07 Dec 2020
christmas-window

christmas-window

2020 has been full of surprises that no one could ever have predicted.  Alongside the thousands of other businesses, our team here at Wandsworth Sash Windows stepped up and coped with the chaos and challenging workarounds that resulted from the worst pandemic in recent history honourably.  Here are some of our highs and lows of this unimaginable year.

At the beginning of the initial lockdown back in March it was impossible to determine if and how our business would be affected by Covid-19.  We were plagued with uncertainty; would we be heavily impacted?  What could we do for our staff?  How were we going to keep staff safe both in terms of health and financially?  Would our company that we have worked so hard to build be ok?  Can we carry out works whilst keeping customers safe?  So many questions that initially we just could not answer of predetermine, which was worry for us all.

Ensuring we were up to date on HR procedures and the ever-changing Health & Safety requirements resulting from the virus was also very time consuming to keep up with.  Our biggest challenge to date is undoubtedly trying to meet customer deadlines whilst trying to keep our staff and customers safe.  This has been very, very hard due to various staff from all different departments needing to isolate, from office staff, through to workshop and fitting staff – it’s been tricky to juggle whist continuing to deliver the quality service that we are known for.  Our standard lead time is 10-12 weeks, but in a few circumstances, delivery had to be pushed back a week.  Luckily, our clients have been fantastic and very understanding which we are so grateful for.

The announcement of The Chancellor’s Green Homes Grant in phase two COVID-19 provided us the opportunity to be a secondary measure company for those that qualified and applied for the grant.  However, the information and communication available surrounding the grant was not straight forward and incurred some initial confusion with customers around how the scheme worked.  This meant a lot of our time was dedicated to the influx of lengthy calls trying to explain the process to customers, many of whom did not end up qualifying for secondary measures.

The glass is always half full here at Wandsworth Sash Windows!

Despite the turbulence along the way, we are very proud of what Wandsworth Sash Windows has achieved this year, and there have been many positives for us all to be thankful for.  Top of our list has to be that we have weathered the Corona coaster without making any redundancies.  Keeping our whole team with us has been a massive relief and in fact, we have even managed to increase our workforce considerably throughout the year which has given us an enormous sense of pride.

We also managed to open a second workshop in Harlow at the start of the year.  We managed to kit it out and get it all up and running within a few months (a process that is hard enough at the best of times, so achieving it during a pandemic was amazing).

Last month, we took over another workshop in the New Forest.  So, while the Harlow project came near completion, we gave ourselves another massive challenge which at the beginning of the year seemed almost impossible.  For us to come out of the pandemic on the other side, bigger and stronger is by far our best company achievement this year.

On top of that, we welcomed four new staff members at the Harlow workshop in March.  Charlie, our surveyor joined us in February.  We had Mark and Rob join the installation staff and in September, Steve joined the Harlow workshop and Martin joined the East Sussex workshop.  Vas joined the fitting team in October followed by the addition of Sean and Matt to the surveying team in November.  Not forgetting Reggie, our office dog who joined us at the start of lockdown to keep us all entertained and sane –  a big welcome to all of you into the WSW family.

So, what’s new for 2021?  Well, we are looking forward to improving our processes as we grow, develop new products and innovative solutions to regular issues faced by clients.  We are having new machinery installed into the workshops and hopefully…a holiday!

A HUGE THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF THE TEAM HERE AT WSW FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK AND MOST IMPORTANTLY A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO OUR CUSTOMERS FOR CHOOSING US AND SHOWING SUCH COMPASSION AND SUPPORT FOR OUR COMPANY.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, positive, and prosperous new year.

The Wandsworth Sash Windows Team

16 Nov 2020
Sashwindows-What-is-a-double-hung-sash-window

Sashwindows-What-is-a-double-hung-sash-window

For most people (except for us!), windows are not generally something that is thought about on a daily basis and therefore, become part of the home that are often taken for granted.  However, window styles can actually be one aspect of a house design that really can make or break its success, not just to get the look of your house right, but also to ensure they are practical, safe and efficient for your needs.  So, it’s worth taking a little time to consider all the different window styles available.  In this blog, we concentrate specifically on double hung sash windows – what they are and why they are advantageous to install.

