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5 Easy Ways to Get Your Garden Summer-Ready!

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Colour!

Adding a splash of colour to your outside space is a simple and yet extremely effective way of revitalising a tired space. If your garden bench is peeling and rusty, or your plant pots are covered in algae a quick and relatively cheap way of sprucing up is a quick lick of paint.

Pops of colour amongst your greenery can help draw the eye away from any other unsightly bits (that are going to get done...later!) and enhance the view from inside. No more closing the doors and drawing the blinds – your garden will be a viewpoint from inside as well as out.

Furniture!

Furniture isn't just for indoors! Your outdoor furniture can really help lend a theme to your garden and create a relaxing and attractive place to host guests and unwind.

It doesn't have to cost the earth to furnish your garden either, keep a look out in charity shops and online for cheap benches which you can then paint and customise at home – you could even co-ordinate your furniture with your bifold doors merging the outside with your home.

Accessorize!

For most, our garden is visible from at least one of the prominent rooms in our home, such as the kitchen or living room. This is even more likely when your bifold doors face out from that particular room – you want the vast expanse of view you are exposing to be a pretty one, right?

The garden becomes a pretty grey place throughout winter, meaning that come spring the majority of us are desperate to inject some colour.

You can purchase inexpensive terracotta plant pots from most garden centres, in a variety of colours. These can really change a space – especially wall-mounted planters which can be filled with climbing plants to create a wall of colour.

Fix it!

That gate that doesn't fit on its hinges properly? The slide that the kids broke at the end of summer? Even the gutters that need cleaning out – do it!

Get it out of the way early in the year so that come summer your garden is yours to enjoy without nagging feeling of things you haven't done. This will help you achieve what we like to call 'home improvement peace of mind' and really enable you to love your view this summer.

Make plans!

My final point is more specific – but, summer is one of our busiest times of the year due to the simple fact that the warm weather and glorious sunshine (that England always gets...right?) makes people realise how much they want to open up their home to that extra light and outside space and have bifold doors installed.

Come and have a chat with us about your plans now, so that you can have the doors you want in time for summer.

After what seems like the longest winter ever, we are just beginning to see glimpses of new green growth, blue skies and feel a hint of warmth in the air. The initial 'hurrah' felt at these things however is quickly replaced with a dread of what needs to be done to get your outdoor space 'summer-ready'...

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This post will share 5 of our top tips to making sure that your garden/outside space fills you with a sense of pride, joy and excitement for the warm days to come!

Hello Spring....Cleaning!

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Stainless Steel

Whether it be sticky toddler fingers or muddy hands fresh from the garden, your door hardware is always going to take the toll of family life, meaning that every once in a while they need cleaning up.

To keep your stainless steel shiny, bright and clean, we recommend using a light mist of an aerosol based cleaners, wiped clean with a lint-free cloth (microfiber is great!). Don't use oil-based products and try to avoid bleach and whatever you do – no scouring pads!

Painted Walls

It's also around this time of year that you start to notice all the little imperfections that have worked their way onto your lovely painted walls over the holiday season.

To save time, money and effort, we prefer to clean off the scuffs and marks, rather than re-paint the entire wall. All you need is a soft sponge, a little water mixed with dishwashing liquid (the milder the better). Once the stain is removed be sure to rinse the wall afterward with plain water.

Tiles

Let's face it, cleaning tiles is a dull job – so you want to make sure it's done as quickly and efficiently as possible – right?

The best way to achieve this is to use a neutral pH cleaner, or mix baking powder and water for a cheaper alternative.You can also use this mixture for cleaning grout – works wonders on white particularly!

Once you've made time to clean your home, make sure it's done properly – really clean it! Get it all out of the way so that afterwards you can enjoy your home to its best potential...and show it off!

Spring is always the perfect time to begin planning your year – home improvement wise! We are always incredibly busy over summer as people want bifolds in time for BBQ's! So why not come and have a chat with us sooner rather than later!

From the neat-freaks amongst you to the people who like to keep cleaning to a minimum, everyone could do with a little spruce-up come spring. There's just something in the air that makes you want your home to look its best!

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During this post we'll share a few handy tips we've picked up over the years of speaking to our customers about home improvement that will hopefully be of use to you too!

Dark nights, cosy indoor spaces!

