Category Archives: Home Improvements

Prepare Your Home For Summer: Beat The Heat

The dark and cold mornings are finally coming to a close, which only means one thing – summer is coming!  Now that you can almost smell summer, it is a brilliant time to start preparing your home for the warm summer months (or weeks if we are unlucky).

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This article will give you a few ideas on what you can do to prepare your home for the upcoming summer!

Spring clean

This time of the year is perfect for giving your house a big spring clean. Obviously, you have probably been cleaning your house throughout the winter, but sometimes dust and dirt can be missed in the dark winter months.

Open up the windows that have been closed during the colder days, and let air into all your rooms. You’ll be surprised at the difference that this can make.

You should pay special attention to your windows, as these can become particularly dirty after a lot of bad weather. Spend a day scrubbing all your windows; your house will look so much better for it.

Clear out your fridge and freezer

Summer means ice cream, BBQs and more ice cream! This is why you should have a clear out of your fridge and freezer to create room for all the summery goodness! It won’t be too long until you want room to stock all these summer treats.

You don’t want to waste any food though! We suggest having a dinner party, and using up all your unwanted food.

Do some gardening

When the weather is warm, we tend to spend a lot more time in the garden. Why have your party inside when you can have it out in the sun? This can be embarrassing if you haven’t touched your garden all winter, and everything is overgrown and messy.

It’s nothing to worry about, as you can easily prepare your garden for summer quickly. You just need to mow the grass, get rid of unwanted weeds and keep on top of growing plants. Easy!

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Update your conservatory

There is nothing better than spending summer nights entertaining in the garden. However, it can tend to get chilly later on, and so you may wish to move your party into your conservatory.

This is why it’s the perfect time to start preparing it for entertaining your guests.

We suggest putting a table and chairs in there, or even a sofa. This gives you and your guests somewhere to sit and relax.

If you don’t want to do anything dramatic, we suggest updating the colour with something a little brighter. You could also spruce it up with some flowers and pictures.

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Think double glazing

People don’t realise that double glazing has big advantages in summer as well as winter.

Here at FAB Systems, we are expert providers of double glazing in Stoke On Trent and we can attest to the benefits.

The main advantage is that it helps keep the outside heat from coming in, and also keeps the coolness within your room from escaping.

 

We hope that these tips will help you prepare for summer before the hot weather hits (fingers crossed!).

If you are wanting to invest in double glazed windows this summer or you have any other questions about the services we offer, please do not hesitate to contact us. Here at FAB Systems, we’re a leading supplier of double glazing in Stoke on Trent and can help you to improve the energy efficiency of your property.

You can call us on 0800 066 5644 and a member of our staff will be happy to help.

How To Add Value to Your Home (Infographic)

When you are a homeowner, it is extremely important that you know the best ways to increase the value of your home. In the fluctuating market, it can be tricky to sell your home for the right price, but by taking extra care with your home improvements, you can increase your property’s desirability and value. In our latest infographic, we will show you some of the best ways to achieve this, leaving you with a beautiful property both on paper and in reality.

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At FAB Systems, we know how to help you get the most out of your property with our stunning conservatories, windows, roofing and more. For more information, visit our website today or contact us by calling 0800 066 5644.

Going Green: Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

In 2015, everyone wants to make their home more eco-friendly. With fears about carbon emissions becoming even more prominent and energy bills increasing year on year, we’re all looking for easy ways to go green.

As a leading provider of UPVC windows in Stoke on Trent, at FAB Systems we want to help you achieve a home that is more energy efficient, helping you to save money as well as saving the planet. Here are some easy ways that you can make your home more eco-friendly.

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Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating will make your home feel luxurious, as well as helping you to reduce your carbon footprint. Underfloor heating is far more efficient than radiators, as it will generate heat more evenly around your home.

This will mean that you avoid having radiators constantly churning out heat that you don’t need, and you also won’t have a mixture of hot and cold temperatures around your home. Underfloor heating is particularly well-suited to bathrooms.

Although underfloor heating is commonly associated with new build homes, it can easily be installed in any property, helping you to reap the rewards of a warmer home, lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint.

Smarter Windows

One of the best ways to make your home more eco-friendly is to install smarter windows. UPVC windows will help you to reduce your carbon footprint and lower your energy bills, using precise glass technology to reap the benefits of the natural heat provided by the sun.

Solaglas EcoClear helps you to work towards a greener home in two key ways. The Planitherm glass works to capture warmth from direct sunlight, allowing your home to receive sufficient natural heat and instantly saving you money on your energy bills. Its insulation technology then stops this heat from escaping, as well as that generated by your radiators.

