The latest technology in composite decking

Although homeowners have come to appreciate the extra outdoor space that wooden decking provides, not everyone knows about some of the latest technology such as composite decking. Here, we look at some recent advances, new products and special fixtures for that perfect garden decking appearance.

Composite decking is ideal to make the most of sunny days or even just bright intervals. Available in a choice of finishes, the boards are made from sustainable reclaimed natural wood mixed with synthetic cellulose based material such as polyethylene. This gives a much more authentic and attractive result than plastic decking and is not prone to cracking or bowing. Additionally, the boards last significantly longer than untreated wood; there are no problems with rot, splinters or warping. Composite decking is durable, as well as resistant to fading and surface scratches. This solution offers the charm of a fine timber appearance with a longer life span. In the long term, it is cheaper than untreated wood.

Capped composite decking technology goes one step further, with a coating of polymer resin to give highly durable decking boards which are designed to really last. The slip-resistant surfaces are suitable for small or large projects and no wood oil, sealant or paint is needed. The polymer sleeve keeps the board safe from liquid spillages and stains; it can also be wiped or mopped clean instantly, making this decking solution perfect for exterior eating or dining areas. Boards are available in a wide choice of colours. Gray is proving to be one of the most popular in the decking marketplace. A New Company called Eco composite decking say this is their best selling colour.

You can also find more information on amazon about this company

When choosing a supplier or brand, it is useful to have an insight into the manufacturing process. A good supplier will use clean, sustainable sources of hardwood for a natural looking, quality result. Completely enclosed boards are better than cheaper alternatives that leave the sides or underneath surface exposed and, therefore, prone to moisture and deterioration. In addition, the best products are fully recyclable at the end of their long life.

However, it is not only decking boards that have benefited from the latest material and manufacturing technology; decking fixtures have seen advances too. Hidden fasteners hold the decking together for a showcase appearance and are suitable for use with grooved boards. Convenient bulk fixing packs are ideal for covering a given area; they come with colour matched and specially designed screws, which are designed to avoid any mushrooming distortion effect on the wood. Selected fastenings are manufactured from zinc phosphate and specially treated with a coating to prevent corrosion and discolouration, with a lubricated top coat for easy installation. Then, for that final touch, other options include edging boards, rubber shoes and polymer posts as well as special landscaping fabric to prevent weed growth, yet which allows moisture and air to pass through.

One of the largest composite decking ranges in the UK is from Composite Decking Wales who are market leaders in this field.

In summary, the latest technology in composite decking offers an attractive appearance, super durability and very low maintenance costs and minimal effort. Benefits include maximum return and extra useful extra outdoor space. There are now more reasons than ever to go ahead this autumn. Enjoy updated decking this season!

For further information on capped composite decking click here.

If you are looking to construct a road to your house you will need to analyse the ground, to assess how deep the foundations will need to be. This test is called a CBR Test or The California bearing ratio and is a penetration test. For further information on cbr testing see this article on what is cbr testing and plate bearing test.

The material you select for the road could be concrete or asphalt or there are a new range of plastic road surfaces.

Tips To Sell Your Home Quickly

Brown and White House Beside Garden

It’s true, selling property in this country can be a long and drawn-out process. Are you preparing to put your house on the market, but need to sell it quickly? Don’t worry, as it is not impossible.

If you take the right steps and put a lot of work in before you start advertising for viewings and negotiating with potential buyers, not only will you sell your home quicker, but you may even sell it for more than you thought you might initially.

Let’s take a look at some of the key steps you can take to get that quick sale you need.

Be as Close to Sale Ready as Possible

The best way to speed up the process of selling your home is to ensure that everything is in order on your end and that you are ready to sell up when you get a potential buyer that becomes an actual buyer. This means getting advice from your mortgage adviser, organising a solicitor before you even put the house on the market and making sure all the important documentation for the home and the potential sale are in order.

You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression – So Make It Count

Before you put your home on the market, you need to make sure it is ready to be viewed. The majority of house buyers tend to make up their mind whether they want to buy a property or not within a few short minutes during a viewing. Therefore, you need to make sure your house is clean and tidy on the inside and outside. The kerb appeal plays a crucial role in whether your property will actually sell or not.

