Outdoor Garden Rooms

If your looking for extra space, an outdoor garden room creates a luxurious ambience whilst providing a great alternative to a house extension. Whether you require extra space for an office, home gym, children’s playroom to a games room, Outdoor Living Rooms design and manufacture outdoor garden rooms using the highly efficient SIP system to produce highly insulated and structurally efficient buildings.

With a wide range of contemporary self build garden rooms and buildings, Outdoor Living Garden Rooms are thermally efficient, extremely durable and weather resistant, making them suitable 365 days a year that individuals and companies can construct with ease, and produce self-build buildings with style.

Outdoor Living Rooms offer a diverse range of buildings and kits which are ready to buy in a standard kit, or a full bespoke, CAD drawn service to create those one off spaces to suit your exact needs.

If your looking for your very own outdoor garden room then get in contact with Outdoor Living Rooms today.

Everything you need to know about Wheelie Bin Storage

Wheelie bins are now a fact of life in British society. We have a million different bins for different types of waste, all supplied by the council for our recycling and general waste. Despite this effort to tidy up Britain, alas it has made our gardens and yards a bit more unsightly.

Not to worry however, as there are so many bin stores available, we now have an extensive choice of products meaning we can decide on exactly how we wish to hide our bins. You may be wondering why on earth anyone would want to hide away their bins, as they perform a perfectly viable and functional service! Well, read on – it’s not just about aesthetics.

Why hide your bins?

Kerb Appeal

Let’s be honest – wheelie bins ain’t pretty. You may have a gorgeous garden you work hard on every weekend, or have had your yard recently landscaped, and these ugly lumps of plastic aren’t really adding to the effect. What you need is a garden storage solution that will seamlessly tie in with your yard but also meaning they are easily accessible when you need to dispose of rubbish or take the bins out.

You may even be dressing up the house to sell, and again those bins are making your yard look very untidy. If you hide your bins inside a practical and good-looking storage solution it could make your house more marketable and increase your viewings. First impressions are very important.

Battling the elements

There’s nothing worse than having to collect your bin from the other end of the road after a gusty night.
Even worse, if the wind has knocked over your bin you could have to collect your rubbish as well. If you live in a particularly windy area and your rubbish is constantly getting blown about this can encourage pests and vermin too.

Many garden storage solutions can be fixed with sturdy catches and lockable hasps to stop the door blowing open and banging in the wind, or can be fastened to a wall for additional security.

Pest Control

Household waste attracts pests and vermin, so if your wheelie bins are not secure you may find all sorts of beasts rifling through your rubbish! Squirrels, foxes and rats are some of the chief offenders. Getting storage for your wheelie bins and recycling boxes makes your bins much more secure.

Available garden storage

There are several different types of garden storage available, take a look at the more widely available ones below:

Image result for rattan screen garden

Ratten Screen

The Good

  • The cheapest option
  • No assembly required
  • No size restriction
  • Very complementary in a garden setting

The Bad

  • Not great at standing up to bad weather
  • Needs a firm surface behind
  • Only partial enclosure
  • Difficult to access

Image result for wooden bin storage

Wooden Storage

The Good

  • Complete enclosure and disguise for your bins
  • Durable and strong
  • Will last for years if the wood is treated every year
  • Can be secured

The Bad

  • Most expensive option
  • Need to be good at DIY to install
  • Can only fit a standard size

Wheelie Bin & Recycle Box Store

Another option that we found seemed to cover all the bases was the combined wheelie bin and recycling box store. These are available from Garden Storage.

Triple Chest Wheelie Bin Store

Points to consider

  • Size and amount of your bins and/or boxes.
  • How much you have to spend
  • Location
  • Design
  • Whether the council will change their waste storage at any time in the future

Need a boiler quote? What to consider before buying

A boiler is the heart of a home’s central heating system, supplying heat and hot water. It’s a complicated and expensive piece of machinery, which works by burning gas to heat water, before feeding it into the central heating system.

Finding the right boiler for your home

Get an online boiler quote, check out all the areas we’re covering with local boiler service or read more about the different boiler types on this page.

In today’s market the biggest seller and most popular type of boiler is the combi boiler. A combi boiler heats water directly from the mains, allowing a constant supply of hot water and alleviating the need for a separate water tank.
They are one of the most efficient types of boiler as they will only heat water on demand.
However, just as there are various types of home, so there are various types of boiler; including conventional, system and back boilers.
Boilers come in all shapes and sizes, but which one is right for you?

