Why you should plan an annual boiler check

Boiler breakdowns happen, but don’t let them cost you

A five-star hotel or a luxury gym and spa losing its hot water, or the local primary school or district hospital losing heating for the vulnerable isn’t a scenario anyone wants to envision.  Boiler breakdowns happen, but don’t let them cost you business, your customers’ happiness or your reputation.

Mitigate downtime with a temporary boiler

Mitigate the downtime of a boiler breakdown by implementing a schedule to include an annual check.  By preparing in advance, a temporary boiler can be hired for the duration with a cross-over of time to allow for any repairs to problems which may be identified during the check – meaning that you can keep on delivering an uninterrupted service.

Additionally, an annual check will ensure that your boiler is kept in optimal condition, highlighting any potential problems and allowing for the schedule of repairs before disaster strikes.  Planning the check in advance, along with the temporary hire of a boiler, allows time for any issues to be dealt with without the downtime, reducing overall stress and costs.

Having a boiler schedule between the maintenance team which runs throughout the year will not only ensure that the boiler is regularly and routinely checked, but that individual parts and elements are also focused on which will only help to capture early warning signs of potential issues.

Get your temporary needs covered

It’s important when hiring a boiler to get the right size and type for your needs.  Staff at Ideal Heat appreciate that no two building’s needs are the same and we will advise on the perfect package.  With sizes ranging from a 22kW electric boiler up to 1MW gas or oil boilers, the company has something to suit any need. To view the full range of temporary boilers, click here.  If Ideal Heat does not stock it, the company will make it with its bespoke services and take care of the installation.

Using state-of-the-art technology, Ideal Heat can identify problems before they’re evident on site and will fix them remotely, meaning that you can rest assured that your temporary boiler needs are being looked after.  Additionally, if you need adjustments to your hot water or heating temperature during the hire, then a few simple clicks and it’s done.

Don’t leave yourself unprepared.  A planned annual boiler check could save you a major headache, money, disruption to your services and help keep your reputation in check.

Bi-folding versus Sliding Doors

If you’re planning a home renovation project that requires large, glazed door solutions, you’ll most likely be making a decision between bi-folding and sliding doors. Both have grown phenomenally in popularity in recent years, and while they are similar in some respects, they have unique features that may affect their suitability for your home.

Bi-folding doors

Express-bifold-FoldingIt goes without saying that bi-folds create a wow factor – when open, they completely transform the space, bringing the outdoors in. We recommend bi-folding doors for a size up to four metres; within this measurement, bifolds look much more impressive than sliding doors. A greater clear opening can also be achieved, creating more sociability between your indoor space and garden.

Express Bi-folding Doors wholeheartedly encourages bi-fold customers to opt for integral blinds, which are both stylish and functional. Big benefits include no cleaning or maintenance, as well as the blinds fitting perfectly into your bi-folding doors. Less bulk means more light, and that’s exactly what we want to achieve! On the flipside, however, you must remember that with a bi-folding installation comes extra framework, which some may want to avoid. That’s where sliding doors come in…

Sliding doors

Express-bifold-SlidingA more traditional option, sliding doors may be the perfect choice for you. They tend to look better when they’re closed, as the large panels of glass welcome light into the home without being broken up by framework. For installations over the four metre mark, they are the ultimate choice; the wider the door, the wider the clear opening.

Express Bi-folding Doors offers sliding doors with 2, 3, 4 or 6 panels, so you can select the most appropriate one for your home. And of course, as with bi-folds, they come with the same colour options and guarantee, so you can sure they fit into your home seamlessly as well as having peace of mind.


Busting myths about timber windows

It’s a common misconception that timber products are a more expensive option than alternatives like u-PVC. In fact, research shows that because of their longer service life, timber windows actually offer better long-term value than u-PVC. In this article, Tony Pell of JELD-WEN sheds lights on popular misconceptions about timber and advises on making the most of premium timber products.

