FAQs

It’s a big decision to undertake work on your home and, understandably, you’ll likely have questions about the process. To help, we’ve answered many of the most frequent questions that are posed to our showroom staff and design teams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our friendly advisors are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You will find answers to some of the most common questions they receive below.

What’s the difference between PVC, PVCU and UPVC?

There isn’t any difference really! UPVC stands for Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride and it can also be stylised as PVCu and PVC.

UPVC is an incredibly versatile material that is used in a wide range of sectors and industries. Because of its longevity, high weather and UV resistance, it’s perfect to use in the manufacture of windows and doors.

What’s the difference between casement and flush windows?

The difference between a casement window and a flush window is the casement itself.

The casement refers to the moving part of the window, i.e. the section that opens and closes. Standard windows (or casement and in some cases, lipped) feature a casement that sits outside of the frame. In comparison, a flush window’s casement sits level with the frame.

When you see the two types of windows side-by-side the difference is clear. Why not visit one of our showrooms and see for yourself?

Should I choose double- or triple-glazed windows?

There are positives and negatives for both, and it all depends on what you’re looking for from your glazing. We’d recommend speaking with a member of the Clearview team and they’ll be able to advise accordingly.

In terms of differences, the obvious starting point is the number of windowpanes within the units – two for double and (you guessed it) three for triple. Generally, triple glazing is better at retaining heat than double glazing and, in some instances, it is better at stopping noise from transferring into your property. However, if noise reduction is a key priority of yours, there are other avenues you can explore.

Whenever we talk about double and triple glazing, we always mention the cost as the price difference between double and triple glazing is quite steep.

With that in mind, speak to a member of our team who’ll work with you to find the perfect window for your home.

What colours do your replacement windows come in?

Pretty much any colour! Thankfully, we’re long gone from the days of all-white windows. Thanks to advances in design, technology and manufacture, we’re able to offer all our replacement windows and doors in a wide range of colours, shades and woodgrain effects. You can even choose a different colour from your windows inside and out.

To see the full range of options available, either download one of our brochures or visit your nearest showroom where a member of the team will happily talk you through them.

I’ve heard a lot about energy ratings when it comes to windows. What does it all mean?

The Window Energy Rating (WER) is a consumer-friendly traffic light system that’s used to showcase how energy efficient a window will be. It’s very similar to the system used to display the energy ratings of home appliances and white goods. It follows a scale ranging from A+-G.

A+-rated windows are the most energy-efficient windows available in the UK, as defined by the nationally-recognised BFRC Rating Scheme. This forms part of Building Regulations, which is a crucial part of determining if your replacement windows meet current guidelines.

When purchasing new or replacement windows, look for those that carry the highest ratings – A and A+. That way, you can be assured that your windows are the best available and will keep your home warm.

It’s a little-known fact that all new or replacement windows require to be WER-rated C or higher. To learn more about the energy efficiency of our windows, please ask your Clearview advisor for further details.

What does U-Value mean?

A window’s U-Value determines how well it retains internal heat. The U-Value is measured in Watts per square metre, or W/m2K. When checking a window’s U-Value, the lower the number the better.

All new or replacement windows must have a minimum U-Value of 1.6 W/m2K. Ask your Clearview advisor for further details and they’ll be only too happy to help.

What does Secured by Design mean?

Secured by Design (SBD) is something important to look out for when getting new windows or doors. Secured by Design is an official police initiative that improves the security of buildings by designing out vulnerabilities in products and components, including windows, doors and locks.

Our manufacturing partner, Conservatory Outlet, is a registered Secured by Design member and you’ll be glad to know that as a result, many of our products meet the rigorous demands of this police-backed standard.

Do you make your own windows?

Yes. Clearview is part of the Conservatory Outlet Group and a sister company to Conservatory Outlet, the UK’s leading manufacturer of UPVC and aluminium windows.

All products are made at Conservatory Outlet’s state-of-the-art facility in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

It’s thanks to this close relationship that we’re able to have incredible control over our supply chain and ensure that our customers receive an exclusive and innovative range of home improvement solutions.

Is Clearview a member of FENSA?

Yes, Clearview is a member of FENSA (Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme).

FENSA was set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) and several other industry bodies in response to current Building Regulations in England and Wales.

When undertaking any home improvement work, all windows and doors must comply with certain standards and receive a certificate of compliance from FENSA or a Local Authority.

Are all composite doors the same?

No, they’re not. They can vary quite a lot!

Standard composite doors are generally 44mm deep and are foam filled. They are then finished in a coloured GRP skin.

