Sound Insulation Testing

Sound Insulation Testing
What can APT Sound Testing do for you? At APT Sound Testing, we offer Airborne and Impact Sound Insulation Testing in accordance with Part E of the Building Regulations and, where required sound testing on Schools BB93 & BREEAM. Under Part E of Building Regulations, this is a requirement for new and converted dwellings where there is a separating partition wall or floor. The sound insulation testing of existing buildings is carried out to assess current levels of sound insulation and to allow for the design of remedial measures, where the performance needs to be increased.

The buildings that currently require sound testing are:

1. Dwelling-houses, flats or rooms for residential purposes created by conversion of existing buildings or new build rooms for residential purposes will need to be tested if work starts after 1 July 2004.
2. New build dwelling-houses and flats will need to be tested if work starts after 1 July 2004.
Sound insulation testing is carried out to ensure that minimum standards of sound resistance have been met to ensure the well-being of new tenants is not compromised by adverse sound transmission.

The testing checks that the dividing partitions have not been compromised by poor workmanship and poor design. We use the latest sound testing equipment as shown below:

You are normally required to undertake sound testing to each type of construction, i.e. if you have a mixture of brick, blockwork, timber and metal studwork walls all four types would need to be tested, followed by a 10% sample of that type. For instance, if you have a project with 25 flats you would be required to do 3 x 6 pack of tests – 18 tests in total. Each 6 pack contains 2 airborne wall, 2 airborne floor and 2 impact sound tests; however if any test failures occur, then the number of sound tests may need to increase on the development.

We are also able to provide an acoustic design service, consisting of consisting of a new-build or conversion design reviews and site inspections, to ensure that proposed acoustic constructions and detailing of a new building will comply with the acoustic targets of the development.

In our experience the usual areas of concern are:

a. Dividing Wall Partitions – Through the wall partition if the insulation has not been installed correctly or isolation strips have not been used within the wall construction.
b. Dividing Ceiling Partitions – Above and Through the Ceiling Space (where an adequate acoustic break has not been carried on through the ceiling void)
c. Dividing Floor Partitions – Through Floor and Floor Joist Space (if insulation has not been installed or direct fixing to joists without a drop ceiling below the partition under test)
d. Shared Structural Building Components – Floor Boards, Floor Joists, Continuous Drywall Partitions, Continuous Concrete Floors, and Cement Block Walls.
e. Through Structural Steel (structural steel beams are often a major cause of noise transmission as plasterboard is often fixed directly to the steel without sound breaks)
f. Plumbing Chases – Junctures Between the Walls & Floor Slab Above or at the Exterior Wall Juncture (this should be filed with mortar etc. to add mass to this weakened area)
g. Through Windows (if they are not double glazed or have secondary glazing as a minimum)
h. Minimal dimensions between windows – if windows are built very tight to the dividing wall/floor partition this can be a weak point.
i. Fixtures & Outlets – Light Switches, Telephone Outlets, and Recessed Lighting Fixtures (if penetrations have been cut back to back with the opposite dwelling under test)
j. Structural Joints – Perimeter Joints at Wall & Floor, Through Wall & Ceiling Junctures (these should be filled with acoustic mastic)
k. Around the End of the Partition Through the Adjacent Wall (acoustic mastic should be used to seal this junction)

We can also undertake reverberation time assessments – and testing where required) for communal areas, as required by Document E of the Building Regulations. Excessive reverberance is a common problem in large spaces such as community halls etc. leading to poor audibility or speech intelligibility negating the room’s effectiveness for meetings etc.

If you are unsure whether the Regulations apply to your development or if your site needs sound insulation testing, please call your local office on 01525 303905 or visit the APT Sound Testing website where our team will be happy to discuss all aspects of acoustics or sound insulation within buildings, and explain the testing procedure.

Looking for Quality Conservatory Roof Blinds

Looking for Quality Conservatory Roof Blinds
Adding conservatory roof blinds is an excellent way to really make the most of any conservatory but finding good quality blinds for a reasonable price can be difficult, especially if your conservatory has an unusual design.  If you have been considering adding blinds to your conservatory but haven’t found anything suitable taking a look at the excellent range of conservatory roof blinds available at Instyle Blinds could help you find exactly what you are looking for.

