Thursday, 2 November 2017

Introducing Ram board - new in at Browns

The best tradesmen use it, why don't you?

This isn't run of the mill plastic sheeting. This isn't old dust sheets covered in paint. This isn't a standard floor protection. This is for the professionals.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

4 Reasons why the Makita SDS+ hammer drill is perfect for you

Why you should be choosing Makita for your next drill

There's a range of different names and brands out there when it comes to power tools, and everyone's got their favourite. But could you be missing out on the perfect drill for you because you've always used "so-and-so's" tools?

Lets take a look at the Makita HR2630X7 SDS+ Rotary Hammer Drill and see if your head could be turned.


At only 2.8kg this is one of the lightest drills in this category, meaning you can hold the drill above your head and drill with ease, perfect for vertical drilling or fixtures that need to go above shoulder height.

It's for Everyone

Whether you're a seasoned trade professional, or a keen DIY-er this drill will accommodate both. The solid build and robust design make it a strong machine for tradesmen, and it's much more user-friendly than some SDS Max ranges, which are strictly for professionals.

3 Modes for all occasions

Hammer : Perfect with chisel attachments for breaking up materials.
Drill: Great for brittle materials like wood to stop the hammer motion and just drill.
Hammer & Drill: The full shabang. This mode is used for drilling through really tough materials.

Fantastic Price

This great addition to your tool box is available for only £108 including VAT. With all the assurances that you bought it somewhere you can trust. That's not a bad deal is it?


Top tips : Always wear goggles

This piece of kit will dominate concrete. It creates a bit of mess when this happens and with the hammer motion it can throw dusts and debris back at you. Make sure you protect your eyes.

Top tips : Stop exploding mortar

When using any SDS hammer drill if you're drilling through an external wall, (to feed electric cables through for example) the mortar can shoot out at the other end and cause some damage to brick work. not to mention an unsightly large hole.

The best thing to do here is to drill through the wall using a very thin drill bit, then use this as a guide and drill about half way through from both sides with the proper drill bit. The small hole will make sure the hole is straight. And no more exploding mortar.

Written by Edward Parlato

If you have any questions about what you've read here feel free to leave a comment.

or you can Tweet us @brownsbm
or find us on facebook Browns Builders Merchant
01332 292911

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Why you should become a Nest Pro

Why should you become a Nest Pro?

Unless you’ve had your head under a rock you’ve probably heard of the Nest range of products. For those of you of you that don’t know - Nest is the leading name in “smart” thermostats, miles ahead of anything else in the market.

It learns your habits itself - that means no time wasted programming. It will “learn” when you come in and when you leave, the temperature you like the house and set the heating to come on and off accordingly. As an installer you can become a  “ Nest Pro”

Why should I bother doing this? Well I’m glad you asked.

Think about the up sell

When you are a Nest pro Installer you will appear on the Nest website so that people can find you, call you, and have you install a Nest thermostat in their house. Once you’re in someone’s house it’s a lot easier to pick up extra work. You can turn a small job into a really nice earner. Just think of all the recommendations that could go with it.

Another string to your bow

The way things are, these Nest appliances are only going to get more popular, so when you’re a Nest pro and you start offering it to all your clients, even the ones that don’t take it remember you being the one to suggest it.

Discounts on personal units

Imagine saving £70 on a thermostat, and you get to make more money yourself. Well that’s how it works. Once you’re a Nest pro, Personal use units are available at heavily discounted prices direct from Nest. This includes Nest Thermostat, Nest indoor camera, Nest outdoor camera and Nest Protect home camera. So you get to sleep a little easier and at a great discount.

It’s Cheap and easy

When you’re a plumber you pay for certification, tests and training that you need to pass before you’re qualified. On the other hand becoming a Nest Pro costs you nothing just a small amount of training and yo're ready to sell and fit.

It’s a no brainer really, becoming a Nest pro helps you stand out from the crowd and you can offer your services all year round. For more details and to sign up follow the link below.

Written by Edward Parlato

If you have any questions about what you've read here feel free to leave a comment.

or you can Tweet us @brownsbm
or find us on facebook Browns Builders Merchant
01332 292911

Thursday, 27 April 2017

FAQ's "How can I better insulate my house?"

