Monthly Archives: March 2014

Add Elegant Space to Your Home

If you don’t want to move home, but you’re finding yourself in need of a little more space, then adding a conservatory can be an excellent idea. Not only does it give you an elegant extra room, but it also opens the house up to the garden and can add significant value.

If you are thinking of adding a conservatory to your home, the first thing you need to consider is planning. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t need planning permission to add a conservatory, as they are considered to be permitted development, however there are restrictions. For example, you can’t cover more than half the land around the original building – and this is defined as the building as it was originally built, or as it stood in 1948 if it’s an older building, so if there are already any extensions they have to be taken into account. You can get full details from the government’s planning portal.

Deciding how big your conservatory should be – bearing in mind the aforementioned restrictions – should be your next decision. If your house is small, then a large conservatory would be overpowering and make the house feel off-balance. You should also consider how much garden you’ll have left, as you’ll still want to be able to enjoy your outdoor space. This is also important if you want to sell in future; if your garden ends up significantly smaller than neighbouring gardens, this may put off potential buyers. It’s a good idea to mark out the space you’re going to take up with your conservatory – you can do this easily with string and ground pegs – so that you can get a visual idea of the space that you’ll have left.

What purpose your conservatory is intended to serve should also be considered when you’re thinking about the space – after all, if you want it to serve as your dining room, you’ll need to make sure that it will be big enough for your dining table and chairs. Ask your designer for both the external and internal measurements of your design, so that you can check it meets your requirements before you commit to buy.

Here at F.A.B Systems, we have a specialist team of designers with plenty of experience in creating stunning conservatories in Stoke on Trent and the surrounding area. We’ll take into account all your requirements to ensure that you get exactly what you need from your conservatory. For a free quote, simply call us on 0800 066 5644.

 

Condensation in Detail

Condensation is the change of the physical state of matter from a gas phase into a liquid phase, and although this sounds harmless enough, it can cause a significant amount of problems in your home. It can cause damage to the paintwork, walls, wallpaper and curtains. In some cases, condensation can cause damp and mould in the home.

Over the years, there have been advancements which have caused our homes to become warmer; however, as a result of this it has lead to less ventilation and fewer air changes in the home. Air can contain water vapour, with warm air holding more water than cold air. Condensation is formed when warm air meets a colder surface and can’t retain the same amount of water vapour. As the water vapour can’t escape, it therefore forms condensation.

It is a common misconception that condensation is down to a building fault. Condensation can occur in a new home, as materials such as plaster can contain a significant amount of moisture. When materials such as plaster dry out, and the new home is lived in, water vapour can easily form. Condensation is more likely to form on windows, colder parts of the wall, and where ceilings and floors meet with the outer walls. If condensation keeps forming then you will have to take action against it, or mould problems are more than likely to occur.

You can take practical steps to ensure that water vapour levels are down, such as putting lids on saucepans, avoiding drying laundry on a radiator and making sure that your dryer is properly vented through an outside wall.

As a more significant long-term approach, it is also worthwhile investing in energy efficient windows that are double glazed to ensure that your house gets the right amount of ventilation. With double glazing, the glass will be kept at room temperature, which lowers the condensation levels. If you open your windows occasionally to allow your rooms to ventilate, and have double glazing too, then your condensation worries could be a thing of the past.

For double glazing windows in Stoke on Trent, make us your first port of call here at FAB Systems. You can call us today on 0800 066 5644 for a free quotation.

Ways to Save Energy in Your Home

Running a house is by no means a cheap feat, especially when you take into consideration the amount of money that you have to pay on bills. Although the weather seems to have improved significantly, it is still on the cold side, so you have probably noticed that the heating is taking a significant chunk out of your wallet. At FAB Systems, we understand that you may be concerned about your energy consumption levels and will want to save money. To save energy in your home you may wish to consider the following tips:

Turn Down the Thermostat/ Hot Water

If you turn the thermostat down, even if it is just a little bit, you will be saving yourself a considerable amount of money in the long run. It is likely that you won’t even notice the difference in the room temperature, and turning your thermostat down by just one degree could save you over 5% on your bills.