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Getting cosy...

We all like to batton down the hatches in the evening, lock the door, shut the curtains and snuggle up for the night. We also like, on a sunny day to open our bifold doors wide allowing the summer air into our homes and doubling our space. You might think that achieving both is impossible – but it's not!

There are many options when it comes to covering your bifold doors in the winter, fear not, no doors are too wide to feel cosy! A frequent favourite of our customers are integral blinds. No fuss, no messy cords and no dust gathering on your blinds. A crank of a lever or flick of a switch and your blinds are closed and your window becomes a wall again. INSERT LINK TO IB.

Curtains vs. Blinds?

Another way to tuck your home in at night is curtains. Chose a thick pair of floor to ceiling curtains to cover the space – voila, job done! But if you don't want the expense of curtains or simply don't like the look of them (hiding away your beautiful bifolds!) then roman blinds might be the way to go. We can make your cords as long or short as required (to keep away from curious little hands, and paws!) and they are usually wipe clean, neat and keep the doors accessible.

If it's looking out into the dark unknown that you don't like, how about getting some subtle outdoor lighting so that you can see and enjoy your garden at night? Some uplighters buried among the plants could look lovely and there are many solar types so you won't waste a fortune on electricity.

As you can see, there are a lot of options and we appreciate that these are not easy decisions to make – that's why you are welcome to pop in and see us at any time for a friendly chat about any of the above options!

 

Dark nights, cosy fires, curling up in front of the telly with something warming – all things associated with Autumn/Winter. It all sounds very nice, but what about your bifolds!? This post will show you how to make the most of your space in the winter months and dress your bifold doors appropriately!

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Whether it be integral blinds, some thick curtains or individual blinds, there are many options to shut the world out on a winter evening.

Sprucing up, on the cheap!

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Look after your lawn!

It might sound pretty obvious, but your lawn is the biggest surface area in your garden and it really pays to keep it looking healthy. Whether your bifold doors are closed or open, you'll be able to see your lawn. If your lawn looks dead, your garden will certainly look a bit lacklustre. 

We'd reccomend fertilising and de-weeding frequently, as well as making sure to seed any bare patches. 

Bring some colour..

Everything and everyone looks better with a splash of colour. Grab some insexpensive, brightly coloured pots and plant them up with garden essentials - geraniums, marigolds and daisies. 

Brightening up your garden will make the sun shine, even when it's not. 

Light & Bright

Talking of light...we would deinitely suggest adding a few decorative lights. Picture an evening dinner party, a candle lit table reflecting in your bifold doors, then spilling out to the garden afterwards with lights guiding your way through. And it's not hard, a few battery operated flickering bulbs inside a few old jam jars, and tra-da, instant romantic lighting!

Times are tough more often than not, and we all want our homes to be picture perfect, so here are some handy tips to keep your garden looking beautiful on a budget. 

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March - Blue Skies & Spring Cleaning!

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Bifolds!

As bifold door experts, obviously our first port of call in a spring clean is our bifold doors. We like to use q-tips to clean along the slim tracks at the bottom of the door, this prevents dirt and dust build up. Then, just take a clean paper towel and wipe away any excess dust.

Sticky hands!

Glass surfaces can be impossible to keep clean - especially if there are sticky little hands around! A natural and easy way to clean glass is to use a small amount of vinegar and lemon juice mixed together in a spray bottle and then wiped away with a clean cloth. No chemicals and nothing toxic (for the window lickers amongst us!).

This method is not only useful for bifolds, but also for windows, mirrors, glass cabinets or skylights. 

Wax!

To repel dust (and reduce further cleaning!) it's useful to rub a thin layer of wax onto your vents, light fixtures, ceiling fans etc, to avoid dust build up in the future. Remember, it's important to keep your home well ventiliated to avoid mould and damp, now is the perfect time to open all your windows and doors (and bifolds) and let the spring air rejuvenate your home!

With the first hints of summer becoming apparent, it seems that Spring is well and truly here to stay. Blue skies are in abundance and the air feels that little bit fresher. 

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This post will be chock-full of useful tips and tricks for spring cleaning and getting your home 'summer-ready'!

Make the Best of Your Home in 2014

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Light light light!

Now, as bifold door installers, of course the first thing we will point out is that you can achieve the light airy space you require quite simply by installing a bifold system....

