Get The Right Hardware For The Right Window

A window is only as safe as its lock; no matter how much time and care is spent during the building or installing process, the security of a window is almost completely dependent on the strength and reliability of its locking system. PVC or aluminium frames are strong, tough and resistant to force entry, the double glazing itself is often very hard to break and certainly hard to break quietly.

However, no matter how strong these elements are, a cheap or ill fitted lock will render a window completely unsecured. From cheap metals to poor keys, there are many ways that window locks can be unsafe for use. Ultimately, when deciding what lock to use, it is always worth paying extra and getting a high quality lock to ensure you have high quality security.

It is not just the quality of lock that will effect how secure it is; it must also be suitable for the person using the lock. For instance, fitting a lock too high for the user will mean they cannot lock the window if it was ever opened by someone else, it can also be easy to forget that it is unlocked if it is not easy to check. Security is not the only important factor with windows locks, it is important to get the right colour in order to fit in with the style of the house; chrome is mainly for more modern homes and white looks perfect in almost any style of home.

Another important piece of window hardware to get right is window handles. These are the one component of the window that will be used the most, often every day. A good quality handle must be chosen so that it does not wear out quickly or fail after only a few years. A good window handle will have a smooth but firm action and come with a strong, reasonable sized, key. Small keys are a very big issue with window handles; they can easily break or be lost due to their flimsiness and the fact that they are only small. The finish on the handle must also be of sufficient quality to not start to fade or wear over time, white handles will rarely do this; however, it can be an issue with gold handles. Chrome handles are generally the toughest and are unlikely to ever fade; the issue here is normally the metal scratching easily which can damage its aesthetic value. Some manufacturers have reacted to the fading of their handles and added quality coats to ensure they last for up to 10 years.

Overall, it is important to select good quality window hardware to go with newly built or newly installed windows. If not, security and style may be needlessly compromised.

Be Safe When You Are Maintaining Your Roof

Before you consider doing anything to your roof like sort out the shingles or clean the guttering you should make sure that you have your roof safety rules down! Even the simplest job can be hazardous to your safety when you are working that high up, even if it’s a one story property.

Even all you people out there who are experience D.I.Y-er’s should still do everything to ensure that you reduce the risk of ending up in hospital. So not only will you be in hospital you will still have a damaged roof.


Wear the right shoes

This might seem like common sense, but it’s worth pointing out that you have to make sure you wear the proper shoes or boots. I would recommend anything with a great deal of grip on, preferably boots with rubber soles for that extra grip to make sure that you stay on the roof for longer than one step. You should make sure that the tread is there because the risk is too high, Excuse the pun!.

Clean it up

So you have the right foot-wear on. There is no way your falling of that roof unless you get pushed or you jump. So before you decide to actually do any maintenance to the roof you should make sure that you give the roof a good clean. Make sure you can clear all the built up dirt and different debris that is up there.

Wear a safety Harness

I think this is defiantly the most important. No doubt you will have people that will be reading this post thinking “my old shoes will be fine” or “I don’t need to clean my roof, its ok” but without the safety harness, as crude as it sounds I guarantee you are going to injure yourself. When those boots you’ve had for 20 years don’t grip and you slip, this harness will be there to stop you from falling. If you are only going to listen to one thing make sure it is this!

Use Gutter Guard

One way to keep your ladder safe and steady and to keep your gutters protected as you’re up on the roof is by using a gutter-guard. The gutter-guard basically consists of any scrap piece of wood or plywood that you fasten to the roof deck, put a notch in it, lean the ladder legs against the notch and tie in place

Have Toe Holds

“What are toe holds?” I hear you ask. Well my friend they are rather simple, they are literally 2 piece of wood. Preferably wood that won’t break with a bit of pressure. And when you have them nail them into the roof which in turn is another measure to prevent you slipping. As soon as you have finished with them just simply remove them. If I where you I would keep them for the next time, and save the money that may go towards the roof.

