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JT Atkinson

  • Your Season By Season Landscaping Guide

    We have put together this guide to help you and your garden through the four seasons of the year, making sure the your garden is in top shape throughout the year. Each season has its own set of tasks which can be ticked off as completed making it easy to maintain how your garden looks and also helping to improve your garden. The tasks are clear and easy to understand and can be a great way of introducing younger members of the family to gardening. The infographic can be printed off and hung up in a shed, greenhouse or garage as a reminder of what tasks are to be performed on your garden. Continue reading

  • Our Work With The Trinity Holistic Centre

    A gardening project has been started at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough by Ray Wheatley. This project started approximately 1 year ago and is dependent on volunteers helping out to keep this project going. To get started there has been a bid from Camelot (National Lottery) for manual labour.   The reason behind this project is to try to create an environment that helps patients to escape that hospital feeling in between treatments, the garden is also open to them at other times as place for them to come and relax, this is known as horticultural therapy and has been proven to reduce stress, which is why it is important to keep this garden as nice as possible. It provides a quiet place for people to sit and relax. This project has been mainly designed for cancer patients but it is open to all long term patients as well as carers, family and friends. Awareness of this project spread when patients on other wards began chatting and joining in the informal therapy.   There are raised flower beds which are on stilts and there are also some lower flower beds which have wheelchair access, these flower beds have been created using materials with local partners which caters to all ailments, shapes and sizes. This project caters for buildings, featuring flower beds and multi-sensory zones, as well as gardening, featuring planting, watering, growing and tending, as well as social interaction and solitary areas when needed. Trinity Holistic Center The sensory area was made using subsidised soil, compost and timber provided by JT Atkinson, the area aims to hit all 5 senses, there is a herb garden, rockery, flower garden, reflecting area and musical instruments. The work being done at the garden is in line with complementary therapies and is made for all ages. Trinity Holistic Center “None of this would have happened without the help of all the volunteers over the year, not to mention the materials from local businesses like yourselves” said Ray Wheatley on the impact JT Atkinson and other businesses have had in helping the project start and continue. Trinity Holistic Center "The Trinity Holistic Centre is a great local service provided free of charge to the whole community helping long suffering patients and their families. After visiting, we saw the difference it's making to people lives so naturally we are happy to do what we can to help with patient's horticultural therapy." Joe Kibirige - Public Relations at JT Atkinson.

  • Keeping Insects Out Of Your Home

    Insects and various other pests can be annoying when they get into your home but there are many different methods and products you can use to prevent them from getting into your house in the first place. Here we share some of the top tips you can take to keeping insects and pests out:

    • Purchase a screen – There are different types of screens you can get which are placed over your window. They will prevent flies, spiders, wasps, bees, mosquitoes and midges from getting in.
    • Seal cracks in your walls – Many insects will access your home by sneaking in through various cracks and openings so it is a good idea to seal these, there are a variety of different products available to buy from JT Atkinson to do this from the sealants section of the building category.

    Keeping Insects Out Of Your Home

    • If you have airbricks cover them with wire mesh – Airbricks are important components for your house as they allow air to enter the cavity walling which keeps it aired and damp free, however slugs can also use the holes in these bricks to get in your house. While you can’t block the holes you can place wire mesh over them to prevent slugs from getting in.

    Keeping Insects Out Of Your Home

    • Use baking soda and sugar – This is an extremely effective way to kill cockroaches as they will be happy to eat this mixture, which will eventually kill them. Mix the baking soda and sugar in equal quantities and spray it in areas of your home that are cockroach-infested. This method also gets rid of ants, earwigs and spiders.

    Keeping Insects Out Of Your Home

    • Don’t leave food lying around – This will attract all of the above insects and so you should always dispose of old food and don’t leave any lying around.
    Keeping Insects Out Of Your Home
  • New Insulation Standards To Improve Safety And Efficiency

    A recent report has called on the Government to enhance the minimum standards required for insulation in residential properties. It also looked at implementing a safety scheme for installers, which would provide home owners with peace of mind when choosing someone to fit their insulation. Both of these elements would help to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes and preserve some of our rapidly depleting energy supplies. Continue reading

  • Problematic Home Improvements Can Cause Issues For Property Owners

    A new survey has found that around half of the home improvement jobs carried out in this country result in some type of issue being raised. However, even though there can be a number of problems with the standard of work, only a small minority of property owners end up complaining about it. The research, which was carried out by consumer organisation Which?, shows that almost 50% of the work carried out on properties had problems somewhere along the line. The survey highlights that even though there is a large potential for issues, very few property owners would raise these and 30% don’t feel comfortable doing so.

