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Things to do on a cold rainy day in Harrow

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With London being such a diverse and huge place, there is never a loss of attractions, activities or adventures to throw yourself into, even in pouring rain or chilly winds. But what if you’re in a London Borough, but further out and away from the hustle and bustle of zones one and two?

As a company who operate in and around Harrow, we need to think outside the box to keep occupied when the sun isn’t shining. But don’t worry, we have some top picks for things to do on a rainy, chilly day.

Museums

Get clued up on the local history of Harrow by visiting Headstone Manor & Museum. With four buildings to explore, including a 14th-century manor house, there’s lots to occupy yourself with here. Take a guided tour around, stop off at the Moat Cafe or wander around one of the guest exhibitions – inside the warmth and comfort of this attraction, there is plenty do.

Harrow on the Hill

Arguably one of the prettiest areas in London, there’s no stopping you from a visiting or wandering around Harrow on the Hill even if it’s raining. Its picturesque streets, churches and the iconic Harrow School make it a fascinating place to explore and photograph. But if it’s protection from the chilly weather and rain you need, there are plenty of unique places to go too.

Seek out St. Mary Church and their Spire Cafe. Or stop off at The Castle around the corner, an award-winning pub at the heart of the area. Or if an alcoholic beverage doesn’t take your fancy, try something cosier just down the road at The Doll’s House on the Hill. Whichever place you choose, take a window seat and watch the world go by with a hot drink, sandwich and a cake or two.

Harrow Arts Centre

Found in the area of Pinner near Hatch End station is the Harrow Arts Centre. Whether catching a theatre or music performance, a dance or spoken word event, or just simply popping in for lunch, the Arts Centre has it all. Take a stroll around the art exhibitions in The Gallery or even sign up to a class or workshop to learn something new – you can keep up to date with event listings here.

Harry Potter Studio Tour

Less than half an hour’s drive from Harrow you can discover a magical world in Watford. This is a must-do experience for any Harry Potter fans, but even sceptics will be mesmerised by how much there is to see. Featuring sets and props from the films, visitors can explore Hogwarts School, Diagon Alley, the Hogwarts Express and more, as well as taking part in a number of activities; a chance to try butterbeer, explore extensive gift shops and interact with magical creatures. All in all, an enchanting day out away from the wind and rain.

The Window Centre – double glazing experts

Whether you like to head outdoors in the rain and cold or stay at home with a hot drink and a good book, make sure your home has the best windows and doors installed for the cold weather. As well as saving money on your energy bills, new double or triple glazed windows and doors will keep you toasty during the wetter, colder months. Based in Harrow and Pinner, at The Window Centre we provide these high-quality services – request a free quote from us today.

 

 

Interior view of window open on one side

7 ways to increase property value on a budget

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If you’re a homeowner looking to boost the value of your property, extensions or renovations are probably the most guaranteed value adds. But, what if you’re on a budget?

It is still possible to increase your home’s value without spending thousands. Here are 7 ideas to get you started:

 

Redesign your kitchen

Even if you don’t have the funds for a total overhaul of your kitchen, you could add value to your home by making small changes. For instance, getting unique new tiles fitted or installing new worktop surfaces can refresh the look of your kitchen in an instant.

 

Additional storage space

Lots of storage space is a huge selling point in a home. Make use of any dead space and build shelves or cupboards. There may be valuable unused nooks and crannies so get inventive and create more space for people to stash their clutter.

 

A conservatory extension

While this doesn’t sound like a budget idea, the return on investment on adding a conservatory to your home is significant. It introduces a lot of natural light into your home, which is always a selling point. You’ll want a conservatory which blends into your outdoor space to create a spacious feel, for example with the use of sliding doors.

 

Add a wall to create an additional room

If you don’t have the space or funds to extend to a new bedroom, you could create one by adding a wall in an existing room. This can be much more cost-effective than getting a full-blown extension.

 

Replace your rear wall with bifold doors

Bifold doors create the feeling of space in an instant, and create a more seamless blend between the indoors and the outdoors. And we all know that space and natural light sells!

