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Loft Conversion Guide

Taking on a loft conversion is a massive project. However, they are a wonderful way to increase your storage space without having to move to a new house, as well as add value to your home.

They are not only ideal to create an extra bedroom, but can also be used for studies, an extra living room or a games room. The possibilities are endless. Regardless of your ideas for the attic, it is still a big challenge. Here are a few things to be aware of and do before you get the loft conversion you’ve been dreaming about.

1)    Do an initial survey
This is the most important stage. It is vital you get permission to have a loft conversion in the first place. If your attic doesn’t meet the regulations and criteria, but you continue with the project, you will make your house practically unsellable. Also, although a lot of properties in the UK will be suitable for a conversion, this will not always be case. It depends on what is there to begin with and how the roof was constructed. Hiring a specialist structural engineer will ensure you know whether the project will be possible.

2)    Make a detailed plan
Having a vague idea of what you want your loft conversion to look like will not be enough. There are many things to consider which could easily be forgotten if you don’t have a detailed plan. Knowing what windows you want, where the staircase will go, where the heating and electric points will be placed are just some of the things to consider. Although it will be an additional expense, its highly recommended to use a professional architect. Not only will they be able to produce detailed plans for you, they will have experience with project management and could have good connections and could help you find a reputable building company which will save you the hassle.

3)    Choose the right builders
A loft conversion can add value to your home but only if you hire builders that are professional and know exactly what they are doing. They are probably going to be more expensive, however it will be worth it knowing they will do a good job and will probably finish it in a decent amount of time. There have been many cases of people hiring the wrong builders who stop half way through a job, and leave your house in a mess. Let experts help you at every stage of the process to ensure the best results.

4)    Get more than one quote
It is best to ask several building companies what they would charge for the loft conversion. This will ensure you can get the best price possible. However, do not just make your decision on cost. The cheapest quote will not necessarily be the best for you. Take into account how professional they seemed when you met them, whether you think they will do a good job and what time scale they are predicting the job will take. Always ask for examples of their previous work so you can ensure it’s a good enough standard. Also, ensure you have a payment scheduled sorted in advance. Never pay them in full before the job starts. Organise an initial deposit and a payment plan for the rest upon completion.

5)    Think about light
Try and place the biggest windows possible in order to get as much natural sunlight into the room as possible.

6)    Think about storage
This is your chance to plan a room from scratch and it is always good to think about where the storage will go from the beginning. Deciding at design stage means you can plan clever storage solutions and built in wardrobes which will save space and make the room look bigger.

7)    Go green
Where possible, think about the environmental impact of your project. Not only should you think about the building materials used, you should consider the effects this will have once the project is finished. If you create an insulated house which will conserve energy, it will not only be good for the environment, it will also be good for your bank account.

8)    Hire a skip
Converting your loft will create a lot of mess. Not only with the building work itself but also from having to empty the attic to begin with. Preparing for a loft conversion is an ideal time to go through your stuff and get rid of anything you don’t need. Ensure you hire a skip that will be big enough for your project and be suitable for the type of waste you want to dispose of.

If you are looking for advice for suitable skips for loft conversion projects, then speak to LSPS today. Contact us on 0800 083 7807. We are open Monday – Friday between 07:30 and 16:30 and Saturdays from 7:30 until midday.

Disposable coffee cups: How big of an environmental problem are they and are we doing enough?

As a nation, we love our coffee and our coffee shops. According to parliamentary papers there are four times as many coffee shops in the UK than there were in the year 2000, with 20% of the population visiting a coffee shop daily. It has been estimated that 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year - that’s approximately 7 million cups a day!
Almost all the high street coffee shop chains now run a recycling scheme which tries to encourage people to bring their own reusable cup, but are these schemes actually working?

