What is Decking Used for in the Garden?

Grass, seating areas, verandas, patios… all are good options for the garden. But what about decking? How can it be used in the garden, is it a viable option for your home, and will it look just as good as a paved patio or a veranda? The short answer is that yes it will; decking has a smart and attractive look about it, making sure that it is aesthetically pleasing and that it is a strong choice for a whole host of homes. It is also good from a functional point of view; there are non slip options available, it is good for children, and it is suitable for pets to use as well. All of this, and it can still be a highly durable option for the home too.

The Perfect Sink for your Kitchen

Even if you have a dishwasher, the sink is still something very important to consider in your kitchen. The sink is as much about designing your kitchen to look a certain way as it is about ensuring your kitchen is practical. You should choose a sink based on the way that it looks, as well as the size and shape that will be a match for your kitchen.

If you want a specialist sink such as an undermount or a Belfast sink you will need to have the right type of worktop to go with it as well, usually solid wood, quartz or granite. Other types of material you might have for a sink are:

  • Stainless steel – practical and timeless. Can also look modern. Very hygienic and easy to clean.
  • Granite composite – strong and high quality. Made from a beautiful granite composite material. Easy to maintain.
  • Ceramic – traditional and attractive. Needs to be paired with the right kind of worktop and tap.

Are there any Special Considerations Needed for Kitchens in London?

London is a vibrant, exciting place to live, with a lot to offer everybody. Homes themselves can be smaller than average, though – and if not, they can be very expensive. The average person will not be able to afford an enormous London home. However, many own their own little slice of city living, and have a corner of London to call home. This means kitchens in London need to be adapted to the kinds of living spaces that people have, whether they are flats, houses, awkwardly shaped or standard shaped, old or new, have lots of windows, or very few at all. A London kitchen designer will need to be able to think outside the box and create stunning rooms for homes of all kinds.

Getting a new kitchen designed anywhere is a big step to take and is both exciting and a little nerve wracking. Having a kitchen designed in London is much the same, but is perhaps even more important than anywhere else in the UK. With space at a premium, only a professional kitchen designer will be able to use a room to the best of its ability – DIY kitchen installations are probably not a good idea if you want a kitchen that is stylish, modern, beautiful, and at the same time, well designed and very easy to use. The detail of the design is essential to the success of a kitchen.

If you are looking to have a kitchen designed for you in London, these are some of the key considerations that you will need to bear in mind throughout the process;

  • Don’t necessarily choose a kitchen designer tied to a specific company. They might not be the best company to supply kitchen cabinets, appliances, fittings and furniture for your London home and you may want something more bespoke, anyway. Choose a designer who can make sure your kitchen is fully customised around you and your every wish.
  • Don’t spend too long looking at kitchens online or in magazines. This is a good step to take initially, while you are working out what kind of kitchen you would like and what styles and colours appeal to you, but the design of your London kitchen will very much depend on your space, and what can be achieved with it. Talk to a designer sooner rather than later so they can measure up and tell you what options you have for your kitchen.
  • Make your kitchen versatile. Open plan living is popular, especially in London properties such as flats and terraced houses where space is at a premium. Think about creating a kitchen space that is perfect for cooking, as well as for sitting down and relaxing, with an integrated kitchen and living space. Islands are also very popular, with bar stool seating so that the kitchen becomes a more sociable space. You want to get the most out of your London kitchen and a professional designer will understand how to make your space beautiful, functional and also versatile.

Three Reasons to Consider Rooflights

Rooflights are a premium option for many, but they can do so much for a property that really, than should be considered as standard more often. Here are three reasons why you might want to consider a rooflight for your home:

  1. Rooflights can make your home feel bigger. When a house of flat is lighter and brighter, it can feel larger as well. You won’t have to do anything (like build an extension or make the ceiling higher) to feel like you have more space – simply creating more light can do that for you.
  2. Rooflights let in more natural light. it is thought that most rooflights can let in more natural light than a vertical window of the same size. This can be really quite a dramatic amount, so you get better value for money when buying a rooflight instead.
  3. They are a good aesthetic design feature. Rooflights can be a beautiful, modern design feature, perfect for homes of all ages and styles.

What Constitutes a Luxury Kitchen in a London home?