According to the latest research by Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, window frames made to Wood Window Alliance standards are likely to last, on average, around 60 years with the proper maintenance. They can also be repaired simply and inexpensively – when a fitting on a plastic window breaks, often the whole window is replaced. The Whole Life Cost study also suggested that other timber window types could also be the best option for high-rise buildings, in addition to properties exposed to extreme weather conditions.Timber cottage window

Another popular myth is that timber windows are harder to maintain than other products on the market but the growing trend for factory finished products means that the latest designs come pre-painted. This means that they are finished to such a high standard that the initial maintenance cycle can be extended by a further eight years or more and regular maintenance will further extend their lifespan. These windows can also be easily maintained with a rub down and a single coat of paint. Not only will these products actively save money over their lifetime, but timber windows will need replacing far less frequently than their alternatives.

It is often thought that plastic windows are a more energy efficient choice but this is purely myth. Timber is an excellent insulator and leading window manufacturers can supply a wide range of glazing and energy saving options, incorporating double or triple glazing that can vastly improve a property’s carbon footprint. In addition to thermal performance advantages, there are many security and acoustic benefits to choosing timber windows.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that most homes in the UK were built using wooden windows, so renovating with plastic or metal windows can vastly change a property’s appearance. Property experts suggest that this modernising actively devalues a property, so by upgrading to double-glazed, factory finished timber windows you can actually improve the value of a property while also preserving its character.

For more information about educating your customers on the merits of choosing timber windows for their renovation projects visit the JELD-WEN website

How to create a perfect garden room

An extra room looking on to the garden is a traditional choice for many UK homes, and whether it is a garden room, sunroom or conservatory, the variety available is vast. It’s certainly a great way to add value to your property; the one danger is it can end up looking like something bolted onto the side of the house, rather than an integrated part of the existing structure.

Neil Ginger, CEO at Origin, gives his top tips on how to avoid this, and ways to enhance the flow and overall size, whilst adding value.

What to Look For:

The debate over which material is best is seemingly never ending; we would always recommend an aluminium structure for the glass doors and windows as it is the strongest of the three acclaimed materials (timber, PVCu and aluminium). It’s strong and lightweight, so can support larger glass panels and allows for slimmer frames to let in more natural light. The colour will last too, unlike with PVCu, which can sometimes discolour. Timber will also need to be repainted over its lifetime. Aluminium, however, doesn’t discolour, rust or peel once powder coated, giving it a long-lasting attractive finish.

Origin garden room1Fit Bi-folding Doors

A key feature of bi-folding doors is that they will open up an entire wall – perfect for a garden room feel. When the doors are folded back it will provide flawless transition, as the aperture will be clear, bringing the outside space into the home seamlessly and transforming the property into a functional open space for living, working and entertaining. Roof lights are also a great way to increase the amount of natural daylight in a garden room, and often come hand-in-hand with bi-folding doors.

It Must Match:

The first design rule is to ensure the garden room matches the style of the rest of the house. Don’t make it seem as if it’s in any way separate. You can enhance the feeling of flow and space by installing similar flooring throughout your downstairs living area, leading the eye through so the garden room or conservatory feels part of the rest of the house. If you don’t want the expense of new flooring, increase the sense of continuity between rooms using soft furnishings such as matching blinds or curtains.

Origin bi fold doors openAdd Colour:

Power coated aluminium bi-folding doors come in an extensive range of colours making it easy for homeowners to blend the door frames with their existing colour scheme. Alternatively, you can add a splash of colour by choosing bi-folds in vibrant colours such as Orient Red, Mint Green or bright pink.

If the preference is for timber frames, which most homeowners seek when creating a garden room, the aluminium can be coloured to give a timber effect, giving all the natural beauty of timber, but without the maintenance hassle.

Hang Mirrors In The Wall:

A very easy and clever tip is to hang big mirrors on either side of the walls, reflecting into each other, to magically make the room feel bigger and increase the feel of natural sunlight, which is so important when creating a garden room.


Keeping a garden room warm in winter and cool in summer is a priority for all year round use. Fitting high performance double glazed units with solar properties will provide a secure and thermally efficient ‘glasswall’ that will not impact on your energy bills. The industry standard for double glazing is 24mm and 28mm sealed units, both will help keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.

Article by Neil Ginger of Origin Easifold Doors


Your Business Premises and Metal Theft: Have You Got What It Takes?

It’s easy to consider your bricks-and-mortar premises as being just that, but actually most buildings contain another vital material – metal.  Whilst it might be just part of the building to you, someone interested in a little recycling of the criminal kind, can quickly and easily remove the metal in and on your premises.  So what can you do about it?

