About South Coast Windows

South Coast Windows, based in East Sussex, supply and fit UPVC Windows, Doors and Conservatories to the South Coast region of the UK.

Decorate your windows for Christmas

Christmas is coming and we think that decorating your home is part of the festive fun. So, here are some ideas to help you make your windows a festive treat for the eyes this December. It’s just for fun!

Decorating Window Panes

Fake snow (that you spray out of a can) looks really festive and you could create the ‘snowed-in’ look by spraying it into the corners of your windows, or within the borders of sash windows. It should be really easy to remove with soap and water in January. Depending on your taste, tinsel can look really festive when hung around the inside of your windows too.

Fairly lights placed around windows looks lovely on the interior, and inviting to friends and relatives on the outside, arriving in the dark and cold. Hanging things from the top of the window, like Christmas stockings, baubles and sparkly stars, looks pretty inside and out.

If you have children, you could cut-out paper snowflakes and attach them to the inside with tape or blue-tac.

And the piece de resistance – surely everyone likes the sight of a lit-up Christmas tree through the window of a cosy-looking home? Consider positioning your tree by the window where everyone – including Father Christmas – can see it!

Interior Window Sill

Any window with an interior sill can be decorated to look really festive. This is where you can place candles or fairy lights, which will look great from outside in the dark. Electric / battery-operated candles are a good alternative to the real thing if you’re worried about fire hazards.

Traditional Christmassy toys, like wooden toy soldiers, drummer boys, or a nativity scene, look really festive when positioned on a window sill.

Bringing Nature Indoors

Traditionally, people decorate their homes and windows with holly and mistletoe at Christmas. Another plant that looks lovely at this time of year is fern, which can be placed around the window, perhaps with some fairy lights running through it.

Pine cones are also really seasonal, so you could place some on your sill. You can purchase fake and silver ones in shops, or forage for the real thing for your home.

We hope we’ve inspired you to dust off your decorations and enter into the Christmas spirit and we’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at South Coast Windows!

7 Simple Ways to Save Energy in Your Home

You’re probably already aware of the energy bill debate as some of the ‘big six’ energy suppliers have announced they are putting up energy bills again this winter. According to regulator Ofgem, energy prices have risen by 24 per cent over the last four years. Many people are looking for ways to save money on their energy bills.

Double Glazing improves Energy Efficiency

According to the Energy Saving Trust, if you replaced single glazed windows with B-rated double glazing, you could save around £170 per year on your energy bill. The new technology that we build into our windows and doors as standard gives them an A+ rating. Undoubtedly, this allows home-owners to turn down the thermostat on their heating. By doing so, they reduce their carbon emission and the cost of heating bills.

SCHI build in excellent insulation into their products as standard. New technology now allows us to provide windows that positively affect the indoor temperature of a home, the use of Planitherm and Low Iron glasses, Argon Gas & warm-edge spacer bars mean that we can now provide a glass sealed unit in the windows that give an A+ rating, that can help considerably in keeping your home ‘cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s not’.

Here are seven other simple ways that could help you bring down the cost of heating your home this winter.

7 energy saving secrets

  1. Speak to your energy company about going onto a fixed-rate deal. thisismoney.co.uk recommends signing up to a best-buy fixed-rate tariff. You will be tied into that price for a fixed period, but the price stays fixed too.
  2. Switch your energy company. Many people switch their car insurance every year to save money, so why not do the same with your gas and electricity? Price comparison sites are a good place to start.
  3. According to Energy Saving Trust, a quarter of a home’s heat is lost through the roof when that roof isn’t insulated. So, insulating your attic / loft space is probably going to be worth it.
  4. Similarly, about 60% of a year’s energy bill goes on the boiler – so an energy efficient one is really important. New boilers are expensive, but you could still improve your boiler’s efficiency by insulating your hot water tank (insulation jackets are available) and only turning the hot water on when you need it  /  keeping it very low when you’re out.
  5. It’s been estimated that by turning your thermostat down by just one degree, you could save as much as £65 per year on your energy bill. Having the heating one degree lower shouldn’t make much of a difference to the ambiance of a room.
  6. Some cheap but effective ways to insulate your home include using radiator covers, insulating hot water pipes, draught-proofing doors and windows and filling in cracks in walls / corners / between floorboards too.
  7. Changing how you consume energy in your home can bring down your bills. In winter, it’s recommended you close doors and windows to keep heat in rooms, only turning on the radiators in rooms you’re using and drawing the curtains (after dark!).

