How can double glazing save me money?

It is pretty clear how double glazing can make your home look better, feel warmer and more cosy and add value to your property. What isn’t as clear is how can forking out on installation save you money? You might be surprised! Here we look at just how much it can save you and in what ways:

How much?

Figures from the Energy Saving Trust give an approximation that an average semi-detached house could make savings of between £85 to £115 on their energy bills by removing single glazed windows and replacing them with double glazed ones. The double-glazed windows must be of an ‘A’ grade quality for this saving to apply. If you’re not blown away by this figure, remember that high quality double glazing will last you around 20 years before needing replacing. So, times those figures by 20 and the figure seems more impressive.

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How is this possible?

Saving money on your energy bills is possible because of the way double glazing lowers the amount of heat loss from your home. It works like any other form of insulation in that they have a layer of insulation between the panes, reducing the amount of heat that can escape. Single glazed windows often suffer from condensation, where the cold air meets warm air and produces water droplets. This isn’t an effective way of maintaining the heat levels in your home. For Double Glazing Leicester, visit absolute window solutions

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What if you have older double glazing?

Depending on when your double glazing was installed, you might find modern technology has moved on considerably and you might not be saving as much money on heating as you think. Chances are your existing double glazing won’t have the same ratings that are currently used, similar to electrical appliances for energy ratings. ‘A’ rated windows will provide you with the greatest heat retention and money saving on your energy bills. Older double glazing could be failing without you realising and often gets air trapped between the panes, resulting in trapped moisture and fogginess. If there is evidence of this then, you most likely could do with a repair or replacement.

For long-term money saving and a home that feels snug and warm whatever winter throws at you, replacement double glazing makes perfect sense. Aesthetically, your home will also look amazing and it’s an ideal way to increase the value of your property.

An introduction to timber frame construction

Timber dwellings formed some of the earliest man-made housing in the UK. The oldest timber houses built here were constructed in the Bronze Age; a very well-preserved example in Cambridgeshire is circular in shape and has been dated to around 1000 to 800 BC. Timber homes are still well-loved today and have experienced a particular surge in popularity in recent years.

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The process of building or extending a timber frame house is very different from other methods of construction, and this article serves as a brief introduction.

Advantages of timber frame construction

Timber frames offer many advantages over other methods:
– Offsite construction can be used to deliver a finished structure to a site, offering considerable time savings
– Routes are readily available for wiring and plumbing
– The structure of the frame provides preexisting openings, making it very easy to position and fit windows and doors
– There’s a simpler critical path for a project without brickwork
– Building site delays due to bad weather are significantly reduced

Overview of the construction process

A timber frame is built up a storey at a time in accordance with the building plans. Wall panels are then fixed on, and a waterproof layer is affixed to cover external timber. A void is created between the wall panels and frame to accommodate insulation and additional polyethylene water-proofing. Roofing is then attached to the frame before internal works can begin on the house.

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More detailed information on this construction technique can be obtained from a wide variety of architects or timber frame construction company such as timber frame homes from QTFHOMES. There is also a wealth of information available online, such as this interesting guide from the Forestry Comission:$FILE/Timber-frame-buildings-a-guide-to-the-construction-process_D496.pdf.

The cost of building a timber frame house

The cost of building a timber frame house is comparable to a more traditional construction.  However, timber frames are usually quicker to build, which can lead to savings.

Extending your timber frame house

Adding an extension to a timber house can be complex as the structural stability of the timber frame house can be compromised by adding an extra section. This means that additional work may be needed at the design stage, and extra work may be added to the build itself to shore up the new structure.

How to Make a Pair of Curtain Tiebacks

Curtain tiebacks are an underestimated part of decor within the home. Here is how you can easily make a pair yourself.

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Creating the Template

You will need fabric for the tiebacks, buckram, a tape measure, paper or card for the template, thread, and 4 1″ diameter curtain rings.

Envisage how you want the tiebacks to look, and measure their width by looping the tape measure around one of the curtains. On your paper or card, draw a line this length horizontally and add a line down from each end, forming a shape like a staple. Make a small mark in the centre underneath your line to represent the deepest part of the tieback. Draw a curve to connect the bottom of each downward, going through the middle marking.

Cut out half of the template so that when you fold it over you can cut the other side symmetrically. Gather back the curtain with the template to ensure it’s the desired fit.

Measure Your Material

The width needs to be as wide as the tieback plus one inch. The total length should be four times the length of the deepest middle part of your tieback plus another two inches. You will also need two pieces of buckram of equal sizes to your template.

