Author Archives: Luke Kyte

Luke Kyte

About Luke Kyte

Luke Kyte works for Quotatis as a senior copywriter bringing our customers the latest news stories and product information so you can make an informed choice. For more information about Luke visit his Google+ profile.

Why choose a swimming pool enclosure?

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags: ,

Swimming pools seem to have surged in popularity and now they’re not just for the rich and famous.

Even though Britain isn’t renowned for high temperatures during the summer months, swimming pools are now the fashion.

If you have invested in a swimming pool then you’ve probably found out that there are certain times of the year it’s not really suitable – namely the winter.

To ensure your swimming pool is something you can truly make the most of, perhaps it’s worth considering a pool enclosure.

As with anything there are pros and cons to it, so have a look at the facts and make your own decision.

Pros

With a swimming pool, one of the biggest considerations is safety. This is especially the case if there are likely to be small children or animals around. With a pool enclosure you can protect those who are likely to fall in.

You’ll also be able to keep the pool clean throughout the year. No longer will you need to fish out leaves, twigs and other debris that’s ended up in there. Instead you’ll simply be able to use it as and when you need to.

With a pool enclosure there are a number of options you can consider, making it easy to get something that’s stylish and fits in with your property.

Cons

Of course, if you have a swimming pool you probably won’t want to hide it away. After all, the enclosure won’t look as good as the pool itself. If you invested in a simple cover then you wouldn’t have to worry about an enclosure, but there’s also the hassle of constantly taking it on and off.

Cheap enclosures can also be easily damaged so if you’re going to invest, it’s worth spending a bit of money. Think of the weather it’ll have to endure at different times of the year. Take a look at all the pool enclosures and find the best one for your home. Then make sure to get the right price by comparing quotes from a range of companies.

What to choose for your conservatory roof

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags:

If you’ve chosen to invest in a conservatory then you’ll want to use it no matter the time of year. Of course, it’ll be a wasted investment if you’re only using it in the summer because there are a good six months of time when it’ll be used.

In terms of getting the most from your conservatory, a lot comes down to the conservatory roof you choose. Glass is a typical rooftop for the conservatory as homeowners see the possibilities of allowing plenty of natural daylight inside.

But what this also does is make the conservatory very hot in summer and cold in winter.

If you’re looking for something a little different, there are options available that’ll look great too.

Tiled Roof

With a tiled conservatory rooftop for your conservatory you’ll convert the space into a sunroom or garden room. Tiled roofs act as a natural extension to your home and will blend in seamlessly with the rest of the property – perfect for those with older homes.

Tiled roofs will also provide you with added privacy, which is great if you live in a built-up area. They also help you keep too much heat out of the conservatory so you don’t have a sauna in summer and heat will stay inside during the winter too.

Lead Roof

Some conservatories will benefit from a flat roof and in these circumstances, lead is often preferred. With a lead roof you create a classic and elegant appeal that’s suitable for any property. They look great from the upstairs of your home too and provide a superb aesthetic appeal.

Lead conservatory roofs are known for their sturdy and weatherproof properties, whilst also not needing much maintenance to keep them clean. The only downside is they can be quite costly and you may prefer the cheaper alternatives.

Solar Glass Roof

Solar power is something that’s really come into fruition in the last decade or so and there are thousands of homeowners nationwide investing in solar panels. They help produce environmentally friendly energy whilst slashing bills and even providing a guaranteed Government payment.

Solar glass is a great option for those with conservatories and helps to regulate the heat. They’ll keep your conservatory cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Basically there’s a glass coating that reduces heat radiation and will aid in reducing bills. You’ll also be creating an eco-friendly house.

Polycarbonate Roof

Polycarbonate conservatory roofs are also deemed as eco-friendly and this material can reduce the sun’s glare by a whopping 86%. What this does is ensures your conservatory isn’t a suntrap with extreme temperatures. In the winter the conservatory will also be an insulator and stop heat escaping, thus reducing your bills.