Create a Blank Canvas

Although it may be a little sad, it’s time to also work on the interior, decluttering and depersonalising it. Buyers need to be able to envision themselves making a home for themselves in your property. They will find this a lot harder if there are constant reminders of who currently lives there. Therefore, it’s best to remove as many of the personal items, like photographs and ornaments that are specific to your taste.

If your décor is very personalised to your own unique style, it may be time to get the white and cream paints out and create a blank canvas. This will help buyers to imagine what it might be like with all their belongings and colour schemes in the house. Which is likely to result in quicker sales.

Repair and Maintenance

The value of your property and its appeal will increase if it is in better repair and looks like it has been cared for properly. Therefore, as well as giving all the walls and ceilings a fresh coat of neutral paint, you need to go around the house with your toolbox or the help of a professional tradesman to repair and fix all those units, doors and other components you’ve put off so many times in the past.

Be Flexible With Regards Viewings

One thing that is key to making a quick sale is being as flexible as you can with the requests for viewing appointments. You may not want to deal with strangers coming into your home in the evening after you’ve been hard at work all day. However, that may be the only available time in their own busy schedule to come and view your property. Not showing a willingness to be flexible and allowing them to view your home, may mean you miss out on that important sale.Whereas, if you are willing to work at arranging times that suits all the potential buyers interested in your property, you are more likely to find a buyer than if you are very rigid with your viewings.

Whether you’re buying or selling a property, visit for advice regarding conveyancing and home surveys

Why Hire A Professional Landscaper

Pathway Between Pink Tulip Flowers

As a proud homeowner, you will want to keep your garden and the grounds of your property looking as good as the property itself does on the exterior and interior. Although you may want to save some money by taking care of it by yourself, there is a lot involved. From the designing and planning to the building and maintaining, you need to consider whether you have enough time or whether it may be worth hiring a professional landscaper.

To help convince you that this is the right move, we are going to discuss several key reasons why you need a landscaper.

Time-Saving and Convenient

Sure, it is a nice achievement to work in your own garden. To know that you’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into it. Well, it is when things go according to plan. As you are not a professional though, it is less likely to go to plan and could take you a lot of time to complete.

Your time is precious. Our modern lives are so busy now and you may struggle to find the time in your weekly schedule to commit to doing anything in the garden or around the exterior of your property.

That’s why, if you hire a professional to do it for you, you are saved the extra work and have free time to enjoy with your family and friends. You can sit back and enjoy the fruits of the labour, even if it wasn’t your own labour.

Professional Landscapers Have Access to The Best Equipment and Tools

Maybe you want to save a little bit of money by taking on the work yourself. However, you need to remember that professional landscapers have access to the best equipment and tools. Some of the items they use to complete the work they do to a high standard you won’t have in your tool shed.

If you did try to do it yourself and were unfamiliar with one of the tools or pieces of equipment, you could cause problems. Problems that you may need to hire a professional landscaper to correct, so why not save yourself some stress, time and money?

They Know Their Craft

As commendable as it is to have a go at something you have no specialist training or experience in, it may not produce the results you really want for your garden. Whereas if you hire a professional who works on landscape projects week in, week out, whether they are big, small, complex or simple, you get a wealth of experience and insider knowledge at your disposal.

They will be able to come in, plan out according to your requirements and then start preparing the area before wasting no time and getting to work clearing, tidying and bringing your garden to life.

Landscapers spend their working week around plants and if you hire a local professional, you will get the benefit of their expertise as to which plants work best and which don’t. Thanks to the fact professional landscapers work in the industry, they often have connections with suppliers and retailers and know where to get the best plants to really make your garden perfect.

Unless you are a big fan of plants and flowers already, it could take you much longer to hunt down just the right species and it’s unlikely you would get them for the same price as a professional.

Save You Money

Despite their actual fee, which can be quite expensive depending on where you are, hiring a professional in the long run could be more economical. They are unlikely to make costly mistakes and as labour, equipment, and materials will be factored into their fee, there is not a whole host of additional costs you need to worry about when hiring a professional.

Is composite decking worth the extra cost?