Learn the Facts

Metal theft, defined by the Home Office as “thefts of items for the value of their constituent metals” is a growing crime, which falls within the criminal classifications of burglary and theft. According to Home Office statistics, based on metal theft offences in England and Wales, 61,349 metal thefts were recorded by police between April 2012 and March 2013, justifying concern about increasing incidences of metal theft, the driver behind a Home Office push for legislation to tighten the inadequate and outdated Scrap Metal Dealers Act of 1964.

Learn Why this Crime Pays

Acknowledging metal theft as “a fast growing acquisitive crime with over 7,000 police reported crimes a month” Lord Henley’s legislation, proposed in 2012, aims to remove the biggest motivation behind metal theft – cold, hard cash – by prohibiting anonymous sales of metal for cash.   Additionally, the new legislation makes scrap metal dealers more accountable for any involvement (unwitting or not) with metal theft by increasing the penalties within the existing act.police investigate metal thefts

Learn what they’re After

However, on-going legislation isn’t enough to currently buck this growing trend.  In an economic climate which sees many individuals with a downturn in cash flow but an upturn of metal prices (the cash value of many metals has steadily increased since the start of the Millennium) thieves target any items containing saleable metal: air conditioning units with copper tubing; palladium in catalytic converters; roofing lead; copper from cables, you name it. These desirables, classified by the police in two ways, include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Infrastructure-related items: these directly impact the functioning infrastructure of your premises or machinery, including cabling and tubing for water, electricity, heating and other services; roofing lead; catalytic converters and manhole covers.  Another infrastructural example is railway cabling, the highly publicised theft of which presents major problems for the UK’s railway companies – and their passengers.
  •  Non-Infrastructure-related items: these don’t affect your building, but may affect your business: metal gates; redundant metal; plaques and statues; boat propellers; even steel baking trays from a bakery, for example.

Learn About Your Locality

metal-theft---cableSo how can Home Office interest and intervention in metal theft help you protect your premises?  By monitoring this growing crime, the HO provides statistics which could enable you to identify the extent of the problem in your locality.  For example, those most recent statistics indicate Cleveland, Durham, Lancashire, South Yorkshire, the City of London, Kent and Gwent as having a high prevalence of metal theft, whilst West Yorkshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire are not far behind. This knowledge enables you to:

  • Take preventative measures.
  • Check your buildings and contents insurance policies to ensure you have adequate cover and if necessary, update your insurance if you feel your business is high-risk for metal theft.
  • Double-check the small print of all policies to ensure you’re not inadvertently invalidating your cover, for example by having scaffolding up for building works (your insurance company should be informed of this).

Learn About Prevention

Then what can you physically do to prevent costly, inconvenient metal theft from your business premises?

  • Check the crime prevention pages of your local county police service website.  Most of these now offer standard metal theft prevention advice based on how metal thieves operate in your area, so this information is likely to be relevant, as well as useful.
  • Remove anything which thieves can use to gain access: ladders; water butts; outside furniture; tall trees (although check council rules about this).
  • Fit a lockable, gated access to maintain security.  If shared access makes this difficult, see if other business or property owners who share the access know the risks and will share the costs, to improve their own security too.
  • Install warning notices requesting the public to use the police 101 hotline number to report any suspicious activity.
  • Consult with your local council and / or a reputable security company about using additional measures such as anti-climb paint and roof lighting, for security.
  • Mark your property so that it can be identified as stolen if thieves take it.

By learning all you can about preventing metal theft, you’ll have what it takes to minimise risk to your property and business, your insurance premiums and the local crime rate. For more ways to protect your premises against metal theft visit Safe Site Facilities and enquire about one of the many purpose built security products.

Article written by Alex Murray, Community Co-ordinator for Safe Site Facilities

Accounting for subcontractors; what they need to know

The construction industry relies on subcontractor labour, and ensuring that your firm manages its subcontractors appropriately and effectively is crucial if you are to achieve success down the line. How much accounts information should your subcontractors have access to, and how do you limit that access?

Your construction accounting processes will likely involve taking steps to keep your subcontractors safe, happy, paid and compliant, but what are these processes, and how many of them should your subcontractors be made aware of? Different construction accounts management software programs will allow your subcontractors various degrees of access to your accounting processes, although you may feel that it pays to keep some of them confidential. We’ve compiled a short guide to help explain your subcontractor accounts processes and indicate whether or not you should keep your subcontractors informed.

