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The History of Sash Windows

The History of Sash Windows

Sliding sash windows originated in Europe in the 13th Century however calling them windows was perhaps a bit of a stretch as in this period they were no more than vertical sliding wooden shutters. 300 years later, by the end of the sixteenth century they had evolved into a form we would recognise today as a beautiful traditional timber sash window.

The original windows of this period consisted only of vertical shutters with sliding timber. 16th Century sash windows were also glazed and were able to slide horizontally. It was around the mid 17th Century that the original design was superseded in France, with the French introducing vertical sliding sash windows. It has been noted that these windows were safer to use in staircases and passageways, as opposed to the casement windows that open inwards and could cause impediment to the residents of a building.

It is believed that throughout the post restoration age after the aristocracy returned from France, that the sophisticated style of the upright sliding sash window moved across the Channel towards England. The Queen Mother, Henrietta Maria, was believed to receive the first installation of a fully glazed vertical sliding window. This is believed to have occurred after she returned from France along with her staff, of which there were French joiners, and this influenced the refurbishment to the London based Somerset House. Years later, it was Ventrolla who renovated these very windows.

The improvement to the sash windows, including the introduction of the counterbalance, cannot be pinpointed to a particular time exactly and there are many theories about this. Some believe it was first invented in England, where it progressed from the inventive vertical slider, into one that was glazed with 250mm x 250mm glass. With the addition of the solid glazing bars (40mm or more), the windows were extremely heavy and difficult to open.

The counter balance feature was believed to have been initially used for doors and this is supported by the documented evidence “Office of Works Account 1663”. It revealed that lines and weights were fitted to different doors in the buildings at Whitehall. It didn’t take long for this system to transfer over to include its use in sash windows. The documented evidence also reveals that Thomas Kinward, Master Joiner, made changes to the sash windows of the Queen’s private apartment, by installing pulleys and lines to the sash windows in 1669, at Whitehall, although no specific mention of any counter weights has been noted.

The sash windows that were installed to the property belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale, Ham House in London, showed confirmation that the windows were in fact, counter balanced. This installation occurred in 1672, and it was again, Thomas Kinward and Christopher Wren that placed their signatures on the accounts.

There was never any claim made to the invention of the counter balance system and there is no record of it ever having been patented. In the early development of sash windows with weights, the windows were framed by solid oak and there was a groove that had been cut to accommodate the weights. The top sash would not open and was in a fixed position, and it was only the bottom sash that opened. A short time later, there was a new development called the boxed frame. This frame was sectioned and its purpose was to hide the weights and enable them to go past each other easily.

New developments now showed that there were less panes and thinner glazing bars. When the duty on glass was removed in 1845, the price of the glass fell dramatically, and then the panes developed into larger panels, and the windows only contained two panes per sash. It differentiated the wealthy from the poor, to only have a single pane for each sash! Extra support for the glass came in mid 19th Century, when horns were introduced.

The Great Fire of London which started at the bakery of Thomas Farriner on Pudding Lane in 1666 played a surprising role in sash window design. Building regulations were drastically overhauled after the devastation in the hope of reducing the risk of fire and its rapid spread through the city.

One such regulation stipulated that timber window frames should be recessed behind the outside stone or brick facade, leading to the development of Georgian architecture which is widely held to be the most beautiful period of design.

It wasn’t just fire that pushed forward the sash windows evolution. Fashion and vanity played their part. In the space of 50 years from 1696 the Window tax and Glass tax were both introduced. The glass tax stopped anyone other than the very rich from having large panes and so the trend for multiple small panes of glass remained. A sign of wealth was to have large windows with a single pane of glass per sash!

As glass production technology advanced and the various taxes repealed, larger panes became available to everyone, this in itself lead to one of the most recognisable features of a Sash Window, the “horns”.

As the panes became larger and heavier the frame needed extra support and so sash horns started to appear at the corners to reinforce the widows. The horns were often carved in unique styles and have become one of the hallmarks of a traditional timber sash window.

Lancashire Sash Windows have been involved in the renovation and performance upgrade of many sliding sash windows ever since, earning themselves a place in modern history as the leading authority and market leader in the renovating of original sash windows.


5 ways to make your granite and quartz kitchen worktops stand out

5 ways to make your granite and quartz kitchen worktops stand out

A quartz or granite worktop makes a show-stopping addition to your home. But, as part of your kitchen design, there are a number of additional features you can include to enhance the final appearance of your worktops and make them really stand out!

