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Plumbing upgrades that could make your life easier

Plumbing and heating fixes that improve how you live

When we think of plumbing and heating we tend to think about the emergency call outs (the leaks, the boiler breakdowns, the burst pipes etc), the big investments (boiler installations, bathroom installations etc), but we may not often think about the smaller upgrades that actually make a big difference in how we live and use our homes.

Many of these upgrades are relatively inexpensive and definitely worth considering for an easier life.

Hot outdoor tap

This is one for the dog owners mainly! Anyone who has a dog that likes to jump in muddy puddles, leap into duck ponds, or roll in fox poo can see the huge value of having a hot outside tap for the purposes of rinsing the pooch off before letting them in the house! Of course, you can clean them off with a cold tap but chances are they won’t like that much in the winter so you have a much higher chance of them tolerating, if not actually enjoying, a doggy shower with lovely warm water (more pleasant for you as well on cold winter days)!

It’s also quite useful for filling up the paddling pool in summer and means that you don’t have to leave it in the sun for 6 hours to be warm enough for anyone to get in!

Replace your stop tap with a Sure Stop

It is important to know where your stop tap is and that you can turn it easily in an emergency but when was the last time you checked yours? All too often, stop taps tend to be in difficult to access areas (often under sinks, behind a load of stuff) and do seize up over time. A Sure Stop can be installed somewhere that’s easy to reach and will always turn.

This may not seem like too much of a thrilling prospect now, but you would be very thankful for it in the event of a burst pipe!

Boiling water tap

We all have kettles that give us boiling hot water so having a boiling water tap may not seem like that much of a benefit, but it really is. Firstly, your boiling water is instant so no waiting for the kettle to boil; great for making cups of tea but also good for cooking. Once you have one, you will wonder how you ever tolerated waiting for the kettle to boil again! It’s also more economical because you’re only ever heating water as you need it. While we all know that we should only boil enough water in a kettle for what we need at that time, how many of us still fill it up to the top to save having to refill it?

You also save counter space as you no longer need a kettle, plus if you have an open plan kitchen/diner/living space you really won’t miss trying to hear the TV or radio over the sound of the kettle boiling.

Smart heating

This one has great benefits for convenience, saving money, and reducing your carbon footprint. Having a smart meter installed can help you understand your energy consumption better, and therefore manage it more effectively. A smart heating system, like Hive or Nest, gives you even greater control; allowing you to manage your heating from an app no matter where you are and setting timing schedules specific to your movements each day (no more ‘one setting fits all approach’). It’s great for when plans change (eg you’re out longer than anticipated, or you’re going to be in earlier and want to come home to a warm house) and you never have to worry about leaving the heating on by accident when you can adjust it from wherever you are.

Swap radiator for a towel rail in bathroom

A heated towel rail in the bathroom is not only a stylish feature, it’s really practical for allowing you to have several towels on there at once – and we all know how nice a warm, dry towel is after a bath or shower. They’re very economical to run and because you can go tall rather than wide, they’re great for small bathrooms where wall space is limited.

Downstairs toilet

Even homes with just one occupant can benefit from a downstairs toilet, meaning you don’t have to go upstairs every time you need the loo. For any household with several family members, a second toilet is a must-have! It will also add value and appeal to your property if you come to sell it.

You don’t need an awful lot of space to have a downstairs toilet installed so if you can fit one in, this really is something worth considering.

If you really need a downstairs washroom for someone who is elderly or disabled and is finding it harder to get up the stairs, you could consider our Plumbcare Pods which are ‘pop up’ washrooms that can be installed in any room (eg a dining room) and removed later if you no longer have a requirement.

Higher toilet seat/disability upgrades

If getting on and off the toilet is becoming increasingly difficult due to painful knees or other mobility issues, then sometimes some simple adjustments could be all you need. A riser on the toilet can be helpful and a cheap way to make the toilet higher or you could swap the toilet itself for a taller model and preserve the aesthetic of your bathroom.

As people become increasingly frail in old age or due to disability, adjustments can be made to baths that don’t require you to step over the side or stand up for the duration of a shower.

Dual sink

Do you ever despair of the state that other family members leave the bathroom sink in or find yourself fighting for space when brushing your teeth as children ignore all boundaries and come in to jostle for space? If you have the room, a dual sink could solve all your problems! Able to facilitate en masse teeth cleaning and face washing, you can also ensure you retain ownership of one of the sinks so at least you won’t find blobs of toothpaste and spray covered taps in your sink!

Likewise, a dual sink in the kitchen is great for having somewhere to tip waste liquids if the main sink is in use. Good for rinsing dishes as well.

Some of these upgrades are more expensive and some are very quick and easy to do but all can have big benefits to how you live as well as increasing the value of your home.

If you are interested in these or any other plumbing improvements, just give us a call on 0800 032 6478 or drop us a line using the enquiry form here.

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