Cheese Equipment Machines: The basics

cheese-varieties-production-1

Cooking mixer

CHEESE COOKERS can perform nearly all the processes included in manufacturing processes of cheese, optimal for food and confection products: from mixing and cheese cutting, emulsifying and vacuum deaeration to heating and cooling.

Production capacity is 60kg.

Approximately in 4 minutes, product is prepared completely removing out all the odors homogenously.

Additional Equipments:

Cooling Assembly, Balance Tank, Gear Pump

Technical specifications:

  1. Steam delivery over Jacket and directly into product.
  2. Steam is filtered up to 3 microns.
  3. Lower motor is 15KW and has 0 ?3000 revolution/minute speed intervals adjustable by speed controller.
  4. Upper is 1,5KW and has 50 revolution/minute speed, brand is Yılmaz Reuctor. Speed is constant.
  5. Steams, Water inside the product are controlled as revolution principle of lower motor.
  6. Razors of the machine are genuine Germany made razors.
  7. Pneumatic valve is used on machine.
  8. On spiral Teflon of steam hose, Water hose and vacuum absorbing hose stainless spiral is covered.

Cheese cutting press

This machine is used for cutting Round Cheeses into equal portions.

Upon request of Customers models that are cutting into 12, 24 or 32 equal portions can be manufactured.

Completely made of stainless steel in 304 quality.

Operation System

Round Cheeses are put on the machine table by service personnel. The machine centers the cheese automatically. And then opens a 40mm hole in the middle. After this hole is opened, the service personnel take the cheese from beginning point of the table and put it on the next table. Here, machine slices the cheese to 12 equal parts.

Cheese cutter

High Speed Cheese Mixer

Used as for mixing in processing of Soft and Flavored cheeses.

Has approximately 40kg of cheese taking capacity.

Completely made of stainless steel in 304 quality.

Razors of the mixer are produced of special stainless steel.

For unloading cheeses with finished processes tank can be moved down.

Basket and trolley

Manufactured specially according to sizes of customers’ requirements.

Completely made of stainless steel including wheels.

Cheese desk

Manufactured specially according to sizes of customers?requirements.

Can be used in cheese packaging or other processes of cheese producing.

Completely made of stainless steel in 304 quality.

Can seaming machine

  • It is particularly designed for food products packing. Due to its stainless steel structure it is hygienic as well as easy to clean.
  • All moving and fixed parts of the machine are manufactured to resist high humidity and salty water.
  • Due to its special design adjustment operations for different can sizes take only five minutes and so simple that anyone can operate. With this special characteristic, users can pack various can sizes by using only one machine.
  • It is a semi-automatic machine. After pressing the main pedal the can is seamed and then is released by the machine itself
  • It is manufactured to run in two different speed. Approximately seaming time for a big size can (23*23 centimeters) is 10 Seconds (150-200 cans per hour). And for a small size can (sizes may vary) it is five Seconds (350-400 cans per hour).
  • The machine’s height is adjustable, due to its special design of the feet structure. It fits on any kind of floor and also its underside can be cleaned easily.
  • It has a central lubrication system. The lubrication system works by pressing the main pedal and the system halts after each sealing process.
  • Due to its mono phase motor, it works with home electricity (220 V). In addition it is only 300 kilograms heavy and 1,5 meters high, for easy transporting.

See more about cheese production in our blog:

 

 

Garage Conversion Ideas: Uses for Your New Space

Garage Conversion Ideas: Uses for Your New Space


As garages were built to house cars, they are long and narrow spaces. This means that the best garage conversion ideas will involve some kind of remodelling to best incorporate the additional living space into the rest of the home.

Knocking down or repositioning the walls as part of your garage conversion is well worth considering to really feel the benefit of the extra square footage.

Whatever the reason for you wanting to convert your garage, maybe your kitchen was too small, you needed a utility room or somewhere to house your hobbies or work from home, you’ll find some great garage conversion ideas below.

(Check out our ultimate guide to garage conversions for a comprehensive look at everything you need to consider – from planning and building regs rules to costs and ideas for bringing in light).

Create a Spacious Kitchen-Diner by Knocking Through

Where garages adjoin the kitchen, knocking out the wall between the two in order to create one larger kitchen-diner is a great idea — and also overcomes the long, narrow issues.

Adding a roof lantern can be a great way to flood the space with natural light, making it feel more spacious. It can also help to zone the new room and prevent it from feeling too cavernous. If going open-plan doesn’t appeal, you can opt for a broken plan design and incorporate sliding or pocket doors or internal glazing.

This will allow you to keep the flow of light throughout the space, with the flexibility to close off spaces when required.

Add a Utility Room

Another good use of garages that sit alongside a kitchen is as a utility room, as they also offer the potential for a back door. You can also add a downstairs WC (very useful if your family is growing).

(MORE: Top 10 Kitchen-Diner Design Tips)

Relocate Your Living Space as a Garage Conversion Idea

A popular idea for a garage conversion is to relocate the living room (or create a conhesive kitchen/dining/living room. Open up the space by knocking down internal walls — you could not only improve the flow of your home, but also make a small, dark home feel a lot more spacious.

Combining the removal of internal walls with the addition of a roof lantern, bifold doors or some fixed glazing will flood the new layout with natural light.