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Tiebacks can add a touch of sophistication and make your home look more expensive. It’s important therefore to consider the material you wish to use, such polyester or cotton poplin fabric, with cotton poplin fabric from Higgs and Higgs a good choice.

Creating the Tiebacks

Fold over the top approximately 2cm more than the depth of the tieback, and then put the top straight line of the template along this fold. Draw around the template, leaving a 0.5” gap, and pin across this outline to keep the fabric layers together. Cut across what you’ve pinned and do the same for the next tieback. For the buckram pieces, simply draw around the template and cut it out.

Open the tieback material out and pop in the buckram, on its wrong side, against the centre fold. Press together the edges with 0.5″ surrounding it, which can then be folded over around the buckram. Next, stitch these edges together. The curtain rings should lastly be sewn on the inside around an inch from both ends.

Easy organising tips for a more efficient garage

If you’re lucky enough to have a garage, don’t follow the trend and use it to store the family’s unwanted rubbish. Instead, make it work for you.

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Garages all over the country are clogged up with items of unwanted furniture, children’s toys and household items that are never used but kept just in case they might be needed. Have a massive clean-out. Empty your garage and car boot of all the items you have not used in the past 12 months, and try to make a bit of money out of unwanted items. Clear the space and then start again.


If you want to be able to park your car in the garage, you need to use all the vertical and ceiling space, removing as much as possible from the floor. There are a number of flexible wall storage systems suitable for garages that can be adjusted to fit your requirements. For cheaper options, inexpensive wire shelving, baskets and hooks will give you optimum storage.


Garden tools can be hung on the walls. Racks are available for items like rakes, spades and garden forks. Even items like lawn mowers and trimmers can be attached to the walls, maximising floor space. Items such as camping equipment, children’s garden games or Christmas decorations, which are not used all year-round, can be stored in plastic storage bins suspended on ceiling tracks from the garage ceiling.

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Group similar items together. That way, you know where everything is. Keep paint cans and decorating items together, group tools and DIY equipment together, and place car maintenance items in their own area. If you do a lot of DIY or car maintenance, consider a clipboard attached to the wall with useful telephone numbers of suppliers, such as silicone hose manufacturers Goodflex Rubber.


A neat and tidy shoe and coat rack will encourage everyone to place wet coats and dirty wellies in the right place. If you want to use your garage as a workspace, plastic drawer units will keep everything in its place, but make sure you label all the drawers.

Garages don’t have to be a messy area where you have to keep the door shut to avoid prying eyes. Your garage can be a tidy, useful area that works for you and your family.

Tips for Buying Double Glazing

Double glazing is a great way to soundproof your home, reduce draughts, add value to your property and make it more attractive to buyers. Double glazing works in many ways to improve your home, but there are a few tips to bear in mind to make buying double glazing a better and more productive experience.

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Research Your Options

Because double glazing can be expensive, it is important to do your own research to find the right choice for you. Depending on the number of windows you need glazing and the type of finish you choose, fitting double glazing can cost thousands of pounds. You can find less expensive types to lower the cost, and you can also compare prices online before heading to the shops so you have the figures at hand when discussing possibilities with the salespeople.

Go to a Reputable Company

There are many companies that can offer double glazing, but not all of them are reputable. Do some research to find the best companies – these are the ones with good reviews and a solid customer base. Customer satisfaction is highly important, so ask friends for their recommendations as word of mouth is often a great way to hear about the best options. You should assess the product options and quality, knowledge of the staff and clarity of information provided.

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Whether you are looking for double glazers in Tewkesbury or another city, there are many options. Tewkesbury double glazing companies and other UK companies can come to your home to assess your windows, and it is also possible to get online quotes.

Know Your Rights

Read the small print to ensure you understand the contract. You should ensure the glazing is to your exact specifications and only sign a document you have read thoroughly to make sure you are happy with all the details. It is also a good idea to check your consumer rights, and if you have a problem you can contact Citizens’ Advice.

Getting Quotes

You should also get at least three quotes when shopping for double glazing to make sure you have looked at all the options and have an idea of the average price. Never feel pressured to sign on the spot for the work, as it is important to understand exactly what you are signing up with.

How to Choose the Right Blinds for Your Home

Choosing the right blind for your home can be a minefield of confusion, with decisions to be made on style, functionality and cost. You might want to give one of your rooms a more contemporary look, or have recently decorated and want to incorporate a new blind into your home. Whatever the reason, the decision doesn’t have to be a complicated one if you take some time to consider all your options.

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Is the blind in harmony with your furnishings?

