Ask the experts
PUBLISHED: 06:37 07 July 2014
Archant © 2011
I’d like a wooden worktop when I have my kitchen remodelled but I’m worried they take a lot of looking after? Is this true, and what would you suggest for the sink draining board area?
Wooden work tops give a really good feel of a natural surface and look fantastic. They come in different styles and colours from oak, walnut, beech, iroko and many more. They are durable and hard-wearing as long as you maintain them.
Wooden worktops need treating at least once a year, this would involve a very light sand back and a re-coat of the oil/lacquer that has been recommended to you. The drain grooves can be grooved into the actual surface with a router, which is what you would expect in any granite/quartz surface.
Neil Hyde, Hydes Furniture and Kitchens, Timber Hill, Norwich, NR1 3LA: 01603 305982; www.hydesfurniture.com
My electricity bill has soared over the past 18 months, so I’m wondering whether to go for a renewable energy source. How do I decide which one? I’ve room for solar panels, a heat pump and a turbine. Which would work out most economical? I’m not on mains gas.
Deciding which renewable technology is most suitable for your home can be daunting due to the many options out there. By installing a solar PV system you are instantly reducing your electricity bill by simply having to buy less electricity. A typical PV system produces around 50pc of the yearly electricity a household uses. Thanks to the government feed-in-tariff you will also receive a guaranteed tax free income for the next 20 years.
This incentive pays you a set amount for every kilowatt-hour of electricity the system produces regardless of whether you use the electricity yourself or not. The average cost of a 4kW system is around £6,000, producing a return over 20 years of around 15pc.
Oliver Tappin, Cookes Renewables, Heating and Electrical, Barrow Close, Norwich, NR3 2AT; 01603 406052; www.coookesrenewables.co.uk
I want to frame some childhood memorabilia – first shoes, a handprint, photo and the first curl – what’s the best way of doing this?
A collection of associated memorabilia looks effective framed together in the same frame. Three-dimensional objects like shoes and a curl of hair can be recessed within a window mount to create space to accommodate them, while prints and photographs are placed directly beneath the mount cut-out. This collection is housed in a box frame of appropriate depth and glazed to protect the framed objects. The mount board should be acid free to prevent contamination and you may consider using specialist glass which filters out much of the harmful ultra violet light, thereby offering your precious objects increased protection against light fade.
Mark Whatling, Orchard Frames, Wills Yard, Chapel Street, Diss; 01379 644968; www.orchardframes.com