Hopefully some of those ideas can help you lower your heating bill. Remember, we are on your side in the fight against rising fuel bills.  Speak to us about how our energy efficient windows can help to keep you warm this winter.

Double Glazing Quality Standards

Purchasing double glazing is an investment that can improve the value of your home, which is especially good if you’re planning on reselling.

Even if you’re not reselling and want to stay, double glazing can actually make your home feel more comfortable and warm, reduce your energy bills, improve your home’s carbon efficiency – and it looks nice.

If you’re going to invest in your home with double glazing, and reap the many other benefits too, you want to know that your purchase will be the best quality it can be.

This short article will tell you more about our quality standards.

Our Quality Standards and Membership

Quality and constant improvement is always uppermost in our minds and we strive to achieve both.  To that end, South Coast Windows continually uses improved technology as it evolves; the latest being the use of frames fully reinforced with thermal inserts, enabling the WER (Window Energy Rating) to get to A+11. (The WER measures the thermal efficiency of a window.)

For our customers, this means far better insulation and cheaper fuel bills. We also provide triple glazed windows to help with acoustic insulation as well as all the environmental benefits. However, the benefits of this option must always be set against the inherent weight problems of an extra 50% of glass on the opening section and the hinges.


DGCOS membership

South Coast Windows chose to become a member of the Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS). DGCOS regulates the quality of double glazing products, installation, service and back up.  It’s arguably the best quality guarantee available for double glazing and is headed by no less than Nick Ross of ‘Crimewatch’.

Everything we do at South Coast Windows is monitored, not only by DGCOS, but also by our customers who provide honest and very powerful feedback on our performance.


South Coast Windows FENSA approved

In addition, all of all of our installations are monitored by the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme FENSA and receive FENSA certification, which is essential when it comes to the future sale of a property.


FENSA was established by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) and other industry bodies to ensure double glazing meets new building regulations in England and Wales. If you’re replacing windows and doors in your home, they must meet the current thermal performance standards and must have a certificate from FENSA or the Local Authority Building Control.

Casement Windows v Sliding Sash Windows

Windows come in all shapes and sizes and can be tailored to your specification, but choosing the right style is a little trickier. To help you make your choice, we compare the features and advantages of two of the most common window styles on the market: Casement Windows and Sliding Sash Windows.

What is a Casement Window?

Casement windows are attached by two or more hinges at the side. They can open inwards or outwards, but more often they open outwards. They may have a ‘friction hinge’ or ‘stay’ to hold the window in place when it’s open. This is handy on windy days!

They often come in PVCu frames, making them more modern in appearance and perhaps more suited to modern homes. However, casement windows are available in wooden frames and a choice of colours in PVCu, making them quite a versatile window.

Casement windows can be singular or in pairs sharing a frame. The glass may be plain or can have the appearance of leaded glass: i.e. panels of glass held together with lead strips, creating a criss-cross pattern, or with a Georgian bar pattern.

Advantages of a Casement Window

  • These windows are safe to open in the wind because there is a safety catch holding them in place. Inward opening casement windows can be fitted in areas with very windy weather as an extra precaution.
  • You can create lots of different looks with a casement window. They can be purchased in a choice of frames, which means they can suit more homes and tastes and they are available in plain, leaded glass, or Georgian style.
  • These windows are suitable for modern developments, refurbishment, or the replacement of existing casement windows.
  • They’re very secure because the lock is embedded within the frame, making them difficult to break into.
  • Want to save money by insulating your home? Casement windows are very energy efficient and are second only to fixed-pane windows in terms of energy efficiency.
  • These windows offer excellent ventilation to homes because they open outwards, allowing air and light in from the top, the bottom and either side. In fact, this type of window can open the widest compared with all others.