Composite decking has become very popular over the last few years with sales exploding and the range of decking boards increasing all the time. But is it worth the extra cost?
It all depends on how much you wish to spend on your outside living space. Composite decking will always be more expensive than traditional wood decking, however if you looks at the cost over 5 or more years, it starts to make more sense. One of the biggest advantages composite decking has over wood is that it requires virtually no maintenance.  With wood decking you have to stain it each year to ensure the wood is sealed. Composite decking does not require this with at most a wipe down every year. Also the plastic or composite decking is more slip resistant and does not splinter.

Composite decking reviews

Which composite decking should you choose

This depends a lot on the style and colour you want.  One downside of composite decking other than the high price is that it can get very hot when exposed to direct sunlight. If you opt for dark colours this makes it much worse, so if you are planning a composite deck with no trees or buildings for shade, then it will pay to go for a ligher colour. Eco composite decking offer a wide range of decking products which are marketed as eco friendly and are proving very popular.

The decking you finally choose will come down to the price and the reviews of the different products. To find out more about the different types of decking try composite decking reviews which will list all the main manufactures with reviews of their products.

There are some horror stories out their so you should read all the reviews before making up your mind about the decking you wish to use. Click here for more info.

How much does it cost to change the locks on a house uk

The cost to replace a standard lock in the UK starts from around £40 for the lock and fitting would be around the same price. Over 50% of people who buy a house do not change the locks, which is very surprising because of the low cost  and increased security.

The Yale front door lock is one of the most common locks in the UK and provide reasonable security with their self locking mechanism, however their are much more secure locks on the market.

It is possible to fit locks yourself if you have the correct tools, however for piece of mind it is well worth employing a professional locksmith to replace the locks. For more information on lock replacement click here  for full details.

For additional security it pays to install an additional deadlock which provides increased security. These range from between £25 to £100 depending on type and make of lock. If you are in the UK it is recommended that you have a deadlock fitted that complies  with  British Standards. One of the most secure is The British Standard BS3621 5 lever deadlock which is insurance approved and offers the maximum security level. This type of lock is recommended by insurance companies and the police.

Many insurance companies will not cover your property unless the final exit door is fitted with a mortice deadlock with at least 5 levers or is fitted with a lock conforming to BS3621 or to a higher specification.

When you are taking out home insurance do not lie, if you have not got a 5 lever or BS 3621 lock on your front door, do not say you have, as making a false statement could invalidate your insurance.

If you are unsure ask a qualified locksmith who will be able to advise you and fit the  required lock to meet these standards.

How to fit a mortice lock


Nightlatches should only be used as secondary locks and must not be used as the sole lock on the door. A mortice deadlock will require a key to both lock and unlock it and should carry the kitemark and be manufactured to BS3621


Making the most of your outside space with a Wintergarden

Getting the most out of your outside space is an increasingly popular option especially in the UK because of the bad weather.

Glass extensions have improved over the years and gone are the times when in the summer you would melt and, in the winter, you would freeze.

glass veranda extension

One of the highest quality providers of glass extensions is SOLARLUX who produce and manufacture a customised range of glass extensions products which are known as Wintergardens.

Building a wintergarden is a great way of adding space to your home to extend your living area and also enabling you to enjoy your outside space with uninterrupted views of your garden.

With a Wintergarden you can enjoy your outside space during all seasons. You can experience the snow falling, wind and rain from the comfort of your wintergarden and experience nature at first hand.

A Solarlux wintergarden will increase your property value and add added living comfort to your home.

The folded glazed panels of your glass extension allow space to be opened up and form a bridge to your garden.

Your extension can be harmonised and integrated with the architectural accent of your home, or we can create a bespoke solution for you.  If you would like to find out more about Solarlux glass wintergardens see this site.

They have installed a wide range of glass extensions which you can view online. They also provide a free 3d design service so you can see what the glass extension would look like on your home.

The Importance of Fencing your Property

Whether you are a homeowner, or own a plot of land, fencing your property may have crossed your mind on many occasions. There are many reasons as to why placing a fence around your property can offer a sense of relief, and having one installed can prove to provide many benefits.
Fences are available in a range of sizes and materials, and can be designed to suit your needs, whether that is for fencing the back of a property or the front. Homeowners find by installing a fence around their property, their privacy is increased, it may be for the reason of keeping people out, or keeping yourself hidden, but fencing provides those securities.

