FAQS

Starting your home improvement journey can be daunting. It’s a big decision to undertake work on your home and it’s only natural you’ll have plenty of questions about the process, terminology and technology that you’ll come across.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve got everything covered, from the difference in energy ratings right through to the construction of our roof tiles. Find your answers below.

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

Nothing.

UPVC is an acronym for Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride. It is also referred to as PVCu and PVC, though that’s more prevalent on the continent than it is here in the UK. And sometimes, the ‘u’ is removed completely.

UPVC itself is a versatile material that’s commonly used in the construction and home improvement sectors. It is low maintenance and as it’s resistant to chemicals, sunlight and oxidisation, it is extremely durable.

What’s the difference between casement and flush windows?

The primary difference is the casement itself and where it lies.

The casement is the moving part of the window, the section that opens and closes. Standard (or ‘lipped’ windows), feature casements that sit proud of the frame. In comparison, flush casement windows sit level with the frame. This creates a neater, more understated look.

When you look at the two types of windows side by side, the difference is clear. Why not come down to our Lincoln showroom and see yourself?

Should I choose Double- or Triple-Glazed windows?

There are positives and negatives for both, and we’d recommend speaking to one of our colleagues to discuss which would be suitable for your property.

The obvious difference between the two is the number of panes within the unit – two for double, three for triple. Generally, triple glazing is better at retaining heat inside your property and preventing cold spots from forming. In some instances, it can also help to reduce noise from outside working its way in, though if you live on a busy road there are other solutions we’d recommend you explore.

One thing to consider is the cost difference between double and triple glazing can be quite high. 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 and doors come in?

Gone are the days of all-white windows! You’ll be glad to know that all our replacement windows and doors are available in a wide range of colours, shades and looks to suit any style and property.

If you’d prefer something traditional, then you might want to go from the standard selection of whites and creams. However, if you want to make a real statement, you can pick your windows in bold reds and blues, alongside on-trend options such as Olive Grey, Chartwell Green and Anthracite Grey.

We’re also able to offer modern woodgrain finishes too, ranging from the dark tones of Rosewood to the lighter look of Irish Oak.

Also, it’s worth knowing all our windows are available in different colour combinations.

I hear a lot about energy rated windows. What does it all mean?

‘A’ and ‘A+’ are part of consumer-friendly Window Energy Ratings (WERs) that makes it easy to understand how energy efficient your windows will be. It’s the same principle that’s used for consumer goods and household appliances and is based on a scale ranging from A+-G.

A+ is the highest rating possible, as defined by the BFRC Rating Scheme. This is the national system that governs how energy efficient each type of window is and is recognised within Building Regulations.

All new or replacement windows require a minimum WER of C or above. Ask a member of our team for further information and they’ll be happy to talk through how well James Oliver windows perform.

What does U-Value mean?

The U-Value is the rate at which heat transfers through a structure or object. Or in this case, a window.

The rate is measured in Watters per square metre (W/m2K) and the lower the number the better. At the time of writing, all new or replacement windows must have a minimum U-Value of 1.6 W/m2K. If you’d like more information about how different windows perform, please speak with a James Oliver advisor.

What does Secured by Design mean?

Secured by Design (SBD) is the official police security initiative that looks to improve the security of builds by designing out vulnerabilities.

SBD has a produced-based accreditation scheme called Police Preferred Specification. This provides a recognised standard across all security-based items that actively help prevent, deter and reduce crime. This includes domestic windows and doors, as well internal components such as locks and hinges.

Our manufacturing partner, Conservatory Outlet, is a registered member of Secured by Design. Many of our windows and doors are rigorously tested to meet the demands of his high standard. For further information about that the security of our products, please speak with a member of the James Oliver team.

Do you make your own windows?

All our windows are manufactured in the UK by our partner, Conservatory Outlet.
Conservatory Outlet is the leading fabricator of windows and doors and a supplier to a small and exclusive group of retailers.

This close relationship allows us to retain close control over our supply chain and provide the people of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands with the very best windows.

Every window is made to measure and manufactured to your specific dimensions.

Is James Oliver a member of FENSA?