Spruce up any outdoor spaces

Do you have an outdoor space that isn’t currently getting much use? Think about how you could make it more appealing. You could set up a balcony garden, or create a seating area. It doesn’t cost much, and potential buyers will then be able to envision how the space will be used.

Add a shed

Like conservatories, a  well designed shed could add more value to your home’s property than the cost to build it. And sheds aren’t just great for storing your clutter. An insulated shed can be used as an extra bedroom, living room, or even a home office.

At The Window Centre, our team is always on hand to offer advice on home improvements. To book a consultation or ask a question, get in touch today..

 

All white door and white framed windows on brick facade

Five Signs It’s Time To Upgrade Your Home Windows

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Typically, well maintained and good quality windows should last for up to 20 years. However, like most things in your home, windows can eventually become less efficient and will need to be replaced. They may be letting cold air in, leaking moisture into your home or simply not doing their job anymore due to general wear and tear.

Good quality windows will help keep your home both warm and quiet while also reducing your energy bills. The type of windows that you have in your home can massively affect how long they last. While uPVC windows are known for their durability and strength, wooden windows are known to warp, expand and contract over time.

The last thing you want in your home is condensation or draughts due to faulty windows, particularly in the colder months. Without realising, your energy bills may be far higher from struggling to heat up a draughty home.

Below we take a look at the five most common signs that it is time to upgrade your windows.

 

Draughts and cold air is coming in

If you feel cold air or a draught coming from your window, this is a big sign that they need replacing. There are several reasons why your windows may be letting in a draught. Below are three common reasons:

  • Broken hinges.

A very common reason a draught may be coming in through windows is damaged or broken hinges which can be down to general wear and tear. Rust and dirt can form and get into hinges which will stop them from opening and closing normally. Because of this, hinges can go out of alignment and stop the sash (the opening section of the window) from shutting against the seal properly, leaving small gaps for air to escape from. This issue can be fixed by replacing the hinges of your windows.

  • Window seal failure.

You may be experiencing draughty windows because the seal of your window pane has broken. When the seal breaks, the argon gas between the glass of your window escapes meaning that your window is no longer acting as an insulator. Seals can be broken by various things: age, extreme weather, movement (they may have broken during transportation) or mould.

  • Old windows or window styles.

Sometimes, old windows simply stop doing their job. A lot of old windows have a single pane, making them far less effective than double or triple glazed windows. With a single pane window, there is only one piece of glass between your home and outside. If your windows are old or only have a single pane, upgrading your windows should stop the draught.

Similarly, if you notice sounds from outside coming into your home through your windows then it is time for an upgrade. Windows do not only act as barriers against cold air, but against outside sounds such as traffic, roadworks and people too. Noises invade your home exactly the same way as cold air does: through cracks, holes and general damage.

Your windows are racking up your energy bills

Following on from above, if your windows are letting in cold air and draughts then your energy bills may be higher than usual as your heating system is working harder to warm up your home. In colder months we need our windows to be as efficient as possible in order to keep our homes heated and warm. Draughty windows will allow lots of heat to escape, so investing in some new ones should help to keep your energy bills down. If you notice cold air coming in from your windows and high energy bills then it is time to upgrade

to some new energy efficient ones.

 

There is visible damage: cracked and leaky house windows

Living in the UK, your windows are likely to endure a lot of rain and cold weather and consequently, they are susceptible to wear and tear.

If you notice that your windows are leaking then it is time for an urgent upgrade. Leaky windows can easily lead to bigger problems, causing damage to your home. Water and moisture from leaky windows can cause mould and damp on walls and around the window which can result in unpleasant smells, various health issues and unattractive patches of black, brown or green on your walls.

Similarly, damp and mould can be caused by cracked, rotting and decaying windows. When windows are cracked they let moisture, water and cold air in which can then cause damage to other areas of your home. If you notice any leaks or cracks, it is certainly time to get some new windows installed.

