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Eco-Friendly Home Improvements

Based on ‘Earth Day’ research from The Telegraph, the United Kingdom now has an EPI rating of 87.38. An EPI rating, also known as the Environmental Performance Index, relates to the environmental performance of the countries policies; the higher the rating, the better. A score of 87.38 is an achievement that, as the British public, we should be proud of as it means that we are now within the top twenty most environmentally friendly countries across the globe.

We are continuously encouraged to make even the smallest of lifestyle changes to create a more ‘kind to nature’ nation that strives to prepare the world for the future generations to come. One of the most effective ways to contribute towards further improving the EPI rating of the UK is to spend time carrying out eco-friendly home improvements. This is perfect for keeping you occupied during the lockdown, giving you productive ways to pass the time while helping to build a greener household.

Our Top 10 Eco-Friendly Home Improvements

Building a sustainable home is easier than you would expect, even more so during the quarantine period while we are spending more time than ever looking for ways to make the most out of our time around the house. There are a number of small and more significant updates at both ends of the budget scale that can begin lowering your carbon footprint. While some may require enlisting the help of a professional to maximise results, therefore needs a little extra planning, others are equally as effective through using simple DIY methods. If you’re stuck for inspiration, then why not take a browse through our top ten eco-friendly home improvements, including the following:

Eco Friendly House Concept

1. Install Double Glazing

Installing double glazing is an effective way to maximise your property’s thermal insulation and ability to trap heat inside. The less heat that is lost through windows, the easier it will be to maintain a steady temperature in your home. You will no longer have to put your sole reliance on the power of your central heating system, resulting in a significant drop in your energy bills. For example, according to Home Logic, a standard detached house fitted with A-rated double glazing is thought to save an average of £175 per year on their electricity bills. If you wanted to save even more money, you could go one step further and opt for triple glazing. More information on the difference between double and triple glazing can be found in our previous article.

With over 15 years of experience providing clients with double glazing in Milton Keynes, we have noticed the exceptional reduction on energy bills thanks to the addition of new windows. We opt for specialising in a balance of cost-effective and high-end window double glazing options; all of which come alongside a FENSA certificate for your peace of mind.

Inside Double Glazing

2. Reduce Food Waste

Based on research carried out by the charity Wrap and updated in January 2020, the UK produces approximately 9.5 million tonnes of food waste a year; this figure alone totals to a value of a huge £19 billion. Although these statistics are shocking, it is the impact that our obsession with throwing away food is having on the environment is even more worrying. As food begins to rot, the degraded waste emits methane, an incredibly harmful gas, into the atmosphere. It is thought that methane is around 25 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide.

Luckily, there are now a plethora of different ways that you can begin working towards keeping your household food waste at a minimum. Firstly, it is vital to get yourself into the routine of shopping smart, which is even more important over the next few weeks while we remain in lockdown. Always spend time filtering through your fridge, cupboards and drawers prior to visiting the supermarket to build a shopping list of all essential items you need to pick up – this will help to avoid ‘impulse buys’. You should then plan your meals in order of expiry dates, using fresh items first before moving onto those with a longer shelf life such as freezer and cupboard foods.

Another excellent food waste reducing tip is to ensure that you store all items in their correct locations. Many homeowners are often surprised to find that they have been speeding up the rotting and decay of food simply due to their lack of organisation. Ethylene is a gas found in many different foods such as bananas, tomatoes, green onions and peaches that promotes the ripening of items. Aim to separate all ethylene foods from those that are particularly sensitive to the gas. For more information on the difference between ethylene producing and ethylene-sensitive foods, take a look at Nutrition You Can Trust.

Woman Looking In Fridge

3. Use Energy Efficient Bulbs

Opting to replace all traditional light bulbs with energy efficient, LED alternatives is a proven way to not only lower your carbon footprint but also reduce your electricity bills by up to 15%. While LED lightbulbs have been around for many years, only recently have suppliers broadened their range to cover an array of different colours and light levels, making them easier to incorporate into the home.

LED lightbulbs are both cheap to buy and cheap to run; on average, after just one month of using energy efficient bulbs, you would have paid back the initial investment cost. From then onwards, you will notice a reduction of around 80% when analysing lightbulb energy usage, ultimately, dramatically reducing energy bills. Fitting LED replacements to your property will also enable you to enjoy approximately 50,000 hours of lamp life before replacement is required, compared to the short 2,000 hours when using a traditional light bulb.

Ledbulbs.co.uk stock a wide range of shaped and coloured LED bulbs and lamps for a cost-effective price. They are still open as dispatching as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic, making switching your bulbs a super easy way to save energy while giving you a productive way to spend your afternoon.

Lightbulb On Grass

4. Install A Smart Meter

The central heating system is one of the key culprits for contributing to high energy bills meaning it is essential to ensure that you have full control over your gas and electricity usage. Installing a smart meter is a fantastic way to manage your central heating system. The system allows you to programme times of the day in which you would like the heating to turn on and off, minimising wasted energy.

Advanced technology included in smart meters now mean that you will also be provided with a digital display, enabling homeowners to gain a better understanding of their daily habits and lifestyle. Included in the digital display will be information on your gas and electricity usage so far for the day, along with the individual and total cost. Using these details, you will then be able to make a smarter decision on how you can begin saving energy. Money Saving Expert has tonnes of information on how to get the right smart meter for you.

If after installing your smart meter, you begin noticing your energy usage rising, then it may be time to consider switching providers to a company who will be able to provide you with a better deal. When shortlisting options, we suggest only opting for providers who use renewable energy such as Ampower, who is an electricity and gas supplier aiming to eventually only provide 100% green energy. This will help you to improve your efficiency further while lowering your carbon footprint.

Smart Meter In Home

Over time, homes become filled with unwanted clutter that is no longer being used; therefore, merely taking up valuable space that could be better used to your advantage. So, if you’re looking for something productive to do during the lockdown, why not spend the weekend doing a thorough clear out of your home? However, this time, instead of throwing away bin bags filled with goods, make a pile of all items in working condition and donate them to charity. Almost all household items from clothing and shoes to furniture, toys and electronics can now be donated to a number of worthy organisations. While charity shops are closed until further notice, you can begin to put together packages that you plan to drop off the moment that lockdown precautions are lifted, and organisations reopen.

In the meantime, if you are new to donating items to charity, it is vital to spend time researching into organisations that you feel eager to support. Charity Choice has a super handy resource that allows you to browse charities based on sector or region.

Clothes Donation Box

6. Use Low VOC Paint

Repainting walls, doors and window frames are one of the most popular home renovation tasks to complete during quarantine, so why not consider taking a more eco-friendly approach when carrying out painting projects?

Low VOC paints have continued to grow in popularity as not only are they non-toxic, but they are also made with entirely natural ingredients. VOC stands for “volatile organic compound” which in simple terms, is the ingredient that causes the recognisable ‘new paint smell’. While VOC is still widely used to standard paint, it is known for being incredibly harmful to both humans and the environment. If inhaled for an extended period of time, you will begin to experience adverse side effects such as nausea, airway irritation and damage to the central nervous system. Paints with a low VOC, on the other hand, contain no extra solvents or additives, which means that they are considerably kinder to nature than their alternatives. We suggest taking a look at Lakeland Paints for a wide range of different low VOC paint colours!

Girl Painting Walls

7. Create Natural Cleaning Products

Being cooped up at home gives you the perfect opportunity to experiment with trialling things that you probably didn’t have time for before the pandemic. A lifestyle change which is super easy to make and will help to make your home more eco-friendly is to switch to making your own natural cleaning products. While pre-made cleaning products are effective in shifting dust, dirt and grime, they most definitely are not good for the environment. Cleaning products get washed away into the local water supply and must undergo intense purification before the water is safe enough to be used again.

Swapping your pre-brought cleaning products for organic, DIY alternatives is easier than you may think and utilise only a number of basic household ingredients. All-purpose, glass, kitchen and heavy-duty cleaners can all be homemade and involve just a few key elements. Some of the essential items required to create homemade cleaners are more than likely to be hidden in the back of kitchen cupboards or inside your pantry. For example, white vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice are all staple ingredients to begin your journey to organic Spring cleaning. We love the eight easy-to-make homemade household cleaners featured in Good Housekeeping!

Woman Cleaning Shelf

8. Boost Your Insulation

One of the smartest, long-lasting ways to improve the sustainability of your home is to invest in high-quality insulation. Not only does insulation trap warm heat in your property during the winter, but it also keeps rooms cool during higher temperatures over the summer months. According to Energy Saving Trust, failing to insulate your home will lead to a quarter of your heat being lost. While this is a home upgrade that you will not be able to do for a fair few months, it is something that you can begin planning ready for when life returns to normal.

There are many different ways in which you can insulate your home. It is highly recommended if you are yet to insulate, to begin with your roof, loft and cavity wall. For further insulation in years to come, you could then opt for additional layers around tanks, pipes and inside the flooring. Don’t forget to consider whether your conservatory is well-insulated as this is a common room which experiences an unsteady temperature and lots of draughts. More tips on keeping your conservatory warm can be found in our previous article.

