceiling, hangers and wires are used. Drywall sheets are suspended from the ceiling using the hangers and wires. Virtually, little or no framing is needed at all. Flat sheets and drywall panels can be added to further enhance the ceiling’s attractiveness.

Concealed Ceilings

When compared with the exposed grid ceilings, it’s more expensive. It makes use of acoustic tiles which have grooves by the perimeter to cover the grid system. The tiles are able to slide over the grid system, and the mains and tees are therefore not exposed. The tiles look fluid and attracting to the eyes. The con, however, is that accessing the ceiling gets more difficult in contrast to the exposed grid system.

Easy access to merchandise and an increase in the display area make mezzanines a valuable asset to any retail shop.

a picture of a suspended ceiling installation in London

Advantages of Using Suspended Ceilings

Suspended ceilings are becoming more commonly used in homes and workplaces especially in Birmingham City. Apart from the beautiful feeling the ceilings bring to a structure, what other benefits come with them? Some major benefits are discussed below. read more…

Redesigning Your Driveway

Tarmac driveways are an excellent alternative to the concrete or block paving alternatives. Tarmac driveways are even more financially viable because homes or offices with a large piece of land for a long drive offer a cheaper solution than block paving or concreted drive ports.

Therefore, the bigger your driveway is, the more cost effective tarmac will be as opposed to alternative solutions. But there are those who have a need to make their front garden more inviting and add kerb appeal to the street. Many will reconsider tarmac driveways because they find the black colour of the aggregate a little too formal. Well, there is some great news for those who don’t like the idea of a black driveway – have it coloured!

Colours & Styles

Tarmac driveways can just as easily come in a range of colours from green, red, blue and even yellow, if that’s what really takes your fancy? Tarmac driveways can be made to resemble a different colour by adding coloured aggregates. However, it is well worth considering that any oil leaks you might have underneath your car will stain badly on a garish-coloured driveway (it’s just worth a thought when you come to redesigning your tarmac drive). read more…

Commonly Asked Questions About Double Glazing

When buying double glazing the majority of homeowners have said that their main aim was to either increase the warmth of their home or to lower their energy bills.  When asked, around 41% of people said that warmth was a key factor, with 44% citing energy bills as their top reason for purchasing their double glazing.

However, double glazing is a big expense so it is vital that you make the right decisions based on your individual needs.  In order to help answer all of your most burning questions we surveyed thousands of homeowners and asked them for their honest opinions regarding the double glazing firm they chose for their own homes.

We received reviews for the top double glazing companies including Everest, Anglian and Safestyle.  So before you make that crucial decision be sure to check our results.  With customer scores ranging from 64% at the very top right down to 54% for the bottom scorers it is well worth taking the time to do some essential research.

What are the benefits of double glazing?

A single glazed window is just one layer of glass compared to double glazing where two panes.  In between the two panes of glass there is a layer or either air or a gas such as argon.  Double glazing has a number of key benefits:

  • Warm air is kept inside, resulting in fewer drafts, and because your property is well insulated, it helps reduce heating bills.
  • Noise reduction – double glazing will reduce the amount of noise you hear from outside.
  • Less condensation will form on the inside of windows.
  • It is more secure – double glazing is tougher than single glazing and a lot harder to break.
  • When looking for the most efficient form of double glazing choose the brands that have gas (eg, argon) in between the panes of glass.  Also check for Low-E – low emissivity glass.  This type of double glazing uses a reflective coating to keep sunlight inside the home.

read more…

10 Ways to Update Your Conservatory

A conservatory is a majestic way to add space to your house in numerous ways. From spending quality time with guests to building an ideal environment for plants and flowers to grow and flourish, this multipurpose room can become a genuine asset to your house. Updating your conservatory with stylish frames and a solid roof is gaining popularity. Here are the 10 ways to update your conservatory.

  • Replace with brilliant I-Shaped profiles

The glass or polycarbonate roof is only backed up by windows from glazing beads. Replacing the beads with firmer I-Shaped patterns that have a broad top rim adequate to support the new roof is the fundamental element of the project.

  • Make a retreat with slackened seating

You can add a stylish swing seat to your conservatory as a reading spot. You can finish this natural style with meadow-inspired throws and cushions.

read more…

About Me

Hello there! Im Jane Holland from Birmingham, U.K., i’d like to give you a warm welcome to my home improvement website/blog. I’m 42 years old and have an infectious passion for design and home improvement ideas. I put a great deal of work into my articles to make sure they are as informative, understandable and digestible as can be for all readers.

Let’s Talk