It’s time for new windows if you notice warping

Warping can be a big problem, typically occurring in wooden-framed windows that are getting old. Warped windows occur when the wooden frames are exposed to a lot of water. This water absorbs into the wood, causing it to swell up, resulting in a warping effect that can let cold air in and completely reduce your home’s energy efficiency.

Warped windows can also be a result of extreme changes in temperature which can cause the wood in your windows to expand and contract. In the UK, 2018 saw both snow and hot temperatures over the course of just a few months. These extreme changes in weather can have a damaging effect on our windows. Intense changes in temperature can cause windows to warp, fade, crack and chip.

If you notice that your windows are warping, it is time for some new windows. When you upgrade, choose other materials (such as vinyl, aluminium or fiberglass) instead of wood for your windows.

You have noticed condensation

Double glazing should reduce the amount of condensation in your home, so if you are noticing condensation around your windows then it may be time for a replacement. Condensation happens when water vapour comes into contact with a cold surface (the glass of a window, for example). This water vapour is a product of lots of different things: washing up, cooking, doing laundry, and even just breathing. Condensation can cause damage to your home’s wallpapers, curtains, window fittings and paintwork so you want to make sure that you have high quality windows to prevent this damage.

If you are noticing condensation on the inside of your window pane then this is a sign that the glass in your window is at a temperature that is too low for the amount of water vapour in the room. Double glazing acts as an insulator, causing the surface temperature of the window glass in the room to be a higher temperature than it would be with single glazing and therefore reducing condensation.

If you notice condensation inside the cavity of your window then this is an indication that there is an issue with the seal. In a watertight and airtight sealed unit, there should never be condensation in between the two window panes. Condensation in this part of your window is a sign that moisture has got into the tight air space or that moisture is leaking into the window cavity from the room.

The Window Centre: specialist and expert installers of double and triple glazing in Harrow and Pinner

Here at The Window Centre we know how important it is to have high quality, energy efficient windows in your home. We have been Harrow and Pinner’s local double glazing installers since 1993, providing a reliable and excellent service to ensure that you never feel a draught. Our friendly and specialist team of experts have carried out over 16,000 installations to date, with each product we install having been tested and researched thoroughly to make sure that it meets the highest standards.

Our friendly family owned company fit uPVC and aluminium windows and are always happy to help and guide you in the process of choosing the perfect oriel, bay, casement or sliding windows for your property. If you have noticed any of the above signs, then it is time for a replacement. To find out more, visit our showroom in Harrow or simply contact us today.

Blue entrance door

Tips on choosing the right design of doors for your property

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Choosing the right design of doors for your property can be a challenging task. While you want your door to be stylish and to complement the exterior of your property, you also want to choose a door that is safe, secure and thermally efficient. A good front door should last you decades, which is why you should ensure that the door you choose is the best quality and design for your home. Below we share a few tips on choosing the right door design for your property.

Choose the right type of door for you

When choosing a front door for your property, it is important that you choose a type of door that both suits and complements the exterior of your house. There are a range of different doors that you can choose from. Below, the first two options are ideal for front and back doors, and the final two are ideal for the back of a house or a garden door.

  • Composite doors

Composite doors are made up of a combination of different materials. Instead of being composed of one single material (such as uPVC or wood), composite doors are composed of a mix, such as timber, glass reinforced plastic and uPVC. The combination of different materials results in a strong and sturdy door, ruling out common flaws experienced in singular material doors.

Composite doors are resistant to seasonal changes and harsh weather, making them ideal all year round. These types of doors have an insulating foam core, unlike traditional wooden doors, meaning that they have a far higher thermal resistance and are more energy efficient for your home. In terms of style, composite doors are ideal for the front entrance of almost any home; they are designed to look like wooden doors, but they won’t fade and can be wiped down easily to clean.

  • uPVC doors

uPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride) is ideal for both front and back doors. Strong, sturdy and easy to maintain, uPVC doors are low cost yet high quality which makes them the ideal option for those on a budget. This type of door is available in different wood grain effects and various different designs.