    Common home improvement issues

    Out of those surveyed the most popular reason for issues with home improvement projects was that the work wasn’t completed on time. The schedule is generally agreed with the tradesperson, but they don’t always stick to this. Other common complaints were untidy workers and where they required more visits to the property than had been expected. Those property owners having a new bathroom or kitchen fitted faced delays in completing the work more often than those having other work. In 25% of the instances there was an issue with the timing of the project. There are also frequent issues faced by home owners with the standard of the work after the job has been completed. These problems can include items not fitted correctly, leaks or features that don’t work. This can make it harder to complain to the tradesperson, as they are not actually on site at the time. Problematic home improvements can cause issues for property owners Those having loft conversions faced the most problematic jobs, with 70% of them having some type of issue with the work. Some 25% of property owners who had a loft conversion had to deal with messy workers and 17% faced untidy workers who didn’t tidy up when the work was finished. Among those who had loft conversion problems that needed to be rectified, 60% had to pay £5,000 or less to have the issues resolved, and 25% even had to commission a new tradesperson to finish off the job.

    Working with tradespeople

    Problematic home improvements can cause issues for property owners Hiring a tradesperson to carry out your home improvement projects should help the job to run smoothly. However, this isn’t always the case and it can end up taking time and money to put the situation right. If you don’t feel comfortable raising the issues with the company, you could have to pay out additional costs to another supplier. According to the results of the research, 40% of people would rather pay someone else to do the work again rather than talking to the original supplier. One of the ways of preventing this type of situation occurring is to have a contract in place before the work starts. This can help with the complaints process and means you have the backing of a contract. However, even though this is the case, 55% of property owners wouldn’t necessarily have a contract.

  • Home Building Industry Reaches Seven Year High

    New figures show that the housing industry is performing well, which is an indication that the economy overall is improving. One of the main factors behind this strengthening of the market is the growing level of mortgage application acceptances, which is enabling more buyers to get onto the property ladder. The figures released by the National House Building Council (NHBC) highlight that the number of properties being registered has hit a seven year high. In the first quarter of this year 40,281 new properties were registered. This is the highest figure that has been reached in a single three month period since the fourth quarter of 2007. Government support and initiatives are behind some of this growth. Mortgages are now more widely available then they were a couple of years ago and the Help to Buy scheme is boosting the number of potential buyers.

    Focus on detached homes

    As well as the overall increase in new homes, there has been a significant rise in the amount of detached properties that are being registered. This is another sign that the economy is doing well, as these homes typically demand a higher sale price. The construction figures for this type of property dropped dramatically during the recession and made up just 15% of new builds in 2008. At this time, developers wanted to make the best use of the space that they had available and generate increased profits, which led them to concentrate on apartment blocks. However, the latest data highlights that detached properties are beginning to gain favour with home buyers again. In the first quarter of 2015, 10,600 detached properties were registered with the NHBC. They now account for 26% of the market, which is the highest level the sector has reached since it hit 29% in 2003.

    A good outlook

    The homes that have recently been registered are those that developers are looking to build in the coming months. This shows that there is a good pipeline in place for the remainder of this year. These properties will soon be on sale for home buyers to move into once they’re complete. In 2014 over 145,000 properties were registered, which compares to only 88,000 across 2008. This indicates just how far the industry has come since the dark days of the recession. If the current activity levels are maintained, we could reach 160,000 registrations this year. However, even though this looks a good figure compared to more recent years, there still needs to be a further boost to the market if we are to realistically meet the target of 250,000 new properties each year. This is the figure that we ideally need to hit in order to start resolving the housing shortage. An increase in the housing sector overall is good news for other parts of the construction industry. There will be additional requirements for supplies and labour, as developers look to build these new homes as quickly and effectively as they can.

