Building Services

Brick Cleaning

My house is one of only a few in the road which is painted as opposed to bare brick.  As it is in need of painting I am seriously considering blasting the paint off and returning it to the brickwork.  However I seem to recall that this may damage the brick and cause problems.  Does anyone have a view/experience of this?  If your experience was positive do you have a recommendation re person? – Martha Silcott, May 2008

If your house front is currently exposed brick, you may want to leave it uncovered, as recommended by the Victorian Society and the Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings, on grounds that the brick was designed to breathe and plasticated masonry paints or cement renders can trap moisture against the brickwork and cause structural damage (as happened with my house).

 If it’s currently painted, you may want to find out with what and whether it’s breathable. If it’s currently stuccoed with a lime render, you can have it lime washed, and these days lime wash comes in any colour.

 See http://www.bricksandbrass.co.uk for more info (Amy Erickson Mar 2003)

 Steaming is an alternative to sandblasting, and does give you back the original brick surface. But while it’s gentler on the bricks, it’s harder on the pocket. (And from sweltering experience I recommend that it be done in the cooler months.)

We used Brian Williamson & Daughters, (tel 01342 834829) five years ago, although we never saw the daughters. Another nearer recommendation at the time was: Independent Brick & Stone Cleaning, Alan O’Keefe tel. 01449 678837 (Highbury, N5) (Amy Erickson May 2008)

Builders/House Repairs/Handypersons

I can recommend Dave Rath 07955 356002. He’s a really good handyman – reliable, diligent and easy to deal with. He did my bathroom & shower and kitchen floor. (Fergus Grew, Oct 2016)

Loft conversion – Scott Williamson (07958 648495) is local and well used by both the Cazenove and Northwold  group. He has just finished a major conversion of a bungalow for some friends of mine – personally site supervising and managing all the trades as well as dealing with the architect and the local authority. He is very good, tidy and considerate. (Dave Donert, Oct-16)

Simon on +44 7963 905303 is a great all round builder and a former Northwold Road resident. (Sal Remtulla, June 2011)

Martin on 020 8806 5202 / sbsprop@gmail.com (Jim Kidner, June 2011)

Chris Maddison 07850384424 (Steve Job, June 2011)

Dan Masterson is currently project managing our kitchen refit, which has incorporated everything from plastering to plumbing, electrics etc. He’s very straight and honest, and v pleasant to deal with. 07881 826 131 / 0208-521-5189 / email: dpmasterson@gmail.com- (Lorna Fray, Nov 2006) He is very skilled, competent and reliable. He manages a skilled team of traders and is available for a comprehensive range of domestic and insurance jobs. (Caroline Halcrow, May 2008) We used him to do a couple of rooms – excellent plasterer, reliable and very polite. Highly recommended (Nell Ravenscroft, Jan 2010) He recently worked on our house: re-plastering, some brick work in the garden, restored a Victorian tiled floor in our hallway and replaced the front step which included shoring up the joists in the cellar as well.  He was a pleasure to have around and the pride he takes in his work is second to none.  He did a fabulous job and I would highly recommend him. (Julia Gibbs, Oct 2010) I contracted Dan to do quite a major renovation of my two-bedroom flat – ripping out an old kitchen and installing a new one, taking out the old bathroom suite and installing a shower, ripping out the old laminate flooring and carpet in the entire flat and laying new wooden flooring, plus extensive painting and decorating (walls, ceiling, all the woodwork including doors), and tiling the new kitchen backsplash and the entire bathroom. Dan was detailed, well organised and cost effective. The finish on the entire flat is impeccable and I really couldn’t be happier. (Maria Kaberg,  May 2012 )I contacted Dan Masterson for a quote on patio paving and fencing. The work was carried out very efficiently and professionally and I am delighted with the result. (Jane Flor, Jan 2014)

Richard Armes on 07798 688272 / richard.armes@blueyonder.co.uk / www.richardarmes.co.uk — general builder  (Amy Erickson, Oct 2006)