At 48mm, our leading Extreme Solid Core Door range is slightly thicker than standard composite doors. But that’s not the only difference; the Extreme Solid Core Door is made from interlocking layers of laminated timber. This makes them stronger and more durable than other types of doors. They are also finished in a UPVC skin, which means you can achieve a perfect colour match with your door frame.

If you want to learn more about the types of doors available, speak with a member of the Clearview team and they’ll explain everything for you.

Can I have a different colour on the inside to the outside?

Yes, you can!

In most instances, you’ll be able to choose a different colour inside and out.

For example, you could have a white exterior and grey interior. Or you could go red and blue. Or green and black – the choice is yours!

How many keys do you get?

As standard, you’ll get three sets of keys. But if you’d like any additional sets, just let us know at the point of ordering.

Can I have the keys the same for multiple doors? (Suited)

Yes. Just mention to us when ordering that you’d like the doors suited and we’ll take care of the rest. No more rummaging around and working out which key is for the front or back!

What is Secured by Design mean?

Secured by Design (SBD) is something important to look out for when getting new windows or doors. Secured by Design is an official police initiative that improves the security of buildings by designing out vulnerabilities in products and components, including windows, doors and locks.

Our manufacturing partner, Conservatory Outlet, is a registered Secured by Design member and you’ll be glad to know that as a result, many of our products meet the rigorous demands of this police-backed standard.

What does the 3-star rating mean for a door barrel?

All door barrels are tested to provide maximum security against break-ins, with three stars the highest rating available.

Our door cylinders feature our unique snap-secure technology. This, combined with a smart lockdown mode, helps prevent the barrel from being compromised at any point during a brute force attack.

Can French doors fold back completely?

Yes, you can order your French doors with an egress hinge which allows you to fully fold back your doors for a beautiful view of the garden.

Should I choose sliding patio doors or bi-folding doors?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as both options have numerous benefits and will help transform your home and garden.

Sliding patio doors have slimmer frames than bi-folds, so even when closed you get a larger view of your garden. However, bi-folding doors fold completely back and open your property to the outside and are great for improving access.

What is the difference between a conservatory, an orangery and an extension?

The big question!

The truth is, what separates a conservatory, orangery and extension has blurred somewhat in recent years. Honestly, your living space can be whatever you want it to be!

Traditionally, a conservatory would be a predominantly glass structure – glass walls and a glass roof. These days, due to styles changing and designs advancing, it’s possible to have a conservatory with a tiled roof or a conservatory with a dwarf wall.

An orangery generally incorporates brick or aluminium pillars, and these are a real feature of the structure’s design. These pillars aren’t just an eye-catching feature though, they provide a little extra privacy and insulation compared to a conservatory. Orangeries also have a pelmet around the roof which also adds a little extra insulation. As for a roof – anything goes! Orangeries are fantastic as their versatility allows them to have all kinds of roof structures, including glass lanterns and glass/tiled hybrids.

An extension, however, is normally designed to match the existing look and feel of the property. Many traditional extensions incorporate a solid feel with more brickwork and typically (but not always) feature a solid tiled roof. These days though, roofs can be hybrid and incorporate glass panels or Velux windows for a little extra light and ventilation.

But who needs a label anyway? Whatever it is you’re after, we’re here to help. Have a chat with a Clearview design and they’ll draw up your dream living space.

Should I choose a tiled or glass roof?

This depends on your plan on using the room, which way it faces and, of course, your budget.

If you value plenty of natural light cascading into your living space and a beautiful view of your garden, then a glass roof is the obvious choice. But don’t worry about the space becoming uncomfortable in the summer as you can choose to have solar control glazing that’ll keep your room at a comfortable temperature.

For a roof that’s more in keeping your property, then a solid roof is the way to go. You could even use the solid roof as a base and add in a glass lantern, full-length glass panels or Velux windows to get the best of both worlds.

Why not talk things through with a member of the Clearview team?

Will my living space be too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter?

All our living spaces are designed and manufactured to provide year-round comfort. Gone are the days of old polycarbonate conservatories and roofs that turn extensions into furnaces during the summer months and igloos in the winter. Thanks to solar control glazing and improvements in energy efficiency and insulation, your Clearview living space will be ideal 365-days a year.

That said, if you are concerned about heat regulation, a solid roof might be the best option.

Do you manufacture your own roofs?

Yes, Clearview Home Improvements is part of the Conservatory Outlet Group of companies, and its sister company Conservatory Outlet is one of the leading manufacturers of roof products in the UK.