Considerations – White PVCu can look out of place next to older building materials, so consider a wood effect PVCu frame for period properties.

What is a Sliding Sash Window

Sliding sash windows are not attached with by hinge. Instead they slide open – either up or down, or side to side.

Original sliding sash windows are a really strong selling point of many period properties. They’re one of those features like ‘original fireplace’ or ‘Aga’ that get homebuyers really excited. However, original sliding sash windows can be expensive to maintain and repair and if they’re single glazed, they’re less energy efficient.

We recommend replacing older and damaged sliding sash windows with newer ones, in a material that’s sympathetic to the building’s materials.


  • They’re attractive and can make your home appear more beautiful and more valuable.
  • These windows are useful in period properties when casement windows may be considered too modern. Sliding Sash Windows are available in PVCu and wood.
  • They are suitable for period developments, refurbishment, or the replacement of existing sliding sash windows.
  • You can choose how much to open the window by sliding. This means you can have it open just a tiny little bit if you just want to keep some air flowing through the room, or keep the Great British weather out!
  • These windows are easy to open.
  • You can choose different styles for these windows, which are available in plain glass, in leaded glass (the criss-cross pattern), or in panels.

Considerations: Be careful when painting original sliding sash windows, because doing so incorrectly can make the windows stick.

Comparing the advantages of these two types of window will hopefully help you to decide what’s right for your home. Or, talk to us about your requirements and let’s see how we can help.

What are Your Rights When Purchasing Double Glazing?

When purchasing double glazing it is important to be aware of your rights with regards to both the contract and delivery of the service. There are three regulations in particular to be aware of in order to fully understand your rights if something goes wrong, and to provide reassurance as to what you are covered for if this does occur.

1.       Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982

According to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, if you have entered into a contract for goods and services then you can expect them to be supplied with ‘reasonable’ care and skill. To understand the definition of ‘reasonable’ you should research what the expected standards are with the good or service you are entering a contract for. The act states that goods or services must be ‘as described’, ‘of satisfactory quality’ and ‘fit for purpose’.

If you find your double glazing does not meet reasonable standards or the contract was broken in some way, you may be able to claim for compensation.

2.       Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work Regulation 2008

This regulation is really relevant when purchasing double glazing as it states that if you purchase goods or services costing in excess of £35 from a trader visiting your home, you must be given your cancellation rights in writing. Once you have received this, you will then have seven days to cancel the contract without needing to pay a penalty to the trader. If you wish for the trader to begin work before the seven days are up, you must provide them with a written agreement to avoid any future disagreements.

Important note: for this regulation to stand, the contract must be made in the home at the time of the visit. If the decision to accept is made later, e.g. via the telephone, the regulation does not stand.

3.       Consumer Credit Act 1974

The Consumer Credit Act covers you not only for credit card purchases but also when you enter into loan agreements, e.g. if you sign up to a finance agreement via the double glazing company. This means that the credit card or finance company is equally liable with the double glazing company if any breaches of contract occur.

Important note: this act only applies to contracts for goods or services between £100 and £30,000. The act means you are covered if the double glazing company goes out of business before completing the work, or if they misrepresented the work agreed in the contact.

What do I do if something goes wrong?

It is important that you give the supplier the opportunity to put things right – not doing so can negatively affect your chances of getting compensation if you need to go through the small claims court. When facing a situation where the agreed delivery date has passed without the goods or services being delivered, contact the supplier and set a date that you expect the work to be done by. Notify them that if the work is not completed by this date then you will find another supplier to complete the work, and the original supplier will be liable for the costs. If the supplier refuses you may need to start legal proceedings with the small claims court.