Subcontractor management
The Construction Industry Scheme has introduced a new layer of legislation and regulation to subcontractor management, and in order to remain compliant in the eyes of the government and industry regulators, there’s a lot you need to bear in mind. Compiling timesheets, retaining contact details, monitoring performance and scheduling payment can be a handful at the best of times, but especially so when you take into account HMRC reporting, too. It’s important that your construction firm utilises a construction software system that helps to streamline the above processes, but also provides the appropriate levels of access to your team and your subcontractors. While it’s important that site managers are granted access to all subcontractor management details available, the subcontractors themselves need only access their own timesheets and payment information via your construction software.

Sub contractorsApplications and retentions
Applications and retentions are important when it comes to ensuring that your subcontractors are paid the appropriate sums at the required time. Subcontractors will apply for payment once their work has been completed according to the terms of their contract, but this application will need to be retained for the time being while you determine whether the work has been performed to the required standard. You can set the terms of a retention to release funds after a certain period,

by which time both yourself and your subcontractors should be satisfied that the contract has been fulfilled. It’s important that applications and retentions are made visible to both managers and subcontractors, with transparency guaranteeing that there will be no confusion or misunderstanding.

User permissions
Construction accounts management software can help to perform all of the above processes quickly and easily, but it’s also important in that it allows you to control who has access to what information at any given time. There are some details that you’ll want your subcontractors to know and others that it would be more sensible to keep under wraps; still more will be governed by rules and legislation. When using our construction software, you’ll be given the power to set user permissions for all of the employees in your firm, from subcontractors to senior management. That way, you’ll always be guaranteed the peace of mind that no-one is being allowed access to something they shouldn’t see.

Integrity Software’s construction accounts management software solutions can offer you intuitive, powerful control over your subcontractor management processes, so why not contact us today to find out more about how we can help?

Article written by Richard Boston, Marketing Manager for Integrity Software

Protecting Your Empty Property with Security Technology

CCTV signShould we trust the protection of our vacant premises with technology or will those quick witted criminals best be kept at bay with a team of trained security guards?

What’s The Problem?
Without regular inhabitants any empty property will require some form of protection against the elements and potential intruders. This can often be achieved through the use of timber boarding up or for a longer term solution; steel security screens combined with a robust security door. All of which are offered by Safe Site Facilities, a Sussex based company with nationwide coverage and a completely free quotation system. Despite this some high profile vacant premises, such as commercial premises or buildings located in areas known for criminal activity, will require additional security measures be put in place to deter determined trespassers.
The very nature of a vacant property makes it an easier target for criminals and damage can often go undetected without any type of surveillance system in place, which becomes more expensive to fix as time goes on.

The Solution
A team of manned guards have a number of advantages when it comes to property protection. Their visible presence is often enough to deter would be criminals and regular property inspections ensure that any property damage is recorded and rectified as quickly as possible. This is often an area missed by surveillance cameras that, while sufficient to spot intruders, aren’t able to focus on all areas of the property for inspection purposes.

Having said that a team of dedicated security guards would be expensive and having personnel at the property round the clock impractical. CCTV systems also have the advantage of being able to provide multiple points of view on a property at any given moment in time.

Guards at gateTechnological solutions tend to cost more upfront but over time will become far more cost effective than guards. These solutions work 24/7 and can include door and window alarms, dedicated surveillance camera solutions as well as motion detection sensors to make sure all areas are covered. While many would argue that a human face acts as more of a deterrent than a camera system response times would certainly be increased when using a technological solution to tackle these security issues.

In the end, the best solution is going to be a combination of the two; with security cameras in place to take care of round the clock monitoring and an on-call security guard who makes routine property inspections you can make sure you’re vacant property is as secure as possible within a reasonable budget. For less at risk premises, you may find that a simple alarm system along with normal physical deterrents, such as steel security fencing, will be more than enough.  However, for sites that are of particular importance, particularly commercial properties, it can often work best to hedge your bets and make use of a professional guarding service in addition to basic technological monitoring and alarm systems.

