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!


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.



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.



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.


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.

Make Your Conservatory Totally You

When it comes to interior design, chances are you’re going to be pretty focussed on the living room, the bedroom, the kitchen. If it’s lucky, maybe the bathroom and the hallway come a distant fourth and fifth. But what about the humble conservatory, standing there, stoic and unassuming, waiting for a little creative TLC?

Often, when making our conservatories look lovely we tend to go for some standards. The block colour paints, the wicker chairs, maybe a tall plant in the corner. And… that’s it. But hey, you wouldn’t treat your lounge with so little thought, so why’s the conservatory any different? As suppliers of conservatories in Cheshire and beyond, we’re pretty passionate about conservatories – but we also love interior design. After all, who wants a beautiful conservatory that’s decorated in a bland or generic style?


That’s why we’re going to look at a few design ideas to make your conservatory totally you. And that means you’ll have plenty of time to whip it into shape before summer arrives and you and your family and friends are sipping homemade lemonade and basking in the refracted sunshine.


Relax! Take a Seat

Just because your nan had wicker chairs in her conservatory, doesn’t mean you have to. You could always opt for more traditional seating – couches, leather sofas, whatever you’re most comfortable with. The main advantage of this is that the conservatory stops being some glassy appendage to your house, and truly becomes part of the home. And if you were hoping to go for something a little more outlandish, might we suggest… bean bags?


Cuddle Up with Cushions

Add a little warmth to your conservatory furnishings. A bunch of cushions and throws scattered across the seats will make it so much more inviting. It adds colours, style and character and it’s really that simple. And they’re perfect for both the cool winters and steamy summers. Because hey, who doesn’t want comfort and the sense of floating on colourful clouds?


Be Bold…

When it comes to paintwork, plenty of conservatories look alike. Off-whites, pale oranges and faded greens figure highly. But you can do better than those guys, right? Paint your walls with delightfully bold colours to really make a statement. Want to get fashionable? Go grey. The right shade of grey can create a really modern feel to the conservatory. And if you’re unconvinced by daubing the walls in this colour, it also makes a pretty nifty accent colour to complement whatever other shades you’ve gone for.


…And Go Green

Having a plant in a conservatory is cool. Having a selection of well-chosen plants is better, right? They work great at both enhancing the whole ‘bringing the outside inside’ that conservatories do so well, and adding a vibrant personality to the room. Don’t overload the conservatory with them though, and make sure the sizes are well-suited to how big the conservatory is. No-one wants to wade through a jungle, Indiana Jones-style, just for a sip of Pimms!


Reflect Yourself

When it comes to other rooms in the house, we tend to be fairly consistent. Y’know, we’ll only use blues and creams, or blacks and whites; all the chairs are from the same uniform set; and the theme remains the same, like going all nautical in the bathroom or rustic in the kitchen. But that’s where conservatories are king – because you’re not so limited! You can really make your conservatory reflect who you are. You can mix those contemporary-style vases with vintage sideboards. You can hang up film posters, put a moose head on the wall. The choice is yours. Done right, done well, it really works.


And if you haven’t got a conservatory yet, we can help you out there too. We’re a leading supplier of conservatories that are absolutely FAB. For more information about what we provide and how we can help you, simply contact us on 0800 066 5644 or email and our team will be delighted to assist with your enquiries.

How Do Conservatories Work?

Most of us have a soft spot for the conservatory. Even if we don’t all have them ourselves, there’s something very relaxing about settling down in a warm conservatory over the summer months, and enjoying a bit of well-earned ‘me time’. However, have you ever stopped to ponder exactly how a conservatory works like it does? On the one hand, it’s a very simple answer, but more people than you’d think don’t understand why it works out so well. It pretty much just boils down to the high school science topic that is the greenhouse effect, so here are a few details to refresh your memory.


Not THAT Greenhouse Effect

First up, this greenhouse effect is not the same phenomenon that everyone thinks is leading to global warming. We’re not talking about gases in the atmosphere here. It’s pretty confusing that the two processes share a name, but the actual stuff we want to talk about is different to the bad old news that is melting the polar ice caps. Just making sure you knew!

