• Posted by Steve Playle Friday Apr 08, 2016

Put some energy into energy saving!

A report released a couple of weeks ago by the Energy and Climate Change Committee has outlined how the Government must do more to reduce consumer gas and electricity bills by improving the energy efficiency of new and existing homes. Looking back, there were lots of resources put into the flagship Green Deal initiative but this has now fallen by the way side for a variety of reasons.

  • Posted by Tracy Eke Friday Apr 01, 2016

Japanese knotweed – the decorative delinquent that needn’t cause panic

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) was first introduced into Britain in the 1800’s. It was sold primarily as an ornamental plant, and was even included in the Botanical Gardens at Kew. Today the plant is viewed very differently. Following its spread into the wild, it is classed as a pest species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

  • Posted by Steve Playle Thursday Mar 24, 2016

Protecting the TrustMark brand

Finding a tradesperson that you can trust to carry out repair and maintenance work on your property can be a daunting prospect and is sometimes hard to know where to start. For me, the best starting point is to have someone recommended to you by a relative, friend or neighbour who has had a similar job carried out on his or her property. You know that the tradesperson is reliable and has carried out a good job. This is exactly how I found someone last year to paint the outside of my house and I was very satisfied with the work.

  • Posted by Andrew Kaye Friday Mar 18, 2016

Tradespeople can increase their revenue by using Escrow

Tradespeople are now gaining hundreds or thousands of pounds extra (on average) from jobs they undertake simply by using an escrow payment service

  • Posted by Steve Playle Monday Mar 14, 2016

Government announces another 'Cutting Red Tape' review

In my job as a Trading Standards Officer, I have to be a jack-of-all-trades to deal with the enormous variety of work that comes my way. One minute I am dealing with the sale of unsafe products that can potentially cause harm to consumers. The next minute, information comes in from colleagues in another part of the UK that one of my local traders is operating a website that is advertising goods that don’t exist.


  • Posted by Steve Playle Tuesday Mar 01, 2016

Move or improve - that is the question?

As our lifestyles change, we find ourselves needing different things from our homes. That can mean more space, extra bedrooms or just a different layout. But if you find yourself getting increasingly frustrated with your current property and in desperate need of a change, there are two options – move or improve

  • Posted by Louise Cook Monday Feb 22, 2016

Renovation wreck - to buy or not to buy?

Spring is just around the corner, and new homes listed for sale will soon start flying off the shelves like hot cakes. You might be asking yourself whether you could benefit from taking on a renovation project and transforming it into something wonderful.

  • Posted by Louise Cook Friday Feb 12, 2016

Dining in is the new eating out: Make your kitchen the heart of the home this Valentines

On average we spend 2.5 years of our lives cooking, so its no wonder we have strong views on the most effective way to utilise this space. Modern kitchens are a far cry from the tiny, dark quarters for one person at the back of the house. Recent trends have placed the kitchen at the heart of the home, in more ways than just a change of location. The vast improvements in both technology and design have transformed this area into a crucial make or break selling point in any property.

  • Posted Monday Feb 08, 2016

Are smart meters really going to be all that clever?

There are a variety of improvements that we can all make to our homes in order to make them more energy efficient and to save money. Options include improvements to our cavity wall or loft insulation, the installation of more energy efficient gas boilers or even fitting solar panels. To benefit from these options will normally involve spending some hard earned cash and this downside sometimes has the effect of putting us off.

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TrustMark's blog features tips, advice and inspiration for homeowners on all repair and home improvement issues and showcases some of the best projects our registered tradespeople have worked on.

With insight from our expert contributors, including Trading Standards expert Steve Playle, we hope you enjoy our blog and are able to take away helpful information and be inspired to do work on your homes.