Much like turning down the thermostat, you should decrease the temperature of your water because it doesn’t have to be higher than 60 degrees centigrade (140 degrees Fahrenheit). If you have the temperature any higher it will actually only be mixed with cold water.

Switch Your Energy Company

Many people switch car insurance companies when they feel like they are paying over the odds. The same should be done for gas and electricity. If you shop around then you will easily find a better deal, as there are many resources out there for you to compare prices. To perform a price comparison most sites just need your postcode and a recent bill.

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Double Glazing

Replacing single glazed windows with UPVC windows is perhaps the most effective thing you can do in terms of saving energy. The frame of the windows plays a significant role in promoting energy and cost effective insulation. The vacuum between the panes prevents both cold air and draughts from entering your home, and also stops warmth from escaping. The insulating factor of UPVC windows can be beneficial to your health, and you will notice that your bills will drop because you won’t need to heat your home as much.

Of course, double glazing is a long term investment. If you are interested in UPVC Windows in Stoke On Trent then you should get in touch with us today. Our technical experience is second to none, as we have over 25 years of experience when it comes to UPVC installations; click here to get a quote online today.

Making the Most Of Your Garden

Many people argue that the back garden is the most important part of the house, and it isn’t a surprise when you consider that we spend most of the summer in the garden with parties and barbecues. Although we seem to be over the worst of the weather, it is perhaps a little bit premature to be organising summer soirees just yet, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan ahead to make the most out of your garden in time for the good weather. Here at FAB Systems, we have a wealth of experience relating to back gardens, thanks to our conservatory installation service, so we are confident that we know what will complement a garden’s style.

You may have noticed that winter has taken its toll on your garden, but the good news is that there are all sorts of things that you can do to get your garden looking in great shape. It is a good idea to do some pruning, and keep a disinfectant spray with you so you don’t transfer any diseases from plant to plant. The Telegraph is a useful resource for you to keep in mind, as it has lots of practical advice for you to get the best possible results.

Great furniture brings comfort and function to your outdoor space. Before you go out and invest in furniture though, it is worthwhile to consider just how you want your garden to function, and what accessories would best complement this. For example, you may wish for your garden to serve as a dining area, and if this is the case then you should research the market to ensure that you don’t pay over the odds.

Of course, at FAB Systems we may be biased, but it is vitally important not to underestimate the significance that a conservatory has in terms of enhancing your back garden. The English summer can bring the good weather with it, but it is also very unpredictable. With a conservatory, you will be able to enjoy your garden without suffering because of the bad weather, so you’ll be able to make the most of even a poor summer. We will work with you to ensure that the temperature of your new addition is comfortable in all types of weather conditions, allowing you to get the maximum possible use out of it. In addition to enjoying your house in a different way, another advantage of investing in a conservatory is the fact that it will enhance the look of your garden, giving it a modern feel.

If you think that a conservatory is what your garden is missing, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today on 0800 066 5644. We are renowned for our conservatories in Stoke on Trent, and are more than happy to answer any questions if you have any queries.

Conservatory

Garage Doors: Which Type Is Most Suitable?

Replacing a garage door isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Many people think of a garage door as a generic necessity without any specific utility, and tend to place a lot of emphasis on the garage itself, rather than on the door. Notable garages sometimes get talked about, whilst doors generally do not; however that certainly shouldn’t be the case.