All insulation work must be completed by professionals which although may be a costly initial investment, will last you up to 40 years problem-free, repaying the cost in just a few years.

Fitting Wall Insulation

9. Invest In Energy Efficient Appliances

Electrical appliances are one of the most significant contributors to your energy bills. Appliances such as washing machines, ovens and fridges all require a considerable amount of electricity to fuel throughout the day. While we are not suggesting to replace every appliance in the home, always keep in mind, that when it comes to replacement, there are several energy efficient alternatives available.

All household items that qualify as an ‘energy efficient appliance’ are categorised based on their energy rating class; classes range from Grade A to Grade G. Those that fall into Grade A are classed as the most energy efficient and Grade G is the least efficient. All electrical appliances are labelled with their energy rating; the letter featured in the black arrow is the rating of the appliance in question. For more information on efficient home appliances, take a look at SSE.

Turning On Washing Machine

10. Use Solar Energy

Solar panels are an essential feature in any eco-friendly home. They allow you to stop all reliance on electricity or gas suppliers and instead, generate your own energy. In many cases, homeowners find that they make more solar energy than they need to power their home, which means that they can then invest in a solar power diverter. Solar power diverters such as the IMMERSUN allow you to store all of your surplus power, then divert it to a designated load which can be used, for example, to provide you with free hot water. This is another fantastic way to build a home that uses 100% green energy as opposed to relying on fossil fuels from the grid.

Opting to fit your home with solar panels isn’t a project that you can decide on overnight, making it ideal for finding more information about during the lockdown period. It will take a considerable amount of researching, planning and preparation to ensure that the transition is right for your home and your family. Solar panels usually take around two days to install and can begin to be used immediately. Which? has put together a handy guide on all information required when considering fitting solar panels.

Installing Solar Panels

One Step Closer To An Eco-Friendly Household!

Having specialised in the installation of windows in Milton Keynes for many years and becoming experts in double glazing, we have worked with hundreds of clients hoping to reduce their carbon footprint. We can most definitely say that opting to begin building an eco-friendly home doesn’t have to be a time-consuming, daunting task. Even the smallest of lifestyle changes are capable of making a noticeable difference to your energy usage – start small and build yourself up!

How To Burglar Proof Windows And Doors

In order to ensure the safety of yourself, family and home, it is essential that all windows and doors are equipped with the highest level of security. According to an article featured on Reader’s Digest, most of the time, there is no need for burglars to “break into” a property as they can let themselves in through weaknesses in the doors and windows. In fact, 34% use the front door, 22% use the back door, and 33% make their way through ground-floor windows. With these shocking statistics in mind, we have put together a host of tips on how to burglar proof windows and doors, protecting your home against criminals.

A Guide On How To Burglar Proof Windows And Doors

Everyone should always feel comfortable, safe and at ease in the comfort of their own home, which means that ensuring that entry points are secured is imperative. Luckily, there is an abundance of ways that you can deter intruders from entering through windows and doors. Here we have put together a number of techniques to add an extra layer of protection to your property.

Windows

According to Crime Prevention Security Systems, windows are one of the most common ways that burglars enter the home as they are seen as the weakest point of a property. While many assume that smashing the windows is the only way to break in, this catches the attention of those inside, neighbours and passersby. This means that most intruders target defects in windows, including the lack of security, to break in discretely. If your home is still fitted with old, wooden single-glazed windows, then it is most definitely time for a replacement. You can find more information on how to choose the perfect windows for your home in our previous article.

Alternatively, if you have modernised windows, yet feel as if you lack security, we have put together several ways that you can boost your protection. Here we will run through the following:

Woman Closing Window

Internally Beaded Windows

Glazing in windows is held into place with a small strip, made from either timber, aluminium or plastic, based on the frame material that you opt for. This small strip, also known as beading, runs along the edges of the window sash. While in the past, most homes were equipped with external beading, it has now thought that placing the bead on the inside boosts window security. As the beading will run alongside the interior of the frame, it becomes incredibly difficult for intruders to remove the beading. The only way that they would be able to remove the strip of material would be to smash the glass and reach into the home, which will inevitably wake up those inside or set off alarms. If the beading was to be fitted to the outside, on the other hand, all burglars would need to do is peel away the strip and then remove the glass, creating an easy way to enter your home without making a noise.

If you are considering replacing your windows, then we strongly recommend opting for a design featuring internal beading as opposed to external. Our team would be more than happy to schedule a consultation to discuss your requirements, including ways to enhance the safety of your property. With many years of experience installing windows in Milton Keynes, they can advise you on the best route to maximise results.

Fitting Inside Of Window

Key Locking Handles

While it may seem like a straightforward security measure, homeowners should never underestimate the effectiveness of key locking handles. Almost all modern windows should be designed equipped with locking handles as they make it incredibly difficult for potential burglars to wriggle open any windows. This feature is not only essential in terms of safety, but also for those with young children. Having the ability to lock windows, particularly those in two-storey properties or higher means that window-related safety risks can be minimised. You can find a full guide on how to baby proof your windows and doors by heading over to our previous article.

If you opt for locking windows to protect your children, then you must also ensure that the keys are tucked away out of reach and sight. However, if you do not have children, then it is recommended to leave the keys inside of the locks. This prevents intruders from being able to pick the locks, as well as eliminating the stress of trying to find the keys in the event of an emergency.

Locking Windows

Opening Restrictors

Similarly to key locking handles, opening restrictors are a simple yet highly effective way to burglar-proof windows. With an opening restrictor installed, you will still be able to open your windows, but the opening will be restricted when it reaches a fixed distance. While the fixed distance is most commonly 100mm, it can be altered if required.

In fitting a restrictor, even if an intruder was to manage to open the window from the outside, the gap will not be big enough for them to climb through. Restrictors are not only vital on the ground floor to deter burglars, but also on higher-level floors to minimise the risk of falling. Although windows restrictors are only a legal requirement in establishments such as hospitals, care homes and schools, they should most definitely be fitted in every property. Again, this is particularly important for those with small children, who are at the most risk of falling. For more information on where window restrictors are required, take a look at Jackloc.

Opening Restrictor

Toughened Glass

Having specialised in double glazing in Milton Keynes for many years, we cannot stress enough the importance of ditching single-glazed windows for modernised alternatives. Not only is double-glazing more thermally efficient, longer-lasting and easy to maintain, but they are also considerably stronger. They take immense pressure to break and are difficult to force open from the outside, meaning that by replacing your glazing, you can reap the benefits while adding an extra layer of security to your home. If you are hoping to increase protection even further, then you can opt for a laminated or tempered glazing option, which is made stronger by going through a repeated heating and cooling process.

Doors

Along with windows, it is also imperative to ensure that all doors are fully protected against intruders. The most common methods for breaking into properties through doors include kicking or cutting through the door slab, snapping off handles or levering the door open at the lock. Therefore, both front and back doors must be secured using one or all of the following methods:

Install Home Security

Thanks to the constant evolution of technology, there are now ways to digitalise almost every component of your home. The most effective way to have full control over the security of your property is to fit a home security system. Home security systems are powered by the internet and are equipped with a range of security features including wireless security cameras, motion detectors, door locks and much more. Functions are most commonly controlled via a smartphone app, meaning that you can log in and check your home from any location, at any time. Most homeowners opt for installing the system to their front and back door, allowing them to store footage of exactly who approaches, enters and exits the property.

If you are interested in equipping your home with a smart security system, we suggest first taking a look at Safewise for a full guide on how devices work, then head over to Which? for handy tips on how to buy the best system for your property.

CCTV Outside Home

Multi-Point Locking

There is now an abundance of options when it comes to increasing the security of locking systems. To achieve the highest level of protection, we suggest choosing a system with as many locking points as possible. While there are no set rules with regards to multi-locking systems, those with eight or more locking points are guarantee to provide maximised safety.

Similarly to a conventional lock, a multi-locking system is still opened and closed with a key, yet is installed to the body of the door, then locks into the frame. With a single turn of the key, the door will be bolted into the frame while locking it into place at several points. Although multi-locking systems are most commonly incorporated into UPVC and composite front doors, they can be installed wherever a homeowner feels necessary with some opting for installation to their patio doors. For instance, many of our clients who wish to build one of our conservatories in Milton Keynes choose to fit additional security to their conservatory doors, meaning that no one will be able to break into their home from the garden.

More information on the different types of door locks available can be found on the Master Locksmiths Association website.

Locking Patio Door

Door Chain

As a traditional door security feature, chains are most commonly fitted to the front door and are designed to restrict how far that the door opens. Chains are most effective at preventing “distractions burglaries” where the intruder will knock on your front door then force their way past you, into your home.

One of the most significant benefits of a door chain is that it can be installed independently without the need to enlist the help of a professional. However, it is imperative to ensure that you are confident with the process before going ahead as a poorly fitted chain can be even more dangerous than no chain.

There are two different types of chains to choose from; a conventional restrictor and a lockable door chain. A traditional chain is fitted to the wall next to the door frame and features a ring which goes around the handle or a metal attachment which is fitted to the door. Lockable chains, on the other hand, can be locked from both the inside and out, ideal for those with children or the elderly.