What is a double hung sash window? I hear you cry! Well, double hung sash windows feature two moveable sash sets within the box frame. This means that the window can be opened by sliding the bottom panel up, as well as by sliding the top panel down. Single hung sash windows on the other hand allow ventilation through a single operable lower sash.

What are the advantages of a double hung sash window?

Double hung windows offer extra safety

Many families with young children prefer to install double hung sash windows. They can open the top window for ventilation, and it will be too high for children to reach, making it easier to keep little ones out of harm’s way. Of course, children are curious and may still be able to climb up to the window, so a watchful eye is still needed, and an adult should always be present. Check out the other ways to ensure your sash windows are safe with children around in our blog specifically relating to the topic. The extra level of safety offered by double hung windows are also a good choice for classrooms, care homes, hospitals or anywhere where there is increased vulnerability.

Energy efficiency

If you decide to invest in installing double hung windows in your new or existing property you will definitely be rewarded in terms of energy efficiency. New double hung windows can drastically reduce heating and cooling costs. Old windows are inherently inefficient mainly because they were not designed with energy efficiency in mind. This is true for windows that are more than ten years old. Plus, over the years you may have seen joints loosen or rotten away slightly, all of which will have an effect on the amount of air infiltration coming into your home. Replacing old windows with new double hung versions will not only improve your comfort while at home buy, but you will also see a noticeable reduction in energy loss and more pounds in your purse or wallet.

Maintenance and health

Let’s face it, the more time we can save on tedious, household chores in favour of more time doing the things we love, is always a winner. You’ll be pleased to learn that maintaining double hung windows is as easy as it gets. Most modern double hung models are developed for ease of cleaning and you are even able to clean the exterior of sash windows from the inside. No dangerous ladder climbs, specialised tools or raincoat needed.

In terms of health, double hung sashes are great for keeping the unwanted out and the wanted in. Because the window sashes move up and down, you can let in fresh air and let strong odours out whilst controlling the temperature in the house. Plus, their versatility to move up and down means you can put a screen on the window (unlike casement windows that open out), having a screen installed allows you to keep bugs and debris out without compromising on a well ventilated home.

Add value

Double hung windows are often more desirable than other types of window because of their functionality and safety. As with all quality home improvements, your investment should be reflected in the value added to your home.

What does a double hung window look like?

If sash window renovation or repair is on your ‘to do’ list, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 020 8131 2886 a free quote or a chat.  We would love to help.

22 Oct 2020
tape-measure

Listed building

If you have decided that it is time to replace your old sash windows with beautiful, new, double-glazed versions you maybe wanting to gage a rough idea of how much your new windows will cost.  Many of our customers ask us to provide them with a ballpark figure to begin with so they have an idea of what they need to budget for.  It also allows customers to gain some understanding of the different services we can provide.  In order for us to provide this, we will need some basic window measurements from you.  This blog will guide customers through how to measure a sash window in order for us to provide a rough estimate.

What are the two main components of a sash window?

we cover how to measure a sash window, it is worth reminding ourselves what the main parts of a sash window are, so you know you are measuring the correct parts!   For this particular purpose, you only really need to understand that:

  • The sash, or sashes are the frames that contain the glass. There will usually be two sashes, and they are the parts which move up and down (within the box frame), to open and close the window.
  • The box frame is the window frame that contains the sashes.

How to measure your sash windows for a rough quote

Please provide us with:

1) The sash width.

Measure from one side of the window to the other, within the box frame.  Measure across the top of the bottom sash for a smooth, straight surface.

2) The sash height.

This is the size of the window within the box frame.  Measure from the top of the top sash to the bottom of the bottom sash.

3) Any custom details of the sashes if possible.

Anything extra you can tell us will prove useful.  For example, some window sashes will have additional features which might alter the appearance or improve the functionality in some way.  For example, your windows require glazing bars (placed across the panes of glass to make them look like smaller panes), maybe you would like your windows to have a sill on the inside (or outside) of the window, or maybe you require your windows to have a curved top finish.  Don’t worry if you are unsure of this kind of detail at this initial stage, we can discuss all this with you in more detail if you decide to proceed after our initial quote is given.

I am worried my measurements are not precise enough?