Garage Door 1

Here at FAB Systems, we regularly provide garage doors in Stoke on Trent and the surrounding areas, and so we consider ourselves an authority when it comes to these oft-neglected, and vitally important, household features. Not all garage doors are the same, and the different styles are ideally suited to different situations. Here is a brief rundown of the pros and cons of some of the most common styles:

Up and Over

Garage Door 2Up and over garage doors are one of the most secure types of garage door, and they come in both canopy and retractable varieties to enable even more flexibility. Canopy and retractable doors allow garage entrances of vastly differing sizes to be easily catered for, and up and over garage doors also come in an exceptional range of materials, so they can always be relied upon to meet your budget, no matter how big or small it might be. Although up and over garage doors do leave a small gap between the frame and the door, their simplicity, automation and the array of options on offer makes them hard to beat.

Roller

Roller garage doors are a fantastic way to make the most of your garage space, and are also perfect if your vehicle requires a large amount of clearance to actually fit in the garage. This is because the doors ‘roll’ up vertically and do not swing outwards at all – hence the name – and they will also fit into almost any shape or size of aperture as well. Despite the relatively limited designs that are on offer, roller garage doors are easy to automate, allow you to utilise the storage space on your walls far more easily and insulate your garage well; so there’s certainly a lot to like about them.

Sectional

Sectional garage doors open vertically and slide into the ceiling of the garage, so they are another great garage door to choose if you have a confined Garage Door 3driveway or are short on space. Sectional doors are also very good if you spend a lot of time in your garage, as double-skinned versions can be purchased to retain the heat very well, making the temperature far more comfortable in colder weather. The vertical opening mechanism does mean that the roof space of the garage becomes largely redundant, but the ability to house even the tallest of vehicles, the flexibility to cover any entrance size and the ability to be automated is still invaluable.

The above three doors only represent some of the most common types of garage doors, and there is still exceptional variety when it comes to these products, with many specialist suppliers offering a plethora of options. For example, you can click here to view the hardwood garage doors page on the Lakes Garage Doors website; as you can see, the assortment of types, alternate materials, mechanisms and manufacturers can seem a little bewildering in scale. Because of this, you may find yourself in need of some help when choosing the exact specifications of your door, and here at FAB Systems we can offer you just that.

Our team of skilled fitters can be relied upon to offer any advice that you might need regarding the best type of garage door for you, and will also ensure the smooth installation of any product. Our comprehensive range of options can also be tailored to fit with your exact requirements. All of our garage doors come with superb guarantees and are fitted efficiently by professional tradesmen, so be sure to contact us if you require any more information.

The Advantages of Double Glazing

Although double-glazing is hugely popular, there are still a considerable amount of homes in the UK that do not have double glazing. Single glazed windows can be seen predominantly in older properties and listed buildings. If your home doesn’t have double glazing, then it is well worth investing in double glazed windows. Most houses and flats are suitable to have them fitted, and they have a significant amount of advantages to offer.

One of the main advantages of double-glazing is the fact that insulation is improved significantly. The two panels of glass insulate both heat and noise, so you will save on bills and reduce your Co2 emissions as well. Co2 emissions are particularly harmful to the environment; if your house isn’t energy efficient then it will be harder to sell it, so think about the future with double glazing.

Windows 1

According to the Energy Saving Trust, swapping single glazed windows for double glazing will reduce your costs; the annual saving on your bills is expected to be around £170 per a year. Quality double glazed windows from the team here at FAB Systems are a long term investment, and should last for around twenty years, so you should expect to save around £3,400 during that period.

Condensation is something you have to take into consideration as it causes damp. This is because the moisture has nowhere to escape, and will eventually evaporate into the fabric of the house. With double glazing, the glass will be kept at room temperature, which lowers the condensation levels and reduces the damp considerably. This will significantly reduce the likelihood of mould, so you won’t need to waste money and time on mould treatments.

If you are looking for a proven company to provide you with double glazing windows in Stoke on Trent, then get in touch with us here at Fab Systems. We can offer high quality windows at a cost effective price. You can call us today on 0800 066 5644 and we will provide you with a free no-obligation quote. In addition to our comprehensive glazing service, we also provide you with conservatories; click on the contact us link to send us a message for more information.