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.

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.


A Compelling Case for Composite Doors

Thinking of investing in a new front or back door? If so, experts agree, composite doors should be your first choice.

Why? Well, they don’t just look good thanks to a wealth of contemporary designs and colours, but security-wise they are well above standard. And the latter is nothing to be complacent about. Figures from the government’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) show there were 291,816 residential burglaries in England and Wales between June 2018 and June 2019. Not surprisingly, when the nights are darkest (October to February) the number of break-ins increase by more than one third. This begs the question, how secure are your doors and windows?

What makes composite doors so strong?

The main reason composite doors get such high praise from those in the home security realm is because of the way they are constructed. Unlike timber and uPVC glass doors for instance, composite doors are capable of withstanding salt erosion (perfect for those who live near the sea), chemicals and UV light (which can quickly fade colour in ordinary doors).

Composite doors are also twice the thickness of uPVC doors. That’s because they comprise either a thick foam core which is coated in Glass Reinforced Plastic (GPR) or a solid timber core with an inner thermo-plastic. Here at Sovereign Home we are proud to be able to announce that our own 48mm thick timber composite doors are around 10 per cent thicker than our nearest competitors, making them the most secure on the market.

Hardly lacking when it comes to locks

Shockingly, a recent survey by the online consumer site MoneySupermarket showed that five per cent of house burglaries are caused by the thief simply walking in through the front door! But if you’re not the absent-minded type and do actually remember to secure the door when you go out – is your current lock good enough? After all, the same survey showed that thieves got in by the front door in almost three quarter of burglary cases in England and Wales.

Our composite doors are all fixed with the Ultion system of locks to ensure once you’ve turned the key, it can’t be picked. That’s because if a burglar does attempt to prise open the door by tampering with the lock a second, hidden lock springs into action. This provides double protection – regardless of whether you leave the key in the lock overnight or not.

Household items most regularly stolen

Those burglars that do manage to penetrate a home’s defences usually look for cash, says the MoneySupermarket survey. Next most popular items are laptops and other electronic devices. Almost one third of burglars also make off with jewellery, including watches. Make sure it’s not yours they’re after…

Get in touch for your peace of mind

At Sovereign Home we offer a choice of up to 256 different colour combinations of doors. They range from contemporary shades to beautiful and realistic woodgrains. To find out how a composite door can improve your home security and, at the same time, enhance the appearance of your home, get in touch today. Call 0800 1777 771 or email us at info@sovereignhome.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you!


Are Conservatories Cold in Winter?

Some conservatories – particular older structures built more than a decade ago– can certainly be cold in winter (and conversely too hot in summer). But certainly not all conservatories – and especially the newer-built models that we provide here at Sovereign Homes. The reason for this is mainly down to the superior glazing used today ie solar reflective glass.

Rework your roofing

Advanced technology in glazing means it’s possible to have a tiled roof with thermal insulating properties meaning it’ll be warmer during the winter and keep out heat during the summer months. And the best bit? This type of light-weight roof can also be retro-fitted, provided the existing structure is strong enough to support it.

But you don’t have to do away with glass in your conservatory roof completely. Not, that is, if you go for a hybrid option ie a roof that has both tile and glass panels. Vaulted powder-coated aluminium roof panels and insulted glass panels can work well together to regulate temperature in a conservatory. Certainly, both of these options (the thermal tiling and hybrid roof) are far better and more functional than the original polycarbonate or decade-old double-glass roofing.

But what if you’ve already replaced your roof in recent years and you’re still feeling a tad on the chilly side? Well, look out for the following heat thieves too:

Gaps in windows and doors

After a period of time – and with much use – doors and windows can start to lose insulating efficiency. Gaps can develop and need to be sealed.

Dampness

It puts a chill in us just writing that word but it’s true – dampness can make any room feel cold. And worse still, if it’s allowed to exist untreated then it will spread and can cost quite a bit of money to repair. If the dampness is minor then make sure the conservatory is well-insulated. One way to achieve this is to leave the doors between the conservatory and house open. Next, use a dehumidifier to prevent it getting any worse.

