Replacing a window with upvc French Doors

With the summer approaching, our minds turn to the outdoor space in our homes and how we can make the most of it during the warmer weather. The main consideration is increasing the access to the garden to make the whole house a more workable space. We recently had an appointment with a young couple in Barry who had just bought a house and wanted to improve the access to the garden before they moved in.

During the appointment they decided that they would like to remove a window from the existing dark lounge and install patio doors with sidescreens. To match in with the exisitng windows, the doors were designed with georgian bars. These kind of projects can be slightly messy although we always cover surfaces with dustsheet before any work is started. The existing window was removed and the new opening cut out by our building team, a new lintel is installed to support the walls and the new french doors were fitted. Of course, we always hoover and clean up before we leave, as well as removing all of the rubbish.

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Once the French doors were fitted we plastered the walls internally and rendered the external walls. The change to the house was dramatic with the customers now having a light and spacious room that will be ideal for entertaining during the summer months. If you are considering this type of project for your home in the cardiff area, why not give us a call for an initial appointment. We can discuss the different options such as french, patio or bi fold doors and discuss the timescale and price for your home improvements. There are a few factors that may affect the price such as moving any electrical points or pipework, we are always happy to deal with this for you or let you organise the work before we arrive to carry out the fitting. For details on our doors take a look at the doors section of our website

Our building team have over 30 years experience in the cardiff and newport area, they are skilled in conservatory bases, extension cutouts and brick ups. Our building and fitting teams work seamlessly together to ensure that all of our projects go smoothly and cause our customers the least disruption possible,

For high quality rehau windows and doors in cardiff and newport, give us a call on 02920 734573 or email enquiries@inspirewindows.co.uk.

Ten jargon busting double glazing questions

As homeowners we are becoming much savvier when it comes to having improvements carried out, such as double glazing, new kitchens and extensions. We know that it is important to; get recommendations from friends and family, receive at least 3 quotes, ensure the tradesmen have the relevant experience and qualifications and ensure the work will be covered by a guarantee.

After much consideration you have decided which double glazing companies you would like to quote, appointments have been arranged and the salesman is now sitting in your front room trying to baffle you with technical jargon.  Double glazing is not the most exciting way to spend your hard earned money but if you understand exactly what you are paying for, you can ensure that your new windows and doors will stand the test of time.

Here is our handy guide on how to get the best quality windows and doors by understanding what you are paying for.  These are the main factors, along with quality of fitting, that make up the vast difference in prices between double glazing companies.

Reinforced Frames-Check that the frame you are buying is fully reinforced with steel to make it stronger and more secure. This will also provide a stronger fixing point for the window and door locks.

Discolouration– The frame should be guaranteed to not discolour or warp for at least 10 years. Windows made from a high amount of recycled materials are more likely to discolour as they will not be UV resistant.

The Locks-The security of a window is extremely important, check that your windows achieve the police approved secured by design status. Some windows will only offer an espagnolette locking system, ensure that your windows also have a shootbolt system. Quality windows such as Rehau will offer at least 8 locks on a standard window.

The glass– The most energy efficient glass will have a low-e coating on the outside, be filled with argon or krypton gas within the sealed unit and have a coating such as Planitherm on the inside. The low-e coating allows the heat from the sun to radiate into the room, the gas reduces heat transfer and the Planitherm coating will keep the heat in by reflecting it back into the room.

The Joints– The corners of the windows and the sash will have been welded together when fabricated. The mullion and transommes, the bars which make up the rest of the window, should also be welded to make the window stronger. Some manufacturers will fix these mechanically with screws which results in the window strength being reserved to the corners.

The beads– Modern double glazing should always be internally beaded, the bead is the strip along the glass that keeps the glass secure. Double glazing from 10 years ago tended to be externally glazed making the window easy to break into.

Hinges and Handles– Ensure your double glazing hinges and handles come with a minimum of a 5 year guarantee.

Spacer bars– The spacer bar separates the innerpane from the outpane and prevents moisture coming through. Check that your windows come with composite plastic warm edged spacers, these are the most efficient when it comes to stopping heat escaping through the double glazed unit. Less efficient windows will have an aluminium spacer bar which conducts heat transfer.