Privacy is an important element to our living spaces, it is one thing that we all look for when purchasing a property. It is that sense of security knowing you can’t be peered into by others, and by installing a fence around your property, you are able to rid that occurrence. Fences supply various levels of privacy, but it ultimately falls down to how private do you want your property to be: from short fences, to tall fences, each one is designed to capture your preference.
Fences can be used to accentuate features, or block out unwanted visitors, so the type of fence you choose can help put that into action.
Another important feature of fencing is security. Something that also coincides with privacy, it allows your property to be hidden from prying eyes and aids in preventing intruders. For areas that are prone for high levels of crime, fencing helps to keep your property safe, and with the vast amount of fencing options available, your choice of wooden or electric fencing is endless. Fencing isn’t just designed to keep people out, but wildlife too, if your area is prone to wild animals, then fencing can help protect your property from potential damage.

There is also the ability to improve the safety of your property with the instalment of fences. With security, it is designed to keep people out, but through the safety of a fence, it can provide a safe environment and comfort to young children and pets. Using a fence for safety, can prevent children and animals from wandering into the outside world, and can help reduce the risk of unnecessary incidents. For many, the importance of fencing your property is focused around safety and security, but there is also the importance of fencing being used for decorative purposes. There are many types of fences that can be used to accentuate features of a property, perhaps you have a small pond, or glowing rose bush that requires a small decorative fence to make it stand out, or you have a desire to purchase top of the line fencing to make your property higher in value. Whatever the reason, fencing has its importance and in more ways than one.
A fence is the first thing many notice as they approach your property, and whether you require it for protection or as a decorative piece, it should be something that you are comfortable with. Fencing should be seen as an investment, and a good one at that. It should add an instant appeal to your property, which in turn, helps improve its value over time. Whether you live in an area that has a fencing requirement, or you want that extra security, there are endless pieces of fencing material that can match your desired tastes and situation. Fencing is an important addition to your property; it is a home improvement that will provide much comfort and reassurance to your living space.

Materials That Can Be Used for Garden Decking

For those who wish to create decked garden areas to improve their homes there is a variety of decking materials from which to make a choice. Wood is the most traditional of these materials and decking boards are available in a variety of different timbers including hardwoods such as Teak, Ipe and Iroko. Softwood from coniferous trees is also used to manufacture decking boards and both come in a variety of finishes. More contemporary decking board materials are UPVC (plastic) and composite decking. Again these are available in a variety of styles and colours. But given the large amount of choices available, what is the best type of decking board to choose?

Simply because it is going to spend its life exposed to the elements, garden decking needs to be robust as well as easy to build with and maintain. Any choice of board needs to offer the best value for money as well as the most attractive finish and of course durability.

Timber decking, whether made of soft or hard wood, is a traditional natural material and will be familiar to everyone. Timber decking boards are treated with varying degrees of preservatives and finishes that are designed to prolong the life of the wood; however whether it is stained, varnished or painted, timber decking is going to need regular maintenance to ensure that it remains protected from damage from weather, fungus, mould and insect infestation. Whilst timber decking often comes with guarantees of protection from decay, it will nonetheless require regular checking and maintenance to keep it at its best.

UPVC deck boards are made of high impact thermoplastic and as therefore entirely artificial in nature. As they are composed of plastic, UPVC deck boards are easy to maintain and keep clean. They are available in a variety of colours and wood-grain effects and are usually non-slip. Because they are plastic they will have an artificial appearance.

Composite decking boards are made of re-cycled wood and plastic polymers bound together to give a hard timber-like material that is less prone to damage from weather, water, mould, rot and insect infestation. Composite decking is also far more resistant to scratches and stains than timber. It is available in a variety of styles and colours that have the appearance of timber but none of the drawbacks. Composite decking is available in two kinds and these are called capped and uncapped. Capped composite decking is covered with a coating that makes it even more durable and resistant to damage than its non-capped relative. Composite decking can be worked in exactly the same way that timber can, using the same traditional tools. It is also cheaper to buy than traditional timber decking.

Given its durability, timber-like appearance and value for money, capped composite decking is clearly the best choice for any decking project.