Cold flooring

Because it’s on ground level, conservatory floors can be cold; particularly in winter. One way to alleviate this problem is to install under-floor heating; a less costly option is to put down a large rug or several smaller scatter rugs to toast your toes while you’re sitting down. And, on that note, keeping blankets and big snuggly cushions in your conservatory during the autumn and winter months, isn’t a bad idea either…

Exposed windows

There’s a reason we close the curtains at night – it keeps the heat in during the winter. If you’ve no curtains or blinds in your conservatory because you like the sight of plain glass, then it’s time to reconsider.

No helpful heating

We think nothing of switching on the storage heating in our homes when it gets cold, so why shouldn’t we turn on heating in the conservatory too? Electric heaters aren’t particularly expensive to buy (although they will cost more than gas and storage when it comes to the utility bill). If you’re only using them during the really cold periods then surely you can justify their use?

Even just employing two or three of the measures mentioned in this article can make a big difference to the temperature of your conservatory. Do the lot and your conservatory may just become the most popular room in your home this winter!

Thinking of getting a conservatory – or need some advice on making her existing extension warmer? Then why not give us a call here at Sovereign Homes today? Tel: 01277 810 910.


Triple Glazing vs Double Glazing

Fancy upgrading your windows – or about to choose windows for a self-build – but confused over which to type to choose? Then you’re not alone.

Unless you actually work in the construction industry, you’re unlikely to have read all that much research on the different kinds of glazing available today – such as double glazing and tripe glazing. And hence the reason for this article – to summarise the difference and the benefits of both: 

Double glazing 

The way double glazing works is by trapping a gas (usually Argon) inside two panes of glass. The reason Argon is chosen is because it’s heavier than air, making it a poor heat conductor. As a result, it traps more heat in your room.

Types of double glazing available

It’s possible to buy double glazing in different designs, such as Turn & Tilt, Bi-folding and in windows large enough to fit Conservatories and Orangeries.

Triple glazing

Triple glazing has, as its name suggest, three panes of glass. Instead of Argon it’s often Krypton glass that is used for thermal insulation in between the panes.

The additional panes and gas make triple glazing at least two degrees warmer than double glazing. A room in a new-build home with energy-efficient double glazing will be around 16°C if heated to 21°C; but with triple glazing the heat can reach 18°C.

Experts have calculated that around 20 per cent of the heat in a room escapes via the windows so it’s important to get the right type of glazing for your home and current insulation needs.

For this reason, you’ll find triple glazing routinely used in countries such as Norway and Sweden. It gets colder there, of course, and whether triple glazing is necessary here in the UK with our milder winters, is a big point of debate.

Another criticism of triple glazing is whether it’s possible to recoup the additional costs. For instance, it could take at least two decades to make up the difference considering the savings in your energy bill may only be around £40 a year. The only way you could really maximise the benefits of triple glazing is if the whole house was insulated to the same extent and is what you can expect from a Passivhaus design concept.

Benefits of double glazing

  • It’s cheaper (at least 20 per cent cheater than triple glazing)
  • Double glazing today can have a U value (which is used to measure energy efficiency) of 1.6. This compares to 0.8 for triple glazing – so there’s really not a huge amount of difference between the two.
  • They are light and easy to fit (heavier glazing, such as triple, usually requires more robust window frames to support the weight of the additional pane of glass).

Benefits of triple glazing

  • You’ll save more money on your annual heating bills due to better insulation
  • If your doors and flooring are insulated to the same extent (giving you a constant room temperature) then you’ll really maximise on the savings.
  • Some Passivhaus designs claim energy bills as low as £120 a year.

If you’d like to chat about the type of windows that would be best for your home, then do give us a call here. We’d be happy to provide some guidance. Simply call us on 0800 1777 771.