The different types of boiler

Combi boilers:

  • Compact size; good choice for smaller properties
  • No loft space needed in your home
  • Less pipework required which typically makes the installation cheaper
  • Provides a constant flow of hot water from the mains

System boilers:

  • Suitable for homes with more than one bathroom
  • Doesn’t need a loft tank, which saves space
  • No feed or expansion cistern makes them more efficient
  • Offer a constant supply of hot water to any number of taps

Conventional boilers:

  • Perfect for homes where a lot of hot water is used at the same time
  • Suitable for large households with two or more bathrooms
  • Requires a cold water storage tank in the loft as well as a hot water tank

The most common boiler sizes:

  • 24-25kw – suitable for flats and houses with 2-3 bedrooms, with up to 10 radiators
  • 28-30kw – suitable for 3-4 bedroom properties with up to 15 radiators
  • 33-35kw – suitable for large houses with up to 20 radiators
  • 40kw+ – suitable for larger properties with more than 20 radiators

Popular boiler brands to look out for:

  • Vaillant
  • Ideal
  • Glow-Worm
  • Intergas
  • Worcester Bosch
  • Viessmann
  • Baxi
  • Vokera

When should I consider buying a new boiler?

Unless you’re upgrading your boiler before a problem occurs, it’s likely you’ll be replacing an existing one because it’s not functioning correctly.

Replacement or not?

Before you decide to swap your old boiler for a new one, it’s worth getting a second opinion from a Gas Safe registered engineer, who will be able to check it for you and see if it can be repaired.
It may be the case that a simple remedy is at hand, and it may be possible that an inexpensive solution is available.
If your boiler can’t be repaired an engineer will be able to recommend the best type of boiler to replace it with, taking into consideration the size of your home and budget.
You may also wish to replace your boiler if it’s rated ‘G’ for energy efficiency. ‘G’ is the lowest rating meaning the boiler is likely to be wasting fuel and costing you more money to run.
Installing a new boiler can also add value to your property if you’re looking to rent it out or sell it, and it will also have an effect on the EPC rating of your property.

The fees for servicing your boiler

It’s important to regularly service your boiler to make sure it’s in good working order and to safeguard against potential problems in the future.
Many boiler manufacturers also require an annual boiler service as part of the terms of their warranty.
When it comes to the cost of a boiler service, expect to typically pay around £60-110, depending on the make and age of your boiler.

The expenses for repairing your boiler

In some cases, it may be possible – and make economical sense – to fix your boiler should it develop any faults.
Should your boiler be in need of repair, parts aside, you can expect to pay from £50 upwards. For emergency call outs, prices typically start at £80.

The cost of a new boiler

Prices for a new boiler vary greatly, and can range from £600 to £3,000. This is dependant on many differing factors including what type of boiler it is, the size of the boiler and any additional costs that may result from the installation itself.
We’ve designed a helpful quiz so you can find out the real savings you can make with a new energy efficient boiler. We’ve put the savings into context for you, calculating how much money you’ll have left each year to spend on your favourite things.

The boiler you choose will also very much depend on your individual requirements and circumstances.
Booths Gas Services can provide you with an indicative price for a new boiler.
Get a boiler quote by entering your details on our online form and we’ll email you an indicative cost straight to your inbox.
You may also want to find out if you’re eligible for a boiler scrappage scheme, which offers a £400 rebate on old boilers with an energy efficiency rating of ‘G’.

Pay monthly for your new boiler

Many heating companies offer finance packages to help spread the cost of buying a new boiler.
Flexible payment options can make buying a new boiler more manageable, and you can choose the length of your payment term to suit your budget and lifestyle.

Booths Gas Services do offer finance packages, simply give us a call and we can advise.

Save money with improved heating efficiency

It’s no secret that a new boiler can be a costly investment, but along with improved heating there are also many long-term financial benefits.
Your new boiler could potentially save you money on your heating bill if it’s more energy efficient than the one it replaces.
Under EU guidelines, all newly manufactured boilers must hold an energy efficiency rating of ‘A’.
An ”A”-rated boiler holds an energy rating of at least 88% compared to similar boilers.

Tips to save money on your bill

Along with replacing your boiler, there are many other, less expensive, ways in which you can save money on your monthly bill:

  • Draught-proof your windows
  • Insulate your loft / walls
  • Insulate your windows
  • Purchase a smart thermostat
  • Install thermostat radiator valves (TRVs)
  • Move to a cheaper gas and electricity provider
  • Boiler installation time

In many cases Booths Gas Services can recommend and install a new boiler in as little as 48 hours as well as offering emergency boiler repairs, depending on the type of boiler you choose*.

