In the past few years, more and more people are buying triple glazing windows and switching from double-glazing.
There is a mounting pressure to go for an extra pane of glass, but without a huge saving in energy, not helped by the spiralling home energy costs, why do we even need triple glazing?
Although it’s not used as an accurate figure, the U value measurement is a rough approximate of how windows perform energy-wise. It’s a figure, at least, that we can benchmark single, double and triple-glazing against so you have some tangible result to decide on whether to opt for triple or not.
Single pane glass has a U value of more than 5, while double is generally around 3, but triple is closer to 0.8 for older style units. But pressure is on for the glazing companies as Building Regulations state that windows should not be more than 1.6 U value. With that in mind, triple glazing is double as efficient as double-glazing.
The improved double-glazing (and triple) come from having low emissivity coatings to ensure that less heat escapes, wider cavities between the panes of glass with 16mm being an ideal distance, argon or krypton gas being filled in the cavity, and using aluminium spacers to remove cold bridges.
Should you go for triple-glazing?
Norway and Sweden are big on triple-glazing, which you could argue thanks to the colder climate, they’re more likely to feel the difference. However, insulating the frame of the window has a beneficial effect as well as using triple glazing, but it’s not just, thermal efficiency that is increased it’s the decrease in condensation, it’s more comfortable as there is less diversity in heat around the home ie furniture doesn’t ‘feel’ cold, window areas aren’t major cold spots, insulation is increased which means less noise passes through the windows, so it can drown out road noise or keep your music from annoying the neighbours.
When Will the Increase Stop
Yes, there are companies producing quadruple glazing but that adds a huge amount of extra weight, and there may be a drop in heat absorption efficiency as sunlight cannot penetrate enough through to retain heat.
While 4-panes may not be on the cards for some time, triple glazing UPVC windows and doors are a great idea as they actually help increase comfort in your home. They may not slice your energy bills, unless you’re going from single to triple, but you will notice that your home will be able to keep a more sustained temperature no matter what the weather is like outside.
We may not venture into quadruple glazing just yet, but more advancements in coatings and materials used in double and triple-glazing windows will help increase sun absorption and decrease heat loss. Of course, having your curtains drawn at night or when the temperatures drop will help retain heat in your home, but if you’re buying new glazing then it’s a good idea to go for an investment into your home’s value with that extra level of glazing.
This blog was kindly supplied by Peaceful Home – http://www.checkatrade.com/PeacefulHome/
Worcestershire Trading Standards are pleased to announce that we are now working in partnership with Checkatrade to provide an approved trader scheme to help Worcestershire’s consumers choose a trader they can trust and rely upon.
Each trader under this scheme undergoes a comprehensive vetting procedure and continuous monitoring of customer feedback as well as being checked by Trading Standards following the Checkatrade vetting process.
Worcestershire Trading Standards, in partnership with Checkatrade, are committed to protecting customers, supporting legitimate business and solving the UK’s rogue trader problem.
Trading Standards Approved means that an approved business understands that they are required to adhere to certain trading laws. Checks have been carried out by Trading Standards using partner agencies, intelligence databases and trader history. Trading Standards Approved ensures maximum consumer protection and stops rogue traders. Whilst they cannot guarantee the quality of goods or services, Local Authorities are confident that once checked traders will act responsibly and deal with their customers fairly and honestly. Consumers will always have the opportunity to reflect this when giving feedback.
We held our first Checkatrade Fun Day over the Summer and it was such a brilliant day raising £1000 and all in aid of the project we support in Nepal and the Selsey Lifeboat Station.
The event wouldn’t have been possible without the help from our Charity Champions, a new initiative here at the company and everyone kindly gave up their time to ensure it was a great success. We were invited this week to see the great work they do and founder and CEO, Kevin Byrne and some of the Champions also handed over a cheque for £500. The crew were so pleased and wanted to say a huge thank you to Checkatrade and said the money will be used towards the building of the new station and Lifeboat.
If you would like to get involved in next year’s event, please email [email protected].
