Saturday, 19 September 2015

Good looking no stress eating

Ey up my faithful blogworms, had a couple of people ask recently ... why blogworm ? So if you're new to following my blogs, it's a term of endearment ... bookworms like books, blogworms like blogs ! Simples.

I've been asked just this week, you say you can make anything, can you make me a dining table to go with my kitchen. Strangely, we were only talking about this the other week so I thought I'd feature this week, tables we've made for other people.

One thing that's always puzzled me about dining tables is that you see so many where folk are scared to really use them properly.

A nice table sitting in your dining room permanently covered up with either a padded cover or a tablecloth, to me, is largely pointless. Some of these tables folk are so scared of marking that you never get a chance to use it in all it's glory.

If you're going to keep it's beauty covered up then it might as well be made of some nasty chipboard !

Well ..... like a lot of other puzzling dilemnas in kitchens, we've found an answer to that too !

Here's a couple of examples of two tables we've made which are designed to be used and abused and definitely not covered up !

By making basically a big frame out of hardwood, these two are Oak, and dropping a granite panel into the centre, shimmed level on battens, you get the most desirable and practical table top you could ever imagine. If you've been following my blogs lately, you'll understand our approach to oiling hardwood worktops properly and these tables are no different. 

You can serve hot pans etc. directly onto the granite panel .. no worries, no covers, no mats for your pans or any of that malarky ! Brilliant for a good family get together where everything is served directly on to the table and you all tuck in. No stress or anything to be scared of concerning your precious table top !

Our next cunning plan, to move this up to the next level, is to use Dekton as the entire table top for a more contemporary look, as shown here. 
(See my earlier blogs to learn all about the amazing properties of Dekton)

This will really raise the game for the future of the ultimately practical table top.

And as with everything else at Milestone, there's always "more than one way to skin a cat" ... ( and don't get all animal rightsey on me for that, it's just a turn of phrase ..OK )

You can have:

1) A complete table built from scratch in the wood / granite combo of your choice 

2) A new table top made as a 'cover top' for your existing table 

3) Keeping your existing table chassis and making a new top to fasten to it

So really there's no excuse for not getting yourself a good looking, eminently practical, useable, everyday dining table ! There's enough sources of stress in this world without worrying about your dining  table as well.

All you've got to do is ASK !

So, right, now, pick up your phone, ring me and let's change how you look at dining tables forever !!

Jules (J2)

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Lizard and Banana ???

Ey up my faithful blogworms, My topic this week is split in two. As far apart as lizard and banana. Why those two ..... no idea ! two random images that came into my head two minutes ago, is all !

First, lets think about the kitchen industry for a minute. 

1. When a company says "we pay your vat" .. no they're not. They're working to a price list that already includes vat, calling ex vat, then and they're adding it again to knock it off !! A con trick that people fall for time and again

2. When they say "free dishwasher" .. not it's not, they've hidden it in the price of your furniture and claim to give it you for nowt ! Sneaky.

3. Free Worktops ... as above !

4. free anything else .. as above !

They repeatedly get away with this because of your perception of what you think the kitchen is worth. Dress it up right and any cheap kitchen looks worth more, leaving them room to hide stuff

5. When you go to these places and they say "sign today and we can do you a better deal " they're lying ! Go next week or the week after, you will be offered the same deal. Fact !  ... Sales targets ring any bells ... this is what they are preying on.

6. Pay for the whole thing up front, DON'T DO IT !. You have no defence left if you don't like it. 

You can guarantee the more you seem to get for free, the cheaper the kitchen actually was to start with. Remember: BUY CHEAP, BUY TWICE !!

Second: At Milestone, everything we do is genuine ... nothing hidden, the value of each item is the very best we can provide for what you want to spend ! 
We are independant and rely on satisfied customers to recommend us to their friends. 
 We have a vested interest in making sure that we give you the best advice and the best kitchen we can for your budget. Don't take our word for all this ! We've been doing this for 27 years now and have 100's of satisfied customers to prove, that's why we're still in business when many others have fallen by the wayside. We learned our craft over those years and would put our fitters up against the best of the rest and still come out on top !

 When we provide you with an estimate, we do so on the basis that both you and I have understood what you want and done the best we can to provide it.