Article written by Alex Murray, Safe Site Facilities

Install a multi function kitchen for a truly Modern Makeover

In previous decades, the living room was the focal point of the family home. Adults and children would congregate there in the evening, watching television and socialising with friends. But times have changed and kitchens have replaced living rooms as the focal point of the modern home.

Perhaps influenced by American TV programmes, where the average room is a vast open space, a lot of families are opting for larger multi-functional kitchens where the family can gather in the evening and share food and conversation. Instead of a small, cramped kitchen and separate dining room, the two rooms are opened up to create a light, airy space. So if this type of kitchen appeals to you, how can you create your own multi-functional kitchen?

Bigger is Better
The key to a multi-functional American-style kitchen is space. There is nothing wrong with a small kitchen, but in order to turn the room into a family room, it needs to be large enough to cope with the addition of extra items of furniture. If possible, create an open plan kitchen-dining room, or, if your kitchen looks out on to the garden, replace a back door with French windows. You could even build a conservatory extension to create extra space if there is sufficient room.

Light and Bright
A modern kitchen should be light, bright and airy. There are lots of lighting options to choose from when redesigning an old kitchen. Ceiling spotlights can be fitted at the time of installation. These will give you plenty of light for preparing food. Under cupboard lights are a nice feature, particularly at night. You could even opt for low level lighting along the bottom of base units if you need a landing strip to guide you to the fridge at 4AM.

Pick the Right Units
There are dozens of modern kitchen units on offer these days. Solid wood units (oak and pine) are still popular, but if you want to create a modern look, check out the latest gloss styles in pale colours. Dark wood or wood effect is also back in vogue. Accessorise with black granite worktops, stainless steel appliances and a few splashes of colour, and you will end up with a modern, sexy kitchen.

Colour is the Key
For a light, bright modern look, go for light or dark units and add an injection of accent colour in your accessories. Glass splashbacks are a fantastic way of stamping your personality in a kitchen. Glass splashbacks are available in any colour under the sun, so if you have a passion for hot pink or startling magenta, pick a glass splashback to suit. Once you have established your main accent colour, co-ordinate blinds and other decorative features accordingly.

Extra Furniture
No American-style kitchen would be complete without a large wall mounted TV, a dining room table and a cosy couch where the family can chill out while you prepare the evening meal.
If you are stuck for inspiration, check out photos on Pinterest to give you a few ideas. Then you can start making plans to turn your boring old kitchen into a multi-functional dream space.

About the author:
This article was written by Ian Shaw from Morley Glass. Ian writes for a number of websites on the subjects of home improvement and glazing solutions. As you might expect, he has a special interest in glass, particularly coloured glass, which he has recently installed in his own kitchen

Fire Door Safety Week

We are now in Fire Door Safety Week 2013 (16 – 21 September) which aims to raise awareness of fire safety and the importance of recognising fire doors as a safety device. Fire doors are the ultimate life saver and in this article, I will explain how, as trade professionals, it’s crucial to install fire doors correctly to ensure their effectiveness.

Fire doors are specifically designed to save lives by reducing the rate at which fire spreads through a building, providing time for occupants to escape safely. So it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that they fit properly and perform correctly in the event of a fire. They are available in a range of ratings that indicate how long the product can withstand heat and flames. The minimum rating is FD30 doors that protect life and offer 30 minutes fire resistance. Higher specification FD60 doors are also available, providing additional time and protection.

modern stylish fire door

Fire doors are fitted with an intumescent strip along the sides and top of the door or door frame, which lies dormant during everyday use, but rapidly expands when exposed to extreme heat to seal the gap between door and door frame. This barrier against fire explains why it is so important that a fire door is kept closed at all times, ensuring a clear route to safety in the event of a fire.

The latest regulations stipulate when a fire door should be installed so it’s important to keep updated on the latest changes. Be sure to check that the door installed has the correct certification for its intended use and it is installed, and maintained, by competent personnel. A fire door closer must remain connected at all times.

As fire doors are typically thicker than standard doors, trade professionals are often forced to replace both the door and the door frame, adding to the complexity and cost of the project. To combat this, JELD-WEN has developed an exclusive collection of FireGuard® FD30 doors that offer 30 minutes fire protection, but are within the standard 35mm thick door construction – so it’s simply a case of changing the doors using the existing frames and linings.