Absorbing and Trapping Heat

Fundamentally speaking, a conservatory is broadly the same as a greenhouse; you just want people to be comfortable in there, rather than plants. This shouldn’t be a surprise, given the fact that some of the earliest conservatory buildings were actually designed to cultivate citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, or sometimes other exotic plants that were brought to the UK on global trade routes.

In simple terms, a conservatory absorbs the sunlight, but doesn’t then let it out again, resulting in a building that retains every last little ounce of heat. The effect is also exacerbated by the angle of the sun’s rays, which allows a lot more radiant energy to enter the conservatory that might otherwise be normal. The trapping of the heat is achieved by the double glazed windows, which is exactly why modern technology has made the idea of a conservatory in the UK more practical than ever before.


Ventilation and Insulation

Just like true greenhouses, conservatory builders need to pay close attention to both ventilation and insulation. As you might expect, an environment that is designed to trap heat can risk becoming very humid and the like, and so ventilation is always going to be needed. This can be easily achieved in numerous ways, but insulation is perhaps even more important, and, in colder climates, was perhaps what caused conservatories to fall out of favour somewhat after their ‘golden age’.

Trapping all that heat is well and good…providing there is something to trap! In the UK, we know all about dreary winters, and our summer months aren’t always much to write home about either, and historically far too much heat was lost through the covering of a conservatory building. As we’ve already mentioned, the advent of double glazing has solved many of these potential issues, but sometimes other measures need to be called upon too. Many people in the UK want to be able to use their conservatories all year round, and such habits often need a helping hand (or two).

You’ll have probably gathered that double glazing was a pretty big invention in terms of the practicality of the conservatory, and here at FAB Systems we specialise in providing this essential form of insulation not for only your conservatories, but also your entire home too. When it comes to double glazing in Stoke on Trent, we’re the go to supplier, and our prices are as competitive as they come. If you’d like to upgrade your glazing today, then don’t hesitate to contact us today by calling 0800 066 5644 and we’ll be happy to help.

Looking Through Time: The Most Famous Conservatories in the World Ever (Part Two)

In our previous post, Looking Through Time: The Most Famous Conservatories in the World Ever (Part One) – we highlighted three of the most unique and aesthetically beautiful conservatories of the past.

From The Great Conservatory, to The Big Sleep and Belle Isle – these conservatories really are amongst those crafted of sheer beauty, with many considered more renowned today than the day they were built. However, what about others?

As specialists of conservatory builds, we’re always on the lookout for a little design inspiration, and thoroughly enjoy seeking out examples of both domestic and grandeur designs that’ll inspire us in our works.

So, as promised – let’s have another look through time with the final instalment of the most famous conservatories in the world, ever! Enjoy.

The Eden Project, Cornwall, England


The Eden Project in Cornwall is considered one of the most famous conservatories of modern day, and has been crowned the world’s biggest greenhouse in the Guinness Book of Records! Home to over 1million plants, the complex is dominated by three adjoining artificial biomes – the Rainforest Biome, the Mediterranean Biome and the open-air Outdoor Biome.


Constructed in a 160 year-old dormant clay mine, the impressive domes consist of hexagonal and pentagonal, inflated plastic cells, and are supported by steel frames. Each biome holds various plants and species from all over the world, and is open to the public all year round!

The Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, London, England


Inside the famous Royal Botanical Gardens, stands The Princess of Wales or Princess Augusta conservatory, the founder of Kew. Opened by Diana on 28th July 1987, the breathtaking conservatory was designed by architect Gordon Wilson, and contains ten computer-controlled climatic tropical zones, all under one roof. The two main climatic areas are the dry tropics and the eight remaining zones, including a seasonally dry zone.


Regarded as one of the most sophisticatedly designed and impressive builds in the country, the conservatory offers a range of rare, unusual and stunning natural landscapes and elements from floor to ceiling, and, with its stepped and angled glass construction – is an impressively effective collector of solar energy.

Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago, USA


Garfield Park, for starters, is widely considered to be one of the USA’s best kept secrets, and one of the country’s finest botanical treasures. Created and designed as a pleasure ground by William LeBaron Jenney back in 1908, and is now the oldest of three great original Chicago West Side parks. The build occupies approximately 4.5 acres of the 182 acre site, and is home to thousands of wondrous and unique plant and natural species.


Considered one of the largest and most stunning conservatories in the nation, and is often referred to as ‘landscape art under glass’ – providing breathtaking sights and ‘scapes, whatever the season! It’s also been a popular venue for many weddings over the years! Ah, lovely.

Bicentennial Conservatory, Adelaide, Australia


Constructed in 1987, the Bicentennial Conservatory was opened in late 1989 as a celebration of the Australian Bicentenary, and has become one of country’s most respected and enjoyed landmarks. Designed by South Australian architect, Guy Maron, it is the largest single span conservatory in the Southern hemisphere and is curvilinear in shape.


100 metres long, 47 metres wide and 27 metres high – the conservatory is considered a one-of-a-kind build, and its elegant steel superstructure supports the 2,434 metres of toughened glass which forms the walls, doors and roof. Inside the build you’ll find a stunning collection of at risk or endangered rainforest plants from Northern Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the nearby Pacific Islands.

Here at FAB Systems, we’re passionate about design, and understand the importance of both quality and visual design. So, if you’re looking for fascias, roofing or double glazing in Stoke on Trent – we’ve got you covered! For more information or for a free quote, please feel free to get in contact with our friendly and helpful team on 0800 066 5644 today!

Looking Through Time: The Most Famous Conservatories in the World Ever (Part One)

Previously in our ‘Looking Through Time’ series we checked out some of the most famous windows in the world, both from pop culture – as in the case of Hitchcock’s classic Rear Window – to, y’know, actual culture like the infamous Texas School Book Depository. But that’s not the only world famous product we deal with – we’re also conservatory specialists who really love checking out some examples of wonderful design in the conservatory world.  In the first of this two-parter, we’re going to study the most awesome conservatories in the world. And we’ll start with…


The Great Conservatory

Few things are more stunning than a well-designed conservatory – and we think The Great Conservatory at Syon Park is truly jaw-dropping. It’s a genuine Victorian marvel that’s still standing in its 19th century form, though it was extensively restored during the mid-80’s back to its original glory after decades of neglect post-World War One.  The conservatory itself was designed by Charles Fowler, who worked as both architect and engineer to construct a conservatory that, according to Syon Park’s website, ‘combined… a neo-classical elevation on a Palladian model.’ Duck inside The Great Conservatory and you’d have found  plenty of exotic plants from South Africa, Australia and China. Pretty amazingly, by the late 1800’s, the palm trees had grown to the top of the conservatory’s dome! Speaking of the project, Fowler once said: ‘The proper excellence of architecture is that which results from its suitableness to the occasion … and this principle rightly pursued leads to originality, without the affection of novelty.’ We couldn’t agree more.


The Big Sleep

When it comes to the movies, conservatories are criminally under-represented. But that doesn’t mean that Hollywood have entirely forgotten the humble structures. In the 1946 noir thriller The Big Sleep, based on Raymond Chandler’s beautifully written book, we’re introduced to both Humphrey Bogart’s rumpled PI Phillip Marlowe and the man who sets him on the case, General Sternwood. Sternwood’s an old man: he’s exhausted, tired of keeping his two tearaway daughters out of trouble – or paying off blackmailers – and barely living. If it wasn’t for the warmth of the orchid-ridden conservatory, Sternwood would be sleeping the sleep that’s big. Not that the kind ol’ General is much of a fan of the plants he’s surrounded himself with. ‘Nasty things,’ he says. ‘Their flesh is too much like the flesh of men, and their perfume has the rotten sweetness of corruption.’ But at least it’s keeping him alive – without Sternwood, there’d be no film.


