With all the talk about energy efficiency and rising gas prices within the news you may be wondering how you and your family can make an impact and do something about it within your home. With up to 20% of heat loss being attributed to old, faulty windows a good place to start in any property is by investing in energy rated windows.
Replacement energy efficient windows can help to make a real impact on the amount of energy you use heating your home, this in turn will help to reduce your bills, giving you more money for the things you prefer to spend your disposable income on.
If you are unsure as to which windows will be most suitable for your home then the glazing industry has made it a little easier with the clear window ratings scheme giving the manufacturers an official scale in which to adhere to and then rate their products. All windows are now rated in terms of their energy efficiency just like household appliances such as fridges and freezers. This will help to give you a clearer idea of how much difference your new windows are likely to make to your home.
Most glazing installers and suppliers would sell a C rated window as standard but an A rated window using low e glass, is at the tipping point where windows move from costing you money to actually saving you money. Therefore if you can, always enquire about energy efficient windows for your home.
Taking the decision to install new windows now will prove to be a sound investment in the future regardless of whether you stay in the property or decide to sell. Any potential buyers who see that you have energy efficient windows installed will surely be more likely to make a bid, safe in the knowledge that they will have lower energy bills.
If you opt for triple glazing your energy savings will be even more substantial than the aforementioned double glazing and although it will be a more sizeable initial outlay, it will repay you even quicker.
Not only will new replacement windows lower your energy bills but you are also going to dramatically improve the look of your home. You will also be able to rely on your new double glazing to ensure your home is safe for many years into the future.
Home Improvements that enhance your home in more ways than one are often hard to come by but investing in replacement windows is a sure fire way to achieve a better home.
With more homeowners than ever looking to go green it is perhaps time to consider whether your own property is as environmentally friendly as it could be. The following are a few simple questions to get you thinking along the right lines.
What Light Bulbs Do You Use?
An incredibly simple way of cutting down on the amount of energy you consume is to switch over to energy efficient light bulbs. This won’t cost you much and will only take a few minutes of your time. You will then spend less on lighting your home and the bulbs should last a lot longer as well. If you haven’t done this already then it is something you should think about doing as a matter of urgency.
Are Your Appliances Energy Efficient?
If you can’t remember the distant day on which you bought your current fridge or dishwasher then there is a good chance that they aren’t very energy efficient. Huge advances have been made in this area in recent years and you should be able to find a machine which gives you a better, cleaner performance and uses up fewer resources as well. It might be a reasonably big investment but you are unlikely to regret it.
Do You Waste Water?
Any fairly easy way in which to make an improvement is concerning your water usage. Many people have got bad habits which involve using a lot more of wet stuff than they really need to. There are some green products you can buy to help you with this but it is just as important that you use common sense when taking a shower, washing your car or flushing the toilet. If you really want to improve in this respect then you could buy a rainwater storage tank to give you water for the plants and look at the options for environmentally friendly shower head and toilets among other things.
Do Your Windows and Doors Let the Heat Escape?
A popular complaint in many home is that the heating needs to be turned up full when the cold months come around. This means using a lot of energy and it is hard to be green when you do this. In many cases the simple reason for this is that the property’s windows are not double glazing and let too much heat escape. By making the change to double glazed uPVC windows and well fitted doors you can ensure that you are heating up your home effectively instead of wasting energy and money. If you aren’t sure how to make a start on doing this then you only have to check out the website of a nig name company like Anglian Home Improvements to find out more details and work out what suits you best.
With advances in modern technology and continuous scientific innovation often comes great change, double glazing glass is no exception to this. Windows were once purely inventions of necessity; a way to get light into a home however, with modern life there is a need for more modern solutions that carry modern benefits. At first this meant moving from the use of a single glass pane to the use of double glazed windows, the extra glass still allows light to enter but reduces the amount of heat that can escape. Now however, double glazing alone is not enough. Instead a new innovation was needed that focuses on the glass itself rather than purely increasing the quantity (and cost) of glass used in each windows unit.
This latest innovation in glass production involves the use of a special coating to create a low emissivity glass. This coating makes the glass very effective at capturing energy from the sun while at the same time making sure that any internal heat cannot escape through improved thermal insulation. By capturing energy directly from the sun and ensuring that this energy cannot escape, these new windows allow for solar heat gain which means that more often than not the windows actually produce energy rather than simply try to avoid the loss of it.
There are many other ways in which glass has been constantly improved though new production process. One such technique involves creating a glass product that is clearer and contains fewer imperfections than normal glass. This is achieved by using high quality, low iron sand which ultimately creates a far purer form of glass. The benefit of using this glass is that it is effectively more see through than standard glass; more light (and therefore heat) can pass through into the home.
When all of these innovations are put together in one double glazed unit the results are quite incredible. The end product allows increased levels of light and heat into the home while at the same time stopping almost all heat transfer to the outside; the windows go from simply cutting the amount of energy usage to producing small amounts of energy.
When you are thinking about replacing your homes windows make sure that you contact your local double glazing installers in order to find out about the best possible glass products for your home. The installers are very experienced and will always know of the latest glass innovations to ensure that you are always getting the most efficient glass for your windows to help save you money instantly on your energy bills.