Use Your Converted Garage for Your Hobbies

If you want to make space to enjoy your hobbies from home, then creating a dedicated zone is a great idea for your converted garage.

This could include a:

  • home cinema
  • games room
  • man cave
  • library/reading room
  • craft/hobby workshop

Having a dedicated space for your hobbies means that you can kit out the room as required without impacting on your existing layout (or affecting other family members).

You might also find that the long and narrow shape of the existing garage works well with your chosen hobby and removing existing walls is unnecessary.

Depending on the use, you could even install an entrance door to allow direct access for visitors.

Consider Extending Above During a Conversion

If you are keen to add considerable space to your home, then it is worth considering extending over your garage when you convert it, especially if you need to factor in an additional staircase. This can help to create balance between the ground and first floor space.

Incorporate an en suite and this can make a great self-contained guest bedroom. But if you are looking to add an extra bedroom for a member of the family, you will need to consider the layout of the top floor and how the new bedroom will be accessed from the upper level so it feels connected to the rest of the house.

(MORE: Ultimate Guide to Taking on a Garage Conversion)

Use a Converted Garage as a Home Office

Another great garage conversion idea is to design a home office. This can make perfect sense as garages are usually located away from the main living areas and allow for a self-contained entrance for work-related visitors.

Having a designated work space means you can set your workstation up as you need, and you don’t have to worry about the room having a dual purpose.

Adding a Home Gym is a Great Garage Conversion Idea

Fitness fans may enjoy installing workout equipment in their homes, but it can prove problematic if this equipment has to be located in existing living space. Housing a home gym in a garage conversion is a great way to avoid large items like a treadmill or elliptical machine in your living room.

Having a dedicated space will allow you to kit out the space with hard-wearing, slip-resistant flooring that may not be suited to other areas of your home. You could also consider adding an air conditioning unit or soundproofing measures.

A Playroom for Kids or a Retreat for Teens

Using the space as a playroom and keeping it partially open to an adjacent kitchen makes it possible to supervise younger children while carrying out day-to-day jobs. Make sure you add loads of storage options for toys.

Garage conversions are also the ideal spot for a second living room for older children to relax in — keeping the inevitable noise away from your own relaxing spaces and avoiding squabbles over what to watch on TV.

Use Your Garage Conversion as an Additional Bedroom

Depending on the existing layout of your property, you may wish to convert your garage into an additional bedroom. You could also break the long and narrow space up with a stud wall and include a WC/bathroom/shower room.


Garage Conversion Ideas for Detached Garages

Create a Separate Annexe

In the case of detached garages you also have the option of converting them into a separate annexe. Be aware that this may be subject to planning permission.

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Plumbing Installation in Residential Neighborhoods

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Plumbing Installation in Residential Neighborhoods

American Leak Detection offers an array of plumbing services to residential homes in the Fort Worth area. No matter what your needs may be, you can be confident that our professionals will tackle the issue and complete the job. Our work is efficient, comprehensive, and friendly to your budget. We have served the community of Fort Worth for a long time and pride ourselves on all aspects of our residential service.

Repairs

If you suspect that a pipe may be leaking in or around your home, our technicians are armed with the know-how, experience, and tools to fix it. Any clogged drains or other plumbing services that you need rendered will also be done quickly and efficiently. Any of your plumbing fixtures that are in need of repair can also be tackled by one of our professionals. Our technicians are versed in home pool and spa technology and can handle any of those issues as well. We will let you know what is going wrong and the best course to take in order to solve the problem.

Inspection

As with most things, it is best to prevent a problem before it becomes a problem. If you even suspect that your home may be in need of plumbing repair, call us and let one of our technicians inspect it. We will use tools such as cameras and electronic diagnostic equipment to inspect all areas of your home. Walls, pipes, floors, pools, spas, and foundation can all be inspected to check for leaks or potential damage.

Installation

Our team at American Leak Detection are experts at residential installation. We can install or update any fixtures. We can replace and install pipes and upgrade your water heater to a tankless water heater if you would like. We are confident that Fort Worth residents will be pleased with all of our installations. You can have the peace of mind you deserve knowing that your appliances will be energy-efficient, run smoothly, and installed according to code.

Call us if you are in need of any kind of residential plumbing service to your home. Our plumbing specialists are eager to provide quality services that are friendly to your budget. We are proud to operate in the Fort Worth area and want to share our services, know-how, and experience with its residents.

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Timber Frame Extension: Cost, Planning & Finishes

Timber Frame Extension: Cost, Planning & Finishes


Adding extra space and value to your home with a timber frame extension has many benefits.

Building a timber frame extension often means you can achieve the wind-weathertight stage in days rather than weeks. This in turn means less time spent on site, less disruption (especially useful if you are living in your house while the extension is built), and less dependence on good weather conditions.

A timber frame extension will also offer good levels of thermal performance and airtightness, so it’s great for projects where eco credentials and sustainability are key.

But there is a lot to consider, from costs and how the frame is manufactured, through to whether you need planning permission and the best choice of exterior finish.

If you want to use timber frame for a self build project, check out our beginner’s guide to timber frame.

Is a Timber Frame Extension Cheaper than Other Systems?