We made it! Phew! It’s been 2 weeks since the Checkatrade team conquered Ben Nevis and what an experience it was! From laughter, blood, sweat, tears, bruises, joy, relief… We had it all! Here’s more about our fantastic weekend and challenge in Fort William, Scotland.
At 5:30am, on Friday 16th September our Head Office started their journey! It’s safe to say that we had our priorities straight on this journey…
The traffic was fairly kind to us, many coffee and loo stops were made but by 7:30pm we had made it to our cabin! With a good weather forecast for Saturday, we had a carb-licious dinner and made our way to bed for a (reasonably) early night.
Fast forward to 6am Saturday 17th and we were all up, packing the remainder of our bags full of energy bars, chocolate muffins, water and Lucozade sport. Unofficial chef Matt, one of Checkatrade’s personal trainers and authentic Scotsman, made us all a huge pot of porridge to share to make sure we were fuelled up for the challenge ahead!
By 8am we’d arrive at the Ben Nevis Visitors Centre ready and raring to go. Spirits and motivation were high as we made final preparations (hoodies on, hats on, hiking boots tightened feeling like professionals). Less than 5 minutes into our hike, just after having defeated a small set of wooden steps, we regretted all our layers and coats, hoodies and hats came off!
After sticking together for about an hour, we broke off into smaller groups, setting paces that ensured we all made it up and down safely. The views along the way were encouragement to keep going. With the calves, quads and glutes well engaged we started to take comfort when fellow hikers told us we were doing well and assured us that we were nearly half way/an hour/half hour from the summit. Although often incorrect with their time estimations, their words of encouragement, your donations and the promise of good views from the top kept us going!
“We’ve made it this far, we can’t stop now!”
5 gruelling hours after setting off, the last group made it to the top! All 1345 metres above sea level!
WE MADE IT!!
Due to the chilly weather, groups that had made it up a lot quicker couldn’t stick around at the top for too long so unfortunately we couldn’t get that big group photo at the top but we did snap these…
Now, I’ve been fairly conservative in describing just how challenging this climb was for some of us. Let me assure you that it was no walk in the park… The trail seemed to go on forever, you couldn’t see the summit above the clouds for the majority of the hike and some of us were even commenting on how we couldn’t wait for our knees and ankles to be hurting on the way down, just so we could get a break from the pressure on our lungs, calves, quads and glutes.
That being said, the journey back down was HARDER. We’d been warned of this by some experienced hikers but I don’t think any of us were prepared for the treacherous descent! Despite near perfect weather conditions, the terrain was steep, uncomfortable, unstable and slippery in places. Hips, knees, ankles and feet were hurting, we had a few tumbles and watched other hikers have to be picked up by helicopters due to falling and injuring themselves (including some triathletes who were RUNNING up and down the mountain). Tears were shed, the ground wasn’t getting any closer and The Ben Nevis Inn (at the bottom) never felt so far away!
Despite the pain, fatigue, awkward public toilet stops and beer cravings we all made it safely back down and WOW! What a relief that was. It was then that we all realised a massive sense of achievement and gratitude for having the opportunity to climb the UK’s highest mountain whilst raising money for people who need it more than us. We were spoiled with incredible views and a once in a lifetime experience in Scotland and it’s one that we’ll never forget! After a takeaway and (more than) a few beers we were all able to recover with a good night’s sleep and even had the chance to explore the surrounding areas on Sunday. Monday saw another early morning to get us all home and ready for work the next day. We even detoured to Edinburgh to see the castle!
We want to say a huge, huge thank you to anyone and everyone that has sponsored us and helped us to support Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice and The Checkatrade Foundation, supporting orphanages in Nepal and children rescued from the sex slave trade. We’re ecstatic that we have completely smashed our target and raised £1,512.00 so far! Some of us definitely wouldn’t have completed the climb without your support! Jon, on the other hand, can’t wait to go back up with his friends!