How to heat your conservatory

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags:

Conservatories serve as an excellent extension to your home but many homeowners have problems heating them up in the winter.

This is something you hopefully won’t have to deal with, by taking a look at our tips and advice in this article.

Of course, when it’s the summer you shouldn’t have to worry about a cold conservatory as the sun naturally warms it up.

But in the winter it’s common for homeowners to abandon the room because it gets too chilly.

Fortunately there are a number of things you can do to solve the problem. Let’s take a look at them.

Insulating blinds

You’ll need window furnishings of some sort in your conservatory, so why not choose stylish and insulating window blinds? Blinds do a fantastic job in the conservatory by locking heat inside. In fact, with the right blinds you can reduce heat loss by 46%, whilst providing a sophisticated appeal in your conservatory.

Radiators

Radiators have always been the traditional way to heat any room in your home and are easy to install. You can have them connected to your central heating or even have electric storage heaters. As you’ll only use them in winter you won’t have to worry about an extortionate energy bill either.

Free standing heater

Free standing heaters are often best for smaller conservatories and are pretty cheap to run. They’re easy enough to use as well and all you need to do is plug them in. then just remember to turn off before going to bed.

Underfloor heating

Underfloor heating is something that’s becoming increasingly popular with homeowners all over the country and acts as the perfect long term solution. Underfloor heating is installed under the conservatory flooring as either wires or panels. As heat naturally rises you end up with an even distribution of heat whenever it’s switched on. You also get a lovely warm floor too.

What you need to know about your conservatory planning

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: ,

There are many different ways you can get more space in your home and no matter the reason; conservatories are always high up on homeowner’s lists. Of course, people choose a conservatory for a multitude of reasons, be it for more space or even to impress potential buyers in the future.

A conservatory is perfect for the summer months and gives you an opportunity to enjoy your garden with a superb extension. In the winter you’ll also have an incredible area to relax and keep warm and cosy.

However, like any home improvements you may invest in, a conservatory can be a pretty daunting task for many. The moment planning permission and Building Regulations are mentioned you’re likely to see people coming down with anxious sweats.

Planning Permission

You’re probably reading this expecting the worst. Perhaps you envisage months of problems as neighbours try to protest your extension and anticipate a wealth of cost for planning permission. But fortunately, this is rarely the case.

In fact, for many conservatories planning permission is simply not needed. This is because they’re regarded as permitted development.

To be honest, the only times there tend to be any problems is when the property is listed or you live in a Conversation Area. On these occasions you will need to get planning permission and often it’ll only be accepted if you adhere to certain aesthetic regulations.

If you are ever unsure on your rights or want to know a little more on planning permission to ensure you stay in the law, make sure to contact your local planning officer.

Building Regulations

So we’ve explained that planning permission isn’t really a deal breaker, but how about Building Regs? What many homeowners get confused with is thinking planning permission and Building Regulations are one and the same. They’re not. You always need to adhere to Building Regulations.

Building Regulations cover things such as safety, fire escapes, ventilation and the electrics. Whist you need to comply, you won’t really need to worry about it, as the company you choose for the conservatory should know Building Regulations inside out.

The size of your conservatory

The overall size of your conservatory needs to be considered, not just because of planning departments, but also in relation to your own property. If you leave yourself with a tiny garden because of the extension you’ll have to think about whether it’s worth it.

Remember, your conservatory can suit any purpose you need. Whether it’s an extension to the kitchen/diner, or an extra living space for the evenings, you can enjoy the conservatory throughout the year.

Before you go ahead with any plans, mark out the area you wish to extend and look at whether this is going to leave your home with a small garden afterwards.

How to stop condensation in your conservatory

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags:

Condensation is always a problem in our homes and the conservatory is no different. Most of the time the doors in your conservatory will remain closed, which means there’s little ventilation and unfortunately this means condensation will naturally build up.