It may occasionally take up to three days to install a new boiler if it requires more work.
For example: converting from a system boiler to a combi boiler, is a more complicated job than a straightforward upgrade.

Get a boiler quote

To receive a free quote on a new boiler, simply answer a few simple questions using our online form and get a boiler quote in Preston.

10 winter roof checks

10 WINTER ROOF CHECKS

We’re pretty lucky here in Lancashire, apart from suffering the effects of the recent spate of hurricanes! Most of the time we rarely suffer from very cold, wet or prolonged winters. But there are a few simple things you can do to prepare your home, just in case.

Your roof is one of the areas of your house that deserves a bit of attention at this time of year. It experiences the brunt of bad weather. Regular inspection can help you spot any problems early and save money in the long run. Roof problems, if severe, can also invalidate your insurance policy.

We’ve asked Total Roofing Solutions, who deal with roofing in Preston, to give us their top tips for roof inspection!

Just before we launch into our list, a safety warning! Roofs are high and they can be steep and slippery. Only attempt any on-roof maintenance if you have a sturdy ladder (that’s long enough so you don’t have to over-reach) or scaffold, an appropriate harness, appropriate footwear and a head for heights. If you’re not 100% confident, get Total Roofing Solutions to come and take a look for you. Don’t put yourself or anyone else in danger!

1)    Check from the inside first.

Get up in the loft and see if you can see any damp patches, rotten bits or sagging in the roof. If you can see any of these, we recommend calling in a specialist before you do anything else as you’re going to need some work done! If you can spot any light sources, that might be an indication of damaged or missing tiles or flashing.

2)    Look up.

It’s sensible to have a first look at the outside of the roof from the ground. A pair of binoculars might help. Can you spot any damaged or missing tiles? Is there a lot of moss? These are all things that will need to be addressed when you get up there.

3)    Check your vents.

Remove debris from any ventilation channels to make sure air can pass through. This can help to prevent condensation which can cause damage to your home.

4)    Unblock the gutters.

Remove any leaves, moss or other debris to keep gutters clear. Clogged gutters will hold moisture which can cause particular problems if it freezes. Blocked gutters might also cause water to flow down the outside of your house and into the foundations, or into your eaves. A handy tip: use brushes or plastic tools to clear your gutters. Metal tools can cause damage to the plastic.

5)    Check your the condition of your gutters.

Check for any holes and make sure the gutter is securely attached to the wall. If there are any holes, that section of gutter will need replacing.

6)    Check the roof tiles.

When you get up on the roof, look for any damaged or missing tiles. If you spot any, replace them immediately. Snow, in particular, can put extra pressure on tiles and force any loose ones off. If there are gaps, water can get to roof timbers causing expensive structural damage.

If you’re competent and confident with your DIY skills, you can replace tiles yourself by removing the tiles above it, attaching the new tile and then replacing the ones above. Make sure you seal the area properly. If you’re in any way unsure, call in Total Roofing Solutions to help.

7)    Remove greenery from your roof.

Moss or ivy on your roof can cause damage through moisture so it’s best to remove it before it gets the chance to cause damage. Try brushing it off if the weather’s dry. Alternatively, there are some specialist cleaning products available which might help.

8)    Check the flashing.

Flashing are the metal strips that seal the chimney to the roof. Check for gaps and slippage. If you spot either, you will need to replace it.

9)    Check the garden.

Are there any trees overhanging your roof that could cause damage in high winds? Falling branches, or even a branch brushing your roof tiles, could cause damage. If you spot a potential hazard, deal with it straight away.

10)   Remove heavy snow drifts.

This might be a bit of a tough job, but is fortunately not called for in this country often. But if we do get alot of snow, ensure there are no heavy drifts building up on your roof. If there are, try to remove to remove the bulk of the weight.

If you need help with any of your roofing in Preston or the surrounding areas, give us a call.

 

Designing your dream garden office

Work from home in style and comfort in one of our made to measure Garden Office. Our garden offices come in all sizes, so you can choose from one of our ready to install kits, or request a bespoke design. All are double glazed as standard and insulated.  You can choose a full turn key option on your garden office. 

Installing a Garden Office is the most cost effective solution for all your garden office needs. These are designed specifically to meet the extensive demands of a Garden Office being structurally sound, insulated and with electricity and water supply options. You can go for a self build kit which is one price with no hidden extras and  includes delivery, foundations, and parts, or a full turn key solution.

Our beautiful garden offices can be used all year round and can either be installed by one of our certified installers or a vailable as self-build garden office kit. Alternatively we could design the perfect garden office for you! Check out our garden office selection here to see both contemporary and traditional garden office designs.