The kitchen: one of the most important parts of the home. In London especially, where space is always at a premium in the home, it’s essential that kitchens are designed and configured around the space that’s available, whilst still remaining elegant and function. There’s great demand for the luxury kitchens London homes boast, so much so that some companies specialise in designing and installing only the most high specification, premium kitchens. But what actually makes a kitchen luxury, and why is it so important to have a kitchen that makes a statement?

When looking at the meaning of the word luxury, two elements really stand out: elegance and comfort. Kitchens that are classed as luxury will go far above and beyond the usual and will stand out in a class of their own. This is especially important in London homes, for homeowners who want the very best.

If you are having a luxury kitchen installed, these are some of the features that might make it stand out:

  • Appliances. The ovens and hobs you choose will undoubtedly be from the leading luxury brands, giving you additional settings and cooking options. You might also choose more premium accessories such as warming drawers, waste disposal units and hot water taps. These are appliances that aren’t essential, but will make a big difference to a kitchen, placing them firmly in the ‘luxury’ bracket.
  • Work surfaces. The most standard worktops will usually be made of laminates, but if you’re having a truly premium and luxurious kitchen fitted, you might choose to go for something such as granite. Marble is also an option, though it will need to be properly sealed and often isn’t especially suitable for kitchens – granite tends to be the more practical choice. You might also choose an option such as hardwood, or mirror chip quartz if you’d like something sparkly.
  • Sinks and taps. Belfast sinks are the most obvious luxury sink type. If you have a more modern kitchen, you might also opt for an undermount sink, which will need to be fitted into a hard worktop. These are usually made of stainless steel and will really make a statement. You should choose taps that complement the sink you have as well, and make sure they’re in a finish that matches with the handles and other accessories in your kitchen. It’s key that everything looks uniform in a luxury kitchen.
  • Cabinet frontals. Choose high fashion options like high gloss, or more traditional wooden frontals. Often in more luxurious kitchens, frontals and cabinets will be handmade to order so that they fit perfectly into your kitchen (ideal for London apartments) and you can completely personalise their appearance.
  • Heating and lighting. Underfloor heating can really help to make your kitchen feel more special, and there’ll be no need for radiators, giving you back more wall space and making the room look more minimalist.
  • Refrigerators. Large American fridge freezers are highly popular and give your kitchen real personality. They’re available from some of the leading brands in kitchen appliances and come in various colours and finishes too, from pastel palettes to strong, modern colours like black and chrome.

Is your Rooflight Ready to be Replaced?

Modern rooflights can be very long lasting, giving their best for 20 years or more in many cases. If you have older rooflight though, they might not be as advanced and will probably need to be replaced after a few years. There are some tell-tale signs you can look out for to see if your rooflight might need to be replaced.

First of all, the most noticeable visual sign is condensation. If the seal is broken or the glazing is old, the rooflight might begin to get condensation forming on it. If this happens when it didn’t used to, there is definitely cause for concern.

The next thing you might notice is a drop in temperature. This can be quite distinct and can make a room uncomfortable. If you have an older rooflight that is letting in a draught or has cold spots around it, you should consider a new rooflight with better u-values.

How Secure are Metal Driveway Gates?

Homeowners and tenants install driveway gates for myriad reasons. Some like the look of them and think they make their home look more sophisticated. For others, it might be about stopping other people parking in front of their driveway – they can have many practical benefits. But one of the main reasons people install driveway gates is to keep their property secure. Metal driveway gates are popular with people who are installing gates as a security measure, but just how safe are they really? Can they do much to enhance the security of a property?

To some extent, questioning the security of a metal driveway gate is like asking an impossible question. There are so many different variables, that it’s hard to give a general answer. However, as long as the gates are well made and strong, it’s likely that they are going to really enhance the security of your home, and go a long way towards securing it.

As with anything, there will be certain features that will make particular types of meta driveway gate more secure than others. If you are thinking of installing a driveway gate for your home and security is a top concern, then you might want to think about the following:

  • Choose taller gates. Some metal gates are short and are quite clearly just for decoration. They will provide little in the way of security benefits as a person could easily climb over the top of them. Choosing taller gates that aren’t easy to climb over is the simple answer for homeowners who care about the safety and security of their properties.
  • Be careful about the type of metal you choose. A material like steel will be a good option, as this is very strong and can’t be easily damaged or dented.
  • Keep your gates in good condition. As soon as metal driveway gates start to look older, they can become an easier target for thieves. If you don’t want your gates to give you away as an easy target, make sure you maintain them well. This will involve ensuring they are free from rust, they are well oiled at the hinges and they don’t have any visible damage on them.
  • Make sure your gates are the perfect fit. If you install gates that don’t fit into the opening properly, this is asking for trouble. It would be much easier to damage the gates, as they would probably be a little loose and won’t fit into the space properly. Take your measurements carefully and if you can’t find a set of metal gates that will fit perfectly, think about getting some gates custom made instead. This can be a great decision for people who have awkwardly spaced gate posts.

