French Doors vs Patio Doors

Is there a difference between a French door and a Patio door?

New French doors or sliding Patio doors are a great addition to your home, especially in the summer months.

Letting in plenty of light and some welcomed fresh air on those sunny mornings and warm evenings.

Combining indoor and outdoor space effortlessly, these style of doors have become a popular choice for homeowners for decades, but the question is, which is best for you, French or Patio?

The answer is simple, it all depends on how you plan on using the doors in your home?

Let me explain in a bit more detail….

The classic patio

Most homes today opt for the classic sliding patio door.

The patio door allows one door to simply slide across and tuck behind the other, making it ideal for homes that need to utilise the space they have.

There is the benefit of not having doors opening in or out onto the garden or inside the property.

Sovereign Home Improvements provide doors that slide smoothly on a specially designed track and roller system, allowing the doors to slide open and shut gently and quietly while making the most of the living space, making it appear much larger than it would with French doors.

Patio doors have several other qualities, including;

  • Allowing for disabled access due to the low thresholds
  • They don’t need space to be fully opened
  • They offer more glass than the frame, allowing for a full view of the garden space, making the rear of the home appear larger and more spacious
  • The glass is A+ energy rated
  • They are available in UPVC, aluminium, and wood material
  • Patio doors come in a range of colours and materials that can be customised

The chic French door

The French door gets its name from, you guessed it, France.

This style dated back to the 17th century and was created initially for balconies and verandas.

Today you can find the French door at the rear of a property or a conservatory.

Two individual vertical panels of glass open outwards, allowing light and fresh air to quickly enter a living space.

Other benefits of French doors include;

  • A primary door and a second door panel offers more entrance and exit flexibility
  • All glass is A+ energy rated
  • French doors are available in UPVC, aluminium, or wood material
  • Styles are flexible and come in a selection of colours and patterns.
  • A tasteful classic with all the modern benefits
  • Doors are tailored to your interior/exterior design with over 150 RAL colours to choose from

Whatever door you opt for, always consider the space you have.

The area is a crucial factor when choosing the style of door.

Do you need the doors to be accessible in a particular way or for a specific reason?

How will your doors reflect your home?

We are here to give all the advice you need when selecting the right doors, give us a call today.

We’ll be happy to discuss all the options with you.


Conservatory Planning Permission Across Essex

Applying for planning permission has a reputation for being a notoriously time-consuming process, but it can cost you a lot more time, stress and money if fallen foul of. At Sovereign Home Improvements, we believe in making life easy for our customers, so we’ll guide you through every step of the process, including whether your conservatory in Essex will require planning permission.

Suppose planning permission is necessary for your conservatory. In that instance, we’ll send out one of our highly trained team to gather all relevant information and supply it, along with detailed drawings, to the council on your behalf. It’s all part of our commitment to excellent customer service. 

Conservatory Planning Permission in Essex

Does my conservatory need planning permission?

We’ll assess the likelihood of needing planning permission as part of our full inspection when we design your conservatory. In general, most conservatories in Essex do not require planning permission if they adhere to the following points:

  • Single-storey extensions situated outside of designated land and Sites of Specific Interest do not require planning permission as long as glazed extensions on attached houses don’t exceed 6m or 8m for detached homes.

*Subject to The Neighbour Consultation Scheme

  • The conservatory roof does not exceed 4m’s in height and is no higher than your home’s roof.
  • Your property is not listed or in a conservation area.
  • Permitted Development Rights (PDR) have not been removed from your property.
  • There are no balconies, verandas or raised platforms.
  • The conservatory is sited at ground level.
  • The conservatory is permanently separated from the remainder of the property through a door.

Meeting Building Regulations, What You Should Know

While planning permission for conservatories in Essex is usually not needed, it’s important to note that you may be required to meet building regulations. Should any of the below be relevant to your conservatory, it will need to meet building regulations, something we’ll discuss with you at the design stage.

  • The conservatory has an internal floor area exceeding 30 square meters.
  • The conservatory is not sited at ground level.
  • The conservatory doesn’t have a 70% translucent roof.
  • The conservatory doesn’t have 50% glass coverage on newly constructed walls.
  • The conservatory has no door between it and the main house.