What is the problem?
The reason why this enormous number of cups is such a problem on the environment is that they are difficult to recycle. The lining on the takeaway cups is a mixture of paper and plastic which is used to make the cups both heatproof and leakproof. However, this makes them difficult to recycle. The figures suggest that the vast majority of cups (more than 99%) are not recycled, even if they are thrown into the recycling bin.

The success of documentaries such as Blue Planet has forced people to realise what a huge problem plastic is on our planet, as it takes years to break down if not recycled, adversely impacting the natural environment. The plastic is not the only problem. The paper element of the cups has environmental issues of its own. Trees must be felled to produce products that only end up being used for the length of time it takes for someone to drink a cup of coffee.

What schemes are coffee shops running to help?
Recently there have been many schemes set up in coffee shop chains in order to try and encourage customers to bring their own reusable cup. Starbucks, Nero, Costa and Pret a Manger all offer a discount of between 25p and 50p when customer present their own cup.

Costa were also the first coffee chain to turn their stores into recycling points for people to place all of their takeaway cups, regardless of the brand.

Despite these efforts though there have been backlash saying that some places are still using disposable cups to pour the coffee in before putting it in the reusable cup, thus defeating the point.

What are some other options?
It is not just the coffee chains themselves that are coming up with ideas to reduce waste. Shrewsbury have become the first city to offer a cup deposit return scheme in the UK. A selection of cafes across the town let you buy a bright reusable cup for £1 which can be refunded when you return the cup to a participating store. The trial of the scheme was a success, leading to it being rolled out across the town centre a few months later. The cups can be used hundreds of times and created from a good quality plastic which will last.

There are also companies trying to develop completely biodegradable cups. Others have suggested a coffee fine for using a reusable cup is a solution, thinking that the discount off a drink is not enough of an incentive and psychologically people will do more to avoid a fine than to receive a discount.

Here at LSPS, recycling is of great importance to us and we help businesses and individuals all across Leicestershire to reduce the amount of their waste that ends up at landfill sites. Our Waste Transfer Station is open to traders and has an extensive range of state-of-the-art equipment.

To find out how we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

The advantages of same day skip hire

Whether you’re working on a large construction project or a small DIY project, there are many instances where you may need a skip for only a short period of time. No matter how small or large your project is, hiring a skip is undoubtedly the easiest and most efficient solution to disposing of your waste quickly and safely.

But what if you only need a skip for a day? You can use our short-term rental “Wait & Load” service which allows you to get rid of your waste quickly and hassle free whilst we wait.

Our Wait & Load options involves us coming to your home or premises, waiting until you have loaded the skip, then immediately taking the skip and rubbish away for you.

Reasons why you would use Wait & Load service

-    You are short on time
-    You don’t think it will take you long to get rid of the rubbish
-    You don’t want a skip staying on your premises
-    You don’t have the space to have a skip for a longer period of time

Benefits of the Wait & Load service

-    It is quick – We wait for you to load the rubbish then will immediately take it away for you
-    It frees up space - Not having the skip on your premises overnight or even longer will be a benefit to you. Even the smaller skips are still bulky so having it gone quickly may be the ideal solution for you
-    It saves you time - By using the wait and load option, you are saving yourself both time and money on not having to make several trips to the local recycling centre and tip.
-    No need for a licence - Because the skip is not there for long, you do not need to be granted a permit from your local council which makes it a very convenient option.
-    It is adapted to you - Whether it is general household waste, construction waste or garden waste you need to dispose of, we can provide a range of different skip sizes and types to match your requirements.

If you are looking for more information on our Wait & Load service, then speak to LSPS today. Please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

Skip Hire: Do’s and Don’ts

Before you hire a skip for your project, whether it be at your home or for your office, have a look at these Dos and Don’ts to help you make sure you choose the perfect skip for your needs.

DO think about what you are going to put the skip. If there are very heavy items you made need a skip with a drop door for easy loading.

DO think about how long you need the skip for. Again, don’t underestimate the time you need. If you are doing a large renovation project or just a clean out, you will be surprised with how long the process can take.