Garden decking design ideas

If you want to enhance the look of your garden, but don’t have the time for lots of gardening, then timber decking may be the solution. Nowadays decking comes in a variety of colours and patterns, and with a little bit of once-a-year care can last for years.

decking 8

Decking Spaces
Decking is traditionally used in place of a patio, leading from the back door down to the grass. However there are plenty of other outdoor spaces that are suitable for decking. If you’ve converted a garden shed in to a home office, then decking outside the door can add to the look of a professional work space. If you have a pool, decking instead of a tiled surround will be less cold in the spring, and less rough on bare feet, as well as being less slippery when wet.

Other alternatives include using decking on the floor of a balcony, or if you are considering a roof terrace (if you have a flat roof space over a garage for example) then decking makes an excellent base. The wood is light enough to not damage the ceiling underneath, and it can be decorated with potted plants, or a trellis along the edge with vines, to create a quiet outdoor space without losing any lawn.


If you think that decking will be a series of dull, straight-marked planks set in a square or rectangle, think again! A good fitter will work with you to work out a particular pattern or setting that suits your style. From a basic, diagonal setting through to a herringbone. You can also have unlined wood, which could be laid to make a central diamond shape, or used to frame the edges of the pattern.

EasyClean Terrain Elm with Birch pic framing_Cardiff (4)

Traditionally decking is kept brown, but at least with different stains you can have different shades that look like other types of wood, from a dark chestnut or elm, through to the paler creamy tones of cedar, or the reddish hints of teak. Alternatively if you think brown wouldn’t match with the outside of your house, you can also stain the wood with a few shades of grey, such as slate.


A lot of people are concerned about how frequently they need to clean their decking and whether the wood rots in the damp British winters. The good news is that decking is easy to maintain. The wood is treated to prevent it moulding and rotting, but you can add a layer of clear varnish if you want. As for cleaning, a hose and a quick scrub with a stiff brush at the beginning of spring can help refresh the colour for the warmer weather.

Which type of decking is the most low-maintenance?

Construction materials used to create garden decks such as wood and later plastic are susceptible to various problems that require regular maintenance work or the complete replacement of decking systems. Faults with these substances led to a search for a low-maintenance building material that resulted in the development of composite decks that require little expenditure of time, money or effort for their upkeep.

Hardwood garden decking

Although hardwood is stronger and more durable than softwood garden decks are exposed to the elements which results in fouling and the need for regular maintenance work such as sanding and oiling every year or two. Due to the time it takes for slow-growing hardwood trees to attain maturity the use of this type of timber in construction projects has become controversial with alternative building materials being sought. Popular hardwoods used in garden decking such as teak and mahogany originate from the tropics and the felling of these trees for lumber has resulted in widespread deforestation which has a detrimental effect on ecosystems.

Plastic garden decking

Despite plastic’s reputation as an imperishable material its use in the construction of garden decks often leads to poor-quality results with compromised structural integrity, inferior aesthetic appeal and a greater need for maintenance work than might be expected. Although attempts have been made in plastic garden decking technology to address these issues these types of deck remain unpleasing to the eye, tend to expand or contract in hot or cold weather and they are prone to cracking, warping as well as bowing. Until these pressing concerns have been rectified it stands to reason that superior construction materials should be used in the building of garden decks.

Softwood garden decking

Softwood garden decks require the most maintenance work and tend not to last as long as decking made from other materials. While it is true that softwood is a cheaper timber than hardwood and that the faster-growing trees from which it is cut are easier to replace than slower-growing varieties it is inferior as a building material and its high-maintenance characteristics and short life-span may result in greater expenses in the long-run. Water-absorbent softwood tends to rot and moulder leading to slippery surfaces that cause health-and-safety issues. Brittle softwood is likely to crack and split while environmental factors often cause it to warp.

Composite garden decking

Composite garden decking represents the most advanced form of decking technology available at the present time and was developed to remedy those ailments associated with decking systems constructed from wood and plastic. A combination of recycled hardwood and polymer resin results in a durable material that neither cracks nor rots and its use in the building of outdoor decking allows for some of the most low-maintenance garden decks on the market today. Low-maintenance composite garden decks are easy to clean and do not need to be painted, sealed or stained while its anti-slip properties decrease the chances of accidents in inclement weather when decking is prone to become wet.