The FireGuard® range is also available in various designs, making fire safety practical, affordable and stylish.

It’s critical that fire doors, frames and components are purchased from certified companies and are rated by the British Woodworking Federation BWF-CERTIFIRE scheme, which demonstrates that the door specifications and manufacturing methods have been assessed rigorously and audited regularly to ensure compliance with the highest safety standards. Doors that reach this standard can be identified by the BWF-CERTIFIRE label on the top edge of the door and ironmongery components must hold a CE mark.

In most instances fire doors can be trimmed, but the amount can vary so check the instructions – it’s important not to trim the top of the door as the CERTIFIRE label must not be removed. It’s also essential that a fire door is not altered on site and never cut holes or glazing apertures into a fire door, unless certified to do so. Finally, it’s crucial to check that there is a consistent gap of between 3 and 4mm between the door and door frame and that any gaps around the outside of the frame are sealed with intumescent material to prevent the fire from rapidly spreading.

For more information and advice on fire doors, visit JELD-WEN’s website where you’ll also be able to access a ‘how to’ video on fitting a fire door correctly.

Article by Chris Miller, product manager at JELD-WEN

Save Money With A Green Bathroom

Going green is the morally right thing to do and, as it will often save you money, it is also the practical thing to do. While it may seem like you personally can’t do much to help the environment and prevent climate change, that’s far from the case. Indeed, this guide, produced by Splashdirect, is split into 3 sections to show YOU how YOU can make a real difference by doing very little with your bathroom.

Eco Living
Image courtesy of ponsulak/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. Always Choose Recycled Products:
Worldwide 27,000 trees are cut down each day, solely for toilet paper. Choosing recycled toilet paper will drastically reduce this figure, so don’t be a prude: using recycled toilet paper isn’t disgusting, it makes sense.

Why stop there? Choose bathroom cabinets and countertops made from natural or sustainable resources, such as stone and glass.

2. Green Cleaning:
When the time comes to clean your bathroom, use non-toxic cleaning products as toxic ones are hazardous to both the environment and your health.

Rather than shelling out large amounts of money on cleaning products, consider creating your own from everyday household items. A simple solution of one quarter vinegar with three quarters water, for instance, will tackle stubborn grime and remove limescale from shower screens.

3. The Importance of Saving Water:
WaterAid reports that 768 million people don’t have access to clean water, resulting in the premature and unnecessary death of 2,000 children per day. With water being so precious, we should be doing everything we can to reduce the amount of waste.

Begin with Your Toilet:
With a family of four estimated to flush the toilet approximately 14 times per day, it is easy to see how the toilet accounts for 25% of all bathroom water usage. Your toilet should, therefore, only be reserved for flushing: NEVER be tempted to flush creepy crawlies or tissues.

To save water, upgrade to a dual flush toilet. With a dual flush toilet you have two types of flushes: a 3 litre one and a 6 litre one. The 3 litre flush will empty the cistern only halfway and is suitable for liquid waste, whereas the 6 litre flush will completely empty the cistern and will be ideal for solid waste. You don’t need to perform a complete flush each time you visit the toilet so this simple upgrade will easily help cut costs.

Use your Taps Wisely:
With the average leaking tap wasting 90 litres of water per week, and 4,680 litres per year, failure to fix a leaky tap is not only annoying but incredibly wasteful.

To save even more water, consider an aerated tap. These feature a filter which is able to mix the water with air to reduce the output without compromising on pressure.As your mother always said, “Never leave the tap running whilst brushing your teeth.” This is of the utmost importance because the average tap will release approximately 6 litres of water per minute. So if you brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, this will result in a waste of 24 litres per day.

Avoid Wasteful Baths:
Whilst you may be partial to your bath, showers use 40% less water, so it’s a no brainer: Always choose a shower instead of a bath.

It would, however, be unwise to completely ditch your bath because it is impossible to achieve the same state of relaxation and luxury which is synonymous with a bath; so reserve this purely for a treat.

As with taps, consider a water saving shower head which has an inbuilt aeration process. These will effectively inflate the water with air to create larger water droplets. The large droplets will provide the same water coverage, but can reduce the amount of water by up to 75%.

Paul Durkin is a full time blogger for Splashdirect where he aims to make life easier for the average person through a series of DIY tips and buyer’s guides.