The last few years have seen Britain enjoy some spectacular summers, so it’s easy to understand why so many homeowners are opting to invest in conservatories, or to de-clutter the conservatories that they already have and turn them into relaxing summer living rooms. Spending a warm summer evening relaxing in your conservatory and taking in a beautiful view of your garden is almost like going away on a mini holiday. The only downside to conservatories is that during the day they can get rather warm. The good news is that this is easy enough to fix, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your conservatory cool and comfortable.

Here are a few simple changes that will keep your conservatory at a comfortable temperature under the summer sun. Many of these tips also apply to other rooms in the house. If you don’t have a dedicated conservatory, and don’t have the space to get one built, then you can use these tips to convert a living room or spare room that sees a lot of sunlight into a “garden room” or a “sun room” for people to relax in during the height of the summer:

Blinds and Window Films

Blinds work both ways – in the summer, they keep heat out, and in the winter they keep heat in. This makes blinds a great addition to any conservatory. Temperature management is not the only feature of blinds, either. They also do double duty blocking out the glare from the sun, and offering privacy when it is needed. Motorized blinds are incredibly convenient, but can be expensive. Pull-cord operated blinds look just as good, however, and are far more affordable. Choose brightly coloured blinds to make your conservatory look bigger and more welcoming, and to match the summery tone of the room.

Another good way to manage heat in your conservatory is to fit window films. These films work by filtering UV light, reducing glare and stopping too much heat from passing through the glass. The films reflect the energy from the sun away from the conservatory, ensuring that it stays at a pleasant temperature. Window films are fairly affordable, and can be added to an existing conservatory quite easily.

Window blinds

Air conditioning units

Dedicated air conditioning units are quite expensive to run, so they are usually installed only as a last resort. However, if you really like your conservatory and plan on spending a lot of time in it then air conditioning is a good investment, because many modern units can be used for heating as well as cooling.

One option that you may want to consider if you own your home and do not plan on moving in the near future is a solar-assisted air conditioning unit. These units are cheaper to run, and are ideal for keeping a conservatory at a steady temperature throughout the year.


A good fan is a must-have for any homeowner during the summer months. If you are getting a new conservatory built, be sure to add a large ceiling fan to the conservatory’s feature list. In addition to this, consider investing in a couple of standing fans; preferably motorized fans with variable speeds. If you don’t like the look of large, bladed fans, choose one of the new bladeless designs for extra style. Depending on the size of the conservatory, you may want more than one fan.

Ceiling fan

Good Ventilation

If you are getting a new conservatory built, ask the contractors to include some vents in the roof, and lots of windows that can be opened. Make sure that the roof vents have a secondary grille on the underside for added security, and that all of the windows are lockable. To maximise airflow, it is important to have vents at both the top and bottom of the conservatory. You will need to remember to close some of those vents when the weather starts getting colder, otherwise you will waste a lot of energy keeping the conservatory warm later in the year.

It’s better to think about ventilation before the conservatory is built, because adding extra ventilation afterwards may be expensive. If you did not build vents and windows into your design, consider getting an openable skylight added, or just keeping the door open while you are using the conservatory. Add a beaded curtain to the patio doors for privacy.


There are several simple accessories that can make your conservatory a more comfortable place to spend time. Keep some potted plants in the conservatory to help with moisture, and choose a light colour scheme so that the room does not feel oppressive. Consider decorating the conservatory with a free-standing fountain or water feature because the look and sound of the water will help you to relax and feel cooler.

When you are choosing furniture, opt for soft fabrics over leather, because leather tends to feel sweaty in warm weather, while cotton and other similar materials will make you feel cooler. Wooden furniture is also both cooling and visually appealing.

Another option is to keep a mini-fridge in the conservatory so that there are always cooling and refreshing drinks on hand.  This won’t actually make the conservatory itself any cooler, but it will keep you comfortable.

Once you have got your conservatory set up the way you like it, you’ll find that it’s a great place to spend time in. During the summer, many people use their conservatory as a replacement living room; dining, playing and entertaining in it. With a few changes to the blinds, and a little extra heating, you can extend the use of the conservatory to the autumn too, giving you that extra bit of precious living space for much longer.


