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UPVC or Aluminium? Choosing the Right Materials for Your Windows and Doors
 When choosing materials for the home, aesthetics should not be taken for granted but it’s not all there is, either. When it comes to windows and doors, the material should also be able to offer practical features. These parts of the home protect you and your family from unpredictable weather, noise, and harm.
 
Modern houses typically feature aluminium windows and doors. It’s stylish, durable, but it can be expensive because of the low demand and high production cost. Meanwhile, UPVC has been popular since its production in the early ‘70s and has remained so in the UK. But can it stand up to aluminium? Let’s look at several factors to find out:\

Aesthetics

Aluminium has been the favourite among architects and interior designers because its sleek black or grey colour adds character to the house, but it can be painted with other colours, too. Its strong chemical composition makes it possible to achieve a thinner profile and still able to carry heavy glass. UPVC’s plastic white colour looks plain and aesthetically inflexible, making it an unlikely choice for people who consider style to be top priority.

Durability

Although double-glazed UPVC has a long lifespan and an impressive 10-year guarantee, the frames can degrade after so many years. Aluminium is the better material for window frames as the recent improvements in this robust compound has made it rust-proof.

Security

In terms of security, both aluminium and UPVC are burglar-proof. They can withstand the harshest assaults as UPVC has been constructed to its utmost hardness while aluminium possesses impressive strength despite its thinness.

Energy-efficiency

Although all windows are required to achieve a ‘C’ rating in Window Energy Ratings, contemporary UPVC takes the cake for its excellent thermal retention thanks to its complex internal profile. Aluminium doesn’t fall far behind though, as a technology called polyamide thermal break makes it thermal retentive.

Sound-proofing

The ability to block sound from the outside is arguably the best quality of UPVC windows. It is especially useful if you live in a crowded area. Although windows can be double- or triple-glazed, UPVC’s effective sound-proofing definitely beats aluminium.

Maintenance

UPVC plasticised surface makes it easy to maintain, only requiring some light wiping for it to look new again. Aluminium’s robust material makes it weatherproof and corrosion-resistant, you can only observe very minor oxidation for many years.

Cost

The consistent high demand and cheaper raw materials makes UPVC a very affordable product. On the other hand, world prices and production costs of aluminium results to a notable price difference that can go from hundreds to thousands of pounds for a typical home. For this factor, UPVC is a total value for money for windows and doors, even fascias and soffits.
 
As with any investment, when it comes to renovating major areas in your home, weighing factors can be tricky. But it’s a necessary step in getting a service or product that meets your needs. If you are looking for a simple, cost-effective sound-proofing and insulation solution for your home, you can never go wrong with UPVC. But if you want a material that can withstand the test of time and bring in some character into your home, aluminium would be the better choice, although you have to shell out thousands more.
roof
7 Signs You Should Replace Your Roof

Time isn’t the only one to blame for the deteriorating condition of your roof. As your roof works hard to protect you from the unpredictable weather, extreme winds and temperature, these factors can take a toll on your home. It can manifest in so many ways other than a waterlogged ceiling. Here are other signs you shouldn’t ignore before they cause any more inconvenience:

  1. It’s been there for nearly two decades.

Roofs have an average lifespan of approximately 24 to 30 years. Through the years, it surely has undergone a number of repairs on leakages, algae, or moulds, which could be a clear sign that it’s way past its prime. If your roof is already approaching its 20th anniversary, perhaps you should start saving for its retirement.

  1. It’s losing its curb appeal.

If you look at your home from the street and you can’t take your eyes off your roof (in a bad way), passers-by, your neighbours, even your real-estate agent might think you’re right. Could it be that the tiles appear stained? Curled? Missing even? Regardless of what it looks, this calls for an instant replacement.

  1. The paint has stained, bubbled, or peeled.

More than giving colour, paint acts as a coat for your roofing, protecting it from weather-induced problems like rust and leaking. If you see peeled paint somewhere, the bricks will definitely react to the weather, starting their gradual, eventual destruction. Worse, the washed away paint can seep through the leaks, bleeding into your interior walls.