But there are loads of ways that light can improve the look and feel of your home. First of all - ban overhead lights. Invest in some small standing lamps and arrange in a manner that suits you and improves the appearance of your room.

Life!

Some say there is nothing more 'spirit-lifting' than a bit of greenery. And with January being officially the most depressing month of the year, it may be worth your while investing in a plant of some sort to co-habit your home. However, again, as bifold door installers we would point out that by having a folding door system installed you can create a seamless divide between out and in, bringing all the green of the outdoors into your life (minus the elements..!).

Replace the details!

We're talking knobs, handles and fixures! Tired of your cabinets, replace the knobs! It can do wonders for the aesthetic of a room. And (are you sensing a theme here?) the same can be done for your bifolds! We have a whole range of fixtures and fittings which can be altered according to your door system and taste. 

Don't forget to give us a call if you would like any more information on anything I've mentioned above, we're always happy to chat - and we would love to cheer you up this dreary January!

 

A new year, and with it a whole host of new opportunities (things to do) and projects (deadlines) when it comes to your home! 

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Whether it's painting the ceiling or getting those dimmer switches installed, here's how to create maximum effect for minimum effort!

Saying Hello to October - and Planning Ahead!

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Brrrr!

Throughout summer, you don't generally think twice about the  breeze rattling the window pane in the evening or the slight draft underneath your french doors, it's even quite nice on the hotter nights. But come winter (ie. now through to April next year!) these things that you really mind, become increasingly problematic. 

Family matters...

With only a few more weeks left of lighter evenings, it's really time to begin thinking ahead and planning for the harsh winter we are set to have if last years was anything to go by!

And it's not just your own home you need to consider. Do you have elderly relatives whose windows need replacing? Are Mum and Dad's french doors wasting away? Now is the time to do something about it!

The Christmas Rush. 

Whether its simply replacing the glass in a few of your windows to ensure that your electricity bills don't skyrocket as soon as you turn the heating on due to failing glass units, or replacing your drafty patio doors with something a little sturdier - it is ALWAYS best to plan ahead and make sure you miss the infamous Christmas rush. 

Within the last few weeks of November and early December, we are innundated with last minute installations which must be done by Christmas. Why not think ahead and give us a call now? Even if it's just for some friendly advice as to whether or not your windows and doors really do need replacing.

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We pride ourselves on not only getting the job done, but making sure it's done when necessary and on your terms. We're always happy to have a chat, or even to pop in and have a look at the job in hand. We have a wealth of experience and can tell you exactly what needs doing (and what doesn't!).  

As the nights draw in and September ends, we can firmly conclude that our meagre summer has ended. Whilst saying goodbye to the long balmy evenings (all two of them...) we can begin to plan for the colder months ahead. 

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This blog post will highlight a few things you might want to begin thinking about over the next few weeks. 

3 Easy Ways to Instantly Brighten Your Home

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First of all there's the exterior...

You'll be surprised at how much of an effect the outside of your house can have on how you feel about it. 

Plus, it's the first thing anyone else sees if they are viewing the house, so regular maintenance is essential if you're trying to sell. 

So, the best way for instant rejuvenation?

Paint. Head to B&Q, grab a pot of paint and wait for a dry few days and go to town! You don't even have to go for a new colour, if your white's been weathered or your terracotta tarnished, a new lick of paint will do wonders for your home. 

Secondly, windows. They frame our view on the outside world, so really they are one of the most important factors of your inner (indoors!) happiness. 

Weather it's a few new windows or even just new curtains or blinds. Making these 'windows on the world' more attractive, or more to your taste is a brilliant way to spruce up your home. 

Keep colours as light as possible, curtain-wise to allow as much light in as possible whilst remaining opaque. Pale greens, creams and mauves are very popular this summer. 

And lastly, but certainly not least - lights.

Sounds simple, but a few new fixutres and fittings will improve your home no end. Especially in a small space - it is this attention to detail that makes a house a home. 

Be it a large paper lantern, or some low-lighting or lamps, these will make the evenings cosier and the days brighter. 

You know those days where you just feel a little bored with your surroundings? Spend hours rearranging furniture then stick it back where it was originally?

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This blog post will give you three simple ways to update your home without spending a fortune. 