Photo Credit:

One home improvement issue that confuses a lot of people is that of insurance for conservatories. If you move in to a building that has a conservatory already attached to it, then any new policy that you take out will include the conservatory, however adding a conservatory to an existing policy is a little more confusing.

Getting an Existing Conservatory Insured

In most cases, existing conservatories are covered under standard home contents and buildings insurance, provided that the conservatory is a permanent structure that is properly constructed. Most insurance companies will treat such a structure as a part of the building itself, so the cost of your conservatory will be included in any building’s insurance. If the conservatory is secure (with proper locks and window glazing) then its existence should not affect any home contents claims related to burglary.   Most insurers will also cover car ports as well, assuming that they are properly constructed.

White Conservatory

Building a New Conservatory

If you are building a new conservatory, you must notify the insurance company before the builders start work. The cost of the conservatory will need to be added to your buildings policy, and this may mean that your premiums increase. Your home contents insurance policy will also need upgraded, in order to cover any additional items that you will be storing in the conservatory.

If you are not planning on spending a lot of money on decorating and furnishing the conservatory then your existing home contents policy may be adequate, however it is worth taking an inventory of all of the valuables in your home. All too often, new home owners take out modest home contents insurance when they move in to a new property, and then fail to upgrade it as they acquire new items. In the event of a flood, fire or burglary those home owners run the risk of discovering that only part of their property was covered.

What to Ask Your Insurance Company

Most buildings insurance policies do not cover damage to your property caused by building work, nor do they cover negligence on the behalf of your contractors, or the theft of any building materials that were going to be used in the construction of the conservatory. A good contractor will offer an insurance backed guarantee, and have their own Public Liability policy, so you should not need to worry about those possibilities. If you have any concerns, talk to the contractors and to your own insurance company for advice.


Keeping Your Premium Low

One of the main reasons that people are so confused about insurance policies for conservatories is that, just a few years ago, there was a lot of news coverage about insurers who were refusing to pay out for burglary related claims if the thief gained entry through a conservatory door or window. The reason for this was that the doors and windows were not secure, so the insurance companies were claiming negligence on the part of the home owner. This sort of thing should not be an issue today.

If you are getting a new conservatory built, then there are several things that you can do to keep the building secure, and also to prevent damage to your property. Things to consider include:

Construction – typically, conservatories are made from timber, PVC-U or aluminium. These are all fairly strong materials so you should not need to worry about a high quality conservatory built by an approved contractor. You can increase the security of the structure by asking for the windows to be installed with laminated safety glass on the inner pane.

Alarms – Extend your home’s burglar alarm to include the conservatory. If you have CCTV, try to have at least one camera covering the area around the conservatory. It is also a good idea to install a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide detector – especially if you will be using free-standing heating to keep the conservatory warm in the spring and autumn.

Doors –  A lot of home owners choose to keep the existing external doors from the rear of the house when they install a conservatory. This is a good idea, because it offers an additional layer of security. If you decide to remove the current external door and replace it with a patio-style door, make sure that you use reinforced doors, and that the glass is secure. Toughened safety glass is actually surprisingly easy to break open with a sharp tool, without making a lot of noise. Laminated glass is much more expensive, but offers better security.

Windows – Make sure that all of the windows in the conservatory are lockable. If you do not plan on opening some of the windows, consider screwing them shut. If there is an automatic opening roof vent on top of the conservatory, screw a grille to the underside to prevent enterprising thieves from prising the vents open.

Maintenance – Your conservatory will need to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Failure to look after the conservatory could cause mold and mildew to build up, or allow damp to take hold in your home. This sort of damage, if caused by lack of maintenance, may not be covered by your insurance policy.

Another thing to consider is the kind of items that you keep in the conservatory. Consider using blinds or net curtains to prevent passers by from looking inside the conservatory while it is not in use. Keep the amount of items in the conservatory to a minimum, and do not leave valuables such as laptop computers or portable gaming devices lying around in plain view in the conservatory.