Tip Avoid Watery Roofs

Whenever there’s been on your roof (whether it’s rain, snow, ice, dew or the first frost of the year), just put your work on hold until the roof dries (or thaws, as the case may be). For this reason, do not undertake roof work in the winter, unless it’s an emergency.

Hillary Ealey is a new blogger with a keen interest in anything Home Improvements or D.I.Y. The services are brought to you by LEAFIELD PROJECTS

Five Tips for Conservatory Maintenance this Winter


Winter can wreak havoc on all parts of a building, and the conservatory is no exception.  From driving rain and strong winds to ice and snow, the seasonal weather can really cause some serious damage, even on newer conservatories.

But don’t worry – we’ve put together a list of handy hints and tips to keep your conservatory in top condition during the colder months, and if you carry out simple checks each day, you may even be able to prevent any major issues.

#1 – Repair Leaks

Conservatory roofs are vulnerable to leaks, and they can be caused by a number of issues – not just age!  Such causes include:

  • Inadequate flashing
  • Roof panels that have slipped
  • Loose cappings
  • Vents that don’t properly close, or that aren’t properly sealed

Once a leak sets in, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to properly repair it.  Resealing the roof can take time and isn’t always effective, though there are other repairs that can be carried out.  Ultimately though, prevention is better than cure, particularly as leaking roofs often require replacement.  Of course, if you’re willing to attempt a repair, it’s always advisable to speak to a professional first.

#2 – Keep Paint and Varnish Fresh

If you have a timber conservatory, maintenance is vital.  It should be regularly repainted or varnished to prevent flaking, rot, and to keep the exterior of your property looking fresh and clean.

As well as this, regular painting and varnishing have a number of other benefits, including the following:

  • It reduces any damage to the wood that could be caused by UV light
  • Stops the penetration of water
  • Using microporous paint can allow any excess moisture in the wood to escape

Each of these steps can be done yourself, though getting advice from experts is recommended.

#3 – Keep Gutters Clear

It’s tempting to ignore any debris that builds up in your gutters, and to make the assumption that it will break down on its own.  But this isn’t the case.  Gutter maintenance is an important task on any part of your property, including the conservatory.

Gutters should be cleared throughout the year, including twice in the winter – once in early winter and once in late winter.  This ensures that the conservatory will not succumb to water damage, and that any insects do not make their homes in your gutters and cause structural damage.

A huge amount of debris can become lodged in your gutters, including organic material from trees and bits of asphalt from your roof that can become dislodged following heavy or prolonged rain showers.

In order to prevent this, it’s advisable to regularly check your gutters and remove any debris before it has time to build up and cause a serious issue.

#4 – Ensure that all Window Seals are Sound

Over time, the seals around the windows and roof panels of your conservatory can become damaged, cracked or start to flake off, all thanks to their exposure to the elements.

This can result in all kinds of problems, including leaks and draughts, which can affect the energy efficiency of the conservatory.  In order to prevent this, the roofline and windows should be inspected on a regular basis to assess any issues and allow you to take steps to rectify them.

Should you find any problems, they should be repaired immediately to reduce the likelihood of any further damage, and to help keep your home safe, sound and energy efficient.

#5 – Roof Windows should be Regularly Checked

This is particularly the case following heavy snowfall or low temperatures, as ice and the weight of the snow can cause damage to seals and decorative elements on the roof, result in cracked roof panels and be detrimental to guttering.

Each of these can cause significant problems, and can seriously weaken the structural integrity of your conservatory.  As such, it’s essential that all parts of the conservatory are thoroughly checked throughout the winter, so that any problems can be spotted and repaired as soon as possible.

Yorkshire Window & Conservatories 

Of course, it’s possible to carry out all conservatory checks yourself, but any repairs and replacements should be undertaken by professionals.  At Yorkshire Windows, we have years of experience when it comes to supplying and installing a huge range of conservatories and orangeries, so we have what it takes to provide you with the very best advice on conservatory maintenance.

Should you find any issues, simply give us a call and our friendly team will be more than happy to assess the problem and advise on the best course of action – whether that’s a repair or replacement.

