Month: May 2016

Did you see us in the Daily Mail on Sunday?

20 05/16
daily mail

Did you see us in the Mail on Sunday?

You may have seen us in the Mail on Sunday’s sup­ple­ment Homes and Gar­dens this week­end. The piece tells the story of some work we recently car­ried out for a cus­tomer.

Dorothy Thorne’s daugh­ter Ann approached us a few months ago to ask us to quote for insu­lat­ing and ren­der­ing her mum’s home near High Wycombe. The walls were con­crete, which made the house cold and not ideal for Dorothy. Plus the peb­bledash ren­der was tired and not exactly the most attrac­tive fin­ish. The plan was to add 100mm expanded poly­styrene (EPS) insu­la­tion to the prop­erty to bring it up to the same effi­ciency stan­dard as a new build home (u-value 0.28 or bet­ter), whilst adding a mod­ern smooth breath­able sil­i­cone ren­der fin­ish.

‘They were so help­ful, hard­work­ing and friendly.’

The first step of instal­la­tion was scaf­fold­ing, with pro­tec­tive sheet­ing cov­er­ing the ground and win­dows. The walls were then primed to ensure the adhe­sive has the best sur­face to grip to – note that the peb­bledash did not need to be removed at all. Next, the insu­la­tion board was applied with adhe­sive, with fix­ings going through into the brick­work to help ensure the insu­la­tion boards were secure. A rein­force­ment base coat was then applied to the insu­la­tion boards which con­sists of adhe­sive and a fibre­glass mesh layer – this ensures the ren­der doesn’t crack. To fin­ish the exter­nal wall insu­la­tion sys­tem we used a breath­able thin coat sil­i­cone ren­der, which pro­vides a fresh, mod­ern look­ing fin­ish. This is far more hard­wear­ing than tra­di­tional sand and cement ren­der sys­tems.

The advan­tages of insu­lat­ing, rather than re-ren­der­ing, are clear:

  • there is no need to strip off the exist­ing ren­der first
  • it could save around £400/year on energy bills for an aver­age semi-detached home
  • it helps to reduce damp on cold exter­nal walls
  • it gives a great look­ing fin­ish to the house

The end result was a mod­ern-look­ing prop­erty, insu­lated above and beyond cur­rent build­ing reg­u­la­tions. As you can see, it was quite a trans­for­ma­tion!

We now install brick slips!

18 05/16

Whether you are re-ren­der­ing your prop­erty or hav­ing exter­nal wall insu­la­tion installed, you do not have to lose the char­ac­ter of orig­i­nal brick­work.  Our brick slips are light­weight and there­fore per­fect for adding the fin­ish­ing touch to any solid wall insu­la­tion job. We can offer our acrylic Acrylib­ricks or –for a higher price- brick slips cut from real bricks. Both look com­pletely authen­tic – you’ll fool every­one!

Can I get brick slips to match the existing brickwork?

There is a huge range of colours to choose from, whether the cus­tomer would like to make a state­ment or match the exist­ing brick­work of their prop­erty. We have a selec­tion of more tra­di­tional reds and browns, as well as sand and white colours.

How does the process work?

The instal­la­tion process is really sim­ple. First up, a spe­cial adhe­sive is attached to the wall. The brick slips are then embed­ded into this in a stag­gered for­ma­tion, like stan­dard brick­work. Acrylic brick slips can be bent around cor­ners with­out fuss and can be cut with a sharp pair of scis­sors. Finally, the process is fin­ished by paint­ing ‘mor­tar’ around the bricks with a 10mm brush. This also comes in sev­eral colours for a real­is­tic look.

How long does render last?

09 05/16
How long does render last?

How long does render last?

Ren­der is one of those things you want to fit and for­get – once it is on the wall, you want it to last a life­time. So make sure you get it right first time!

Which type of render lasts the longest?

There are sev­eral dif­fer­ent fin­ishes and bases that you can use on your wall, and each will have its own lifes­pan. Any BBA-cer­ti­fied ren­der that goes on your wall will have to have a 25 year lifes­pan as a min­i­mum (sub­ject to suit­able main­te­nance). Some will far exceed this, whilst oth­ers will only meet the tar­get longevity rather than exceed­ing it.

Sand cement ren­ders, which are the old­est (and for many years most com­mon) type of ren­der, can have a very short lifes­pan. They tend to crack more eas­ily than mod­ern ren­ders, and they there­fore open them­selves up to water ingress and bio­log­i­cal dam­age, as well as look­ing very unsightly. In less than 10 years, even if installed cor­rectly, you will likely see crack­ing and dam­aged ren­der.

Mod­ern com­bi­na­tion ren­ders with an adhe­sive base coat and min­eral, sil­i­cone or acrylic top coats are much more flex­i­ble and less liable to crack­ing, so they will have lifes­pans of 25 years plus EWI Pro has had their sys­tems cer­ti­fied by the BBA to last at least 30 years.



Biological influence on renders

Even though a war­ranty may sug­gest a lifes­pan of 25 or 30 years, veg­e­ta­tion grow­ing on walls can greatly reduce that. Vines, Ivy fungi and moss can all cause dam­age to the ren­der, as well as stain­ing to the top coat. As part of our war­ranty, we always ask that the walls be kept free of all veg­e­ta­tion. This will help ensure a full lifes­pan for your ren­der.

Fur­ther­more, some ren­ders will con­tain an inhibitor that works as a fungi­cide and her­bi­cide to pre­vent unwanted bio­log­i­cal mat­ter build­ing up on the walls.

A win at the Energy Efficiency and Retrofit Awards

06 05/16
A win at the Energy Efficiency and Retrofit Awards

A win at the Energy Efficiency and Retrofit Awards

Last month, the BeCon­struc­tive team attended the Energy Effi­ciency and Retro­fit Awards 2016 in Lon­don. Orig­i­nally launched in 2014 as the Green Deal & ECO awards, the new incar­na­tion reflects changes to the Government’s poli­cies on energy effi­ciency. The awards aim to pro­vide moti­va­tion for the sec­tor to pro­vide good ser­vice and cham­pion home improve­ments that help save energy. They also hope to pro­vide pub­lic recog­ni­tion for com­pa­nies with the best results.

We are delighted to say that we were short­listed within the ‘Fab­ric Installers of the Year’ cat­e­gory. Despite being a highly com­pet­i­tive area cov­er­ing all dif­fer­ent types of insu­la­tion instal­la­tion, we man­aged to come sec­ond within this cat­e­gory.

We are extremely proud of all our teams – and we are thrilled that their hard work has been recog­nised within the indus­try!