Every insurance company has its own rules, so before you purchase a policy you should always read the terms and conditions. If you are planning on having building work done in your home, do not assume that your existing policy will cover the new work. If you fail to notify the insurance company that your property has been altered, then your policy could become invalid, and that is not something that you want to find out at the last minute, when you need to make a claim.


A Brief History of Conservatories

The first conservatories were built in the 17th century and were used to preserve tender plants during the winter. The earliest conservatories were made of wooden panels, rather than glass, and simply offered basic protection from the elements.  Most early conservatories were used to protect delicate potted plants, but in Northern Europe more sophisticated conservatories were created to preserve orange trees. These conservatories, called Orangeries, were large brick or stone structures with tall vertical windows.  Orangeries kept the delicate orange plant warm and dry, and allowed Europeans to grow their own oranges, leading to the fruit becoming something of a status symbol in Europe.

One of the earliest significant mentions of the conservatory appears in the Elysium Britannicum,  which was written by John Evelyn, a contemporary of Samuel Pepys. He described the structure as having wreathed columns and Corinthian capitals.

The first conservatory to be built in Britain was one for the Oxford Botanic Garden. Shortly after this, another conservatory was built in the Physic Garden in Chelsea. In 1825, renowned architect John Nash designed four conservatories for Buckingham Palace. Sadly, those structures are no longer at the palace, but one of them, the Architectural Conservatory, has been moved to Kew and is the oldest glasshouse in Kew today.

Nash Conservatory at Kew Gardens


Styles of Conservatory

Architectural styles have changed a lot over the centuries. There are three styles of conservatory that remain popular today. They are the Edwardian inspired conservatory, Victorian style, and Georgian style. These conservatories would suit not just a period building from the same era, but also most modern homes.


Edwardian Conservatories

The Edwardian conservatory has a luxurious and lavish look. It features strong, bold lines and a relatively plain, gabled design. Edwardian conservatories are popular because the simple rectangular or square design maximizes the amount of available floor space, making it both visually appealing and incredibly practical.

The Edwardian era began in 1901 with the death of Queen Victoria and the succession of Edward to the throne. This era saw a massive change in architectural paradigms. Building an Edwardian conservatory is just like adding an additional room to your home, offering functional and aesthetic benefits as well as being a wise investment for the day when you come to sell your home. The Edwardian style is versatile and can blend with almost any other school of Architecture.

Edwardian style conservatory

Victorian Conservatories

Queen Victoria’s rule was a long one, but the period that is referred to when we talk about Victorian conservatories is the second half of her reign. The removal of the “glass tax” resulted in a dramatic shift in the design of conservatories, giving architects and homeowners more freedom to play with different designs. In 1856, steel production improved and steel became a popular building material. The construction of Crystal Palace catapulted conservatory designs into the public eye, and made them popular with the upper classes.

Crystal Palace Conservatory

Victorian conservatories are sharp, elegant and stylised. They usually have steep roofs, gothic designs, and feature lots of wrought iron as well as intricate detailing including lots of asymmetrical shapes. They are popular with owners of period homes, but if the right materials and detailing is chosen they can work well with almost any property.


Georgian Conservatories

Georgian conservatories are much simpler than Victorian conservatories. King George I ruled during the early part of the 18th century, and during his reign architecture evolved gradually, improving on established British techniques and also drawing on inspiration from Greek and Roman architecture, as historians from the period learned a lot about Greece and Rome during George’s reign.

Edwardian Style Conservatory

Georgian design is quite stark and simple. The red brick house is the most iconic Georgian design, and conservatories featured white stone trimmings and white-painted woodwork. Georgian buildings were large and gracious, and the grandeur of the period is clearly visible in the way that the conservatories are designed. The imposing nature of this design, however, means that it looks best when it is added to a building from the same school. Adding a Georgian conservatory to a more modern, less imposing building would probably look disjointed. Of course, there are exceptions, and a “Georgian inspired” design with softer lines or on a smaller scale could suit a modern property.


What does the future hold?

