How Sash Windows Evolved

Picture a sash window in your mind and it is probably set in brickwork; likely soot-stained yellow stock bricks or Victorian reds. Whilst the sash window was introduced just after the Medieval period where timber frame houses prevailed, today you will seldom see an original sliding sash set into a timber building. The reason for this dates back to 1667. Just a year before, tall timber-framed, jettied houses overhung the narrow streets of London. As the population grew, space within the city walls became cramped with storey built upon storey, creating an overlapping line of combustible homes. It would only take a strong wind and a baker’s oven left on heat to cause one of the worst disasters in the city’s history.


The building of houses out of timber and thatch was eradicated following the Great Fire when Charles II introduced the 1667 Rebuilding of London Act requiring all future buildings to be built in brick or stone. Additionally, window sills were first introduced as a method for deflecting rising fire around the window frame- Medieval windows were not so well equipped. Legislation began dictating the form of the sash window.

A Setback for the Better

Further fire-proofing methods were introduced in the 1709 Act which required all sills to be a minimum of four inches deep and more importantly for the window frames to be set back into the wall by the same distance (the equivalent of an imperial brick depth). Still not content with their buildings’ resistance to fire, the government introduced a third Act in 1774 which aimed to standardise the quality and construction of their buildings by introducing further fire-resisting methods.

Sash boxes were required not just to be set back into the wall, but also to be concealed within the wall (behind the outer layer of brickwork) resulting in only a small amount of frame being visible and therefore susceptible to fire (usually of similar width to the glazing bars).

Dating Guidance

And so for dating purposes, any original sash window set flush in a brick or stone wall will likely be pre 1709; set back four inches with thick frame visible should be post 1709 but pre 1774; set back with slim frame visible should be post 1774. This development of window legislation spanned the Georgian period, resulting in the symmetrical, carefully proportioned sash window, classical in style, forming the archetypal window of the Georgian era. The addition of ornate embellishments to the window reveals and surrounds, often set in patterned brickwork, would date the window more towards the more recent Victorian or Edwardian period.

If you have Georgian, Edwardian, Victorian or Elizabethan windows, let Heritage Sash Windows help. Dealing with sash window repairs in Preston and surrounding areas, they are a top firm for all Lancashire sash window related issues.


Storing and Seasoning Firewood

When cold weather arrives, it’s nice to enjoy the ambience of a crackling fire. Whether you’re heating your home or fuelling a backyard fire pit, make the most of the firewood you select for burning. By seasoning and storing wood properly, you’ll have wood that burns cleaner, produces less smoke and creosote and yields more heat more efficiently.

Seasoning Firewood

When wood is cut, it’s green and has a water content of 60% or more. Green or unseasoned wood is hard to ignite, smoulders, burns poorly and doesn’t produce heat. Unseasoned wood also contributes more to creosote accumulation in the flue.

For best burning, the moisture content of properly seasoned wood should be near 20 percent. The process of seasoning allows moisture to evaporate from wood, yielding firewood that burns safely and efficiently. Seasoning only requires time, typically from six months to one year, but certain practices speed the process.

Splitting Wood

Trees are giant stems. Bark and wood are formed to keep moisture inside. Splitting wood exposes interior surfaces to air and sunlight, which hastens drying and can discourage wood-boring insect infestations.

Stacking Wood

Stacking wood also speeds drying by exposing more wood surfaces to sunlight and air. Follow these tips for stacking success.

Site. Consider the stack site carefully. Wood will remain in this spot for a long time. Do you plan to use this site in the near future? Does the stack prevent access to part of your yard? Is the site convenient for grabbing firewood to bring indoors? Never stack wood against your home, garage or shed. That’s an invitation for termites. Check local building and fire codes, which may stipulate distance between woodpiles and structures.

Sunlight. Expose wood to sunlight. Shade-stored wood dries; it just takes longer.

