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Outdoor Living For The Ideal Home

Glass Verandas and Garden Rooms make the ideal showpiece for your home. Bespoke made to order, fully installed for spring, a competitive quotation is free quick & easy to arrange.

Look no further than your garden for an ideal getaway this summer, with outdoor living from Elegant transforming your patio into an oasis of relaxed tranquility. Using beautiful yet functional materials, our innovative products open up the possibilities – creating contemporary outdoor living spaces to perfectly suit your lifestyle. Elegant Bespoke Verandas make the ultimate patio canopy, a modern glass patio roof providing year round protection and enjoyment. While our stunning Glass Rooms include sliding glass doors to protect from the sides retaining a frameless clear view of your garden.

Just like any other part of the house, outdoor living provides another option for spending time at home. However big or small your outside space, and whatever your taste and budget, Elegant are experts at designing Alfresco situations, whether for enjoying a quiet pm drink, maybe somewhere comfortable to lounge, or perhaps an area that will accommodate the whole family for barbecues. Added home living space is what we offer – with the emphasis on “living”.

Very much in vogue, the increasing emphasis on outdoor relaxation and entertaining has generated a boom in interest for our quality garden structures. Weather sheltering havens providing protection from the elements, creating a better protected environment in which to relax and enjoy Alfresco. Yes, it’s more sophisticated than garden living in the past, but don’t think for one moment that you’ll lose any of the old charm or simple pleasures – the reality is that you’ll get to enjoy it more!

Here’s to extending the summer season in 2018, call us on 0800 078 7247.

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Trends In Outdoor Living

Helping homeowners to make the most of their outdoor living space we look at where we have come from and where this so very popular UK patio roof market all began.

Ten years ago, at Elegant we were promoting glass verandas (back then a new product concept) with only a few customers opting for the full glass room. Trends change and while verandas have continued to grow in popularity we’ve seen the garden glass room market growing fast, catching up. As outdoor living continues to evolve I’d like to share a few highlights from my observations over time. But first, our credentials, that I can speak with at least some authority…

Elegant have been around from the beginning. Any firm can easily ‘claim’ experience or history with a product, within a market, but the Internet Archive (the “WayBack Machine”) will readily spill the beans! Paste our address www.glass-verandas.co.uk into the search box at https://web.archive.org and you’ll see our old website from March 2009. We started on the veranda concept back in 2008 and launched our site by the following spring. Back then we were on http: not https:, but typing the www. of any company will quickly pull their web history for all to see – albeit not perfectly working as it did. Simply select a year, and click the coloured dots, to view any website at that date – instantly proving length of service and showing what products were offered at that time. It even stores old sites which no longer exist.

Looking at our website from a decade ago I see that our glass verandas aplenty but I see that glass rooms didn’t feature much in those very early days. The built-in sun awning option, and spotlights, were the only two accessories that we offered (or promoted), and while side-screens get a small mention, it appears that any side glazing or sliding glass doors feature only in two small photos – very bottom of the Gallery. How things have changed! Gradually, some customers asked for a side glass wall, to block the breeze, or to help further enclose their space. Over time such requests grew, followed by customers wanting to add front doors, and hence our Glass Rooms market took shape! We added a page “glass rooms” to our website in 2010, helping to spearhead the modern movement, and today I can say that Glass Rooms equal our Veranda enquiries.

Uncertain of how to label this room product, at first I wanted to call it a “Patio Solarium”. This looked good to me until (once again) a genius named Greg showed the way, the term “Glass Rooms” sticking. Delightfully, the only still-existing original rival I can think of, a firm whom along with us at Elegant helped the Glass Verandas to market in those early days (a long standing company covering nationwide) I note that for a year prior to 2009 they were marketing glass veranda products as Smoking Shelters!

I say that not to mock, not in any way. Fact is in those early days we few pioneers didn’t know what to call any of it… and we knew nothing of how popular it would all become!

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Without A Plan it’s Just A Wish

Don’t be fooled by January temperatures! If you’re planning a veranda to revamp your outdoor living, and want it ready for the season, it’s time to start the process now.