If the thought of dealing with building regulations and planning permission in Essex is putting you off expanding your home with a conservatory, give us a call today. We’ll be happy to put your mind at ease and take the burden off your shoulders. 


conservatory energy efficacy

Can you make your conservatory more energy efficient

As the mornings turn frosty and the evenings start to draw in, many homeowners are asking how they can make their conservatory more energy efficient. Too often, conservatories are only usable during brief periods of the year. “My conservatory is too hot in the summer, and too cold in the autumn and winter.” Does this sound familiar? This is a common problem in the UK and is particularly true for older conservatories. 

The good news is that making your conservatory more energy efficient isn’t an impossible task, nor does it require a total rebuild. If you’re looking for ways to make a  genuinely noticeable difference to the ambient temperature of your conservatory, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll be sharing the best way to ensure your conservatory is comfortable year-round. 

A Note On DIY Conservatory Improvements

There are all manner of DIY options available, some of which provide an ok solution in the short-term, but the majority of which are cheap gimmicks. If you’re a homeowner, we’d always recommend investing in improvements that will impact the efficiency of your conservatory in the long-term, whether that’s to provide you a more comfortable retirement or to increase the resale value of your home.

Making Your Conservatory Energy Efficient

If you’re serious about turning your conservatory into an energy efficient space that you can use year-round, the best results will come by replacing your roof. Most roofs are constructed from polycarbonate or glass, and while these materials allow extra light into a room, they’re far from being the most efficient conservatory roofing available.

At Sovereign Home Improvements, we use patented Guardian Warm Roof technology to undertake conservatory upgrades. This is the ideal option for insulating your conservatory, using a sturdy yet lightweight aluminium frame to create a warm, watertight tiled roof.

By replacing your existing conservatory roof, you’ll have an additional room in your home that can be used in all seasons, the tiled roof essentially turning your conservatory into an extension. And with a guarantee on every roof, you can rest assured that you’ll be enjoying your new room for many years to come.

If you’d like to learn more about how Sovereign Home Improvements can make your conservatory efficient this winter, get in touch for a free, no-obligation quote.


The Benefits of a Conservatory

A conservatory is a very wonderful addition to a home, and a lot of people have had conservatories in their properties for many years now. There is no doubt that they can be very useful things, as well as very beautiful parts of the property.

However, why should you get a conservatory, what are the benefits? It’s a question that people ask quite a bit, and try to explain it as best we can, we’ve taken a look at some of the primary benefits here.

Natural Light

Natural light is one of the biggest things that a conservatory can bring to a property. If you’ve never had a conservatory before, then you won’t necessarily appreciate exactly how much natural light you can get into the house via this conservatory. Natural light does things for a property that artificial lights just can’t do. It gives it a sense of homeliness, of nature, and it’s fantastic.

As the conservatory is primarily just a collection of windows with a frame, the amount of natural light you get is astounding. It means that you can, theoretically, have a whole new dimension to your property, and experience the outdoors in a new way.

Improved Property Prices

One of the big benefits of having a conservatory is that it can help to improve the overall value of your property and increase the price that you’ll get if you try and sell.

A conservatory is a big thing. It’s a project which, if done correctly, can really make your property look even more attractive and boost the overall price of it. This is good for anybody who is looking to sell, or someone who is attempting to improve their home as an inheritance for children. It’s definitely something we recommend to anybody who is trying to kick the price of their property up a little in preparation for a big life event.

Cheaper than an Extension

A conservatory can be a really good way of improving the overall size of the property whilst avoiding having to pay for a whole extension. The objective with an extension is to increase the amount of room that you have, obviously, but a conservatory can do this in a cheaper way.

Even the biggest and best conservatory typically costs less than your average extension, because there’s so much to do that costs a lot. We recommend a conservatory for anybody who is attempting to upgrade their property without spending a fortune.

So, in conclusion, there are quite a few benefits to having a conservatory. A lot of people see a conservatory as being a dream, a pipe goal that they attempt to reach. It’s understandable when you consider just how attractive the conservatory can be. There is something about the natural light and sleek frame that really adds to a property, and there is no doubt it will look fantastic regardless of what type of home you have. It’s definitely something to take a look at.


Exploring our Check-A-Trade Profile

Have you ever visited Check-A-Trade?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the website, let us explain. Check-A-Trade is a website where people can go and look up people who work in a particular trade. Think of it as being a place for getting some honest opinions from people who have used the service before.