With many styles and designs of conservatory roof blinds available no matter what you may have in mind for your conservatory at Instyle Blinds you will find plenty of inspiration, with choices of style including venetian blinds, vertical blinds and woodweave blinds and with a wide range of colours and patterns on offer as well you will be certain to find the perfect roof blinds to help you create a conservatory that you really love.

With a made to measure and professional fitting service available getting beautiful blinds for your conservatory is made really easy with Instyle Blinds, all you need to do is give them a call to let them know what type of blinds you are interested in and they will be able to give you all the help and advice that you need. With a friendly and knowledgeable sales team available to answer any questions or queries you may have they will be able to help you select the conservatory roof blinds that are most suited to your needs and help you make sure that you are completely happy with any order that you make.

So if you want to transform your conservatory into an attractive and comfortable living space that you can enjoy all year round get in touch with Instyle Blinds to see what they can do to help, you may be surprised how easy it can be to create the conservatory you want, with the expert service, competitive rates and high quality blinds they have on offer at Instyle BlindsThe inStyle Blinds and Shutters Company has been manufacturing bespoke blinds for homes across the UK for over 30 years.

Our price match offer, lifetime guarantee, local production, green manufacturing practices, price match offer and lifetime guarantee ensure that you will have the best possible customer experience and, once the installation is complete, you will fall in love with your conservatory all over again. For more information or to book your free appointment, call us today on 01642 762497 or visit

Tree Surgery Services for the North East

Tree Surgery Services for the North East
As the warmer weather begins to get closer many of us are starting to prepare for the summer to arrive by wiping away the cobwebs and having a really good spring clear out, but many of us overlook the garden until the hot weather really starts. If you would like to spend your summer enjoying your garden by having barbeques with your friends, tending your flowers or just simply relaxing while you sunbathe why not get your garden nice and tidy now before it has a chance to grow and get any more out of control?

If you have recently moved into a new property or have had a problem area within your garden for some time certain tasks can feel overwhelming or out of your control but don’t worry, with the right help and advice any garden issue can be solved with far less time and trouble than you might first think, leaving your outside space looking organised and far more spacious.

If you feel that there really is too much to do you may want to consider bringing in a professional tree surgery service such as Stan Timmins and Sons Ltd to help you get the job done. Problems such as ivy and other deep rooted weeds, diseased trees and massively overgrown areas within your garden can be difficult to solve if you don’t have the skills and equipment required to make sure the job is done safely and properly at Stan Timmins and Sons Ltd they cover a wide range of heavy garden tasks alongside an excellent range of tree surgery services so they will be able to help you solve any issues you may have within your garden or other outside space.

With a wide customer base across Newcastle and the North East you can take a look at some of the excellent reviews and testimonials that have been left as well as finding out more about the wide range of professional and fully insured services that they have on offer, so if you really want to make the most of your garden this summer why not get in touch with Stan Timmins and Sons to find out they can help you?

We believe at Stan Timmins Tree Surgeons that we can provide you with the quickest and most accurate tree surgery, to suit whatever work you need done. We offer the advantages listed above and we have had many customers who have praised us and thanked us for our work. You can see these customers at our Testimonials page.

For further information on the range of gardening and tress surgery services available please call 07966 207280 or visit the Stan Timmins Tress Surgery website today.

Conservatories Blinds Direct. Making More of your Conservatory

Conservatories Blinds Direct
If you want to give your conservatory a lift and make it into a room that you can really enjoy spending time in getting some new conservatory roof blinds could be a really good idea, at Conservatory Blinds Direct they offer an excellent range of high quality made to measure blinds that you can have delivered directly to your home.

No matter what type of conservatory you may have you will have no problem finding the type of conservatory roof binds that you may require, and with fittings designed for many types of conservatory available at Conservatory Blinds Direct you can be sure to find everything that you need to make your conservatory look absolutely fantastic.  With an excellent measuring guide available giving you all the information you need to be absolutely certain your measurements are correct and you have all the materials your require regardless of whether you have a P-Shaped conservatory, an Georgian conservatory or a Lean Too Design creating the design you want couldn’t be easier.