Soil. Avoid direct contact with soil. Placing a tarp or plastic sheeting beneath wood is good. Raising stacks off soil is better, because it enables air to flow beneath wood. This is true even for stacks on concrete. Use a pair of parallel 2 × 4s or a firewood rack to elevate wood.

Structure. If stacking near a fence or wall, allow a few inches between wood and structure for air circulation.

Air. When making multiple side-by-side stacks, leave a few inches between stacks for airflow.

Height. For safety and stack stability, never stack firewood more than 4 feet high.

Storing Wood

In all but dry climes, covering stacked wood is wise. Position a tarp or plastic sheeting so it blankets the top of the stack and extends a few inches down the sides. Keep the sides mostly exposed to air. If you completely cover a wood pile, the cover retains moisture, which the wood absorbs, making seasoned firewood burn like green wood.

If you purchase seasoned wood, store it off the ground with a top cover. Or store it in an open-sided shed, lean-to or other structure.

Final Tips

  • Stored wood starts to decay after four to five years, and burning ease and efficiency drops.
  • For the best price on purchased wood, buy green (unseasoned) wood in advance and season it yourself. Green wood purchased in spring or early summer can be burned as soon as the coming winter.
  • Never burn wood that you know has been treated with pesticides or insecticides.

If you need somewhere to store your wood, Garden Storage offers a range of log storage solutions.



Looking for a new boiler in Leyland? Get an idea of the cost

Are you having trouble maintaining your boiler? Or are you looking to reduce your current energy costs? Perhaps you have just moved and need to install a new one? Then finding a new boiler is the answer for you.

But before you go out and purchase a new boiler, you should take a careful look at the types, models, and prices. If you decide to purchase a boiler, read on to find out about your new boiler cost, as well as things you need to know before making your decision.

New boiler cost: What’s a reasonable number?

The cost of a new boiler will consist of the actual price paid for the unit itself, labour, installation, and additional components if necessary.

The extra parts that might need to be installed depend on the type of boiler you choose. For example, if you are switching from a system boiler to a conventional one, you will need to install a cold water storage tank as well as an expansion tank.

On the other hand, you might need to pay for removal of certain components. If you purchase a combi boiler, you will need to remove both the hot and cold water tanks, along with the expansion tank, as this type of boiler heats water on demand.

Because of this, you will need to take all of these factors into account when calculating your new boiler cost. Below are tables showing the average prices of boiler types and additional costs.

The Cost of A New Boiler

Boiler Type (24kW – 27kW) Price Range
Gas Combi £425 – £3,000
Gas Conventional £560 – £1,810
Gas System £500 – £2,570
Oil Combi £1,600 – £3,700
Oil Conventional £1,130 – £2,380
Oil System £1,285 – £2,370

Installation Costs

Installation Details Average Price
Replace conventional boiler, same location – Using an average boiler price of £985 £1,885
Replace conventional boiler, new location – Using an average boiler price of £985 £2,185
Replace combi boiler, same location – Using an average boiler price of £920 £2,065
Replace combi boiler, new location – Using an average boiler price of £920 £2,620
Switching to a combi boiler system – Using an average boiler price of £920 £2,970


How to make your new boiler decision easier

Pricing a boiler can be difficult as it depends on the different brands, sizes, and types available. If searching for a new boiler sounds daunting, don’t worry—there is a convenient way to make it easier. With our quote request form, you will be able to obtain price offers from up to 5 heating engineers. With an easy, free, no obligation form, you will lower the new boiler cost by up to 40% and find the right unit for you.

When is the right time to get a new boiler?

With an idea of what the average costs of a new boiler, it’s time to think about whether you actually need one or not. How do you know when to get a new boiler? Here are some situations where you may need to replace your boiler:

  • Boiler breakdown and beyond repair

If your boiler has a problem and the cost to repair is much higher than replacement, your best course of action is to buy a new one. Have an engineer assess your boiler and if they tell you that there is no point in repairing it, it’s time to get a new boiler.

