How to find the perfect Windows for your Home?

Just as you’d take plenty of time when choosing new furniture or décor, selecting the ideal windows for your home is an important decision that requires plenty of consideration. With so many styles, finishes and openings to choose from, it’s essential that you choose glazing that will enhance the exterior of your house whilst ensuring your home remains insulated and secure.

Whilst the cheapest way of fitting windows to a new house is to use white PVCu windows, hardwood, composite and aluminium windows offer a lot for design options and a wealth of stunning finishes. With all this in mind, the team at Martindale Windows Northampton have taken a look through the world of windows to give you a deep insight into what each style of window will provide along with the pro’s, con’s and sots of each.

PVCu Windows

PVCu (plastic) windows have dominated the windows market since their original introduction in the 1990s as a they offer the simplest of all window solutions. Whilst his solution is no longer deemed to be environmentally friendly, at an average cost of between £4000 and £15000 per property, they do offer a relatively cost-effective solution and require little maintenance. However, they can look cheap and reduce the value of period homes and can be difficult to repair if broken.

Composite Windows

Formed around a timber window frame with a weather-proof capping, composite windows are generally used on houses that have harsher climates as they are extremely durable. Available with triple glazing and in range of modern designs, composite windows provide a very low maintenance solution that offers extraordinary insulation. However, at around £10,000 to £25,000 per home, composite windows are one of the most costlier solutions.

Hardwood Windows

As a solution that is extremely durable and more aesthetically pleasing than PVCu windows, hardwood windows are often used for traditional homes and can be tailored to your style with a range of different stains. Whilst slightly more expensive than PVCu windows at between £8000 and £22,000, hardwood windows provide a much more natural look and great longevity.

Metal/Fibreglass Windows

Made from either steel, aluminium or fibreglass, this particular type of window is often used on more contemporary homes to give a sleek and sophisticated style. Whilst metal/fibreglass windows offer a very low maintenance solution and are more stylish than PVCu windows, they’re not as thermally efficient as wooden windows and as slightly more costly than PVCu windows at around £8000 – £20,000 per home.

Window Style: Casement, Tilt or Sash?

Although you may now know the type of windows that you’d like to go for, before fitting your next set of windows it’s also important to consider the style of windows opening that you’d like to go for. With 3 options to consider, there’s a range of benefits from each type.

Open-out Casement system

As a traditionally British option that has been very popular across the UK for a number of years, open-out casements are available in a variety of styles and finishes. Whilst large casements tend to be the cheapest, but you can also select a slightly more expensive small glazed (Georgian style) solution that is often used in country style houses. This particular style is usually made in modular, standard sizes, keeping costs at a minimum.

Tilt and Turn system

This particular design provides a more continental-style window opening that opens inwards and looks best on modern homes. The ‘tilt’ option provides ventilation with security but are typically made to order, meaning that the overall cost can be quite a lot more.

Sash window system

As the mainstay of Georgian and Victorian housing, the sash window is still widely used on traditional-style new builds. Because the sash window is normally made to specification, sizes can typically be non-standard and so can carry quite varying costs depending on the size of your home.

Conclusion

With such a wealth of different options available, finding the right windows for your home is mainly down to the budget you have and the style of property your looking to improve. For a typical town home, we’d opt for either composite or PVCu windows with an open out or tilt and turn finish, whereas if you’re looking to fit-out a traditional rural home we’d recommend either hardwood or composite windows as they offer a much larger selection of stunning colours and glazing finishes.

 

 

 

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How To Cut Down on the Cost of Moving

While many expenses are unavoidable, there are plenty of ways to keep costs down by planning ahead, comparing prices, and rethinking your presumptions about your moving options and expenses, says Kate Hart. She is an home and office relocations manager at Fantastic Removals, a removal company based in London.

Read below to find out what else she has to suggest on how to cut down on the cost of moving.

The average cost of a move

Most companies are hourly based. They charge by the number of hours each booking takes. Also, most of them have a minimum booking hour which most of the time is 2 hours. If the job needs more than two hours to be completed they will charge by every half an hour extra according to their individual prices.