With an impressive selections of designs on offer if you are looking for inspiration or are looking for something really unique at Conservatory Blinds Direct you are certain to find something that will complement the rest of your conservatory perfectly.   Whether you are looking for a design that is patterned or completely plain with so many choices and colours available you are sure to find the perfect shade or pattern to match the rest of your decor, and with so many types of blind in stock including venetian blinds, roller blinds, pinoleum roof blinds, vertical blinds and pleated blinds you may find it hard to make a choice, you can also add extra items such as bi-fold door blinds to really complete the look.

Adding conservatory roof blinds to your conservatory will not only make it look more pleasant it will also enable you to control the temperature more effectively making it comfortable to use all year round, at Conservatory Blinds Direct they use Advanced Solar control technology in the fabrics that they use, this special coating reflects radiation from the sun helping to cut heat build-up by up to 66%, adding blinds can also help keep you conservatory warmer during the winter months by preventing cold air from entering and helping to keep the warmth in so you can enjoy your beautiful conservatory no matter what the weather may be like outside.

Ordering conservatory roof blinds direct to your door couldn’t be easier with Conservatory Blinds Direct, with a full fitting service available as well all you need to do is choose the blinds that are perfect for you, supply the measurements you require and they will do the rest of the hard work for you, and if you do find you need a bit of extra help or advise their friendly team of customer service staff are always available to answer any questions or queries that you may have.

So if you really want to make the most of your conservatory why take a look at some of the excellent blinds available at Conservatory Blinds Direct? With such a wide range of choice, easy ordering process and competitive pricing you definitely won’t be disappointed.

Conservatory Blinds Direct is part of the InStyle group, a well-established supplier of conservatory roof and window blinds throughout the UK. All of their Conservatory Blinds Direct products are made from the finest components and materials available, they are so confident in their products they are able to offer an industry unheard of 5 year Parts & Labour guarantee on all blinds made. As a leading UK manufacture to the window blind trade and now they are offering the chance for you to cut out that middle man and buy direct from the manufacture saving you hundreds and in some cases thousands of pounds over retail prices.

We are always happy to help and our friendly team will be happy to help you if you have any questions regarding an order, measuring, fitting or any of our products. Simply call on 01642 762497 or visit the Conservatory Blinds Direct website for more information.

Compliance for Server Room Integrity Testing

Ensuring Compliance for Server Room Integrity Testing
Air leakage and smoke ingress are detrimental to an installation’s firefighting capabilities and can result in massive failure of your critical asset. Ensuring compliance for server room integrity testing compliance should be at the top of the agenda for all facility management companies.

The effectiveness of a gaseous fire suppression system can only be guaranteed, if the enclosure surrounding it is air tight. Unfortunately if the system does not operate effectively, by maintaining the correct concentration for an effective time period,- usually 10 minutes) it may cause the whole system to fail resulting in critical system failure.

Previous studies have revealed that the predominant cause of failure of gaseous extinguishing systems is inadequate room sealing to the building envelope. It is also found that room integrity performance reduces with time, usually due to changes in construction, mechanical and electrical services as well as a natural breakdown of sealing materials such as mastic and/or sealing foam etc.

Ensuring good room integrity should be shown the highest priority. And once the room/enclosure has passed its annual server room integrity test, it should be carefully maintained throughout the year. Any extra works undertaken to the room envelope within the annual test period may result in the need to undertake another integrity test.

The room integrity door fan test is undertaken in accordance with the general requirements specified in BS:ISO 14520, NFPA 12A, NFPA 2001 and isroutine practice for most major companies. The insurers and regulatory authorities usually insist on annual room integrity testing. It is worth noting in the event of a critical failure of your protected enclosure, if you don’t have complaint certification you may void your buildings insurance.

If you require more information in regards to a server room integrity test, please do not hesitate to contact us on 07775623464 or email us at:

Finding the Perfect Prom Dress in Newcastle

Finding the Perfect Prom Dress in Newcastle
If your prom is coming up soon you will have probably already started to consider what to wear and if you will be able to find a prom dress that really reflects who you are, if you are based in or around Newcastle taking at look at the extensive range of prom gowns that they have available might just be the perfect answer.

