Monthly Archives: November 2016

The perfect sun rooms

Within certain parameters it is possible to spend almost as much or as little on your conservatory as you want. It entirely depends on your budget, the look and specifications you are going for and the size that you would like. The options are almost endless and the extras you can add can push up the price significantly – even after the initial build is done. So getting to the average conservatory price is tricky, but it is certainly possible to estimate based on your particular needs.

 

Low budget conservatory

If you don’t have much money to spend and are handy with a drill and spade you can buy an off the shelf conservatory for around £2,500 from any one of the larger High Street DIY stores. This does not include the ground works which will involve digging out foundations and preparing a concrete base. You should allow a few hundred more to do this. But to get you to a basic stage you could certainly have your conservatory in place for less than £4,000.

 

Standard conservatories

Most companies will quote around £6,000 to £10,000 for a standard conservatory that fits into their bulk window size ranges. If you can keep it under the right size to avoid planning permission these types of conservatories can go up quickly. If you choose to have a brick dwarf wall built, the price will be at the upper end of this range, while full glass will be cheaper.

 

High end conservatory

If price is no object, you can easily spend £20,000 + on a large and detailed conservatory for your home. You can opt for a full timber framed building with beams and wooden sash type windows or you might want one that is structured in such as way as it needs many different made to measure windows. These look amazing and it really is possible to see where the money has been spent. At this end of the market you are getting an additional room to your home, rather than an extension that may not be suitable for year round use.

 

The extras

While you may be able to afford the building and construction of your conservatory, it is worth noting that the costs don’t stop there. You are likely to need most if not all of the following additional extras:

  • Flooring – wood, tiles or even carpeting
  • Heating – radiators involving extra plumbing work or underfloor heating
  • Electrics – this needs to be done professionally
  • Furniture – a conservatory needs to be carefully furnished with items that do not mind the changes in temperature

Pretty house with double glazing

Double glazing has been a feature of our homes for more than 40 years now and it is pretty rare to see a home that doesn’t already have it. But there are some and they may have decided to keep their single glazing for very good reasons. Perhaps they:

  • Live in a conservation area and must have expensive double glazing units such as sashes that they can’t afford. Many homes in conservation areas are more than 100 years old and will have sash type windows. These would need to be replaced like for like and this can be more expensive.
  • Work hard to maintain the wood, paint it every year and regularly treat it so their windows are in good shape. Wooden windows need regular maintenance and should be filled, sanded and painted at least every few years. If the wood starts to rot, your window panes could simply fall out.
  • Live in a listed home and simply are not allowed to change the windows. Some properties are not allowed to have double glazing units, but could have replacement wooden units that would be better. You would need to check with your planning officer.
  • They cannot afford to spend money on new double glazing. Some councils will help with new windows and some manufacturers and installer offer payment schemes or special deals to make it easier.
  • They live in a flat and need to wait until the council or the leaseholders agree to getting new windows. This can be a long process but even the tallest buildings can have new windows installed.
  • They like the look of the single glazing. Some old style windows do look better especially if they have been painted more interesting colours. It is true that white can look boring – but there are many different UPVC window colours now available.
  • They just don’t like double glazing because they fear it might condensate or cause damp issues. These issues are almost always because the double glazing unit is poor quality. If you buy well it shouldn’t be a problem.

Are you looking for a new front door

Your front door is the first impression that you get to make when someone visits your home, which means that many of us want to choose the most attractive door possible, to cast your house in the best light. Should you however be basing your choice on how the door looks, rather than how it performs? The short answer is no, because choosing a front door purely on looks, might be something you regret in the long term when it fails to meet it’s functional requirements. We’ve put together some guidelines below on how to buy buy the best exterior doors for your home, to help you to choose a door that will meet your practical as well as aesthetic needs.

 

Material

This factor is probably the most important of all considerations when buying your new door. While a solid wood door may look lovely you should be aware that if it gets wet, it is at risk of swelling and then subsequently shrinking as it dries out. A well designed and professionally fitted door will need to be carefully installed to ensure that the gap between your door and it’s frame is a consistent size, ensuring a snug but not tight fit between the door and the door frame. The constant expansion and contraction of a wooden door, that can be caused by it getting wet, will mean that it the door is more likely to become stuck on the frame, or to develop gaps which will let in air.

With the above in mind, our advice would be to only install a solid wood door in areas that are very much under cover, so that they won’t get excessively wet, or cold. If your door isn’t covered, then an alternative to a real solid wooden door, would be to go for a composite door which will have fewer of the issues that can be caused by damp and cold. A composite door will still look great, however it will need very little maintenance, unlike wood. A UPVC door will suffer even less than a composite door from issues surrounding damp, however they can be unattractive, with none of the rustic appeal of a wooden door.

