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Which Trusted Trader of the Month, January 2017

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June heatwave causes spike in energy bills

Usually it’s the winter months that push our energy bills up, with central heating, gas fires, warm showers, and plenty of hot meals all contributing to keeping us cosy in our homes – but at a cost.

However, with the recent hot weather we’ve been experiencing (not that we’re complaining!) reports have shown that there is a potential for energy bills to increase, especially those households who use electric fans or air conditioning units.

 

energy bills summer

 

Although these forms of cooling devices come with their own benefits, they could increase summer energy bills by a potentially huge £214, especially if used throughout the day and night. Hot summer nights can make it far more difficult to get to sleep, so it’s tempting to keep your air con on low or even have a fan spinning all night.

We know the heat can be especially problematic if you have young children or pets, keeping them cool is important for both their health and well-being, but there are ways to do this without breaking the bank.

 

energy bills price rise summer

 

Your windows should be your most important asset when the weather becomes warmer, but if they are broken or faulty, it can be a hassle and much easier to reach for the fan. However, simple repairs to your hinges, locks, and handles will enable them to open fully.

If you live in a two-storey house, ensure you have both the bottom and top windows open, allowing the air to circulate effectively. Keeping your highest windows shut can trap hot air in, as heat rises. Make the most of the cooler temperatures in the evenings too. Although you may wish to keep the lowest windows shut for security, having a few windows open throughout the night allows the coolest air to settle in your home, allowing for a better night’s sleep.

 

energy bills set to rise summer

 

If the heat really increases, keeping windows shut during the day can actually be an effective method. This allows the cool air that entered in the night to last, without letting the oppressive and muggy air of the daytime to fill your home.

Keep doors open throughout your home too as this allows cool air to permeate throughout your home, without shutting off certain rooms. You should also take advantage of simply shutting curtains or blinds too as this can deter the greenhouse type effect that happens.

Another important and easy method of keeping your home cool and reducing your energy costs is to repair your failed double glazing. Having broken or faulty glazing makes your windows inefficient in both the summer and winter months. Cloudy2Clear have over 40 branches throughout the UK with experienced fitters and engineers. Contact your local branch to ensure your windows are repaired before the next heatwave arrives!

 

Images courtesy of www.pexels.com. Images are free for any personal and commercial purpose. Photos can be edited, modified and distributed. Attribution is not required.

Vacancy – Gloucester – Full time fitter

C2C_social_media_2Vans

We need a full time window fitter to support our growing window repair business in our Gloucester branch of Cloudy2Clear Windows (a national network of 47+ branches).

We take pride in the fact that we genuinely care about the service we give our customers and how we treat our staff.

In order to be considered for the role, you must:

1. Be experienced in fitting replacement double glazed units into existing frames (PVC, aluminium and timber) and replacing locks, handles & hinges. Experience with using putty is also an advantage.
2. Enjoy talking to customers.
3. Care about what you do, i.e. be reliable, organized, punctual and presentable.
5. Have a full driving licence

Benefits include:

– 40 hours per week. Initial probation period of 3 months.
– 28 days paid holiday (inc. statutory).
– £20,000 to £22,000 depending on experience
– Company van and tools.
– Uniform.

Please email with CV and two references.

paul.spiller@cloudy2clearwindows.co.uk


Best places to go on a caravan holiday in the UK

The UK has numerous locations, perfect for your static caravan to reside. If you’re looking for a change of scenery from your current site or are thinking about buying a static caravan and need some location ideas, check out our 5 top choices of the best places to set up camp.
 

Tenby, Wales

Wales is well known for being a popular location for UK holiday-goers, with miles of beautiful coastline and plenty of castles and history to explore. One of our favourite areas is Tenby, Pembrokeshire. There are various caravan sites to choose from, all within a good distance from the town centre and in close proximity of Saundersfoot, another beautiful coastal resort.

Tenby is steeped in history, notably for being a 13th century medieval walled town. From discovering and learning about the old town, to delving into its current array of shops and restaurants, it’s no wonder so many people choose Tenby as their UK holiday destination. Why not even take a short boat trip over to Caldey Island for more exploring?
 
tenby wales caravan holiday
 

Brecon Beacons, Wales

We couldn’t fit all our favourite Welsh destinations on this list, so we had to settle for just two. Brecon Beacons, South Wales is a stunning location for your static caravan or park home. With views of the incredible mountain range, it’s a much different setting than the usual seaside towns.