  • Low energy efficiency

If your current boiler does not meet modern energy efficiency standards, it’s time to invest in a new boiler. According to the Energy related Products directive (ErP), boiler products are rated from A++ to G, with G being the least efficient. In general, we recommend replacing older boilers rated G to D with newer models, preferably an A-rated model.

  • Insufficient capacity

If you find that your current boiler cannot properly heat your whole home, then a larger boiler is needed. A 24-27kW capacity boiler will heat a 1 to 2 bedroom house, 28-34kW boilers are perfect for a 3 to 4 bedroom property, and anything larger are directed for houses with more than 4 bedrooms.

  • Added value

If you would like to sell your house in the future, upgrading your boiler is a great way to add value. The improved efficiency and heating capacity increases your home’s value and is great for the long term if you want to take advantage of energy savings.

  • Ageing

Boilers should be replaced every 15 years and serviced annually. Older boilers, other than low efficiency, also suffer from high maintenance frequency and costs. A new boiler will save you money in the long run.

Things to consider before buying a new boiler

Even though you have determined that you need a new boiler, there are still a few things to consider. Since the cost of a new boiler can be quite high, your choice should not be made lightly.

Here are 4 things to take into account when buying a new boiler.

  • Professional advice

One of the most important steps when buying a new boiler is to seek the advice of professionals. A certified heating engineer will be able to assess your property as well as your heating needs—they will suggest a boiler type and a few models. They are the best source of practical information.

  • Your home

The characteristics of your house should be a driving factor in your boiler decision. For example, your home’s current heating setup is important since certain boiler types require additional parts like water storage cylinders or expansion tanks. Also, the larger your home, the higher capacity boiler you will need. Moreover, the size affects where the boiler can be installed.

  • Reliability

A boiler purchase is all about looking to the future, as it will be running your central heating for many years to come. Because of this, you should look to get a reliable model from a trusted brand—this means you might not necessarily choose the cheapest option. This reduces the chance and frequency of breakdowns, and makes servicing much easier.

  • Energy savings

Another long-term view on boilers involves efficiency ratings. A smart purchase for your new boiler is one that will not waste energy. Although it might be difficult to splash some cash up front on a high-tech boiler, you will benefit immensely in the long run. High efficiency boilers translates to savings on fuel costs, optimal heating, and less hassle.

Save 40% on your new boiler cost

Sourcing a new boiler for your home is not an easy task. You might be feeling overwhelmed with all of the options available. Fortunately, qualified heating engineers are more than happy to assist you. To find a trustworthy, competent engineer, it is best to take some time and shop around. Compare their services, details, and prices by sending a free, non-binding quote request. You will be able to locate the perfect new boiler and reduce costs by 40%!

So if you are looking for new boilers Leyland look at APG Domestic Services who are a top company in that area for installation.



Quartz vs Granite Worktops

The worktop material decision

When you are trying to create a new look or setting for your kitchen, selecting the perfect worktop can be difficult and time-consuming. The large selection of worktop materials can make it challenging to pick the right one for your lifestyle and space.

Your ideal kitchen worktop should have a unique style, durability and require low maintenance. Considering these three key elements, let’s narrow your search down to two of the main worktop materials, quartz and granite, both of which provide a wonderful solution that meets these ideal qualifications.

When deciding on what material to use for your kitchen worktop, you cannot go wrong with picking quartz or granite. Not only will these materials bring liveliness to your home but each provide their own benefits. Quartz worktops will provide you with maintenance advantages that nature itself is not able to, while granite requires higher maintenance. Neither quartz nor granite will disappoint in terms of overall look and style.

Quartz Worktops

Quartz worktops are fabricated from natural quartz, one of the hardest minerals found in the Earth, and small amounts of glass or metallic flecks are added to create variety, resulting in beautiful worktops. Other advantage of quartz is that it is a non-porous material, its texture does not allow bacteria to grow and resists against stains, protecting your family and making kitchen clean-up easy. For this reason, quartz worktops never need to be sealed.