Here are just some of the extras you might want to include to add wow-factor (and practicality) to your kitchen design.

1. Drainer grooves

Drainer grooves make a stunning addition to a stone worktop. Just as important, they stop water creeping along the counter top, and prevent everything (including your floor) from getting wet. Because quartz is non-porous, it’s a fantastic material for drainer grooves.

2. Kitchen islands

When it comes to hangout spots, nothing beats a kitchen island. From grand workstations with additional appliances to petite counters that can be used for much-needed storage, the multifunctional nature of islands means they never go out of style or demand.

3. Breakfast bar

Breakfast bars are a great social focus in the kitchen and are perfect for creating family orientated spaces. It’s no wonder, therefore, that more and more of our customers want one!

4. Curved corners

Curved units are becoming increasingly popular in today’s kitchen design. Not only do they look great, but they also provide a softer edge and safe finish, especially where young children concerned.

5. Undermount sinks

Undermount sinks give a distinctive, stylish look, making it perfect for the modern-day kitchen.

Helping you to choose wisely when making an investment in quartz or granite worktops that will change the appearance of your kitchen, at Granite Tops UK we take care of the whole process for you.



Where to buy Used Cars Southport

Where to buy Used Cars Southport

It is estimated that around 70% of car purchases in the UK are of used cars, so if you’re looking to buy used cars in Southport then check out West Lancs Motors a family run business who have been supplying quality and affordable cars to people since 1966 at competitive prices.

Supplying quality used cars in and around Southport, Merseyside, Liverpool and throughout the North West, this specialist used car dealership stock a wide selection of used cars to suit all lifestyles and budgets, whether you’re after a car that’s big on fuel efficiency or need some extra space for your growing family West Lancs Motors has you covered.

Buying a used car is a great way of cutting the cost of your driving as most new cars lose around 40% of their value in the first year. Further advantages of purchasing a used car include lower insurance rates on a used car as opposed to a new one but most importantly buying a car through a dealership is generally considered a safer option as your protected by the Consumer Rights Act.

For used cars Southport visit West Lancs Motors




Save thousands on a brand new boiler

Save thousands on a brand new boiler

Winter is here and the temperature is already threatening to fall to freezing. If you are worried about the boiler failing at this critical time, read on to get the best price for a new one.

A new boiler carries a huge bill that UK homeowners cannot escape.

So we look at how much you should expect to pay for the new boiler, the installation and how to save on these costs.

How much does the new boiler cost?

Prices of boilers vary based on various factors such as brand, capacity and functionality.
Which? The magazine has catalogued around 400 log markets, including Worcester Bosch, Fisman, Baxi and Failant, and found prices from 600 kroner to over 2,400 pounds.

But when looking for a new boiler, a big price does not necessarily mean getting the upper boiler. So it’s important to shop around and find the best boiler that suits your budget.

If you do not want to purchase the boiler separately, the installer may quote the price of the boiler and the installation.

How much does the installation cost?

The cost of installing the boiler can vary greatly depending on how much work is needed, the parts where you live, and who will do the job.

It can cost around five hundred for a direct replacement of the combi boiler in the same old position until you reach £1,500 to install the new combi system to a new location, according to the figures put together by the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors.

But it also warns that you may also need to allocate money to a chemical flush (£200) or a mechanical flow of your heating system (£500) and also transfer the pipe (£200 – £300) to any jobs.

Quoted prices do not include the price of the boiler discussed above, so you can see that the installation can cost more than the boiler itself.

Statistics indicate the cost of the new boiler and the installation can bring you back from £1,000 to nearly 5k.

How to save at the expense of a new boiler and installation

The best way to save money on the cost of a new boiler and installation is to get as many quotes as you can be bothered to.
When it comes to installation, you might want to start with energy companies like British Gas for a quote, but you should also look at independent dealers too, which usually charge up to a third less.

Be sure to use approved, approved installers so you can stay in good hands, so check the reputation of all traders who offer you an offer.

When you compare prices, you also consider the guarantees offered to work, but be careful to pay more for the warranty already included by the manufacturer of the equipment.

Compare boiler installation tariffs in your area

Case Study: “How did I save nearly two grand on our new boiler?”

Brenda O’Donnell had to replace her boiler back in 2015.

She needed to install the new boiler in a new place in her apartment and wished it would be done properly – she would not meet any extra expenses related to the boiler in a few good years afterwards. Of course, she would pay as little as possible.

In her own words, she talks to us through how she saved a couple of thou on the cost.