Closing Door Chain

Keeping Your Property Safe From Intruders

While no one likes to imagine the thought of an intruder making their way into their home, it does unfortunately happen. This means that it remains imperative for several preventative measures to be implemented, keeping you, your family and your home safe from criminals. It is entirely your choice which one of the above techniques that you use to protect your home. Of course, the more security measures that you install, the more at ease you will feel that you will successfully deter burglars. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

How To Keep Your Conservatory Warm This Winter

Winter has arrived, and the shivering has begun, as the heating is turned up a notch and the bed socks come out to warm up those cold toes on a dark and cold winters night. A lot of people revert to various warm and cosy comforts as the temperature falls, meaning that the conservatory often gets neglected. However, there are a number of ways that you can make your conservatory a relaxing and cosy space to share with family and guests over the winter period. We often get asked how to keep a conservatory warm, so here are some cost-effective and reliable solutions.

How To Keep Your Conservatory Warm: Getting Cosy

A conservatory is a perfect place to get the family together and enjoy one another’s company, and this doesn’t have to only be during the warmer months. Conservatories should be built to suit your family activities every day of the year, whether the sun is shinning or the heavens are pouring. What you may not realise is that there are numerous ways in which you can improve your conservatory to make it feel warm and cosy during the winter. Here we have put together a few ideas to help you enjoy your homes addition all year round.

Amazing Glazing

Depending on the type of conservatory that you have, you may find that glass contributes to a significant amount of the design. Unfortunately, glass is one of the worst insulators and can cause your home to lose heat and feel colder than it does outside. However, there is a very effective solution to this problem which will mean that you don’t have to get rid of your glorious windows, this solution is double or even triple glazing! The older your conservatory, the more likely it is to have single glazing, which inevitably means excessive loss of heat.

There are a number of benefits to having double glazed windows installed throughout your home, in particular, your conservatory. One of the biggest benefits is that it helps to retain heat, which means that you will be spending less on your energy bills trying to heat it up and are able to enjoy it no matter the weather outside. Along with reduced heating bills and a warmer conservatory, there are an abundance of other benefits to double and triple glazing; these are as follows:

– Reduced noise
– Increases security
– Increases property value
– Reduces condensation
– Easy to maintain
– Increases durability

If your conservatory lets out a lot of heat, and you would like to modernise the design of your windows, feel free to contact Crown Conservatory, Windows and Doors. Our team has extensive knowledge in building conservatories along with fitting double glazing in Milton Keynes, so you can be sure that you’re in the right hands.

Double Glazing

Don’t Be Draught

One of the biggest culprits for making your conservatory feel cold in the winter is draughts through the cracks of window ledges and doors. If you have a draught in your conservatory, you may also find that the rest of your home also feels cold despite turning up the temperature of your heating. For this reason, it is probably one of the first things that you could do to try and reduce the cold and increase the heat within your conservatory.

The first step is to figure out exactly where this draught is coming from, and this can easily be done through the candle test. Light a candle and slowly move it across all of the cracks in your windows and doors, the flame will flicker if there is even the slightest draught coming through; here is where your problem lies, and you should consider patching it up before it gets worse. If you are working on a budget, you can use adhesive foam stripes to fill in any gaps that may be letting in air. However, this will only give you a short-term solution, for a more effective result, change your windows for a long-term and more efficient fix. You can find more short and long-term solutions on House Logic.

Draft Tape

Off With The Roof

Many conservatories, particularly older ones, will have an all-glass roof that looks stunning and lets in an abundance of natural light. However, having an all-glass conservatory roof will also be the cause of your cold conservatory, and it may be time to think about changing it to a more modern and economically efficient solution. The Crown Conservatory, Windows and Doors team have worked extensively with clients, building numerous conservatories in Milton Keynes, and a popular conservatory type is to have a tiled roof.

Whether your style requires an Edwardian or Victorian design, we have the perfect tiled roof solution for your conservatory, not only helping to heat up the room but also to transform its appearance to a modernised style. Changing your glass roof to a tiled one will allow you to crank up the heat knowing that it won’t be lost through the ceiling, giving you the added assurance of energy efficiency.

Tiled Conservatory Roof

Flawless Floors

If you really wanted to increase the temperature of your conservatory this winter, then you could even think about underfloor heating. However, we know that it isn’t quite within everyone’s budget, but just changing the flooring itself is a great way of insulating your conservatory. You can choose to have a high-quality carpet to keep in the heat during the winter, while also creating maximum comfort for the whole family to enjoy the space regardless of the temperature outside.

However, if you would like a modernised look and have opted for tiled flooring or wooden vinyl, then you could always pick a funky rug that suits your aesthetic. You can opt for a modern look with a white fluffy misshaped rug, or go loud and proud with a bright red velvet rug. For more inspiration on flooring, take a look at our previous article on conservatory flooring types as well as our article on modernising old conservatories.

Warm Carpet

Winter Warming Heaters

As much as they may set a calming ambience, candles aren’t exactly ideal for making the home warm as there is too much risk of setting the house on fire, particularly those with small children and clumsy pets. Another alternative is to have a heater strategically placed away from curtains and in a location where the heat can be projected across the room. A portable heater is a cost-effective solution as it doesn’t require you to have a load of plumbing work done to your conservatory and can be easily stored away in the warmer months.

You can choose to have a large heater or a smaller one, whichever one suits the size of your conservatory. Where possible, we would highly recommend that you opt for an electric heater, as this is safer to use around the house. You are also able to plug the heater in when you need to, minimising the use of energy while maximising the cosiness within your conservatory. Along with cost effiencey, you can find a number of benefits to using a portable heater on De Longhi.

Portable Heater

Certain About The Curtain

Although letting in natural light during the day is a great way of warming up the home efficiently, having your windows exposed as the sun goes down, can mean that all of the heat you gathered during the day, is lost. One of the best solutions to these problems is to get yourself some curtains. Curtains come in various different materials, patterns and colours, meaning that you are able to choose one that suits your style while keeping you warm. Why not opt for a modern and chic look with silver crushed velvet blinds or bring some of the calm Bahamas to your home with tropical patterned curtains.

The great thing about curtains is that you can pair them with colourful cushions, rugs and other furniture to add a pop of colour to the room. If you choose a neutral colour such as cream, then you can change the colour of your conservatory depending on the time of year, allowing you to incorporate vibrant colours in the summer and warm cosy materials in the winter.

Various Curtains

The Small Touchs Count

Just as much as a tiled roof, double glazed windows and the perfect flooring can contribute to the warmth of your conservatory, smaller elements such as blankets can have a big impact on the cosiness of the room. Get creative and design your winter conservatory around the comfort of blankets by throwing them over the sofa, neatly folding them on the arms of chairs and even better, snuggling up in them.

Grab yourself a heavy blanket that you can wrap around the whole family, or purchase individual blankets for each family member in a different material that follows the same colour pallet. Fleece is often a material that is used for blankets due to its soft and comfortable feel. What’s great about a fleece blanket is that they can be used during both the winter and summer. While having your barbeque in the evening during the summer, it can sometimes get a little bit nippy, so bring out the winter blankets for everyone to enjoy the fresh air all day long.

Women Holding Blanket

Cosy Winter

Just because winter is setting in, doesn’t mean that you have to put up with the cold and neglect your conservatory until summer arrives. There are a number of ways you can improve your conservatory, adding a touch of style in the process. Whether you have a small or large budget to spare, there are numerous solutions to warming up your home and saying goodbye to the cold.

Conservatory Makeover Ideas: How To Modernise Your Old Conservatory

A conservatory is a place where the family and guests can enjoy a spacious area to socialise and cosy up. However, the design of your conservatory may mean that you avoid the area altogether, particularly in the winter when it gets cold and dark. There are a variety of ways in which you can improve your conservatory so that it becomes a place you and your family enjoy all year round. To help you turn your living space from drab to fab, here are some conservatory makeover ideas.

Improving Your Home With Conservatory Makeover Ideas

One of the main reasons that people neglect their conservatory over the winter months is because the temperature significantly drops, and it becomes unpleasant to sit in while reading a book. However, there are lots of ways to insulate your conservatory and turn it into a relaxing and welcoming location. Small changes to interior design and adjustments to windows and roofs can transform your conservatory into an enjoyable space throughout the year.

Upcycled Window Designs

Windows on any part of your home can have a big impact on its appearance as well as the ability to retain heat and give you a layer of noise cancellation. Having old and outdated windows attached to your conservatory can make it uninviting and glum. There are a variety of different window designs that can help to transform your conservatory into a welcoming and cosy space for you and your family. Your windows have a significant impact on your home and your living, so knowing when to change them can be important. Take a look at Forbes’ blog post to see what signs to look out for to know when its time to replace your windows.

To follow modern designs, opting for windows that let in a considerable amount of light can give you a chic and elegant conservatory while natural light provides the room with an open and spacious feel. To achieve this look, tilt and turn windows are the perfect option; the minimalistic yet striking design allows as much light as possible to enter the room as there are not as many beams covering the glass.