Condensation is formed by water vapour in the air coming into contact with a cold surface. So those large glass panes are the perfect place for condensation to settle. It’s typically a bigger problem in the winter months when the outside temperature drops dramatically.

As your conservatory will have been designed to be both water and air tight, they’re particularly prone to condensation.

So how can you solve the problem with condensation?

Ventilation

With adequate ventilation you can reduce condensation build-up. Try to keep the conservatory as warm as you can but with ventilation allowing the water vapour to escape your home.

Trickle vents

Some homeowners look at trickle vents to solve the problem of condensation. Trickle vents are fitted to your windows and help create air flow in and out of the room.

Condensation catchers

Another option is to invest in a condensation catcher. These help tackle damp problems as you cut the fabric to the length you need and line the inside of your windows. Excess moisture will collect in the fabric and you can then squeeze it away.

Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is one of the most popular options for controlling moisture in the home as it effectively draws moisture out of the air. There is even the option to hire one if you don’t want to buy one.

However you aim to get rid of excess moisture, try to air the conservatory during the day and keep a fairly even temperature. If you shut the door and effectively leave it sealed for long periods of time, you will end up with condensation. This can be damaging to your home as condensation is one cause of mould.

How much is a Victorian conservatory?

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Advice  |  Tags:

It’s fair to say that Victorian conservatories are the most popular design in the industry with their pitched rooftops and ornate detailing. They provide a beautiful sense of style and sophistication that’s unmatched with any other design.

The Victorian conservatory is both attractive and practical in offering plenty of extra space in the home. There are also a range of sizes to choose from and a variety of materials to pick in order to create your perfect conservatory.

Fortunately you won’t have to spend a ridiculous amount on a Victorian conservatory either and there’s enough to play with so you benefit from adding a wealth of value to the home. Obviously ensure getting a number of quotes for the Victorian conservatory though to ensure the best prices and a great deal.



What is a Victorian conservatory?

Conservatories really became a British phenomenon during the Victorian period, mainly as a way of keeping and cultivating exotic plants. At the time they weren’t generally used to create extra living space and their large glass panes were perfect to provide plants with natural sunlight.

This same style and appeal has lasted to modern day. The main reason is because it’s so in keeping with the design of many homes and fits in perfectly. With pitched roofs and octagonal bay windows, the Victorian conservatory blends seamlessly with urban and rural properties.

How much does a Victorian conservatory cost?

As with any conservatory you might consider, the cost is going to vary considerably depending on your budget. Obviously conservatories range in size and this is going to be a major factor in determining your final outlay.

If you live in a Conservation Area or listed building then the chances are you’ll need a hardwood frame conservatory in order for it to blend with your property. Hardwood does bring up your final cost though, as does aluminium which is typically the most expensive frame material.

If you want to keep your costs down then a uPVC conservatory is the best way forward. This cheaper material doesn’t lack in quality either and you’ll have a beautiful finish that’ll last years.

With a Victorian conservatory, expect to spend anywhere from £225 to £3,000 per metre squared. A smaller conservatory made from uPVC will see you spending under £6,000, whilst the most expensive and lavish designs can be upward of £35,000. It all comes down to your budget and preferences.

How to pay for your conservatory

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Essential Tips & Advice  |  Tags: ,

A conservatory isn’t cheap and if you want to invest in a good quality installation that will look great and last for decades, then you’ll want to spend a few thousand pounds.

Don’t forget, with a conservatory you’ll add a wealth of value to your home, so if you come to sell-up in the future, you’ll make back the initial investment.

Let’s take a look at the different options you have to paying for a conservatory:

A loan

With a loan you can look to take advantage of low interest rates and ensure you’re not paying back too much every month. The loan allows you to pay for the conservatory in full if you don’t have the cash readily available.
For loans, there are two types to consider; secured and unsecured.

