If your home is looking a bit unloved, then a little TLC will go a long way. With so many people hit hard by the economic downturn, many homeowners are plumping for DIY renovations to their homes rather than buying new. Here is our guide to some of the most cost effective methods of sprucing up your home without breaking the bank.

A fresh lick of paint

It’s incredible how a simple task can make such a difference to the look and feel of your home. If your walls and doors are looking grimy, dowdy and dated, then give them a fresh lick of paint. It’s a simple job and even the most hapless DIY novice can’t go wrong, so there’s no need for professional assistance, which helps to keep the costs down. If you’re thinking of selling your house in the near future then neutral colours are the best way to go. If you’re staying put for the foreseeable future then go wild; what about a splash of colour or even some stencilling?

Declutter your clutter

If your preferred style is minimalist and airy then keep it that way. I know that two foot long china dog would look lovely in your front room, but be strong and walk away. If it’s already too late and your home is so chock-a-bloc with knick-knacks that you can hardly move, then take a big breath and get to work. And remember, one man’s tat is another man’s treasure, so put some of your better pieces on eBay and see how they go, after all, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Have a look at some decorating courses

There are some great decorating courses in the UK for people of all ages and abilities – we should know, ours is one of the best! We will teach you the latest trends and techniques, giving you the skill you need to completely transform your home. And if you want to take it one step further and enrol on a decorating course as the first step in your new career, we can help you do that too.

For more information about decorating courses which will teach you everything you need to know, whatever level you wish to reach, give us a call here at Access Training on 0800 345 7492.

Did you know that most plumbing jobs can solved with relative ease at home without having to use a professional plumber? And while larger work should still be carried out by professionals who have been trained on a top plumbing course, being aware of how to mend more menial matters will certainly save you money in the long run.

Here’s a list of the five most common plumbing problems – and how you can fix them:

1.    Dripping taps

Perhaps the issue of the dripping tap is the most common problem in plumbing. And while it’s seen as a relatively minor problem that can easily be ignored, if left too long it can result in high water bills. The most common solution to a faulty faucet is to replace the worn or broken washer inside, but sometimes you may need new taps. Worry not, even these can be simply installed without having to consult someone who’s been on a plumbing course – just remember to switch the water off first!

2.    Bunged-up drains

Drains are designed to allow water to flow through, but occasionally larger items can find their way down and block the passage, especially in kitchen sinks where leftover food can become a problem.

The powerful suction provided by a humble plunger can often break a block’s resistance, or if that doesn’t work, try unscrewing the fixture under your sink and cleaning it out. But hold your breath – it may smell…

3.    Blocked bogs

One of the most dreaded of plumbing’s complications, and similar to a clogged drain, where waste (all together now: eeeeuuuwww) builds up and causes a blocked toilet. Again, a plunger is your friend, and if that doesn’t work use a sewer snake (not a real one), which is a device that can wind through a toilet’s U-bend and push the problem far, far away.

4.    Broken water boiler

We all need hot water, and it can be awful when a boiler breaks. But before contacting a professional who’s trained on a plumbing course, test your boiler’s pipes and connections to the rest of the house. You may find the problem can be solved simply and without great expense by replacing a broken part.

5.    Leaky pipes

Often, when your pipes spring a leak it’s because one has been knocked out of place. By tightening the affected joint, you may be able to solve the problem. Or, if that doesn’t work and there’s an actual hole in your pipe causing leakage, you may need to replace the pipe.

Are you interested in becoming a plumber? Here at Access Training we offer plumbing courses that cater for all levels of ability, whatever your background and whatever your goals. To learn more about our flexible plumbing course please speak to one of our friendly advisors today on 0800 345 7492.

 

The four month ‘tax amnesty’ that was set up by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), where Electricians in the UK owed tax at a greatly reduced rate closed on August 14th.

Under the Electricians Tax Safe Plan which was launched on February 14th, HMRC permitted a reduced penalty charge of just 10% to electricians who had failed to pay the current levels of tax. The amnesty was for electricians who have been trained on an electrician course while other tradesmen in the UK such as plumbers and decorators still had to face penalties of up to 100%, with criminal investigation possible in the most extreme cases.

The HMRC campaign was for anyone who installs, maintains and tests electrical equipment, systems and appliances and covers all tax owed.

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC Campaigns, said: "Electricians who think they owe tax should get in touch today and get their tax affairs in order, easily and on the best terms.

"If you cannot afford to pay what you owe all at once, don't worry. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to spread the payments. Once the disclosure closes on 14th August, electricians who have not come forward but are found to have unpaid tax liabilities will face higher penalties, rising to 100% of the tax evaded, or possibly even criminal prosecution.”

The Electricians Tax Safe Plan is the second campaign aimed at tradespeople; the first targeted plumbers and heating engineers and raised an estimated £510m for HMRC.

Considering a change of career? Access will help train you in a variety of trades, with an electrician course that can give you an interesting, competitive job. For a range of flexible thorough trade training courses across the UK contact Access today on 0800 345 7492.

Thanks to the global recession and rising mortgage prices, the British housing market has well and truly undergone a bit of a slump in the past few years. However, because of these limp house prices, homeowners are choosing instead to register on a decorating course, pick up the paintbrush and improve on what they’ve got at home.

Instead of ploughing thousands of pounds into a new mortgage, investors are finding that it’s actually wiser to invest in their own skills by enrolling on a decorating course, and making the most of the home that they’re currently in.

Whether homeowners already are a dab hand with paint rollers and wallpaper paste, or have always shied away from DIY decorating, a new wave of proprietors are discovering that re-invigorating a home with desirable décor can give a living space a real fresh perspective – and what’s more, they’re enjoying it!

By learning about the latest decorating tips, trends, fads and fashions on decorating courses, homeowners and hobbyists alike are finding how to improve on what you’ve got is a prudent and effective practice.

For many, enrolling on a decorating course near them can also be the difference between doing it yourself for pennies and employing a decorating or home improvement contractor for a greatly inflated fee. Those without the confidence and the wherewithal to undertake even the simplest household improvement tasks will either live in a tawdry, downbeat home or face paying decorators a hefty fee. With a decorating course, you could save thousands by Doing It Yourself.

Re-invigorate your home today and learn various fashionable decorating techniques with a decorating course at Access. From informative home improvement, wallpapering and decorating courses to more professional qualifications and NVQs in painting and decorating, Access have a range of decorating courses to suit you.

Whether you’re looking to improve your home’s décor or start up a professional decorating service, talk to Access about enrolling on a decorating course today on 0800 345 7492.