Create Your Perfect Summer Home

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Firstly, remember to plan according to the weather.

For example, now that the sun is around more than 2 hours a week, it might be time to start considering pulling the lawn mower out and showing the grass some attention. It's these seasonal kind of home improvements that you need to begin working into your chore routine!

You need to know what to do and when...

...and the same with any slightly bigger improvements you are making to your home.

Things like painting, or plastering and paving need a dry day. It sounds simple, but you'd be surprised at the amount of projects that are put on hold due to dodgy planning (and occasionally just bad luck!).

But sometimes you can plan for the weather, make sure you keep an eye on the forecast throughout the week so that you can adjust your schedule for the weekend.

Larger projects...

If you are having bi fold doors or windows installed, make sure you are available during the install period. You will want to be around to check the work thoroughly after the job is complete, and for example if the weather is dreadful on the day of installation – there may well be finishing touches that cannot be completed until a later (dry!) date. You will need to make sure you agree these with your installer, and most installers (Bristol Bifold included) will give you a list of what is left to be done (weather permitting).

Now is the time to plan larger building work – even if we don't have clear skies and sunshine every day it is certainly time to get moving especially if the work you are having done involves leaving your home open to the elements for a period of time.

Basically, you need to...

  • Set goals – be it dates you want to have things done by, or just a check-list of what you want to achieve.
  • Plan accordingly – keep any contacts you may think will be useful later down the line.
  • Don't leave things until the last minute – you WILL regret it!

And enjoy your home in the meantime! Having the 'perfect' home for you, is a gradual process. It doesn't happen over-night, so remember to make time to relish the efforts you have made, even if the project isn't completely finished.

Summer is finally appearing across the UK, and we had our first mild day on Sunday. Meaning out came the flip flops, shirtless men and BBQs. With the first glimpse of what could be a glorious summer peeking through, it's time to think about what you want to achieve around your home this year.

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This post will give you a few home-improvement planning tips – like any big endeavour, it's not something to rush into all guns blazing. It needs planning, time-scales and a lot of motivation!

A Bifold for Christmas?

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The Christmas Deadline...

This is something we hear a lot at this time of year, people's timescales no longer rely so much on the weather, or their budget, or what they want to achieve. The phrase 'as long as it's in before Christmas' is frequently heard in our showroom.

Now depending on the bifold system they are choosing, this is perfectly do-able.

But I would like to remind you (readers, customers, anyone really!) that having your doors in before Christmas may seem like the be all and end all right now, but make sure you are not compromising key elements of your project in order to make this timescale attainable.

Things to consider...

Remember that this is your home and your money and if something isn't quite how you want it to be, you will reminded of that fact every time you walk through your front door.

You need to be aware that rushing into a purchase. to ensure you have your doors by a specific date, could well result in you being unhappy down the line.

Spend time researching not only the product, but the installers you want to use. Make sure you know exactly what you want, and what your installers offer.

Visit a showroom (or five)...

Spend time with their salesman ensuring that any questions you have are answered, and you aren't left with any doubt in your mind about the service you are being provided with.

It's a nerve-wracking thing, choosing a contractor or tradesman to carry out the work on your property. You may think by having made the decision to actually carry out the work in the first place, that the tough part is over.

You've put away the money, you've prepared your neighbours and you've made appropriate living arrangements. Wrong.

Choosing someone (whom at this stage is basically a stranger) is a vital element of your project, and choosing the wrong tradesman (...installer, painter, decorator, builder, carpenter, architect) can have a drastic and often unpleasant affect on your home...and your sanity!

Home improvement isn't just for Christmas!

So it definitely isn't something that can be rushed, or not given thorough consideration.

 Of course, having your home the way you want it throughout the holiday season is important, and most of the time (if you leave a sensible amount of time) this is entirely possible.

Just don't forget about the rest of the year and, to coin a phrase, a bifold door isn't just for Christmas!

October has come and gone and even Bonfire night is a few weeks behind us, there's no more denying it, we are well and truly in the run up to Christmas.

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Turkeys are being stuffed, presents are being bought and final plans are being drawn up (not just Christmas dinner seating arrangements..) for building work to be done before the big day.

8 Reasons Homeowners Are Dissatisfied With Their Properties - And How We Can Help!

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Look carefully through this ticklist, do any of these common home-owner issues apply to you? If so, we can probably help you!

