Cottage windows for country houses

cottage windows

Finding the right windows to suit heritage properties in the countryside can be a difficult task. At Mendip we have a range of windows designed to suit every type of property, style and budget. We decided to investigate the best window options for homes trying to create a traditional, vintage look. Here’s our recommendations:

Timber sash windows: authentic aesthetic, modern technology

Timber sash windows are great at creating that authentic, ‘traditional’ look to a property. Their traditional style makes them perfect for homes in conservation areas, or for homeowners wanting to create the traditional look of real timber windows. Available in a variety of wood-grain finishes, these windows are manufactured using traditional joinery techniques to ensure that they achieve the highest levels of quality and authenticity.

Technology has come a long way since the sash windows of a hundred years ago. New timber sash windows can boast amazing thermal efficiency values, making them brilliant at improving the energy efficiency of your home and saving you money on your fuel bills.

Residence 9: timber-effect windows for heritage properties

Designed to look exactly like traditional 19th century flush sash timber windows, Residence 9 timber effect windows are a clever way of creating the authentic look of timber windows, for less.

Residence 9 windows look exactly like timber, but do not require the time and effort that has to be spent maintaining timber windows. These windows are created from high quality uPVC: the easy-to-manage and cost-effective alternative to timber. Residence 9 windows are so authentic looking, that we can even install them within conservation areas.

A range of heritage colours and hardware

All of our windows can come in a range of heritage RAL colours: from popular Chartwell Greens to various greys and oaks. These colours are great at recreating that classic vintage style that many homeowners strive for in their properties. Combine this with heritage hardware, such as iron fastenings and brass handles and you can create a window that blends seamlessly in with any heritage property.

Mendip Conservatories: your North Somerset traditional window specialist

Mendip Conservatories are window specialists who have been serving the Somerset and Bristol area for over ten years. We offer a variety of windows specifically designed to suit heritage properties and styles. For more information, please call us on 01934 877 666. Alternatively, you can send us an email. We hope to hear from you soon!

Contemporary styles and finishes for your new windows

contemporary styles and finishes for new windows

It’s always good to stay up to date with the latest contemporary styles and finishes to keep your property looking its best. Staying updated with current fashion also often means that you can take advantage of advances in technology, which when it comes to window styles and finishes, is particularly relevant.

As well as being specialists in the installation of conservatories, Mendip Conservatories, we also install windows! We’ve compiled a handy list of the top three trends in contemporary styles and finishes for your new windows, so that you can make sure you’re keeping ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to the latest, cutting edge design!

3. Colour foil finishes

Colour window foils allow you to possibility to change the colour of your window, whilst also adding an extra level of scratch resistance, durability and protection to it. This laminate foil finishes are a great way to add an extra versatility to your chosen window style. These foils allows you the option of adjusting your window’s colour to suit your the style of your property and this flexibility has seen it become an increasingly popular trend within home improvement and window finishes.

2. Woodgrain effect finishes

If you want to get the look of authentic timber windows but don’t want the cost and the maintenance that comes with the real thing, then a woodgrain effect finish on your uPVC window could be for you. Woodgrain effect finishes are popular with homeowners who want to get that traditional look in modern properties or who want to renovate period properties in conservation areas, for less. Finishes range from Rosewood, Mahogany and Golden Oak woodgrain effect. The possibilities that this finish affords you in terms of tailoring your window’s finish to fit your property and style, is truly exciting.

1. Acrylic coating

Acrylic colour coating is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners wanting to add an individual touch to their windows and properties. Technology has increased so much over the last decade that colouring uPVC windows is now a much easier, and cheaper option available to homeowners. Colours such as Chartwell Green, Brilliant Blue and Wine Red have become firm favourites with homeowners across the country. Available in any RAL colour, acrylic coating is a truly versatile colouring process: allowing you an incredible range of colouring options, such as different colour choices for the exterior and interior parts of the windows and even the option to colour the window bead!

Mendip Conservatories offer a range of these options for our own windows. For more information, please give us a call on 01934 877 666, or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

The difference between conservatories and orangeries

At first glance, many people assume that there isn’t a difference between conservatories and orangeries at all. Both look very similar and perform the same function, but once you begin to look closely at the two, the differences are there; they’re just very subtle.

They may closely resemble one another in form, but in function conservatories and orangeries are very different. Here are some common misconceptions about the difference between conservatories and orangeries:

Myth 1: An orangery is just a conservatory with another name.

Conservatory installation in Backwell, near Bristol, by Mendip Conservatories

Both structures are very different in terms of design and how they work to complement a property. A conservatory is generally considered to be the more versatile of the two, with a simple construction process and design that enable the structure to be tailored towards the style of a house more easily.