However, one of the most popular window designs at the moment is to have black windows with multiple panels. These panels create a modern twist to vintage window designs and give your conservatory a contemporary look and feel. Depending on the materials used on your home, contrasting the colour of your windows to the walls can make a beautiful statement on your conservatory. Lead windows are very popular with our client’s, and we have installed a variety of window frame colours for conservatories in Milton Keynes.

Double Glazing Crwon Windows

Opening Up The Sky

Tiled roof conservatories are a great way to incorporate your conservatory into the existing design of your home. It has become increasingly popular to have tiled roofing on conservatories to give it a modern feel. The interior architecture of the home also feels connected through an open plan design where the roof glides straight into the conservatory. There are an abundance of benefits for changing your conservatory roof to a solid, tiled roof. Your roof can be installed in a short amount of time, meaning that disruption is minimal; this gives your conservatory a simple and quick makeover.

On the other hand, if you already have a roof tiled conservatory, you may want to incorporate more light into your design. This can easily be done through changing your windows to utilise natural light, add in a skylight or completely replace the roof to glass. Changing your conservatory roof to glass means that you can light up the whole room with natural lighting. You can give your conservatory a modern design by incorporating glass into a modern structured conservatory; take a look at our Lean-To conservatory with Bi-Folding for some inspiration.

Seeing as conservatories are usually an extension of an existing room at the back or side of your home and incorporates an open plan design, natural light can penetrate through the rest of the home, making your home more energy-efficient. There are an array of different designs that you can choose from when opting for a glass roof, some examples of designs include:

Gable Conservatory
Sun Room Conservatory
Victorian Conservatory
Georgian Conservatory
Combined Conservatory

The range of different designs means that you can choose one that suits your home as well as your aesthetic. If you like an old-style exterior then opting for an elegant and sophisticated Georgian or Victorian conservatory and then modernising the interior design, can give you a contemporary twist to modern home decor designs.

Crown Conservatory

Heating In Style

Keeping your conservatory warm in the winter may seem like a challenging project; however, it can actually be rectified with some simple conservatory improvements. There are plenty of ways you can improve your conservatory so that it stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

During the summertime, your conservatory can become hotter than the rest of your house, looking for options that give you additional protection from overheating can have a significant impact on the use of your conservatory in the summer months. Having glass roof conservatories and sunrooms may mean that the conservatory gets hotter in the summer, this can be prevented by replacing your glass roof with a tinted one. Having a tinted glass room means that you can reduce glare as well as overheating. You can find more ways to keep your home cool in the summer by taking a look at one of our previous articles titled “How To Keep Your House Cool In The Summer”.

In the winter, your conservatory may feel slightly colder than the rest of the house. Making sure that your windows are double glazed can improve your insulation, meaning that you don’t have to turn the heating up. Incorporating underfloor heating into your conservatory can also help with keeping the room warm and cosy over the winter periods. Flooring can have a bit impact on your conservatory and ensures that you can keep your home warm and cosy in the winter as well as cool in the summer. For inspiration and ideas on which flooring may be best for you, take a look at our previous blog post titled “What Is The Best Flooring For A Conservatory?”.

Modern Conservatory

Modernise With Interior Design

If you have recently had a conservatory fitted with us, then you may be looking for some ways to give your new investment a personal and modern touch. The interior design of your conservatory says a lot about you and should represent your aesthetic. You can easily incorporate your own personal taste with modern interior design. We have come up with a few interior design ideas that you can personalise to make your own.

It’s All About the Chairs

This may come as a surprise, but the chairs, or any other furniture for that matter, that you incorporate into the interior design of your conservatory, can have a significant impact. In modern design, chairs are used to add a splash of colour and elegance. One of the most popular interior designs this year, has been pastel colour velvet chairs with gold or silver legs and framing.

To achieve a modernised chic look in your conservatory, either pick a subtle colour and incorporate it in every element of the interior design or pick an extravagant chair or sofa and place it alongside soft and elegant features. For example, you could choose to have an animal print chair or a patchwork sofa and pair it with a glass coffee table or wooden dining table.

Modern Chairs

Chic And Cosy

Particularly now that the weather has got significantly colder, you may be wanting to add a cosy touch to your existing interior design. This can easily be done by adding fluffy rugs, blankets and cushions into your conservatory. Small additions in your conservatory can have a big impact on making the room feel welcoming.

The colour palette that you use in your conservatory can also help you to create a chic and cosy space to relax with the family on a cold winters night. Neutral colours such as soft browns, beige and whites can give a clean and warm decor design, pair these colours with natural materials such as rattan chairs with soft cushions or wooden table features. A mixture of grey colours can also help to give you a modern chic vibe to your conservatory.

Neutral Coloured Furniture

Crazy For Colour

Bring back a blast from the past by colour blocking your conservatory without going a little over the top. Add a splash of colour with cushions, fake flowers, vibrant curtains and even cupboards. Make sure that you keep the colours classy and that you don’t add too much colour into the room as it will begin to look messy. The best place to add some colour is through your cushions; you can pick a neutral coloured sofa that is highly unlikely to become outdated and regularly change your cushions when you feel that your conservatory needs a little makeover.

Colourful Furniture

Modernising The Old

Although the past has seen some questionable fashion choices, there are some elements of the past that can inspire us in modern interior design. Some fashion trends, such as having rustic furniture and visible brickwork, have come back into fashion in recent years. You can easily take an old trend and make it your own by sticking to a modern design and incorporating some older features. For example, you could choose to have a grey colour palette and add small touches such as a retro floating shelf. There are many ways in which you can improve your conservatory by adding your own style with modernised trends.

Retro Furniture

It’s Time To Makeover Your Conservatory

With a host of different ways you can makeover your conservatory, you can easily improve existing features. Whether you want to make a big impact with a drastic change or would like to make small adjustments to your existing design, there are various choices for you to consider. Changing your windows can have a big impact on the look and feel of your conservatory, so you should look at whether the exterior and interior design works for you and your family. If you need any more information regarding conservatory makeovers, feel free to contact our team today.

What Is The Best Flooring For A Conservatory?

After having your conservatory installed, it is time to start fitting the flooring. There are many factors to consider when deciding on what material, colour and texture to use in your conservatory. It is important that you choose the flooring that beautifully compliments your new investment. So, continue reading for information about the best flooring for a conservatory

The Best Flooring For A Conservatory

There are a variety of different textures, materials, colours and designs that you can choose from when designing the perfect flooring for your conservatory. Some of these materials include:

  • Laminate
  • Carpet
  • Vinyl
  • Engineered
  • Stone
  • Tile

We have gone into detail on all of these materials so that you can decide which one is best suited to your conservatory.

Laminate Flooring

A lot of people bypass laminated flooring when designing their perfect conservatory. However, it is actually one of the best types of material to use when trying to make your conservatory look stylish as well as functional. Laminate flooring, when done properly, can look stunning and its extremely easy to fit. not only does laminate flooring look good, it also has a high level of resistant to heat and UV rays. The reason that this is an important quality in a material used within your conservatory, is because they can get a little bit hot. Fitting laminate flooring into your conservatory will keep the room cool during the hotter months.

Tiled roofing on your conservatory will ensure that less heat can enter, meaning that the types of materials within the conservatory are less essential. However, if your conservatory has a glass roof design, the type of flooring that your conservatory has can make a big difference. Fit your conservatory with laminated flooring and your once hot and steamy conservatory can be transformed into a cool and relaxing area.

There are also some other benefits of using the laminating floor, such as its hard-wearing making it able to handle scrapes and slides. It is a perfect investment for those that are looking for a longlasting solution. Laminate flooring comes in a wide range of different designs, from solid wood to coloured panels. Not only does it look good, but it is also extremely easy to clean and maintain. The wooden effect can also give your conservatory a warming and welcoming feel, creating a relaxed and calm environment.

Laminate Flooring

Carpet Tiles

Although trends over the years have neglected carpet and introduced stone and wooden flooring, carpet in a conservatory is becoming a popular favourite. Some of our clients place stone or laminate flooring in their conservatory to give a modern and clean look to their new investment; however, it is important to incorporate your conservatory into the rest of your home. A lot of houses have carpet running throughout the house as it is a cheaper option and a good way to retain heat. If you have carpet throughout your home, we would suggest having this material in your conservatory as well.

Carpet is easily fitted into any room and is a relatively affordable material for those on a budget. It is also extremely hard wearing and gives the conservatory a comfort factor, perfect for listing to the rain hit your glass roof. The array of colours that carpet is available in and the variety of textures that you can choose from, makes it the perfect material for going bold and fitting a unique colour. Cleaning carpet is relatively easy as all it needs is a simple vacuum, making it ideal for those with a busy schedule. However, if you do happen to spill drinks (especially that glass of wine on a Friday night), it can be a little difficult to get stains out.

Carpet Flooring

Vinyl Flooring

For a more illuminating effect, vinyl flooring can brighten a room with style and class. The glossy surface looks elegant in a glass conservatory as the light reflects off the beautiful material. Much like carpet, there are a stunning variety of colours that you can choose from, meaning that you can select the flooring that most suits your aesthetic. The smooth and glossy surface also makes it extremely easy to clean any spills, allowing you to spend less time cleaning your new conservatory and more time enjoying it.