Architecture and design has come a long way since the 17th century. We can now shape and mould glass and other materials to create any design that we can possibly imagine. Conservatories are still in demand, however, because while we can build almost anything, we cannot control the weather!

One of the most interesting conservatory designs is the Eden Project. The Eden project could be described as the world’s largest artificial rainforest. It is, essentially, a giant conservatory that makes its own microclimate, including jungles and waterfalls.

Gardens by the bay conservatory in Singapore

Another fascinating conservatory project is the Gardens by The Bay in Singapore. This conservatory project is particularly interesting because it was built on 101 hectares of reclaimed land. It is made up of three different garden domes, each with its own design and ecosystem. The South Garden features tropical horticulture, the East Garden has a water theme, and the small central garden links those two and allows visitors to enjoy a scenic walk from the city centre to the east of Singapore.

Today, small conservatories are easy to build and affordable for most homeowners. A well-built conservatory that looks out over an appealing garden can add a lot of value to your home. If you want some additional living space and would like to invest in something that will provide long term value to you and your family, as well as make it easier to sell your home, then a conservatory is a great choice!


Photo Credits,_Gardens_by_the_Bay,_Singapore_-_20120617-05.jpg

Household chores such as cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and maintenance are an essential part of everyday life. We all need to eat and have a safe and clean home to live in.

But it’s undeniable that nobody enjoys housework! So why is it that we spend so much time doing it? 67, 680 hours of our lives to be precise! In a recent poll created by Passion For Homes, cleaning the oven was voted the worst house hold chore with 38% of participants voting for it. 20% voted for cleaning the toilet, 9% voted for cleaning the fridge, 3% voted for dusting and polishing and 1% voted for hoovering.

So why is it that we spend 347 days of our lives cleaning when we clearly hate it so much? That’s nearly an entire year of our lives spent doing something we don’t want to do!

If you were to stop all housework with the time you would save you could sail around the world 23 times, run 28, 377 marathons (although that would be extremely tiring!) or even travel to the moon 823 times!

Which would you rather be doing?

To find out what other amazing things you could be doing if you packed in the housework take a look at our latest infographic below.

Ditch the Household Chores and You Could Go to the Moon – An infographic by the team at Stormclad

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Consumer Protection Report header

A new report has been released which compares the different levels of protection that the main consumer protection organisations offer to consumers within the home improvements industry. All Stormclad customers benefit from the unrivalled protection offered by The Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS). See how it compares to other Consumer Protection Schemes here.

How consumer protection organisations match up


Stormclad and DGCOS: a match made in heaven!

As you can see from the Herman Report, DGCOS outperform all of the other major consumer protection organisations through their comprehensive cover and that’s why I’m sure you’ll agree that the Stormclad and DGCOS partnership is a great match.

DGCOS and Stormclad
Offering unparalleled consumer protection

This new report on the double-glazing industry compares the protection offered to consumers by 20 different organisations. The Consumer Protection Report details the actual levels of protection enjoyed by homeowners who buy windows, doors and conservatories, in contrast to the protection they think they have from the large numbers of organisations that offer it.

DGCOS accreditation: hard to come by!

The Consumer Protection Report was researched by David Herman, a chartered accountant with many years experience in the construction industry.

“It’s not easy to gain accreditation from DGCOS and in truth only the very best companies do manage it”


Each company that gains DGCOS accreditation is subject to an extremely stringent process. All accredited installers must, as a minimum:

Provide DGCOS administrators with a minimum of 10 customer references (of installations carried out within the last 12 months) who can be independently approached for quality assurance purposes.
Provide DGCOS administrators with a minimum of 3 supplier references who can be independently approached for quality assurance purposes.
Provide DGCOS administrators with a copy of their current Health and Safety Policy.
Carry minimum insurances of a) £5m Public Liability b) £10m Employers Liability.
Provide every customer with a Written Contract (to include Terms and Conditions).
Provide every customer with a Written Guarantee.
Provide every customer with Deposit Protection Insurance (where a deposit has been taken).
Provide every customer with an Insurance Backed Guarantee.
Comply with building control regulations on every installation.
Allow DGCOS inspectors to inspect any installation deemed necessary.
Allow DGCOS to send every customer a Satisfaction Questionnaire.
Submit to the legal jurisdiction of DGCOS and the Ombudsman.
Ongoing vetting by DGCOS inspectors

How does it work?