Generally, yes. The cost of a timber frame extension is accepted as being less than a traditionally-built extension primarily because there are less labour hours involved.

The timescale required to build it is also more predictable with it being less dependent on good weather conditions, particularly if the works are being carried out in the winter months.

Financing a Timber Frame Extension

If you propose to take out or increase a current mortgage to help pay for the extension you should always check with the lender what external finish is acceptable to them, some are very conservative on what external finish they will accept which may limit your choice of lenders.

Also, with any home improvement or extension project, remember it should add more value to your house than it costs to undertake the work.

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Timber Frame Extension?

Not necessarily. If your proposed extension meets certain criteria in terms of size and position, then you may be able to extend under Permitted Development Rights (PD). If you want to build something outside of the scope of PD, then you will need planning permission.

Always double check with your local authority before starting work, especially if your property is listed or located in a conservation area or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

(MORE: Read our guide to planning permission)

How is a Timber Frame Extension Built?

The vast majority of extensions built using timber frame are ‘stick build’ – this is where the timber frame panels are made up on site by the joiner as opposed to being manufactured in a factory.

A structural engineer would design the timber frame and prepare a specification of the size/grade of timbers to be used for the frame/lintels/cripple studs and so on, together with a nailing schedule.

The joiner would take delivery of all the timbers required and as they are loose they can easily be man handled through restricted access areas to where the panels are to be made up.

The joiner would then make up the timber frame panels on site following the structural engineer’s specifications and because the existing structure would be opened up/exposed at this point it allows him to take accurate dimensions and manufacture the panels to suit.

If your chosen design features large expanses of glazing then a steel or glulam portal frame/goal post arrangement may be required (a structural engineer would advise on this aspect). This can be fabricated off-site, delivered in sections and bolted together on site.

Be aware that if any part of the extension is below finished ground level then timber frame construction would not be suitable for that element of the build.

(MORE: Guide to building a single storey extension)

Can I Use a Factory-Manufactured Timber Frame?

You may find that manufacturers are reluctant to quote for extension projects as they require a lot more technical input when compared to a new build. Very accurate site dimensions have to be provided for an extension to make sure the likes of floor levels, eaves and roofs line through with the existing house.

It is sometimes nigh impossible to obtain accurate manufacturing dimensions until elements of the existing house can be opened up/exposed to establish exactly how it was originally constructed. That can cause considerable delays as most manufacturers will have a lead-in time of at least 6-8 weeks from having all the information they require prior to the delivery date.

Manufacturers may also be put off providing a quote if site access is very restrictive. And, with the typical single storey extension of say 3.6 x 4.8m only requiring a part load, it makes the transportation costs uneconomic when compared to ‘stick build’.

Which Exterior Finish Should I Choose?

The timber frame extension can be finished externally in a variety of materials, including:

  • Facing brick
  • Rendered brickwork/blockwork
  • Natural stone
  • Reconstituted stone
  • Brick slips
  • Timber
  • Fibre cement cladding
  • Metal cladding
  • Render board system

But, if being built on a boundary then the external finish has to be non-combustible and provide a minimum one hour’s fire resistance to satisfy Building Regulations.

Top Tips for Extending with Timber Frame

  • Choose a designer with experience in designing timber frame extensions
  • Get three detailed quotes and go over them with your designer to ensure you are comparing on a like for like basis
  • Always have a contingency budget of around 10% to deal with any unforeseen circumstances
  • Don’t forget to budget for external works including paving, decking and landscaping

Factoring in a Movement Gap

Where any extension (irrespective of the construction method used) is attached to the existing building it is very important to ensure a movement gap is formed to accommodate shrinkage, thermal and moisture movement.

The extension will most likely be a different construction to that of the existing building and as such will expand/contract at a different rate to the existing building, hence the requirement for a movement joint.  

Movement joints are typically formed by using a stainless steel channel tie system which provides lateral restraint but allows for both horizontal and vertical movement, the gap formed between the two structures is filled with a flexible sealant (different colours are available) to make it weathertight.





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User Experience and SEO

user-experience

Improve your SEO and your rankings in Google by improving your websites User Experience immediately! See more on this great post written for you!

User experience (UX) is a relatively new term that has made its way to the search engine optimization (SEO) scene. With regards to web designing, user experience is the term used in order to describe the overall experience that a user would have as they interact with a website. And the goal of UX designing is to make that experience a pleasant one.

User experience is everywhere. It happens regardless of whether you planned it or not. And when it is not intentionally designed, there is a much higher likelihood of that user experience being poor. In today’s highly competitive online marketing world, building a satisfactory user experience is not a choice for any online business if they need to survive. It is easier than ever to find competitive products or services via the Internet, and if a potential customer feels bad about the user experience he or she had on your website, he will go to one of your competitors with a matter of seconds.

But that is not all

Search engines (especially Google) also want to make a pleasant user experience. That is why they have been constantly trying to improve their search engine algorithms in order to deliver the best, most relevant and the most important search results for the search queries carried out through the search engines. However, over the past few years, they have also put their focus on the user experience provided by the target websites when ranking them in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Today, search engines does not just display results for search queries and stop there. They will observe how the users are interacting with the results they delivered and analyze that data to determine whether their user experience was good or not. Then they will use that data in their algorithms, the next time someone else uses the same search query.

user-experience

One example of this is the loading time of a website. Google itself has stated in various occasions that websites with faster load times rank better than the slower ones. And they calculate the loading time in milliseconds, which means that if your website takes one more millisecond to load than your competitors, your rankings might sink below theirs.