Don’t worry, the measurements you supply us do not need to be completely precise, they will be good enough for us to supply you with an initial rough quote so you can budget accordingly and decide whether you would like to proceed with the process further.  We will of course arrange a visit to you prior to you confirming a quote, in order for us to take detailed measurements, confirm your exact requirements, discuss the works and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Whether your windows need a complete renewal (complete new box frame and double-glazed sashes) or a sash replacement (new double glazed sashes installed into existing box frames), providing us with some basic measurements will enable us to send you an initial quote so you can plan accordingly.  If you have made the decision to invest in new sash windows, email us at info@sashwindows.london with the measurements outlined in this blog and we will email you back with a rough quote asap.  Now, the only thing left for you to do is locate that tape measure!

23 Sep 2020

The chilly nights will soon be upon us and the household thermostat wars will undoubtedly commence!   As we naturally start to consider turning the heating on to keep us snug over the winter months, you may be looking for ways to conserve as much heat in your home as possible to save cranking the dial up so much that your energy bills become too hot for your purse strings to handle.

If you own a listed property, you may think that making your home more energy efficient is near on impossible, but in this blog we explore some ways that we can help improve the energy efficiency of your listed home sympathetically, without compromising its historic character.

Double glaze your windows and doors

As a listed property owner you may be thinking that approval to double glaze your property will likely be rejected by planning officers, but modernising a traditionally-built house is easier now than you might think.  Historically, requests for replacement windows and doors with double-glazing have typically been dismissed due to their inability to preserve the character of a building as much as possible, leaving owners of listed buildings with no option but to put on extra jumpers when it’s cold and rely on chopping logs all day to keep themselves warm!

Thankfully, the Wandsworth Sash Windows team are approved installers of a new kind of glass technology that not only boasts an ultra slim profile that can easily be retrofitted into all timber windows and doors (so the original historical frames are maintained), it will also save time going through the lengthy application process – no planning approval is needed.

With the width of single glazing but the warmth of triple glazing our new glass technology for listed properties is well worth considering.

Draught proofing your sash windows

Draughts in your home are an uncomfortable business and are generally caused by unwanted gaps in windows, doors with letter boxes or keyholes, loft hatches and other accidental gaps found around the house. Draughts are commonly found in historic/older properties which have sash windows and draught proofing them will ensure that less heat escapes and little to no cold air comes in.   Although it isn’t always possible to draught proof all sash windows, it is worth seeking advice on whether this procedure can be carried out at your property; it will not only rid you of cold draughts, it can save you money on your annual energy bills too.  Eliminating the possibility of hot air escaping from your home, means you can turn down your thermostat and reduce your heating temperature – saving you money.  Imagine if every household in the UK carried out this procedure on their home, the UK would save millions of pounds – enough to heat thousands and thousands of homes.

Typically, about 25% of heat is lost from windows and draughts so double glazing and draught-proofing can make an enormous difference to the energy efficiency of your property, and therefore, your general standard of living. 

If you are one of Britain’s 400,000 listed building owners, you will be aware that keeping your home in a good state of repair is vital in maintaining or even improving the heritage value of your home, and more importantly, preserving the character that you fell in love with in the first place.  If we can help you in your efforts to repair, or conserve energy in your home this winter, please don’t hesitate to give us a call 020 3993 3217.

    02 Sep 2020
    Since Chancellor Rishi Sunak first announced his plan (back in July 2020) to put aside £2 billion for green home upgrades, in a bid to promote energy efficiency and help boost our suffering economy following the Covid-19 lockdown, we have heard little about the details.  However, it has now been announced that September 2020 will host the launch of the much-anticipated Green Homes Grant initiative and it appears that the scheme is not quite as straightforward to utilise as first thought.  We take a closer at what has been clarified so far… (more…)

    07 Jul 2020

    House Plants

    We are all aware of the lesson learned by judging books by their covers aren’t we?  Well, this notion also applies to historic and listed buildings – just because they are old and different looking, doesn’t mean they are not worth saving.  In fact, this could not be further from the truth.  Older buildings contribute to a community’s unique flavour and are a link to a community’s tangible past.