1) Used British Gas to begin

“As British Gas is the leading installer in the UK furnace market, I decided to get an offer from them as a starting point. I’ve recommended that I need about three feet of new pipes to change the boiler position, despite the fact that it’s existing pipes much closer to the site The new (which builder did not refer to the British gas heating adviser that came around).

These extra pipes also mean that I have to pay the material delivery fee, collect the waste and get rid of the fee, and spend about £400 on some electrical work and the construction is very small. All I have stressed is absolute necessity. In total, this came to 900 quid.

Furthermore, I was told that I needed to spend more than £350 on the water treatment system. Connect the boiler and test it would cost nearly 2k, while the same boiler (Worcester Bush Combi) would cost £1000.

So in total, approximately £4,265 quoted for a £ 1000 new boiler installed in my apartment.
The British gas broker has repeatedly confirmed that I want to get free home coverage.

But failed to mention the boilers covered by the manufacturer’s warranty for the first year anyway.

What struck me more was the amount of pressure that was put on me that day. My sale gave me an extra £ 150 discount, but only if I signed up on a dotted line right away.

2) I had a look on the internet

I decided to shop for a few more quotes to see if £4,265 was competitive.

First on my list: O’Toole Plumbers, which had been recommended by my brother. But when I called up, I was told that an offer on the boiler plant would cost £100 plus VAT! OK, so the money would be taken by the price of the installation if I proceeded, but I still hung up quick.

Instead, I chose to get an offer from Lancashire Heating. Despite the name, this is a nationwide boiler installation company.  It also offered £100 cashback if it cannot beat an offer from British Gas, E.ON or nPower. However it was a so-called technician who worked for the company and not the actual engineer who was to install the boiler who was sent around to deliver the quote. Again, I pointed to the existing pipes near the boiler’s new location.

This time I was told that the pipes could be connected to the new boiler, but Lancashire Heating “would not be responsible for any leaks.” The seller also identified the wrong new pipes as old pipes and said they had to be replaced (they did not, as they were only installed very recently).

In total, the boiler installation offer was £3,480. So, an improvement of about £600 on British Gas, and it included an excellent five year warranty on the boiler.

Can I save more elsewhere?

3) Rang my local qualified independent installer

The independent company I found using Google, APG Boilers on Finance, could not be more knowledgeable, professional and polite.

The engineer who was supposed to do the work came around to do the quote. He said there was no problem connecting the existing pipes to the new boiler, and he could still guarantee the work and share for six years.

APG then offered to complete the entire job for just £2,000. This included a manufacture warranty plus two years of free service, a chemical flush, a thermostat and excellent construction work.

I happily accepted this offer and APG came around and did an excellent job that week. I saved thousands on the previous quotes, got six years of peace in mind about all the parts and work related to the boiler, and found an excellent plumber and boiler to boot. I’m also happy to say I have not had any expensive repair bills since APG installed my boiler. It never gives me any trouble plus our fuel bills have been much lower since installation.

I would definitely recommend APG Boilers on Finance as a result.

When I think about the handfuls of cash I would have handed over to British Gas, not just for the boiler, but for unnecessary boiler cover, I can’t believe what utter rip-off merchants they are.

So if you are looking for new boiler finance, ask APG Boilers on Finance for a quote.



Purchasing a home is commonly considered as a long-term investment, and many homeowners assume that their home will increase in value over the years. The problem with this is that your property can also depreciate, especially if it becomes dated and run down if you’re not maintaining it sufficiently! If you keep on top of little fixes and new improvements the property value of your home should increase.

Granite worktops, while maybe considered a short-term trend, have been around long enough to have garnered their own reputation. Buyers love granite, considering its durability, uniqueness, and easy maintenance, it will certainly be a selling point. So if you want your home to gain more value, consider installing Granite worktops!
Granite material is hard-wearing, stain and scratch resistant, and is also heat resistant – even up to 400 degrees celsius without damaging the surface.
Granite is easy to maintain on a daily basis as long as it is correctly sealed. The first round of sealant is crucial because stone surfaces are naturally porous, and without any sealant, foodstuffs like spices and red wine can stain your worktops easily. Depending on what type of granite worktop you have, it is essential to have it resealed annually to make sure your worktops will last.

Even a sealed worktop is not infallible, so to be on the safe side always clean up spills immediately, or they could eventually seep into the surface and stain permanently. We would also recommend that you use a microbial product that’s approved for use on granite surfaces and not just any old cleaning agent.
Make sure you invest wisely in choosing quality Granite worktops in Milton Keynes by visiting iGranite!