Another example is the bounce rate. If the bounce rate of a website is high, most of the time it means that the particular website offers poor user experience. This may be due to poor design choices or poor quality content. Whichever it is, it will reflect on your search engine rankings. So always try to design a website that offers a good user experience for your users, and the search engines will reward you automatically.

Kit Out Your New Home With the Best Amazon Prime Day Deals

Kit Out Your New Home With the Best Amazon Prime Day Deals


You may know that Amazon Prime Day is now well under way. If you didn’t, you are probably wondering what all the fuss is about? Well, for 48 hours only, Amazon drops the prices of thousands of products — expect massive savings on everything from smart home security devices to dining chairs and power tools.

Rather than expecting you to trawl through all of Amazon for deals, our sister site RealHomes.com is doing the job for you. There are so many amazing deals to be snapped up, with some lasting just hours – time really is of the essence. The best deals they have spotted so far include massive discounts on all of Amazon’s Alexa devices and nearly 50% off the Ring Stick Up Cam – a deal not to be missed if you are heading on holiday this summer and are worried about security.

Visit Real Homes Amazon deals hub for the latest offers or check out individual deals roundups in the links below:





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House Cladding: Which Material is Right for You?

House Cladding: Which Material is Right for You?


There are several reasons for cladding a house. House cladding serves to do several things for buildings. Not only does it protect the wall beneath from the elements, it can also be used as a way to insulate the house.

Of course one of the main drivers behind your choice of house cladding will be its appearance. The choices you make when cladding a house are just as important as the layout, design and construction method, ultimately dictating what the house will look like, as well as how it will perform and he kind of maintenance it will require over the years.

What is House Cladding?

House cladding is a facing material that is either fixed directly to the wall (as with stone cladding, for example) or nailed on to timber battens (as with feather edge or shiplap boarding).

The main reason for cladding a house is to protect the wall and underlying structure of the house and to directlyshape the appearance of the property. Well-designed, properly installed and high-quality house cladding can also maximise thermal performance.

Traditional housebuilding techniques in this country were based around solid walls, built using local materials, such as stone.

However, during the 20th century, standard wall-building practice changed from one using solid walls to a cavity design that divided the wall into inner and outer walls, often referred to as leaves or skins.

This means that the the load-bearing duties are now done by the inner leaf, the weatherproofing is taken care of by the outer leaf and the heat retention is achieved by adding insulation between the two leaves.

As the load-bearing is now the job of the inner skin, the outer wall no longer has to sit on the ground and can instead be hung off the inner skin. This has the advantage that it can be made of much thinner sections, because it doesn’t have to be self-supporting. All it has to do is to keep the weather out — this is what cladding does.

Does Cladding a House Require Planning Permission?

House cladding changes very often fall under Permitted Development.

This won’t apply to listed buildings or on any house on specially protected types of land, within a National Park or AONB.

If you live in a terraced or semi-detached house, you will need to think about how the new cladding will affect your neighbours.

(MORE: Complete Guide to Planning Permission)

Which House Cladding Should I Use?

The main reason most people opt for a particular house cladding material tends to be appearance, although your choice may be dictated by what the local planners will accept, particularly if you are self-building. Often you might be expected to choose a material that fits in with your surroundings.

Other factors you should take into consideration are how much maintenance you are willing to commit to, your budget and who will be installing your cladding (some timber cladding can be fitted on a DIY basis, for example.)

Your options include:

  • timber
  • brick
  • stone
  • render
  • vertical tiling
  • flint
  • metal
  • porcelain tile
  • fibre cement
  • PVCu
  • modern synthetic materials

(MORE: Alternative Cladding Options for Your Home)

PVCu House Cladding

PVCu can be one of the cheapest house cladding options — although it should be noted that some of the top-quality versions may cost no less than timber.

It comes in white, coloured and timber effect versions and is made from cellular PVC using a process that creates two layers. The outer skin contains UV-resistant titanium-dioxide — meaning that good quality PVC is long lasting and requires minimal maintenance.

It is easy to fit on a DIY-basis, thanks to its lightweight properties and being sold as interlocking boards.

The detailing is not always as delicate as that of timber and although lower maintenance than timber equivalents, PVCu can, over time, discolour — unless you are willing to pay more for those higher quality versions. These often come with up to 20-year discolouration guarantees.

(MORE: Exterior Makeover Design Guide)

Timber House Cladding

There are many types of timber cladding, from softwood, to those that are chemically or heat treated.

Softwood Cladding:

Softwood timber cladding is good option for those on a budget. Low cost timbers include spruce and pine, with the very lowest prices starting between £5-8/m² for boards in their raw state, unfitted.

These will need priming and painting and regular maintenance in the form of preservative treatments and re-painting. Due to their maintenance requirements they can, over time, actually work out to be more expensive than some hardwoods — although if you plan to move on quickly, this may not be your concern.