By installing smarter windows, you can also add considerable value to your home, making UPVC windows an excellent choice for your home with multiple benefits.

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Eco-Friendly Appliances

If you want to minimise the size of your carbon footprint, installing some eco-friendly appliances can work to significantly reduce your carbon emissions and even save you money on your energy bills.

With some clever shopping, you can develop your own green kitchen. On the current market, you can purchase eco-friendly fridges, freezers, dishwashers and washing machines, as well as small appliances such as kettles.

You can also work to reduce your energy output by swapping all of your light bulbs for energy-saving alternatives, which will give off a similar amount of light energy, but use up less electricity.

Making the swap to energy-saving, eco-friendly appliances around your home may seem like a big change, but by making these alterations you can significantly reduce the amount of money you spend on energy bills, and more importantly make a contribution to saving the planet.

Solar Panels

The sun provides us with entirely free, sustainable light and heat energy every day, and if you install solar panels in your home, you can benefit even more from this.

By installing solar panels, you can ensure that the energy supplying your home is completely sustainable, as well as being able to watch as your energy bills are replaced with payments from National Grid, who purchase excess energy generated in this way.

Solar power technology is now more innovative than ever, and if you are concerned that it could destroy the aesthetic of your home, you needn’t worry. Solar panel specialists can now conduct the installation in a way that will affect the look of your home as little as possible.

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We hope you found our tips for creating an eco-friendly home helpful. If you are considering going green, FAB Systems’ UPVC windows can help you save energy from the moment they’re installed. For more information, contact us today by calling 0800 066 5644.

Top Ways to Reduce Your Household Bills

With the cost of living going up each and every year, it is important that we are thrifty when it comes to our household spending.

There are many simple ways to reduce your household bills, and here at FAB Systems we can help you to cut your expenses. Here are our top ways to lessen your household bills.

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Changes to Your Home

When looking to reduce your household bills, making some changes to your home can be extremely beneficial in the long term.

Installing UPVC windows in your home will work to dramatically cut your heating costs, as well as providing you with a window solution that is aesthetically pleasing, that will not rot, that weathers well and will last you well into the future.

Using innovative software such as Smart Meters will allow you to keep track of your gas and electricity usage in real time, and this means you can ensure that you are not using more energy than you can afford, allowing you to make changes accordingly.

You can also increase your own efficiency by installing alternative forms of heating, such as fires and fuel-burning stoves, which will lower your energy bills and help you have a more sustainable home.

Sustainable Lifestyle

Ensuring that you have a sustainable home is not only good for the environment; it’s also good for your wallet. By ensuring that you go through some very simple procedures in your everyday life, you can significantly reduce your living costs.

Keeping hot water use to a minimum, and turning off hot water when it is not required, will substantially reduce your energy bills. This can be carried through to favouring showers over baths, which use substantially more hot water on average, and keeping shower times to a minimum.

Lowering the amount of time you have your heating on each day will also cut your energy bills, and where possible you should consider wearing warmer clothing before turning the heating on, as this is also far better for the environment.

Turning off electronics such as laptops, computers, televisions and kitchen appliances at the socket will save a significant amount of energy and work to lower your energy bills, so it is important that you get into the habit of doing this every day.

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Shop Smarter

By shopping smarter, you can save a significant amount on your household bills.

Supermarkets are now more competitive than ever, making it easy to shop around for the best prices on your groceries and everyday items. Keep an eye out for special offers, price-match discounts and unbranded alternatives that will help you save money.

Shopping at discount supermarkets will also save you a substantial amount of money on your weekly food shop without sacrificing quality. Most of the products you’ll find in stores such as Lidl and Aldi will be from the same suppliers as the branded products you’ll find in major supermarkets, but will be on sale for a fraction of the price.

Research Your Providers

Researching your energy providers can save you a substantial amount of money, especially if you are a new customer.

If you feel like you are paying too much for your household bills, it is a good idea to see what other providers could offer you. Price comparison sites are a good place to start, as they allow you to scout multiple providers that match your criteria. You should also check online reviews of these providers to see how they are rated for customer service and efficiency, as this is something important to consider before switching.

There are many easy ways for you to cut your household bills while also living a more sustainable lifestyle, including installing efficient UPVC windows in your home. At FAB Systems, we can offer you quality UPVC windows in Stoke-on-Trent. For more information, contact us today by calling 0800 066 5644.

Adding Value to your Property

Whether you’re looking to sell your home, increase the amount of  space in your property, or simply give your home a bit of a revamp, it can be important to make the most of what you’ve got so you can maximise the value of your property.