The Installation -The one other important factor, other than the quality of the windows, is how well your new double glazing is fitted. The safest way to ensure you have chosen the best company is to ask for recommendations from customers who have had their windows fitted for at least 6 months. Any potential problems should have to come to light by this time such as rusting screws, peeling mastic or doors needing to be adjusted.

The double glazing industry has a bad reputation for ripping its customers off, the main problem is companies that are selling windows as cheap as they can and fitting them quickly and poorly. As long as you compare quotes like for like and not on price alone, you can be confident that your new windows and doors will improve your home and offer value for money.

Top 5 Home Improvements for Women- DIY or get the professionals in?

You only need to switch on the television to find an abundance of home improvement programs aimed at women. The trend of 2013 is to be more thrifty and make use of what we have available, rather than splashing out on unique designer pieces to improve our homes. Kirstie Allsopp of Location,Location,Location fame has found great success with sharing her tips on “up cycling” in her latest programme, “Kirstie’s homemade Britain”. A recent study by build it and home improvement magazine found that 1 in 5 women plan do to some form of home improvements themselves during the upcoming weekend.

With the tough economic climate it is no great surprise that we are all trying to save money. The key to successful home improvements is knowing when to do it yourself and when to get the professionals in. As women we tend to be more interested in how we can improve the look and feel of our home with decorative changes, rather than fixing problems around the house. A selection of the top 5 DIY activities for women includes;

Painting or wallpapering

Regrouting tiles

Hanging a picture or mirror

Cleaning up the garden

Assembling furniture

Women now feel much less daunted by tackling home improvement projects due to the wealth of knowledge available on the internet and the rebranding of many home improvements stores to put more of a focus on decorating as well as home repairs. Website “So Feminine” has a very useful article with basic tips on jobs around the house.

So what jobs should we leave to the professionals? Anything that involves a large financial outlay or specialist skills should be left to those in the know. Plumbing work, electrical upgrades and replacing windows and doorsshould be carried out by reputable companies who can provide knowledge, experience and above all a guaranteeof quality workmanship.

When choosing a company for your home improvements, be sure to check out online reviews, ask for customer references and obtain 3 separate quotes. Don’t be tempted to just plump for the cheapest quote, sometimes you really do get what you pay for! Here at Inspire Windows we can offer a wealth of knowledge and experience along with reviews from many of our happy customers. Give us a call on 02920 734573 or visit our website.

Composite front doors in Cardiff, Newport and the Vale

Composite doors are now taking over as the most popular choice for homeowners looking to change their front door. Quality composite doors are now a much more affordable option, due to the increased demand, prices have dropped over the past 2 years; on average you will pay 50% more compared to a upvc panel door.

A composite door is made with a glass reinforced polyester (grp) skin and either Polyurethane thermally insulated foam core or a solid laminated veneer core. Both options offer excellent thermal and security features, the solid core filled offering the best security.

The foam filled door is an ideal choice for customers in Cardiff and Newport who want a maintenance free door with the look of wood and excellent thermal qualities. Our foam filled doors are manufactured by door stop, the UK’S leading composite door supplier.

The solid core filled door is the Rolls Royce of front doors that really will stand the test of time. Tested to be virtually impenetrable to burglars, these doors are more expensive; you can expect to pay at least twice the price of a upvc panel door. Our solid core Endurance composite doors are manufactured by Rocal, one of the leading suppliers of modern composite doors.

During your appointment, we at Inspire Windows will take you through the various design options to create your perfect door. All of our products come as standard with the secured by design police approved locking system and a 10 year insurance backed guarantee. Our doors suit many different property styles throughout South Wales; the range of colours, styles and glass design offer hundreds of different combinations.

We have fitted many composite doors throughout Cardiff, Newport and South Wales. Along with our high quality Rehau windows, a composite door can give your home the makeover that it deserved.

To arrange an appointment call us on 02920 734573 or visit www.inspirewindows.co.uk for instant online prices.

French Casement windows in Groesfaen, Llantrisant

Would you like to throw open your bedroom windows in the morning and imagine you were in the South of France? Our French casement windows offer your home a taste of the French life, with no central mullion the windows can be opened fully allowing the light to flood in.

