Archive for the ‘landscaping’ Category

Garden Wall Building Regulations

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Garden Wall Designs And Ideas

Garden and Retaining Walls Don’t just Look Nice, They Do Have a Purpose..

Garden walls can create a lovely focal point in any garden, but have you ever considered what else garden walls actually do and why they can be so expensive to build? Gabian Basket Retaining Walls

The most common reason some garden walls or retaining walls start to move, crack or even collaspe is because people don’t consider how a garden / retaining wall should be built in the first place or the pressures and forces they need to withstand. Whether a wall is part of a landscaping project or part of a structure that has been built to retain part of a garden or even a house, if it isn’t designed and built correctly then it won’t be long before the ‘cracks begin to show”.

If you are considering building a garden wall make sure that the wall is structurally designed to do exaclty what is it supposed to do, otherwise it will cost you more in the long run to have it repaired. Some basic engineering calculations are generally all that is needed, but for some larger walls more indepth designs are required.

With our winter months getting wetter and colder year on year and the water in the ground freezing, garden walls need to be designed to retain more ground water and frost ‘heave’ than ever before.

Building regulations have become more a lot more strict over the years to ensure that the construction of any structure is adhered too other wiseGarden Wall builders in Bridgend and Cardiff you will be liable should any thing go seriously wrong. Most people even over look the fact that your house insurance may well be void if you build something that does not comply the most up to date engieering and building regulations.

Like most things in life, let’s be honest … we all say … ‘it will never happen to us’… until it does, and then it’s to late. It really isn’t worth taking a risk or cutting corners when safety and costs are concerned

Over the years we have built a variety of garden walls and features. We have also built some substantial retaining walls that not only have to cope with the ground pressures and forces that are imposed on to them but also under ground streams and drainage systems that are needed to prevent an additional build up of water behind a wall that in time would cause it to burst just like a water Dam.

There is nothing worse than paying to have a lovely garden wall feature built only to find in a few months time that it has subsided or having water bellow through it because of inadequate drainage behind.

Do the right thing and get the job done properly first and foremost. Take this simple but lovely looking front garden wall that we recently built in Cardiff for a customer. It looks nice and elegant but some extra thought was needed in it’s design. Generally, whenever you build a structure alongside a pubilc foot path or highway the structure must comply with a certain engineering design to prevent is falling onto a member of the public. If it doesn’t then you could be forced to take it down.

Some structures even have to be built to withstand the impact of a car at a certain speed. So you see there can be more to building a garden retaining wall than you think. If you would like more information or advice then Derwood homes and developements can help..

Quality and Professionalism Guaranteed

For full details of our Services, please Contact Us »

Or Simply call us on 0845 519 4707 for a FREE home visit and FREE quote


How To Choose A Reputable Builder In South Wales

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Finding A Reliable And Reputable Builder in Bridgend, Cardiff And South Wales

We all hear stories like the plumber that charged an elderly man £2,880 an hour and the family that scammed pensioners out of £1million – it can be nightmare to find a trustworthy and reputable builder when you need building work done at your home.

In fact, Brits fork out over a staggering £737 million to rectify botched jobs by cowboy builders each year, so it is crucial to choose your builder with care. Around 6.2 million (13%) of people in the UK have fallen foul of cowboy builders in the past five years, according to research from Sainsbury’s home insurance, and have had to fork out nearly £3.7bn to rectify botched buildng jobs during this time. Analysis shows plumbers have caused the most damage, with 1.4m homeowners suffering from their poor quality work since 2006. Most homes are now having new extensions built as well as loft conversions, landscaping work and garage conversions constructed rather than move home.

Reputable Builders South Wales

Reputable Builders South Wales

Of those of us that have fallen victim to a cowboy bulder, an average £2,077 was paid for the work they carried out. On top of this amount homeowners had to pay nearly £600 to either repair the damage or complete the unfinished job. While over 150,000 people are estimated to have paid over £5000 to rectify a botched job. Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance comments: “We’re concerned that so many homeowners have to rectify poor workmanship carried out by builders they’ve employed in good faith to work in their homes“.

It’s completely unacceptable that building remedial costs are exceeding £700 million. Of course the burden isn’t just financial; there can be a great deal of personal stress attached to these difficult situations including the clean up and often confrontation. On the other side of the coin, there are people who deliberately appoint builders with the intention of never paying for the excellent work they carry out, which then causes huge problems, very often leading towards the builders reputation being tarnished.

Cost over quality
Coming from a family of reputable building and construction porfessionals, I’m aware that the dodgy guys often undercut reasonable quotes in order to secure the work. Yet accepting suspiciously low quotes can be the start of costly mistakes, that sees quality sacrificed in favour of saving money and homeowners being faced with footing an even higher bill to put botched building works right. Ok, we may well blow our own trumpet and claim that Derwood Homes and Developments are excellent repuatable builders, but like everyone else we can make mistakes, but the main thing to look out for is a builder who is keen to please their customers and even admit and rectify any silly mistakes they may make without trying to charge you for doing so.

Tyte addes: “In these challenging economic times, it’s understandable that people want to cut back on costs but where work to the home is concerned it’s just not worth the risk. It’s simply false economy, especially if you’ve invalidated your home insurance by not taking due care. It’s imperative you hire a quality builder, and make sure that the work is done properly.”

Sainsbury’s home insurance warns that in extreme cases, if a homeowner is proven not to have taken reasonable care of their property, they could also risk invalidating their home insurance.

Professional Builders

Professional Builders

So how should you choose a reputable builder?

  • Spend time researching – ask for friends, family or neighbours for recommendations.
  • Follow up references – contact the names the builder gives you and ask to view the work. Happy customers should always be happy to talk and show you the building work they have had done
  • Always check for relevant qualifications and accreditations, from associations such as FMB and the NHBC
  • Always seek at least three quotes and don’t automatically opt for the cheapest. You may well regret it !
  • Get everything in writing, including a breakdown of costs and a completion date for the project.
  • Check your home insurance to ensure you are covered for the work and if a 24-hour home emergency advice service is available should things go wrong.

It is advisable to appoint a builder who has all of the skills and tradesmen within his own team of men. This will ensure that the complete project is carried out efficiently and to the same standards everyone expects. It even means that the builder is in complete control of the project and responsible for everyone working in your home.

Yes, there are nightmare builders out there, but there are also some excellent ones as well.

Looking to find a reliable and reputable builder ?


Love Your Garden

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Alan Titchmarsh’s New ProgrammeUntitled

I have to say that I rarely find the time to watch T.V. these days but whilst having dinner, I did manage to watch Alan’s new ITV show, ‘ Love Your Garden’. What I loved about the show was it’s simplistic approach to a variety of things that can be achieved with any garden.

As the co-owner of Derwood Homes that specialises in gardening projects around Cardiff and Bridgend, one of my favourite topics is designing,  creating and of course transforming peoples gardens within South Wales. Call me boring but there is something tranquil about the garden even if you do only use it to Sunbathe or play with the kids… Either way we all one way or another love our garden. Alan brings a modern approach and feel to gardening and makes the programme which is on Fridays well worth watching.     

Yours Truly