What is Heat-Treated Timber Cladding?

For those with a slightly bigger budget there are several types of timber house cladding that fit the bill — needing no initial or even subsequent staining in order to maintain their looks.

Lately, the use of unstained timbers has increased. These include cedar, larch and spruce, as well as oak and chestnut. These timbers can last for many decades without any surface coating and are designed to weather attractively over time.

Boards are supplied in a number of ways, but timber cladding is a job that is possible to carry out on a DIY basis should you wish to save money. If you were to call in the professionals, you could expect to pay around £42/m² for the boards and fitting.

Heat-treated timbers, such as Thermowood, Kebony and Accoya, are also a good choice. The heat treatment reduces their moisture content and makes them more stable than untreated timber.

Shou Sugi Ban Cladding

There is a current trend for using charred timber cladding, a practice that has been around for hundreds of years in Japan.

It involves running a blowtorch across the surface of the timber boarding to blacken it, but not to burn it. It is know as  Shou Sugi Ban. The resulting look is a very attractive, black finish with lots of visual interest.

House Cladding Profiles

1 Feather-edged
2 Shiplap
3 Shiplap, tongue-and-groove
4 PVCu cladding
5 Square-edged
6 Tongue-and-groove

Cladding a House Using Tiles

If you are hoping for a more traditional finish, consider tile hanging — a prominent feature of many houses in the South-East of England.

Tile hanging doesn’t come in cheap, at around £46/m², depending on the tiles (handmade clay will be considerably more expensive than concrete) but adds a great deal of character to a building.

For those after something a little more contemporary, large format porcelain tile cladding is also now available. Take a look at the range from Porcelanosa.

How Does House Rendering Work?

There are many render options when it comes to house cladding. As well as the standard cement-based renders there has been fresh interest in lime and clay plasters, as well as the latest ‘monochouche’ (French for ‘single layer’ or ‘bed’) renders.

Monocouche renders use white cement and are pre-coloured, so that what you are applying is as much a decorative finish as a weatherproofing layer. They can be applied in one coat (typically around 15mm thick) and so, even though more costly initually, are less labour intensive than traditional renders.

A monocouche render is supplied in bag form ready for mixing with water; it is then either applied by hand trowel or sprayed on.

At around £48/m² (installed), render works for both contemporary and traditional designs, covering any unsightly brickwork

If you are willing spend a little more, through-coloured renders are a convenient, non-paint option.

House Cladding: What Does it Cost?

Remember, cheapest is not always best. These prices do not include fixings or labour.

  • PVCu: From £31/m²
  • Softwood Cladding: From £5/m²
  • Hardwood and treated timbers: From £40-£45/m²
  • Render: Rendering using a sand and cement ‘scratch coat’ and a finer render topcoat, followed by two coats of external masonry paint: From £40/², incl. labour.
  • Fibre Cement Cladding: From 31/m²
  • Hung clay tiles: From £45/m²
  • Stone cladding: From £60/m²

What is Fibre Cement Cladding?

Pre-finished fibre cement boards are are a long-lasting and low maintenance option. They are also available in a wide variety of colours and finishes.

For some, their uniform, ‘perfect’ appearance appeals, whilst others prefer the more natural, rustic appeal of timber.

Glass reinforced concrete cladding panels are another option.

What are Brick Slips?

Brick is often laid as a self-supporting, ground-bearing skin. However, there is an increasing use of brick skins or slips, hung off a metal base that is fixed to an inner wall.

Although they are quick to lay, brick slips are an expensive house cladding option.

The Difference Between a Rainscreen and House Cladding

A rain screen is a term that applies to an integrated system, complete with a concealed steel framework on which the external cladding material is fixed. They are also known as curtain walling and can be made from metal, glass or a modern take on traditional materials, such as tiles.

Ask the manufacturer about warranties for the cladding, and check that the material is acceptable to your structural insurance provider, to ensure that you’re covered.

Home Makeovers Using Cladding

If you are looking to make a quick profit from your home or just want to update the look of your house on a budget, consider simply improving on what you already have. There are several ways to improve the appearance of a house without fully cladding it.

Painting any ugly brickwork or dirty grey pebble-dash a fresh new shade may well suffice.

Bear in mind, too, that it may not be necessary to clad the entire house — often focusing on just the upper storey or including a feature panel will smarten up an exterior.

Check out these amazing external makeovers for some inspiration.

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Bag Types… The Real World Dictionary

bag-types-the-real-world-dictionary

Bag Types or Bag Styles

When shopping for a new handbag or everyday bag you may find yourself a little confused by the overwhelming number of bag types or styles you may come across. What’s the difference between a handbag and a tote? A clutch and a wristlet? Or a satchel and a hobo? Which design is right for you? When and what are they used for? Many of you may already know the differences, but this little write up is for those who want a little more guidance.

Shopping for a new bag can be confusing. Sure, you may have seen one you like or a style that takes your fancy- but where do start your search for one? Start by knowing the basic “bag types“.

Let’s keep it simple and take a look at the most common bag types

Get yourself across the 6 basic types of bag styles that are the most popular with today’s shoppers.