  1. One word: algae.

The black patches on your roof can be attributed to mould, mildew, accumulated dirt, and of course, algae. These spores were transported in the air and clung to damp areas on your roof. Though they may cause minimal damage on your roof, the unsightly patches can definitely harm your home’s resale value. To prevent this, you can easily brush them off but the spores will come back eventually. If you don’t want to be bothered with climbing up the roof and cleaning, you can either call professional cleaners for help or replace your entire roof to solve the problem for good.

  1. The roof deck is sagging.

The roof deck are the beams holding up your entire roof. Due to water leaks in your roof and the age of the deck, you might notice moisture damages on some areas of the beams. These moisture areas can accelerate the ageing of the beams, affecting their ability to support your roof. In this case, consider replacing both the deck and the roof.

  1. Water and light leak.

If you find some damp patches in your attic after a rainstorm, or you can see a streak of light in the dark from your roof, it could be a sign your roof needs a repair, if not a total replacement. Water leaks are a sign that the flashing of your roof is damaged, thus you should call in professional repairers before the moisture affects the roof deck.

  1. Your heater isn’t the one to blame for the cold.

If your heater works perfectly but you still find the room a little too cold, it could be that your roof isn’t fulfilling one of its functions: as insulator against heat and cold. This could indicate that not only is your roofing problematic but your wallet as well as your energy bills are rising. This just means that replacing the roof is a practical investment in more ways than one.

roofing services

Increase Your Property Value with These High Payoff Home Improvements

A home is one of the few things in the market that hardly depreciates, especially when it’s well-maintained. Whether you are looking to sell your house or you simply want an upgrade, you can increase property value by prioritizing the following renovations:

Conservatory

With a capital of about £10,000, you can already buy a conservatory kit with fine quality materials and build it as well. Mostly, building doesn’t require a planning permission but you should still check the Building Regulations before getting any work done.

Your sun room will still be a part of your house so its design should be in harmony with its surroundings. To get the most of the midday sun, you should position it facing the south. This will also make it usable throughout the year. Never position it towards the north as it can get really cold in the winter. Other features you should keep in mind are the energy efficiency, ventilation, blinds, and air conditioning system.

Return on Investment: 108%

Exterior

Unless you’re living in a conservation area, you are free to perform certain improvements within your property under the Permitted Development Rights.

Your house’s exterior can attract or repel prospective buyers so little things such as repointing brickwork or clearing the gutter can significantly increase property value. Although a lovely garden is a definite plus, it’s not all there is to an exterior. The dirty windows and roof tiles that have seen better days should be fixed. It can significantly depreciate your house’s value so it’s important to perform regular maintenance checks.

If you’re planning to perform more drastic renovations like adding a porch, you should seek experts’ help. Consult reputable builders to make sure you’re getting an add-on that is pretty and is able to withstand weather changes.

Return on Investment: 75%

Structural Repair

Sure, an extra bathroom may be a plus to a potential buyer, but it can get easily outweighed by a leaking roof that is begging for a major repair. Before making cosmetic improvements, ensure that your home is free from structural defects like bowing walls or insect infestation.

Other obvious examples of a structural defect include:

Unstable chimney stack

Leaking showers

Dampness

Sagging roof or ceiling

Rotten timbers

Collapsed slab

Though repairs like these can be disruptive and expensive, they significantly impact the value of the house as well as the quality of living of the residents more than superficial add-ons ever will.

Return on Investment: 65%

Kitchen

The kitchen area not only says a lot about the personality of the homeowner, most times it is actually the main attraction in the house. In revamping your kitchen, the most critical parts are the worktops, handles, doors, and of course, the lighting. Opt for good quality cabinet carcasses made from melamine faced chipboards (MFC) or cover the interiors with timber veneer panels or sheets for a more sophisticated look. Make sure that the doors and handles are well fitted and the floor looking hygienic and easy to clean.