Why choose South Coast?

We have over 35 years experience in the industry, with all our teams fully trained and monitored to ensure we always provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction. We have provided thousands of happy customers with installations – view our customer testimonials to see what just a few of our happy customers have to say.

Our showroom  is open 7 days a week (including bank holidays) to allow you to view our products before purchase and speak with staff about the excellent service we provide. If you have any questions or enquiries please call us on 0800 389 5957 or send us an email (mailto:info@southcoasthome.co.uk).

Al facts contained within this article are correct at the time of writing (August 2013).


How to Heat a Conservatory

How to heat your conservatory

Investing in a conservatory that you can only sit in during the summer is very in practical and something that many people experience. These heating methods below will allow you to enjoy your conservatory all-year round and keep you warm during winter.

The 3 main conservatory heating methods

Underfloor heating 

There are two types of these systems, water-based and electric.Water based connect underfloor pipes in the conservatory to the boiler and circulate warm water. Electric systems use a series of electric heating sheets that are connected to the electric supply.

Under-floor heating


✔️ This method can be the most efficient, if the conservatory is used frequently.

✔️ Silent and invisible, it doesn’t take up any space so it’s perfect for small conservatories with limited capacity.

✔️ Child-friendly, there is no danger of kids touching hot surfaces.


❌ Unsuitable for conservatories used spontaneously as it can take a long time to heat up and cool down.

❌ Installation is quite expensive. Installation is much easier for conservatories built from scratch, instead of pre-existing ones.

❌ Be careful what furniture you place on the floor, you may have to place some items on insulation.

NOTE: Best floors for underfloor heating:

The ideal floors for underfloor heating are tiles and stone, as these materials have high thermal conductivity. Vinyl materials are also a good option to use, as they can heat up and cool down quickly.

Other materials that can be used: Wood – engineered timber and solid timber flooring. Carpet – however be aware, a tog rating higher than 1.5 will make it harder for heat to penetrate the floor.

Central heating

It is possible to extend your current central heating into the conservatory so long as it is controlled separately with its own power switch. It is important to consider the demands of heating the conservatory in order to ensure your current boiler has the power to heat another room.

White Radiator


✔️ Installing central heating is a quick and cost-effective solution.

✔️ Radiators now come in a range of styles that can fit in small spaces, like vertical models which can fit under window-sills.


❌ There is a possibility that your boiler will need to be upgraded in order to have power to heat another room.

❌ Wall space can be limited; this can be a problem for small conservatories.

All year round conservatories

Standalone electric heaters

This is the easiest method as it requires no installation or piping. This is useful if you either can’t or don’t want to extend your current central heating. This method can be more expensive; however, it can heat up rooms faster.

Electric radiator


✔️ This is the most flexible heating solution for your conservatory.

✔️ Helpful for space-constrained conservatories.

✔️ They can heat up small spaces very quickly.


❌ Electric heaters can use up a lot of energy and be expensive to run.

❌ They are in-effective at heating up large spaces in a house.

Important Considerations – 

Before you decide how to heat your conservatory, you should ask yourself these questions.

  • How frequently will the conservatory be used? – If you use your conservatory through-out the year, including Winter, then central heating may be the best choice. Where-as if you use it infrequently then the ideal option is an electric heater.
  • How large is the space you want to heat? – If you’ve got a small space, electric radiators are very effective, because heat cannot escape as easily.
  • How much are you willing to invest? – If your conservatory is a main feature of the house that you use regularly, then investing in central heating could be a better choice. However, the option of heating also comes down to personal preference and it’s also about weighing up the trades offs of each method.
  • Do you know about building regulations? – Building regulations state that any heating mechanism in a conservatory must be separate from the main house’s method of heating. This is because conservatories are comparatively poor at insulating and can significantly reduce the energy efficiency of the home.

Find out more methods to keep your conservatory warm in our NEW guide.