    If a building is listed, it marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest.  The older a building is, and the fewer the surviving examples of its kind, the more likely it is to be on ‘the list’.  A listed building will also come under the care of the planning system, so that its protection will be ensured for generations to come.  There are many reasons to preserve older buildings, let’s explore a few of the most prominent…

    They hold intrinsic value

    Buildings of old tend to be built with higher-quality materials such as rare hardwood and wood from primary forests that no longer exist.  Older buildings would also have been built by different standards which may make a century-old building more appealing in the long-term than its modern-day equivalents.  The intrinsic value held by older buildings are often stand out features within towns and cities and serve as a reminder of the city’shistorical roots.

    Restoring old buildings has less environmental impact

    Reusing and restoring old buildings almost always has less environmental impact than building new ones.  The destruction of buildings result in a large amount of waste from concrete, metals, glass, plastics, wood, asphalt, and bricks etc.   This waste is often disposed of in either landfills or incinerators, polluting the land and air.  Plus, the transportation required to remove the waste impacts on the environment too.  In fact, the UK’s biggest consumer of natural resources is the construction industry, according to a study by WRAP, the construction sector uses 400 million tonnes of material every year, which results in 100 million tonnes of waste being produced (a third of the UK’s total yearly waste amount) with 25 million tonnes of construction waste making its way to landfill.

    The UK construction industry has come a long way with its recycling and reuse practices, but there is still a long way to go.  The key to this will be material efficiency, and with many old buildings boasting sustainable features, re-using, and restoring will undoubtedly have less of an impact on our environment than demolishing and building from scratch.

    Listed buildings attract people

    The intrinsic value held by older buildings are often preferred by new businesses for their ability to attract people in.The unique elements of older buildings is what make them more interesting and appealing.  It might be the materials used; old brick en masse or some unusually placed marble, it might be its historic roots, or an intricately decorated corner that is found intriguing.  Whatever, the ‘X’ factor is, older architecture tends to have it and makes older buildings stand out to become the talk of the town.  They are often snapped up by new businesses to fulfil new uses but with the aim to retain their magnetism within the community.

    Historic buildings within a community not only add to the aesthetics and cultural values of the area, they also have a kinder impact on the environment and attract more people to the area.  Preserving them is beneficial not only for a community’s culture and heritage, but also for its local economy.  If you own a listed building be sure to check out how we can help you retrofit windows with double glazing, whilst preserving the character of your home and adhering to planning guidelines.

      02 Jun 2020
      Listed building

      Listed building

      You may have heard the term in passing, visited one in person or you may even know someone that owns one, but what exactly does it mean when a building is ‘listed’?  In this article we go back to basics and recap what a listed building is, and why (and how) a building qualifies for a place on ‘the list’.  We have also included examples of listed buildings that can be found within your local area.

      What does ‘Listed’ building mean?

      When a building is ‘listed’ it means it is deemed worthy enough to be included on the statutory list of buildings that boast special architectural or historical interest.  Listed buildings come in many shapes, styles, and sizes, from terraced houses to grand stately homes.

      The respected status associated with Listed properties not only adds further charm and appeal to a building, it also brings some added protection to a property.  This includes extra legal protection within the planning system, as well as strict building controls.  These building controls can often make planned alterations, extensions, or demolition projects tricky to manage, but are necessary to ensure the buildings remarkable, historic elements are shielded.

      How are listed buildings chosen?

      Age and preservation are the main ingredients considered here.  All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most of those built between 1700 and 1840.  The more modern a building is, the more unique it will need to be to be considered for listed building status.

      Buildings that date from 1945 onwards need to be particularly carefully selected and usually a building must be over 30 years old to be eligible for listing. You can apply to Historic England for a historic building or site to be protected through the listing system.

      How are listed buildings protected?

      Listed buildings generally require consent for any works carried out on them.  This consent can vary greatly from property to property.  In one property, listed building consent may be required for painting a door, whilst in another consent may not be required.  The controls are put in place to ensure the correct care and protection is given to the building to help maintain as much of the original historical elements, beauty, character, and appeal of the property as possible.

      Typically, the more substantial the works proposed to a listed property, the more likely they are to require consent.  The only way to be certain is to ask your local council for its opinion and consent if required.