Every customer is automatically sent a satisfaction questionnaire with a pre-paid envelope. These replies are entered into the DGCOS performance system and results are monitored.

Minimum standards are set in each category and alerts are set off when ratings fall below minimum standards: the system automatically picks up low scores and identifies relevant salespeople and failing fitting teams etc.

These scores are available to view by the installer so that (s)he can make comparisons of performance with the whole membership.

Additionally, there is an annual review of credit checks and public/employer liability insurances.

If you’d like to know more about the service DGCOS offers you can visit their website:

To talk to Stormclad, your DGCOS accredited supplier, call us free on: 0808 271 3892 or contact us online.

Chatsworth is one of the most beautiful estates in the UK. Located in the heart of the Peak District, this historic home is surrounded by picturesque gardens, peaceful farmyards, and an adventure playground that the whole family can enjoy. The Chatsworth Estate covers more than 35,00 acres of land in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, and, as this statistics-packed infographic shows, that land is full of history and has some amazing stories to tell.

From The Ground Up – Britain’s Favourite Stately Home Restored – An infographic by the team at Stormclad

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While the house and its surrounding gardens are a hugely popular tourist destination today, the mansion has not always been so well loved. In the 1920s, the Great Conservatory in the gardens was demolished because it was so expensive, in both coal and manpower, to run.  The plants in the conservatory had died off during World War II, because coal supplies were interrupted for extended periods of time, so the family struggled to justify the expense of maintaining an empty conservatory. The Devonshire family, who owned the mansion at the time, were on the verge of demolishing the 6th Duke’s wing of the mansion in 1929 as a further cost cutting measure, but they did not get around to doing so. This is good news for the history and nature lovers that travel from up and down the country to visit the Manor and its gardens today.

In 2012, the estate had more than 700,000 visitors, who came to explore the gardens and explore the rooms of the house itself. The history of the original Chatsworth Manor can be traced back to the 16th century, but the building that stands there today includes features from several eras. The original Chatsworth Manor suffered serious damage during the Civil War in the 17th century, and was extensively renovated in the 1690s.

In more recent years, Chatsworth Manor has become an important cultural centre and a popular set for period movies and TV shows. It was used as the set for the 1998 biopic, The Duchess, staring Keira Knightly, and it was also featured in the 2010 remake of Wolfman. The Manor is also featured in the film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, where it is presented as the home of Mr Darcy. This is not such a large leap of the imagination, since it is widely believed that Jane Austen took inspiration from Chatsworth House when she wrote the book.

A visit to Chatsworth house is particularly worthwhile during the Christmas period, when the lower floors of the house are decked out in festive decorations. For 2013, the chosen theme was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The estate was decorated to look like Narnia, and visitors could enjoy an enchanted journey that would take them from wartime London to the forests of Narnia.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable day out in the Derbyshire and Staffordshire area, then a visit to Chatsworth is a great option. The estate was extensively restored in 2012, with more than £14 million being spent on cleaning stonework, reguilding windows and restoring the façade of the house. Visit Chatsworth today to see it in its full glory.

This month we wanted to share with you this rather scary infographic about how burglars are using social media to find out when you are going to be out. As people share more and more information about their personal lives, their possessions and their plans on social networks, it is becoming easier and easier for burglars to use this information against them.
For example excited holidaymakers might check-in at an airport, alerting potential wrong-doers to the fact they’re be away for home for the next 2 weeks. Or would you post a picture of the view from your hotel room letting everyone know you’re in sunnier climes?
Take a look to find out more about how this works and what you can do to keep your home safe!

How Burglars Are Using Social Media


One of the best ways to prevent a break in is of course a sturdy door and here at Stormclad, security is our top priority. We take security so seriously that we ensure our doors are thoroughly tested and fitted with our ‘Secure by Design’ handle. Take at this video from an independent test centre of an expert attempting to break into one of our secure doors:


Do you ever share your whereabouts on social media? Do you worry about who can see this information? Let us know in the comments below!