Our roofs are manufactured in the UK at Conservatory Outlet’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Having such a close relationship with our manufacturer means we retain close control over our supply chain – ensuring the exceptional, quality of our innovative product range is always maintained.

Can I choose different roof tiles to match my home?

Yes, absolutely! We have a wide range of options available, and we’ll happily go through all the styles to ensure there’s as close a match as possible to your existing roof. Or you could pivot and go completely different – the choice is yours.

What is solar control glazing?

Solar control glazing is a type of glass that features a unique coating that works to prevent excessive amounts of heat from transferring into your property. As well as stopping large amounts of getting it, it also works to stop internal heat from getting out – which is ideal in the winter.

We have several options available, all of which offer varying levels of light transmission and heat retention. To discuss things further, speak to a Clearview representative who’ll be able to advise on what type would be best for your needs.

Can I match to my existing bricks?

Before any work begins, our Clearview team will scout out the closest match to your existing brickwork and check this over with you.

Please bear in mind that your existing brickwork will have been exposed to the and as such, there may be some discrepancies between the old and new bricks due to the weathering process.

Do I need Building Regulations Approval?

Most extensions require Building Regulations approval. There are several classes of extension that are exempt but don’t worry about the ins and outs of the paperwork as one of our surveyors will talk you through the options and requirements needed for your beautiful new extension.

We’ll also arrange all Building Regulations for you by working with the relevant local authority.

Do I need planning permission?

An extension to your house is considered to be a permitted development and therefore doesn’t require planning permission.

In normal circumstances, this is subject to certain conditions which are:

Typically, these would be:

  • The ground area of the living space and any other buildings within the boundary of the property is not more than half the total area of the existing property
  • Any part of the extension does not lie above the highest part of the existing house
  • The eaves of the extension do not exceed any existing eaves
  • The extension or living space does not extend past and road-facing wall if it forms the principal or side elevation of the house.
  • All materials used are of similar appearance to the existing property
  • An upper floor window on the side elevation of the property features obscured glazing and is non-opening unless it is more than 1.7 metres above the floor of the room.
  • An extension on the side of the property does not exceed four metres in height or is more than half the width of the original house.

In a single-storey extension:

  • The extension in question doesn’t extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than:
    • Four metres (detached property)
    • Three metres (any other type of property)
  • The height of the extension doesn’t exceed four metres
  • No part of the extension is within 3.5 metres of any boundary with a road opposite the rear wall of the house

In an extension with more than one storey

  • The extension does not extend past the rear wall of the house by more than three metres
  • All the extension lies within seven metres of the property boundary opposite the rear wall of the house
  • The roof pitch of the enlargement is the same as the original house, or as close as possible.

If you live in a house within either a conservation area, World Heritage Site, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or a National Park:

  • No part of the extension is clad with stone (including artificial stone), pebbledash, render, timber, plastic or tiles
  • The extension is no more than one storey or four metres high
  • The extension does not go beyond the principal or side elevation of the original house

How long will it take to build my new living space?

Without knowing the specifics of the project and any potential planning requirements, it’s really hard to say. If you’re wanting to get an idea of timescales, it’s best to discuss your ideas with a member of the Clearview team.

What is a test dig?

A test dig is a small excavation that helps the builders to help ensure that local conditions are suitable for the extension. In the case of new-build extensions, this must be conducted before any work is conducted.

What is a cavity tray?

A cavity tray is a type of damp proof coursing that effectively acts as a bridge within a cavity wall. Any moisture present inside the cavity trickles down the cavity tray and is expelled outside the external cavity wall.

Should I choose a tiled or glass roof?

This depends on your plan on using the room, which way it faces and, of course, your budget.

If you value plenty of natural light cascading into your living space and a beautiful view of your garden, then a glass roof is the obvious choice. But don’t worry about the space becoming uncomfortable in the summer as you can choose to have solar control glazing that’ll keep your room at a comfortable temperature.

For a roof that’s more in keeping your property, then a solid roof is the way to go. You could even use the solid roof as a base and add in a glass lantern, full-length glass panels or Velux windows to get the best of both worlds.

Why not talk things through with a member of the Clearview team?

When I’m replacing my roof, should I replace the frames too?

We would advise you to, yes.

If you’re going to the trouble and expense of replacing your old conservatory roof, then it makes sense to replace your conservatory or orangery’s windows and frames too. Why take advantage of all the benefits of a modern roof (solar control glazing, more efficient and thermally secure frames etc.) then why settle for old, poorly performing frames?

Speak to a Clearview advisor and we’ll work out an excellent deal to ensure your living space gets a brand-new lease of life.