How to get lower heating bills and a greener house

This is a question we get asked a lot here at Browns. Without knowing every detail about your house it's impossible to say what's best for you. So instead we've compacted it down to 4 common areas that most houses could improve on.


Before you start the house needs to be well kept. There's no point in injecting your cavity wall if there's holes in your roof. The same goes if your house has a damp problem, this needs to be fixed before you even think about insulation.

Make sure you consider the entire house when making improvements. Make sure there's sufficient ventilation throughout the house to stop the build up of damp.

1. Roof and loft

Lets start at the top. This is probably the most economical route of improving your insulation meaning it has the shortest pay off period. So much so that I've already written another article about this here, and highlighted some great products to consider.

New guidelines state that modern houses must have a minimum of 270mm of loft insulation between the rafters. This is the new standard and if you are building a house from scratch this is what they will ask for.

However if you've already got around 100-150mm of insulation then you probably don't need to worry about topping it up. Of course its always good to be meeting modern standards but the pay back time on something like this can be around 10 years.

Things to consider...

Don't forget to insulate the loft hatch, or the heat will still be escaping through this.

Don't block the eaves, these need to be left for ventilation to stop condensation. If you do block the eaves you'll go up to the loft and find it seems to be sweating.

If you've already converted the loft, any insulation will need to be added to the ceiling. If you don't want to lose any ceiling height a great alternative to PIR foam is Multifoil insulation. This also works as a vapour barrier.

2. Ground floor

If you've got a concrete floor, which a lot of houses do, this area is a no go. The best thing to do is get a good underlay to go underneath the carpet or wooden floor.

Even if you do have space underneath your floor boards like a suspended timber floor it is fraught with danger. DO NOT do what I saw on the news the other day and spray foam insulation in between the floor joists. Your house needs ventilation, Without it you get all sorts of problems like damp. You need to make sure your air bricks are left clear, if you don't then the joists can rot

3. Windows

Now if you've been in your home longer than 6 months and it's not a new build, you've definitely had someone try and sell you double glazing door to door. These PVC white windows are the standard these days and they have a great thermal efficiency as long as they are installed correctly.

If however you don't like the look of these white plastic boxes, there's still plenty of timber framed window options out there. You can even get a second pane of glass retrofitted. This means you get to keep the look of any character or traditional windows.

Be Warned

Don't get ripped off. If you already have double glazing fitted properly, you don't need new windows fitted. although current regulations will likely be a lot higher the cost of replacement more than outweighs this.


Depending on how old your house is, the external walls can be one of three ways. pre 1919 and the wall will likely be solid. pre 1975 and the external wall will have a cavity but won't be insulated. post 1975 and you'll have insulated cavity walls.

Solid walls can be insulated, but its tricky. Companies like Knauf do what they call a Thermoshell. This is an external insulation that covers the outside of the house. Perfect if you aren't concerned about the exterior look.

If you are you can insulate internally. The most common method I see is to use thermal plasterboards on the internal walls. There are other methods but these aren't as effective as it stops the wall itself storing heat like it should.

If you have an external cavity that's not insulated it's common these days to get it filled with a sprayed insulation. I've written an article just about this here.

However, you need to make sure you get a professional installer with this. In areas of high exposure this is unsuitable as the moisture from driven rain will use the insulation to travel into the actual masonry of the house, where it will rot joists and cause damp problems.

In summary

There are plenty of ways you can make your home more energy efficient with insulation, but these are not without risk. If you do decide you want to better insulate your home ALWAYS use a professional with a good reputation.

Written by Edward Parlato

If you have any questions about what you've read here feel free to leave a comment.

or you can Tweet us @brownsbm
or find us on facebook Browns Builders Merchant
01332 292911

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Thursday, 26 January 2017

5 things to keep your house a home

Products to save during building work in your house

You might already have seen our article on dealing with building mess. We are now going to  look at a few products that will save you a headache. (And a bad cough)

Whether you're painting or having a wall knocked down these could just be the answer.

Friday, 20 January 2017

A home improvement you never thought of

Give your home a bit of Personality

When you think of new things to improve your home, I doubt doors even get mentioned. Why not?

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

ONE Thing That Will Save Almost ALL Homeowners Money pt.2

Cavity Wall Insulation is saving home owners hundreds...

Welcome to Part 2 of the saving money in your home. If you haven't read Part One, take a look.