The Eden Project opened in 2001 after 2 and a half years of construction. One of the UKs leading tourist attractions, The Eden Project is an extraordinary setting offering visitors a chance to step into exotic rainforests in the gigantic biome – the largest conservatory in the world!    Tall enough for 11 double decker buses and long enough for a traffic jam of 24, the biome is an astonishing, record-breaking build. We put together this infographic to give you an idea of the incredible scale of the Eden Project and it’s famous biomes.

If you’d like to share this infographic on your website or blog, scroll down for the handy embed code!

The Eden Project and the largest Conservatory in the World! – An infographic by the team at Stormclad

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A conservatory is a great addition to any home. Some people use their conservatories as a space for relaxation and entertaining during the summer months, others use it as a breakfast room, or an extra living space. If you are running out of space in your home, but don’t want to move, building a conservatory can free up space in other parts of your home without breaking the bank.

Here are a few ideas for things that you can do with your conservatory, beyond using it as a simple space for entertaining.

Extra living space conservatory

Extra Living Room Space

Instead of being torn between having a quiet weekend in or inviting  friends over for the big game, why not arrange your home so that you can do both? Turn the conservatory into a small sitting room where you can curl up and read a book or enjoy a cup of tea with friends, while the boys watch football in the living room.

Dining room conservatory

A Dining Room

Meal times are a great time to socialize. Enjoy a refreshing breakfast while watching the sun rise, or head to the conservatory for an evening meal and relax whilst enjoying the view of the garden at the same time. Dining in your conservatory is a great way to unwind after a hard day, and is a refreshing compromise between a formal meal at a dining table and an al fresco experience. A large dining room table makes a good focal point for the room. Add some attractive flowers and a beautiful chandelier for a classic, timeless appearance.

 Home office conservatory

Home Office

If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from home, why not move your office into the conservatory so that you can enjoy fresh air and a great view from your desk? Having a conservatory office gives you all the benefits of a dedicated workspace, without the stuffiness of working in your smallest spare room. It’s a perfect compromise. When the weather is particularly good you can simply take your laptop outside and soak up some sun.

Family room conservatory

A Fun Family Room

If you are concerned that your children are watching too much TV, why not invite them to have some friends over and play in the conservatory? Keep your conservatory clutter-free so they have lots of floor space to play in, and add some soft-seating for adults. Conservatories make great family rooms, and if they’re decorated nicely you can almost make yourself believe you’re relaxing in a holiday home, instead of just a few paces away from your home office or kitchen.

Garden room conservatory

Garden Relaxation

Traditionally, conservatories are small extensions that look out over your garden. Why not go one step further and bring the garden into the conservatory, making a tranquil paradise which you can enjoy even when it’s wet or windy outside? There are many low-maintenance plants that grow well indoors, and you will be the envy of your friends once they realise that your picnics and garden parties will never get rained off.

 Kitchen conservatory

Extended Kitchen

It is important to ensure that your kitchen gets lots of natural light, and what better way to ensure this than extending it into a bright and airy conservatory? Keep the oven and key appliances in the main area of the kitchen, but arrange the rest of the kitchen so that you can look out at the garden while you’re doing the washing up or preparing your next meal.

Utility room conservatory

Utility room

If you’re running out of space in your home, move key appliances into the conservatory. That doesn’t mean letting the conservatory turn into a large, boring closet full of bulky grey boxes. Try to keep it bright and airy. Line the back wall with appliances, hidden behind cute curtains or country-style wooden doors. Choose easy-to-clean chunky tiles, and bright colours that will keep the room looking warm and inviting.

Conservatory gym

Home Gym

If you have an exercise bike in the garage, or a rowing machine folded up under your bed, there’s a high chance that they never get used. Who wants to go to the hassle of un-burying exercise gear every time they want to use it? Put your exercise gear in the conservatory, where it won’t get buried under clothes or boxed in by junk. You’ll be able to enjoy fresh air, sunlight and a nice view while you’re exercising.