Belle Isle

The Belle Isle Conservatory has a serious claim to fame. It’s actually the oldest in all of the ancient United States of America. The conservatory was built back in the dark ages of 1904 on an island park in Detroit, Michigan. It covers around 13 colossal acres at the centre of the island, and the dome of the conservatory stands at an awe-inspiring 85ft. Designed by architect, Albert Khan, the dome of the conservatory was originally built from wood, until they rebuilt it out of iron for durability. The isle is also home to a beautiful lily pond, zoo, aquarium, museum and even a yacht club. However, we believe that the utterly stunning conservatory is the best thing about Belle. After Anne Scripps Whitcomb, the daughter of a Detroit newspaper baron, donated her collection of 600 orchids to the conservatory in 1953, it was renamed in her honour. It’s also home to plenty of exotic South American and Asian plants.


Here at FAB Systems we really appreciate a great conservatory. After all, it’s what we do and what we love. If you’re in need great solutions for roofing, fascias and double glazing in Crewe and beyond, we’ve got you covered. For more information about our products and services or a free quotation, don’t delay – please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 066 5644 or email and our team of experts will be more than happy to assist with all of your enquiries.

Onwards and Upwards – Energy Bills in 2015

Here at FAB Systems, we get plenty of customers coming to us for double glazing in Stoke on Trent when they’re looking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, as few features are more essential for insulation than the right kind of windows. However, people look to reduce energy bills in many different ways, but, according to the latest news, 2015 could be a struggle in that respect.


The Telegraph reports how numerous considerations like wholesale costs and green incentives are predicted to play a prominent part with regards to energy consumption this year, and here’s a brief rundown of the most important points…

  • Wholesale costs have been falling as of late, but the prevailing attitude is that customers shouldn’t expect to reap any savings. Currently, plans to pass on savings to customers are very much up in the air, so don’t get too excited about a reduction in your bills just yet.
  • There’s been the possibility of an energy price freeze for quite some time, and many analysts are stating that – in a rather curious situation – this price freeze is driving up prices. Until the nature of the price freeze is revealed in the May election, nobody seems willing to cut costs.
  • Competition is always huge when it comes to costs, and, although it hasn’t happened yet, competition from smaller firms is anticipated to drive down bills from mainstream providers. In this particular case, 2015 could well be a time when customers do see improvement.
  • The Green Deal is an example of an initiative that gives people the opportunity to ‘go green’, and green incentives from the government are apparently set to increase. This will reward homeowners with energy-friendly systems, so that’s definitely something to think about.

Clearly, 2015 looks like it could unfold in a variety of directions with regards to energy bills, but, as we’ve already mentioned, one great way to take your savings into your own hands is to pay proper attention to your windows. They’re not the only area that needs attending to, but they are very important when it comes to keeping heat inside your home, and the FAB Systems team is always on hand to help. If you’d like further information about our reliable provision of double glazing, don’t hesitate to contact us now by calling 0800 066 5644.

Happy New Year from FAB Systems!

Christmas is over for another year; gifts have been given and received, the turkey leftovers are but a fond memory, and Santa can finally put his feet up. We hope that the festive season has been good to you, and while it’s unlikely that you found a new conservatory in your stocking, we hope that you got everything else that you wished for!

Of course, hard on the heels of Christmas comes New Year, so we’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy, healthy and enjoyable 2015 on behalf of everybody here at FAB Systems!

new-years-eve-580735_12802014 has been something of an up and down year weather-wise; at the beginning of the year the UK faced a barrage of winter storms which caused widespread issues across the country, while at the end of the year winter came late, with October and November both very mild. Overall, in fact, 2014 brought us higher than average mean temperatures throughout the year, and who knows what 2015 might bring?

What we can say, however, is that we’ll continue to help you keep your home protected from harsh weather and looking fabulous with our extensive range of soffits, fascias, windows and more.

If your New Year’s Resolution is to make your home more energy efficient, we can help you with fantastic A-rated new uPVC windows, complete with a wide range of additional features to meet your every need, as well as stunning front doors in both uPVC and elegant wood to make a great first impression and keep those nasty drafts out. Alternatively, if 2015 is the year you decide to extend your property, we can help you to design the perfect year-round conservatory, allowing you to enjoy your garden whatever the weather.