Any last donations will be most gratefully received via our JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/catbennevis
We really cannot get over the support we’ve received as well as how fantastic of an experience and challenge this was. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
- Scams cause between £5bn and £10bn worth of consumer detriment every year
- Campaign to help people identify, change perceptions and prevent people falling victim to scams
A new campaign has launched today to raise awareness of scams and encourage people to take a stand against them. Scams often target people in vulnerable situations – the Friends Against Scams campaign aims to protect and prevent these people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to ‘Take a Stand Against Scams’.
Each year scams cause between £5bn and £10bn worth of detriment to UK consumers. In addition to the financial impact, scams can have a severe emotional and psychological impact on victims.
The Friends Against Scams campaign, launched by the National Trading Standards Scams Team, is open to anyone who wants to protect themselves, their neighbours or their loved ones against scams. Free training and awareness sessions – available online and in person at local awareness sessions – are being rolled out, which will provide people with the confidence and skills they need to identify and prevent scams. Those who participate in the training will become a Friend Against Scams and will be encouraged to put their knowledge to use in their local communities.
The Friends Against Scams campaign aims to:
- Highlight the scale of the issue by encouraging communities and the nation to talk about scams
- Change the perceptions of why people become scam victims
- Prevent people from becoming or continuing to be a scam victim by providing better support
- Recruit individuals and communities to join the fight against scams to make this a scam-free nation
In addition to empowering members of the public the campaign will also partner with a range of organisations who will help promote awareness of scams and take steps to help tackle scams. Founding partners of the campaign include NatWest, Bournemouth University and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
Louise Baxter, Team Manager at the National Trading Standards Scams Team, said:
“Scams do huge damage to our society and we have launched this campaign to protect our communities, particularly people in vulnerable situations who are deliberately targeted by criminals. Scams defraud people and – in addition to the financial damage – many victims are left feeling socially isolated, often too uncomfortable to tell their friends and family what has happened.
“It is time that we took a stand against scams. Friends Against Scams aims to tackle the lack of scams awareness by providing information to enable communities and organisations to understand scams, talk about scams and convey messages throughout communities about scam prevention and protection. I’d encourage anyone interested in stopping scams to visit the Friends Against Scams website – http://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/ – and sign-up.”
Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards, said:
“I strongly believe this campaign can play an important role in helping stop scams. Criminals often prey on victims who find themselves in vulnerable situations and we can all play a part to protect ourselves, family members, friends and neighbours from falling victim to scams, which is why I welcome this campaign and encourage people to get involved.
“Anyone who is worried they may be being scammed or who is concerned about someone who they fear may be a victim should report it to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.”
By Craig Phillips, Checkatrade Ambassador
We are waving goodbye to the summer and unfortunately having to welcome in the colder seasons. We all know that the winter brings with it; bitter winds, snow and ice and much of the time people forget that these conditions can cause detrimental problems for their homes.
So this month, I am going to talk you through a few of the best forms of insulation for your roof, ceiling and walls that will help keep you and your family cosy this winter.
Firstly the most well known and most in-expensive type of insulation is Rockwool which can be rolled between the loft joists. This can be done easily without the need for a professional but be careful where you are standing in the loft space! If your space isn’t boarded out, the insulation should go between the rafters and ceiling joists.
While working in the loft, it would be a great opportunity to board out the loft which is not only another effective way of trapping the heat in the building but it will also give you a lot more storage space – perfect for when it comes to hiding Christmas presents from the kids!
Other more expensive but great performance insulation is a liquid spray call Lapolla which can go in between the rafters and the ceiling joists.
This option not only insulates the house by sealing underneath the tiles but also contributes towards sound proofing. Depending on the age of the house, it can also add to the structure of the building. If you live in an old cottage and the roof tiles have been on for hundreds of years, it is likely that there are lots of gaps so this is an ideal way to ensure that no heat escapes.
Wool insulation is one of the most effective forms of insulation and can be installed in three different ways:
- Insulated Plasterboards: This causes quite a bit of disruption to the inside of the house but if you are renovating or re-plastering anyway, this process is certainly worth it in the end. Insert thermal insulated plasterboards to the inside walls before re-skimming and plastering on the outer skin of the building.