Marriage Counselling

Marriage Counselling

We offer marriage counselling in Preston and surrounding areas. We offer therapy that helps individuals or couples make sense of the issues that are impacting negatively on their quality of life and find ways of working through them. Arguments and conflict are common in all kinds of relationships. Unresolved, these issues can lead to anxiety, depression, relationship breakdowns and divorce. If you are experiencing relationship issues with your partner, you may find it beneficial to attend couples counselling or marriage counselling sessions.

Couples counselling or marriage counselling is a form of talking therapy specifically designed to help two people within an intimate relationship. We can see couples together or on a one-to-one basis. You should never allow your gender or sexual identity to hold you back from seeking help. Our therapists have experience of working with men, women, couples and individuals of different sexual orientations.

Whatever the issue, our experienced therapists will use their talking therapy skills and experience to help you understand the issues and find ways of overcoming them.

Some of the most common issues that people seek help for:

  • Coming to terms with a partner’s infidelity and dealing with the emotional aftermath of an affair.
  • Sexual difficulties and preferences.
  • Anger management.
  • Marital affairs.
  • Unresolved tension and conflict.
  • Communication difficulties.
  • Help trying to start a family and fertility issues.
  • Bereavement counselling.

Make time for therapy. Try to make time for therapy and also make time between sessions to think about what has been discussed and to try out ideas. It helps if you are open-minded and ready to think about different possibilities. Therapy works best for people who are really committed to it.

Contemporary Garden Rooms

Contemporary Garden Rooms

If you need more space but have to extend out into the garden, we have a wide range of contemporary, luxury and ecologically garden rooms are designed bespoke for you, offering up an excellent solution. Take a look at our full range or order a brochure today.

A Home Extension in your Garden

Our garden rooms will be a stunning addition to your garden. Whether you need extra space for an office, gym, games room, artist studio, music room or workshop, we have a solution just right for you.

Our garden rooms come in a variety of different styles: lodges, pods, studios and offices, but every project is bespoke to your needs. Many luxury features are included, but you can also purchase a range of additional features.

Created from Sustainable Materials

Our materials are sourced with sustainability and quality in mind. If you are interested in the technical aspects, find out more by visiting our garden rooms page.

The Company you can Trust

Our expert design and build teams will work with you to create garden rooms that are built to meet your every need. Our commercial modular buildings are available through our fellow company Modular Sips.

We have been making garden buildings for several decades. Our range of Garden Rooms has evolved through our dedication to always use the best materials and provide our customer with the perfect building. This range epitomises all that we do best. Garden Rooms are totally bespoke, we will design and build yours in full consultation with you at every stage.

Your Garden Room is intended as an extra room to use year round, for complete outdoor living, a hobby or relaxation room or simply as added space.

Keep right on trend by adding Greenery to your home

Keep right on trend by adding Greenery to your home

Always following the latest colour trends? Well, you’ll be interested to know that Pantone recently revealed Greenery 15-0343 to be 2017’s Colour of the Year. Yet before you rush out to buy tin after tin of pea-coloured paint, you need to think about where this bold colour can be used wisely – you don’t want the inside of your home to look like the local park!

Take a look at our tips on where to add a touch of Greenery to your home.

  1. Kitchen cupboard doors

Imagine how gorgeous your kitchen would look if you paired a granite worktop in Leeds with green cabinet doors. A paler shade may be best if you’re opting for white or grey granite, but feel free to go as dark and bold as you like if your worktop will be black.

  1. Sofa

You might not want to paint your entire living room green, especially if you’re used to more neutral tones, so a sofa in Greenery is the perfect compromise. The burst of colour will really stand out against your beige walls and hardwood coffee table.

  1. Accessories

If you prefer to play things a bit safe, there’s no reason why you should immediately write off using Greenery. Accessories like cushions, throws, rugs and even curtains are a subtle yet stylish nod to this year’s ‘it’ colour, and would look good in any room of the house.

  1. Bathroom

We’re not saying you should ever resurrect your awful runner bean-coloured suite of yesteryear, but with Greenery in fashion right now, there are a few things you can do to give your bathroom a contemporary twist. Swap your boring beige soap dish or toothbrush holder for something green, and put up a shower curtain with a gorgeous green pattern. You could even go back to point one and give your bathroom cabinets a makeover – just be careful not to go too dark!