      What is the difference between grade 1 and grade 2 listed buildings?

      There are three categories of listed building, based on their significance:

      • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest and only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.
      • Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest and just 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*.
      • Grade II buildings are of special interest and the vast majority, 92%, of all listed buildings fall into this category.
      • In England there are approximately 376,000 listed building entries amounting to over 500,000 listed buildings. It is hard to be precise as one list entry for example, can cover a row of terraced houses.

      Where can I find out if a building is listed or not?

      The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) is the only official, up to date, register of all nationally protected historic buildings and sites in England – listed buildings, scheduled monuments, protected wrecks, registered parks and gardens, and battlefields.  However, your City Council should keep records of all listed buildings within your local area.

      Listed Buildings in Kent

      Have a look through the listed buildings in and around Kent, you may even find some you would like to visit.

      If you own a listed building, you may be interested in our new glass technology called Fineo.  Fineo’s ultra-thin (6.7mm) profile means it can be easily retrofitted into all timber windows and doors – so the original historical frames are maintained.  You will gain all the benefits of double-glazing without needing go through the length planning application process.  If you would like to find out more about why Fineo glass is the perfect solution for listed buildings please don’t hesitate to call us on 020 3576 7500 for a chat.

      06 May 2020
      Bespoke Kitchens Sussex

      Bespoke Kitchens SussexHindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?  It would be a particularly useful skill to have before undertaking a renovation project.  Well, with the help of some local residents that have already been through the kitchen renovation mill, we’ve put together all their golden nuggets of knowledge and hindsight to create a comprehensive guide of things to consider before and during your kitchen renovation.  So, whether your kitchen requires a complete redesign, an extension, or simply a few units replacing, this guide will give you the precious foresight you need.

      Before you start your kitchen renovation…

      Decide on your style.  Whether, French country, cottage charm, country farmhouse or cutting-edge contemporary, decide on the look you want to achieve.  Seek inspiration from magazines, kitchen showrooms, social media and Google.  It is also a good idea to have a nosey around any friends and neighbours’ kitchens to check out what they have done.

      Consider the time of year

      Think about when you are going to start your project.  Early spring when the clocks go forward is a great time to start, as the main disruption will take place in late spring/early summer when you’ll have more hours of daylight, you can utilise garden space (BBQ cooking), and cold dinners are no big deal.  It is also generally, a nicer, more positive time to start a project.

      Plan your budget

      It is a good idea to add a 10-20% contingency to your budget and allow plenty of time.  Be realistic with time frames – do not underestimate how long things take especially when factoring in manufacture lead times and trade availability.  There will very likely be problems discovered which require lots of flexibility and patience on your part and they may add to the cost.

      Pre-plan and minimise disruption

      Try and pack your kitchen utensils up in order of how you use them and keep the everyday stuff to hand.  Kitchen renovations can be a lengthy process, so you’ve got to get practical particularly if you have a young family to consider.  Set up a temporary kitchen space elsewhere in the house, advisably near a bathroom where there is a tap to wash cutlery, plates and glasses.  Keep the microwave handy too and try and batch cook meals that can be stored in containers and heated up in the microwave.  After all, there are only so many takeaways you can eat (and afford!). Don’t underestimate the dust in the house.  Cover everything!  It might be a good idea to invest in plastic covers for door frames with a zip in the middle.  They are brilliant at keeping dust in the kitchen and out of everywhere else.

      Bespoke Kitchens Sussex (1)

      Find the right people

      If you don’t ask, you don’t get!  A good builder will offer his knowledge and experience up to you.  Experienced builders will have seen it all, so they are often very helpful when it comes to ideas and thinking outside the box if things don’t go to plan or you have an awkward shaped corner to contend with.  Your builder may even be able to order your kitchen for you at trade cost – it’s worth a try!  Your kitchen supplier/designer will also be able to offer their expertise in solving problems, for example there may be a longer length wall cabinet available accommodate a high ceiling.

      If you are extending, it may pay off to find an architect that has a good/proven relationship with your builder.  It is important that they can work well together particularly if changes are made mid-way through the build.

      No matter how good your builder and kitchen designers are, always measure everything yourself, then check and double check them.  We are all human and make mistakes so the more people checking the better.  It is also important to always check what builders/trade persons version of ‘finished’ means as it might not be what you expect.