Yes, James Oliver is a registered member of FENSA (Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme).

FENSA is a government-authorised scheme that assesses local and national companies to ensure a high standard and compliance across the industry.

Are all composite doors the same?

No, there’s a distinct difference between types of composite doors.

Standard composite doors normally have a depth of 44mm, have a foam inner and feature GRP colour skins. The door itself is typically lightweight.

Solid Core doors are deeper (at around 48mm) and are comprised of laminated timber layers, making them stronger and more durable than standard composite doors. They are also finished in UPVC skin.

Please speak with a James Oliver advisor to discuss the right type – and style – of the door for your needs, property and budget.

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

Yes, in most instances you’ll be able to choose a different colour for the inside of your door to the outside. For example, you could pick white for the interior-facing panel and red for the exterior-facing panel. Or green and blue. Or black and grey – and so on.

How many keys do I get?

Every door comes with three keys as standard. If you’d like any additional keys cut, please let us know when you place your order with us, and we’ll be happy to sort of those extra sets.

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

You can indeed. Just let your advisor know upon ordering and we’ll ensure that the keys are suited.

What does Secured by Design mean?

SBD has a produced-based accreditation scheme called Police Preferred Specification. This provides a recognised standard across all security-based items that actively help prevent, deter and reduce crime. This includes domestic windows and doors, as well internal components such as locks and hinges.

Our manufacturing partner, Conservatory Outlet, is a registered member of Secured by Design. Many of our windows and doors are rigorously tested to meet the demands of his high standard. For further information about that the security of our products, please speak with a member of the James Oliver team.

What does a 3-star rated door barrel mean?

A 3-star score is the highest-rated door cylinder on the market. It is rigorously tested against break-ins and provides maximum security.

Our door cylinders feature unique snap-secure technology, with lockdown mode. This prevents the barrel from being compromised during a break-in attempt, further protecting you and your home.

Can French doors fold back?

Yes, if you’d like your French doors to completely fold back you can order them with an egress hinge.

Should I choose sliding patio or bi-folding doors?

That’s up to you, though we’ll be more than happy to advise on what type of door we feel will best suit your property and your needs. They are both great options for improving access and opening up your home to the outdoors.

Bi-folding doors fold completely back for a full opening into your garden. Sliding patio doors have slimmer frames, which means even when they’re closed you have a more uninterrupted view of the outdoors.

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

The big question!

The truth is, there is no correct answer. Thanks to recent developments in technology, manufacturing and engineering, the lines that used to separate the three have become somewhat blurred.

Traditionally, a conservatory would be an additional living space that is predominantly constructed in glass. These days, however, you can easily introduce a tiled roof for extra year-round warmth and comfort or add in some dwarf walls to improve insulation. There is also a variety of solar control glazing options available.

An orangery normally incorporates brick or aluminium pillars for that little extra privacy and warmth. This creates a more luxurious feel that feels more of an extension rather than an addition to your home. They are feature a pelmet around the roof, which again helps to insulate heat. For the roof itself, anything goes! You could choose a glass lantern (or two), a solid tiled roof or anything in between.

Extensions tend to match the look and feel of your home. Many incorporate matching brickwork and are finished with a solid tiled roof of some kid. These days, though, the roof can be customised to include full-length glass panels or Velux windows.

Whatever it is you’re after, we’re able to help. If you have an idea in mind, we’re able to make it a reality. Please speak with a member of the James Oliver team who’ll be happy to help discuss things further.

Should I choose a tiled roof or a glass roof?

This depends on your property and how you are planning to use the room.

If it is plenty of natural light and breath-taking views of your garden and the night sky is what you’re after, then a glass roof is right for you. And with the advancements in glazing, there are plenty of different options that can keep your room at the perfect temperature.

If you want your living space to retain the look and feel of your home, then you can’t go wrong with a tiled roof. You can even go for a hybrid option and combine a tiled roof with Velux windows or glazed panels to create something unique. The choice is yours.

Will my conservatory or orangery be too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter?

Our range of living spaces are designed with year-round comfort in mind. Thankfully, the days of polycarbonate roofing and excessively stuffy conservatories are now a thing of the past!