A secured loan means that the loan is protected by the provider against your house or belongings. This means it’s vital to read all the small print before signing anything. If you fail to keep up the payments as agreed, your home or car could be at risk.

With an unsecured loan, it’s only based on you. It’s not secured against any of your belongings.

With any loan you consider, make sure to look at the early repayment options and penalties in place for missed payments. There are plenty of competitive rates available.

A word of warning though, don’t use the loan companies advertised on TV with extortionate APR rates. Instead go to your bank or building society to see what they offer.

Credit Card

Credit cards can be shunned by many homeowners because of the fear of spiralling into more debt, but actually they can be pretty handy for large investments such as a conservatory. As with the loan though, make sure to shop around and get the best rates.

You can get a credit card with 0% interest for the first 24 months or so, and this is definitely something to consider. If you can pay off the card within the first two years then you’ll have nothing else to pay. Also, once the 24 months has ended you could transfer the remaining debt to another 0% card.

With any credit card it’s important to look at the APR (annual percentage rate) before signing up. Some can be exceedingly high and you’re bound to find a better deal elsewhere.

With a credit card it’s important to remember to treat it as you would a bank debit card. If it’s lost, report it quickly to prevent unauthorised use.

Your savings

This is the ideal way to pay for a conservatory, or indeed any other home improvement you may consider. Savings have probably been built up over time and perhaps you’re not keen to spend them all in one go, but with a conservatory you have something to use for years to come.

There are many ways you can save money, from putting your money into a savings account such as an ISA or investing in Government bonds. Of course, you’ll want to consider what’s going to get you best returns and also which option is safest.

Ideas for decorating your conservatory

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Essential Tips & Advice  |  Tags:

There are many fantastic reasons to invest in a conservatory and of course, adaptability is high up for most homeowners. The conservatory offers your home extra living space to be enjoyed all year round and when it comes to decoration and furnishings, your options are seemingly endless.

With the large glass panes your conservatory will benefit from lots of natural light, so it’s the summertime when you can really make the most from your investment. We’re not all decorating gurus though, so knowing how best to furnish the conservatory can be a problem.

Here are some ideas to get you started and hopefully turn your conservatory into the perfect living space.

Inspirational ideas

With the conservatory there isn’t a one size fits all approach to decorating as it’ll depend on how you intend to use the room. To maximise your interior decorating it’s important to remember that form follows function.

Essentially, this means that the crucial decisions such as colour and furniture will be dictated by whether the conservatory acts as a living room, dining area, playroom or even garden room.

Of course, other considerations include the conservatory’s style. With a Victorian or Georgian appeal you may be keen to have traditional décor as opposed to modern designs.

So what do you need to know about colour schemes in general? Well, there are plenty of possibilities available to you. As the conservatory has loads of natural light, you may as well make the most of this. That means using colours that look good in sunshine, whilst being bright and airy.

Many homeowners look to the Mediterranean to draw their inspiration, so colour such as white, blues and yellows are very popular. Plants will also contribute to the final look and ferns, palms and foliage plants offer great appeal.

Conservatory furniture

Like we’ve mentioned above, the furniture you choose for your conservatory will typically be decided by what you plan to use the room for. There’s no solution to fit every home.

The first tip we can offer would be not to clutter the conservatory. Don’t fill it with furniture so you’ve little room to move around and the whole space feels cramped. Conservatories are designed to give you more space so you’re instantly removing this aspect by cramming it full.

The materials will play an important role in your conservatory’s appeal and wicker tends to be popular amongst homeowners. Wicker is light and natural, with the versatility to be taken outside if necessary. As your conservatory is an extension of the garden, this is always a welcome solution.

It’s not just the furniture you’ll need to think of though as the windows will also need adequate furnishings that are suitable no matter the time of year. For this reason, blinds are particularly popular.

There are plenty of blind options to consider as well so you know you’ll get a great look. Pleated, Roman and Venetian are all popular and at the end of the day a lot will come down to your own personal preference.