Events in this location include motorbike weekends, county shows, and the famous Green Man Festival (which you still have chance to see this August!).
 
green man festival

 

Isle of Wight

Well known for its mild climate, the Isle of Wight is and has always been a huge attraction for UK caravan owners. With an array of sight-seeing activities from Carisbrooke Castle to Osborne House, and stunning beaches and coastline, there’s plenty of holiday frivolities to enjoy. And if you’re looking for something a little more exciting, why not visit the Isle of Wight Festival? It’s family friendly and full to the brim with music and entertainment.

There are also a number of fantastic caravan parks, each with their own benefits, from quite seclusion and countryside, to pools and great facilities for kids.
 
caravan pool facilities

 

Cornwall

Another location which prides itself on warmer weather is Cornwall. Situated on the edge of the country, this sunny seaside county is a haven for surfing fanatics, water sports lovers, and families. There’s plenty to see and do, with a wealth of beautifully kept caravan parks for you to choose from.

Popular activities include visiting St Ives, St Michael’s Mount (a former monastery), nearby Newquay Zoo, and even reaching Land’s End.
 
surfing in cornwall

 

Devon

Devon, closely linked to Cornwall, is another fantastic location for any static caravan owner. From the predictably good weather throughout the summer months to the plethora of activities and events on offer, understandably it attracts hundreds of UK families to choose a holiday park here.

The area boasts a range of activities for both young and old, from days out at any of the beautiful Devon beaches to visiting the vast range of museums or galleries, such as the Centre for Contemporary Art & the Natural World.
 
beaches devon

 

If you’re thinking of moving your static caravan’s location, ensure it looks the very best it can, as well as improving your energy efficiency, by replacing any broken or failed windows. If you have stiff hinges or broken locks, we can help improve the security of your caravan or park home too.

 

Images courtesy of www.pexels.com. Images are free for any personal and commercial purpose. Photos can be edited, modified and distributed. Attribution is not required.

Garden ideas for the summer

We know many of our customers take considerable care of their gardens and enjoy spending time in them, as well as appreciating the view from their homes, so we’ve created some handy garden ideas for the summer, as well as hints and tips on how to keep everything looking beautiful.

Temperature changes

Warmer weather and rising temperatures can affect your garden in many different ways, from lack of hydration for your plants and drying out your lawn.

There are some things you just can’t avoid, such as yellowing or brown grass, but to prevent complete deterioration, you can follow these steps:

  • Don’t cut your grass as short as you normally would. More coverage allows the moisture to hold on for longer
  • If you have a large garden, consider an irrigation system in the summer months to save on water
  • Keep your greenhouse windows and doors open for ventilation. This keeps your plants and vegetables from overheating
  • Look after wildlife by keeping your bird bath filled up and, if you have one, keep an eye on your pond in case of drought

 

greenhouse summer garden tips

 

Vegetables & fruits

June is the best month to collect any produce you may be growing, such as asparagus, tomatoes, broad beans, spinach, aubergines, strawberries, gooseberries, and peppers. To ensure you keep growing and gain another harvest, sow more after this is complete. Produce such as salads are perfect to pop into the ground, ready for the next season.

 

strawberries summer garden tips

 

Garden furniture

With such unpredictable summer weather in the UK, our patio furniture and equipment can take a beating, especially if it hasn’t been treated properly. Make sure you choose the right furniture for your needs, whether that’s easy-clean and wipeable plastic chairs or wooden steamers for relaxing on the lawn. If you’re looking for somewhere to place your seating area, why not check out our decking guide for beginners?

Investing in good quality furniture is a great idea, but remember that you’ll need to maintain and look after this properly, so it will last year after year. Ensure you have a large enough storage area for your garden furniture, such as a shed or garage.

 

summer garden furniture

 

Outdoor lighting

Summer gives us the chance to enjoy the outdoors for much longer, so why not invest in some pretty outdoor lighting, for those long, lazy evenings? Whether you’re looking to create a romantic hideaway or give yourself a guiding light back down the garden path, there’s a plethora of choice.

If you’re looking to save energy, try solar powered lights and take advantage of the longer daytime hours.

 

outdoor lights summer garden tips

 

Outdoor lighting looks beautiful when you look out of your windows too and offers an element of security. Make sure your windows are looking their best by fixing any failed double glazing, so you have the perfect view of your garden.