Bifold Door Ticklist

Yes, the ticklist is customised more towards our potential customers (of bifold doors), but there are many other problems you may face with your home that can be solved by innovative thinking.

Bifold doors are not only built to enhance your living space, but are also intended to be one of many practical solutions to the problems faced by homeowners these days.

Remember – you don't have to move house to get a brand new home!

If you do have any questions about bifold doors, or you would like to give us a call to see how we can help you and your project, or even if you would like us to recommend some brilliant local builders who we've used and been impressed by – please give any one of our team a call on 0117 992 3101. Or if you'd like something to browse at your convenience – download our buyers guide below, it'll tell you everything you need to know about bifold doors.

Many property owners don't realise that there are other, worthwhile and more importantly – doable – options that work as an alternative to moving house. Particularly in this economic climate, a very popular option at the moment is not to upheave your life from one house to another, but to make your existing house more accomodating and appealing to you.

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Whether it's re-vamping your kitchen, giving the exterior a lick of paint or extending your home – there are many ways to beautify and 'upgrade' your current house, without going through the stress and financial turmoil of moving house.

Achieving The Wow Factor

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We fit bifold doors to a wide range of residences, old and new...

However, I think it goes with out saying that the majority of the properties we fit with bifold doors are those looking to encapsulate a more modern look. This consequentially means that many owners of period homes do not consider bifold doors as an option, which personally I think is a mistake.


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The owners of this property had decided to make the most of their wonderful garden by extending part of the property and fitting floor to ceiling windows and bifold doors, including a corner opening which allowed them to effectively lose two walls of their room when they pulled the doors back.

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The effect this created was outstanding; it meant they were able to remain sheltered whilst being very much outdoors and the gable window above the bifold doors meant that their garden view was virtually unbroken.

The best thing about this installation however, was the subtlety with which this rather grand property has been brought up to date and how the owners have taken full advantage of their property's potential whilst still paying respect to its age and remaining in-keeping with its style.

Is your property is crying out for a sympathetic modernisation or would you just like to make the most of its space? Download our buyers guide below for an in depth guide to buying bifold doors and their impact on your home.

We recently completed the installation of several sets of bifold doors, and a gable end window for a customer living in a magnificent house in Worcester.

I've chosen this particular project to blog about because it really demonstrates the impact bifold and sliding doors can make on a period property. 

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The property we fitted with bifold doors in Worcester was a very large, red brick period house with a fantastic garden and a very regal feel.

Miserable Weather; A Plus For Home Improvement Plans?

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Think again, this is often the best time to begin your building projects, why?

  • You have ample time indoors to go through planning and designs with architects. 
  • You are able to see what would work in all kinds of different weather conditions (here in the South-West we have experienced rain, glorious sun and hail within a 45 minute interval!). 
  • You are able to evolve your plans according to your timescale and budget effectively. 

 So that when summer finally does appear – and it will – you are completely ready to proceed with your project and can be basking in the knowledge of having a home worthy of considerable neighbour envy and all set to be coveted by family barbeque attendees far and wide. 

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If you need any perusing material for those rainy afternoons we have become so familiar with lately, download our free buyers guide to look at in your own time and gage how useful bifold doors would be to your home improvement design. 

Easter has been and gone, it's officially Spring!

As much the weather refuses to acknowledge this fact! Usually during spring, when the skies are brightening and with them (hopefully!) spirits lifting; this would be the perfect time of year to kick-start that project you have put off all winter, be it giving the house a lick of paint or making some dramatic changes to your home.

White Kitchen with Bifold Doors

However this year with the nicknames “awful April” and “miserable May” given by the ever comical BBC it is difficult to imagine ever being in a position where you are able to relax on a summers evening with doors wide open, enjoying a warm breeze and a cold glass of wine. 

Supplying and Installing Bi-fold Doors & Sliding Doors to the South West & Wales

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Name & Registered Office: Bristol Bifold and Sliding Doors, here on in known as Bristol Bifold - which are both trading names of Crystal Clear Bristol Ltd, 24 Emery Road, Brislington, Bristol, BS4 5PF (Company number 03874720) :: Tel: 0117 992 3101 :: Web design by ProfitReach - About this website