So if you need help with your conservatory this winter, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

The History of Central Heating [Guest Post]

Central heating is so called because the heat is generated in a central location, i.e. by your boiler. You can go back thousands of years and find man creating fires to keep warm, but this was just the first step towards understanding and using central heating.

Back to ancient times

However you may still go further back in history than you think to find information on how our modern heating started life. The ancient Greeks understood that heat could be transferred from one place to another by creating channels in walls and underneath floors. The heat created would pass through these channels and be felt in the rooms beyond. The proper name for this system was a hypocaust.

Underfloor heating became quite common in medieval times in some parts of the world; indeed it was regularly used in Alpine regions. It used a similar system to that of the Greeks, but the channels were solely restricted to run under the floors. It was actually very efficient, especially for the times.

What about heating water?

It would not be until the 1700s that people started to consider the possibility of heating water to pass through pipes to heat houses and homes. This is closest to the system of central heating we use today.

In reality people living in different countries around the world have been experimenting with the idea of centrally heating the home for many years. They’ve done it in different ways and it has led to where we are today.

Keeping your modern central heating system working efficiently

There is one thing all these systems have in common, both modern and ancient. If a blockage occurred anywhere in the system, such as when debris filled the pipes for example, it would lead to an inefficient system that didn’t work as well as it should.

Today we still have this problem, particularly as the water in the pipes can lead to limescale and/or rust affecting the efficiency of the water flow. In this situation you may opt for a central heating flush to ensure the system is fully flushed out and working at its best once more.

It might surprise you to learn how long we humans have been experimenting with central heating systems. They may have come a long way since the early days centuries ago, but the journey has been nothing short of impressive.

Article provided by Lenka from

Facts You Should Know About Central Air Conditioning Repair

Summary: If you have a central air conditioner in your home, you may face problems with the contraption at point of time. To make it sure that you make the most out of an air conditioning repair expert have a clear understanding of some crucial issues as well as solutions related to AC repair.


If you have a central air conditioner in your home, you should know that you might encounter some acute problems with the contraption at any given point of time. You are sure to reach the height of irritation and intense feeling of disgust if it happens in summer times. Calling in an air conditioning repair pro is essential in such a situation. To make it sure that you make the most out of the professional you need to have a clear understanding of some crucial issues as well as solutions related to AC repair.


AC machine not turning on

You might occasionally encounter this problem with your contraption. In most cases, it happens when the contraption faces an issue with the fuse or the brown circuit breaker. At the same time, the problem might trigger if the internal switch gets off by any chance or if the thermostat becomes faulty. In such a situation, the intervention of a seasoned professional is essential. Before you hire the air conditioning repair expert, you should make it a point to check whether the thermostat is set in cool mode or in off mode. If you have some experience with the contraption, you can check whether the 240 volt double circuit breaker is properly functioning to control the compressor as well as the unit. Make it sure that you have thoroughly checked out the overflow tray, condensate drain, switches including the external switch for safety purpose. If you feel the issue is serious do not try your hands on it. Leave the job for the pro.


Malfunctioning dehumidify system

You might face this issue with your air conditioner if the system is oversized for your house. The oversize issue might cause serious malfunctioning in the dehumidify system of your contraption. In general the cooling coil of the oversize AC is a significant part that happens to be at the back of the dehumidify trouble. Once you find the trouble you need a feasible solution and it is in the hands of a professional only. A seasoned air conditioning repair guy must look into the trouble and do the needful to increase the capacity of cooling load. In order to make it sure that the trouble does not repeat once again an additional ductwork might be necessary.


Short cycling compressors

The trouble of short cycling compressors has been faced by a number of homeowners. Because of this kind of a trouble in your compressor you might find that the compressors tends to turn on as well as turn off very recurrently causing a good amount of trouble for you. This kind of a trouble gives indication of an obstructed thermostat. When it happens you need to check whether the obstruction is caused by dirt or some object. You should also see whether there is any refrigerant leak. In case the trouble is caused by dirt you can get the dirt removed by yourself. If the trouble is caused by refrigeration charge as well as refrigeration leak you require the services of a technician immediately.