Vinyl flooring, like laminate flooring, can be made to look like tiles or even wood so that you can achieve a modern look at a low cost. This material is also perfect for your conservatory as its non-slip surface makes it safe for children and clumsy adults. The appearance of the material can give a conservatory an elegant and warm ambience.

Vinyl Flooring

Engineered Flooring

Engineered flooring is a relatively new material that is becoming increasingly popular for homeowners to install in their conservatory. The flooring is made by bonding together multiple layers of wood, which is then finished with a solid wood top layer. Engineered flooring is a great alternative to wood as it is cheaper yet still has a crisp and warm appearance. Although it is a great alternative to wood, it still has the same qualities as wooden flooring, meaning that it can still swell and shrink over time. Moisture seeps into the flooring and temperature change can cause the engineered material to shrink and expand. Wooden flooring is less likely to keep its colour and will most likely need to be replaced over time, whereas engineered flooring has been designed to have the same appearance as a wooden floor, but is able to last longer.

Although there is a risk of cracking in engineered flooring, this is most commonly found when your conservatory is old or ill-fitted. By ensuring that you have the best-fitted conservatory in Milton Keynes, problems with moisture should not occur. Therefore, when planning to build a conservatory, make sure that you do your research on building companies to ensure that you are getting the best quality and service.

For more information on engineered flooring, take a look at Flooring Direct

Engineered Flooring

Stones

There is no doubt that stone flooring is both elegant and sophisticated with its rich natural appearance. There are a wide variety of different natural colours and textures that you can choose from. Along with this, there is also a wide range of designs that you can play with when it comes to laying the floor. For example, you could use different sized stones to create a textured look and make a statement with your flooring.

While stone flooring looks good, it can also keep your room cool in the hotter months as stone tends to reflect heat rather than absorb it. Having stone flooring can also turn your conservatory it the centrepiece of your home, making it less of an extension and incorporating more into the home. As other materials need maintenance every now and then, stone will have the same appearance in ten years time as it did when it was first fitted. For this reason, stone is the perfect long-term solution to a conservatory as it remains elegant and stunning.

Stone is not affected by moisture or temperature changes, and cracks are an extremely rare occurrence. So, unlike other flooring materials, stone maintains its stunning appearance and very rarely weathers. For a conservatory that looks excellently beautiful, stone is the perfect classy addition.

Stone Flooring

Tiles

Conservatories are more likely to face drastic changes as they are often installed with a glass roof which allows UV rays to enter the room. However, much like stone, tiles are a very good option for conservatory flooring. This is because it can keep you conservatory cool, it’s easy to maintain, and it looks fantastic. There are an endless amount of styles, sizes and designs that you can choose from. Like stone, you can decide to have different sized tiles placed together to make a pattern. For a more contemporary look, you could also choose two different colour tiles to alternate in a line to create a stunning contrast look.

Tile Flooring

Now It Time To Consider More

When designing your conservatory, you should always incorporate the material you wish to use for the flooring. It can be a costly affair if it is fitted wrong or you do not like the design once it has been layed. If you are worried about committing to a specific flooring, then take a look at Ideal Homes inspiring floor design ideas. Also consider other factors such as:

  • Will it regulate heat?
  • Is there a door leading into the garden? (carpet is not a good idea where there is a risk of mud entering the room)
  • How to you intend of using the space?
  • what look are you aiming for?
  • What is your budget?

Ensuring that you know the answers to these questions will make finding the perfect flooring for your conservatory much easier. Considering factors around the conservatory rather than just the conservatory itself, can have a big impact on the decision that you make. For example, if your conservatory is attached to a room with stone flooring, you may want to you the same material so that the house flows.

What Are The Main Differences Between Double And Triple Glazing?

Many homes across the UK now feature either double or tripled glazed windows as they offer an array of benefits that not only save you money but also improve the comfort of your home. The differences between double and triple glazing are pretty straightforward, making it easy for you to make an informed decision on which windows may best be suited for you and your home.

Understanding the differences between double and triple glazing

If you’re creating your dream home from scratch, or simply think your current windows need to be upgraded, it is imperative that you know the difference between double and triple glazing. Having installed many Windows in Milton Keynes, we are very confident with our glazing knowledge and thought we should share our expertise with you. Both double and triple glazing provide you and your home with a number of benefits, so it is entirely down to personal preference which one you opt for. Currently, triple glazing is commonly used in places such as Scandinavia as they provide excellent heat insulation, but they are becoming increasingly popular across the UK. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1970s that even double glazing rose in popularity in the UK. Before this time, building codes were fairly relaxed, meaning people did not have the incentive to improve their home’s energy efficiency. You can read all about the minimum energy efficiency standards for UK properties here.

Although glazing may not seem like an important feature of your property, it has the potential to save you hundreds of pounds in energy bills and improve your home entirely. So, without further delay, here are the main differences between double and triple glazing.

What is double glazing?

Double glazing is fairly self-explanatory – double glazed windows consist of two panes of glass separated by a layer of air/gas. This gas, combined with the added layer of glass, acts as excellent insulation against both noise and heat loss. Many people opt to have double glazing installed throughout their home to reap the benefits of a warmer and quieter home. In fact, according to Which? 67% of homeowners said that their home was significantly warmer after getting double glazing. The money-saving benefit is also worth mentioning as it is what convinces many people to invest in double glazing. To put into perspective how much you could really save, the Energy Saving Trust claim that if all of the single-glazed windows were replaced in a detached house with A++ double glazed windows, you would save between £110 and £115 per year.

double glazing

Advantages

There are a whole host of advantages of double glazing, which makes them so attractive to homeowners. As well as providing better insulation than traditional single glazing, double glazed windows can effectively reduce noise. This can be very beneficial if you live in a city or near a busy road where it can be noisy at all times of the day. Not only will double glazed windows block noise from the outside to create a quiet and peaceful environment, but it will also keep any noise coming from your house inside. For example, if you enjoy listening to music in the evenings, you can do this without the fear of disturbing your neighbours. Moreover, if you are quite security conscious of your home, then you should definitely consider double glazing, as they provide increased protection compared to traditional windows. Being considerably hard to break and difficult to force open from the outside, double glazed windows act as an effective burglar deterrent as your home will no longer be an easy target. Another great thing about double glazing is you can customise them in various ways that can even increase their level of security. By opting for laminated or toughened glass for your double glazed windows, you can minimise the risk of breakage and improve security. We offer double glazing in Milton Keynes which you can pair with any of our popular window styles, keeping your property secure at all times. Lastly, there is a common misconception that double glazing requires a lot of maintenance and specialist cleaning products to keep it in pristine condition, however, this is not the case. When it comes to cleaning your double glazing, the process is exactly the same as if you were cleaning any other glass window. We recommend using a microfibre cloth and non-abrasive cleaner/regular soapy water. If you opt for regular soapy water, add about 250ml of white vinegar as this will aid in creating a streak-free finish. Once thoroughly cleaned, all you need to do is wipe away any excess water with a squeegee. If these advantages have inspired you to utilise double glazing in your home, why not pair our excellent double glazing services with one of our conservatories in Milton Keynes – giving your property the ultimate home improvement!

Disadvantages

Although double glazing has a great number of benefits, like anything, it also comes with a few drawbacks. Although we believe the advantages of double glazing far outweigh the disadvantages, we want to make you fully aware of all factors which could influence your decision. A downside of double glazing is that it cannot be repaired. The layer of insulation between the two panes of glass can be susceptible to condensation if the seal isn’t airtight. However, once sealed the panes cannot be pulled apart or repaired and, if condensation appears, the entire window will need to be replaced. However, if you use a reputable company to install your windows, it is highly unlikely you will experience this issue. Moreover, although double glazing is excellent at trapping heat during the winter months, this can be somewhat problematic during the summer. The heat which gets trapped inside the windows can result in a stuffy and uncomfortable hot interior, which is not what you need on a glorious summers day. For this reason, many people opt to have their windows tinted to block the heat and keep their home at optimum temperature.

triple glazing

What is triple glazing?

The latest innovation in window insulation comes in the form of triple glazing. Unlike double glazing which consists of two panes of glass, triple glazing utilises three panes. A layer of argon gas still separates the panes, but the extra layer of glass provides better insulation. As the most energy-efficient glazing option, triple glazing boats the lowest U-value of any domestic window. As we are all encouraged to reduce our carbon emissions and actively make changes which will reduce the impact of global warming, triple glazing is a desirable property feature.

Advantages

The advantages of triple glazing are reasonably similar to those of double glazing, but there are a few additional benefits which you should know. As previously mentioned, triple glazing boasts an impressively low U-value, which reduces the risk of condensation. Triple glazed windows help towards minimising internal condensation issues as the heat is kept inside the building and stops cold external temperatures reacting with internal warm air – resulting in condensation. Another reason which makes triple glazing worth the investment is its durability. Lasting from anything between 10-35 years, and having the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions, you can feel confident that your triple glazing will last and remain a beneficial feature of your home for years to come.

