HOW TO GUIDE FOR PLANNING AN EXTENSION OR SMALL PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT

PLANNING AN EXTENSION OR SMALL PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT?

 DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START?

 STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS AND HOW TO GUIDE:

                             

It is one thing to have the vision to ‘see’ how changes to a building could enhance the construction, but another thing altogether to be the one who project manages this conversion.

 

This can be quite a stressful experience to the first time renovator or a private home owner who could be overwhelmed and daunted with the undertaking whilst still living there

 

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Home builder guid

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Adding Value with Home Improvements

We all ask ourselves this question every now and again: “Is it worth adding value with home improvements?”

With the eye-watering cost to move house, not to mention the stress involved, it is no surprise that so many of us choose to extend or modify our homes rather than sell, but what actually adds the most value to your home? The National Association of Estate Agents revealed the answer; adding a bedroom (usually by converting loft space) and enlarging a kitchen. Did you know a loft conversion could add around 10% to the value of your home? Letting in daylight could be a problem unless you opt for a rooflight. Imagine being able to sleep under the stars without the use of blinds (if your locations allows!).

Underground Extensions:
Underground extensions are becoming more popular, particularly in London where the market value can support the high cost of excavating under your home. These underground rooms do not need to be dark and gloomy. It is possible to harness natural daylight by fitting a walk-on rooflight flush with the ground level, letting natural light flood in to the area underneath.

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Boost in city developments; great news for Howells Patent Glazing

It’s no secret that the recession took its toll on the UK building and manufacturing industry. However, we have been doing a little research and found that a report conducted by Deloitte has revealed a nine-year high in development across the city of Birmingham, which is also mirrored in reports for Manchester and Leeds. This is great news for the UK’s manufacturing industry, and family run businesses like us at Howells Patent Glazing are reaping the benefits of a new wave of UK city development!

The Birmingham Crane Survey showcases the rise in investor desire, new construction and growth of visitors to the UK’s ‘Second City’ with some very positive results. Confidence in developers has returned, and investors are looking towards cities north of the capital to find higher yielding assets offering better value and continued rental growth.

Our Birmingham based specialist-manufacturing company, Howells Patent Glazing, has directly benefited from this, and we have seen an increased turnover year on year since 2014.

Dave Bennett, General Manager here at Howells Patent Glazing said, “We are really excited about what’s to come for Howells Patent Glazing this year. We have experienced growth on a phenomenal scale, and attribute that to the new wave in positivity from developers. The economic climate is on the up, and we’re certainly feeling it here.  As a business, we have become more and more aware of a significant growth in the volume of work within our specialist field, especially in cities like Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester. The next big ‘development surge’ we are predicting is in Hull – next year’s European city of culture”.

Leeds College

Howells Patent Glazing recently completed a glazed roof section on Leeds City College

Dave Bennett, General Manager at Howells Patent Glazing, is excited about the surge in UK city development!

 

According to Birmingham Crane Survey, Birmingham is seeing new office construction at its highest level in over 13 years; with over 32% already being let out to aspiring Midlands based businesses. In Manchester, 1.04 million square foot of Grade A office space is under construction, and in Leeds, 865,000 square foot of offices is under construction – the highest level since 2007.

Since 2014, Howells Patent Glazing, based in Birmingham, has experienced rapid growth with record sales and turnover increasing year on year. The increase in our customer demand is believed to be because of increased investment in some of the UK’s biggest cities, and our most recent contracts prove that to be true!

 

For more info on Howells Patent Glazing, and the services we offer, visit our homepage at www.howellsglazing.co.uk

To view the Crane Survey, visit http://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/real-estate/articles/birmingham-crane-survey.html

 

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Howells Patent Glazing provide invaluable help and advice to their clients!

With the launch of a new glazing advice and ‘top-tips’ section on our website, our team are looking forward to a new wave of clients hitting our site!

Howells’s sales team, both new and long standing, have to complete a rigorous training schedule before being able to deal with customers.  The scheme involves the team spending time in the business’s manufacturing plant, physically constructing their products.  Once the sales team has an understanding of Howell’s manufacturing process, they then move on to working with the fixing teams to understand the parameters of the materials and job specifics of the contracts. This demanding training scheme allows the sales team to fully understand Howell’s offering and fulfill our customers’ needs, with an unrivaled approach.

Howells Patent Glazing - Alton Towers Orangery

Howells Patent Glazing – Installing Alton Towers Orangery

Tracey Jackson, Marketing Manager at Howells Patent Glazing said, “our Cradley Heath based manufacturing firm have technical departments in both the supply only and estimating/construction departments, and our staff often receive queries regarding how to achieve the best results using our product. The logical step for us was to offer our advice and knowledge openly those who may need a little help.  As a firm we are committed to excellence and this year, for the very first time, we have entered the Express and Star awards for Business of the Year and Family Business of the Year.  2016 has already been phenomenal for new business and we hope that the rest of the year will be equally as successful”.