Aside from the durability that quartz provides, this material is beautiful and its wide variety of color options are sure to catch your eye. Your options are nearly endless as quartz ranges from natural colors such as whites, blacks and browns to other colors such as golds or blues. The design of a quartz worktop not only brings character to your kitchen but offers performance advantages that exceed other traditional materials.

Granite Worktops

Another one of the most commonly used materials for worktops is granite. Like quartz, this material is also very resilient. Granite is a natural rock that is cut in its natural state and is then polished for use in homes. Maintenance after each use is suggested to prevent staining with granite. To clean granite, use warm water and soap to help keep its shine.

Such a strong material is difficult to scratch and is able to resist temperature changes. Because it is natural stone, granite doesn’t provide as wide of a range of colour options and each piece is different, therefore, often times kitchens need to be planned around the slab that is chosen. That being said, planning a kitchen around a granite worktop is not always a simple task.

If you are looking for Worktops in St Albans check out iGranite for a great selection.


Are there any Disadvantages to installing Granite worktops?

Granite is one of the frequently used materials for interior design especially as kitchen tops and bathroom slabs. If we talk about granite worktops then it offers a wide range of benefits along with a few disadvantages as compared to other worktop materials.

If we care properly for our worktops then granite will easily serve us for more than fifteen years or so should you go for the low maintenance option. Granite is a natural stone that offers an unmatched combination of elegance along with durability and this is rare to find in any other stone. However we can consider marble or quartz as a close match to granite but you cannot expect the same robust structure and elegance from either of these two stones.

Here are a few disadvantages of granite worktops that you must consider before installing it in your kitchen:

1.    Staining and scratches

Most granite dealers claim that granite is resistant to scratches and stains but is this really true? Granite is naturally porous and that makes it susceptible for staining. Even if a drop of water spills on its surface then after evaporating it leaves a mark on the surface.

These stains can be uglier if any coloured liquids spill on its surface. For instance, if red wine spills on a granite top then it can leave a stain on the stone even after wiped off immediately with a wet cloth.

This happens because the granite’s pores easily absorb the water and it can be more damaging if any liquids containing oil spill over because oil will remain inside the pores of the granite.

The use of any sharp object directly on granite’s surface can leave scratches. If any severe scratch occurs and is not immediately repaired it can get worse over time.

2.    Bacteria can harbour on granite surface

I was surprised when I read that a granite worktop’s surface can harbour bacteria because most of the articles claim that granite is one of the more hygienic options for a kitchen worktop. If your granite countertops are not sealed then anything can get into the granite pores where bacteria can grow. Even wiping it off can push microbial particles into the pores of the granite.

3.    Weight and cost

Granite is a very heavy stone that needs a number of people to install. Also if the supporting cabinets are not durable enough to take granite’s weight then it can create complications.

Another concerning factor is its cost because a medium quality of granite stone ranges between 80 pounds to 200 pounds per square foot. This price does not include any transportation, installation charges or taxes.

If you are looking for granite worktops in Milton Keynes or an alternative in surrounding areas, try iGranite.




Why choose Granite Worktops

Granite is a natural luxury material that has never fallen out of fashion and the ultimate choice for a solid work surface and ideal if you want a unique look for your kitchen. Not only is Granite beautiful, but tough and practical making granite worktops a popular choice for any home renovation.

Granite Tops UK, design, manufacture and install a stunning range of different Granite worktops throughout the UK providing customers with a full collection of exotic granite worktops.

Given that granite is a natural substance, no two pieces will ever look exactly the same, with variations in colour, thickness, grain and vein giving a unique finish that man-made substances can’t match. As one of the hardest substances on earth, it’s highly scratch and stain-resistant making it incredibly easy to clean. Combined with its hard-wearing properties and timeless style, granite always makes an excellent choice.

To view  a wide selection of granite worktops then head over to Granite Tops UK



Granite Worktops in Cambridge – iGranite

If your looking for quality granite worktops and quartz worktops within Cambridge then iGranite are the leading supplier of granite worktops throughout Cambridge and the UK.