Solar control glazing gives you some great options that can make a real difference, but if you’re concerned about achieving a year-round extension, then a tiled roof will probably be the best option for you.

Do you manufacture your roofs?

All our roofs are made by our manufacturing partner, Conservatory Outlet.
Based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Conservatory Outlet is the leading manufacturer and fabricator of living spaces and roof products in the UK.

Thanks to our close relationship with Conservatory Outlet, we retain close control over our supply chain and work with them to ensure everything that we sell is right for the unique demands of Highland living.

Can I choose different roof tiles to match my home?

You can. We have a selection of shingle and slate options for you to choose from. If you’d like to match the tiles from your existing property, we can do that as well. We also have different flat roof membranes available.

What is solar control glazing?

Solar control glazing is glass with a special coating that prevents excess heat from the sun from transferring into your home. It also acts as a barrier that retains internal heat, keeping your room at a comfortable temperature year-round and making it as energy efficient as possible.

We also have several different tinted options which will give you varying degrees of light transmission and heat retention depending on your needs. If you’d like to know more, please speak to a James Oliver advisor.

Can I match to my existing bricks?

We will always look to match your existing brickwork – unless you want to go for something completely different.

Before any building work begins, we’ll check to ensure that you’re happy with everything. Though please bear in mind that due to weathering and changes in the manufacturing process, there may be discrepancies between the old and new bricks.

Do I need Building Regulations Approval?

Most extensions require Building Regulations approval though some don’t.

We’ll send an experienced surveyor out to advise accordingly and once we have all the relevant information, we’ll manage the whole process on your behalf.

Will I need planning permission?

An extension or addition to your house is a permitted development and doesn’t require planning permission, providing certain conditions are met.

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?

It’s hard to estimate how long a build will take. Each project is different and dependent on a variety of factors. Please speak with an advisor who’ll be able to give you a more tailored timeline.

What is a test dig?

A test dig is carried out to find out what conditions are on site and whether they are suitable for a traditional concrete foundation. If not suitable we will advise on an alternative foundation proposal such as a specialist pile foundation or a concrete raft.

What is a cavity tray?

A cavity tray is a form of damp-proof coursing (DPC) that creates a bridge within the cavity of a cavity wall. This directs moisture away from the inner wall and expels it through pre-build weep vents.

Should I choose a tiled roof or a glass roof?

This depends on your property and how you are planning to use the room.

If it is plenty of natural light and breath-taking views of your garden and the night sky is what you’re after, then a glass roof is right for you. And with the advancements in glazing, there are plenty of different options that can keep your room at the perfect temperature.

If you want your living space to retain the look and feel of your home, then you can’t go wrong with a tiled roof. You can even go for a hybrid option and combine a tiled roof with Velux windows or glazed panels to create something unique. The choice is yours.

Should I replace my frames too?

If you are opting for a modern roof and all the benefits that it brings, it makes sense to replace your windows and frames too. Failing to do so could compromise the warmth and efficiency of your new roof system.

Speak to a James Oliver advisor and we’ll work out an excellent deal for incorporating more energy-efficient frames in the same process.

What are replacement tiled roofs made from?

Solid roof systems are prefabricated to ensure that it is as quick and easy to install on-site as possible. The roof itself comprises a pre-engineered lightweight frame, insulating panels and fire-grade plasterboard, exterior grade plywood and an impenetrable membrane. The roof is then finished with either tiles, panels or glazing of our choice.

What is a Clad over roof?

A Clad over roof is sold by other companies as a cheaper alternative to a solid roof system. It can take many forms but never involves removing the old structure. This is not good practice because conservatory roofs are only designed for ‘light loads’ and not snow build-up, which a well-insulated roof will allow.

Other problems with a Clad over roof include:

  • Weight: Clad over solutions can be surprisingly cumbersome. This causes a problem as the combination of heavy timber, insulation and tiling can sometimes be too much for the existing frame to bear. Any old conservatory that requires a replacement food needs one that is lightweight and durable. The lightest solid roof that we can provide weighs around 31kg/m2

 

Tip: Always ask your installer to list the total weight of the new roof per square metre.