I would like to recommend Jacek Kurek to the website for all types of building and redecoration (kitchens, bathrooms etc) he is very reliable, hard working and value for money. He has done all kinds of work in my house and friends of mines house for the last 7 years. His number 07737 646713 website: wwwsupremeeffect.co.uk (Martha Silcott Feb 2014 and Bernie Graham, Oct 2016)

Axel Keating is a builder who takes on small and large jobs.  He made a great stone patio for me at a very reasonable price. (Alison Whyte, Feb 2014)  AJ Keating Ltd.  483 Green Lanes, London N13 4BS   07788537124

Derek McKenzie laid tiles in my bathroom and did an excellent job.  He was very meticulous and he charged a very reasonable amount. There are other very favourable testimonials on his website. 07875 669 113  info@mckenziebuilders.co.uk  (Alison Whyte, Feb 2014)

Jethro on 07957 585148 / jaisottawa@yahoo.co.uk. He’s fitted washing machines, built shelves, changed lightbulbs (!), bit of plastering here and there. He’s got contacts who are electricians, plumbers, tilers, kitchen fitters, etc. (Angela Paterson, Sep 2016)

Cabinetmakers/Carpenters

I’d like to add a carpenter to your local tradesmen group. John Higgins – he has just finished an amazing cupboard in my kitchen. Floor to ceiling, perfectly fitted. I highly recommend his work, he’s fast, tidy and worked with my really rough ideas. John Higgins 07530 461 929 (Polly Strettell, Oct 2012)

John Rae made some fitted cupboards for me. They fit beautifully, doors glide shut – expertly made. I think he’s based in Finsbury Park. tel 07958 910789 – (Caroline Penn, Jun 2012)

Very highly recommended is Mick. His number is: 07883 306 613. If you call him, please say that I gave you his number. (Garry Bettle, June 2011)

Scott Williamson is an exceptionally good carpenter – hardworking and reliable – you may have to wait for a week or so if he’s busy, but it’s well worth it. My 1890 Victorian terrace house has been extensively refurbished with a great deal of help from him. Contact Scott on 07958 648495 / sljcarpentry@googlemail.com (Dave Donert, Apr 2007)  We completely second that (Philippa Kemsley – Apr 2010)

Dave on 07831188295 / dwccarpentry@hotmail.com. His family has been in business locally since the 30s. Tell him Vishal recommended him (Vishal Vora, Apr 2007)

Dave Myron on Alconbury Road is a very good carpenter. Email at mr.david.myron@gmail.com or call on 07747634239 (Sal Remtulla, NARG, Sep 2008)

If anyone needs any cabinet making type skills then I can highly recommend David Starkey, I have known him for over 10 years and his work is of an extremely high quality and he is a delight to work with.  07789 495820 / dave@ivofurniture.com / www.ivofurniture.com –  (Martha Silcott, Jan 2009)

Rob on 07766 203438. He has done all the carpentry in our house – shelves, kitchen cupboards, everything. He’s a nice bloke and not pricey. He does tiling too. (Lola Borg, Feb 2015)

Nick McAuley at nmcauleyo@goooglemail.com. I can recommend a joiner to do all kinds of household joinery – he’s made and fitted new kitchen cupborad doors, made bathroom units, etc for us. (Kirsten Foster, Feb 2015)

Damp

The floor of our cellar has dampness and decaying brickwork. We need the cellar to be dried out and any rotten brickwork replaced. Can anybody recommend a builder / labourer who would undertake this work?