4 ways to enjoy your garden this summer

Got severe cabin fever after months of being locked inside during the cold, dark winter? Can’t wait to spend your evenings enjoying endless hours of sun? Well don’t worry because summer’s nearly here, and that means cracking open the garden shed, lifting out the deckchairs and sipping on your favourite homemade cocktails. Here are a few ways to enjoy your garden this summer.

  1. Play games with the family

If you’re always worrying that the kids spend too much time indoors with their noses pressed against a phone screen, organising a family sports game in the garden is a great way of motivating them to get active. Whether you fancy flexing your fingers at basketball or you’re a football family, make sure you’ve got all of the right equipment, and keep a few spare balls around just in case!

  1. Get your fingers green

If you get a lot of satisfaction out of growing fruit and veg or pruning your rose bushes, summer is the best time to indulge in a spot of gardening. Whether you’ve got a couple of casual pots or an entire greenhouse with a plethora of plants, keep all of your tools in your very own timber garden store.

  1. Eat outside

It doesn’t have to be about barbecues – just knowing you have the option to eat outside in view of the setting sun is another way you can enjoy your garden during summer. Lay out a massive spread of your favourite foods for your family and friends, or just treat yourself to a spot of al-fresco dining one evening.

  1. Simply relax

You don’t have to be doing anything strenuous to enjoy your garden – simply sit back in your lounger and soak up the rays. If you’re one of those people who struggles to unwind, just bring your favourite book or music player outdoors; either way, you definitely deserve to put your feet up.

Planning For Your Garden Room

Previously planning permission legislation you had to leave a one metre gap between your building and any garden boundary if the internal floor area of your studio exceeded 15 sq metres. That is no longer the case

Provided your building is less than 2.5 m in overall height, then you can now go up to 50% of the area of all your garden. The area of your garden is all your land except the part the house stands on, so the area includes the front garden, side gardens and back garden, less the area of any other buildings, fuel tanks etc.

No buildings are to go in front of the front elevation of the house, same as before.

The 30 sq m max size rule, no longer applies either, the 50% rule replaces it so garden rooms, provided they are single storey, can now be a lot bigger, depending on your garden size.

If you are in a conservation area, then you cannot have anything at the front or side but now, no longer need permission to place a garden room in the back garden within a conservation area. Before you had to ask for permission wherever it was sited, if you were in a conservation area.

Studios within the garden of Listed buildings, you need full planning as before.

Within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty etc, the rules are the same as before, max size of 10sq metres at least 20 metres away from the house which is easy with Sip Building Kits.

You must go for planning permission if it is being used for overnight accommodation whatever area you are in.

This is our understanding at present of the national rules, but some councils have local waivers and variations, always check with your local planners first.

In all cases, building regulations do not apply ONLY if the building does not contain any sleeping accommodation.” Whilst we accept that some people do occasionally use garden rooms from time to time as occasional sleeping accommodation e.g. sleepovers, we would suggest that it is not illegal due to pedantic bureaucrats but because garden rooms are generally far easier to catch fire. This is why they are only exempt from regulations, including fire regulations, provided they are not used overnight.

It is suggested therefore that if they are used for this, no matter how occasionally, then they must be fitted with house regulation compliant mains powered smoke detectors with battery back ups. Your electrician will happily fit one as he connects the studio to your house electrically, furthermore, we suggest you may take the opportunity of having them installed in your house at the same time.

If you intend using your extra room for sleepovers, we will be happy to make the building comply with fire regulations for your safety for an additional charge.

Garden Rooms Extensions

Garden rooms provide the opportunity to extend a home easily and affordably, without extensive planning permission or months of planning and waiting. What is more, garden rooms also offer the chance to add space to a home in an eco friendly way; a real win for families as they can get the extra space that they need without increasing their impact on the environment. No matter whether an individual is looking to build a tiny garden office, or an entire spacious add on home in their garden, the possibilities are there with garden rooms.

Garden Storage

You may be surprised to know that it doesn’t have to be this way! Garden Offices have a range of ‘studios with storage’ which give you the best of both worlds. Families will always build up a collection of items, such as lawn strimmers and barbecues that are very useful but that get used rarely. It would be foolish to throw them away but it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the additional value to your family just for sake of storage.

Storage With Purpose

One of the most fantastic things about Garden Spaces garden rooms is the amount of versatility they have. In essence, they’re simply a stand-alone garden room, but they can be used as everything from art studio, music room, kids’ playroom, extra guest bedroom, home office, hobby space… the options are literally endless!