  • Handbag bags

A handbag could be considered a generic name for any ladies everyday bag. But for the purpose of categorising bag types, a handbag is your typical, conventional everyday bag identified by having a large main storage compartment. Usually a zippered, buckled or buttoned-up opening at the top. A main feature is for a handbag to have a pair of small carry handles allowing it to be easily carried around by hand (giving it its namesake of ‘handbag’). A lot of handbags often have the option of a shoulder strap that can be clipped on or off as needed giving the bag a dual-carrying design. (Other variants include hobo, evening bag, cross-body bag, bowlers bag, shoulder bag, safari bag)

  • Totes bags

A Tote is similar to a handbag in the way that it has a large main compartment for storage and a pair of carry handles. A typical design of a tote is they taper out at the top to allow the opening to open wide making to easier to search the contents. Usually a tote doesn’t have a way of closing the entry or opening but in saying that this isn’t a definitive rule as you may still find a ‘tote’ style design with a zipper or clasp as a way of securing the bag to stop things falling out or to secure the contents from theft. (Other variants include shoppers, half moon bag, swagger, bucket bag, beach bags)

  • Satchel bags

A satchel is a very popular bag style as they are small (large enough for an ipad or exercise book) yet still practical. They are characterised by the opening being more like a flap that folds down over one side opposed to having the opening at the top (kind of like an envelope). Many designs of satchels are available the shapes can range from rectangle, square, round to the shape of animals and cartoon characters. The handle is usually a single, long, thin shoulder strap that is often worn across the body for comfort. (Other variants include envelope, canteen)

  • Messenger bags

A messenger bag in some ways are very similar to a satchel however they are much larger in size and are usually a more rectangle shape. They are popular with both men and women and many people utilise these bags for carrying technology such as iPads and laptops as well as paperwork, books and documentation. They are popular with urban professionals for this reason. The straps are usually a long shoulder strap that is wider and more durable than the straps found on satchels. Designed to worn across the body for comfort. Many people who ride push bikes to work will prefer a messenger bag for their ability to easily carry all the important stuff comfortably. (Other variants include school bag, cross-body)

  • Hobos bags

A hobo bag is conventionally just a deviation of a normal handbag but hobos are identified by the shape of the top opening section being a crescent shape and will tend to ‘sag’ in the middle in its natural state. Simply just a design of bag rather than ‘type’ but you will find this name thrown about when shopping for a new bag. They are popular because the can often hold a good amount stuff. (Other variants include crescent bag, half moon bag)

  • Clutches bags

A clutch is simply a small rectangle bag that has no handles. You ‘clutch’ it with your hands and carry it with you. Many clutches will have small wallet styled features inside for money and cards etc. These are a popular option when carrying a full sized bag is either not necessary or inconvenient. You may see the word wristlet used, these are basically just a small clutch with a carry strap on one side big enough to slide you hand through and have it hung from your wrist.

In Summary

If you are a true bag aficionado then perhaps the above descriptions are a little basic, but for the rest of us they are a great reference and starting point for unravelling the maze of bag shopping.

You may often see more then one of the above bag types used to describe the one handbag style- its not uncommon for many bag designers to incorporate the best features of more than one bag type to create hybrids.

At the end of the day however, if you don’t really care about the ‘style’ or the bag type you will simply just shop with your eyes and make you decision of which bag you like the most and which bag is going to suit your needs perfectly.

Happy Shopping!

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Aluminium Windows: A Buyer’s Guide

Aluminium Windows: A Buyer's Guide


Aluminium windows have recently become the material of choice when it comes to finishing modern homes and, more increasingly, renovating period-style properties.

Glazing plays a huge part in defining new builds’ elevations and refreshing an existing homes’ kerb appeal. It’s therefore worth prioritising your time when it comes to designing the way you want them to look.

Sleek and versatile, aluminium windows come in all shapes, sizes and colours (yes, companies offer more than just Anthracite). However, it pays to be savvy in your shopping and look out for the best value for money. This means watching out for build quality in terms of finish and security, not just the cheapest price.

Are Aluminium Windows the Best Option?

One of the main attractions to aluminium windows is their slim sightlines that won’t break up or look out of place against a large expanse of glazing but there are many more practical advantages to choosing aluminium frames over other materials:

  • Lightweight and versatile but durable
  • Resilient to warping, corrosion and flexing
  • Thermally efficient
  • Although more costly than uPVC upfront, aluminium frames last longer and overall they are more affordable than timber
  • 100% recyclable
  • Almost completely maintenance free

Sightlines

‘Flush’ is the key word when choosing aluminium as the way the opening and fixed glass elements sit against each other side by side will make an impact of the slick look of the finished product.

Uniform sightlines result in stylish, seamless exterior façades and many architects and homeowners want a system in which all units are identical.

Finish

Many manufacturers offer frames prefinished in any RAL colour, which means greater flexibility when considering the kerb appeal. That said, black and anthracite reign supreme for more traditional and period homes as they can replicate slimmer traditional styles in Belgian doors and Crittall-style heritage windows.

Getting Quotes: How to Choose

The rule of thumb is to get quotes from at least three suppliers as there will no doubt be a huge range in amounts. Make sure you compare like-for-like (locks, handles, any required pressings etc) as additional extras might sway your decision. 