 

  • Fire Safety: Clad over systems don’t meet current fire safety regulations as they aren’t fire tested as part of a complete structure – they’re tested in isolation. Solid roofs must be classified as either AC, AB or AA per BS476-3.Tip: Before committing to any home improvement project feature a new roof, ask to see the fire safety certificate of the entire roof system
  • Building Regulations: Clad over systems do not normally get Buildings Regulation approval due to their low thermal efficiency and weak structural integrity. You are required to notify Building Control if you are making any changes to any structure and this includes replacing an old glass or conservatory roof. Approval ensures your new roof is structurally sound.

Tip: Check that local Building Control has been informed before the conversion starts. Obtain a Building Regulations ‘Final’ Certificate and file it in a safe place.

Will my new roof still be too hot in summer and too cool in winter?

Our different styles and types of roofs – be they glass or tiled – are designed with year-round comfort in mind. Solar control glazing gives you some great options that can make a real difference, but if you’re concerned about achieving a year-round extension, then a tiled roof will probably be the best option for you.

How much will it cost to replace my existing roof?

As always, it depends on the size and complexity of the project and the type of materials used. However, as a rough estimate, you can expect to pay around £5,000 for a small conservatory roof and £12,000 for a larger one.

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

A tiled solid roof can be installed in as little as a few days.

Do I need planning permission to replace my existing roof?

You don’t need planning permission to change a roof on an existing structure. But you are required to obtain a Building Regulation Control as a sale cannot be made without this.

Do I need Building Regulations Approval?

Buildings Regulations approval is very useful to have. By having your new roof structure checked, you can be assured it is installed correctly, is structurally safe and meets thermal efficiency standards. You’ll also have peace of mind that should you come to sell the property at any time, there won’t be any issues surrounding unauthorised or undocumented work.

Do you offer finance to help me pay for home improvement?

Yes. To make your home improvement project more affordable, we offer a variety of different payment options – subject to application and status. Applying for finance is simple. We promise to make a quick decision, so you’ll always know what your choices are at all times.

Everything can be sorted from the comfort of your own home or at the James Oliver showroom in Lincoln.

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

If you are taking up one of our finance options, then the company will tell us both directly so there’s no need to call or inform us of the decision. If you’re arranging your finance, then get in touch with us as soon as you receive the go-ahead.

What happens if finance is refused?

Finance companies can turn people down for finance for lots of reasons and don’t take the decision to heart. It could be that you’ve moved home several times in recent years.

In these circumstances, we’ll do our best to help and it could be worth approaching another provider, especially one you have a history with.

I’ve applied for finance with James Oliver. How long will approval take?

The approval process varies. Sometimes, our finance company will provide a decision immediately, at other times it might take a couple of days.

WHY CHOOSE JAMES OLIVER

With over 40 years of experience in transforming properties across Lincolnshire and the East Midlands, we’re proud to be the region’s most trusted home improvements firm.

No Pressure Sales

Our sales teamed are trained and motivated to be not only fully transparent, but to make our customers at ease with the options available to them. They won’t stay any longer than they need to and won’t force you into decisions that you’re not comfortable with - guaranteed.

Designed For You

A really important ethos of our business is to make the customer feel comfortable with their home improvement decisions. Our experts are there to help you make great decisions from all the options available to you, whether that be shape, style, colour, material or finishes.

10 Year Guarantee

James Oliver 10 Year Guarantee offers you complete value for money and, crucially total peace of mind that your product are covered by our comprehensive guarantee. Our confidence in our products and dedication to our customers means we’ll be there for you well into the future.

Exclusive Products

By choosing James Oliver to oversee your home improvement project, you’ll benefit from our exclusive – and not to mention market-leading – range of products. You’ll quickly discover why James Oliver offer Lincolnshire and the East Midlands’ premier range of products.

VISIT OUR LINCOLN SHOWROOM

Everyone is welcome to come in and browse around our showroom, where our friendly sales team will be pleased to help with any questions you may have over a cup of coffee.

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If you have a query or issue about any of our products or services you can contact the Customer Services team by phone on 01522 525926 by completing the form below.

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Want to speak with an Advisor? Give us a call on 01522 525926

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