Awning Quoter makes debut

Our newest home improvement quoter website – Awning Quoter – went live earlier today.

The website offers instant online quotes for a range of different sized window awnings, perfect for enjoying the outdoors or using to protect fabrics and furnishings from outside light.

All our Awning quotes include power and wind/sunshine sensor options so the only choices you have to make are whether to include heating and lighting, both of which extend the usefulness of your awning investment.

The awning materials themselves are all UV rated.

Visit Awning Quoter now and receive an instant online quote for your perfect outdoor awning.

Our Awning Quote service now covers Eire (Ireland) as well as the rest of the U.K.

Click here to visit Awning Quoter by Price Engines – the ‘quoter family of websites.

New customer information login area launches today

Customers of the Quoter Family of Websites that agree to see our recommended companies can now check the progress of their enquiry online thanks to an innovative online area just for them.

Shortly after speaking with us, customers will receive an email detailing their unique login and password details with which to access information including: Which companies we’ve placed their enquiry with, contact details for those companies and a customer feedback section where they can leave details of their experiences with those individual companies, from initial contact to when they complete the work quoted for.

Plus, if a customer does choose one of our recommended companies to carry out the home improvement project for them, they can also login and download their own deposit protection certificate (terms and conditions apply).

The customer information area – another first from the ‘Quoter Family of websites.

Home Improvement Quotes supports Twins With SMA website

Home Improvement Quotes is sponsoring a new website – twins with SMA – after hearing about twins Sam and Alex Bolton parents fund raising and SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) awareness website plans.

The site is now live.

If you are affected by SMA or know someone who is, please pass on their web address – www.twinswithsma.co.uk – thank you.

Did you know?

You’re in good company

Someone on your street has probably used homeimprovementquotes.co.uk. Since we started in 2000, Price Engines has now provided over 1,700,000 quotes for home improvement projects in the UK – totalling over £1.4bn of work ranging from double glazing to landscaping.

Building a conservatory – a timeline guide

Timeline – conservatories

Did you know it can take only six to ten weeks to build a new conservatory? Here’s how you do it in six easy stages – from start to finish:

Stage 1 – How to choose a conservatory company
Easier said than done you might think. Look for firms that allow you to see examples of their previous constructions on their website or even visit if nearby, and that offer high quality workmanship – most companies will offer a ten-year guarantee. Check installation arrangements, and point out inconvenient dates for work to be done on your property – timing issues can discount a supplier. Most importantly however, get quotes from at least three different companies – you don’t want too many quotes to become confusing, but you need enough to compare prices. We reckon three is about the right number which is why we always give our customers a choice of three.

Stage 2 – Design: make sure you have enough choice
The company you have selected will send round a surveyor to gauge the specifications for manufacturing your new conservatory. Bear in mind that there is a huge range of conservatory designs available (Victorian, T-shape, Lantern), so make sure the designers provide you with plenty of options to suit your property.

Stage 3 – Planning permission: know the rules
Most companies deal directly with the local authorities on your behalf regarding planning permission, but it is important to make sure you are aware of any breaches of building regulations that the work may incur before the work is started. Generally speaking, you won’t need to get planning permission unless your house has already been extended, the construction takes up more than 30sq meters, or you intend to add sanitary or draining facilities within the conservatory.

Stage 4 – Manufacturing
With design and permissions confirmed, it’s now time for your firm to manufacture the new conservatory. Most firms will build the entire structure in a factory before delivering it to your house, whilst other firms may have different processes and may build the conservatory on site. Make sure you know what is happening and when, so you can check progress.

Stage 5 – Good foundations
Now it’s time for the real work to be done! A foundation will need to be prepared before any work is done on the site, which will normally be done at a depth of 650mm. The base of the conservatory will then be built up, as well as the base wall (if chosen), which will involve brickwork and installing cavity insulation.

Stage 6 – Installation
Finally, the conservatory itself will be installed. Your chosen company will send round a specialist team to set up the unit, and ensure all weatherproofing and glasswork is fitted correctly. This stage of the process will always cause a certain level of disruption to your household, so bear in mind the times when workers will be at your property.

The conservatory is now yours to furnish and decorate as you like. Enjoy!

For an instant online quote for your conservatory, click here to visit Windowquoter – the UK’s premier online quotation website for conservatories, double glazed windows and doors.

Doing up your drive? – Tips and advice

How to…………….Build a new driveway

Resurfacing an existing driveway is a relatively straightforward process, but creating a new driveway entry onto a highway takes a little more consideration. Here’s five tips you must consider before you begin:

1 – Consult the local council
It is essential you contact your local authority before you start any work on your driveway. Planning permission will certainly be required if you live on a major road or near a junction. And there may be other requirements depending on the regulations of your local council, such as the amount of engineering work that will be carried out, or if you intend to install a new gate or fencing. So check first.

2 – Plan well in advance
It may sound obvious, but preparation is absolutely critical, and it’s better to encounter any potential problems before the job starts than halfway through. Mark out the exact area you want the driveway to be laid, and take into account any obstacles that will have to be removed, such as trees or walls. Are you going to put in a gate? Is the new driveway going to be big enough for your car as well as room to walk around it? Remember – if your car overhangs onto the pavement, you might not get planning permission.

3 – Check the ground
If the area where you are planning to build the new driveway has already been excavated, ensure that the ground is still hard. Rainfall may have created soft areas in the earth which could lead to subsidence in the future. If you do find any soft areas, dig them out before starting any other work on the driveway.

4 – Don’t forget drainage
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of constructing a new driveway is drainage. If the land is flat, you will have to ensure there is a slight gradient in the surface, and if the slope runs towards a building you will have to install surface water drainage channels too.