 I strongly recommend that you have a specialist diagnose the cause of damp in your cellar before you take any practical measures to deal with it. Take a look at the following websites:

 http://www.dampbuster.com/

http://www.buildingpathology.net/

 I hope this helps – Michael Tutton, local Building Conservation and Repair Consultant, 2007

I’d like to recommend Mark Knowlton of MK Damp Proofing (mkdamproofing@gmail.com). After a disaster with Tiger Builders (who I would not recommend!), he gutted our basement and damp-proofed it right on schedule for a reasonable price. (Gabriella Polletta, Feb 2014)

Electricians

Julia Ovenden 07540 298260 / juliaovenden@gmail.com (Iain Bruce, Nov 2016)

Fran Kinsey of Electrics On, 07944 240846 (Peter Cummings, Aug 2005) I used her for a small job last week but more extensively for extra sockets, new fuse box and full testing and NICEIC certificate last year. (Nick Perry, Aug-08) Great – trustworthy and reasonably priced. (Gabriella Polletta, Feb 2014)

Steve Land 07836 332443 or 8292 0271 (who I believe lives in Stamford Grove East) (Oct 2005)

Immy, Live Electrics, tel. 07866 572222. He’s just done my kitchen, a complete rewire, and was great. He made it a stress-free process and gave me a full NIC EIC certificate. Was the lowest of 3 quotes. Brilliant. (Gordon Kerr, May 2007). Professional, friendly and quick. Provided a better quote than other electricians we spoke to. (Kylie Harrison, Stamford Grove West, Jul 2007) has recently upgraded our electricity including a report which is commonly accepted by councils and estate agents. He does a lot of council work (Tim Sander, Aug 2008)

I found a local electrician called Paul Stephens who was very good and not too expensive – 07941 515 323 / 020 8809 0447 / www.pselectricalservices.co.uk – and he plays the double bass…. (NARG, Aug 2006)

Athena Electrical at athenaelectrical.com. Highly recommended and do a lot of work in our area. (Amy Erickson, June 2014)

Wondering what accreditation is widely respected and would be accepted by the council for example?

As far as domestic electrical work goes, the main body is NIC EIC. There is also NAPIT, ELECSA, BREC-ECA and BSI, but they have much smaller memberships for electricians. All local councils recognize certified electricians of these bodies as competent to self-certify electrical work for ‘Part P’ of the building regs.

There is a list of ‘Part P’ registered people for ALL trades (not just electricians) at http://www.competentperson.co.uk/

NIC EIC’s register is at http://www.niceic.org.uk/ but all the domestic installers are included in the part p website above. If you need the work to be compliant with building regs you should always try and check they are on the website. But this can be difficult if you don’t know what business name they trade under. A quick check on the CAAG website, only Fran (Electrics On) and Live Electrics can be found on the NIC EIC website – but that’s probably because we don’t know the names of the trading companies for the others. (Nick Perry, Aug 2008)

Kitchen Fitting

Can anyone recommend a company that does kitchen refits/refurbs? I’m ideally looking for a single company to handle/project manage everything from wiring, plastering and flooring to installing new cabinets etc.

Cupboards By Design Ltd, Unit 2, Leyton Business Centre, Etloe Road E10 7BT. 020 8556 1424 / 020 8556 1424 Fax / 07956 493 408 / fiona@cbdltd.fsnet.co.uk / http://www.cupboardsbydesign.co.uk/. Fiona Duckworth is a cabinetmaker, but she project managed (plumber, electrician, suppliers) for my kitchen beautifully. She is an absolute pleasure to deal with. You’re welcome to come and see her work (020 8806 6653) – (Amy Erickson, Jun 2006)

 http://www.squarepegkitchens.co.uk/index.htmJohn – I’ve known him years and years! – is a long-time Stokey resident(Susanna Ferrar, Oct 2007)

Scott Williamson is brilliant and a specialist in kitchen fitting – very highly recommended – but he is often busy if you need it immediately. Contact him on (07958) 648495 – (Dave Donert, Oct 2007) fitted our kitchen last year and did a fantastic job (Sean Hamilton, Dec 2010)