 

Glazing

Do you want your door to have any glass? This is the next consideration to bear in mind when selecting a new door. You should be aware that any glazing will inevitably mean that you more draughts around the door, however glazing can be very practical for seeing who is outside and importantly for letting in light. You may prefer to have double glazed windows to each side of the door and a peephole instead. This is certainly down to preference as the best doors are still very secure even with glazing. A good compromise between the translucent benefits of clear glass, and the privacy aspect of a non-glazed finish, can be to install frosted glass that will still let light in, but won’t allow anyone to see into your home.

 

Security

No matter what type of door you choose you need to ensure that it has excellent security features. That means installing a good lock (even a double lock if necessary) or choosing a door that comes with the best lock you can afford. Some of these will have bolts that are at the top and bottom and some will have self locking mechanisms. Be aware that some doors can be manipulated through the letterbox to be opened from the outside unless you double lock them. Not only will a high quality lock give you peace of mind that your home is secure – having locks that reach a high standard can even save you money on your home insurance premiums. Generally a five lever mortice deadlock conforming to BS 3621 will be the minimum standard required to get a discount on your home insurance premium.

 

Colour

The colour that you choose for your door is of course down to personal preference. You can choose almost any colour for your door regardless of the style or material you choose, however one advantage of going for a wooden door is the fact you can repaint it any time you like, without having to replace the door. Many of the plastic or composite doors are made in white which is a very safe option, but for an attractive look to the front of your home, try a colour such as green or red. Your front door is highly visible, and therefore an important centrepiece when it comes to defining the style of your home. In summary, don’t go for the best quality door possible that will suit your needs – choose well and it should last as long as your home does.

Combi boilers is need on you home

If your home doesn’t already have a combi boiler, you may have considered replacing your current boiler for one – especially if you have heard good things about them. But do you really understand the full benefits? Here is the definitive list of reasons to buy a combi-boiler.

 

No need to store hot water

A combi boiler eliminates the need to have any storage of hot water and so you can get rid of that hot water tank that is taking up space in your loft or hallway cupboard. This can free up the space for other things. Pipework and cold water storage is also minimised.

 

Small unit

A combi boiler is usually a smaller and more compact unit so it can easily fit inside your kitchen cupboards. This more streamlined look makes it a more attractive option for smaller kitchens.

 

Incredibly efficient

A combi boiler is highly efficient – you are only heating water as and when you need it, so this will save you money in the long run. Combi-boilers are usually A-rated and will therefore offer huge monetary savings compared to any boiler than is more than 10 years old. It is estimated you could save up to £300 per year by replacing your old boiler with a combi boiler.

 

No more cold showers

Because the water is heated as it is used, it isn’t affected by other factors such as the water being used up previously. Combi boilers will also often have thermostats included that will keep the water at the temperature you choose. The water pressure is usually very stable due to the water coming directly from the mains feed however if you have a number of bathrooms the pressure may drop if they are being used all at once.

 

Cheaper to install

Because of the simplicity of a combi boiler system, there is less work to do to install one. In particular the pipework and tank system is very simple. However you will need to remove or disable the old system and tanks. The ongoing costs are likely to be less too as there are fewer parts to keep an eye on or to go wrong.

Double glazing for your home is great ideas

There are so many reasons to get double glazing: the improvement in energy efficiency, the better looking home, the lowered maintenance and improved home value. But some homeowners are still a little reluctant to take the plunge and invest in double glazing perhaps because of the myths that they may have heard. If you have been put off buying double glazing, take a look at the following and see if we can put your mind at rest.

 

You need planning permission

The only time you will need to get planning permission for double glazing is if your home is listed or you live in a conservation area. In this case you should speak to planning officers, but an actual planning application may still not be necessary. You should also speak to the leaseholder if you live in a flat.

 

White UPVC windows go yellow eventually

The new style of UPVC windows use much better technology than the older ones and therefore are designed to retain their colour. This high quality material will stay white (as long as you keep them clean!)

 

Double glazed windows are more easily broken into

Some double glazed units are built with the beading on the outside allowing would-be burglars to pop out the window and enter your home. All you need to do to avoid this is to choose windows that have indoor beading. Most modern windows are built this way now.

 

Secondary glazing is just as good

Studies have shown that secondary glazing is not as efficient as double glazing. It will work to keep your home warmer but is prone to condensation and other issues.

 

It is impossible to find decent double glazed sash windows

These days there are specialist manufacturers who are making excellent double glazed sash window units. These look almost the same as the real thing and will allow you to keep your Victorian or Georgian home toasty warm. You may pay a little more, but they are worth it.

 

Double glazing windows will just condensate

You can expect to get condensation on most windows in the winter time but with double glazed units there is often a trickle vent included and this allows a small amount of air to enter reducing condensation to almost none. You may eventually find condensation inside the window between the panes. This is easily fixed by replacing the window pane. This only happens after many years.

As you can see there are a number of misconceptions going around when it comes to double glazing. But most of them really are nothing to worry about. If you have any further concerns just talk to a double glazing expert and they will be able to set you straight.