Cloudy 2 Clear

Cloudy 2 Clear are a Which? Trusted Trader

Which Trusted Trader of the Month, January 2017

0800 61 21 119

Spring Statement 2018: What you need to know

Recently, we’ve seen big changes with 11 budgets happening in only eight years. However, unlike the last few statements, there was no ‘big’ announcements, upsets or cheers this time round.


spring statement 2018


The usual buzzwords such as fuel duty, alcohol and tobacco tax, stamp duty and energy prices weren’t mentioned. Instead, we had updates on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), spending, growth forecasts, and a little insight at the mechanics of VAT and possible changes. Even though from a viewer’s perspective, Brexit lingered in the corner, it was practically ignored during Mr Hammond’s 26-minute speech to the Commons.


spring statement 2018

Image source: Commons Wikimedia


One point that was discussed during Mr Hammond’s speech was the growing trend with digital and contactless payment, edging us closer a cash-less society. Expect the next few months to be full of talk surrounding the validity of one and two pence coins. This focuses on the cost of production and distribution compared to their economic worth. Figures released this week show that on average 60% of one and two pence coins are used only once for a transaction. The other 40% are used for transactions, put into saving jars, or even thrown away by some members of the public. Homeowners and residents will rejoice that the digital revolution is to continue with the announcement that the high-speed broadband coverage will be extended to 13 areas across the UK, receiving funding of £90m.

A more pressing concern for some homeowners will be the talk of short term lets and a new tax, this would particularly effect Airbnb users. Throughout Britain there is roughly 52,000 Airbnb providers and currently short-term lettings are tax-free and when you see the figures, offer a very good carrot to homeowners. In London alone, its reported that an Airbnb can earn its owner anywhere between £400.00 and £3,500 annually.

Philip Hammond spring statement 2018

Image source: Commons Wikimedia


Mr Hammond also announced that the government had reach a deal with the West Midlands to build 215,000 homes by 2030-31. This would be aided by the land remediation fund who are set to invest £100m into the project. The Housing Growth Partnership, who help small housebuilders with financial support, is to see an influx of £220m. This is more than double the previous allocation given to them.

The Spring Statement was quite a subdued affair in comparison to other statements and budgets, but this was to be expected. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell condemned Mr Hammond’s lack of reference to Brexit and the underfunding of the NHS, claiming that the conservatives were unnecessarily choosing austerity as a political choice. Mr Hammond counter-argued that he was by guiding Britain into the future and that ‘there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, we’re just not there yet’.

The UK’s big freeze: why ensuring repairs across your home are complete

It’s a well-known fact that us Brits love nothing more than discussing the weather. Recently, we’ve seen our fair share of adverse weather conditions disrupt our daily lives and routine.


Last week saw ‘Storm Emma’ and the ‘Beast from the East’ collide to create the worst snowfall that the UK has seen since 1991. In some South East areas, this was the worst snow fall since 1962. With this in mind, we take a look at the steps you can take to ensure that your house is in ship shape condition following such dire weather, for now and in the future.


1. Replacing windows

Whether old or broken, replacing windows with double glazing is one of the most effective ways to improve the comfort of your home and put your mind at ease. Double glazing doesn’t just make your home more weather proof, it also makes your home more energy efficient. This not only means that you don’t need to spend your hard-earned money on expensive energy bills, but you can also dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.

Pair that with brand new, pristine glass and your ready to watch the joys of spring sweep into view whilst also being prepared for sudden changes in weather.


2. Fixing doors, locks and hinges

The aftermath of bad weather gives a great opportunity to fix any potential problems with doors, locks and hinges. Maybe during the poor weather you felt a draught and made a makeshift draught excluder, or decided that your windows and doors weren’t secure enough.

Fixing hinges, replacing doors with PVC or upgrading locks is a great way of not only making your house weather tight, but also insulating your home and improving home security.



3. Roofing

Loose tiles and damage to chimney stacks after high winds are increasingly common. Although it might be easy to identify roof issues from ground level, or even from inside an attic or loft space, please make sure that you employ a professional roofer, or suitable builder, to carry out any repair work on your roof.

Fixing a roof issue is essential to maintaining the quality of your home and assuring that any weather stays on the outside of your home. You might also want to take the time to look at roof insulation options if you feel it necessary.


4. Pipes

During the colder months of the year maintaining pipes can be an irritation. The risk of water pipes in your home breaking increases significantly during, or just after a cold snap. This is because water in a pipe can freeze making it expand and cracking the pipe. Once the ice begins to thaw, the water can seep through any cracks in the burst pipe.

The best advice if your pipes burst is to turn off your water supply at your stopcock and contact a plumber. The best pre-emptive measure to avoid burst pipes is to keep your heating on a low constant temperature, which is also better for your carbon footprint. We know that it’s tempting to crank up the heating for a few hours at either end of the day, but this does increase the risk of heating and pipe issues.


5. Garden repairs

The garden is another obvious portion of your home that can be greatly impacted by stormy weather and freezing conditions. Greenhouses, sheds and fencing panels are often damaged by strong winds and should be repaired accordingly. Sadly, contrary to popular belief, there is no formal rule on a boundary or fence ownership, despite it often being stated that as you look at the front of the house, the fence to the left is that home’s responsibility. However, this varies from home to home depending on the deeds. In such circumstances we recommend discussing issues with your neighbour.

Trees are an obvious danger during bad weather and are particularly susceptible to high winds. Depending on how precarious a tree might be, you may need to do something about it. Obviously due to the risk of felling trees or removing branches, both physically and legally, we recommend using a qualified Tree Surgeon to advise and carry out such tasks.

With such horrendous weather over the last few days, leaving some UK residents in turmoil, with store shelves bare and damage to property, we hope this quick guide has helped you relax regarding any home repairs or improvements.

Cloudy2Clear UK Ltd
Unit 802 Merlin Park, Ringtail Road, Ormskirk, L40 8JY.
(Registered in England No. 06105864)
(VAT Reg - 934 9038 07)

Copyright © Cloudy 2 Clear Windows UK 2018. All Rights Reserved.