With this in mind, here we give a guide to some great ways of adding value to your property, to help get you inspired with your home.

Conservatories

Space is often a top priority in any home, so if you’re looking to add some real value to your property then increasing the amount of space in your home is a great way to achieve this.

When it comes to extending your home, investing in a conservatory is a great option. Not only are conservatories a great way to extend the living space in your home, according to property guru Phil Spencer they could also add around 7 percent to the value of your home, too.

The key with conservatories is to choose a design that complements the style of your home perfectly. You can also enhance the flow of the space by utilising the same flooring throughout your downstairs living areas; this will ensure that your conservatory feels like a natural part of your home.

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Focus on the Exterior

First impressions really do count, which is why it can be important to focus on the exterior of your property. Hence, consider giving your home a bit of a facelift. This can be as simple as giving your front door a fresh lick of paint, your windows a good clean and your garden a bit of a spruce up.

If you’re considering putting your home on the market, improving the appearance of your property could ultimately go a long way towards facilitating a quicker sale, and will ensure your property has some serious kerb appeal.

Change your Windows

Changing the windows of your property is another ideal way to add value to your home. For example, fitting energy efficient options such as double glazed windows could increase the value of your property by up to 10%, making them well worth the initial investment.

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Focus on Your Kitchen

The kitchen is often the heart of any home and has in many respects become the showpiece area of our homes. As such, a well-designed kitchen can be a real draw for potential buyers. With this in mind, if you’re looking to revamp only one room in your home, it’s best to concentrate on your kitchen.

If you’re considering giving your kitchen a bit of a revamp then make sure to opt for up-to-date appliances. This will help ensure your kitchen doesn’t end up looking a little dated a few years down the line.

Parking Space

In many residential areas, parking is scarce and as such is at a premium, so adding some handy off road parking to your home can also be a great option. Whilst garden aesthetics can be important, in built up areas it can be worth considering paving over your front garden to create some valuable parking space.

Here at FAB Systems we can provide a range of home improvement options including double glazing, ideal for helping you to add some extra value to your property. We’re also experts when it comes to conservatory design and can provide a wide range of conservatories in Stoke on Trent to meet your individual needs and requirements

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today by giving us a call on 0800 066 5644, and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.

 

Ultimate Port of Call: The Benefits of a Carport

In some areas, a garage is a ubiquitous and necessary part of the home. It’s more than just a storage space for automobiles, but also where we can store, y’know, everything else from tools and old Christmas decorations to paint cans and chest freezers.

 

The original need for garages came because, back in ye olden days, early models of cars were prone to rust. And some didn’t even have roofs. So getting your car indoors and out of the vicious elements of weather was absolutely crucial. Thankfully, that’s not quite so important in these modern times; cars are a lot more durable. And with that has come the rise of the carport.

There are tons of advantages to getting a carport, rather than installing a garage. And we’re going to take a look at the pros now, starting with…

 

Cost

Building a garage which adjoins your property can be a pretty expensive venture. But getting your hands on a carport for your home will be far cheaper – probably around half the price of a garage.

 

Unregulated

A garage is typically subject to planning permission and other regulations, due to the fact that it’s a structural building. That means it’ll also need to be fire-proof too. Since a carport isn’t covered in the same way, it doesn’t require planning permission.

 

Convenience

It’s not just seriously convenient in terms of constructing a carport. It’s also convenient when parking your car. There are no garage doors to crank open, or automatic key-fobs to point at precisely the right angle in order to gain access. You just pull up and park inside. Easy!

 

Protection

Ok, you may not need to insulate your car in the same way that owners of the Model T had to, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave your vehicle totally unprotected. A carport offers awesome protection from the rain, sun and snow, keeping your car secure from the harsher weather.

 

Versatile

Sure, you could park your car under your brand new carport, but it’s not an absolute requirement – and no-one’ll tear it down if you don’t. Just like a garage, a carport can be used for multiple activities. Fancy lounging out in the shade on a summer’s day, or inviting your friends and family over for a barbeque? Then the carport’s got you covered.

 

Extension

Even if you have a garage, you can still make full use of a carport. Building one just outside of your garage means you’ll instantly benefit from the extra space this yields, particularly if you have more than one car.

 

Flexibility

Where are you likely to find a garage? At the side of a house, right? But with a carport, you can place it pretty much anywhere on your property – so long as you can, y’know, actually park your car under it.

 

Multiplicity

You know which vehicles you can typically store in garages? Cars. A small van or truck too, depending on the size. And that’s about it. Carports aren’t limited to just the standard family saloon though. Caravans, trailers, bikes are all good to go. You could even stash a boat in there too, if you fancy it.