Planning a glass veranda or garden glass room can take longer than expected. Here are a few tips to get you started, finding the right product ahead of the fast approaching season.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Make research into the different types of veranda designs available, their pros and cons according to your requirement. For instance, is how it looks important to you? Looking closer at different brochures and websites, some brands have noticeably bulky front gutters, or broad/chunky legs, less appealing to the eye. Also look for colour variation. Do you see the same three colours repeated in photos – suggesting that design is less of a factor? At Elegant we make design and good looks a priority. Much can be gleaned taking a closer look at different companies photos, seeing the best of what they’ve done for other customers, whether their profiles look boxy or ‘elegant’ and if their output represents what you most want for own your home.

HAVE RESEARCH INSPIRE YOUR DESIGN
While browsing inspirational photos look for ideas about layout and proportion, intended use and furniture plans, and at colour ideas (it needn’t be white even if your house windows are white). Look at what other people have done and why. When it comes to size, your house doors and windows will usually suggest a good width (it is rare a veranda stops part-way across a window). Desired furniture arrangements can suggest an outward size, modest table seating requiring 2.5m projection, while larger or generous outward sizes can be closer to 4m. Dry access is an essential consideration, looking at our veranda gallery you’ll see that every installation takes in a house door – allowing passage from the home without stepping into rain.

LOCATION, LOCATION
Browsing our ‘before-and-after’ examples (projects) notice how most glass verandas and glass rooms tend to be built over an existing patio table area, spanning existing patio doors. Popularly, they cover the previously established space for a garden table and chairs, whatever spot was already deemed convenient for patio seating and outdoor dining. It is rare that customers will define an all new site, away from the house, or relocate their al-fresco gathering area to another door window or wall. Improving the status quo tends to be more the theme, not changing the established familiar routine.

Doing a little research before talking to companies can help you to speak the same language. And, when finally meeting a representative, having a better idea of what’s available and of what you want will help you to make more informed decisions.

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Farewell 2017, a good year

2017 made another great year for us at Elegant, adding many happy customers to our extensive portfolio while receiving more delighted client reviews after glass veranda or garden room installations.

There can be a cynical disbelief of testimonials, purported evidence of satisfaction or esteem provided by a company free to write what they will! I understand the doubt, I’ve experienced it reading brochures myself, so perhaps when quoting great customer remarks from our work sign-offs this year I might just as well use invisible ink. Or perhaps not. People read between lines I think and we all have a nose for unfeigned sincerity. I can honestly say that I’ve never invented a testimonial in my life, some must be abridged, but if you provide good service with a good product, and if you keep your promises, then you just don’t need to invent comments.

To this end, as a company we always append with the afternote “original copies available upon request”.

 

Here’s to 2017, just some of our feedback received…

The “A” Team, what an apt name for your fitters Paul & Lee. Quality of product, service and installation couldn’t be faulted. R. Matthews.

Veranda is truly fantastic! Amazing guys fitting an Amazing product. P. Brady.

Exemplary service with our glass veranda end to end. J. Atkinson-Weller.

Perfect!! M. Wicks

Very pleased with the glass veranda – your fitters were very professional, tidy and polite. Great job! M. Castle.

A very good job of our glass veranda, helpful workmen who were a pleasure to have at our home. G. Kennion.

The installation of my glass room was done very efficiently, very pleased with the quality and look and attention to detail. J. Edwards.

Brilliant – the guys were very pleasant and efficient. C. Stirling.

Couldn’t fault any aspect of this experience, staff were helpful and certainly knew their stuff and we were kept informed at all times. L. Fisher.

Very nice job of the veranda. Good product, good team, good firm. I. West.

Your fitters were quite excellent in every way. P. Jackson.

I am so pleased with the finished glass veranda, thank you. Paul and Lee worked so hard to a very high standard. They were courteous, friendly and professional at all times, a credit to your company. L. Baker.

Fantastic veranda, fantastic work. S. Ormston.

Excellent service, very friendly and professional team. Extremely happy with the finished glass veranda, our new extension fits it seamlessly, would definitely recommend. L. Gilmore.

Excellent job of our veranda thanks. P. Stratford.

 

Original copies available upon request.