Specialising in bridal wear and prom gowns, they know how important it is to find the right dress for any big occasion and have everything you may need to make sure that you look absolutely amazing when prom night arrives. No matter what look you want to achieve for the night of your prom with stock ranging from traditional evening gowns to sophisticated evening wear you can be certain that at Just The Way You Are they will be able to find the perfect prom dress for you from one of their carefully selected collections, and with some really unique prom gowns available you can be sure that you can find something that makes sure you stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.

Finding a dress that reflects your personality but also fits you well can be a nightmare as many high street stores only stock limited sizes at Just The Way You Are they have prom dresses available in a wide range of sizes so no matter what shape you may be you can be sure that they will be able to find you a prom gown that you really love and fits perfectly.  With the opportunity to book a personal appointment you will be able to get all the help and professional advice that you may need and the chance to try dresses until you find a prom dress that you are truly happy with.

At Just The Way You Are they understand that attending your prom is a really special time as it marks the transition into adulthood and that it is important to look and feel your best to really make the most of the night, so they aim to ensure that every customer leaves feeling completely happy with the prom dress they have chosen and that they have also enjoyed the experience of visiting them.

With friendly and helpful staff, refreshments provided during your visit and comfortable and private changing areas every effort is made to make sure that you feel relaxed and at ease while you are browsing the range of prom dresses they have on offer.

So if you are looking for the perfect prom dress why not pay a visit to Just The Way You Are at their Newcastle boutique?  With excellent customer testimonials, impressive range of prom gowns and dresses, excellent customer service and wide range of sizes available you can be certain that you won’t be disappointed, and with the option to take advantage of their instalment payment plan having the perfect prom dress can be affordable as well.  Simply give them a call to arrange your personal appointment or find out more and they will be happy to help.

For more information or to arrange a visit and consultation about finding the perfect prom dress or gown for you, visit the Just the Way You Are website today or call us on 0191 261 0778 to make an appointment. You won’t be disappointed.

Conservatory Roof Blinds: Just What Your Conservatory Needs in Summer

Conservatory Roof Blinds: Just What Your Conservatory Needs in Summer Summer is hopefully approaching soon, and across much of the UK we have enjoyed consistently warm, balmy weather that reminds us of our favourite holiday destinations. Indeed, if you live in a home with a conservatory, you may very well feel like you’re on holiday every time you step into your conservatory during late spring and summer. There truly is nothing like a well-appointed conservatory to provide the calming influence that comes with being able to view nature on all sides.

The fact remains, though, that with temperatures reaching above 25 degrees in the early to mid-afternoon in some areas, the conservatory can seem uncomfortably close to nature if steps have not already been taken to ensure that strong sunlight can be filtered or blocked out entirely as needed. With a high-quality set of conservatory roof blinds, you can make your conservatory more attractive, more comfortable, more private and more energy efficient.

If you have not already undertaken to have blinds added to your conservatory roof, it may seem difficult to know what to expect during the ordering and installation process. Three things you should ask any prospective vendor before entering into a contract are:

Does your company offer bespoke blinds for conservatory roofs?

Will the installation process take away from the attractiveness of the conservatory in any way or void the warranty for any reason?

Does your company guarantee both the product and service?

When you find a company that can answer all three questions to your satisfaction, you will know that your conservatory is in good hands and that you will be able to rest easy knowing that you have indeed invested in a valuable improvement to your home.

The inStyle Blinds and Shutters Company has been manufacturing bespoke blinds for homes across the UK for over 30 years. Our price match offer, lifetime guarantee, local production, green manufacturing practices, price match offer and lifetime guarantee ensure that you will have the best possible customer experience and, once the installation is complete, you will fall in love with your conservatory all over again.

For more information or to book your free appointment, call us today on 01642 762497 or visit

Room Integrity Testing in London

Room Integrity Testing in London
There are literally tens of thousands of protected enclosures throughout London and the South East. With many of the banking and commercial institutions based in the capital the requirement to provide a safe environment of for critical equipment is greater than ever.