Tile Advice For Your Bathrooom

Tile Advice For Your Bathrooom

What about natural stone tiles?
If you hanker after a high-end, luxurious look, natural stone tiles are an ideal fit. However, they tend to cost more than porcelain tiles and you may have to spend a little more on maintenance.

Although naturally hardwearing, all natural stone is porous to varying degrees so requires sealing when they are installed. “In order to preserve the surface, the use of specialist cleaning and maintenance products, such as stone-specific sealants, cleaning solutions and grout protector, is recommended,” says Sian.
Top tips to tile installation
When equipped with the right tools and knowledge, you can lay your own tile Flooring Tools and save money in the process. “If you’re not confident and feel as though it isn’t something you can dedicate the time to doing or to master properly, then consider hiring a professional flooring installer who will be able to get the job done efficiently and to a high standard,” advises Sian.

Visit your local tile retailer if you need help finding a trusted installer, as it is likely they will have a list of professionals they work with and can recommend. You can also visit websites such as Rated People that provide information about a variety of tradesmen and tilers around the UK.

“When it comes to picking your tiler, make sure you do your homework by interviewing and getting quotes from different people. It’s important you ask to see a portfolio of their work to get an idea of their capabilities and skill set and, while photos are great, they can be deceiving, so make sure you view at least one of their previous tiling jobs in person,” recommends Sian.

If you decide to install the floor yourself, you need to allow plenty of time to plan the project in detail, with a particular focus on layout and design. Just as when you are making your product choice, spend time researching what tools and materials you need, as well as how to lay a tile properly. “Be sure to make the most of available resources. Watching video tutorials on how to prepare, tile and finish a floor, are all helpful tools. Or why not practice tiling on a scrap piece of plasterboard before starting on your floor? After all, practice makes perfect,” adds Sian.
The virtues of vinyl flooring
Vinyl has come a long way since the seventies, when it was seen as a cheap option. “Technological advances mean it is a durable as well as a practical choice,” agrees Victoria Hemelaer, product manager at Leoline. “These advances, combined with increased research and development spend, mean vinyl manufacturers generally offer great diversity in looks. Compared to wood or laminate companies, we have a very blank canvas!”

Vinyl comes in two formats: sheet or luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), the difference being that sheet vinyl comes in rolls (similar to carpet), while vinyl tiles are smaller and slot together.

Improve your bike shed security whatever your budget

Improve your bike shed security whatever your budget

The first rule of shed club…

If the local ne’er-do-wells don’t know you have a valuable bike in your shed Security Services Preston, they are unlikely to put much effort into breaking in, especially if you fit enough basic security measures to convince them to move onto an easier target. It’s easier said than done but there are some simple things to avoid.

Do you use Strava? It’s crucial that you either don’t start recording your ride until you’re a few miles away from your house, keep your profile private, or set up a ‘privacy zone’. The last thing you want is to provide thieves with a direct map straight to your front door.

It’s also tempting to put up pictures of your shiny new bike on social media. While it’s great you are proud of your bike, be cautious. Think about whether your profile gives away enough clues to work out where you live, as well as showing exactly how lovely your new bike is.

Location, location, location

Where you choose to store your bike will depend on a number of factors, including the value of the bike or bikes, your budget and the amount of available space, but the key criterion should be the location. If you live in a dodgy area, even bricks and mortar may not deter the criminals. On the other side of town, a wooden shed with a few extra security measures may be enough.

There are five main types of storage to consider:

Inside your house: This will depend on the amount of space you have and the tolerance levels of your partner/spouse/flatmates. Overall, security is high, especially if you can lock your bike to an immovable object.
Garage: Perfect. You can store your bike and work on it, without worrying about getting oil stains on the carpet. The drawback? Not everyone has one or has the space/money for one. The door is generally the weak point, but you can improve security by fitting a Garage Door Defender. Internally, you can beef up security by using a ground or wall anchor (see below) and a decent motorcycle chain.
Brick/breeze-block shed: The next best option, but if you haven’t already got one they’re not cheap and may need planning permission. See below for some tips on making it more secure.
Flat-pack shed: They’re relatively cheap, easy to put up and will hide your bike(s) from view, but they’re far from secure. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on this type of storage because it’s a common choice and there are some simple precautions you can take to make your shed much less attractive to thieves.
Standalone bike shelter: If you’re short of space and need somewhere dry to store your bike, these are an option. But they’re no more secure than a shed (considerably less so in some cases) and offer no room to work on your bike. See below for some tips on making it more secure.