Make it a point that you keep these essentials aspects pertaining to central air conditioning repair issues and solutions in mind. They are truly going to come handy when you are about to call in a pro to do the repair job.


Author Bio: John Benett is an experienced author who loves to share his views on home improvement related issues through his informative write ups. If you read his articles you are going to get sufficient details on air conditioning repair services, landscaping solutions, window repair services, lawn maintenance etc.

How an Artificial Lawn Near Water is Prepared and Why it Works

An artificial lawn can be easily placed on any spot of a lawn that’s near a body of water. These include spots like a fountain, a small pond or even in a garden that has a small bit of water in the area. The lawn can be prepared with a unique style to make it fully functional. It should be made carefully to make it look interesting and valuable for any kind of lawn no matter what it will look like.

How is it Prepared?

The preparation process for getting this handled should be relatively easy for anyone to work with. It is a key part of why it is capable of handling water without any problems.

What happens first is that a large backing is to be prepared at the ground surface. This backing traditionally features a crushed rock base that goes over the soil. An appropriate barrier then has to be added over the rock base to support the artificial lawn blades.

An infill is then added to make it more natural in appearance. Sand is usually used here although rubber may also work.

This is all prepared with a series of artificial grass fibers coming out from the base. This is going to be spaced out to look like real grass and will be flexible enough to handle all sorts of pressures.

Easy to Drain

A big part of getting an artificial lawn near water is that it will be easier to drain than a traditional lawn. Water that gets on the way from splashing or precipitation is capable to move right through the surface. This should be made to make it easier for the water in a spot to be well controlled.

The soft surface particularly helps to make it so it can drain quickly. This soft surface is designed to support an entire area without creating any problems over how the surface is to feel after a person uses pressure on it. It must work well considering how traditional grass can wear out and collapse over time as a result of the excess water that it might get in touch with after a while.

Easy to Alter

The process of altering the lawn will not be too hard to handle either. An artificial lawn can contain a consistent color that will not wear out after a while.

There’s also the way how it can be cut to fit all sorts of shapes. These include shapes that conform around bodies of water, plant beds, stepping stones and anything else that might be placed near a landscape.

In conclusion, the use of an artificial lawn near water might help that your home keep its appearance as great as possible. If all preparations are set well and installing lawn was done by professionals no problems should occur.

What’s The Best Material For Cladding?

When you choose your cladding material, you will be presented with a lot of different options. There are many things to take into consideration, such as the materials used in your home, the appearance of your home and its location. Some materials are better suited to a warmer climate and some will protect your house better if you live somewhere cold. Here’s a list of the different materials used for cladding and their benefits.

Vinyl Cladding
This is a very common choice and is effective at both keeping the heat out of your house in summer and warming your house in winter. You can also find vinyl cladding products that have been made to improve insulation, these help in both warm and cold climates. Vinyl is a good choice, since it’s hard to scratch or dent but it cracks easily if you live somewhere that comes into contact with salty air or somewhere hot. Vinyl is the cheapest option – both to buy and install.

Metal Cladding
The advantage of choosing metal cladding over other materials is that it’s very durable and can be easily maintained with paint every so often. You don’t have the same risks as using vinyl cladding if you’re in an area close to the ocean with salty air, or in a warm area. If you already have cladding installed, it is possible to cover it with metal cladding to save time and costs on removal.

Wood Cladding
Wood cladding isn’t the best choice for insulation, especially since it’s not fire resistant. It needs a lot of upkeep and will have to be replaced sooner than other types of cladding. It can be costly to maintain wood cladding, since it warps easily. It is also expensive to install and needs to be cut to size.

Stucco/Rendered Cladding
This is the best choice for cladding, especially in a warm location, since it keeps cool air inside and the sun out. This is very thick cladding, so it’s incredibly durable if it’s looked after properly. It is the most expensive option available and will cost a lot to install. But if you need high quality cladding that will last for a long time, then this is the best option for you.

Mitten Vinyl can assist with all different types of cladding, read more about their services and options available to you by visiting their website.