So, it’s hard to say how much a service would cost you, which in most cases is the biggest problem between companies and customers once the service is completed.

If you are going to book with a removal company, the best tip is to check their deals to combine two or more services in order to reduce the overall price and save money.

How to move without booking a removal company

To complete the move by yourself you need to follow those simple instructions: start packing as early as possible, make a good moving plan and be extremely organised.

What is important to sort out in advance?

  • Тake with you only the things you need, so you will save both time and money;
  • Sort out your things before you begin to pack and decide what you actually need and what can be thrown away;
  • Anything that can be donated or sold is an extra bonus as you avoid waste and reduce your own possessions down.

Label everything or your move might be a disaster!

  • Best way to stay organised during the whole relocation process;
  • Label up some boxes for each room and keep everything together;
  • This will also ease the process when you are settling in at your new place.

Hire a van for the day or ask a friend(s) for help:

  • If you can get the move done in a few trips hire a van for the day and drive yourself;
  • Definitely find some friends to help you with the loading and unloading;
  • Make sure you get a van which will fit your larger pieces of furniture and use your car for smaller items if you have one;
  • Always move the big stuff first.

Plan your interior decoration in advance

Planning in advance will always save you both hassle and nerves later down the road. A small room can be challenging to decorate, especially if you are running on a budget and you lack creative ideas on decorating rooms. If you place many small pieces of furniture, your new home might become crowded and cluttered, while large pieces might preoccupy the room leaving less space for everything else. It’s important to keep the right balance in everything.

Save on gas

The cost of transportation might rise unexpectedly if you get stuck in a traffic jam. So it’s a good idea to plan your trip in advance and avoid rush hour. Besides saving you money for extra fuel this approach will save you a nerve-wracking experience as well. After all, moving house is a daunting task by itself and you don’t want to make it harder by wasting money on fuel or getting stuck on the road.

Cut off your service early

Inform your utility companies beforehand that your are going to move. Otherwise you might end up paying for a service you no longer use and that’s not something you want to happen. Paying bills on both places simultaneously in addition to your moving expenses can ruin your budget, so plan accordingly.

Invest in insurance

Okay, it may sound counter intuitive to spend money on insurance when you are trying to save money on your move. But think about that – what is the total cost of your possessions? As you are packing, loading, transporting, unloading and unpacking lots of things can go wrong. Is it worth the risk? Consider this – how much it’s gonna cost you to replace a cracked display on your 50-inch TV? Sofas, beds, wardrobes – all these cost a lot and it may take a lot of money to repair or replace them. So why not go out and explore what insurance options you have in case of unfortunate events during your move. You might pay a little, but it will save you a lot.

Reuse old packing materials

Try not to give money away for packing materials. You can save some already used plastic bags or left boxes. You may kindly ask in the local supermarket for boxes that they will throw away. Also, see if your friends are able to lend you whatever they have left.

* Additional advice: Make an online research on how to move without booking with a company, because it is not that easy as it seems.

However, it is not impossible!

How to sell or give away rather than move

To make it easier think about the items you are about to sell or give away. Very likely you have gotten a lot of use out of them and they  served you well, now it’s time to pass it along. In doing this, first and foremost, always be realistic in your price setting. You are not trying to recoup what you’ve spent on something! Your goal is to ease your move and make it less stressful.

Furniture

People online are constantly scouring websites looking for bookshelves, nightstands, couches, dining tables, etc…

“Find a trustworthy website, create an account and upload good quality pictures together with small descriptions of the furniture you want to sell.” says Simon from K-town Furniture.

Clothing

People are selling clothing on Facebook, but you’ve got to have a lot of patience and some really high end stuff and well preserved clothing items.