So, when we found out that we had a Check-A-Trade profile, we were interested to see exactly what people thought about us. It made for some interesting reading, and we thought that we would share what we discovered.

Looking at Our Stats 

Well we took a look at our stats and they’re pretty impressive, we have to concede. It’s incredibly gratifying to see everyone think so highly of us.

We scored a 9.67 for reliability, a 9.9 for courtesy, a 9.81 for tidiness, a 9.9 for our workmanship and a fantastic 100 for quote accuracy.

Honestly, it’s so nice to see these glowing reviews from people. We’ve done nothing but try and be as reliable as possible, and we’re so glad to see it’s paid dividends.

Sharing Top Reviews

To try and give you a little more of an idea as to what people think, we thought we would share some of the reviews that made us feel an overwhelming sense of pride and joy.

“Outstanding company, really pleased with the work. Arrived when they said they would, if they were going to be late they let us know. Kept us informed at all times as to progress etc. All the guys on the team were grafters, they were polite and all in all nice guys.”.

“From our first contact with Abbie on the phone we had a good impression. On our first meeting we found Lewis to be extremely professional and friendly. Lewis and Matthew really helped put us at ease and had some great ideas and suggestions without being pushy. Our project manager Terry was always available either in person or by phone. The team on the job were brilliant…Nick, Kieron, Charlie, Daniel. There was only 1 day during the build when nobody was on site. Any issues we had, Lewis and Matthew were calm, professional and resolved them without fuss. Would not hesitate to recommend”.

“Excellent standard, very pleased with the products. Very polite and helpful. Happy with our choice.”.

So, to wrap it all up, we’re really proud of the team. They’ve all gone above and beyond and it’s shown. Our Check-A-Trade profile isn’t necessarily the biggest out there right now. But it’s definitely something we can be proud of. All we’ve ever wanted to do is help you all to get the home improvements you deserve. If you’re happy, then so are we. We’re glad to have such helpful and easy-to-work with customers, as well as staff who go above and beyond whenever they can. We’re looking forward to doing more over the years – and we’re not going to stop anytime soon!

Check out our profile here.


Proudly Sponsoring Tigers Junior Football Club

Our sponsorships are very important to us. They are a sign that we are committed to not only you, the customer, but to the community we live and work in.

We try and sponsor good causes and encourage the community to flourish, which is why we chose to sponsor the Tigers Junior Football Club. They are a team that we feel deserve our support, and we’re grateful for the chance to work with young talent.

Why Tigers JFC?

Some of you might be wondering why we would sponsor a group like Tigers JFC. It seems a bit random for a home improvements group, doesn’t it? But that is where you would be wrong.

You see, we actively try and make sure that our community flourishes even during difficult periods. Right now, we’re in the grip of a serious challenge being faced globally – COVID-19.

We all talk about how adults have lost their jobs, been sent into economic troubles, or had to rely on support from the government, and this hasn’t changed. But one group of people who have also suffered are the children in our society.

This period of time is very important from a formative perspective. You see, children are in a period of development and growth. To be stuck inside, in a climate of fear – it hasn’t done them any good. Instead, they should be outside, learning confidence, teamwork skills, coordination.

By supporting this club, we think that we can help with just that.

What We’ve Offered

By sponsoring the club, we have been able to provide them with a selection of key services which will no doubt benefit all who use the club and are fans of it.

Our support extends for the duration of the 2020/2021 season. We have been able to provide support to the Futures program. This is a special program that the club has developed which allows children in the under 14’s category to train to be a qualified referee and also to coach the younger age groups at training sessions. Our support will provide funding for both the courses themselves, and for the kit that participants in the program will wear.

We hope that by doing this, we can put the under 14’s into a position of responsibility and consideration, which will equip them with the skills they need to be productive members of society, as well as good role models.

Final Thoughts

So, to conclude our news, we’re proud to be able to support the community in this fashion. COVID-19 has hit everyone, but we wanted to help a group who may not have had as much support from a developmental perspective – the children. The club is a vibrant and wholesome part of the local community, which is why we are thrilled to give them the support that they need. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone grow and develop over the course of the season, so that they can become well-rounded players, and well-rounded young people.