The hub of the house, the kitchen is a focal point for any home so if your looking to transform your kitchen or simply reface your worktops,  iGranite will provide you with an extensive range of beautiful natural granites to transform any kitchen into a contemporary and stylish room.

The textures and colours within each variety of granite worktops Cambridge differ due to the mixture of feldspar, mica and quartz. iGranite use only the highest quality full-sized granite slabs  and each slab is professionally sealed and treated at no extra charge, using ‘Dry Treat’ the worlds leading stone sealent product.

With over 16 years’ experience working with natural stone, iGranite have the skills and expertise to handle anything from a small bathroom vanity unit to a major house redevelopment project., you can trust iGranite to get it right for you.

If you are looking for quality granite worktops in Cambridge then get in contact with iGranite.



Granite & Marble Worktops in Milton Keynes

When searching for quality work surfaces and worktops in Milton Keynes, look no further than iGranite, who supply an extensive range of high quality Granite and Marble worktops

iGranite are specialists in producing and fitting granite, quartz and marble worktops throughout Milton Keynes and the UK, whereby their granite installation teams are conveniently located throughout London and the UK, providing a truly nationwide service for worktop fittings.

Introducing granite tops in a kitchen, provides quality whilst adding a touch of class, elegance and sophistication. The fact that the work surface is the most noticeable element in a kitchen means that a well-fitted piece of quality granite really does complete a kitchen project the right way and for a complete project there are a range of accessories including sinks to taps to compliment your brand new kitchen worktop.

With a wide range of granite worktops and other surfaces that have been carefully selected from the world’s quarries based on the source and the quality of the stone, iGranite source, fabricate and install worktops, allowing them to pass on huge savings to customers.

For more details about iGranite worktops and surfaces sourced worldwide for customers across Milton Keynes, then contact iGranite today.





Why You Need A Granite Worktop in Milton Keynes

iGranite have been supplying and installing worktops, splashbacks and associated products to trade and domestic clients in Milton Keynes and across Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Northants and surrounding Counties for over 15 years. Our wealth of experience and expertise enables us to provide our customers with the necessary advantages and disadvantages of each and every work surface in order that they make a knowledgeable, suitable and satisfying choice for their project. Our extensive range includes Corian, Solid Wood, Glass, Granite and Stone, and you can see each sample in our showroom.

Our impressive range of materials means you can find traditional and bespoke designs as well as matching sinks, taps and accessories of all styles. Our worktops, stocked in the UK and sourced from the Far East, are also perfect for commercial and trade environments, so whether you need glass splashbacks or sturdy work surfaces, then let our team take care of all your needs. In addition to these, we have a range of beautiful stone bowls available in a variety of finishes to co-ordinate with your interior.

We have over 200 years of combined experience, and will offer our expert advice in addition to a dedicated project manager who can oversee the whole process from design to installation, ensuring you have your worktops fitted to spec and on time. For more details about our worktops and surfaces sourced worldwide for our customers across Milton Keynes, then contact us today and speak to a member of our friendly team.

So if you are looking for worktops in Milton Keynes, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at iGranite today.


Why add granite worktops to your kitchen design

Granite is a natural luxury worktop that never falls out of fashion and it’s suitable for all kitchen layouts. Granite worktops will help you achieve a unique look for your kitchen.

With over various Granite worktops options available, there will be a functional and beautiful solid surface for you. Contact us to get a price for any granite style for your granite worktop.

All our solid surfaces are professionally crafted prior to being manufactured and after the template process is complete, the granite delivery and installation team will be back to fit the granite worktops within 5 to 7 working days.

Please note all quotes done on the granite calculator will include the template and installation, as we feel this is imperative to achieve a stunning fit & finish to your kitchen.

A solid granite worktop is the perfect choice for today’s demanding kitchens with a strong, durable and polished finish. It can be used to create drainer grooves with undermount sinks, as well as curved finishes.

iGranite’s solid granite worktops are easy to clean and maintain, and suitable for use in any room including bathrooms. Available from stock, it is quicker and easier to achieve a premium look in your home.