“Kids clothes generally sell well at garage sales. However, if you still have some left overs, consider donating them as hand-me-downs to friends or to the Red Cross, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam and to some thrift shops.” says Harris from HomeDecorExpert.com

Books

If you have hundreds and hundreds of books that you love  but you would never be able to read, it’ best to only keep the most favourite ones and sell or donate the rest. You could set aside some money and buy yourself an E-reader as a present and start collecting the books you have sold on it. I know it’s not the same, but that is the future and it’s much easier in case you decide to move again or when you are traveling and want to bring some reading with you.

Everything else

When people come to buy your furniture, clothes or books be sure to mention to them that everything else in the house will be going as well. They might very well know someone who needs to fill up a cabin or a new apartment.

If someone is coming to buy a bookcase, ask them if they need any books. If they want a microwave, offer them your pyrex dishes too.

Yes, moving in/out can be both exciting and extremely happy time to experience. Regardless, expenses are usually part of it, no matter how wonderful otherwise. But by keeping an eye to the financial aspects of the move and taking simple steps to reduce the costs, will significantly lower any stress or material difficulties. One thing is for sure, this will make your transition to a new home and community easier for yourself and your family.

Keep This in Mind When Dealing with Water Damage

If you or someone you love is dealing with damages from flooding, a leak, or broken appliances, you probably have a lot of questions, and rightly so.

Water causes all sorts of problems, some of which are very hazardous, long term, and extremely expensive to deal with. There are usually no quick fixes or easy answers. Proper water damage restoration takes expertise, time and money. So when your home is affected by flooding or a leak, it naturally fills you with anxiety and questions.

Allow us to help ease your anxiety a bit by providing the most important details you need to know about flooding and water damage repair. They could help you make the best of a bad situation.

What You Should Know About Water Damage

Many don’t realize that flood damage is much more sinister than their belongings getting wet. Simply drying items doesn’t make them safe or salvageable.

So, to help you determine what you can keep, what you can restore, and what you need to toss after flooding or leaks occur, here are some important things you should know about it:

 

  • Standing water, even if it has only been present for 12-24 hours, can seep through your drywall and insulation, and even compromise the wood frame behind it.
  • Furniture can suffer damage even if it is not sitting in standing water, because of the dampness and moisture in the room.
  • Mold develops within 24-48 hours.
  • Upholstered furniture, rugs, and materials quickly results in the development of mold, mildew and bacteria, all of which are serious health hazards.
  • Undetected moisture can continue to damage materials, causing them to shrink, split, delaminate, and deteriorate.

 

The bottom line—water damage is often not visible to the eye, and serious, hazardous consequences can develop in a very short period of time. It takes proper equipment and knowledge to fully achieve water damage repair.

 

DIY Water Damage Restoration Tips

While you definitely need to call in the professionals for serious damage, there are some things that you can do on your own to lessen the impact and restore your items. Here are some quick tips:

  • Set to work IMMEDIATELY since deterioration and mold development happens fast and repairs are more costly and difficult the longer you wait.
  • Turn off electricity to the flooded area.
  • Remove all furniture and items from the room as quickly as possible.
  • Pull up the carpet and pad—they will need to be trashed.
  • Remove the water and ventilate the area by opening windows and placing a humidifier in the room.

The above steps, when executed as quickly as possible, can prevent problems from spreading or becoming severe and lessen repair costs significantly. For more tips, check out this article on how to save your furniture from water damage.

 

When To Call Professional Water Damage Repair Services

That said, in many cases, you will still need to call in water damage restoration companies to professionally assess and restore your property and belongings.

If the water has been standing for over 12-24 hours, you will definitely want to call in the professionals. By that point, you would have mold and mildew developing and potentially dangerous bacterial growth. A professional restoration service will be able to detect and properly remove these so that your home is safe.

 

Choosing Restoration Companies

When looking for restoration companies, you will want to be careful to choose one that has experience and proper certifications. This is no time to call in the average handy man.

Different types of materials must be treated and restored carefully, or else they could be ruined. A certified and experienced repair service will know how to treat your home and belongings without damaging them further.