      Use builders that people you know recommend.  Research your builders thoroughly and go and speak to them face to face, this will give you a good sense of how you will work together and if you think they understand your vision.  Use certified installers, associated with a trade body (TrustATrader for example, is not a trade body it’s an advertising portal).   Make sure to check your builder has the appropriate Public Liability insurance in place.  If you are managing the project yourself and outsource anything to bona-fide sub-contractors (BFSC), ask to see their details.  After all, anyone hiding this isn’t worth working with.

      Get the approval you need

      If you are extending, make sure you get your drawings approved by planning and building regulations (at your local council office) before you start.  You will be surprised at the amount of people that start works thinking that permission will be a given just because other people in their road have done a similar thing.  If planning is refused, you will have to take down anything you have built.  Or you may be granted planning permission on the condition that a few necessary tweaks are made to your original plan, meaning you may have to completely start again.

      Design, layout and planning…

      It is important to have a thorough understanding of how you want the layout to be.  It’s got to be practical and work for you and your families’ lifestyle.  If you are aiming for an open plan kitchen/diner you may need to include a small workstation for a laptop for working at home days or maybe you’ve always dreamed of a breakfast bar for the children to sit at and do their homework while you prepare meals.  Maybe you are an active family with a wealth of muddy boots and wellies to contend with, or maybe you are a couple who love cooking and need maximum worktop space.  Your needs will determine your layout and design and whether you can fit it all into your current footprint, or whether you need a completely different set up.

      Inbuilt recycling bins and microwave?  Wine fridge? Do you need cupboard for a hoover, mop or brooms?  Can you open your dishwasher doors without blocking any other cupboard doors (a nuisance particularly if it’s the cupboard where you want to put all your everyday crockery)?  Do you need a towel rail for tea towels?  Would it be beneficial to have your plates at arm-height, so you don’t need to reach too high or too low?  If you are stripping back your walls to brick and using insulation and plasterboard, make sure you account for the thickness when working out kitchen cupboard measurements.

      There are lots of things to consider when deciding on your layout and design, so don’t rush it.

      Bespoke Kitchens Sussex (6)

      Kitchen appliances

      If you are working to a strict budget, try and keep the plumbing where it is.  Moving gas and water lines to accommodate the reconfiguration of sinks, ovens, stoves, or dishwashers is costly.  If you do have the budget to rearrange appliances, make sure you keep your floor plan in mind.  When it comes to layout, think about how you work in the kitchen.  When unloading the dishwasher, you do not want to walk a mile to the cupboard to put things away or have the cooker/hob too far from the fridge.

      If you are having a dishwasher installed into an island, remember to take into account the gap underneath the dishwasher door which may eat into the kick panel.  It might be a great space saver to integrate your washing machine under your island, but will it work practically?  For example, when you fit the island worktop, you may want it to overhang slightly to accommodate bar stools – will you still be able to get the fabric conditioner in the washing machine tray with the worktop overhanging above? It’s the simple things!

      Oh, and self-cleaning ovens are also a god send apparently!

      Lighting and plug sockets

      A common find is that most people undertaking a renovation project do not realise that you must think about electrics at the planning stage of a project.  Do you need extra lighting?  Maybe you need a light in a larder, or you would like new spot lighting with dimmer switches and some pendant lights over your island?  You need to consider your requirements at the start of the project as this will be vital when planning your layout – you don’t want lights shining down on top of the wall cupboards rather than shining onto your work surfaces or pendant lights hanging off centre of your breakfast bar or dining table.

      The electrician will carry out a ‘first fix’ of electrics before your kitchen is fitted (to rewire), then come back to do a ‘second fix’ after installation (for fixtures).  You do not want the electrician drilling holes in your newly plastered and painted ceiling or walls at this stage due to the knock-on effect of late alterations made to the layout.  The same goes for plug sockets.  Think about where your appliances will go so you can plan where you put them i.e. where will you make tea and put the microwave?  If you are planning on having an island unit and want plug sockets on it – ones that pop up from the worktop seem to be a popular choice.