Advice for Buying Double Glazing

Installing double glazing brings countless benefits to homeowners. Although it should be considered a long-term investment, as double glazing can take many years to bring a return on investment, it can significantly improve quality of life. Your house will be warmer, cheaper to heat, and the windows will reduce outside noise – especially worthwhile if you live in an area with heavy noise pollution.

Having double glazed windows will also increase the resale value of the house, bringing future financial benefits, as well as reducing carbon emissions. Double glazing is also much more secure than single glazed windows, and can be a deterrent to would-be thieves.


Decide on a budget before you begin your search. This will prevent you from overspending, or being tempted by irrelevant special offers. Make sure you understand the payment options available to you from each supplier and, before signing a contract, understand what payments are expected from you and when. If choosing a finance deal check the contract stipulates interest rates and late fees to avoid any issues later on. Collect quotes from several suppliers to ensure the installation can be completed within your budget, as well as making sure the types of windows you want are available.

Frame Materials

The most common double glazing material is uPVC, being the cheapest and the most energy efficient. Wood is another popular option; however it is generally more expensive and requires more time dedicated to maintenance. Another more costly, but modern looking, option is steel. These frames last for a long time and, like uPVC and wood, can be recycled.

The choice of material for your window frames depends on your budget, how much time you can spare to maintain the material and the type of style you’re looking for that will fit with your current home.

Window Styles

Double glazed windows are available in different styles depending on what suits your home and the location of the windows. As well as different materials, windows are available in different designs. For example, sliding sash windows are opened by sliding them up and down; whereas tilt and turn windows open as usual, but also tilt, for increased ventilation and easier access for cleaning. It is important to consider what type of window is necessary for different areas of the home, and what you can afford with your agreed budget.

Final Considerations

Remember to check the company credentials in terms of accreditations and experience and, if possible, visit the company’s showroom to help make your decision. Visiting the showroom also gives you the opportunity to speak to a sales representative to get a more accurate quote, allowing you to more reliably compare companies to choose the supplier best suited to you and your home.

For further information or advice on your double glazing needs please get in touch – we’d be happy to help. If you’re looking for a double glazing supplier in the Kent area please don’t hesitate to get in touch or visit our showroom for more information.

Transparency and Patterns in UPVC Windows

If you are getting new UPVC doors and windows this year then have a good look around at the different styles and colours available. If you are fitting the windows yourself, make sure you know the latest building regulations before you start.

If you are opting for a company to fit your windows, they will have this information already. If you are opting for bathroom or landing windows you will need to choose a glass pattern. The levels of transparency are down to you, but consider your privacy level to ensure you get the right fit for your home and lifestyle.

The pattern will determine the level of transparency, for example a popular autumn window design is a level 3, which would be a good choice for a bathroom, or you may opt for a Cotswold level 5 design for the extra privacy.

When thinking about a bathroom window, privacy should not be compromised. You can opt for blinds as an additional level, but the window itself should be obscure.

Do I Need A Patterned Window?

There are many instances within a home where a window pattern is required and it is not just in the bathroom. If you are not sure, take a look at some of the examples below;

Landing Window

If the property is a terraced house then a landing window will not be required. In the instance where your landing window overlooks another property, then an obscured window pattern is required. The level can be optional, but for neighbours privacy aswell as your own, consider a level 2 or above.

Back Door Window

This window is not always essential, but if you have a back door that has an open panel where people can see straight into your living or kitchen area it is advisable to opt for a patterned window. This will maintain your privacy. If you have a large panel of glass make sure you are happy with the design as you will see this everyday and probably more frequently than the bathroom window. You will use the back door more and the design will need to fit with the style of house and room. Opt for a modern glass pattern for a modern kitchen.