The humble conservatory is an incredibly versatile room. You can use your conservatory for almost any purpose, and it’s easy to re-decorate if you change your mind about the use of the room. If you would like to expand the available space in your home, and find out more about how comfortable and stylish a good conservatory design can be, why not arrange a conservatory design appointment? The team of conservatory designers at Stormclad will be happy to help you choose the perfect conservatory design.

Soffits, fascias and guttering all play an important role in keeping your home pest free and dry, they are also highly important from an aesthetic point of view. Having sparkling soffits and fascias makes your home look far more attractive and appealing to buyers. If you are thinking of selling your home, then sprucing up the outside of your house is a good investment. Replacing soffits and fascias that are old or worn helps to protect your roof and walls, preventing damp and water damage. Clean new gutters and ornate fascias can greatly increase the value of your home, and will impress the surveyor too.

Soffits, Fascias and Guttering in white upvc

Soffits and Fascias explained

A soffit is a covering which sits between the outer edges of your roof and the adjacent wall of the house, protecting and sealing the rafter feet. If your roof has a soffit (not all do), you will be able to see it if you stand underneath the overhang of your roof and look up.

Modern soffits are usually made of uPVC. UPVC soffits and fascias are hardwearing and cope well with exposure to moisture. Wooden soffits are a popular rustic or period feature, but they are more likely to rot and decay quickly, threatening the integrity of the rest of the roof structure.

Fascias are traditionally a softwood board which is mounted to the exposed edges of your rafters, however in recent years this has been replaced with high grade uPVC as softwood has a tendency to rot. The purpose of a fascia is to protect and seal the roof and the interior of your home from exposure to the elements, to support roof tiles at an eaves level and to provide support for the guttering. Fascias also serve a cosmetic purpose, and are much nicer to look at than exposed rafters.

Guttering is used to collect rainwater from the roof and direct the flow of water as it drains. Gutters catch the water and direct it into the downpipes, and towards a drain. Guttering is fixed with the appropriate “fall” to prevent the water from pooling in places that it should not, which could eventually lead to your gutters overflowing, which is then likely to cause other problems.

An Overview of Your Roof

There are many parts which go into the edge of a roof, including:

Soffits and fascias explained diagram

1. Bargeboard- The bargeboard provides a decorative finish to the gable end of your home, sealing the end rafters and the verge.

2. Box end- Forms the link between the fascia and the bargeboard on gable ends. All the fixings and rough edges are covered with trim, not only to look as neat and professional as possible but also to ensure that the roofline remains as secure and moisture resistant as possible.

3. Guttering – Collects rainwater from the roof and discharges it into the downpipes. All gutters are levelled and aligned to ensure that they have the correct fall, leading to the rainwater running in the correct direction and down the downpipe.

4. Fascia Boards- Protects and seals the rafter feet to prevent them contracting any rot and it progressing up the rafters and into your roof. The fascia also supports the roof tiles and provides a fixing point and support for the guttering.

5. Soffit Boards – Soffit boards run across the underside of your roofline, with the purpose of protecting the underside of the rafter feet. The expanded core of the soffit is lightweight, whilst the highly polished surface acts as a seal to water damage.

6. Downpipe – Carries rainwater from the gutters and down into the drains. Should be screwed into the brickwork to provide a secure fix.

Sprockets- Sprockets are made to size on site from uPVC and fixed securely and level to the rafter feet. This then provides a fixing point upon which to mount the fascia and soffit. Once aligned and levelled, the sprockets guarantee the fascia remains straight and true for years after the installation is complete.

Ventilation- Vents can either be cut into the soffit when manufactured or fixed to the top of the fascia board before it is installed which is likely to be the cheaper and neater option. Ventilation is essential to allow your roof timbers to breathe and prevent the build up of moisture.

Roofguard Eaves Protector- Inserted under the bottom roof tiles, the eaves guard protects the often damaged bottom end of felt in your roof and curves into the guttering, preventing any rainwater running behind the fascia board or guttering.