If you live in the Denver, Colorado area, you can look to Restoration Logistics for your restoration needs.

5 Ways to Increase Natural Light in Your Home

Natural light boasts many health benefits, as well as saving you cash on your utility bills and generally creating a better aesthetic in your home or property (avoiding that orangery glow of lamp uplighters in every room).  So, ensuring your home is making the most of natural light can transform your property, not only making it a better place to live, but also adding value to the property too.

Some of the Health Benefits associated with natural light are:

  • Increased Serotonin (the body’s natural anti-depressant)
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Improved circulation
  • Increased levels of vitamin D (required for healthy bones)

These health benefits can contribute to a better quality of life in general.

As a result of these benefits, many builders, employers, and home owners are now looking for ways to increase the amount of natural light in their properties due to the numerous benefits it offers.  This technique is known as ‘daylighting’: increasing the amount of daylight entering a property so as to reduce utility costs, and take advantage from its health benefits.

Natural light is a practical solution to expensive lighting and heating bills, and creating effective natural light sources in properties is increasingly important.  You will notice that many newly built properties now feature larger windows and skylight windows to take advantage of opportunities to use natural light throughout the property.

Here are some ways you can increase natural light in your property:

  1. Skylight Windows:Installing flat roof skylights is by far the best method for increasing natural light in your property.  Flat roof skylights can flood a room with natural light.  This is a particularly useful method for extensions, and darker spaces such as narrow hallways and bathrooms.
  2. 2. Bi-Folding Doors: These are a great feature in Kitchens and Living Rooms, bringing a little bit of the outside in.  Bi-Folding doors cover a vast area of space, and you can install them to almost take up space across thewhole wall, letting in lots of natural light.
  3. Making use of slopedceilings and roofs:  If your property has sloped ceilings, they can be practical in directing natural light into your property.  Slopes facing away from the fenestration area (the placement of the windows/doors) improve surface brightness, so they act to direct more light into the space as they can help direct more light into the room.

You can also install skylight windows into sloped roofs to optimise daylighting, which is great for loft conversions and attic rooms.

  1. Reflection: Carefully planning reflection of the natural light entering your property can also make a huge difference for darker spaces.  Reflection of natural light can be achieved through the careful placement of mirrors to reflect light back into a room; large shiny tiles can have a similar effect.  However, you will need to take care to avoid direct beams of light as this can pose some health and safety issues as well as leading to discomfort (from overheating, glare etc.)

Alternatively, you can decorate using specific colour schemes, such as bright whites, and pastels, which absorb less of the natural light entering the room almost making it ‘bounce’ back off the surface and lighten up a room.

  1. High Windows:Installing high windows is one of the most effective methods for increasing natural light into a property, and this is best achieved through the installation of skylight windows.  High windows allow for more daylight to enter the property due to their positioning, without creating too much brightness.  Skylight windows can also offer a practical solution to rooms and spaces where a regular window would be difficult to install e.g. basement conversions, exterior walls with an obstructed view.

Creating more natural light in a property has no end of benefits, and can even add to the design of your property.  Think carefully about what you want to achieve with natural light in a particular space, then consider the best option from there.

Why Noisy Neighbours Are Not The Only Reason You Should Soundproof Your Windows

Don’t you just love the sound of squealing brakes, screaming babies and blaring music first thing in the morning? No? Not very idyllic, is it?

Unfortunately, with more people, high roads on our doorstep and an increase in the number of cars on the road, unwanted noises are making a greater appearance in our lives and homes. The issue of noise is no longer limited to inner-city areas – the rise in the development of suburban and residential regions means the ‘quiet life’ has become all but a dream for many of us. So what can we do to get some peace and quiet?

One solution comes in the form of noise reducing windows. The process is not as technical as it sounds – it simply involves upgrading your windows to keep 90-95% of unwanted nuisance sounds at bay. Oh, and don’t forget, they add an extra layer of security to your home and can even increase the value of your property!