Conservatory air con: Why it’s vital

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags:

A conservatory has many uses and homeowners invest in one for their own reasons. For some, it’s the appeal of making better use of their garden that puts a conservatory high on the list. With large glass panes you can bring in plenty of natural light and create an excellent transition between the inside and outside.

In the winter months you can enjoy a warm and cosy environment too as the latest in double glazing helps to retain more warmth inside.

But there is one aspect to a conservatory that people don’t consider. In the height of the summer, up to 30kW of heat can be let inside, creating an uncomfortable level of heat.

To counter the problem, conservatory ceiling fans are quite popular, but in reality they’re not helping to solve the issue. Instead, hot air is simply circulating the conservatory. Fortunately there is an alternative for you to consider; a conservatory air con unit.

The benefits of conservatory air con

In any part of your home that’s particular hot or humid, the best way to cool it down is with air conditioning. Of course, preferably you would open windows and doors but this isn’t always feasible.

Conservatory air con is perfect for those who want to enjoy a cool conservatory, but don’t want pollen or insects getting inside. Essentially, you can enjoy a light and airy conservatory no matter the time of year.

Most air con units aren’t a one trick pony either and with a simple switch you can heat your conservatory too. This is particularly useful in the winter months.

Wall mounted conservatory air con units are typically most popular and they’re fitted high up where you’ll see the most benefit. This is one reason that a conservatory air con unit is preferred to traditional radiators, which need to be sited near the ground.

With an air con unit you can enjoy your conservatory whatever the time of year and won’t have to worry about extreme temperatures ruining the environment.

Everything you Need to Know about a Wood Conservatory

Written by   |  Published October 9, 2014  |  Posted in: Information  |  Tags: , ,

If you’re looking to invest in a conservatory then your main priority will probably be on the extra space it’ll create. But not only will a conservatory provide space to utilise throughout the year, but it’ll also add a charm to your home, both inside and out.

With so many conservatory designs available, it’s clear that a different appeal will suit a different property. For this reason it’s important to carefully consider all of your options before investing to be sure picking the right look.

uPVC conservatories are always popular, especially for financial reasons. They’re by far the cheapest option available and don’t require the same level of maintenance as your other choices.

But other homeowners like the look and appeal of a wood conservatory. They’re not overly expensive and look fantastic, especially with traditional properties.

Wood conservatory benefits

By choosing a wood conservatory you’ll instantly boost the character of your home and add a charm that’s beautiful and improves both the exterior and interior appeal.

Wooden conservatories are pleasing on the eye and with an attractive finish, are unmatched in aesthetic terms. You’ll have this long lasting appeal for decades and nowadays there isn’t the same level of maintenance as was once required.

Types of wood conservatory frames

Many homeowners seem to back away from a wooden or timber conservatory because of the fear that they’ll be too expensive. But this is no longer the case. Of course, some hardwoods will be more expensive than others, but don’t think you’ll have poor quality with a cheaper wood.

Some of your wood options include:

Idigbo: This Western African wood has a similar appeal to oak, except it’s far cheaper. Idigbo is lighter and more durable also, and in the UK is the most common timber for conservatories.

Luan: Typically this is seen as an inexpensive option to pine and comes from the Philippines. Because it’s a plentiful wood it’s available at a relatively low cost. It will also last well for over two decades.

Brazilian cedar: This wood serves as an alternative to mahogany, so you can have a beautiful dark wood for your money. It’s a low cost option and perfect for conservatories.

Maintaining your wooden conservatory

Timber has been used in the construction industry for thousands of years and it’s easy to see why. Doors, windows and conservatories all benefit from wood because of its durability, resistance and aesthetic appeal.

The good news is, wood doesn’t come with the same level of maintenance as you’d expect, but it’s important to treat it every few years. This will keep the wooden frames in tip top condition and ensure they’re looking great.