      Top tips:

      • USB plug sockets are super convenient for charging phones and iPads!
      • Overhead lights are good for general illumination
      • Spotlights are ideal for lighting up specific areas where you perform tasks
      • Accent lighting is best used to highlight features in your kitchen such as under cabinets to highlight the work surface and splashback.
      • Long-lasting LED light bulbs are a great investment, some brands claim to last up to 17 years!

      Bespoke Kitchens Sussex (2)

      Windows and floors

      When it comes to your floor, make sure it is level.  It may sound like a given but a tiny amount of sloping (that you might not be able to see with the naked eye) could have a knock-on effect with everything else.  Try to have your flooring chosen before you make any key decisions as your builder will need to know how ‘deep’ each tile is to accommodate everything that’s being fitted on it!

      If you are having new windows fitted make sure to factor in manufacture lead times.  At Wandsworth Sash Windows we have a 12-week lead time from the time of order, which often means customers having to think about finishes from the beginning of the project.  Another top tip is to ensure wall cupboards don’t cover any newly fitted windows when cupboard doors open.

      Worktops

      Obviously, you will choose worktops that fit your preferred style and taste.  However, practicality does play an important part…

      • Quartz has fantastic stain resistant properties and comes in hundreds of different styles and colours.
      • Granite has been used in the industry for many years, proving itself time and time again. It has a more natural look to it but, is just as hard wearing.
      • Marble is good for a timeless, classic look. It’s a softer material than Granite or Quartz but still a great option. Marble can be treated to help prevent it from staining.
      • Wooden worktops look great but can be challenging and a little unforgiving to maintain. Treating them with oil every six months or so will help keep them looking ship-shape for longer.

      When your kitchen renovation work commences…

      Stay calm and make sure you play an active role.  Do not be tempted to go on holiday and avoid the chaos.  It is important for you to be around to keep an eye on what is going on and make decisions quickly (if need be) so the project is not delayed.

      Bespoke Kitchens Sussex (3)

      Understand the running order of works

      Knowing what will happen and when, will help you to check your builder is coordinating the right trades at the right times, factoring in lead times and keeping your project on track.

      Get connected

      There is nothing like a bit of moral support when you undertake a renovation project.  Joining a DIY Facebook group will give you an opportunity to share advice, get ideas and vent!

      So, there you have it.  A ton of things to think about before embarking on your kitchen renovation journey.  Remember, we are more than just a window company.  As we have our own in-house team of skilled builders, we are able to manage all aspects of your projects.  We have undertaken a wide range of extensions, property refurbishments, loft extensions and other large projects across London and the South East.  From ground works to plumbing, electrics to tiling, landscaping to decorating, we can do it all.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need us to ease the burden of your project.

        31 Mar 2020
        House Plants

        House PlantsDid you know that there are hundreds of toxins polluting our air indoors?  Tiny particles from mould spores, house dust, pollen, cleaning products, gas cookers and cosmetics, all linger in the air and overtime, can have an impact on our health.  With many of us currently spending most of our time inside, we thought we would suggest a few easy ways to make your indoor space healthier with some pollutant-busting tips…

        Open a window and ventilate your house

        No surprises that we would mention this point first but opening a window and letting in some fresh air is actually one of the easiest things you can do to improve the air quality in your home is to keep it well ventilated.  It is especially useful when cooking, showering and cleaning (even if it is just for ten minutes at a time at regular intervals throughout the day).

        Look out for condensation

        With the weather in the UK often being wet and cold, it’s important to watch out for damp and mould growing in our homes.  Damp leads to condensation, which encourages mould and other fungi to grow and can lead to some nasty health problems.  Lots of things can cause this, from cooking to washing and drying clothes.  Condensation is more likely to happen in cold places in your household, like windows or rooms with external walls.

        There are many ways that you can help reduce interior condensation including:

        • Using extractor fans in your bathroom and kitchen and opening windows after showers and baths to help circulate the air in the room.
        • Try and prevent leaks from your roof and any water damage
        • Dry your washing outside (if you can)
        • Remove any mold straight away and wipe down your windowsills regularly to keep condensation down.