Disadvantages

In terms of the disadvantages of triple glazing, the main issue is cost. It is no surprise that triple glazing is a little more expensive than double glazing as there are extra materials needed to make the final product. As well as the added materials, triple glazing also requires more precise manufacturing conditions, making the production process more costly. Similarly, triple glazing is heavier than double glazing, which can sometimes impact transportation costs. With the expense of triple glazing being more than double glazing, the amount you save on your energy bill may not be in proportion to how much you spent on installation. However, do not be completely put off the idea of this glazing option as you will still be able to save more money compared to double glazing, it just may take longer to recoup your investment,

Over to you…

Now that you know the differences between double and triple glazing, you can make an informed decision as to which one may be best suited for your home and lifestyle. Both glazing options offer excellent benefits, which make them a great addition to any home, so it is entirely your choice as to which one you choose. If you would like to know more about glazing and what will work best in your home, please do not hesitate to contact us and a member of our expert team will be more than happy to advise you.

How To Choose The Perfect Windows For Your Home

Compared to other components of your home, windows go through their fair share of wear and tear. Constant use, adverse weather conditions and lack of cleaning are just some of the many reasons why windows begin to deteriorate. On the other hand, other homeowners may opt for replacement merely down to a change of theme or to modernise their properties appearance.

When planning a full window replacement, the plethora of options to choose from can prove somewhat overwhelming. It can be tricky to find a style that not only complements your homes aesthetics but will also be able to withstand exposure to potential damage. To aid your decision, we have devised a full guide on how to choose the perfect windows for your home.

A Guide To Choosing Windows For Your Home

As suppliers and installers of windows in Milton Keynes for many years, we have a wealth of knowledge on the different styles, materials and glazing options available, along with how to measure openings. Each variation can be equipped with handy additional features such as security technology and energy efficiency benefits.

Although they are often not considered, windows impact the appearance of both the interior and exterior of your property, meaning your choice must suit both. They prove to be a substantial investment, which if chosen wisely, can last you as long as 30 years problem-free. Our guide to the different styles, materials and glazing options available is ideal for giving you a head start!

New exterior windows

Consider Why You Need New Windows

Before delving deeper into the types of windows available, it is imperative to pinpoint your reasoning behind replacement. In order to ensure that you do not fall into the same trap again, you should use your previous experience to mitigate future problems. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

Do you need to improve security?

Your home is your most prized possession, meaning that reassured security is vital. Nowadays, thanks to the constant innovation of technology, safety is at the forefront of operations throughout the entire process. From the manufacturing process to installation, ensuring that your home is kept secure remains a priority.

If you are replacing windows due to lack of security, then this should be the main feature you look out for when tracking down the ideal type. You should also consider taking a look at retailers such as Ironmongery Direct, which specialise in window security products. Any products brought can be added during the installation process.

Are you hoping to become more efficient?

Those who aim to reduce their properties carbon footprint would most definitely benefit from installing energy-efficient windows. In doing this, the amount of heat loss will be decreased while insulation is increased. Together, these will stop warm air from escaping in the Winter, along with keeping your home cool during higher temperatures.

When searching for the ideal window type for you, keep a careful eye out for the products energy efficiency rating. An energy efficiency rating reflects your estimated energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions. You can find more information on this topic on British Gas.

Does your home need to be quieter?

You would be surprised how much windows can impact your homes noise insulation. Especially if you live nearby to a busy main road or the high street, ensuring that you can enjoy peace and quiet in your own home is essential. Although often not considered as keeping disturbances at bay, windows are, in fact, capable of reducing outdoor noise by up to 95%.

If you notice a growing annoyance of outdoor noise while trying to sleep, then you would most definitely benefit from considering window replacement. While you are free to choose whatever frame that best fits your theme, you will need to install double glazing. Double glazing is key for soundproofing your home.

Are the current windows damaged?

The most obvious reasoning behind replacing windows is due to damage. Damaged windows not only look aesthetically unappealing but can also pose safety dangers to your home. Some of the most common damage that windows suffer include the following:

  • Rotting or warped wood
  • Increasing draughts
  • Difficult to open and close
  • Cracked glass
  • Leaking frames

Do you want to modernise your home?

There does not necessarily have to be a physical problem with your windows in order to have them replaced – it could merely be to modernise your property. Whether you are renovating your home or hoping to add value to sell on a later date, windows are a fantastic way to bring a new lease of life to your property. If this is the case, then the style you opt is likely to take a considerable amount of deliberation.

Toddler and dog at window

Measure Window Openings

Always ensure that you have measured all window openings before beginning your search for the perfect style. The window opening, in more straightforward terms, is the space in which you have to fill with both the frame and glass of your choice.

Taking time to measure openings in advance will help to give you an idea of style possibilities. All measurements will be collected ahead of time, so you can make an order as soon as you find the perfect window for your home. Ultimately, saving time and money. You will need to measure the width, height and depth of your opening through the following steps:

Width:

The starting point for measuring the width is always the jambs (the main vertical parts that form the window frame). Place your tape measure on the surface of the jambs and measure between the top, middle and bottom of the opening. Put the measurement in order of size, starting from the smallest.

Height:

Start at the highest point of the window sill (this should be the closest point to the glass) and measure to the top of the window opening. You should take one measurement from the left-hand side, one from the middle and lastly, one from the right-hand side. Again, order from smallest to largest.

Depth:

When measuring the depth, imagine all pulleys and partings are not there – these will be removed during installation. Measure between the inside window trim and outside blind stop strip; there should be at least 3 1/4 inches.

Measuring window

Understand The Styles Available

Choosing a window style is likely to be your trickiest decision. Not only must personal preferences be taken into consideration but also what would suit the aesthetics of your home. Other factors to keep in mind will be the indoor positioning of windows, room layouts and the shape of the house.

Casement / Flush Fit Windows

As one of the cheapest and most versatile styles, casement windows, also known as flush fit, suit the appearance of almost all property types. They have straightforward mechanics which include hinges on the outer sides of the window frame. Due to the placement of hinges, casements pivot similar to doors and are tall in shape. Casement windows are somewhat minimalist in appearance, ideal for creating a contemporary look and are available in tonnes of different colours. When closed, they sit in line with the frame creating a flat surface.

Sliding Sash Windows

Most commonly featured in Victorian or Georgian homes, sliding sash windows are ideal for properties with limited space. They are designed with two window panes, which when opened, slide one behind the other. As panes can slide into one either vertically or horizontally, there is no need for them to take up any indoor or outdoor space.

Bay Windows

Bay windows are most definitely the most luxurious style; however, do require more space than any other window type. Due to the large wall space needed, if you do not already have a bay window, you will need to increase the opening. They feature a semi-circular structure that protrudes the main wall, allowing you to enjoy enhanced natural light.

Almost all bay windows come alongside a seat to enjoy the outdoor view. You can find tonnes of inspiration on how to decorate your bay window seat on Houzz.

Tilt and Turn Windows

If your home is located directly on a pedestrian walkway or highstreet, then tilt and turn windows would be ideal. Due to the nature of the tilt and turn style, windows open inwards instead of the conventional outwards. It means that your panes will not be opening onto pathways, making them more practical and secure.

Modern bay window

Choose The Window Material

Once you have made a decision on the window style that best suits your requirements, its time to move onto choosing frame materials. Just like styles, there are a plethora of material possibilities; each come alongside their own benefits and drawbacks. Below are some of the most popular materials to consider:

Timber Windows

Timber is the most traditional of frame materials, often featured on period properties as opposed to modern new-builds. On average, timber can achieve a lifespan of 60 years, only if they are adequately cared for. Due to this, they require more maintenance than any other material type.

A treatment must be applied every year or so to prevent the wood from rotting, warping and growing mould. Although maintenance may be tedious, treatments are not time-consuming or expensive. A number of products are available for a low-cost from places such as Wood Finishes Direct.

Aluminium Windows

Aluminium windows are super durable, capable of lasting several years without much need for maintenance. The material is incredibly lightweight, which means that it can be moulded into more unusual shapes if required. They create an instant contemporary appearance but are somewhat limited in terms of colours available. One of the only downsides to aluminium frames is that due to their high thermal conductivity, they are known for building-up condensation.

uPVC Windows

While uPVC windows have not been around as long as its alternatives, the material boasts an array of benefits. As uPVC is created using a form of plastic, it requires little maintenance aside from regular cleaning to maintain aesthetics. Although it is the cheapest material, uPVC is resistant to rotting, warping, weathering and corrosion, providing exceptional value for money. uPVC is best suited to more modern properties as frames are somewhat plain and minimalist.

Composite Windows

The term composite relates to any material that has been made using two or more material components. When on the topic of windows, composite frames are designed with timber on the inside and aluminium on the exterior – combining the benefits of both materials.

Composite windows are both strong and reliable, capable of lasting up to 40 years with little to no maintenance required. They provide fantastic insulation, making them ideal for boosting your homes energy efficiency. The only drawback towards opting for composite frames is that they are considerably more expensive than other materials.

Exterior windows on home

Finding The Ideal Combination For You

Every property is unique, as is every homeowner, which means that tracking down the ideal combination of style and material may take time. Always ensure that you meticulously research into several different options before making your decisions. Windows are a substantial investment which if chosen wisely, can last you for your remaining time in your property.