Remember, buying windows is more than just a pricing game: lead-in times can hugely impact your project. It’s important to be aware that a cheap buy with long manufacture and delivery times can delay a schedule and impact other aspects of a build.

Lead-in times are generally dictated by the manufacturers themselves and the industry standard is around four to eight weeks. However, if you’re in a pinch, Origin offer an optional 24 hour delivery promise, ‘Your Lead Time Not Ours’.

Don’t forget, as most systems require specialist fitting, you will need to coordinate with a local approved installation firm if the window company doesn’t offer a fitting service.

Quality Checking

Consider the Quality of the Finish

There can be a huge variety in the quality of the aluminium windows themselves. Good quality companies use prime billets in the manufacture of the windows, rather than cheaper scrap metal. To be sure, ask questions as to the grade of the aluminium used when shopping around. 

Premium aluminium should have a smooth and consistent finish so watch out for pitting from when the profile has been heated during powder coating. The die should be polished – reducing corrosion and avoiding contamination on the surface – after each extrusion run to create a high quality finish.

What to Look for in Build Quality

There are huge variations in the quality of how the window has been put together by suppliers. For example, when it comes to composite systems – which combine two materials, usually timber on the inside and aluminium externally – ensure that the external and internal frame elements are distinct (rather than, for instance, comprising a wooden frame clad on to an aluminium skin).

When comparing products, ask from where the key elements originated and where they were actually manufactured.

Security Requirements

Most windows and doors manufacturers aim to talk up their products’ security but now, thanks to changes to Part Q of the Building Regulations in 2015 and the Secured By Design standards, there are measurable ways of ensuring your choice ticks the boxes.

New builds require accessible windows (basement, ground floor and other easily accessible windows) as part of Part Q to be made to a design that has been shown through testing to meet the security requirements of British Standards Publication PAS 24:2012. 

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Window Styles: How to Make the Right Choice

Window Styles: How to Make the Right Choice


Without a doubt one of the biggest purchases in a self-build, extension or renovation, deciding on window styles can make or break your house design.

Our facades are often more window than wall these days, so it is highly important to take into account the thermal performance and energy efficiency, not just how much natural light it will bring to the table.

Be it a complete self build or renovation, or an extension and remodel, the style of window you choose makes a huge impact on the overall appearance of the building and can influence how you interact with different rooms.

Choosing the Right Window Style for Your Home

The positioning of windows will be informed and influences by room layouts and the shape of the house itself but the shape and type of the windows themselves should be taken into serious consideration when deciding on the exterior and interior finishes.

For instance, a contemporary, single-storey house is improved by similarly narrow, vertical windows (as below) but old cottages look odd with large glazed openings forced into thick stone walls.

The golden ratio – as developed in classical architecture – is still used today as a general rule of thumb. The ratio proportions are 1:1:618 meaning a vertical sash window at 800mm wide should be 1,300mm tall.

Window Styles for Traditional Homes

If you’re building in period style or renovating an older home, choosing appropriate materials and styles is a must — in most cases this will mean timber casements. Modern window companies can replicate older styles where possible but unfortunately you cannot effectively replicate wood grain with PVCu, although there are a few manufacturers might try.

Small casement windows are associated with cottages and there are some stunning offerings out there, but a trickier style to replicate with double glazing is a Georgian and early Victorian era multi-pan sliding sash as achieving glazing bars which are as elegant with modern methods is tough.

Window Styles for Contemporary Homes

As glazing became progressively cheaper and easier to work with over the centuries, the size of our windows grew. By the time of the advent of modernism in the early 20th century, simplicity became the watchword: minimising not just the amount of framing but also the frame width itself.

You could consider the more modern the house or build-style, the bigger and cleaner the glazing should be. Timber will soften a rendered exterior of a modern home, while aluminium windows are perfect for minimalist styles.

What are the Different Types of Window?

Open-out Casements

A traditional British option (historically and in the 20th century), open-out casements are available in a variety of formats. Large casements tend to be the cheapest, but you can choose split casements for cottage-style designs, and small glazed units (‘Georgian style’). Costs tend to be lower as they are usually made in modular, standard sizes.

Types of Casement-style Windows

1. Side Hung: The most recognisable casement. It is hinged at the side for easy opening
2. Top Light: A fixed pane divided from a narrow glazed top-hinged casement
3. Sliding Folding: The sash is hinged so that it folds, increasing the area of openable window to an almost clear expanse
4. Top Hung/ Awning: A casement window that is hinged at the top. Perfect for wet climates as it blocks out rain
5. Bottom Hung/ Hopper: A casement window that is hinged at the bottom. most commonly used in basement
6. Centre Hinge/ Pivot: A window that is hinged in the centre to allow for a wider opening, it requires less of a swinging clearance

Tilt and Turn

Continental-style tilt and turn windows open inwards, and look best on modern designs. The ‘tilt’ option provides ventilation with security. They are typically made to order, increasing the cost.

Sash

Sash windows are essential when renovating or replicating Georgian and Victorian housing, still widely used on traditional-style new builds. Sizes are typically not standard but windows need to be in proport­ion to the house, so are often bespoke.