        Houseplants can help clean the air

        Did you know that having plants around can improve the air quality in your home as well as look great on your windowsill?  Many houseplants work super hard at cleaning our air of toxins and releasing humidity back into the atmosphere.   For example, Aloe Vera emits oxygen at night whilst simultaneously taking in carbon dioxide – something we naturally produce when breathing. It is one clever plant at purifying the air and aiding a good night’s sleep.  Plus, the gel inside the spiky leaves also makes an excellent moisturiser – a great way of making your own beauty products at a time when you might not be able to get out and get any from the shops. 

        Choose candles wisely

        Candles may smell nice and may look lovely on your windowsill but, they can give off nasty toxins.  Most scented candles contain paraffin wax which, when burnt, releases toxic chemicals into the air and long-term exposure can be harmful.  Don’t worry though if you love a scented flickering flame at home, choose soy or beeswax candles instead.

        Bust the dust

        House-dust mites are common to trigger allergies and with so many of us at home over the weeks ahead, it’s important to keep them at bay as much as possible.  A regular whizz around with a vacuum cleaner will do the trick – it’s good exercise too!

        We hope our pollutant busting tips are helpful in keeping your indoor space healthier.  If you are using your time at home to plan a window/house renovation project, please do not hesitate to contact us for a chat.  We are always happy to talk through any questions and queries you have even if you are not ready to start the project yet.  Call us on 020 3582 762, email info@sashwindows.london or fill in our contact form and we will get back to you ASAP.

          09 Mar 2020
          Wandsworth Sash WIndows Green Lane Stained Glass front door

          Wandsworth Sash WIndows Green Lane Stained Glass front doorStained glass has been around for centuries, in fact, tools employed by craftsman for making glass have been known to date back thousands of years.  Traditionally, stained glass was used in British churches and became more common in houses during the Victorian and Edwardian periods.  The privileged few that boasted stained glass in their home often used them to pull rank in social status.

          Today, we know that although some of the tools to create stained glass have been modernised and improved upon, the traditional skill has been retained, and stained glass windows are still hand crafted as they were centuries ago.  Unlike most window companies, here at Wandsworth Sash Windows we love working with stained glass and we are able to either repair and refit (or make new) your existing windows, or if this is your first experience of stained glass windows, we can create a brand new bespoke design especially for you.

          Stained glass window repair

          If you are looking to revamp or repair your existing windows, our team of very skilled craftspeople would love to help.  One of our installers will visit your home and carefully remove the existing stained glass.  The installer will do this using extreme precision as old, fragile glass is not often in the best condition.  The installer then carefully wraps and stores the glass.  We will temporarily re-glaze the openings with clear glass before we send to our workshop to be expertly glazed into new frames.  If the glass needs to be repaired in any way we may send to our friends at Bromley Stained Glass where they help us with a range of specialist works from re-soldering a small amount of lead, replacing panes within the stained glass unit with new glass that matches the existing elements, to replacing all the leadwork.

          New stained glass windows

          If you are new to stained glass windows or would just like to start from scratch, then we would love to arrange a design consultation to either match your existing windows or create a completely new and bespoke design with you.  Making new stained glass allows us to seal it inside a double-glazed unit to create double-glazed stained glass windows.

          The manufacturing process

          There is a reason why the manufacturing process of stained-glass windows has remained the same for thousands of years…because it works!  However, it is a highly skilled craft that requires time to perfect.  For the manufacture of new leaded glass, we would allow 4-6 weeks.  If replicating the existing glass, the design timeframe could be as little as 2 days, or a few weeks if there is a lot of back and forth between our team and the customer.

           

          How much does a stained glass window cost?

          We can either repair and refit the existing or create brand new designs. We can usually quote for both options.

          Obviously, the price will depend on your exact requirements but as a guide:

          • We recently repaired existing windows on a property in Kings Hall Road (Beckenham, Kent) and the repairs cost around £400 for all ten panes.
          • We recently installed new leaded glass on a property in Green Lane (Chislehurst, Kent) which cost around £950.

                    

          If you are thinking about revamping your property and would like a stained glass feature, or bespoke windows, doors or shutters for your home improvement project, please do not hesitate to contact us for a chat.  We are always happy to chat through any questions and queries you have.  Call us on 020 3582 762, email info@sashwindows.london or fill in our contact form and we will get back to you ASAP.