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Thinking of getting new windows for your home?

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When designing and building homes a lot of people tend to focus on how the inside of the home will look first and the outside can be a bit further down the list. Windows can be one of the most important aspects of your build. Windows are in every room, can be seen from inside and outside, and can really change the look of a building or a room. When choosing windows for your home there are numerous different types and styles to think about. Do you want wooden, PVC or aluminium windows? Do you want big, small or something in the middle? One pane of glass or maybe even two or three? You can even choose windows with glass that is self cleaning. There really are a lot of types of windows to choose from. Your Architect will be the best person to help you choose which type of windows will suit your home.

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The first thing your Architect may have you think about is the size and style of the windows you want in your Home. Some of the most popular styles of windows in Ireland are:

Bay and Bow Windows
Bay windows usually consist of three panels that are not fitted into the wall like normal windows. They are square shaped and protrude out from the wall. They are very pretty to look at from inside and outside and can be a really beautiful addition to the front of any home. Bow windows are made with three or more panels and are usually curved but are equally as nice as bay windows. Bay and bow are a great choice for rooms that may be a bit darker because they allow light to come in from different directions.

Sash Windows
Sash windows are made of two sash frames that slide up and down past each other balanced by weights in the frames. They were popular for hundreds of years before staring to be replaced by more modern types of windows but have recently become very popular again. Because both windows can be opened at either the top or bottom they can allow for better ventilation in a room without a draught. New materials allow an old style of windows to be very energy efficient in your home.

Casement Windows
Casement windows are windows that are attached to a frame by hinges. They can be hinged at the top, bottom or sides and are opened and closed with a handle. Casement windows are great for ventilation and can be opened inwards or outwards.

When you have decided on the style of window that suits you home, you will need to decide what material your windows will be made from. Again you Architect will be able to guide you in choosing the right material for you. The main material used for windows in Ireland are:

PVC windows can be the best for your home due to being very energy efficient and have a lower cost than wood or aluminium. They are easy to care for and need very little maintenance. They have a very long life, are more durable than wood or aluminium and are also recyclable.

Timber windows can be a more traditional choice but may be more expensive than PVC and but are probably the most versatile. Timber windows will require more maintenance but when looked after properly can last for hundreds of years.

Alu-clad will be more expensive than PVC or timber and may be harder to source as there are fewer suppliers in Ireland. Aluminium can be very elegant, is modern looking and available in a wide range of colours.

Once you have chosen the style and material you need to decide if you want single, double or triple glazing. Triple glazing is becoming more popular in Ireland due to its energy efficiency so speak to your Architect to decide which is best for you.

Your dream kitchen can be a reality

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The kitchen is nearly always considered the heart of the any home. It is where families meet to eat, laugh and can be one of the most used rooms in any house. Having the right kitchen for your house can mean a number of different things. It can mean having a lot of storage space, bigger cooking facilities or having room for family and friends to sit together in the same room. Modern kitchens are designed to take all these things into account.

In a lot of busy homes, kitchens are where every one meets in the evening or at the end of the day to share a meal and talk about their day. So your kitchens design needs to be able to allow you to do this. When you meet with your Architect they will help you decide what are the most important features you need in your kitchen. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you want, but always be realistic about the space that you have, your budget and what are the essentials. The one thing your Architect doesn’t want to do is let you down, so try to choose functionality over form. Sometimes the best way to achieve your dream kitchen may be building a kitchen extension.

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Expanding your kitchen can add value to your home and give you that much needed extra space. Kitchens that are done in open plan style can make it seem like a new home. But there are a lot of decisions to be made before that. What type of Kitchens are available for your budget? What materials do you want? Would you like an island? Do you want open plan kitchen, living and dining? The possibilities are nearly endless, so consulting with your Architect will bring your dream kitchen one step closer.

When it comes to renovating kitchens there are a number of things you will need to think about:

    • Types and styles of kitchens
    • Materials to be used
    • Flooring options
    • Extensions or renovations of existing kitchens
    • Appliances
    • Open plan or enclosed
    • Layout

Changing kitchens can be one of the biggest financial decisions you can make but also one of the most rewarding. Your Architect can help you every step of the way, from design to completion and it is reassuring to know that you are getting the best advice possible from a professional who knows a lot about kitchens. There is no rush when deciding to do major building work on your home, so take your time and make sure you are getting what your home and family needs when it comes to choosing your new kitchen. Your Architect is there for you to achieve the kitchen of your dreams.

How to choose the right flooring for your home

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When it comes to choosing the right flooring for your home your Architect will be able to help you decide what types will suit your needs. Whether it be for a home with a growing family that needs a hard-wearing floor or comfortable carpets, there are so many different types of flooring to choose from. The first thing you need to do is decide which rooms in your home are the most used and may need a more resilient type of flooring and which rooms you would want more comfort in your flooring. Hallways and kitchens will need a more sturdy types of flooring than bedrooms and living rooms.

Types of Flooring

With so many different types, styles and sizes of tile flooring available, choosing the right one can be a bit daunting if you don’t know what you want. This is where your Architect can advise you on the type and style of tile flooring that will match your home perfectly. They will help you decide if you want Ceramic, Slate, Stone or Marble tile flooring, big or small size tiles and everything in between. Letting your Architect help you decide will make sure you find the right tile flooring for you.

Hard Wood
There are two types of hard wood flooring for you to choose from, Solid Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood. Neither one is better than the other, both have their pros and cons. Solid hardwood is flooring made from one piece of wood and is about 2cm thick. Solid hardwood expands and shrinks based on the humidity in your home so if your home is prone to damp solid hardwood may not be for you. Engineered hardwood is layers of wood bonded together with adhesive. They way Engineered hardwood is made means that it does not react to humidity so is chosen by more people. Oak, Cherry and Maple are the best to choose for their strength. But wood like Mahogany will look stunning in any room. Talk to your Architect about which will be best for you.

Laminate flooring is suitable for those who may not have a lot of money to invest in their floors. It is very hard wearing and durable and comes in many colours and styles. ~It can create a beautiful finish for a lot less than hardwood flooring would cost and is a very popular choice for many homes. But like solid hardwood flooring it does not react well to humidity. It can be great for hallways and living rooms but will not work so well in kitchens or bathrooms where there can be a lot of moisture. Your Architect will be able to assist you in deciding which rooms in your home are suitable for laminate flooring.

Vinyl flooring is a popular choice for busy rooms in your home, particularly the kitchen and bathroom. Vinyl flooring is water resistant and durable at a lower cost than wooden floors. Vinyl flooring is laid in either sheets, which is more water proof and easier to install, or tiles, which can have the look of a ceramic floor without the price.

When it come to having a comfortable flooring surface nothing beats a nice plush carpet. It is easier to match a colour scheme with carpet and can really give a luxurious feel to your living rooms and bedrooms. With so may different styles, colours and pile thickness carpet can be as cheap or as expensive as you want. It is definitely one of the most versatile types of flooring for your home. Obviously carpet is not suitable for kitchens and bathrooms but mixes really well with all the other types of flooring available to you.

Before you choose any type of flooring for your home, always consult with your Architect. They are one of the best people to talk to when it comes to choosing the best type of flooring for your home.