Find more… Testimonials

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Added Life, Added Value

Glass Verandas add living space to your home and al-fresco luxury to your lifestyle, research shows 37% of British people spend more time in the garden than 5 years ago.

We can all benefit from improving our home environment and the garden is no exception. Any garden can either be a sanctuary for outdoor living, or can look an afterthought, but what many don’t realise is that a well developed plot can add anywhere between 5-20% to the value of a property. Over the years, property seekers appetites for improved garden environments have surged with people now wanting an attractive outdoor space in which to relax and enjoy. Adding a simple decking area where people can eat al-fresco can add value, or more so, adding quality outdoor living structures such as our glass verandas or contemporary glass rooms.

The great British summer of barbecues and gatherings will soon come around again, but is your garden up to the challenge? Traditionally, homeowners have tended to neglect gardens, focusing their time and energy on the interior first, but these days people are applying the same emphasis on outdoor living as they might their indoor space. A glass veranda or glass room can give your home a real edge, an added dimension that screams relaxation – modern outdoor living breathing new life into your home. Add space and value without breaking the bank, and make the most of your outdoors, maximising your property.

Your house is doubtless your largest and most valuable asset so it pays to look after its position in the market. Adding an Elegant veranda, or Elegant glass room, as well as making your home more attractive and enjoyable during your stay, it is well established that any additional living space can help increase a properties value – should you ever come to sell.

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Turning Corners, Turning Heads

Making an impact around the country our well equipped fitting vans now vividly promote modern outdoor living – with impressive graphic signage showcasing a full garden veranda across the sides.

Displaying a huge Glass Veranda left and right, and listing our Garden Glass Rooms at the rear, vinyl wrapping now follows every contour of our fitting vehicles – indeed customers could be forgiven for thinking that their veranda has arrived fully built on the driveway! Signwriting can be good for business and shows commitment. According to statistics, a busy vehicle can be seen by as many as 3,000 people per hour, but equally it’s the message of professional dedication that signage puts across. In short, a “business does what it say’s on the van”.

I once had my house gutters and fascia’s replaced and was preoccupied from the start seeing contractors arrive in a garden fencing truck. Pulling up, I thought (or rather I hoped) that they’d found the wrong address. I’m not alone either, in a survey by a well known leasing firm, 59% of respondents said that seeing a professional identity on a vehicle gave them confidence in the quality of work to be done, increasing to 74% with younger customers.

At Elegant we wanted our professional roadside image to reflect dedication to the product and show our high quality installation work. Keep it simple, they say, customers want to see your Brand Name, Telephone and Website and we worked on two versions of a design that respects this simplicity while slipping “Outdoor Living” into the message. Finally, “www.elegant.mx” is simply a shorter url linking to this website here – making eyeballed contact as easy as possible.

We hope audiences enjoy our giant veranda graphic. For the bigger picture, get a quote… [Arrange a Quotation]

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Outdoor Living Fireplace

Fire pits may be all the fashion right now but let’s not forget about chimeneas – the original patio fireplace. Outdoor heating that’s a fun veranda accessory as autumn approaches.

Our customer Mr Spedding, in Surrey, highly recommends his chimenea. He loves his new Elegant glass veranda, of course, and on being invited to visit him after installation we learned some useful advice about how he heats his terrace during frequent garden parties – outdoor entertaining his friends and neighbours late into the evenings. The glass veranda in point is featured in the photo above, a contemporary gunmetal gray replacing Mr Spedding’s previous wooden structure. The new veranda installation even includes a drinks fridge – plus his faithful chimenea sitting center stage.

Getting-Started Advice

Clay models have the best combustion and will burn fuel to a fine ash. Place outside of the glass veranda – you’ll feel the heat just fine, and be sure to pour a few inches of sand in the bottom of the chimenea before adding fuel. A sand bed protects the clay from cracking and should remain in place.

Mr Spedding, Derek, recommended Heat Logs for fuel – widely available including online order from Amazon or in DIY stores. Environmentally friendly heat logs are made up of wood from managed forests and recycled timber, cleverly compressed into handy logs. They are easy to light, they burn hot, are clean to handle and burn clean and smokeless – meaning guests won’t smell like a bonfire!