Preparing for next season

Your garden is a constant work in progress, and it takes a lot of effort to keep everything looking great and growing properly. That’s why preparation is key, so whilst you’re enjoying the summer months, make sure you get some jobs out of the way, to make that transition period a little easier:

  • Remove some spring bulbs, such as tulips, as they can be damaged if overwatered in the summer
  • Start planting bedding plants such as pansies and primroses, as this will give you bursts of colour throughout the months
pansies summer garden tips

 

If you want to enjoy your garden from both the inside and outside this summer, ensure that you repair any failed double glazing or broken locks or hinges. Don’t put up with cloudy windows ruining your perfect view for any longer! Contact your local branch today.

 

Images courtesy of www.pexels.com. Images are free for any personal and commercial purpose. Photos can be edited, modified and distributed. Attribution is not required.

Ask Kirk: Top decking tips for beginners

decking tips for beginners

 

What tools do you need to start decking?

The most important thing to remember when setting up before you begin decking is that safety comes first. Before you gather all your tools and equipment, having the right gloves, knee pads, dust mask, and eye protection will ensure you prevent any unnecessary injuries. It’s also a good idea to have a friend help you out (and hopefully get the job done quicker!). Below are some of the basic tools you will need:

• Tape measure
• Spade
• Trowel
• String and pins (for the layout of your decking)
• Hammer
• Joists
• Saw – this could be a panel saw, jigsaw, circular saw, or a mitre saw (if you are laying larger decking)
• Sandpaper or, if you have one, a sander
• Pencil
• Edger (for cutting lawns, if required)
• Decking boards

 

 

 

How do you prepare the area for decking?

In order to be as prepared as possible and follow a template, setting out the layout of your decking is the best starting point. Use your tape measure, string and pins to create a visualisation of the area and then you can begin.

Dependent on the surface you’re building on, will change what tools you need and how you need to prepare it. If you’re building on a lawn or grassy area, ensure the surface is clear of any shrubbery, leaves, or mulch. You can then cut the grass quite easily with an edger, removing the pieces of lawn with your spade.

If you wish to build straight onto the ground, ensure you cover the proposed area with weed protection fabric, as well as a layer of gravel. This way of creating the foundations for your decking is much simpler, and would be perfect for a beginner or smaller project.

Alternatively, you can build on concrete pads, which have the benefit of added stability, as well as increasing the lifespan of your decking.

 

 decking

 

How should you cut the boards for the best fit?

Again, preparation is key, so ensure you measure your decking boards accurately for the best fit. Marking with a pencil will give you the best indication of where to saw, without damaging or permanently marking the wood.

Always ensure you use the right saw for the job, as this makes the whole process smoother and easier. A mitre saw will enable you to make as many cuts as you need, so this is particularly useful for a tricky layout, and if you have some difficult cuts to make, take advantage of a jigsaw too.

However, if you are just starting out and don’t want to make things too complicated, use a panel saw. Ensure you clamp the wood securely onto a workbench when using a panel saw; this limits the possibility for error, as well as preventing any injury.

 

decking tips

 

What is the best technique for laying decking?

Create a framework or sub-frame for your decking to sit on. A great tip to build this is to lay it out first, so you can see exactly which pieces of wood go where – and whether or not they’re long enough. For a more in-depth guide on how to create a sub-frame, check out B&Q’s website for more information.

Once your frame is assembled, you can then start to lay the actual decking boards. Mark where the drill holes should go, so you don’t make any unnecessary mistakes and so that the holes are a suitable distance from the edge of the decking. You should also ensure that you mark where each board should sit, with a gap of around 3mm in between each one.

After all your preparation, this should be a simple process of placing each board down and drilling appropriately.

 

Getting the best view of your decking

To ensure that you can enjoy all of your hard work from your home for the perfect view, make sure the positioning of your decking is in the right place to make it an extension of your home. Don’t let blown or cloudy double glazing ruin your view of your new decking area either. Our expert engineers can repair your double glazed units so that your perfect view remains and you can enjoy your decking to the fullest. Contact them today for a free, no obligation quotation from our friendly, local experts.

Cloudy2Clear UK Ltd
Unit 802 Merlin Park, Ringtail Road, Ormskirk, L40 8JY. (Registered in England No. 06105864) (VAT Reg - 934 9038 07)
customer.services@cloudy2clearwindows.co.uk

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