A blind can transform a room, so whether you choose a pale-coloured Roman blind that softens the surroundings, a vibrant, patterned blind that becomes a focal point, or a two tone roll up blind, you need to look at it from both a practical and decorative input. A slatted blind comes in different widths which can add either a contemporary or vintage style to a room.

What room are the blinds for?

Think about the style and functionality of the room. A blackout blind, for example, might be suitable for a bedroom. On the other hand, waterproof roller blinds are ideal for bathrooms and kitchens as they can withstand the moisture and won’t stain from water marks.

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What space is the blind for?

If you have a large or wide area such as glass sliding doors, then vertical blinds are the right solution. They’re extremely flexible by allowing as much or as little light as you desire. Alternatively, a bay window might need a Roman blind to fit the awkward or small area. Most specialists such as cater for all needs and make bespoke blinds to help you fit in with the shape you need.

What do you need your blinds for?

From a practical point of view, there may be specific reasons to choose a blind. You may want a blind to be adaptable to when you want privacy or light, or it might be a question of room temperature. Slatted blinds, according to the Department of Energy, allow for flexibility of keeping the winter cold out and cooling a room during the hotter months.

Remember, you don’t have to have the same type of blind in each of your rooms but you can get creative in your choice depending on the mood, style and functionality you want to achieve.

Why Renting a Commercial Kitchen Could be the Best Option

Having a functional kitchen to properly serve your catering business can be a major challenge, especially for growing businesses where budgets are almost always an issue. This is why renting a commercial kitchen could be the best option for your company.

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Testing the Market

Renting a kitchen can allow you to test the market before heavily investing in a particular product or service. There is the opportunity to build your brand before equipping or building your own kitchen.

Save Costs

Renting a commercial kitchen can save you money by reducing the need for individual investment in professional kitchen equipment.

Your ultimate aim may be to have your own kitchen filled with high quality commercial warewashers and other equipment from the likes of but, in the first instance, renting a complete set-up may suit your budgetary needs.

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This option can free up money to spend elsewhere as your business grows, such as hiring professional chefs or upping your marketing efforts.

Build a Network

Sharing rented space with fellow food entrepreneurs can be great at helping you to build your business network. You can learn from them and share valuable information, improving the performance of you, your business and your workforce.

Find out more about the importance of building a strong business network on the Career Smart website.

Storage Space

Commercial kitchens can offer you plenty of storage space for your growing equipment. This can be especially important if you run an online food delivery business, for example, and don’t have vast amounts of storage space.

Renting can be the ideal option for food pop-ups and caterers who regularly face the challenges of limited storage, and you have the freedom to rent the right kitchen for your business needs.

You may even be able to pay for extra storage space on top of the basic kitchen set-up. This can often be done on a month-by-month basis, allowing you to respond efficiently and effectively to changing business needs.

In Conclusion

Renting a suitable commercial kitchen can allow your business to operate and grow without the need for huge capital investment at the outset. It can also offer you the peace of mind to focus on alternative business matters, such as hiring great personnel or meeting the specific needs of your clients.

Benefits of Choosing Green Commercial Kitchen Appliances

Opting for green appliances make perfect sense in our homes, but the benefits can be even more profound for those using appliances in a business setting. Here are some convincing reasons why green appliance choices are vital for a commercial kitchen.

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Reduced Energy Costs

According to Green Hotelier, commercial kitchens tend to use a lot of energy. It’s estimated to be two and a half times more energy than other commercial spaces of a similar size.

With this in mind, it stands to reason that a commercial kitchen owner will want to do everything in their power to keep the running costs down. Keeping a check on energy usage will ensure utility bills are not inflated, which can have a big impact on a business’s bottom line.

When choosing commercial refrigeration, such as that from, or other appliances for commercial kitchen use, savvy business owners will, therefore, look to purchase green or energy-efficient appliances to keep those all-important costs down.

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Efficient Appliances

Many of the green appliances you can find today are usually the most modern up-to-date models or varieties, and the beauty of choosing these goes far beyond their low energy usage. Normally, the latest green appliances are also the most efficient, which means they’ll do a sterling job at keeping food in its most optimum condition.


Choosing green appliances also gives you peace of mind that you are doing your bit to protect the planet. It reflects well on your business, and staff will recognise that you are a caring employer who makes sustainable and environmentally-responsible decisions.

Tax Benefits

The beauty of owning green appliances in a commercial kitchen is that you might also be entitled to tax benefits or financial incentives that can help slash your outgoings. In particular, commercial kitchen owners should familiarise themselves with the Enhanced Capital Allowance, or ECA.