  • The Warning Signs Your Roof Needs Repairing

    You may not know that your roof needs repairing or replacing until it starts to cause significant damage to your property. There is some warning signs that you should be aware of, so that you can have it sorted before it gets to this stage. By doing so you could save yourself time, money and inconvenience further down the line. How old is your roof? Roofs don't last indefinitely and as they get older the condition of them can worsen, especially if they haven't been maintained adequately. It can be beneficial to have it checked out by an expert and have any replacements made before it deteriorates too much. If you do so every 15 years you have a better chance of limiting any additional damage to your property. Water damage Check around the ceiling area of your upper storey to see if there are any early warning signs of water damage, which could be caused by a leak in the roof. This can include damp patches, watermarks or mould. Many home owners think that this is caused by another problem, such as poor ventilation or a leak in the plumbing system, but it is actually coming from the roof. You can see daylight Go into the loft or attic and look around to see if any daylight is coming through the roof. Even the smallest of gaps could lead to major problems from just a little bit of water leaking through. Roof tiles missing When you're examining the roof it's important to check it from the outside as well as from the interior of your property. Look up to see if any of the tiles are missing and do a visual inspection from on the roof. As the weather gets drier you might not give this your immediate attention, but a heavy storm can soon make the issue worse. It's far more effective to have a roof repaired when you first spot signs of damage. Check the gutters It's not only a good idea to clear out your gutters regularly to stop debris building up and causing leaks to run down your property, but looking in them can also highlight roof problems. A collection of shingle that has built up in the gutter is an indication that the condition of the roof is worsening. Look closely at the chimney When you're on the roof you should have a look near any vents and the chimney. Areas of damaged flashing can allow water to get underneath the roof. This could then potentially cause damage to the roof tiles, causing them to sag or buckle, as well as being a source of leaks. It's a good idea to do one of these checks on your property twice a year. This way you won't allow the issue to go unresolved for too long and should be able to deal with it before it leads to too much structural damage.

  • Give The Front Of Your Home A Makeover

    The first part of your property that visitors or neighbours will see is the front. This can often become neglected and detract from the overall look of the property, but with a little bit of care you could make it a prime feature of your home. Whether you want to sell or just improve the look of your exterior, here are some top tips for enhancing the front of the property. Some of these will require professional help, but other areas you can tackle yourself and won't require a large budget.

    Create additional parking for your property

    If you're in an area that struggles with parking spaces and you don't already have an off-road parking space, you could make your own by converting part or the entire front garden. You need to think carefully about whether this is the best option for your property, as it's not an easy decision to reverse. A project like this may require planning permission or you might need to use specific materials. Once completed, this will create a low maintenance front to the property.

    Add some colour to your home

    Give The Front Of Your Home A Makeover Brightening up the front garden with a few pots or hanging baskets can instantly transform your home and make it more of an inviting entrance. These can also be used to define the entrance way or attract attention to certain features. You don't have to be green-fingered to take this approach and many suppliers can provide you with ready packaged pots or tubs that simply need putting in position.

    Maintain the woodwork

    Give The Front Of Your Home A Makeover Wooden doors or windows that have deteriorated can look unsightly and may lead to issues with damp if water is allowed to penetrate into the property. It doesn't take a huge amount of work to bring these sections up to standard. Before you start work you should sand down the area and remove any bits of chipped paint. Then repair any damaged parts with wood filler and paint using a specific exterior wood product.

    New door furniture

    Give The Front Of Your Home A Makeover This is a relatively quick and inexpensive way of giving your home a new look. If your door furniture is old, of low quality or needs repairing, it can reduce the impact of the front of your home. You can instantly change this by adding in new features. For example, choosing chrome fixtures gives a more modern look and you can complete the change with a matching door number.

    Painting your front door

    Peeling paint or an old style shade is also not a good look for the main entrance of your home. If possible you can change the colour of your front door, which will brighten it up and give it a whole new image. Choose a shade that matches the style of your property. You can either go for something timeless, such as darker shades, or opt for one of the pastel tones that are becoming popular, like a duck egg blue or grey.

  • Here's how we're helping with your Landscaping this summer . . .

    If you are looking to make changes to your garden ready for summer, then the JT Atkinson Summer Specials brochure is your perfect starting place. Packed full of great deals and fantastic offers, it has everything you need in order to successfully landscape and totally transform your outdoor space.