These are just some of the steps you can take to make your metal gates as secure as possible. Nothing is foolproof so you should maintain your gates well and uphold similarly high levels of security throughout your home. However, metal driveway gates can certainly help you to feel more secure in your house.

Rooflights for All Occasions

Rooflights are for all occasions. They can be used when you don’t have enough natural light, when you’d prefer a different aesthetic, when you want to make the most of the space you have… It’s all possible with a rooflight. However, it does mean that you have to choose the right kind, which requires some research and some opinions.

Think about what means the most to you. There will be a rooflight to meet your needs: you just need to know what they are. There will be the right rooflight for all occasions and for all homeowners too.

Rooflights can be multipurpose. For example, they can make your home lighter in summer when you want more sunlight, and warmer in winter when you want better insulation. Don’t rule out a rooflight based on what you think you want. Look into what they can offer and find out for sure what they can do for you.

The Most Modern Way to Extend your Home

Home extensions are becoming increasingly popular, as moving is so expensive and families don’t want the inconvenience. An extension can add a lot of space and a great deal of value – it’s a situation that most families see as being positive all round. Yet to build an extension is a lot of work, and it can be difficult to bring in much natural light to the space – you can very easily end up feeling closed in, especially if you are extending a room and are ultimately going to have fewer windows and more space to brighten. The alternative? A glass house extension can give you all the space you are dreaming of, without any of the restrictions. It will be quick to build, easy to maintain and will offer you all the brightness you need to fall in love with your home all over again.

A glass house extension is considered to be one of the more modern ways of extending a house. A brick extension can give you more space and is a more traditional means of extending your space but it comes with its limitations. If you prefer to have a light, spacious feel within your home and you want additional space, this could well be the option for you. It gives you the option to sit in comfort, within your home, whilst also enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors.

These are some of the reasons why a glass extension can be the modern solution you are looking for when it comes to extending your home:

  • It’s quick to build. Modern technology makes a glass house extension very quick to build in comparison to a traditional brick extension. It often won’t even require planning permission to build and won’t need the same extensive amounts of groundwork before construction. A good glass room consultant and installer will be able to advise you.
  • You can make the most of outdoor living. In this busy modern world, it’s generally acknowledged that we should all spend more time relaxing and enjoying the great outdoors. This has many benefits for our health, including helping us to relax and unwind – something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Glass home extensions help to merge indoor and outdoor living. They are less like a conservatory and more like a part of the garden, giving you the feeling of freedom associated with being out of doors. At the same time, you have the protection of being indoors.
  • You will have a beautiful, bright space. Beauty and elegance are easily associated with a glass extension. You can enjoy the sunlight pouring in – or even enjoy the pouring rain, as if you were outdoors, but with a glass layer between you.
  • It gives you more space for your family. Modern living doesn’t have to be cramped. It’s possible to upgrade the space you have without the need to move home. A glass room extends you house and gives you more space to live your life, without the hassle and cost of a conservatory or traditional extension. It’s the ideal way to expand.

Is Aluminium a Good Rooflight Material?

Traditionally, rooflights have been made of uPVC, finished with a polycarbonate form of glazing inside the frame. These are functional rooflights, and they don’t look bad, but the’re now being usurped by a new material: aluminium. Sleek, attractive and completely synonymous with the modern home, aluminium is an excellent choice of both rooflight material and window and door materials. It has plenty to offer your home in terms of style, appearance and longevity.

Should you choose aluminium for a rooflight? The resounding answer is yes, absolutely. There are no downside – except possibly the price. If you find you can’t afford a flat glass aluminium rooflight or one of the more premium options, see if there are options for payment plans. If not, aluminium is worth saving up for. You can choose different on trend colours, like black, graphite and dove grey, complementing the design and colour scheme of the rest of your home.