Use only dry wood or heat logs, not coal or charcoal which burn too hot damaging the chimenea. When not in use apply the chimney lid, keeping rain out, and use a protective cover over winter. Avoid water logging the clay and don’t light your chiminea if noticeably water logged, allow it to dry out naturally under the veranda. Always note manufacturer advice and use common sense with children.

Derek says that just two or three heat logs are enough to warm your glass veranda and adjacent patio during an Alfresco drink or short barbecue, this costing just a couple of pounds. A very long evening might use ten or twelve logs, maybe £7 or £8, but it’s all good fun and your veranda party guests will love it.

History

Historically made from fired clay the traditional Mexican chimenea dates back 400 years keeping families warm for hours burning only a few sticks. Originally used for both heating and cooking, outside and inside, they provided evening warmth and in the morning could be used for baking bread. Today they are purely terrace heaters and a quality model can last many years.

Thanks Derek, we love outdoor living too!

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CAD Veranda Visualisations

CAD visuals can be a great design aid – impressive photo realistic images allowing you to see your planned glass veranda installation getting the details right before manufacture and installation.

Design software for visualisation is still relatively new and can create exciting outputs of veranda projects for our customers. This capability provides static renderings able to communicate a glass veranda design, scaled to the building, simulating a finished look and feel showing the expected visual impact and enhancement to the home. These immersive artworks can prove affirming and reassuring validating the exact veranda size or chosen colour.

Helpful and informative, our veranda visualisations can prove especially valuable for customers less able to visualise in the mind’s eye, and are a perfect fit for group decisions. Very useful for design, effectively testing and giving an element of ‘try before you buy’ – seeing your glass veranda before it gets installed can confirm your decisions and get the whole household involved.

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Choosing Veranda Decking Boards

Decking options are aplenty when planning your glass veranda, wood no longer being the only choice we’ve seen a revolution in composite deck boards and new 100% plastic decking options.

Decking offers an instant terrace transformation, swiftly remodelling the ground below your glass veranda or glass room. A landscaping feature in itself veranda decking helps better define the outdoor living space and can reshape a ground layout to work better. But which deck board material should you choose? What might be best for you? It can pay to know your options and we offer the following advice to help get your veranda deck ideas nailed down.

Traditional Pressure Treated Timber Decking

Defying the numerous array of modern composite options, pressure treated timber remains the most popular choice by far with a good ¾ of new decks finished in this material. Economy will play a part in this favouritism with softwood timber boards costing significantly less than composite, although many will choose this natural material unpersuaded by plastic composite – just as they might prefer a real-wood lounge floor over wood effect laminate. Timber decking can simply be oiled to a natural finish or stained/painted in a wide colour range of anti-slip decking stains, allowing you to change colour ideas over time (an advantage not possible with composite).

Typically these boards will be made from slow grown European Pine that is pressure treated to resist rot and fungal decay for up to 15 years. Look for a premium version, 28mm thick rather than 20mm, responsibly sourced and FSC certified. Although commonly grooved, these boards can be found in a smooth finish giving a more elegant hardwood look.

Traditional Hardwood and Tropical Wood Decking

Most typically using Red Cedar, expect a hardwood deck to cost several times more than softwood timber. Upmarket and beautiful, usually smooth finished without those decking grooves, other popular wood choices include Garapa, Iroko, Siberian Larch, Ipe, Yellow Balau and Mandioqueira. Both Red Cedar and Siberian Larch give a characterful knotty finish while the others above keep a more uniform grained appearance. Hardwood decking is rated highly durable with a natural resistance to rot and decay and will often be sold as requiring no preservative treatment. That said, periodic treatment will add further protection and help keep its colour.

For time served deck purists Red Cedar will be the obvious choice for quality glass veranda decking. Simply requiring an annual jet washing and then a fresh coat of finish every few years, when first laid we’d advise a clear water repellent wood preservative then on subsequent treatments a semi-transparent tinted stain, maintaining the wood’s natural colour. If you don’t apply a stain the cedar will eventually weather to a soft silver grey.

