What Counts as Essential DIY?

With major retailers such as B&Q and Homebase reopening some stores, homeowners now have greater access to DIY materials than they have had since lockdown began. But Government restrictions limit purchases from these stores to those needed for essential DIY, it can be a little unclear as to what constitutes an ‘essential’ DIY task. 

The government announced in March that DIY and hardware stores were classed as “essential retailers” during lockdown, yet some retailers including Selco and Huws Gray suspended trading with immediate effect. Meanwhile, Jewson and Travis Perkins were among the builders’ merchants that began offering only essential services (defined as infrastructure and services helping to combat the Covid-19 pandemic).

Now that B&Q, Wickes, Homebase and Selco have reopened their stores in some capacity, consumers can, in certain instances, enter stores again  – here’s the important caveat, however – providing it is for essential materials.

(MORE: The Most Cost-Effective Home Improvements to Plan While on Lockdown)

What the Guidelines Say

The Government subsequently sought to clarify that the essential designation relates to the type of retailer that can be open and does not specify what products can and can’t be sold. 

On 16 April, the National

Pellet Stoves: A Buyer’s Guide to Finding the Best Kind For Your Home

In colder climates, heating accounts for about one-third of a homeowner’s annual utility bill, which is why many are seeking thriftier ways to stay toasty. Freestanding pellet stoves and inserts that fit inside an existing fireplace are an increasingly popular solution. They look like traditional wood stoves but operate more like a modern furnace.

Pellet Stoves: Are They Worth It?

You need only fill the stove’s hopper with pellets made from compacted sawdust, set its thermostat, sit back, and get cozy. A mechanical auger deposits the pellets into a burn pot, where they are incinerated at such a high temperature that they create no vent-clogging creosote and very little ash or emissions, which keeps both indoor and outdoor air cleaner. The best part is that they are about twice as efficient at warming your home as older wood stoves that have not been certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are vastly more efficient than fireplaces.

Depending on your home’s size and layout, a pellet stove could supplement the current heating system or be used as the sole source. And, despite its workhorse reputation, pellet stoves come in a variety of designs to complement any interior style. Read on