 

Orangeries however can be considered more as a traditional extension to your home. Another difference between conservatories and orangeries, is that orangeries use more brickwork in their construction than conservatories and all brick corners (or piers) help to develop a feeling of permanency and a sense of privacy that is less pronounced in a conservatory. The large rectangular windows of the orangery also help to maximise sunlight.

 

Myth 2: Conservatories and orangeries both need planning permission.

white-upvc-conservatory-stone8

A needlessly confusing subject for many homeowners which really shouldn’t be, generally both structures are legally considered as ‘permitted developments’ which do not need planning permission, as long as their size conforms to certain limits. These limits are concerned with the height, volume and floor space of the structure.

 

Typically, a conservatory or an orangery is normally exempt from regulations if it is less the 30 square metres, is separated from the house by external walls, windows or doors and has an independent heating system.

 
 
 

Myth 3: Orangeries are only worthwhile in the summer months.

orangery clevedon

Rather than just being a very fancy summer house, orangeries now have the thermal efficiency to be used as a room, all year round, regardless of the weather. In fact, thanks to the higher quality, and proportion, of bricks used in their construction, orangeries can now provide nearly the same thermal benefits of a brick extension or high-quality conservatory, allowing it to be used comfortably in the winter.

Don’t get done, get Mendip: How we’re fighting cowboy builders

don't get done get dom

Mendip recently stepped in to put an end to a local couple’s nightmare with cowboy builders after they appeared on TV show ‘Don’t Get Done Get Dom’.

The couple from Worle, near Weston-super-Mare, had signed up for an Edwardian-style, gable end uPVC conservatory with a competitor company. Mr & Mrs Thomas contacted the BBC programme after paying nearly £12,000 – for a half-built conservatory and sub-standard building work. Although the installer had promised to rebuild the base and start from scratch, the couple were left in the lurch again.

Mendip steps in to save the day

After viewing the programme, Mendip contacted Mr & Mrs Thomas to negotiate with the company on their behalf. We agreed to take on the conservatory installation and within 3 weeks, the base was removed and their dream conservatory installed at no extra cost to the couple. Mr & Mrs Thomas were over the moon with their finished conservatory and more than impressed with the end result.

How to avoid being scammed by cowboy builders

Unfortunately, they learned the hard way about cowboy builders, but presenter Dominic Littlewood gave them the following advice for buying a home improvement service in the future:

  • Never pay the full balance before your conservatory is finished. A reputable company will never ask for the full amount up front and will offer stage payments.
  • Research your company well. Some rogue traders hide behind impressive sounding company names and very smooth sales pitches.

Reputable conservatory installer in Weston-super-Mare

While there are still rogue traders out there, it’s important to remember that not all companies are the same! At Mendip Conservatories, we are committed to offering our customers across North Somerset the best products at the best value, with excellent service.

Few companies share our ethos or commitment to customer satisfaction. Read more independent customer feedback about our conservatory installation services or contact us for home improvement advice.

5 unique conservatories

One of our incredibly exciting upcoming projects involves constructing a conservatory on stilts. That got us thinking. What other unique conservatories have we created across the years? Here’s a selection of our favourites:

1. Front conservatory

woodgrain-conservatory-front

Conservatories don’t just have to be constructed on the back of your home; there’s no reason why they can’t be located at the front as well! In this case, our customer decided to have a conservatory created at the front of their house, as well as at the back, creating a great new space.

(Woodgrain-conservatory-front)

2. Continental style conservatory

conservatory-patio-arches

This beautiful continental style conservatory mimics all the best features of a veranda and porch, without the cost and building regulations! This conservatory has no doors and is completely open to the air. The owner informs us that it’s a great place to dine alfresco, come rain or shine!

3. Caravan conservatory

conservatory-caravan

Even if you don’t own a conventional, bricks and mortar home, that doesn’t stop you from getting a conservatory! In this project we installed a conservatory on to a static caravan, which created a brand new space for the property and maximised sunlight.

4. Conservatory on a roof.

conservatory-flat-roof-extension

A brilliant way to maximise space, this conservatory was built on a flat roof at a property in Portishead, providing a structure that had more of the look and feel of a traditional extension. The conservatory looks great, creates amble space and blends in with the property very well.

conservatory-flat-roof-extension

5. Conservatory on stilts.

We recently received approval from the Secretary of State for the construction of a conservatory on stilts. Yes, you read that right. STILTS. This ambitious project will soon see us attempt to create a bespoke conservatory raised from the ground on a set of stilts. You’ll be reading a lot more about this in the future, so keep checking back to our news section for more information.