Insulated plasterboards are extremely effective and substantially decreases the U Values and also helps with sound proofing.
- Expansion Foam: This form of insulation is dependent on the structure of your house. If you have cavity walls (an outer block and an internal block with a cavity gap in between them), an expansion foam can be injected both from the inside or the outside by drilling small 10mm masonry holes through the brick or blockwork.
A specialised company will be needed for this process and will spray either an expansion foam or a loose fit woollen foam inside the holes. I have used both methods in some of my properties and both varieties of foam work extremely well.
- Polystyrene Boarding: A polystyrene board can be bolted to the external walls and re-rendered with a lightweight silicone render – I am using this on one of my properties at the moment! This process causes no internal disruption and can all be done from the outside, however it is weather dependent as January and February would be too cold so now is the perfect opportunity to do it.
Polystyrene Boarding is also a maintenance free render and the render comes with a vast array of coloured pigments so there is not much painting to do afterwards. In some areas the council have grant money that contribute to external insulation and silicone render so it is certainly worth looking into and finding out if you are in one of these areas.
Nothing is worse than cold feet in the winter and if you are in the process of, or planning to rip up the carpet or laminate flooring then what better opportunity to apply under floor insulation and heating? ~
This is a great way of keeping the energy bills down and keeping the house warm if your central heating isn’t up to scratch.
There is a rigid insulation available which can be found from a number of suppliers including British Gypsum, Kingspan or Celotex. Not only is it cost effective, it is also a great DIY job. Just place or interlock the insulation on the floor and then apply the plywood and carpet/laminate flooring back on top of it.
A great company called Flexel provide innovative and inexpensive electric underfloor heating which again you can install yourself but you will need to get an electrician to make the final connection.
Some other ways to ensure heat can’t escape from your home this winter:
- Cap off your unused chimney breast
- Check for gaps in all external pipes and use an expanding foam to fill them
- Ensure all doors and windows are closing properly and all have draft excluding strips (you can buy these from your local DIY store very cheap)
We hope you find these tips useful, let us know if you give any of them a go!
By Craig Phillips, Checkatrade Ambassador
DIY SOS have appealed for help from traders in the Isle of Sheppey and the surrounding areas to help rebuild a home for a family with four disabled children.
Kyle Ratcliffe and his husband, Garry have adopted four children, Haydn, Curtis, Isobella and Phoebe, who each have their own complex and life limiting diseases.
After originally fostering the children, the couple chose to adopt them to help keep their family together but their house was completely unsuitable to deal with each child’s needs.
The DIY SOS team were approached by many of the family’s friends and started the mammoth task by knocking down the couple’s home. They will then be returning in October to try and rebuild them a brand new one in 9 days!
If you think you are able to help with this massively worthwhile cause, please email [email protected] with trade details, availability, telephone contact details and a copy of public liability insurance.
You can also read more information about the family and project at; www.kentonline.co.uk
For the past 18 years Checkatrade have been working hard to combat rogues trades and services. 4 years ago Suffolk CC TS joined us and today we stand in partnership with 9 Local Authority Trading Standards. This session is about our journey, the partnership model and the awesome results we’re achieving together for residents.
Combining the intelligence of Trading Standards and the 18 years of award winning pioneering service from Checkatrade, there is before us probably the most significant opportunity this country has seen to date to protect residents from rogue trades.
Kevin Byrne Founder of Checkatrade:
“Checkatrade is one of the UK’s monumental successes on many levels. It started in 1998 when a tornado caused over £10m of damage to the home town of Checkatrade founder Kevin Byrne. After being reported on national news, trades from all over the UK flooded to Selsey and victims of the weather became victims of rogue trades. After a search to see if an answer to the rogue trade problem was out there, Kevin couldn’t find one, so with nothing more than a telephone and a PC Kevin set out to develop an answer.”