As for lighting, all fixtures should be adjustable and prevent shadows and glares. Recessed lighting or down lights are best placed over the kitchen sink while hanging or pendant lighting are ideal over an island or the dining table.

Most importantly, ensure you have adequate space to accommodate a washing machine, dryer, and a refrigerator.

Return of Investment: 49%

Bathroom

The bathroom is where people go to relax after a long day so ideally, it should be hygienic, replete with luxury touches like a heated shower, underfloor heating, and a neutral light to boot.

But more than the fancy features, you should check if the plumbing system is fully functional. Most modern houses have a mains pressure system; water is delivered throughout the entire house with the same pressure, so simultaneous showers and other multiple demands wouldn’t be a problem.

Gravity fed water systems are still the most commonly used throughout the UK. Unlike the mains pressure where your home would rely on the set pressure, you can adjust certain items in the pressure and flow that you desire. Plus, you will be storing water in the temperature that you want.

A Combi boiler doesn’t store hot water. Rather, it heats water as you use them. It’s very easy to install as it doesn’t require a hot water cylinder nor does it need a small header cistern.

For a timeless feel, go for basic white sanitary wares and walls.

Return of Investment: 48%

Reference:

Home Improvement Index – DIY ROI. (2014, November 4). Retrieved from https://blog.zopa.com/2014/11/04/home-improvement-roi/

roof moss removal
Best Ways of Roof Cleaning to Remove Moss Buildup

Moss growth is common in areas where there is plenty of moisture in the air and the sun occasionally or rarely shows its appearance. Moss and algae thrive in a damp cool environment and while lush green moss on the roof might look fairy-tale like in the movies, it can be quite damaging for your roof.

Why should you remove the moss from the roof?

Roof moss, lichens or algae growth is silent yet invasive. If your roof of your home or building is not regularly well-maintained or kept clean then it will in evidently shorten the lifespan of the roof.

Moss has the ability to degrade all kinds of roof top materials like wood and asphalt or even concrete. If the moss reaches the shingles of the roof then there is no way out except to replace the entire roof– which can be quite a hassle both in terms of time and cost.

However, regular removal of moss from the roof helps in maintaining its lifetime.  There are various ways to remove moss from the roof, some of the best ones are:

Using moss removal chemicals

There are wide varieties of chemical products for moss removal available in the market. These chemicals, however, often contain zinc sulphate which if not handled correctly by the user then it can cause eye damage or harm the skin. Moreover, it can cause damage to the people and plants that can be around your house at the time of applying the liquid to your roof.

There are at least two reasons we don’t recommend to use chemicals on your own:

  1. It can cause damage to your health or the health of people around
  2. You can easily slip and fall or the roof which could cause an even worse damage to your health. It takes practice and special equipment to clean the roof. We recommend involving a professional in that process.

Using metal strips at the ridgeline to slow or remove moss

You can prevent the moss problem by installing metal strips such as copper and zinc coated metal sheets just below the top ridge of the roof. Copper is more toxic for the moss and algae yet zinc is the economical option. This method is effective in both prevention of moss or gently removing the moss from the fragile old roof.

Regular maintenance of roof

Regular trimming of trees near the roof or removing shades from the roof to give more sunlight helps in combating the moss growth. Keep the roof clean from the debris such as leaves or pine needles which help in moss to grow and spread.

Hire professionals for Roof cleaning

Roof cleaning is not exactly an easy thing to do and can be quite time-consuming. Moreover, it can be quite dangerous as there are chances of injury. Hence, it’s always a wise idea to hire professionals to clean the roof and keep it moss-free.

Cleaning experts like D. Harrison Home Improvements can be the best bet to remove the moss from the roof as we have the smart safety procedures and have the equipment, experience, and the expertise.

D. Harrison Home Improvements offers both power wash and soft wash for the delicate cleaning jobs to restore the roof to its original condition and good health. A thorough cleaning by the professionals not only effectively removes the moss but also increases the lifespan of the roof.