We are sick of the phrase " If we give you the job, what can you do for us ?. We already done it, so don't insult us by asking.

It would be a massive help to us to learn your budget early on in our discussions as we can then tailor products available to us to suit your requirements better. We're not in the business of jacking up prices to what we think we can get away with !

However, I can understand reluctance to do this as many other companies would simply hike up their estimates to fit what you want to spend. WE DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS PRINCIPLE. With us what you see is what you get !

One of our strengths lies in our ability to tailor individual units within a layout to make the kitchen fit properly without resorting to unsightly filler panels. Sometimes just this ability alone is enough to make the difference between a kitchen that looks wrong and one that looks perfect.

We've always said that when anyone comes to see us "the answer's Yes, before they ask the question"

We can and do, make anything !

If you went into a Sandwich shop and asked for say: A Lizard & Banana sandwich, where they would look at you as if you were stupid, we would say "Yes, Certainly, how many ? "

Still got no idea why I picked on Lizards & Bananas .... but there you go !

Just felt the need to re-iterate what we're all about after a week where I've heard of other people getting lousy service and lousy quality from big supposedly "reputable" kitchen companies.

 If they get to read this .. boy, am I in trouble, but I don't care, I hate to see customers treated badly and lied to ..... the customer always comes first at Milestone !

OK, rant over. Jules (J2) 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

You can't legislate for Stupidity !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, todays tale is a tale of woe caused by stupidity and a lack of understanding.

Whatever you think of builders, when they build houses, they do things for a reason. Today I'm concerned with the dreaded damp !! Every house is built with a damp course of some sort and airbricks to allow airflow under your floors if you have suspended floorboards on joists.

Block these up at your peril !!!

We were called out to a house just recently where a lino fitter had gone to lay some new flooring in a kitchen and when removing the washing machine to floor under it the floor collapsed completely nearly sending the machine into the void space.

Not just the floorboards but the joists were riddled with rot and woodworm !!

 We had to remove half the kitchen, the worktop, the tiles, all the plumbing and nearly half the kitchen floor. The first joist near the wall crumbled in to dust, the second one was nearly as bad, the third one was full of worm  and the next two were rotten to half way along. The left hand section of the underdrawings was basically a pool of mud. The drain is outside this section ... read on for how this was affected !

You can tell by the pictures that the first three layers of bricks are soaked, all the plaster fell off and the damp had jumped the damp course. Using a damp test meter, we were nearly up to the window cill before we were showing reading close to normal !! 

The only course of action is to replace all the affected timber with new, membrane wrap the new joist ends to protect against damp again, we applied 4 coats of 3 in 1 Woodworm and rot protection. 

We wiggled and fed the new joists into place and treated them again. High as a kite by the time we'd finished !

All the joist were re-levelled, bedded on slate and cemented back in place, ready for putting the new floorboards back in.
New boards going down ready to start thinking about re-fitting the kitchen.

New worktops were opted for along with new tiling to bring the kitchen back to life again.

NOW, the reason for this was that some idiot at some point in the history of the house had decided in their infinite stupidity to raise the path to the side and along the back of the house using concrete. We reckon it's been like this for at least 15 years, which is when the current owners moved in. 

Not a problem .... you think ... it bloody is when the concrete goes half way up the airbricks and one of the airbricks was contained WITHIN a little retaining wall put round the outside drain to keep to water in check !!!!! I could not believe anyone could be this stupid !

This is one of a pair of semi detached houses and when you notice that next doors airbricks are at least 4"  (4 inches)( 100mm for the metricated among you) higher than the pathway, it gives an idea of how big a clown the guy who did this really was !

The airbricks are now cemented up and a local builder is fitting telescopic vents in to wall to correct the problem, the kitchen is back together and looking splendid

BUT and it's a big but, this affected wall runs along the back of the house ..... we've sorted the kitchen out but the room next to the kitchen along the same wall ..... it is the lounge ???

We were asked just to sort the kitchen out, we've not looked at the lounge .... I'll let you make up your own mind as to what state that's in ??

Airbricks and damp courses are very important .... make sure yours are OK and clear .... if you don't want this to happen to you !