Our French casements are ideal for smaller windows that need to act as a means of escape in the event of a fire. Under current building regulations, a window that is also a means of escape must have a clear opening of 0.33m2, a standard casement window will restrict this access with the central mulllion. The flying mullion on this design ensures that the window is as secure as a standard casement window when closed.

French windows are commonly fitted in stone cottages that tend to have smaller window openings, a popular choice is the addition of internal georgian bars to add a classic twist to this popular window style. On a practical note, fitting easy clean hinges makes the windows extremely simple to clean from the inside. The sash simply slides along to allow easy access to the external pane, allowing you to say goodbye to your weekly window cleaning costs!

We recently fitted French casement windows to a customers property in Groesfaen, Llantrisant. We designed the windows with internal georgian bars and easy clean hinges, the finished product sits seamlessly into the stone cottage. Our customers are delighted with the windows and French doors that we fitted and were even more thrilled with the affordable price that we charged compared to some of the Newport double glazing companies who also quoted.

If you would like more information on French casement windows, or any other style, please call us on 02920 734573 or email us at enquiries@inspirewindows.co.uk

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Discover our Wide Range of UPVC Doors

Our name might suggest that double glazing is all we do, but Inspire Windows is no one-trick pony! Window installation is just one of the many services we provide, and our UPVC doors are just as sturdy, stylish and secure as our windows are.

We offer plenty of choice where UPVC doors are concerned. Panel doors are perhaps the most flexible option; they can be installed at the front and/or rear of your property, and they’re as secure as they come. You can also choose from a range of designs, customising the panels and the glass to create a UPVC door that’s perfect for your home.

But if you’re looking for something a little more exotic, we’ve got plenty of other options on the door front. Bothbi-fold doors and sliding patio doors are ideal for the back of the house, creating a smooth, sleek segue between home and garden, while our UPVC French doors are great for giving your space that continental feel. All of these products come with “A” rated Planitherm glass, giving your home a top energy rating and comprehensive security. And don’t forget that they’re also a fantastic way of letting more light into the home!

Inspire Windows is a doors company as well as a windows company. Our installers have been working with UPVC doors for a decade and a half, giving them plenty of experience and an unsurpassable knowledge of many different door types. We’re based in Cardiff, but we’ve carried out work throughout South Wales; if you’re interested in finding out more, give us a call today on 02920 734573

A recent review of French doors fitted in Cwmbran

A review from Tina Grant who had French doors fitted by us last week;

 

“I was very pleased with the service and workmanship that I received from Inspire windows, good value for money and they did a fantastic job. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to others”.

Turning an unused conservatory into the heart of the home

Adding a conservatory is one of the top 10 home improvements carried out within the UK, adding space to the property and increasing its value. With 11 out of 13 regions currently experiencing falling house prices, increasing the value of our homes is becoming ever more important.

When choosing a new conservatory, many people opt for the supplier with the cheapest price or with the glossiest brochure. The most important factors to consider are the design of the conservatory, how it will be used as part of your home, the quality of the fitting and it’s year round suitability.

Badly fitted conservatories are prone to leaks and drafts, always choose a supplier who seems knowledgeable in how the conservatory will blend with your own home and is able to identify any potential problems. Ask to visit a conservatory that the company fitted recently and one that was fitted a couple of years before, this way you can be sure that your new conservatory will stand the test of time and be fitted by a company with consistent standards.

There are currently four million homes in the UK with conservatories, many of which are unused due to various problems. One of the main issues is conservatories fitted with polycarbonate roofs instead of glass. Glass roofs, although more expensive, are 3.5 times more effective in keeping the room cool in the summer and 58% more thermally efficient at keeping the space warm in the winter. Conservatories fitted with planitherm glass and warm edged spacers will make your new room as energy efficient as possible.

Other problems include drafts due to poorly fitted windows and doors, leaks caused by insufficient lead flashings and condensation from a lack of opening windows in the conservatory.

Replacing your current conservatory is obviously a large expense that many people wish to avoid. There are many companies who specialise in repairs, upgrades and replacing polycarbonate roofs for more energy efficient glass roofs, such as Inspire Windows Ltd, based in Cardiff. For less than half of the cost of your original conservatory, the space could be turned into a functional and welcoming room to be used all year round.