DO get a skip license if you cannot store the skip on your personal property. If the skip will need to go on a public road or pavement, you will need a skip license. If you fail to do this, your skip can be removed (sometimes even before you have managed to use it) and you may even be fined.

DO put the following in a skip: Bricks, soil, garden waste, metal, sand, timber, plastic, general waste.

DO you have any access restrictions? If so, you will need to consider this before hiring a skip.

DO think about whether you have any overhead cables of obstructions that could get in the way of the skip.

DO think about what the weather conditions will be when you are hiring the skip. It’s best not to have a skip on tarmac drives during really hot weather.

DO make sure your drive is suitable to take the weight of the skip. They can weigh a lot, especially once they are full.

DO let your neighbours know you are having a skip, especially if you share a driveway with them or if it will be a nuisance to them when they are trying to park, or if it is directly in front of their house.

DON’T put the following things in a skip: Asbestos, tyres, aerosols, paint and paint tins, hazardous waste, electrical equipment, household appliances.

DON’T underestimate how big a project you are undertaking. It’s easy to think you will have enough space, but you will be surprised with how much rubbish you will probably end up having. If you are unsure, always go for the next size up.

DON’T leave it too late to hire a skip. If you know when you need the skip for, it’s always best to hire it ASAP so you are more likely to get the skip you want.

DON’T start any fires in the skip.

If you’re looking for more advice on what to consider before hiring a skip then speak to LSPS today on 0800 083 7807. LSPS is an established, family run firm in Leicestershire offering skip hire, waste disposal & recycling services.

What can and can’t be recycled when cleaning out your home

Clearing out your home can be very stressful at the best of times, but trying to figure out what can and what can’t be recycled can make it even worse.  With everything from electronics, cardboard or even old furniture to handle – it’s important that you know what can and can’t be recycled.

How to recycle
First, you need to know how to recycle and where to do it before you even start to sort your rubbish out. Most cities and towns often now have some sort of recycling plant. This is where you can take the things you want recycling and it is sorted into the correct areas e.g. garden, wood etc.

It is as easy as driving/walking to the sorting centre and dropping off your rubbish into the correct areas, almost like a ‘sort and drop’ service making it very convenient and time effective so there are no excuses about not doing it.

You should also read up about the rubbish that can be recycled as most of it needs to be clean, for example most cans, bottles etc. need to be rinsed out fully and dried as the liquid that is inside of them can contaminate the plastic itself making it unrecyclable.

Recyclable household items
Now you know how to recycle, you need to know what you can recycle. Here are just some of what you can recycle when clearing out your home:

Junk mail, cards, bills etc. are all forms of rubbish that you have in your home which can be recycled. Instead of just leaving them around in drawers etc. around the house which causes more clutter, you should bundle it all together and recycle it.

Cardboard is another great asset to recycle in your house, from things such as cereal boxes, pizza boxes or any other type of paper packaging.

CD’s, DVDs are not the first thing that springs to mind when someone mentions recycling, I know. But yes, they are recyclable, only if the recycling centre allows them and approves. If they are not then there are many other ways you can dispose of or reuse them, for example making a collage of your CD’s on your wall.

Old Televisions: TV’s hold many dangerous chemicals, so they are a bit hard to recycle yourself, but a lot of TV stores are happy to trade in your TV when you buy a new one and they often recycle them in a professional manner that is needed.

With all this in mind you may be wondering where you can put all of your unwanted rubbish? Well that is where we can help, by offering you affordable and convenient skip hire right to your door. Find out more here or call us today on 0800 083 7807

How paper straws are saving the planet

As the world is becoming more and more environmentally friendly there are new inventive ideas emerging every day for saving waste. The latest trend on the eco-scene that is being heavily adopted is the use of paper straws.