Mendip Conservatories are a local North Somerset, double-glazing company, specialising in the installation of bespoke conservatories and orangeries. We pride ourselves on the great quality of our products and services. Whatever design you have in mind for your conservatory or orangery, Mendip Conservatories are specialists in creating bespoke and unique conservatories. Give us a call on 01934 877 666 for more information or a free, no hassle quote, or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Bi-folding doors vs. New Wave doors: the new patio doors

bi-folding_patio_doors

Just when you thought you were beginning to understand the concept of bi-folding doors, suddenly there’s a new technology on the scene: New Wave doors. Both products have caused a lot of debate amongst homeowners so what exactly is the difference between the two?

Essentially, both products operate on the concept of providing flexibility in opening options, but the way they go about doing this is very different. We’ve compiled a handy comparison below for you to decide which type of patio door is for you.

Bi-Folding Doors

Bi-folding doors, also known as sliding folding doors, have become a popular alternative to in-line patio doors due to their high aesthetic features and qualities. With the concept dating back thousands of years to paper screens used in ancient China, recent progression in technology has meant that strong, and relatively affordable, aluminium bi-folding doors are now a possibility.

As the name suggest, Bi-folding doors are designed to come in pairs, but the term is used very loosely to describe a range of set-ups. Many different combinations of doors, with different folding actions can now be manufactured. Popular systems include those where two doors can fold to one side, four doors can be split in the centre and two doors can fold back to opposite sides.

Mounted on a simple track system, bi-folding doors fold up, a lot like the bellows on a concertina, allowing you much more flexibility in deciding how much of your room you open up. You can open as little or as much of the door as required, enabling you to fit the door to your own preferences. In effect, part of the appeal of bi-folding doors is their ability to almost seamlessly merge home and garden environments together, allowing you to bring the outside, inside and vice versa. An incredibly popular product, bi-folding doors are completely revolutionising the way that we think about the borders of spaces.

New Wave Doors

New Wave doors are one of the latest developments in patio door technology. They work by utilising the simple, but amazingly strong power of magnetism.

New Wave door panels are attached to the door frame by incredibly powerful magnetic strips. Each leaf is then able to effortlessly slide along the track for a seamless opening and closing motion. Once slid into place at the end of the track, they can then be swung outwards to stack neatly against the wall.

Aesthetically, all of the fitting parts are concealed within the design. This creates a product that is attractive and at the same time, practical.

Thanks to the high quality design and manufacture, high-quality New Wave doors are incredibly weather-tight and thermally efficient, enabling you to save a lot of money on fuel bills and the cost of heating your home.

The possibilities that New Wave doors hold for installers, and the customer, are very exciting, with the potential to once again change how we think about the boundaries between the home and the garden. Offering you the option of opening as many or as few panels as you would want, in whatever place along the track you would like, this type of patio door has a versatility that a lot of other doors lack. It truly can be customised to suit your needs, easily.

Survey results show 100% satisfaction

CPA Mendip

In a recent survey about our home improvement services, Mendip received full marks across the board. Customers whose projects were completed between the beginning of April until the end of June were asked for their feedback about our services and gave us the following responses:

  • 100% of home improvement projects fully completed
  • Customers said we were 100% courteous and professional
  • Our installation teams worked 100% efficiently
  • 100% of customers would recommend us

Out of all our customers, 64 per cent rated our installation services as ‘excellent’ and 36 per cent said that we were ‘very good’.

The survey was carried out independently by the Consumer Protection Association (CPA), who support our services by providing our customers with an insurance backed guarantee after installation for peace of mind. We’re also recognised as an ‘Approved Craftsman’ association for the quality of our services.

At Mendip, we care about providing our customers with quality products and exemplary service. We like to make sure you’re happy throughout your home improvement project and feedback is very important to us.

Download the report here:
CPA Report for Mendip Conservatories Apr-Jun 2014

Or find out more about what our customers say!

Wooden windows… or are they?

Wooden windows

Residence 9 timber effect uPVC window in cream with ironmongery handles. Wooden window effect by Mendip Conservatories.Most people agree that timber windows are still the best looking windows around. Wooden windows, whether varnished or painted pretty colours, give a more traditional look and feel to a property.

So why doesn’t everyone choose timber frames? Well, firstly the cost. Timber windows tend to be more expensive than uPVC windows, especially to ensure that they are made from timber that has been treated and dried correctly (to reduce the risk of warping).

Secondly, wooden windows will require more maintenance over the long run, with sanding, waterproofing and repainting. As well as being maintenance-free, modern uPVC windows are extremely energy efficient, reducing heat loss from your home in winter.