What is a replacement tiled roof made from?

Replacement solid roof systems are normally prefabricated. This means helps with the installation as it allows it to be done quickly and efficiently, minimising the disruption caused at your home.

Each roof is made individually to ensure a perfect fit for your space.

The system itself comprises a pre-engineered frame, insulation, fire-grade plasterboard, exterior-grade plywood, and an impenetrable membrane. The roof is then finished with tiles of your choosing, or solid panels.

What is a replacement tiled roof made from?

A replacement solid roof system is prefabricated to ensure that the installation process itself can be conducted as quickly and as efficiently as possible, with minimum disruption to your home. Each roof we make is unique and made to measure for each home improvement project.

The roof system is comprised of several different components, those being: a pre-engineered and lightweight frame, insulating panels, fire-grade plasterboard, exterior-grade plywood and an impenetrable membrane.

The roof is then finished with either your choice of tiles or solid panels.

What is a Clad over roof?

A clad over roof is sold by some competitors as a cheap alternative to a proper roof replacement.

With a clad over roof, the new roof structure is installed without removing the old one. This isn’t recommended for several reasons:

  • Weight: A clad over system can be too heavy for your conservatory’s existing frames/structural support. This is because they use heavy timber, insulation materials and tiles. Any old conservatory requires a lightweight roof. The lightest solid roof systems weigh around 31kg/m2.

 

Tip: When getting your roof replacement, always ask for the total weight of the new roof per m2.

  • Fire Safety: By their very nature, clad over systems do not meet current fire safety regulations. It may be tested in isolation but these systems can’t be tested as a complete structure, which is necessary to pass Building Regulations. Solid roofs must be classified with a fire rating of either AC, AB or AA per the British standard BS476-3.Tip: Always ask to see the fire safety certificate of the entire roof system before you commit to the project.
  • Building Regulations: Clad over roofing systems also don’t tend to get Building Regulations Approval due to their low thermal value or structural integrity. This isn’t to be confused with planning permission, which often isn’t required. As a homeowner, you are required to notify Building Control if you are making a change to any structure – including replacing a polycarbonate conservatory roof.

Tip: Check with Build Control that they have been informed about the impending works. Obtain a Building Regulations ‘Final’ Certificate and keep that in a safe place.

Will my new roof still cause the room to be too hot in the summer and cold in the winter?

All our living spaces are designed and manufactured to provide year-round comfort. Gone are the days of old polycarbonate conservatories and roofs that turn extensions into furnaces during the summer months and igloos in the winter. Thanks to solar control glazing and improvements in energy efficiency and insulation, your Clearview living space will be ideal 365-days a year.

That said, if you are concerned about heat regulation, a solid roof might be the best option.

How much will it cost to replace my existing roof?

As ever, this depends on the size of the structure, design and whether you want to incorporate features such as lanterns of Velux windows. To give some sort of estimate, replacement roofs can cost anywhere from £5,000 upwards.

Clearview has a useful finance calculator which can help you work out an easy-to-afford payment plan that fits your budget.

How long will it take to replace my existing conservatory roof?

A tiled solid roof replacement can be installed in as little as a few days, with minimum disruption to your home.

Do I need planning permission to replace an existing roof?

You won’t need planning permission to change a roof on an existing structure. However, Buildings Regulation Control is a mandatory requirement – a property sale cannot be made without this.

Do I need Building Regulations Approval?

Getting Building Regulations approval from your local authority means that you can be assured the new system has been checked by a government-approved inspector. The check ensures the structure is installed correctly and is both structurally safe and thermally efficient.

Plus, should you sell the property in the future, you’ll know that there won’t be any issues regarding unauthorised work.

Do you offer finance to help pay for home improvements?

Yes. To make the home improvement process as easy as possible for you, Clearview can offer a variety of affordable finance options – subject to application and status.

Applying for finance with us is simple and can be done either at one of our showrooms or from the comfort of your home.

What do we need to do when our finance is approved?

If you are arranging your finance, please call us as soon as you get the green light. If you’re applying through us, we’ll let you know so we can start the process as soon as possible.

What happens if finance is refused?

Finance companies can turn people’s applications down for lots of reasons. It could even be because you’ve moved house recently. As disheartening as it can be, we will strive to help you out where we can and it’s worth trying another lending provider, especially if they have a previous relationship with you (e.g. your mortgage provider).

I’ve applied for finance with Clearview. How long will it take to be approved?

Sometimes we’ll get an answer straight away, other times it might take a couple of days. Don’t worry and when we get a response, you’ll be the first to hear it.

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