It is now a requirement of the BFPSA that all protected enclosures such as server rooms and/or data centres have valid enclosure certification – it is also a requirement of all major commercial institutions. The benefits of ensuring room integrity are widely recognised by insurers and regulatory authorities, who frequently require room integrity testing in London to prevent critical system failure on valuable assets such as server rooms and data centres.  It is also worth noting that you may negate your buildings insurance if you don’t have the valid certification.

Enclosures protected by gaseous fire suppression system -such as server rooms should be tested for air-tightness upon commissioning of the system and annually thereafter. This is critical to ensure that the system will work effectively when activated; too much air-leakage will result in the concentration of the fire suppressant agent falling too quickly resulting in rapid fire spread as shown in the image below.

For most extinguishing system types, a retention time of ten minutes is the minimum period the suppressant agents is required to be retained for within the enclosure. NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, requires that a minimum concentration of 85% of the adjusted minimum design concentration be held at the highest level of combustibles for a minimum period of 10 minutes. This is usually long enough to prevent re-ignition for most deep-seated fires and should provide adequate time for the emergency services to attend and prevent the fire taking hold.

Unfortunately, in the relevant ISO standard BS EN15004if you don’t have valid room integrity certification you may negate your buildings insurance in the event of a fire. In all instances the integrity certification should always be attached to the front of the protected enclosure/s to show it has valid certification and to clearly show the dates of the next test. The certification also has other useful information that should be adhered to at all times. If you don’t have integrity test certification fixed to the front of the enclosure, then the chances are that your enclosure may not have valid certification.

Within the In many cases the stakeholder may not be aware that any modifications have been undertaken to the room’s envelope as this may further reduce the integrity of the enclosure envelope.  That is why it’s always best to plan any works within protected enclosures so that everyone’s aware of the importance of maintaining the integrity of the enclosure envelope and the requirement for a fresh integrity test after any modifications have taken place.

Smoke Testing to Find Air Leakage Paths
APT’s highly trained and experienced Enclosure Testing Engineers will be able to locate the problem areas and identify where air is leaking out of the building by walking around the test enclosure with a localised smoke puffer – as shown in the image below)  checking the most common problem areas first.

By combining our door fan blower equipment and a small smoke puffer we can quickly locate any penetrations in in the enclosure envelope as the smoke is more visible. Smoke leaking from the enclosure can be easily seen and photographed to provide a record of any external leakage paths.


Pressurised smoke tests are ideal for identifying both generic and torturous areas of air leakage. Crucial remedial sealing work should then be undertaken to reduce the leakage from the enclosure. The sealing works may include:

  • Sealing all holes, cracks or penetrations leading into or out of the protected space
  • Pipe chases and cable trays to be sealed around the outside and inside where they penetrate the perimeter boundaries of the enclosure
  • Walls to be caulked around the inside perimeter at both high and low level
  • Sealing of porous block walls
  • Addition of door sweeps or drop seals, weather stripping around jambs
  • Sealing of windows/glazed sections to the area

One of the advantages of the sealing works being conducted whilst a test fan kit is in place, is that it can be seen if the works being conducted are effective via on-going smoke testing and sealing works. Once the appropriate remedial work has been undertaken the enclosure should be retested to confirm the acceptable retention time as been achieved – usually 10 minutes.

Air Pressure Testing provides the necessary Room Integrity Testing in London to the required NFPA 2001 or ISO 14520 methodologies. We have undertaken hundreds of enclosure integrity tests around the UK and Europe.

As part of our service, we can also arrange an annual test plan and remind you when the enclosure test/s are required to make sure your buildings insurance is not at risk. If you require room integrity testing in London, please call: 07775 623464 or visit the APT Sound Testing website today.

Clothing Alteration Made Easy with Easy Stitch

Clothing Alteration Made Easy with Easy Stitch
If you like to keep your clothes looking great but don’t have the time and expertise to carry out all the sewing tasks required why not consider taking advantage of the excellent services offered by Easy Stitch?  With over forty years’ experience offering clothing alteration and clothing repair services to their customers in Newcastle and the North East they are able to carry out most sewing tasks to a really high professional standard.

At Easy Stitch offering first class customer service is their main priority so they offer everything that you may require, with a friendly team of qualified seamstresses available to offer any help and advice, fitting rooms and a private changing room they will do everything they can to make sure that your visit is comfortable and that any measurements are completely correct before any work is carried out.