    Perfect patios

    A patio area is invaluable during the summer, giving you a useful space for relaxation and entertainment. There are plenty of different types of stone to choose from in order to create a variety of different effects. Large paving stones in natural sandstone give your garden a lovely Mediterranean feel whilst black or grey slate add a contemporary touch. Block paving is available in a range of shades to suit your requirements, with gorgeous ochre Woburn Rumbled stones at just £19.80 per square metre.Smooth Natural Sandstone in Ivory

    Elegant decking

    If you prefer to create a wooden seating area, we have all the supplies you need to install and treat your own decking. Dual-sided deck boards, featuring deep ridges for additional slip reduction, are priced at just £1.90 per linear metre. Add an extra dimension to your decking area by surrounding it with an attractive balustrade. Choose square spindles for a modern, sleek look and turned spindles for a little rustic charm. Carved newel posts and a hand rail complete the look.

    Deck

    Smart fences

    Putting up a new fence can really make a difference to your garden. Not only will it keep the area secure but can provide an attractive backdrop to your lawn and flowerbeds. Classic lap fence panels are available in a range of different widths whilst robust featheredge panelling can be purchased for £31.91 per panel. Cover either of these with a wooden trellis panel to support climbing plants such as clematis and honeysuckle or climbing roses. Woven-style fence Elite panels are perfect for adding a decorative touch to your garden fencing. St Lunairs features an unusual V-shaped design in different shades for a rustic effect, whilst the curved design and trellis top of St Meloir make this an elegant choice. Safe and secure access to your garden can be achieved by fitting a complementary garden gate. Front cover fence

    Extra touches

    To give your flower and vegetable beds that professionally landscaped look, make sure that you edge them properly. Wooden railway-sleeper style beams are a popular option, especially for raised beds. Another alternative is to lay stone coping around the perimeters. Top these off with round-topped or scalloped edging for a smart finish. The Summer Special catalogue also has everything you need to help keep your garden in great condition. Wood preservers in a choice of colours will protect your fencing and decking from weather damage whilst a Hozelock hose reel and multi-spray gun will make watering plants and lawns a breeze.Old Riven Walling Giving your garden a landscaping makeover with a new patio or some fresh fencing is easy, thanks to the great offers in the JT Atkinson Landscaping Summer Specials catalogue.

  • Prepare Your Garden For Summer

    Now is the perfect time to get your garden in shape ready for summer. Clearing away debris, preparing a comfortable seating area and adding vibrant plants can transform your outdoor space. Spending some time and effort on outdoor projects now allows you to really make the most of your garden and enjoy relaxing in it throughout the summer. Make a fresh start The first step is to clear away any debris from the previous year. Sweep up remaining fallen leaves, cut back any dead branches or stems and give hedges a good trim. Pull up any plants that have perished over the winter and mend or get rid of any broken pots or troughs. Repair or replace your fencing so your garden is secure, making sure to treat the wood correctly. You now have a blank canvas on which to create your fresh garden. Plan a design To make the most of your garden, think about all the features you would like to include and plan where they are best located. Vegetable beds will require plenty of sunshine whereas your seating area should be easy to reach so you make the most of it. Add interest by separating the garden into small sections then laying small stone paths or even some stepping stones to access each area. Consider too how much time you can devote to the upkeep of your garden. If you have little leisure time, a low-maintenance option is to include a seating area, plants in pots, a rockery and Japanese-style stone garden rather than a large expanse of lawn and lots of flower beds. Build a seating area One of the nicest ways to enjoy your garden in the summer is to prepare a seating area for barbecues, sunbathing and relaxing. This can be either a stone patio or a wooden decking area. Laying patio stones is the quickest and easiest method. Simply choose your ideal location, clear away any turf and make sure the ground is level. Your patio stones can be large flat slabs, formal paving blocks or more rustic-looking smaller stones. Get creative with your design and opt for an unusual round or curved patio to create additional interest. A raised decking area is another great option that adds a dimension of height to your garden. Edge with a railing and balustrades for somewhere to grow climbing plants. Finishing touches Accessorise your garden with some great furniture. A table and chairs is always useful, whether you opt for a large dining set complete with umbrella, or a small cast iron bistro set for a littler space. Some new plants will instantly give your garden a facelift. A few eye-catching colourful plants in pots make a huge impact for very little effort whilst climbing plants such as honeysuckle can be grown up trellises to disguise any unsightly walls. Don’t forget some lighting so you can use the garden well into the evening. With the warmer weather on the way, now is the perfect time to get your garden in shape ready to enjoy this summer.

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