 I would be happy to recommend Ian Thackaray who does excellent kitchen design and supply, and also refurbishes existing kitchens http://www.refurbyourkitchen.com/tel 07988 009038 . – (Joanna Marshall-Casson, Mar 2011)


Painters/Decorators

I would like to recommend a local decorator, Geoff Mowlam. He’s been working in the area for years. Geoff did a top quality job on the outside of my house in Alconbury rd last Autumn. He also does interior jobs of any size as well as garden maintenance and clearing. He’s reasonably priced as well as being personable and easy to get on with. Contact Geoff Mowlam   07930 169745 (Vicky Davies, June 2017)

 

Apart from doing a good job, Rosie and her team are reliable, hardworking, trustworthy, cheerful, considerate and they tidy up after themselves! We’ve already booked them to come and do some more decorating in a few weeks. ” (Heather, Benthal Road, 2013)
Even though we had only asked for a quick splash of paint on the walls to freshen up the place, they were so thorough and careful in everything. They did way beyond what I expected – cleaning the woodwork, filling in cracks, really caring about doing the job well. They left the place clean and tidy and even brought their own tea and biscuits! (Foina Fouhy, Albion Drive, June 2012)
Rosie and Anna did a brilliant job decorating my 6 metre high hallway and staircase. They also gave me some good ideas about how to introduce more light into my dark hallway. They gave a really good all-round service, and at a very reasonable price! It was a pleasure to have them around because they are considerate and friendly, and I’m thrilled with the result. (Candy B, Middleton Rd, Dec 2012)
If you need decorating done I would like to highly recommend The Practical Decorators. They decorated our ground floor hallway and up to the first floor and did a beautiful job. They have also decorated our son’s bedroom including painting the floorboards white. They did a fantastic job and left the house clean, tidy and very welcoming after.(Sarah Kane, Jan-14)
Recommended (Bernie Graham, Oct 2016)

 

Dale Sawyer and his team made an impressive job of papering our very large hall – including a five metre drop. He assessed the job with a professional eye and gave a competitive quote. 020 8559 1778; 07956 924126; dalesawyer@live.co.uk (Iain Bruce, Sept-2014)

 

Painter and decorator – exterior and interior.  Local, reliable and reasonable: Rafal Sujkowski on 07766 810888 or email: sujkowski@london . com. (Pip Kemsley – Sep 2011)

Try Alan Limbrick 8986 4709 (Mischa Borris)
The guy I used was Ray Bushell. He was very good – prepared all the surfaces properly, did a good job painting, was tidy, reliable and friendly. His telephone numbers are 020 8802 9648/ 07949 265324 (Andrea Parry)

Allen Swain is a brilliant painter (although often very busy). Give him a try. 020 8533 0735 (John Lane, Nov 2009)

I just had a couple of rooms in my flat done by a guy called Richard McCall.  Thought he was really good. His no is 07540806101. He does all sorts: painting, plumbing, tiling, kitchen and bathroom installations.  Fairly reasonable too. (Emma Keele, Jul 2010)

Thomas King ( Email: thomasking16@googlemail . com, tel: 07832  319 991) has just completed installing a new bathroom and painting in our home and we are all pleased and impressed with his work. He is a very considerate worker and took care to protect everything in the house. His workmanship is excellent and he cleans up before he leaves. He is prepared to work hours that suit you and provides a 24 call out service. (Mary Murphy, Feb 2011)

Alex Amery, painted the outside of our house last year. He did a good job that we were very pleased with. If anyone is looking for a decorator, he has years of experience and I would recommend him. He is on 0777 932 5974. (Elizabeth F, Apr 2011)

Louis (L.C.T contractors) Tel 07818617373 Nice guy, went out of his way to get the job finished on time (including coming on a Sunday morning to give one last coat of paint) (Gabriella Polletta, Feb 2014)

I have used Kyle Glazebrook a few times.  Careful and considerate.  07971 795 178 (Caroline Penn Nov-13)