With a range of services on offer including many types of clothing alteration no matter what item you may want to have altered you can be sure that Easy Stitch will be able to get the job done, whether you need items shortened, waistbands to be adjusted or want to have a dress or pair of trousers taken in so they appeared more fitted they have all the skills and expertise required to make sure that your clothes fit you perfectly.

If you have a favourite item that needs to be repaired, has missing buttons or ripped pocked before you throw it out why not find out if it can be repaired?  At Easy Stitch no matter how large or small the job may be they are happy to carry out most repairs and with other services on offer such as sewing on name tags and household linen alterations they can help you save not only time but money as well as you will be able to make sure your clothes stay in great condition for longer.

With many different services available including alterations to waistbands, trouser and skirt lengths, tapering and taking in of trousers and dresses, repairs to almost clothing, sewing on buttons badges and other emblems and adjustments to children’s clothes including school uniform and household items such as curtains you can be certain that no matter tailoring help you may require the team at Easy Stitch have all the skills and expertise required to carry out almost any sewing task.

If you require any additional help or advice or simply don’t know if a job is even going to be possible the friendly staff at Easy Stitch are always happy to let you make use of the private fitting room so they can help you to decide what work needs to be done and you can be sure that you clothes will fit you perfectly.

So if you regularly need to have your clothes altered or have some sewing tasks that really need to be done why not get in touch with Easy Stitch?  With reasonable rates, excellent customer services and all work carried out to the highest possible quality you can be certain that you won’t be disappointed. For more information call today on 01661 820 700 or visit the Easy Stitch website.

Upgrade Your Home with a Patterned Concrete Driveway

Upgrade Your Home with a Patterned Concrete Driveway
One thing that virtually all owners of family homes must consider at all times is what real estate professionals refer to as “curb appeal.”

In the short term, it’s a matter of showing courtesy to your neighbours by keeping your lawn and garden tidy and appealing to look upon. While cutting grass, pruning roses and raking autumn leaves are a given for anyone with a lawn, one area that homeowners frequently overlook, even to the point of neglect, is the driveway.

Since the drive is generally one of the most functional and least attractive parts of the view from the street, many homeowners simply do not consider the impact it may have on curb appeal and, in turn, the value of the home. Another disincentive for many homeowners is the cost of having the surface completely repaved. “Why pay so much,” goes the thinking, “when it really isn’t going to beautify the home?”

If this sounds like you, then you might consider looking into the option of a patterned concrete drive. A new drive made of patterned concrete solves both the problem of cost and attractiveness, making the return on investment much easier for both you and your neighbours to appreciate. Here are some other great reasons for choosing a patterned concrete drive over other available options:

Simpler installation
Whereas individual pavers are fairly labour intensive to place, installation of a patterned concrete drive involves little more work than pouring a plain concrete or asphalt drive. Including site preparation, the concrete pour, pattern application and drying time, you can reasonably expect your new drive to be ready for use within 10 days depending on weather conditions.

Lasts longer than other materials
Once your drive is completed and ready to use, it will require little more maintenance than cleaning at your discretion since it is all one uniform surface. Pavers, on the other hand, have a tendency to come out of place, particularly if tree roots beneath are a factor. With patterned concrete, there is a reduced likelihood that such damage will take place since it is all poured in one uniform layer. Over time, the superior structural integrity of the patterned concrete drive means a reduced risk of tripping and falling – an important consideration where young children or elderly persons reside.

Choice of patterns
Whereas a basic concrete or asphalt drive adds nothing from an aesthetic point of view, a patterned concrete drive with a well-chosen design will add to the beauty of your home. In addition to a variety of attractive patterns, many companies allow homeowners to choose a special eye-catching design feature or even a drainage feature to make your storm drain equally attractive and functional in addition to matching the new drive.

The Patterned Concrete Company has been the North of England’s leading installer of patterned concrete drives for over 15 years. Our skilled staff will guide you through the laying process and provide you with a beautiful new drive that you will adore and which will be the envy of all your neighbours.

For more information and to get a free quote, call us today on 0191 271 2164 or visit the Patterned Concrete website today and ask for you FREE no obligation quotation.