Although you are free to opt for the window material and style best to suit you, we would strongly recommend only going for double-glazing when choosing glass. As specialists in double glazing in Milton Keynes, we can guarantee the array of beneficial qualities of the glass type. Double glazing features two layers of glass which provide additional insulation, security, noise reduction and are easy to maintain. You can find more information on the benefits of double glazing on the MDG website.

How To Keep Your House Cool In The Summer

Keeping your home at an optimum temperature all year round can be quite the task, luckily we are here to help. Knowing how to keep your house cool in the summer is essential to enjoying the warmer days and keeping everyone in your home comfortable, so continue reading to find out what you can do to make this possible.

The importance of knowing how to keep your house cool in the summer

It is very rare that we have pleasant, hot weather in the UK, so when the sun is shining, and the temperature is high, we want to enjoy it as much as possible. However, enjoying the summer months is made increasingly difficult when our homes reach an uncomfortably hot temperature, which is why you should utilise the best methods to keep your household cool.

Taking the necessary steps to keep your home cool in the summer will not only make you and your family feel more comfrtbale, but it can also improve the quality of your home. For example, if you find your home is unbearably hot in the summer and freezing in the winter, it could be an indication of poor insulation. By getting your home properly insulated, you will reap the benefits of improved thermal comfort, and energy efficiency, as well as a more attractive exterior if you opt for external wall insulation. Insulation is just one way in which you can keep your home cool in the summer, and we will discuss this, along with other methods, in more detail throughout this article.

Blinds

Not only are blinds aesthetically pleasing, but they are also a cheap and easy solution to keeping your home cool during the summer. In fact, The Department of Energy state that smart management of window coverings can reduce heat gain by up to 77%! For this reason, it is definitely worth considering installing blinds throughout your home. There are five main types of blinds to choose from, which are:

Vertical blinds

Vertical blinds are able to effortlessly reduce the summer heat flooding into your home without compromising style. Rays of sun are magnified when they pass through glass, so adding a barrier in the form of vertical blinds is a great idea. Continued exposure to sun and sun rays can easily fade and damage your interior furniture and upholstery. Vertical blinds reduce this possibility greatly by diverting or even completely blocking the rays of sun.

Venetian blinds

Having been around since the 1760s where they were mainly used in office buildings to regulate air and light, Venetian blinds are a timeless and practical addition to any home. As one of the most popular types of blinds on the market, Venetian blinds are suitable for almost any room and window size. These blinds consist of horizontal slats, attached one above the other and are held in place with string or cords. The slats can be made out of a variety of materials, such as bamboo, wood, styro-wood and aluminium.

home with blinds

Roller blinds

If you have a lot of windows in your home or are limited for space, you should consider using roller blinds as they are incredibly space-efficient. This type of blind provides a solid sheet of fabric across the window, making it slightly more effective at reducing the heat which enters your home than vertical and Venetian blinds. Furthermore, the modern designs and blackout options available mean roller blinds are a practical and attractive addition to any home.

Vision blinds

Sometimes referred to as a hybrid of both roller and venetian blinds, vision blinds are a dual layer roller blind that provides total privacy and heat reduction. By gently filtering and softening daylight, this type of blind allows you to enjoy the sunshine more comfortably without causing your home to become unbearably warm.

Intu/Perfect fit blinds

These blinds are arguably the most effective at keeping your home cool during the summer – their versatility and style is just an added bonus! They are also easy to install as drilling holes and fixing screws are not required. By integrating fully into your windows and doors, these blinds add a contemporary element to any home and do not feature hanging cords, making them an even better option if you have young children.

Insulation

As previously mentioned, a boiling house in the summer could be a result of poor insulation which may be forcing you to spend an unnecessary amount of money. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that in one year a typical three-bedroom semi-detached house can save up to £310 on energy bills by installing loft and cavity wall insulation. So, if you are looking for a cooler home and to save money, you should definitely consider improving your home’s insulation.

skylight with insulation

Insulation is a layer of material in your walls, ceiling, floor and roof that helps moderate your home’s interior temperature. As a result, your home is not only kept cool in the summer but also warm and cozy in the winter. This can also be achieved by installing double glazed windows into your home. With double glazing Milton Keynes you can easily have double glazed windows fitted into your home thanks to our dedicated and expert team. Installing these windows will be extra beneficial during the summer months as the empty space in between the two panes of double glazed glass does not allow heat to pass through. Therefore, double glazing is an energy efficient way of keeping your house cool during the summer and is an excellent investment.

Air conditioning

Unlike Australian and American households where air conditioning in the home is relatively standard, here in the UK it is not as common. However, that does not mean you can’t install it in your own home to make you feel more comfortable when temperatures are unusually high. Aside from keeping your home at a consistent temperature all year long, air conditioning also provides better air quality. As the air which is pushed through the ducts is filtered, there are fewer allergens and potentially harmful gases present in your home, making it a better environment for the whole family. Although air conditioning is guaranteed to prevent your home from getting too hot during the summer, it is one of the most costly options so bear this in mind if you are considering incorporating air conditioning into your home.

Fans

Fans are yet another effective and budget-friendly method of cooling your home. You can also create a homemade air conditioning unit using fans to ensure the ultimate level of cool comfort. All you need to do is place a bucket of ice in front of your fan, and as the air passes over the ice, it will circulate refreshingly cold air around the room.

There are a variety of sizes and styles to choose from, so shopping around to find the perfect fan/fans for your home is worth the time. If you are completely undecided, have a look at this article which informs you of the best fans to keep you cool in summer 2019.

Plant shade

Although this method requires a little more time and planning than the other ideas mentioned above, trees and foliage are incredibly effective at lowering surface and air temperatures by providing shade. Heat tolerant plants which help provide shade include banana plants, Crepe Myrtle trees and Dwarf fig trees.

Not only will planting trees and flowers for shade make your home feel cooler, but it will also improve the aesthetic of your landscape – this is especially important during the summer as you will use your garden more often. Another way you can improve your home’s exterior is to use doors Milton Keynes where you are guaranteed to find the perfect front door to match your home’s style.

planting tree

Making the most of summer

Keeping your home cool in the summer is possible using simple solutions such as installing blinds or air conditioning. Any of the ideas and methods mentioned above will keep your home interior at a comfortable temperature throughout the summer months, allowing you to enjoy the warmer days as much as possible.

Signs You Need To Replace Your Windows

Depending on the type of windows you have, you may get a little more wear out of some materials than others. Windows made with uPVC tend to last approximately 20 years and require little maintenance, as opposed to wooden frames that can have up to a 60-year lifespan, however, demand regular care. Nevertheless, at some point, although it may seem tedious, you will need to begin considering fitting a new set of windows. To ensure that you get the most out of both the frames and glass, and can spot key telltale signs early, we have devised a list of the top signs that you need to replace your windows.

5 Signs You Need To Replace Your Windows

Windows serve many different purposes. Along with the obvious benefit of allowing natural light into a room, they also contribute towards insulating your home from both cold air and sound outside of your property. There are many clear signs that you need new windows, for example, if there is apparent damage or they no longer close with ease; however, others are a little less transparent.

1. Windows Are Not Double Glazed

Over recent years, double glazing has grown to be one of the most critical components in the home. Although most homes do have double glazed windows already, those that are relatively older may still have single pane glass. If this is the case, you should most definitely begin considering replacement.

Not only do double glazed windows have a more modern, seamless and clean appearance, they also protect against frustrating temperature extremes. With the help of double glazing, your home will remain cool during the Summer and trap in heat over the colder months. Retaining the perfect temperature in your property will contribute towards lowering your energy bills, and you will no longer have to put your sole reliance on central heating systems. A great benefit of a reduced energy bill is that you will also be improving your carbon footprint, taking one step closer to becoming an eco-friendly home.

Once fitted, double glazing is expected to serve your home for up to 20 years with regular maintenance. You will need to ensure that both the glass and frames are regularly cleaned, along with stains removed before they can spread.

double glazing

2. Condensation On Windows

Condensation now and again is inevitable; however, if you begin to notice that the misting does not clear after a few hours and does not disappear when cleaned, then you may have no other choice but to replace.

On average, condensation is more common during the Winter months as the central heating warming up your home will counteract the frosty air outside. The warm air begins to cool down and forms moisture, which in turn causes condensation.

The damage of condensation depends on the type of windows you have. Those with wooden windows will notice the biggest effect as the constant build-up of moisture will cause the frame to expand. As the frame expands, it will begin to warp and eventually, will no longer fit into their allocated space. Once frames begin to warp, they grow increasingly harder to open and close causing a number of safety issues in the home.