Again, uPVC doors are water resistant and effectively retain both heat and cool air in a home. They are more suitable for homes than traditional wooden doors which can shrink and warp under different weather conditions. uPVC doors are extremely low maintenance and can be wiped down easily with a damp cloth. In addition to this, uPVC doors are resistant to mildew, mould and insects.

  • Bi-fold doors

Bi-folding doors are ideal for those wanting to open up their living spaces at the back of a house. They are also ideal for connecting kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms and more. Bi-folding doors are available in a range of different materials (such as wood and uPVC), however aluminium bi-fold doors are the most popular and recommended option due to durability and performance standards. In addition to this, it is also the most widely recycled material!

Aluminium bi-fold doors are both lightweight and strong; aluminium frames, unlike wood, are resistant to twisting, expanding and contracting under various weather conditions. They are aesthetically pleasing, offering unparalleled natural light into your home and connecting the inside of your home with the outside without restricting any views. Bi-fold doors are also very energy efficient and can come in a wide variety of different styles.

  • French and patio doors

Patio and french doors are ideal for small to mid-sized entrances, adding a touch of elegance to any home. French doors are, traditionally, hinged double doors that open outwards. The main benefit of french doors is that you have access to the entire width of the opening. Sliding patio doors allow you to achieve much wider opening spaces and are extremely beneficial for properties with restricted space.

Both options allow natural light into your home and do not restrict garden views. French and patio doors are energy efficient and will keep heat in your home during the colder months.

Consider style

Doors come in lots of different designs, styles and colours. Choosing the right style for your home can be difficult. Below we break down a few different styles to consider:

  • Victorian

Victorian doors, inspired by period architecture, usually feature ornate panelling and decorative glass styles. They add a traditional touch of elegance to any home.

  • Georgian

Georgian doors typically feature fanlights – either a rectangular or semi-circular segmental window at the top of the door.

  • Contemporary

Contemporary doors are available in different styles; many have minimal panelling and geometric windows which look sleek and stylish.

Consider security

Did you know that in over 65% of burglaries, access is gained through the front door? It is extremely important that the doors you choose for your property, whether it is your home or business, are strong and secure. All of the doors discussed above provide high levels of security which is why we recommend them.

In addition to choosing a door that offers high levels of security, it is sensible to consider additional security features to give you further peace of mind and to ensure that your property remains safe and secure against potential thieves and trespassers. Extra features that you can add include security cameras, effective locking systems (such as a digital keyfree lock) and anti-snap locking cylinders.

Work out the measurements for your door installation

The next step in choosing the perfect door for you is to work out the measurements. If you are buying a replacement interior door, do not measure the existing door; instead, measure the door frame. As a general rule of thumb you should take three width measurements: at the top, the middle and the bottom. The widest measurement will determine the width of your new door. To work out the height of your new door, measure the inside of each vertical side of the frame, remembering to take any floor covering into consideration.

Many reputable door companies will come to your home and measure your new door themselves to ensure the best fit possible. Following this, they will provide you with a quote.

Choose the right door for you with The Window Centre

The Window Centre is Harrow and Pinner’s leading door installation specialists and have been providing and installing high-quality doors for over 25 years. Our experienced and skilled team are able to provide you with all of the guidance and support you need when choosing the perfect door for your property – whether you are a small household or a large business.

We provide entrance and patio doors in a wide range of different styles – from modern composite doors to classic hinged doors. If you are looking to open up your property with bi-fold doors or an elegant pair of French doors, our team at The Window Centre can assist you. We offer a comprehensive range of personalisation options, tailoring our service to meet your requests. As a member of the Energy Efficient Homes Group (EEHG), our high-quality products will help you to save money while increasing sustainability.

At The Window Centre we also supply a wide range of windows, porches and frameless skylights. To find out more about what we offer, either visit our well-stocked showroom in Harrow or get in touch to request a free quote today.

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