10 things to consider when choosing a builder

The building industry does still have a stigma of the rouge traders or cowboy builders attached to it, many of the people I visit are scared to commit to anyone due to the horror stories they have heard or experienced themselves. Here are 10 tips to help you make the best decision possible:

  1. Company reviews and testimonials. Make sure you use companies such as check a trade and which as the reviews left are by real customers and are fully vetted reviews. Some other search engines are not vetted and anyone can leave reviews which is misleading to customers.
  2. Photos of previous work, make sure you can see visual evidence of the companies work not just images from the internet they show you.
  3. Ask to see some work and speak to real customers of theirs to get a real view into what it is like dealing with them as a company. Seeing work for your own eyes and speaking to real people gives a great insight into what working with them will be like.
  4. Company history, make sure the company has some trading history, no discrepancies against them etc. Some people set up a lot of companies and fold them every single year which is not good.
  5. Breakdown of the quote, may sure its very detailed and you know exactly what you are and are not getting. Especially look for ‘hidden extras’ there could potentially be.
  6. Payments, make sure they are broken down clearly. Stage payments is what we believe is the best way to work. This means you pay once each stage is completed. A usually extension will have roughly 12 stage payments.
  7. Quality of products, make sure when you do your comparisons it is like for like as a lot of companies will use cheaper products than others. Also make sure the products confirm with building regulations.
  8. Point of contacts, make sure there are multiple people you are able to contact as one-man band builders are sometimes hard to get hold of as they are on the tools a lot so need someone else to speak to when you need it.
  9. Accreditations, make sure the company has some form of accreditations with governing bodies.
  10. Insurances, make sure the company has all of its public and personal insurances in place before starting work at your property.

upvc compared composite doors

Difference between a UPVC Door and Composite Door

You’ve probably heard about uPVC doors – they’ve been around for a while after, all – but what about a Composite Door? Newer on the market, these became popular in the late 90s, and are the first choice for most homeowners these days.

But what’s so special about them? And why should you also consider uPVC for your back or front door? We’ll go onto discuss both types of door here, to give you a better idea when it comes to choosing your next front door.

Composite doors

As its name suggest, a composite door is produced from more than one material. It’s actually hardwood at the core, with a PVC sub-frame and a uPVC outer frame (which is reinforced with galvanized steel for extra sturdiness). The combination of these ingredients leads to a rigid and sturdy door while a foam core leads to better insulation and a glass-reinforced plastic grained surface makes it more resistant to becoming dented or easily scratched. Meanwhile, it’s worth mentioning here that our own Sovereign Home Improvements composite doors are 48mm doors – 10 per cent thicker than our nearest competitors, making them amongst the strongest on the market right now!

Meanwhile, as well as providing super-effective security for your home, a composite door will also remain looking good for longer. Rest-assured the colour of your door won’t fade or the shade alter – even despite the often-harsh British weather. The end result is a door which is solid, secure and easy to maintain. It should also last your for around 35 years.

uPVC doors

If you opt for a uPVC door, then you will have a one which consists of an insulated steel frame inside a casing of un-plasticized polyvinyl chloride (uPVC). This gives the door it’s thermal properties, as well as making it a sturdy and effective choice for any front door. Slightly thinner than a composite door, this type of door is nevertheless also easy to maintain; simply wipe over with a damp cloth if need be. You can expect to have your uPVC door for around 25 years – a decade less than the composite.

The main advantage of a uPVC door over its more contemporary composite equivalent though is the fact that it’s less expensive to buy – you could save as much as 50 per cent by opting for a uPVC door over a composite door. Another advantage of this type of door is the choice of design. More likely chosen for a back rather than a front door, a uPVC door can consist of a full panel or half panel of double glazing which means more light can flood into your kitchen area. This is a great compromise if the room is rather gloomy, making it a must for narrow galley kitchens in particular.

Door locking

Both composite doors and uPVC doors are available these days with a multi-point locking system. This means all locks close simultaneously consisting of a cylinder with kite-mark. This makes them incredibly effective should a burglar attempt to break into your home by this means.

Want to know about our composite or uPVC doors? Then take a look at our website. There you’ll find we offer both in a selection of colours or woodgrain finishes and at very competitive prices.