The day to day sounds we encounter are not actually classed as noise, in fact for a sound to be considered noise it must be “loud, irritating and unwanted”. As you can imagine, the constant bombardment of noise can not only become very, very annoying but can truly begin to affect the quality of life.

Aircraft Noise

Aircraft can create some of the most disruptive and disturbing noises which is expected from engines that produce 100,000+ horse power! The noise produced from aircraft is a real concern, not only for comfort but also for health, as frequent exposure can begin to have a physical impact on the body. A study published by the British Medical Journal revealed that people who lived by airports were at a higher risk of developing health issues such as stroke and heart disease.

Many airports have reacted accordingly and now offer soundproofing grants for homes affected by aircraft noise pollution. So, if you happen to live nearby an airport and currently do not have sound proofing, be sure to contact the airport to see how your situation can be improved.

Road Traffic & Rail Noise

During the day, noise from vehicles and trains is not particularly bothersome. After all, these sounds are part and parcel of living in modern cities and towns. Living near a busy road or train station can be advantageous for many people, simply due to ease of travel. However, these types of noises become inconvenient during the night and evening, when the desired sound levels for comfort drops.

Although unassuming, noise from cars and trains can contribute to disturbing and disrupting sleep, which can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Many people have taken to sound reducing windows, to eliminate virtually all noise created from these sources during the night, helping them sleep soundly whilst continuing to reap the benefits of living in areas with great travel links.

 

Noise from Neighbours

Noise from next door is at an all-time high for many of us! This is especially true in cities and towns as we live in increasingly close quarters. When anti-social noise is mentioned, we often picture screaming kids, over-exuberant musicians or yappy dogs, however, poor soundproofing in your home can mean even low-level sounds seep through. Sound reducing windows will contribute to reducing irksome sounds from neighbours and busy residential roads.

Which sound reducing option is best for you?

Suppliers are able to reduce the level of noise by adding layering to the materials your windows are made of, improving their ability to absorb and reflect sound. Your supplier will evaluate your home and consult you on which option is aesthetically and functionally best for you. Soundproofing can be applied to many types of windows, including PVCu and wooden framed windows and rarely requires planning permission, so there’s little reason to worry whether your home is suitable.

Triple Glazing

Not heard of triple glazing before? You wouldn’t be the first. Triple glazing is the less popular alternative to double glazing and involves adding an extra pane of glass to your windows. Although there are many benefits to adding triple glazing to your home, such as improved heat insulation, if noise is your grievance, it may not be the best option for you. Adding an extra pane of glass does have some noise limiting qualities, however, the type of glass used is typically of the same density and thickness – which does little for sound reduction. That makes triple glazing a solution best suitable for low-level, anti-social noise.

Double Glazing 

Double glazing can work wonders for soundproofing your property – with its effects being most remarkable in houses with single pane or old windows. Typically installed on the outside of your home, units are specifically designed to combat noise, with the added benefit of improving energy efficiency and home security.

Double glazing’s soundproofing power comes from the space between the two panes of glass and the thickness of each sheet. These factors combined help to effectively dissipate and disperse sounds of certain frequencies, making it great for eliminating road and rail noise.

For extra sound reducing qualities, ask about laminated panes.

Secondary Glazing

Secondary glazing is an option you should consider if you are having issues with unwanted noise. Of the three options, secondary glazing is the most effective method for sound reduction, which could explain why it has been growing in popularity amongst home owners. Typically, units are installed internally within your existing window frame, which not only makes secondary glazing suitable for properties with traditional or listed features but also causes the gap between the two panes of glass to be far wider than double glazed windows. Secondary glazed windows are designed to keep 90% of unwanted external noise out of your home, making it an effective solution for homes affected by aircraft noise pollution.

To find solutions that best suit your needs, contact Bennbrook Windows, as one of the largest UK regional suppliers of windows, doors & conservatories, you can count on us for top quality products, speedy installation and excellent after care for long lasting and effective results. Call for a quote on 01992 574 555 or visit our website at http://bennbrookwindows.co.uk/ .