Steve Crymble on 07538 646701. The outside front of my house was in a poor state. Earlier this year, he rebuilt the crumbling decorative plaster bits and completely painted the outside. He has also done two rooms inside. He is very reliable. (Helen Bishop, Jun 2016)  Steve Crymble and his colleague Richard did a great job on the exterior paintwork of my house. It was really shabby and needed repairs to windows and door, as well as plasterwork, and I’m very happy with the end result. They did a really thorough job and kept everything neat and tidy. Steve is highly organised and efficient, helpful and pleasant to deal with, and the cost was very reasonable. Very happy to recommend. (Anne Williams, July 2017)

Plumbing, Drainage, Central Heating, Gas

I would like to recommend an amazing plumber we have been using for the last 4 years who has done great jobs for us including fully refitting our downstairs toilet, both bathrooms, including the tiling and also installing new radiators throughout our house. James (james@jb-plumbing.com, 07951 698 039 or 0208 880 0885) is focusing on boiler installation, heating and plumbing. We have found James to be very reliable, efficient and friendly plus he quotes at a great price. He also lives in Stoke Newington, which is a massive bonus! We couldn’t recommend him enough. (Mark Brotherton, Oct-14)

Nigel Londt, NPJ plumbing – 0208 806 9483 / 0771 0912119. He has done various plumbing and heating jobs for us over a number of years and his work is always to a really high standard.   Last week he managed to do a very tricky repair to our boiler which the manufacturer in effect said couldn’t be done.  He lives very locally, is very friendly and his rates are very reasonable.  (Julie Farley, Nov-17) He’s Corgi registered and Institute of Plumbing accredited. Lives in Geldeston Road – (Dave Donert, Dec-13) Nigel has just replaced our boiler and other bits. We have been delighted with what he has done and would recommend him wholeheartedly – also local and puts himself out to help his neighbours! – (David Blundell, Feb-12) Nigel has just replaced our boiler and done a great job. – (Mandy Maidment, Feb-12) 

Try Naseer Mapara 07973420753 lives on Kyverdale Road, quick and efficient. – (Raheel Solkar , Feb-12)

 John Sleeman 07946161737 who fitted our new boiler and removed our old one. – (Kirsten Foster, Feb-12)

Yusef 07973639240 is great – very reasonable, based in E8. He installed a new boiler and several radiators for us, and has done all sorts of other plumbing jobs for us over the past few years. (Lorna Fray, Mar 2006), He came and serviced my old, trusty but obsolete Worcester boiler (which Worcester will no longer do) for £65 (cheaper than Worcester), and was honest enough to tell me that it wouldn’t lengthen its life, which was fine as I just wanted to make sure it was safe. He is funny and nice as well. (Anne Synthieme, Jan 2008). I can’t recommend highly enough.  Nice, reasonable rates, very good job done. 07976 275239 – (Alison Whyte, Feb-12) We contacted Yusuf (07973 639240), who was highly recommended on the invaluable Casenove list. And rightly so. He came on Boxing Day within two hours of my call, and did the most thorough check for carbon monoxide throughout our flat and on the gas cooker and boiler, which took him and his assistant more than two hours and for which he charged an incredibly reasonable sum. (Malcolm Imrie, Dec-13)

Krystal May from Amphibious Plumbing & Electrics 07984 745645 (Robyn Pierce, Dec-11)

Mark, Advance Heating and Plumbing 07976278454. He is very good and reasonable – (María, Feb-12)

We can highly recommend Richard Metcalfe – he lives locally and is very reliable – he did ours last Oct and did a great job. 07956290586 (Frauke Franz, Mar-08)

I would recommend Steve on 07973 703795 (David Vail, Mar-08)

Phil on 078858 20896 / best to contact him on email – thegidfather@yhoo.co.uk – always found him reliable and good and have recommended him to a few friends who found him fine – (Berni G, Apr-06)