Front Door Panel

This is a more obvious one, when you think about front doors. You can opt for a solid front door with no glass, but if you have a dark landing that needs natural light then opt for a front door with glass panels as this will let the natural light in. There are a lot more designs for a front door that can work with the door colours. The security for a front door is paramount, so if you  do opt for patterned glass, where you can cannot see the visitor, then make sure you fix a chain to the door to view visitors before opening the door.

Understand the Building Regulations for Conservatory Installations

One of the many reasons home owners want to extend their home is to create space. Often this can be done with a conservatory, loft conversion or ground extension. However, if you want to create extra space without the costs of a loft conversion and still adhere to simpler planning permission guidelines then a conservatory or even lean-to conservatory will achieve this.

Before you start mapping out and digging out foundations it is advisable to make sure you are aware of the guidelines for buildings and keep your neighbours updated with your plans. There is no legal requirement to inform your neighbours but it saves hassle in the long run if you keep them ‘in the loop’ with your plans. If you are not 100% certain it is worth informing your council planning department to check.  As a general rule conservatories are exempt from building and planning regulations if you follow these rules.

The conservatory must be built at ground level. This sounds obvious, but it basically means that the conservatory must not be built on another level. For example, if you have an extension already, you cannot build on top of that extension.

The whole space you are building on needs to be less than 30 square meters in floor space.

The external boundary or edge of the building needs to cover at least 50% glazed, with at least 75% of the roof to be covered in glass or polycarbonate. This is to ensure it is a conservatory and not just another room extension.  There are some conservatory designs which include a brick base foundation like a gable end conservatory.

Make sure you are still within the fire regulations and do not build the conservatory in front of a proposed fire escape route. This can be overlooked, when you start planning as you think about the sunny spots in the garden more so than getting out of the house in the event of a fire.

If you are building on a detached property the maximum depth is different to a semi-detached. The depth is 4000m on a detached property, compared to 3000m on a semi-detached.

One of the final points to remember is that all conservatory structures need to be separated from the house by an external quality door. The door can be in the style of patio or french doors as these complement a conservatory design.

If you are thinking of investing in a conservatory, make sure you get the right conservatory design for your home and that the building will serve the purpose without breaking any planning permission guidelines. South Coast Windows provide a wide range of conservatory design and installation options for homes in the Sussex, Hampshire and Kent areas.

Can a Conservatory Help to Sell Your Home?

Can a conservatory help to sell your home? It’s a simple question with a simple answer. In short, yes it can. It’s a buyers’ market at the moment and anything you can add to your home to add value or make it more appealing to viewers will help with a sale. One of the biggest shortcomings of homes, especially when it comes to families with children, is a lack of a second reception room. A conservatory is a great way to add this and can make a real difference.

There are of course many reasons to add a conservatory to your home but if your main motivator is to add value or interest when selling your home, the conservatory should meet a few guidelines:

  1. Make sure it is of a large enough size that you could comfortably spend a lot of time there. Don’t think of it just as a small add-on, think of it as another key room in the house.
  2. Choose the correct style of conservatory. There’s no good bolting an ornate, old fashioned style conservatory onto the side of your modern home – it will just look out of place.
  3. Make sure the conservatory is heated. You’re not going to be able to sell it as an additional room if it can’t be used in the colder months.
  4. Make sure there are enough opening windows. Conservatories can get very warm in the summer months and good ventilation is vital.
  5. Choose a floor covering that can easily be cleaned such as tiles or laminate. Since the conservatory is directly connected to a garden the likelihood that dirt could be brought in is high. Use replaceable rugs if you want a more cushioned floor.
  6. Make sure the conservatory is decorated and furnished to a purpose. This is especially important if you are using it as a selling tool. Conservatory dining rooms are very popular if attached to the kitchen. Alternatively, a second sitting room or a children’s play room are other common choices.

If you follow this advice and keep your conservatory well maintained, it’s certain to be a valuable piece of the home selling puzzle. You might even find that you like the conservatory so much that you want to keep the house.

Have you had any experience of selling a home with a conservatory or would you specifically looking for a conservatory when looking around homes for sale? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.