Double glazed windows will also experience a negative effect from condensation and if left unsolved, will begin to leak. A build-up of condensation forms between the two panels of glass creating a misted appearance filled with water droplets. Those water droplets will, over time, start to seep through the frames and make the walls surrounding the window damp. Depending on the severity of condensation on double glazing, unlike warping frames, it may be able to be repaired. Misted sealed unit replacement allows all moisture causing condensation to be released. The panels are then replaced, and an extra seal is added to ensure that the problem does not occur again.

condensation on window

3. Unusual Spike In Energy Bills

No one likes to open their energy bill and notice a sudden rise in price with no real explanation. If this is the case, then it is always highly recommended to spend time checking each set of windows for draughts. Draughts can be incredibly frustrating, particularly if you’re not too sure where the culprit is hiding. While there are many reasons as to why your home is no longer draught-proofed, windows often prove to be the leading cause.

Windows are essential insulators in the home. Aside from doors, they are the only component of the home that allows exterior air inside, which means that if they are no longer able to insulate outside air, they will not be serving their purpose correctly. During the colder months, a warm home is key; however, windows that allow a draught in is forcing your central heating system to overcompensate. The more warm air that is lost, the more you will begin to increase the temperature of your heating to ensure that your home remains at the optimum temperature. Along with an increase in the use of your central heating will also come an increase in how much you have to pay to cover the costs.

Spotting whether your windows are no longer able to insulate the home, luckily, is a straightforward task. In an ideal world, no cold air from the outside should release into your home. Even if you stand next to the window, you should still feel just as warm as you would do so in the centre of the room. If the closer you walk towards the window, the room quickly becomes increasingly cooler, then it is a good indication that you would benefit from window replacement.

After window replacement, there are many different preventative measures you can take to ensure that you do not lose any heat. Draught-proofing your home is a simple task that can be completed quickly through DIY methods. Around the edge of window frames, either metal strips or foam strips can be added to ensure that no cold air can creep in. For more information on how to draught-proof your home, take a look at Energy Saving Trust.

foam strips on window

4. Windows Lack In Security

You can never be too cautious when it comes to guaranteeing the safety of your home and those who live inside. Unfortunately, burglars will grab any opportunity to intrude into a property, so do not let your home become the next target. A window should always be able to open, close and lock with ease; you should never have to struggle or apply force to carry out any of these three tasks.

Many different reasons contribute towards why a window would begin to struggle to open and close. As mentioned previously, wooden windows that have started to warp will no longer fit in their frame, meaning that there will be great difficulty when opening and closing. During the Summer, you may also experience a similar issue when opting for uPVC windows. The plastic components used in uPVC materials are guilty of expanding when exposed to continuous warm weather. In most cases, uPVC windows go back to normal once cooled; however, if this doesn’t happen, then you most definitely need to assess the situation with the help of a professional.

Windows, no matter what, should always have the ability to lock. While you may only rarely physically lock windows, you must always have the option to do so. Although windows may be closed, they can still be easily prized open to allow intruders to creep in. You wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked, so do not fall into the routine of allowing your windows to remain unlocked.

locking window

5. Severe Weather Damage

All exterior aspects of your property are continuously exposed to a range of adverse weather conditions which means that at some point, it will begin to take its toll.

Wooden window frames, in particular, find it trickier to withstand the constant ever-changing British weather conditions, particularly those that involve moisture. The combination of excess moisture and wood never has a positive ending and in most cases, will lead to wood decay. Once formed, rot can prove rather stubborn and if left to spread, will contaminate the whole frame, again, making it almost impossible to open and close. Decay that is spotted in the early days, luckily, can be resolved through a rot wood hardener treatment.

Harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain or strong winds also cause the seals of frames to become damaged. With age, seals begin to deteriorate causing visible damage such as cracking and lifting from the surface. Seals that are no longer secure to frames allow rainwater to seep into the home and causes a leak. The most prominent telltale signs of a leak in the home are damp on the walls surrounding the window frame. If you spot damp in your property, it is almost guaranteed that mould will be short to follow. A combination of mould and damp can seriously affect the health of those living within the home, which means that if spotted, you must always aim to get the issue solved as quickly as possible.

mould around window

Telltale Signs You Need New Windows!

With extra research into the most common signs that you need new windows in Milton Keynes, it will be an incredibly easy task to spot damage in advance before they become a serious problem. Allowing old, damaged or deteriorating windows to continue to worsen will not only look unappealing but will also risk both the health and safety of all family members.

If you have noticed any of the warning signs mentioned above, it is strongly recommended to enlist the help of a professional to assess the situation and conclude as to whether you may benefit from window replacement.

A Guide to Home Condensation Removal

There are several reasons as to why there may be a build up of condensation and excess moisture in your home. There are also several solutions to the problem at hand and a few simple changes you can make in order to prevent this occurrence. The accumulation of condensation can cause window frames to rot and wallpaper to peel if it is not treated adequately. Black mould can also start to develop near windows, in the corners or rooms and on soft furniture. Mould is especially susceptible to developing in the winter months and on the North facing walls that lack sunshine. Here is a guide to condensation removal and how you can achieve this at home.

Condensation Removal: Identifying The Causes

There are several ways condensation and mould is caused in your home. Dampness is produced by the buildup of condensation which occurs when moist air and cold surfaces, such as windows or walls, come into contact with each other. A buildup of tiny water droplets is created and then results in the growth of black mould.

Steam produced in the home causes condensation. This can be from cooking, boiling kettles, showering, bathing or drying laundry. When there is not enough ventilation in the property damp air cannot escape, and condensation is formed.

Another reason for condensation forming is when there is not enough heat in your home, and water vapour comes into contact with the cold surfaces. The water vapour then condenses, and dampness is formed.

Having poorly insulated walls and ceilings will also contribute to the amount of condensation forming in your home. When the building can’t retain its heat, and the surfaces become cool, there is a buildup in dampness and condensation. Keep reading to find out how to minimise the amount of condensation developing in your home.

Dry Clothes Outside

Leaving wet clothes to dry in various rooms around your home will increase the amount of moisture in the air and contribute to the buildup of condensation. Instead of airing your clothes in the house, dry them outside on the washing line to prevent excess moisture from forming in your home. If you are unable to dry your washing outside, then hanging them out to dry in the bathroom with the door shut and the windows open is an alternative. This will allow the moisture to escape through the window rather than circulating around your home.

If you have a tumble dryer, then make sure to vent it to the outside through an open window or an outside wall. Ensure that your washing machine is also vented correctly. 2 litres of water is emitted into the air from just one load of washing, so it is essential to have an effective vent installed correctly.

extractor fan

Altering Your Cooking Habits

When you are cooking, try to ensure that lids are covering pans at all times. This is to help reduce the amount of moisture created from boiling water. If you have one installed, make sure to always use your extractor fan or extractor hood above the cooker, which is designed to minimise the amount of moisture created when cooking. Remember to also leave it on for a good 10-15 minutes once you have finished cooking. The moisture is likely to still be in the air even after you have finished so do not turn it off too soon.

It is a good idea to also keep internal doors closed when you’re cooking and steam is produced, to prevent the moisture from spreading further.

If you do not have an extractor fan, it is a good idea to purchase one if you are struggling with condensation and dampness problems in your home. These devices have humidity sensors which will work more effectively when you are producing steam and then slows down when the humidity levels have dropped. You can have these installed onto either ceilings or walls in your property’s kitchen. You can also opt for eco-friendly fans to lower your energy bills and help protect the environment.

Alternative Heating Methods

Although it is essential to keep your home well heated in order to prevent the build-up of condensation, avoid using paraffin heaters which produce a lot of moisture. This method of heating is not only a massive safety hazard to you and your family, but this form of heat tends to create an excess of condensation inside your property.

Keep all of your room temperatures at a minimum of 15 degrees Celsius and invest in effective wall and ceiling insulation. It is essential to keep room temperature levels consistent and try not to let them fluctuate excessively. Having a thermostat can be useful for monitoring temperature levels and making sure they are constant. During the winter months, it is a good idea to leave the heating on all day in order to sustain an even temperature. Even in the rooms that you don’t often use, make sure the heating is still set in order to avoid cold areas. It is better to keep all of your rooms set to a cooler, consistent temperature.

You can also avoid damp entering your home through the effective installation of wall, loft and ceiling insulation. Through draught proofing your doors and sealing gaps in your windows, you can effectively minimise draughts. Not only will this save you money on your energy bills, but it will further help to reduce the buildup of condensation in your home. Installing double glazed windows into your home will help to prevent heat escaping. We can provide windows in Milton Keynes for an affordable price and a quality finish.

loft insulation

Effective Ventilation

Effectively ventilating your home is another crucial way to avoid excess moisture, dampness and condensation. Most modern windows are now fitted with trickle vents. Make sure you leave these open or keep windows open slightly to improve ventilation. Breathing is a primary cause of excess moisture in the air, so it is essential to leave your trickle vents open in the rooms you use most.

Dehumidifiers are an effective way of filtering out the moisture in the air and increasing ventilation in your home. However, this is only a temporary solution to the problem and cannot be left running for long periods of time.

Keeping Your Home Free From Condensation

Here are some effective ways that you can help to reduce the moisture levels in your home and the accumulation of condensation and dampness. We also suggest, as a few last top tips, to ensure there are gaps between your walls and soft furniture, and that your wardrobes are not over-full. Condensation can build up in clothing closets and wardrobes when they are too full and the air cannot circulate effectively. We hope you have found this article helpful, if so why not give it a share on your social media?