Birdcomb- Installed where appropriate, this helps prevent birds from nesting in your roof, by blocking any voids which lie between the tile and top edge of fascia.  

Dry Verge- Dry verge can be installed to protect the verge area above the bargeboard on the gable and prevents you ever having to have this area re-pointed again.

House cladding / fascias

Problems that may occur with soffits and fascias causing them to need replacing

Improperly installed soffits and fascias, or ones that are old and worn out, must be replaced to protect the integrity of your roof. Common signs of damaged soffits and fascias include:

Flaking and peeling paint – sanding and re-painting the affected area promptly can prevent further damage. This is a job which will have to be repeated year on year, as painted timber fascias and soffits will continuously flake and peel due to the extreme weather conditions they are subject to.

Rot and damp – Sections of rot and damp on your roofline are likely to spread quickly and can cause significant damage. If you notice that your roofline is starting to become rotten you should seek to have it replaced.

Leaking gutters – gutters can easily develop leaks if they are not cleaned frequently. Balls, leaves and other debris can clog up gutters, and during the colder months those pools of water freeze and expand, damaging the gutter.


In addition to the above problems, there are several other reasons why you might need to replace your soffits and fascias, including:

Asbestos – This is not a problem in new homes, however any home built before the year 2000 could contain asbestos which was incredibly commonly used in homes built before the 1990s. Asbestos was used as a fire retardant, but it is an incredibly dangerous substance, and prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres can cause serious lung problems.

Infestations – many pests make their home in small damp spaces, and rotting fascias can be a home to many kinds of insects and rodents.

Birds Nests – birds frequently make their homes in the rafters and disused chimneys of homes. Many of those birds are protected species, so care must be taken when moving them. Seek professional advice before interfering with a bird’s nest.

Installing fitting / replacing

Installing or replacing soffits, fascias and guttering is a complex process which must be carried out by a professional installer. The existing roof felt and tiles must be inspected, the felt may need cut back or replaced if it is already damaged. Working on a roof can be dangerous for both yourself and your property. If you do not have the correct scaffolding, safety equipment and training there is a high risk of seriously injuring yourself when working at height.

Here is an installation guide featuring our Stormclad professionals.

The end tiles of the roof must be removed, and the rafters inspected to ensure that they are in good condition. Assuming the roof is generally in a good condition, the installer will fix sprockets to the rafter feet, to ensure that the fascia and soffit line up correctly to give your roof a smart, professional appearance.

Once the soffits and fascia are in place, guttering and ventilation can be installed. If you have profiled tiles on your roof, then you may opt to have bird combs installed to prevent small birds from gaining access to your roof space.

Once the soffit and bargeboard is installed on any gable ends your property may have, the box ends are fabricated to exact size on site. They must be measured and cut carefully to ensure that there are no unsightly gaps which might let water, or pests, into your home.

Installing soffits and fascias is not a DIY job. Not only is there a risk of personal injury, or damage to your home, there is also the possibility of finding asbestos in the existing roofing materials. Working with a professional company ensures that the job is completed safely and promptly, with minimum fuss.


Brown upvc guttering

Choosing the best style for you

Traditionally, timber fascia and soffits would be installed; however this merely creates a lifetime of difficult maintenance. You repeatedly have to be up a ladder to ensure the condition of the timber remains good through continual painting, treatment and repairs.

In recent years it has become common practice to install uPVC roofline as this needs far less maintenance than timber products and therefore is generally preferred to the timber option. UPVC roofline comes in many different styles, with different shaped moulded fascia, coming in different colours and effects. For instance if you live in an old property and want to retain the authentic look, you can have great looking wood grain effect products installed.

Guttering also comes in a variety of different shapes and sizes, so be sure to find out all your options rather than just square or round gutter in white or black.


Cost of new fascias, soffits and guttering

The cost of soffits and fascias will depend on the size of your home and the products that you choose. One thing you can be confident of is that installing soffits and fascias will protect your home and make your property far more appealing. If you’re looking to sell or just looking for a summer time spruce up contact us for a free soffits and fascias quotation.