Lyndon Duffey, lives locally, 07970 695559. Used, and recommended widely, a local plumber (young guy, not yet Corgi registered) who is excellent for anything to do with water supply, taps, bathroom plumbing etc. (Penny Taylor, Aug-08) Lyndon has replaced and moved several radiators for me and last year replaced and relocated my boiler, converted my central heating system to closed system and moved the hot water tank into the basement. I have had no issues and happy with the price, I would recommend Lyndon’s clever, thoughtful and professional approach to his work. (Tony Mulchrone, Apr-10) I used Lyndon Duffey to sort my leaking cistern etc. out earlier in the year; he was efficient, reliable and conscientious. He lives on Evering Road (Ezra Kirby, Oct-10), he has been great (Belle Benson, Oct-10) I have always found Lyndon Duffey to be superb and understanding.(Charles Hebbert, Nov-13)

I have used M&M Plumbing and Heating (020 7249 8228) in the past, they are based on Stoke Newington High Street. They repaired my gas boiler when it needed a major part replacing. They are friendly and helpful, though perhaps not the cheapest (Emma Robinson, Aug-10) I’ve also found M & M very good and also quite cheap (Alison Whyte, Aug-10)

I can recommend Elite Plumbing, as I have been using them for several years now. Ring Joseph on 07956 309910, he’s independent, a local and really decent guy who does good work for a really fair price. If you call, tell him it’s a referral. (Tom Kelly, Feb 2014 and Nov 2016)

David Collie of Smart Heating on 07976 835714. He’s on the Gas Safe Register and lives on Belfast Road. (Mischa Borris, Dec 2015)

Dennis Bridges (‘Gas Man Den’) on 07866 558356. Very experienced and competent. (Joyce Huggins, Dec 2015)

Roofers

Alan Godfrey – 07960 186 394 / agodroofing@btinternet.com (Amy Erickson, Dec 2009)

We recently used a local company called Horncastle and Son. They are reliable but bit expensive. Email is horncastles@aol.com. Tel: 020 8809 3029 – (Ahmet Bulutoglu, Feb-06)

I would like to recommend Lee Jeffery 07981 403026 / 07930 692 845 / ljefferyroofing.com  He was friendly, competent and reliable and did the re- felting job on my flat roof very well. (Caroline Halcrow, May-08)

Andy retiled our entire roof last year. Tel. 07904 384 188 or 01707 661225.  He takes satisfaction in doing a good job and sometimes works with a loft conversions company. (Elizabeth F, Feb-09) Andy is excellent (Sara Cottingham, Jun-10). I can highly recommend Andy.   He was reliable and charged a reasonable price (£70) to fix a broken gutter. (Caroline Penn, Oct 2010 and Sep 2016) I would like to recommend Andy as a roofer and loft window installer. He is very good and has done a lot of work around here. (Iain Bruce, Nov 2016)

We are currently having some work done by Mick Phillips (Phillips Roofing) – repairs to cracked tiles, replacement of concrete fillets with proper flashing, replacement of guttering and comprehensive repairs to chimneystacks. It’s a 3-storey house, so the work of course involves scaffolding.  All very smooth so far, and we also know his work over a long period, having had him completely replace our back addition roof 10 years ago.  He is warmly recommended as a good and competent roofer, and very dependable guy. His contact number is 07973 608888. He’s also very busy, but it could be worth trying him. (Penny Taylor, Apr-09) I can recommend Mick Phillips who installed a roof velux and diagnosed and fixed a damp problem in the roof. He assessed the job and completed it skilfully. 07973 608888 (Iain Bruce, Sept-2014)

Paul on 07583 479756. He replaced our roof recently as part of a loft conversion – so far so good. (Nicola Hill, Sept 2016)

Sky Roofing on 01992 300997. I’ve used Sky Roofing based in Hertford twice, once for a patch up and once for a complete new roof (in two different properties). They are brilliant. Completely reliable and professional. (Melanie McGrath, Sep 2016)