Today over 850,000 individuals every month use Checkatrade to find the right trade for them. These trades have to go through 18 considerations, 14 of these being checks before they are able to join Checkatrade. If the member in one of our partnered Trading Standards areas these can increase up to a total of 25 considerations. These include ID references, insurance, qualifications and professional memberships. This has contributed massively to make Checkatrade the first port of call for residents to find quality trades and services. In the last 12 months we have generated over 8,500 new jobs in the trade industry and an estimated £2.7b for the trades listed on Checkatrade and for the UK economy. Not many UK companies can claim these numbers and for the comfort of many the company is still privately owned and passionately run by the Byrne family with no city investment.
Our Local Authority Trading Standards partnership journey started 4 years ago when Suffolk County Council Trading Standards decided to discard their Approved Trader scheme and adopt Checkatrade as their partners. Which was then soon followed by Kent County Council. When Checkatrade partnered with Kent County Council they both took considerable time developing a scheme that would bring a standard to the status, “Trading Standards Approved”. One that could and should be recognized by other Local Authorities across the UK.
The aim being:
• To bring a UK standard for Trading Standards Approved.
• To protect all residents both able and vulnerable.
• To help trades become more compliant to consumer laws and improve their service.
• To bring valuable help and income to local authorities.
• To enhance the economy of local regions.
• To bring valuable employment to local regions.
We have achieved all the above in measure.
Our vetting is even more stringent where we have a partnership with a local authority. There are an additional 7 considerations, which includes Trading Standards Intelligence checks. A key factor that is well worth highlighting is that the final decision of who can join and be listed on Checkatrade and label their company as Trading Standards Approved is in the hands of the Trading Standards officers in the local authority.
To find out more or to search for a recommended trader, visit www.checkatrade.com.
Sunday, 11th September saw 40 risk-takers come together to descend the mighty heights of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower – all in the name of charity.
The event was a fantastic success bringing together staff and representatives of local businesses, also testing his courage on the day was TV personality and Checkatrade ambassador – Big Brother’s Craig Phillips.
While during his time on Big Brother Craig certainly faced his fair share of challenges, descending the 170m landmark, which is taller than Big Ben, is perhaps one of his greatest!
Speaking of his daredevil descent, Craig said, “I have worked with Checkatrade for a while now and I am continually impressed by not just the great service they offer consumers, in helping them to find a trustworthy trades person, but also by their commitment to raising money and supporting in-need causes. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and it was great to see so many people turn up”.
On the day the weather was perfect, offering the plucky abseilers outstanding views of Portsmouth, the Solent and beyond as they made their descent down the tower, cheered on by their supporters.
Together the group have raised nearly £8,000 for the Lighthouse Foundation which works to support the victims of the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the money will also be used to help women and children at risk of a life of trafficking, offering a safe home, clothing, medical care and an education.
Devastating the country, the Nepal earthquake left thousands dead or injured and hundreds of thousands more homeless. It is hoped the money raised from the abseil will go to support the area’s children’s home along with general relief efforts.
This is just one of a series of fundraising events that Checkatrade hosts throughout the year, the company is committed to supporting those in need.
On Saturday 17th September, our fantastic group set off early in the morning to conquer Ben Nevis!
We thought it was about time you met the team, so before they left we asked a few of them what they were looking forward to about the event and what they thought their biggest challenge would be…
Matt ‘Stonecold’ Simpson – Personal trainer (Checkatrade’s very own Scotsman)
Matt says: I am most looking forward to the actual challenge of climbing Ben. I am not looking forward to the hangover the next day after we celebrate our achievement!
(Checkatrade encourages those who fancy a tipple to drink responsibly!)
Julie Adams – Membership Liaison Manager
Julie says: I am looking forward to a snowball fight at the top (safety first please Julie, safety first). I think the biggest challenge will be getting up and back down before the pub shuts. Nervous that Matt’s knee may give way and we will have to stretcher him down!
Rachel Burt – Project Manager
Rachel says: I’m really looking forward to visiting Scotland for the first time and taking that team photo at the top! Hopefully the weather will permit us to reach the top and enjoy good views. I’m most nervous about the toilet situation… There are none! We’ll be drinking lots of water to keep hydrated and I can just imagine being the first one in the group that needs to go. If I can survive that I should be able to survive the car journey there and back.
