It’s that time of year where summer seems like a distant memory, the days are short and cold with much more time spent indoors. With this, you want to be as comfortable as possible, so you need to make sure that you get your home ready for winter.
There are many different things you can do to prepare your home but these tasks may seem easy to put off until its too late.
That’s why we’re here to help, we have compiled a list of things you should do to get your home ready for winter.
Check your boiler and heater
Having no heating or hot water can be a real problem on bleak winter days, and all you can do to resolve it is a simple maintenance check.
Contact a gas safe registered company to get a certified engineer to make sure you’re not going to end up in any preventable issues when the winter really kicks in.
Look at our plumbing services here.
Secure your roof
It’s important that your roof is secure enough to stand the winter onslaught. You should take the chance to check for loose tiles as heavy snow and strong winds can wreak havoc on an unprepared roof.
It may also be a good chance to think about changing your conservatory roof if you have one. The winter months may see your conservatory neglected but with a lightweight roof system, this can mean you can enjoy your conservatory all winter. Find out more about solid roof conservatory’s here.
Keep central heating on
To save money on your bills and avoid any frozen pipes it can be useful to keep your heating on a timer and set to low heat throughout the day. Rather than turning the heat up high when you feel cold, keep it an all-around warm temperature and reap the benefits.
Prepare your windows
This is not the time of year to be letting the elements in due to ill-prepared windows. If you’re experiencing drafts or condensation, it’s probably time to upgrade. Our windows are designed to make your home feel safe and comfortable.
Amongst our choice of windows, we also supply secondary glazing, which can be applied to your existing windows for increased energy efficiency and insulation.
Make sure your windows are prepared and check our range here!
Be sure to keep gutters and downpipes clear from leaves, moss and other material that can cause blockages. If not, water can fracture pipes if it freezes in them or causes quicker deterioration of soaked wall faces in frosty conditions where gutters spill over. You want to make sure that water runs away from your house, so a blocked gutter can cause much more serious problems.
Winter is a time of year you want to be warm and enjoy the comforts of home, so keeping on top of these issues and making sure your home is in working order can prevent unexpected, unnecessary headaches. So all you need to do is sit back and relax and enjoy the comforts of winter.
With summer seemingly never going to end now is the perfect time to make use of your outdoor living space.
It can be easy to overlook your outdoor area as a living space, but by bringing your eye for interior design outdoors, you can create an outdoor living space that can transform how you spend time at home. Think further than deck chairs and plastic furniture and utilise whatever outdoor space that you have to create a haven to suit your personality.
We have compiled inspiring examples to get your creative brain working and to inspire your next renovation.
By introducing lighting outdoors, you can enjoy your new space well after the sun goes down. Not only does light have a practical element it’s a great way to set the ambience for your outside space. You can use lighting creatively to illuminate the focal points of your living area.
Upwards facing lights on trees or your home can accent the structure, while you can create softer, cosier glow using lanterns and downward facing lights.
Having a solid base is almost imperative when you are building your dream outside space. A great option when creating your new decking is composite decking. Wooden decking used to be the popular choice. However, composite decking has now taken over as the new desired surface.
Composite decking looks excellent while being maintenance free; you can achieve your desired service without having to worry about sun fading, cracks or bowing. Composite decking will last around 20-30 years and requires occasional cleaning only, and with every board being the same colour and texture the finish is considerably more consistent than a timber deck.
Find the best location for your outdoor living space
When designing your outdoor living space picking the best spot is very important. To get the most out of your new space, you want it to be comfortable and inviting, an area that accommodates your furniture and comforts.
A lot of the time your new space would be for activities like enjoying food or a couple of drinks, therefore locating your new area adjacent to your property will be ideal for practicality.
Having the right furniture in your outside living area is probably the most crucial decision you will need to consider. It’s arguably the most enjoyable part as well as it allows you to express your creativity and eye for style. You can have fun and play around with different ideas to create a comfortable, cosy area to be enjoyed by you, your family and friends.
Garden furniture doesn’t need to look like garden furniture, you can think further than deck chairs and side tables. Introduce a broad range of comfortable furniture items, such as couches, bean bags, cushions, blankets even outdoor rugs. You should look to arrange your furniture so that it strategically creates a well thought out area that is practical and comfortable.
When choosing your outdoor furniture, you ideally need durable, weatherable, lightweight furnishings that have low maintenance costs. Sitting outside becomes much more inviting and comfortable when you add your personal touches. Whether you want to use your outdoor area for dining or just relaxing you can make it customisable with the right furniture.
When the weather begins to turn and the colder days start to arrive many people tend to neglect outdoor living spaces. However, by introducing a garden room to your property can make the most of your outdoor area whatever the time of year.
Adding bi-fold doors to your garden room will be a shrewd addition also, the bi-folds will open your room up while offering the protection that it needs during the harsher months.