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.
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.
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!
Making Stained Glass Windows for Doors at Home
When it comes to sprucing up your home the options are endless, but when converting windows into stained glass you bring a whole new life to a place. Not only do stained glass windows add a bit of color and character to your home, but they can be very useful in creating privacy, blocking out bright sunlight or even simply covering up a bad view. So for those who are in the mood to get crafty we shall walk you through the basic steps of how to turn those plain door windows into pieces of art made by your own two hands.
1. Choose your pattern
To begin the process you will need to decide if you would like to use a preprinted pattern or if you would like to make your own. If you choose to make your own pattern be sure to use a piece of paper that fits the size of the door window you will be replacing. We suggest that beginners stick to bigger shapes and for those looking for more of a challenge use smaller more intricate shapes. After you have crafted your design, number each shape then make a copy, that way you can cut out each piece on the copy and use it as a tracer for your glass.
2. Pick out your glass
When deciding on what glass to use in your front door, you need to consider several factors. First off, you will want to consider your colors, making sure that your palette goes nicely together and keeping in mind which colors will be next to each other on your pattern. Secondly, the thickness of the glass will play a big role in the making of your window because if it is too thin it may break easily and if it is too thick it will be hard to cut later. Lastly, if you are re-using old glass you will want to check that when you place your paper shape cut out on the glass that no cracks or unwanted blemishes are showing.
3. Cut your glass
This is when it is best to take things slow and be very patient in order to minimize waste and avoid becoming stressed. Using removable adhesive, place your cut out shape on your glass and then using your glass cutter, cut out your shape. If you think you have made any mistakes do not try and adjust them at this time, instead finish cutting the shape and then gently tap it out of the larger glass. Now you can use pliers to very carefully tap away bits if it is too big or a glass grinder to smooth out any imperfections. This stage is complete once you have smoothed down the edges of your shapes using emery paper.
4. Connect the leading
Now it is time to put your puzzle back together to create your beautiful door window design. You can use your original pattern and the numbers written on the shapes to help you remember the correct layout, simply throw away the cut out paper shapes once it is complete. Then begin to fit your lead strips around each piece of glass. You can choose between different thicknesses of lead, just keep in mind that they will show on the final product.
5. Time to solder the joints
This is the last step in making your stained glass door window and it serves as a very important part because it is what binds it all in place. Soldering can be dangerous because it is flammable so make sure you are using proper precautions. After you have heated the iron you will connect the lead by soldering the joints, do not rush through this process, but keep at a steady pace so that you can properly fit each piece before it dries. Once you have completed both sides and around the outside you have completed your stained glass window. Some people like to give the window a bit of a polish before hanging it up, we suggest using a very light detergent if this is something you would like to do.
Once your door window is hung you can sit back and enjoy your illuminated wall decoration knowing that you have successfully created a piece of art and in a style that has been around for over a thousand years.
This article is brought to you by Yale composite doors. Each Yale period style front door features the option to insert a number of stained glass options. Yale exterior doors come in a range of styles; from Victorian to contemporary front doors – the choice is yours.
From looking good to splash backs and moisture, window blinds need a cautious balance of pragmatism and elegance. Roller blinds are some of the most popular choices and are particularly useful for providing toughness without surrendering on the style and other materials. Furthermore, they are seen as flexible so that they can be specifically decorated around certain themes, with easy options for cleaning and adjusting. They allow you to be as private as you want, whilst still having the option to let in the maximum amount of sunlight quickly and with ease. When partaking in a home improvement project and considering the right kind of roller blinds, it is worth thinking about some straightforward advice and things to remember:
It is argued that the most ideal roller blinds require a certain type of material that resists water and can be cleaned with simplicity. A wide number of manufacturers create fabrics and synthetic mixes that are designed to be quickly and efficiently cleaned. Other blinds can be made from UPVC fabrics that can be sprayed clean, and will resist a build up of moisture. A number of blinds can also be preserved to defend against any type of damage from sunlight, whilst still providing the warmth inside of the bathroom.
The theme of a bathroom is just as important when thinking about the aesthetic value, and blinds can contribute and adapt around your desired theme Some of the most conventional examples involve light pastels and primary colours. Some of the simplest of designs and schemes can carry across the room to work beautifully with the wallpaper. Extra bright colours can really set the mood of a bathroom, with earthy shades and primal colours can work to make the room stand out from any other.
If you are looking to make a bathroom child friendly then blinds are an ideal way to do this. A bathroom can be created to provide a unique place for children via pictured and carefully decorated blinds. A common theme for blinds in the bathroom consist of rubber ducks or fish, to be merged with a similar type of wallpaper and bathroom curtain.
Maintenance of roller blinds created with water resistant materials do not usually need much maintenance. There will be times where it will be worth maintained them with treatment to prevent any mildew from appearing. If you do want to make your bathroom child friendly, then ensure that there are not any loose cords or strings from the blinds that can be easily reached by children. As well as being a health hazard, they can turn other objects surrounding the area into health hazards, including electrical equipment and sharp bathroom items which are usually out of reach.