Wood Fibre Composite Decking

Composite decking has fast grown in popularity with numerous manufacturers appearing in the market. Original ‘Composite’ was composed of wood fibers and recycled plastic, producing a material which one can appreciate is part natural while being extremely weather resistant. The appeal of using composite for your glass veranda or garden glass room is that it is maintenance free, it will never warp, split, splinter or rot. Expect quality composite decking to cost similar to hardwood but with the “fit and forget it” benefit of never requiring treatment.

Manufacturers such as Trex, with their Transcend range, produce composite boards with highly realistic deep grained textures faithfully mimicking the rich colour blends of hardwood. Trex decking boards are solid, not hollow section, they are well constructed and available in square edge design, for traditional surface screw fixing, or a grooved-edge version fixing with hidden brackets for a ‘screw-less’ appearance. At Elegant we have used Trex Transcend ourselves for quality glass veranda decking and can highly recommend.

Of course nothing lasts forever and it is still early days with composite decking; only time will tell how well different manufacturers boards last under long term exposure to UV sunlight and just what degradation or colour fade might be seen. Selecting a quality brand that has invested in research seems prudent, and for instance Trex claim a high-performance protective shell that resists fading.

100% Plastic Composite Decking

Not all composite decking boards are wood composite. Some products are entirely made of plastics including polyurethane, polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride – with no wood fibres at all. If south facing, keep in mind that under the heat of the sun these boards can become very hot (especially below a glass veranda roof or inside a glass room) so that during heat waves you can require shoes. A key appeal of this material is that nothing can ever rot, not even any wood fibres.

Manufacturer’s advice should be noted with some such deck boards requiring their support frame built with its bearers (the support joists) only 35mm apart, this due to the flexible nature of this deck board material. A short sample in your hands may not be enough to tell and you could be surprised at just how ‘bendy’ the full boards appear on delivery. Indeed, resurfacing an existing deck you could get ‘spongy’ results despite it previously feeling perfectly solid with traditional timber boards.

At Elegant we’ve installed polyurethane decking for our glass verandas and garden glass rooms and to stunning results. In particular we would draw attention to Millboard, a British manufacturer, with their unique ‘Weathered Oak’ range producing a highly realistic reclaimed floorboard style of deck. Millboard’s Weathered Oak (as pictured above) is literally moulded from reclaimed timbers for a genuinely authentic look of rustic antiquity. Special headless screws bury invisibly into the surface of these pliant decking boards, completely hiding the fixings.

In Summary

We hope that this article helps your decisions for that new veranda deck. Our simplest advice… if you have the money to spare, if you typically favour old school traditions and the thought of plastic flooring just doesn’t sit well with you, then look at hardwood – and get a carpenter craftsman doing justice to the material. If modernity is more your thing, if fully maintenance-free appeals and you don’t mind a significant budget achieving it, then look at high end composite decking such as the brands mentioned above. Or, if you simply want a deck, something solid to walk on, something that will last for many years and still cost a fraction of composite to re-board anyway (assuming that you are still at the same property after a decade) then don’t discount the humble timber option; still the No.1 popular choice and comfortable underfoot in hot weather, the economical timber option is fully paint stain-able for obliterating future scuffs or to entirely revamp its colour style over time.

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Glass Veranda Sun Blind

With summer in swing the demand is hotting up for our veranda sun blinds; patio roofs with a built-in sun awning and even vertical sun screens putting you in control.

An integrated sun blind provides welcome shade below your glass veranda, invaluable during heat wave periods and comfortably controlling glare on sunny days. Virtually a complete patio awning, our built-in sun blind installs below your glass roof keeping it out of the weather and clean from debris or bird droppings. Operated by remote control, at the touch of a button the sun blind glides quietly and effortlessly and can be stopped part-way for partial shade.

Options are plentiful to suit all tastes choosing from over 150 plain or patterned fabrics in a wide range of subtle or vibrant colours, including our Veil-Tex range allowing a veiled view through the blind. Choose between handset operation, wall switch, or fully automated action using a sun sensor! Advanced fabric technology ensures lasting good looks and the blind casing and hardware is beautifully made to blend with your glass veranda structure.

With our modular concept, retro fitting is available so existing glass verandas can have this sun blind added subsequently. Contact Elegant to view the fabrics and receive a tailored quote.