ECA is a government-backed scheme that enables businesses that pay income or corporation tax to claim a 100% capital allowance in the first year of a green product purchase. The product must be registered on the Energy Technology List (ETL) at the time of purchase. Products that make this list are carefully inspected to ensure they boast superior energy-efficient credentials.

This accelerated tax relief from purchasing green commercial appliances will give kitchen owners more cash to spend on other areas of their business.

Five More Reasons for Choosing Engineered Wood Flooring

Cost-effectiveness, durability, ease of installation, aesthetic appeal and versatility – these are all well-established benefits of engineered or multi-layer wood floors. But the reasons for choosing this type of flooring don’t end there. There’s a veritable slew of further advantages that merit your serious consideration.

  1. Sustainable and environmentally-friendly

None of us wants to leave too big an environmental footprint. Only the thin top layer or veneer of engineered flooring consists of hardwood, meaning that the damage done to ancient forests is minimal. At the same time, the main body of the flooring comprises soft wood from fast-growing, sustainable trees like pine. If you are concerned about such issues as the environment and sustainability in your home, you won’t be compromising your principles when selecting this type of floor.

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  1. Low maintenance

In contrast with traditional wood, engineered floors are simple to maintain, requiring no specialist cleaning or treatment products. For most versions of this flooring, all you will require is a barely damp mop or cloth, although you should check the manufacturer’s instructions. Because the floors are constructed from interlocking sections, repairing damage is a comparatively simple prospect since you just need to remove and replace a small part of the floor.

  1. Health considerations

There are two strands to this argument. Firstly, engineered wood flooring like that available from is made from natural products. These are widely believed to produce a healthier home than man-made materials fashioned from complex chemical formulations. Secondly, the surfaces of these floors aren’t prone to collecting dust, pollen and airborne toxins and, as highlighted above, are easy to keep clean.

Allergies and asthma are becoming increasingly common, especially in children. Engineered floors can therefore make a vital contribution to your and your family’s health.

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  1. Flexibility

Although it is crafted for longevity, engineered flooring isn’t necessarily immortal! In other words, if you decide to remodel your home or even just update the decor, it’s entirely possible that you will want to refresh your flooring. This won’t be a problem because your floor can usually be modified. The veneer can, for instance, be sanded or refinished.

  1. Stability

Finally, these floors don’t contract, expand or buckle like standard wood floors, so they are suitable for every part of the house, even rooms like kitchens and bathrooms with potentially damp atmospheres.

5 more great ways to enjoy your garden room

The most obvious way to use your garden room is to relax in it, whether you’re just sitting watching the wildlife in the garden or reading the latest best-seller. These rooms are incredibly versatile, however. Here are a few of our favourite and more unusual ways to enjoy them.

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A Retreat

Whether you’re a bookworm who wants to retreat to their library and lose themselves in fictional settings or a meditation fan who wants a clear and clean space in which to practice, your garden room can give you what you need. These light, airy spaces lend themselves to getting away from it all without having to go too far.

Arts & Crafts

Whether you’re a hobbyist or a serious artist, garden rooms make the perfect studio. Away from the house, you can have a peaceful space to focus on your work, and you don’t need to tidy everything away at the end of the day. Summerhouses can be fitted with skylights, storage and shelving and even larger pieces of equipment like kilns if needed.

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Nothing extends a day in the garden like having a garden room to retreat to when the chill sets in. If you’ve planned an outdoor event and the weather is uncertain, set up your table inside! Create stunning garden rooms with lighting – solar-powered fairy lights look wonderful – then open the doors and enjoy.

An office

You might think of summerhouses as being purely for pleasure and just for the summer, but they can be used year-round and many people now use them for a home office. You don’t have to pay any extra council tax for having a home office. As with a retreat, having a completely separate space to go to can help with concentration and focus and stop interruptions from the rest of the family!

A play room

The alternative is to flip things around and send the rest of the family outside! Outdoor rooms make great spaces for play. With an easy-to-clean space for painting or water play and somewhere to keep the garden toys when not in use, a summerhouse is a great way to encourage kids to spend more time outdoors.

Summerhouses are perhaps the most versatile room in the house. What would you do with yours?

Should You Replace the Old Windows in Your Home?

People often think about affordability when the idea of replacing their old windows comes up. There are many perks to installing new windows. Deciding whether to do so requires thinking about whether the advantages will pay off for you. Old, drafty windows can increase your energy bills, and make it a bit cool during the winter months. They can also reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system in the summer.