The cost of making a new house into a new home

Moving house is a major upheavel in our lives, as well as a major cost; solicitors fees, estate agents fees and moving costs can soon escalate into a large unwanted bill. Once we are settled into our new homes, the spending continues; purchasing new furniture, decorating and home improvements.

A recent survey by Planitherm discovered “There are many aspects that go into creating a new home and we all have a seemingly never-ending to do list for things we hope to improve”. The research found that it takes on average 17 months and 12 days and £5044 to turn our new house into a home. Of course we all feel more settled in our homes once we have enjoyed momentous occasions in them such as birthdays, anniversaries and having children.

The top 10 things which make a house feel a home;

1. Making it warm
2. Enjoying a first Christmas
3. Filling all rooms with furniture
4. Cleaned top to bottom
5. Experiencing all four seasons in the house
6. Planting your own things in the garden
7. Fitting your own toilet seat
8. Stripping the walls
9. Having a birthday
10. Being on first name terms with the neighbours

Making renovations to the home are also a large part of settling in. This includes making decorative improvements, upgrades to double glazing and extending the home to add an extra room such as a conservatory.

The top 10 to do list around the home is

 

1. Paint each room
2. Lay new carpets in each room
3. Do up the bathroom
4. Rip out the kitchen
5. Fit new double glazing
6. Add new front door (or paint existing one)
7. Re-landscape the garden
8. Lay a new driveway
9. Add a conservatory
10. Extend/add another room

Making a plan of which renovations need to be done first can save you money if you plan carefully. For example if you need to replace your windows and add a conservatory, many companies will charge you less for having all of the work done at one time. It also makes sense to have any structural work carried out before you decorate or lay new carpets. There is no point in painting the walls only to have them replastered in a few months time when new French doors are fitted.

Inspire Windows is a Cardiff windows company with over 15 years’ experience in the supply and installation of high quality double glazing windows, doors and conservatories. We are an authorised partner of REHAU Windows, Europe’s leading manufacturer of some of the most secure and energy-efficient double glazing windows available. Coupled with Planitherm “A” rated glass as standard, REHAU windows are by far and away the best choice for upvc double glazing. Please take a look at our website for more information www.inspirewindows.co.uk

Signing up to the green deal, how it may reduce your home’s value

The government’s green deal is a new scheme that encourages consumers to make our homes more energy efficient. Home and business owners will be able to borrow money, at a low rate, which will then be paid back through utility bills. Money will be available for a range of home improvements including insulation, double glazing, heating or renewable energy.

The green deal loans do not operate as a usual loan would, with the borrower being liable for the debt. Instead the debt will be tied to the property, meaning that when the property is sold, the new purchaser will be liable for the debt.

It has been well documented that the property market has been either stagnant or declining over the past few years. The green deal loan could become a deal breaker for many potential purchasers or a bargaining tool to drive the purchase price down.  At a time when many people have concerns over the value of their home; this could be considered a major stumbling block to the success of the scheme.

The foundation of the green deal is that it will save money in the long run; through any improvements made leading to energy savings. All though we are all conscious of saving money, purchasing a house where the green deal is in place is effectively forcing the new homeowner to participate. Many of us would not purchase a car if we had to repay the finance on it from the previous owner so why would we do it with a new home?

Another condition of the scheme is that any new tenants to properties may need to be assessed by the original green deal assessor. If the new tenants or owners are considered to be higher energy users, the monthly repayments may increase.

The simplest option would be to repay the loan upon selling your home. Although we are yet unaware of what the early repayment charges will be, it is thought that it could be the total cost of the interest. Sellers will be paying for a benefit that they will not receive.

Currently many homeowners choose to add the cost of home improvements, such as replacement windows and doors, to their mortgage. The typical interest rate of many mortgages is around 4.5% compared to the green deal rate of 7%. With the restrictions of the green deal, many people will continue to add the extra money to their mortgage, viewing it as money that will get back eventually anyway.

At present it seems the green deal has been met with a lukewarm response. If the scheme does become successful it could prove to be a major boost to the economy and a welcome reduction in our energy bills.

For affordable double glazing in Cardiff please visit our website www.inspirewindows.co.uk