 

Value

It’s not just garages and gardens which add value to your home. A carport will also bump up the valuation, so it’s not just a great way to store your vehicles, but also a great investment for the future. That’s pretty handy if you’re looking to sell your house.

 

Reckon a carport could be for you? Then we can definitely help. Our carports are made of the highest possible quality, tough, durable and come in a range of sizes. As premium suppliers of carports, garage doors, flat roofing and double glazing in Stoke on Trent and beyond we’re your one-stop shop. So why not contact us on 0800 066 5644 for a free quotation and see how we can help you?

Energy Saving Tips and Tricks

Taking steps to increase the energy efficiency of your property, and reduce your energy consumption, will not only help the environment, but save you money on the cost of your energy bills too.

So here we give a quick guide to some handy energy-saving tips and tricks, perfect for making your home more energy-efficient.

Change Your Lights

Replacing traditional light bulbs with more energy efficient alternatives, such as LED lights, which typically use 10 percent of the energy of a typical light bulb, will allow you to make some substantial energy savings. Make sure you remember to turn lights off when you’re not in a room too!

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Switch Off and Save

Make sure to turn off your appliances and gadgets when these are not being used and don’t be tempted to just leave them on standby. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average household could save up to £80 a year, simply by remembering to switch off appliances, rather than leaving them on standby.

Be Careful with Your Shower

Whilst modern power showers can be a great home luxury, it might surprise you to learn that one of these can use the same amount of water in a five-minute period, as it take to fill a bath. Energy-efficient shower heads and faucet aerators can be a great compromise. These will reduce this amount of water delivered by taps and shower heads, whilst still allowing you to enjoy a refreshing shower.

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Draught-proofing

Draught-proofing your home is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to save energy in your property, but is often overlooked. According to the Energy Saving Trust, savings of up to £55 a year are possible.

You can take steps to draught-proof your home, by blocking off any unwanted gaps that allow cold air into your home and warm air to escape out. Not only will this save warm air, meaning you’ll require less energy to heat your home, it’ll help keep it nice and cosy too.

Draughts can be found anywhere where there are accidental gaps in your home that lead outside. There are a number of key areas in your home where draughts could potentially be lurking, such as around your windows and doors. Where practical, try sealing windows, doors, loft hatches and any pipe work that leads outside.

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Insulation

Up to a quarter of your home’s heat is lost through the roof. Hence, insulating your loft is a simple and effective way of reducing both heat loss and your energy bills and you could ultimately save up to £250 a year. Loft insulation can be effective for at least 40 years and during this period should pay for itself many times over.

It’s recommended that loft insulation should have a thickness of 270mm. Hence, it’s worth checking to see whether you have any existing insulation in your loft and if so, how much.

If you find that your loft already has some insulation, but this falls below the recommended 270mm, then it can also be worth topping this up, so you can make some further savings on your energy bills.

Double Glazing

All properties lose heat through their windows too. However energy efficient glazing, such as double or triple glazing, can help keep your home warmer, quieter and more comfortable too.  Significantly, energy-efficient windows will also save you money on the cost of your energy bills too.

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Hopefully this quick guide will help you to make some energy savings in your property. Here at FAB systems we’re a leading supplier of double glazing in Stoke on Trent and can help you to improve the energy efficiency of your property.

For more information about our range of products and services, please don’t hesitate to contact us today, by giving us a call on 0800 066 5644 and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.

Top Tips to Beat ‘Cowboy’ Builders

CowboyHere at FAB Systems, we frequently turn on the TV and see plenty of home improvement jobs that we’d rather forget. Shows like Rogue Traders provide lots of people with entertainment, but they mask a very real problem ; the fact that many traders are doing an incredibly shoddy job. Very often, you can tell such traders from a mile off though, so here are some top tips to help you avoid them:

  • Very often, unscrupulous builders are unwilling to commit anything to writing. Whether this is a quote or an estimate is unimportant; the fact is that you should distrust anyone with such a habit.
  • Suspicious traders will usually offer quotes or estimates that are hugely cheaper than all of the competition. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advantage of a bargain when you see it, but you should ask yourself why they are so much more affordable. You may not like the answer.
  • Cowboy builders are often very keen to begin work straight away. If you’re dealing with a trader who seems to have a mysterious aversion to doing any work for you in the long-term, then we’d recommend that you give them a miss.
  • Rogue traders frequently make claims that they can’t back up. They’ll tell you that they belong to a company or to a trade association, but when you check you’ll soon discover otherwise. Always remember to check a trader’s history whenever you deal with them.
  • You can often spot suspicious traders by observing how they deal with money and financial matters. A common habit is to ask for money upfront, and quite simply you shouldn’t deal with anyone who does this. Even if a legitimate trader needs materials, they won’t ever ask for payment upfront.
  • Following on from this point, ‘cash only’ demands should usually be given a wide berth. Such practices are usually a ploy to avoid paying out for VAT.
  • CowboyYou should always refuse to deal with any builder who won’t give you details of any previous references or customer dealings. Anyone who is so secretive clearly has something to hide.
  • Finally, cowboy builders are regularly vague about how much a job will actually cost. At the best, this means that they’re very inexperienced, but at worst it could mean that they’re one to avoid.

Hopefully, this short list should give you a good idea of the sorts of things to avoid, but if it’s things like conservatories, fascias or double glazing in Telford that you’re look for, why not give the FAB Systems team a call? We’ll always be happy to discuss a project like this, so if you’d like to find out more, please contact us now by calling 0800 066 5644.

What is Glazing?

The term window glazing refers to the glass part of your windows, and today there are a number of different options available when it comes to glazing. So here we take a quick look at the different types of glazing available and the advantages of these.

Historically most windows were single glazed, meaning that they contain a single glass pane. However today there are a number of other more energy-efficient options available when it comes to glazing.

For example double glazing is now commonplace; this type of glazing contains two panes of glass, making it much more energy-efficient than single glazed windows. This extra layer of glass is what makes double glazing so special. The two panels of glass in a double glazing window unit have a small air gap between them, and the trapped air in this gap acts as an insulator. This is because air is a poor conductor of heat, and thereby helps to slow down the conduction of heat from the inner window pane to the outer window pane.

Interestingly double glazing also has a number of additional benefits over more traditional single glazing. For example double glazing can also help reduce the transmission of sound, helping to reduce any unwanted noise.

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 These days a further type of glazing known as triple glazing is also available; this type of glazing is commonly used in countries such as Sweden and Norway and is also growing increasingly popular here in the UK. As the name suggests triple glazing contains 3 panes of glass and can help increase efficiency and reduce noise further. Indeed triple glazing can offer up to 40% greater thermal efficiency than double glazed windows.

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If you’re thinking of replacing your windows then here at FAB Systems we are experts when it comes to supplying and installing high quality windows and doors. For example we are able to offer a great range of double glazing in Stoke on Trent to meet your requirements. For more information about our great range of products and services please do not hesitate to contact us and a member of our expert team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.

How to Choose the Right Window Style for your Home

Windows are an asset to your home; they add style to both your interior and your exterior. Windows are certainly the best way to light up your home and enhance the space of your rooms – they also help to bring the outdoors in, adding a natural element to your home. Of course, there are many different styles available to you, so how do you choose the right window style for your home? Well, as suppliers of double glazing windows in Stoke on Trent we’re about to answer this question with a few useful tips.

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Architecture & Aesthetic

First of all you need to consider the qualities of your architecture and the general aesthetic that you would like to achieve with your interior and exterior design. If you desire a wholly contemporary aesthetic, you wouldn’t choose a window design that is more vintage or rustic. So, consider what it is that you desire from your home, and then choose the window design based on that.

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Colour Accents

What is wonderful about window frames is they can add another dimension to the exterior of your home. They work as colour accents to add a little more excitement to your home. Of course, you need to consider the brick work of your home; what colours are there? For red brick homes, a reddish-brown enriches the aesthetic, whereas this wouldn’t be the colour for a painted, white home which would look much better with a lighter contrast, such as an organic stony-grey.

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Interior Effects

It isn’t just the exterior that is affected by your choice of windows, but the interior too. A row of large windows together would add a significant amount of light to a room, which looks beautiful all year round. However, smaller windows also have their advantages, especially in the bathroom. The size and style really depends upon the room in which you are decorating – always consider the aesthetic that you desire.

Top Tip: Curved window arches look beautiful for farm-house style homes.

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The Purpose

What is the purpose of your windows? Are they simply for aesthetics or practicality? Or is it to bring light into the room as a space enhancing technique? If you want your windows to make a statement, use a window as a centre piece and decorate the rest of the room based on this feature – highlight the singular large window. Bay windows are fantastic as a statement piece, plus they add so much space and light to your home.

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Follow this advice and you are certain to choose the best windows for you and your home. There’s no doubt about it; your home will look fantastic and you’ll certainly feel the benefit. If you would like more information in regards to our services please get in contact. Call us now on 0800 066 5644.