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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