An outdoor fireplace can be captivating in your outdoor space. Having an element of fire can automatically transform an ordinary space into one that is inviting and warm. Introducing a fireplace in your outdoor living space can be perfect to keep you outside enjoying life on summer nights, and it can also be a beautiful winter feature on a crisp day.
With a wide array of fireplace ideas to choose from you can select an option that works best for your budget. There isn’t a right or wrong choice when selecting your fireplace as there is nothing like a fire for conjuring up a welcoming atmosphere.
Whatever the ideas you have for your outdoor living space you should aim to create a friendly space that you can benefit from many times throughout the year.
You need to make the right choice when it comes to choosing the right building company for you. With so many companies vying for your business, it’s essential that you do some research to make sure you pick the best company.
Online searches, general enquiries, word of mouth recommendation and general marketing can be good ways to find your next contractor. In order to get someone you can develop a relationship with it will be better to delve further.
We have compiled some useful tips on how to choose your next builder. So read further to make your first steps in shaping your dream home.
- In the early stages of looking for a contractor conduct research by searching online. Doing this, you can look for companies that are local to you. Examine their portfolios and customer reviews to get a good understanding of them. Speaking to friends and family who have already had similar work completed is also an excellent early indicator of the standards set by the contractors, so advice from them is well worth considering.
- Once you have managed to get together a shortlist, you would then need to obtain quotations. You will need to have a brief prepared as this is your project. Having a firm idea of what you want from work undertaken will be essential. The company you choose will need to visit the property and survey the project to give you a free quote. A good project manager will consult with you about what is possible in order to reach your house goals.
During your meetings you will need to get as much information in writing as can be provided, you should ask about;
- Site maintenance
- Material supplies
You will also need to ask for confirmation as to whether planning permission is required and if they will need to apply for Building Regulations approval. Having a healthy relationship with your contractor is very important, so you want a professional yet personable rapport. You need to have sharp lines of communication.
- After meeting with a list of possible contractors you should have narrowed your search. A good building contractor will show you other sites and jobs that they have completed, so you should visit other properties, notably ones with similar work. When site visiting make sure to pay attention to the craft and take note of things you like and dislike. Discuss whether this can be translated to your property and bring up any issues that you may not like.
- When you are discussing costs, you will need to agree when and how you will pay. For example, ‘stage’ payments when specific tasks are completed. Some contractors may require payment upfront for materials, however, make sure you pay when the materials are on-site.
Choosing the right contractor can seem daunting, but knowing what you want and developing a good professional relationship you can make your decision easy. Following the steps laid out should lead you to find your perfect contractor one that you can trust and work with to create your dream home.
Celsius Home Improvements could be the company for you
100% of customers who answered our satisfaction survey said they would recommend us to a friend, and as mentioned earlier reviews and previous customer satisfaction can be a crucial indicator when securing your next building company. You can see further accreditation for our work from our online reviews on CheckaTrade and our testimonial page here.
At Celsius, we have the largest showroom in Merseyside so feel free to visit us to help make your decision. We are open 8 am – 6 pm Monday to Friday 10 am – 2 pm on Saturday and by appointment only on Sunday.
We offer free no obligation quotes, all you need to do is call 0151 545 1400 and speak to a member of our team to organise a surveyor to visit your home at a time suited to you.
There are many things you need to know when converting your garage. If your property has unused garage space, you may be asking yourself what you can do to maximise it. Your living space may be shrinking while your garage goes unused.
Garages tend to be less about storing your car and more about storing forgotten items. If this resonates with you, then converting your garage may be a good option so why not design and build a creative space or a warm and habitable room to add a unique touch to your home.
What type of Garage do you have?
Your conversion can differ depending on what type of garage you have. Your garage will fall into three categories;
Attached and integrated garages are usually accessible from the house this makes a conversion easy whereas a detached garage may require planning permission as it’s a separate building. However, a good contractor can make any type of conversion run smoothly.
Different ideas for your conversion
When converting your garage, there are many different ideas that you could choose from for your conversion, such as;
- Another lounge
- An extra bathroom
- Children’s playroom
- A larger kitchen
- Home cinema
If you are in the fortunate position to have a double garage you may even consider splitting the space, keeping one side for storage and the other as an extra living space.
Building a conversion to the highest standards can bring fantastic benefits to your home and choosing your options should be fun, practical and creative.
Benefits of a garage conversion
There are many benefits of a garage conversion and a significant one for when your garage is attached, is that there is existing structure meaning you don’t need new foundations, nor do you need to build new walls, many existing garages also have electricity wired in. With these factors this type of conversion can be a very cost-effective way to add space to your property and can even add value, a well-done garage conversion can add up to 10% onto the value of your home which may mean making a profit from your project.