However, in some cases it is better to opt for timber windows. Older properties look charming with Georgian and Victorian sash windows and modern uPVC casement windows would look out of place.

But there is a third way.

Timber effect windows

At Mendip, we offer timber effect windows and doors that combine all the modern high performance benefits of uPVC with the charm of wooden windows.

These slimline wood effect windows are designed to look just like 19th century sash windows, but with all the cost, maintenance and energy efficiency benefits of uPVC. We can even install them in conservation areas!

Choose from a range of opening options, as well as traditional colours such as white, cream grey and black with a wood grain effect. We also offer a range of traditional wood colours including several shades of oak. Finally, top off your window with traditional ironmongery or classic metallic handles and hinges.

Conservatory showroom near Bristol

Conservatory installation in Backwell, near Bristol, by Mendip Conservatories

Conservatory installation in Backwell, near Bristol, by Mendip ConservatoriesBuying a conservatory or glazed extension is an investment that, when done well, can add significant value to your property. But sometimes it’s not enough to select your build from a catalogue or an online gallery.

That’s why we recommend that you try before you buy.

We understand that you want to be sure about your new home improvement product and installation company. So we’ve built a large show site in Congresbury, near Bristol, for all things conservatory.

Try out our working conservatories and feel the high quality of the materials we use. Browse the colour, material, glass and hardware options and create a conservatory unique to your design tastes. Once you’ve made your decision, we can help you visualise your new project by using state-of-the-art CAD technology.

Plus, you can check out our workmanship first hand and read through our folders of customer testimonials and references.
 

Conservatory showroom directions

Visit our conservatory showroom next door to Cadbury Garden and Leisure Centre, only 20 minutes’ southwest of Bristol off the A370. Follow signs for Cadbury or type our postcode – BS49 5AA – into your sat nav. If you’ve reached DoubleTree at Hilton Bristol South – you’ve gone too far!

If you’re arriving by public transport, you can take the X1 bus from Bristol bus station to the end of Congresbury (bus stop: The Bell) and walk 5 minutes down Smallway – the B3133 towards Yatton. We’re just past the garden centre on your right hand side.

Trains from Bristol stop at nearby Yatton railway station, where you can take a quick taxi ride, or why not walk down the Strawberry Line to see us on a sunny summer’s day?

Conservatory showroom Bristol opening times

We’re open Monday-Friday 9-5pm and Weekends 10-4pm. Call us on 01934 877 666 to make an appointment, or feel free to pop in at any time to chat to a member of our showroom team.

About Mendip Conservatories

Mendip Conservatories is one of the South West’s leading conservatory and orangery installers. Although we specialise in large, bespoke designs, we also offer a full range of made to measure double glazing products, including windows and bi-folding doors. We offer quality products and a value-for-money service.

Our professional home improvement installers take pride in working diligently to give you an amazing final result. Once you have given us the go ahead, we will get to work on your conservatory straight away.

Replacement patio door options

Since your last set of patio doors were installed, there have been many developments in door design and technology. Traditional French doors and sliding patio doors are still around, but now you can also get stunning architectural quality garden doors at everyday prices.

If you’re looking for a replacement patio door in Bristol or the South West, then check out what products we have to offer:

French doors leading to covered patio garden area by Mendip Conservatories

French doors

At Mendip, we offer uPVC and glass double doors, ideal for a medium-sized opening joining a kitchen or conservatory onto the back garden. As well as traditional white, we offer these doors in a range of designs, and modern and classic colours to suit your property’s exterior.
 
 
 
 
Patio doors leading to garden area by Mendip Conservatories

Sliding patio doors

With large panes of glass, sliding patio doors offer great views to outside. With gas-filled units, double glazing is now more energy efficient than ever, so heat loss is minimised through the doors during the winter months. At Mendip, we can create sliding patio doors with high quality and woodgrain effect uPVC, depending on your tastes.
 
 
 
Bi-folding doors leading to garden area by Mendip Conservatories

Bi-folding doors

You may have seen these doors on programmes such as Grand Designs. Bi-fold doors are a set of glass patio doors that fold up like a concertina to reveal a large open space – twice as big as a traditional glass patio door. They make a great addition to a conservatory, especially in the summer months. You can choose uPVC or aluminium frames in a range of colours.
 
 
 
 
New Wave uPVC patio doors

New Wave Doors

New Wave Doors are similar in appearance to a bi-fold, but has the added versatility of individually opening panes. This means that you can choose which direction to open the doors, or open as many of few panes as you like. These uPVC doors also don’t need any hinges to operate, for a sleeker appearance.

Browse our website for more information about our replacement patio doors and installation service around Bristol. Interested in finding out more? Send us a message here.