Craig Norris – Developer
Craig says: I’m looking forward to climbing the tallest mountain in the UK, I think I have done the other two of the three peaks, but not Ben Nevis, also looking forward to drinking scotch in Scotland! However I am not looking forward to the post-climb celebration hangover and then achey legs on the drive back! (Again, Checkatrade encourages those who fancy a tipple to drink responsibly!)
Donna Trethewey – Retention Specialist
Donna says: Can’t wait for Ben Nevis. I aspired to see more of this beautiful country at the beginning of the year and decided that climbing it’s highest three peaks would bring that about. Having climbed Snowdon in May and Scafell Pike in June I’ve been lucky enough to visit both Snowdonia and the Lake District this year so far. Climbing Ben Nevis, the highest peak, will see me achieve my year’s goal, see Scotland’s Highlands and complete it with a great bunch of people. Having climbed …& descended two peaks, I’m least looking forward to coming back down the mountain. Going up’s great, you’re fresh & motivated and determined to reach the top. Coming down is just a necessity, you’re tired and it’s much harder on the legs. Also wondering if there’s going to be snow on the peak and if it will allow us to reach the summit. Flippin’ hope so.
Jonathan Woodham – Developer
Jon says: I’m looking forward to the sense of personal achieve with the reward of the view of the top – Being able to have that lifelong accolade of saying I have climbed the highest mountain in the UK. My biggest concern is that there might not be 4G at the top. Haha!
Kristina Dolan – Membership Advisor
Kris says: I love nature and I have always wanted to go to Scotland since I was a kid so I’m really looking forward to exploring. The biggest challenge for me will be looking down once I’m at the top as I am a little scared of heights! But I know the view will be worth it.
Melissa Fletcher – Retention Specialist
Melissa says: I am looking forward to getting to the top and coming back down again – I hope there’s a watering hole at the bottom! The thing I am dreading the most is the journey there and back!
Ester De Vries – Membership Advisor
Ester says: The thing that I am most looking forward to about this trip is to better get to know everyone who is going and help and support each other to reach the top as a team! The thing I am most nervous about is the fact that I do not have much experience and feel a little in the dark as to just how challenging this may be. I am an active person, I love walking and swimming but I am not exactly a gym bunny. So the question is: Am I fit enough?!
Abbie Milnes – Membership Enquiries Advisor
Abbie says: One thing I am looking forward to is getting to the top with my team mates and one thing I am not looking forward to is pushing Shaun to the top! There is nothing else I’m not looking forward to or nervous of!
Emma Nunn – Membership Enquiries Advisor
Emma says: I am looking forward to being able to say that I have completed the challenge! My biggest challenge will be myself… Getting over my nerves of heights and believing I can finish it.
Shaun Fox – Membership Enquiries Advisor
Shaun says: I am looking forward to the challenge of climbing Ben Nevis! I like to think I am quite fit but I am still a bit nervous I won’t make it to the top.
Harriet Milne-Taylor – Membership Consultant
Anthony Holland – Membership Consultant
Craig Parnell – Office Manager – Nottingham
We’re very happy to report every member of the team made it up AND down Ben Nevis safely……but more on the actual climb coming soon!
Please consider sponsoring them! They paid for their travel, accommodation, food and equipment themselves so every penny will go straight to those who need it more.
They’re raising money for The Checkatrade Foundation* and Chestnut Tree House**
You can sponsor the team via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/catbennevis or text BNCF48 £5 to 70070 to donate £5.
Thank you for your support!
*The Checkatrade Foundation was set up to support people in need, both locally and oversees. It provides ongoing support to orphanages and schools in Nepal that rescue children from the sex slave industry, as well as supporting other local charities, causes and individuals in need of help. See more about our charity work here http://blog.checkatrade.com/category/foundation/
**Chestnut Tree House is a children’s charity providing hospice care services and community support for children and young people with progressive life-shortening conditions throughout East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire. Checkatrade staff have spent time volunteering at Chestnut Tree House and really value the support they provide to local families and feel moved to help support the amazing work they do.