What to consider
A conversion won’t always be straightforward and there may be some things that you need to consider. Such as when the external walls of an integral garage are comprised of a single course of bricks, as this can cause problems with insulation and weatherproofing. Your contractor will be able to advise you on all these issues, but there are many ways, around this, including the creation of an independent stud wall of the damp proof course. These types of problems need to be addressed to meet building regulations so as a result, any design must factor in;
- Moisture proofing
- Structural soundness.
If you are working with the right contractor, then they will go through these issues with you and manage building regulation issues. If you’re looking for contractor help on converting your garage to a living space request a free estimate for your conversion needs.
Conservatories are a fabulous extension to your home, they come in all different shapes and sizes to brighten up and add value to your home.
Conservatories are bespoke and designed just they way you like, to offer you extra practical living or dining space allowing you to enjoy the views of your garden whatever the weather. We have put together all the relevant information we think you will need to know about conservatories.
What designs are available?
One of the great things about conservatories is the variety of styles they have to offer, there are many different styles from traditional to contemporary.
These conservatories are also known as Georgian conservatories.
They sit on a rectangular or square foot print to maximise available space, which has led to them being the most popular choice of conservatory over recent years.
A traditional, curved conservatory which compliments almost all styles of property to suit available space, but are particularity suited to older period properties.
This conservatory creates an exceptional feeling of height and space adding a real sense of presence to a home. A popular choice is the sunburst gable end window as part of the design.
This type of conservatory can also be referred to as a sunroom or a gardenroom, they are rectangular in shape and run along the length of your property. They are versatile in size.
A more bespoke version with a mixture of the edwardian and victorian styles. The victorian style forms the circular part of the “P”.
A bespoke conservatory made up mainly of edwardian (square) styles. It can also feature the gable-end (or gable-front) style or a the “slanted-roof” style of the edwardian.
- L-Shaped or “Corner”
A bespoke conservatory made up of edwardian (square) styles. Can be use on the rear or side of a property but also as a corner conservatory going round two sides of a property.
A fantastic looking conservatory with a sloping roof and a lantern feature at the apex of the conservatory.
There are a number of choices for your conservatory roof, here we give a brief description of each one:
- Polycarbonate Roof
A polycarbonate roof is the cheapest of the conservatory roofing systems.
Pros – Cheap, Lightweight, Let’s plenty of light into the space
Cons – Not the easiest to maintain, Can be damaged more easily than glass and solid roofs, noisy in wet conditions, not as energy efficient as glass or solid roof.
- Glass Roof
The glass roof is the most popular choice for new conservatories.
Pros – Easier to maintain than polycarbonate, Lets in the most light of any of the roofing systems, Aesthetically more appealing than polycarbonate, Great views all round
Cons – Less energy efficient than a solid roof, Noisy in wet conditions, can be hot in summer and cold in winter, more costly than polycarbonate.
- Solid Roof
This system has a number of advantages of polycarbonate and glass and can be used on both new or existing conservatories.
Pros – Most energy efficient roofing system, Very easy to maintain, Can add value to your home, Noise from rainfall is greatly reduced, Interior is improved with finish and lighting
Cons – Doesn’t let as much light in as glass (although roof windows can be fitted), Slightly more expensive than glass, Restricted views compared to glass.
- Updating an old conservatory roof
If you already have a conservatory in place, you may want to upgrade its roof to make your conservatory more thermally efficient. The older, polycarbonate roofs do not reduce noise pollution from the outside nor do they help keep your conservatory insulated, an upgrade in roof style will help keep your energy bills down whilst making your conservatory usable throughout the year.
You can choose between a solid or a glass roof, depending on the look you are wanting to achieve.
Our solid roof tiles are available in 10 different colours to help keep in line with the current colours of your home and roof. If you are wanting more light in your conservatory you can also add a window into the roof to achieve this.
What Colours are available for conservatories?
Our conservatories are available in 17 different colours, our full range of finishes are guaranteed not to crack, peel or fade. Our colour range includes; White, Cream, Silver Grey, Basalt Grey, Slate Grey, Agate Grey, Anthracite Grey, Beck Brown, Siena PN, Rosewood, Cherry, Irish Oak, Wine Red, Dark Red, Dark Green, Moss Green, Chartwell Green and Steel Blue. (See below)
Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?
Every homeowner has a permitted development right. Normally your permitted development right for a detached home would be 4m projection from rear evleation of home and full width of home, and for a semi detatched, terrace or townhouse would be 3m projection once again by full width of home. A conservatory in general is considered to be a permitted development, in other words, it doesn’t need planning permission as long as it adheres to the limits below:
- No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
- No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
- Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.
- Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the
- original house.
- No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
There are other instances where planninng permission may be required, such as if your house is in a conservation area. The majority of reputable companies will be able to organise (on your behalf) any planning permission or building regulations that may be required for your conservatory or extension.
What’s the difference between a conservatory and an orangery?
Not sure what the differences are? Check out our article to view the main differences between a conservatory and an orangery HERE
Looking for conservatory inspiration?