Why You Should Opt for a Local Home Improvement Firm

When it comes to getting new windows or doors installed it’s always a better bet to go with a local – rather than national – company. Why? Well, there are many reasons and here at Sovereign Home Improvements Ltd in Brentwood, we have attempted to list some of the main ones right here:

Local knowledge

It’s possible to speed up the planning process (if necessary) by using an individual who has knowledge of how the local council’s planning and building regulation teams work. This is particularly valuable should you run into a problem concerning a conservation or similar issue somewhere along the line. A local installer will know which individual to contact in order to remedy the situation, as well as how to go about approaching the Council’s team.

Fixer on hand

Very occasionally problems can arise with a new set of windows or doors. If this happens you can get your local installer on the scene right away. If it’s a national company who have carried out the installation then it could take days or even weeks for them to get someone on the scene. And that means increased stress and anguish for the unfortunate home owner.

Friend and colleague recommendations

With a local firm chances are your friends and colleagues have already used their services. If so, you can get recommendations that you know you can trust to be genuine and truthful (and which isn’t always the case with online reviews). Not only that, but you can physically go and see for yourself the work that the local company carried out. That way you don’t have to take anybody’s word for the fact they can supply exactly what you’re looking for.

Better communication

Communication is always better face-to-face – and is something you will be able to achieve with a local firm. They may even have a showroom where you can go and see windows, doors and conservatories etc for yourself. At the same time, being able to discuss something quickly with the person on the spot is far better than attempting to solve an issue over the phone or by email.

Better deals with local suppliers

Local firms tend to be better at securing local discounts on materials than national firms. This ensures that your home improvements are undertaken with cost-savings in mind right from the very start.

Giving back to the community

Hiring a local company and ensuring it stay afloat means a benefit to your own community and safeguards jobs for local people.

Contact your local Sovereign Homes today

If you live in the Brentwood area of the East of England then you can consider ourselves at Sovereign Home Improvements Ltd a local company. As such we would be happy to have a chat and provide a free quote for windows, doors, a patio, conservatory etc. For a quote call our team on 0800 1777 771. If it’s advice you would like then the number to ring is 01277 810 910. Alternatively drop us an email via info@sovereignhome.co.uk.


Why You Don’t Have to Wait for New Windows or Doors

Is the thought of paying upfront putting you off having those new windows you fancy? Or is it a brand-new front door you’d like to have installed? Well, now you don’t have to worry about big upfront payments.

That’s because, here at Sovereign Home Improvements Ltd we’ve made it easy for you with our zero per cent interest-free payment scheme. This allows you to pay what you can afford each month over a set number of years, making purchasing those windows and doors far more manageable as far as your finances are concerned. Most people pay monthly over a number of years for their car, so why not do the same for your windows and other home improvements? For your windows or doors there isn’t even any large deposit to pay upfront.

Interest-free credit available on all windows and doors

The good news is our interest-free payment scheme is available for all of our windows and doors. That means you can choose from Bow Bay, uPVC and Tilt & Turn windows, as well as aluminium or casement versions for your home. Both double and triple glazing qualify for the scheme.

The same applies to our doors in relation to the scheme. This means you can treat yourself and your home to anything from a set of stylish French doors, to contemporary bi-folding doors, doors for your patio, a composite front and back door, or some uPVC doors. All our doors are weather-proof draught-proof. The popular bi-fold doors we sell are equipped with a multi-point stainless steel locking mechanism, toughened or laminated glass and come with a high-security lock cylinder. There are also around 260 colour combinations to choose from.

Our recognised credit credentials

We are also authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). What this means that you will be entitled to compensation in the event of any default (which is highly unlikely). In addition, all companies which are registered with the FCA have a strict set of guidelines and rules to adhere to with relation to finance and consumers.

At Sovereign Home Improvements Limited our financial role is as a credit broker. Rest-assured too that our zero per cent finance scheme is administered using only one single lender.

We have physical commercial premises at Systems House, Horndon Industrial Park, West Horndon in Brentwood CM13 3XL. The company is registered in England and Wales (VAT number 08164017). 

Get in touch for more information and advice

If 2020 is the year you would like to finally replace those old windows of your and, at the same time, benefit from a warmer and better insulated home, then contact us today. One of our installation team will be happy to advise you on the different types of windows or doors we have available, along with their benefits and costs.

In order to book a free quote, call us on tel: 0800 1777 771. For more general information call 01277 810 910 or send us an email via info@sovereignhome.co.uk.