Sponsored by Ventrolla

When it comes to renovating older homes with original features, such as sash windows, it is worth contacting a specialist to see if the windows can be repaired or whether replacement is required. If the windows do need replacing then it is a great opportunity to solve some of the negative effects of older windows, such as draughts and rattles.

If you are looking for a sash window replacement, you will need to choose an option that not only maintains the look and charm of the original window, but that also offers increased energy efficiency and noise control as well as being fully draught proof.

Contact Ventrolla for expert advice on sash window repair or renovation.

What is the Best Material to Choose?

Plastic Windows

PVCu windows long reigned supreme as the dominant material for replacement windows and for good reason. A quick and easy option, plastic windows are low-maintenance and cheap.

Pros:

  • Cheapest overall although costs var with quality
  • Low-maintenance

Cons:

  • Can look cheap
  • Can reduce the value of period homes
  • Not easy to repair
  • Doors can be weak

Costs 

  • £5,000-£15,000 for a one-off house

Timber Windows

Timber’s main selling point is the feel and authenticity it offers to period-style homes: there is no real replacement for the warmth of traditional timber windows.

Softwood Pros:

  • Nothing can beat the tactility and detailing of a timber framed window
  • Softwood is popular among those on a limited budget as they are the cheapest option if glazed and decorated on site
  • Can be stained, but are usually painted
  • Suites both contemporary and traditional style homes

Softwood Cons:

  • On-site glazing carries a risk of double-glazing failure (i.e. misted units)
  • Factory glazing lowers the risk but costs more
  • Softwood requires repainting every few years

Best Softwoods to Choose

Douglas fir is a very stable, durable softwood while European Redwood (also known as Scots Pine) is less prone to dimensional change and movement.

Hardwood Pros:

  • Have a tighter grain than softwoods, making them more stable and durable
  • Can be treated to be further stabilised
  • Most popular on traditional-style homes
  • Usually stained

Hardwood Cons: It’s expensive — anything up to four times the cost of softwood

Costs

  • Softwood: £6,000-£15,000, less if ‘DIYed’ on site
  • Hardwood: Between £8,000 and £20,000

Composite Windows

If you’re struggling with the choice of materials, there is a compromise — the so-called composite systems that mix different framing materials inside and out.

Pros:

  • Best of both worlds as they usually consist of timber windows with a weather-proof capping, such as aluminium strips or plastic
  • Can withstand harsh climates (widely used in such as Canada and Sweden)
  • Great for triple-glazing
  • Complement modern designs
  • Low maintenance but offer the warmth of timber

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Unlikely to be made to standard UK sizes if ordered from the Continent 

Costs

  • Between £10,000 and £25,000 — expect to pay 25% more for triple glazing

Metal/Fibreglass/Alloy Windows

(MORE: Aluminium Windows: How to Choose)

Pros:

  • Popular among contemporary-style homes but increasingly popular in period properties (particularly for Belgian doors)
  • GRP (fibreglass) can create a strong load-bearing frame
  • GRB can be supplied in any colour
  • Low maintenance
  • Produce finer frames

Cons:

  • Not as thermally efficient as wood
  • Can be expensive

Costs

  • Between £8,000 and £20,000

Choosing the Right Glazing for the Style of Window

On-site double glazing is the cheapest option for DIY self-builders, usually done with softwood frames which are then painted on site. Slow and time consuming, most suppliers are moving away from on-site glazing for new installations.

New methods in factory double glazing mean that many windows can be clipped into templates from inside, thus stream­lining the installation. However, it is more expensive than on-site glazing.

Low E

Low-emissivity or ‘low-E’ glass (as it is more commonly known) is a type of glazing designed specifically to prevent heat escaping through windows. Low-E double glazing meets Building Regulations in the UK (such as Part L1B in England) for replacement windows and new windows for extensions.

Benefits include:

  • Can reduce heat loss by at least as four or five times compared with single glazing
  • Solar control glass can be specified to educe excessive solar gain in the summer for areas of the home susceptible to overheating

Triple glazing

Once only popular in low-energy homes, triple glazing is rapidly becoming a standard solution for today’s window suppliers. 

Benefits include:

  • Excellent comfort levels as it evens our temperature profiles of rooms
  • Great for noise reduction for homes near busy roads etc.
  • Helps minimise overheating
  • Some suppliers offer special coatings that will allow solar gain when required (i.e. in winter)

However, the issue is really around where to put it, with most experts agreeing that it’s near-essential on north-facing elevations with lots of glazing and to be generally avoided on south-facing elevations.

How to Compare the Costs of Windows

It’s useful to rank window costs on a square metre basis. Suppliers tend to dislike this because you don’t buy windows by the square metre: they are priced individually and generally the larger the actual window, the less it costs per square metre, so reducing a window range down to a square metre price is never going to produce an accurate pricing method. But from a comparison point of view, it’s a very useful tool.

Take the total amount quoted to supply windows and divide by the area of the window openings to derive the square metre rates.

Ordering Windows

This very much depends on whether you’re opting for off-the-shelf windows or bespoke products, and can also differ from company to company.

A general lead time would be around 12 weeks, however, it goes without saying that bespoke windows will inevitably carry longer lead times. It is best to not order too early on in the project in case amendments to the building design or aperture sizes occur.

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