5 – Specify exactly who does what
There may be parts of the operation that you are confident to carry out yourself, so it’s always best to split the project into stages. For example, excavating the area is a fairly straightforward job, but installing paving is a large-scale-project, and if you have no previous experience it is recommended you bring in the professionals, if only for consultation on what to do yourself.

When looking for firms to carry out work for you, the universal rule for all home improvement companies applies: make sure that you employ a reputable firm with a proven track record! Pavingquoter can help you choose your supplier.

How safe is your deposit? – deposit protection scheme explained

Buying Double Glazing? How to safeguard your investment

Mark Cooper, Managing Director of homeimprovementquotes.co.uk, provides a check list for home-owners to follow to help safeguard them when selecting a double glazing company.

We all need double glazing to insulate our houses and rooms, but the double glazing industry has, over the years, developed a reputation for being unreliable, and financially unstable. With double glazing costs ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of pounds, it is vital that the company you choose to install your windows is one that you can trust not only to do the work well, but to honour any guarantees that are provided.

The recent case of the Liverpool-based glazing company – St Helens Glass – going into liquidation, highlights just how careful you need to be. Many customers lost their guarantees from the firm and some had even paid for work that was never completed. Therefore it is important that you fully research your options before signing on the dotted line.

Word of mouth – listen to other people’s recommendations
One of the best ways to find a reputable company is by word of mouth. Friends and family are always the first people you should ask as they have had first-hand experience of what it is like to use a particular company, what the standard of the finished product is – and will tell you the truth. It is also wise to look into at least three different companies before making your final decision. homeimprovementquotes.co.uk always give three quotes to provide home owners with a far more informed choice.

If you want to know how reputable a company is, what better way than to see some of its previous projects? If work has been completed well and to a high standard, then the company will have no problem taking you to see some of its previous projects. This is also an ideal opportunity to speak to the people that had the work done. People are always happy to recommend a good workman and/or company, and careful questioning will reveal any difficulties that arose. The company may also have a portfolio of written customer testimonials that you can look over – but it’s always good to talk to them too.

Check that company!
Investing in your home is something that should not be taken lightly. Although there is never a 100 per cent guarantee that the company you have selected will be a safe one, you can always run a simple company check.

Companies House – companieshouse.gov.uk – is the foundation of company information exchange in the UK and offers a free search facility on limited companies whereby you can carry out a search on a company by using either its name or its unique company registration number to see when it was registered as an official business. This enables you to see if it really has the level of experience that it claims to have and, if it is a newly registered company, where it has come from!

Does it meet industry standards? Check!
If a company has been accredited by an industry body then it is likely that it meets various standards. One of the key home improvement bodies is the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) which is a trade association for those companies that make, supply and fit flat glass, double glazing and conservatories.

Another important accreditation to check for when having windows fitted is that they comply with FENSA regulations. FENSA Limited is a Self-Assessment Scheme set up by the GGF for companies that install windows and doors in homes. FENSA ensures that your windows meet specific regulations – for example that they have heat-reflective glass which ensures that your windows draw heat and sunlight in whilst keeping the heat in the house.

If your windows have a FENSA certificate you can be sure your windows meet regulatory requirements – an added value when it comes to selling your home. If you do not have a certificate, you can call out a buildings inspector from your local council to make sure your windows meet current building regulations – this process does not cost very much and could be the difference between selling and not selling your home.

Why it’s safer by credit card or through finance .
When you have finally selected your double gazing company, you must seriously consider handing over a very large deposit. Be very cautious if a company has requested full payment before any work has been completed and bear in mind you’re about to make a major investment – you need to be sure that you trust the person you’re about to give a large sum of money to.

If a company that you have decided to use goes out of business and was recommended to you by homeimprovementquotes.co.uk then it will cover your deposit (terms and conditions apply – click here ) that has already been paid and will find you another reputable company to complete the work.

Paying on finance or credit card for home improvements can give you added cover if work is not completed or becomes faulty and the company ceases trading. Check the terms and conditions of the double glazing company as well as the finance company for what is provided.

This is because if the glazing company should go out of business, like St Helens Glass, and you are still paying for the work, then the credit card or finance company could be liable to either foot the bill or pay for any repair work needed.

What’s in a guarantee?
Always read a guarantee thoroughly. Although most companies provide a standard ten year cover, a normal guarantee doesn’t protect a customer if the company goes out of business. However, by selecting a glazing company that has an insurance backed guarantee it will give you peace of mind should something go wrong. It also provides you with strong evidence that this company knows what it is doing and has enough experience in the industry to safeguard its customers.

You get what you pay for
Whether you choose to use a one-man-band with a credible local portfolio, or a national company with a spotless reputation, the bottom line is that you always get what you pay for. If a company offers you a ridiculously cheap price then you have to ask yourself why. Alternatively, if you are quoted significantly over the odds alarm bells should ring. If you do your research on your chosen company then there is no reason why your home can’t be one of the success stories. Remember – three quotes should give you a good sample of the market

For More information please visit homeimprovementquotes.co.uk

Welcome to the Home Improvement Quotes Blog

Hi and welcome.

The ‘Quoter family of websites from Price Engines Ltd has been offering home owners instant online quotes for their home improvement projects since 2000.

In that time, Price Engines has provided over 1,700,000 quotes for home improvement projects in the UK – totalling over £1.4bn of work ranging from double glazing to landscaping.

As part of our continuing service to both previous and new customers, we’ve just introduced a monthly newsletter that’s packed with news and features on all aspects of home improvement.

The first edition is just being delivered (as we speak) and also offers readers a chance to win an iPOD just by recommending a local home improvement company to us.

We’ve also launched this Blog to provide yet another focal point of information for customers and will shortly be launching a new RSS feed.

So subscribe to this Blog and be the first to read independent and impartial information from the UK’s leading online home improvement quote providors – Price Engines Ltd.