What is so bad about plastic straws?
Firstly, plastic straws are not recyclable, meaning that large amounts of waste end up in landfills or oceans. The biggest waste patch is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is reportedly twice the size of Texas. It may not look it on the surface, but it is because most of it ends up on the ocean floor. Since these plastic straws are not biodegradable, it can take up to 200 years for them to decompose.

This then has a domino effect on marine life as they often mistake it as food, and when they try to consume it, it can become lodged in their stomach. It is estimated that up to 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles end up ingesting plastic to their stomachs.

Apart from affecting sea life, there is another reason as to why plastic straws are bad. It is because they release toxic chemicals when they start to break down which in turn pollutes the ocean waters.

The benefits of changing to paper straws
•    Safer for marine-life: of course, this is the first positive, but it is a major one as it can save the lives of many animals and maybe even prevent some species from going extinct. This is proven as paper straws are supposedly meant to breakdown within six months, which is a whole lot better than that of 200 years for a plastic straw.

•    Less time to decompose: linking to the previous benefit, paper straws only taking a short amount of time to decompose will be very beneficial for our oceans as it will also reduce the amount of toxic chemicals being released into the ocean waters.

•    They’re affordable: although plastic straws are cheaper, the rise of demand for paper straws is only going to increase the production meaning eventually the price will go down again even though they are already cheap enough as you can pick them up in bulk for as little as two pence each.

Businesses cutting out plastic
Many large-scale companies and businesses are cashing in on cutting out or limiting plastic straws. Some of these include Disney, Starbucks and McDonalds. This is a wake-up call to you and how you should be trying to limit how you use plastic on a day-to-say basis for your business.

Here at LSPS, recycling is of great importance to us and we help businesses and individuals all across Leicestershire to reduce the amount of their waste that ends up at landfill sites. Our Waste Transfer Station is open to traders and has an extensive range of state-of-the-art equipment.

To find out how about we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

Tips for reducing office waste

clip_image002Much is spoken of about how we can improve recycling rates at home, however, much less so is commented on how we can reduce the impact of waste from our places of work. Recycling is often low down the priority list for our businesses but doing so can not only help the environment but can also save you money and give you something to brag about to your clients and customers.

Here are some simple and easy to adopt tips that you can use to reduce wastage in the workplace.

1 – Turn off all of your electronic items at the end of the day rather than leaving them on standby overnight

2 – Set your computer monitors to switch to standby during periods of inactivity

3 – Switch to energy efficient lightbulbs

4 – Take advantage of natural light and leave artificial lighting off for as long as is possible without impacting on your work

5 - Recycle paperwork but try and move towards electronic communications wherever possible through online systems, phone calls and emails. Paperless is the way forward.

6 – When you do have to print try and use products like recycled paper, refillable ink printer cartridges and opt for manufacturers that use non-toxic chemicals. Better yet use one communal printer rather than several around the office.

7 – When ordering food or sourcing food for your office try and shop locally. Not only are you supporting other local businesses, but you’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint.

8 – Be flexible with working. If an employee can work from home, car pool or use public transport to begin their working day then you should try and encourage it to reduce emissions

9 – Allow casual attire during the summer. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in stuffy suit and tie during a baking summer’s day. Allowing more casual clothing during the summer can not only keep your employees happy but also reduce the need for expensive and resource intensive air-cooling systems.

10 – In the bathroom opt for recyclable products such as non-single use plastic handwash and paper towels.

11 – Retain packaging such as boxes and mailers for reuse later down the line

12 – Waste sorting is essential but in a big workplace this can be time consuming. Delegate up tasks between several members of staff to even out the workload.

13 – Enquire about recycling and green policies with suppliers carefully before choosing to strike up a relationship – otherwise all your efforts could be of no use

If you’re looking for advice and help with creating a thrifty and eco-friendly waste policy then speak to LSPS today. We offer a complete waste disposal management package to businesses and offices in Leicestershire to help them meet their needs and adhere to regulations. We also have a secure shredding service to dispose of confidential waste. To find out more please contact us on 0800 083 7807.

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