At FAB Systems we are specialists in double glazing in Stoke on Trent, fitting doors, windows, conservatories and more to exceptionally high standards. We can also help with flat roofing, garage doors, carports and much more! If you would like more information on how we can help you to improve and expand your home in 2015, simply get in touch with us on 0800 066 5644.

Designing a Conservatory

Conservatories are a great way to add space and elegance to your home, and they can often increase the value of your property, too. However, it is a big job – so you want to make sure that it’s done right. In order to make sure that you get the perfect conservatory, here are the top questions to ask.

1. What do you want to use your conservatory for?

The intended use of your conservatory should have a considerable impact on its design. If you want to use it for entertaining or dining, then you’ll want to have adequate space. If you intend to use it to grow and display plants, it may have different requirements, especially if you plan to show off plants with very specific climate needs. Before you do anything else, make a list of what you want to be able to do in your conservatory.

2. Size and Siting

Adding a conservatory will inevitably reduce the size of your garden, so making sure that it is an appropriate size and in the most suitable place is vital. If part of your garden is frequently under-used, using that area for a conservatory could transform it into useful space, but if you currently use your entire garden you may have a tricky decision to make. The aspect is also vital – a south facing conservatory will be very bright and sunny, but it may not always be the best choice.

3. Design

The style of your conservatory is also important. Whether you choose a design that is in keeping with the rest of your property or something that contrasts is entirely up to you – indeed, a contemporary conservatory attached to a period style property can be very effective – but it is essentially a personal choice.

4. Heating, Shade and Ventilation

What heating, ventilation and shading you need will vary depending on your other choices, but all should be carefully considered. If you wish to grow plants, then their needs must be considered alongside the needs of the family – tropical plants will naturally not do well in an unheated conservatory over winter! Ventilation or air conditioning will be important in keeping the conservatory comfortable on the warmest days of the year, and shades or blinds may be necessary depending on the aspect you’ve chosen.

Here at FAB Systems, we specialise in windows, doors and conservatories in Cheshire, so we can help you to create the perfect conservatory for your property. For more information, or for a quote, contact us today.

Going Green – What’s the Deal?

Christmas has come and gone, and with the New Year bearing down upon us it’s perhaps prudent to start planning for 2015. Each area of your life can quite naturally benefit from such forward-thinking, but what we’re going to talk about here revolves around the idea of energy efficiency. As a provider of double glazing in Crewe, we’re obviously called upon pretty often to improve the efficiency of various homes with regards to energy, and, even disregarding the huge emphasis on energy friendly practices that’s going around today, there are plenty of great reasons to start thinking ‘green’.

Going Green

The Green Deal

In the recent news though, there’s been one very important development on this front, and it’s sure to serve as an extra incentive for homeowners who haven’t yet gone big on energy saving measures. Reported in The Telegraph back in mid-December, the so-called ‘Green Deal’ offers a generous amount of cashback for property owners who take steps to not only increase the value of their premises, but also reduce energy bills. A direct attempt to tackle the off-putting costs that come with making a home more energy friendly, this Government Scheme is beginning to gather steam.

How’s it Changed?

In actual fact, the Green Deal was first unveiled back in the summer, but the initial funds were used up within a matter of hours as households leapt at the chance to gain cashback. However, this latest proposal injects literally millions of pounds back into the cash pot, so those homes that applied for a Green Deal assessment back in June, but were unable to take advantage of the scheme, can try once again. With a gradual method of cash release now being used, the hope is that the fund will be able to cope with the demands far more easily this time, thus extending the lifespan of the plan.

Energy Saving Measures

This is obviously great news for those who were holding off upgrading their homes on the energy friendly front, as there is now extra incentive to go forward with those intentions, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity for families who were already committed to doing so. Energy saving already pays off in the long-term, but the possibility of the Green Deal now opens up short-term savings too.

Regardless of whether you qualify or not though, it’s highly recommended that you enhance your energy saving plans wherever possible, and rest assured that you won’t be disappointed with the results. Even simple things like better glazing can make a colossal difference, and here at FAB Systems we can supply many such solutions to help in this respect. To find out more about how we can help you, contact us now by calling 0800 066 5644 and we’ll be happy to discuss your query.

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.