Gary Howells, Director at the firm, has been with Howells since he left school and has travelled through all of the manufacturing departments to now head the sales division.  He has first-hand knowledge of the systems that Howells use, as he had a major influence on the design and application of the bars.  He has also installed the systems, so understands the full requirements of the bars, how they perform and has vision to understand where they need to evolve.

Dave Bennett, General Manager, has over 30 years’ experience in the firm.  Beginning his career as a draftsman, and then joining Howells as an estimator 20 years ago, he has proved his worth time and time again by project managing contracts from £2,000 through to £1,000,000.

Dave Bennett has been with Howells Patent Glazing for 20 years!

Dave Bennett has been with Howells Patent Glazing for 20 years!

Our specialist glazing firm specialises in aluminium roof glazing systems and make bespoke glazing solutions to cover a wide variety of problems. These range from covering swimming pools or unused quadrangles at schools to create extra classroom space, glazed extensions to living quarters, entrance canopies to schools/hospitals/shopping malls or roof glazing to shopping malls/factories/offices to create natural light. Howells also undertake heritage jobs, such as Windsor Royal Station and Stoneleigh Abbey, as well as high profile contracts such as Millennium Point in Digbeth and Alton towers Orangery. With our years of experience, we are confident that we can give you the free glazing advice and tips that can help you get the job done!

We are proud of our level of staff and we believe that we have a solution to almost every glazing issue or query – from the creation and design of bespoke pieces to installation and styling.

To find out more about our Advice and ‘top tips’ section, please visit www.howellsglazing.co.uk

 

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More than just glazing: Howells provide NVQ’s to all of their staff

Howells Patent Glazing, our rapidly growing manufacturing firm, is investing in its workforce and the future of manufacturing in the Midlands by offering NVQ’s to all of our staff in conjunction with Dudley College!

Undertaking workplace NVQ’s has become an important part of Howells Patent Glazing’s working environment, as we are keen to address the skills shortage that is affecting businesses like ours across the UK.

According to The Employer Skills Survey (ESS), manufacturing businesses are most likely to encounter skills shortages when looking to recruit suitable candidates for their roles in the industry, accounting for 30% of hard-to-fill manufacturing vacancies.

One of Howells’ most recent employees to enrol on an NVQ course is 17-year-old welding apprentice Reece.  Working alongside long-standing employee Dennis, an experienced MIG and Coded welder, Reece will be completing his Level 3 Diploma in Engineering and NVQ Diploma in Performing Engineering Operations.

Apprentice Reece with the experienced Dennis.

Apprentice Reece with the experienced Dennis.

Debbie Willetts, Company Secretary said, “As a construction company, we have to keep up to date with training with IOSH, CSCS, Platform etc, but more importantly we feel its our responsibility as employers to invest in our staff.  Our long-term growth strategy isn’t just about processes; it’s about developing our staff by building on their qualifications and in turn, passion for our business.  We are really excited to be rolling out new qualifications to all our staff during the course of 2016 ”.

With the ESS estimating that employers are spending £4.9billion to train their workforce, our continued commitment to training will hopefully have a positive effect on the current UK skills shortage, and make sure that the industry continues to thrive for years to come.

We see our investment in staff as an enrichment programme to ensure that every member of the workforce is satisfied in their job role, and is able to obtain the relevant skills needed to remain ahead of the pack within the manufacturing industry. Starting as a family-run business, we are going from strength to strength, and hope that by giving back to our staff, we will see another 40 years of success!

 

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Glazing in the UK – Our top 5 advantages to letting natural light flood in!

Throwing open the curtains on a glorious sunny day is no doubt a satisfying feeling to blow away the winter cobwebs that have been hovering in the corners of classrooms across the UK, but studies have proven that there’s more to it than just being able to switch off that artificial lighting that gets used so much throughout the dull months. Glazing in the UK can prove pretty tricky to make the most of, but we are here to offer our help.

Tracey Jackson, Marketing Manager at Howells Patent Glazing said, “When we are consulting on our services, we have noticed that one of the most important factors you have to consider is the amount of natural light that our glazing solutions will let into the building. It’s a key point that can boost more than just a person’s mood”.

Our family run Midlands firm are famous for our rooflights and glazed roofing solutions. We have experienced three years of incredible growth and are focused on providing the best quality to our customers. Here are our explanations to the advantages to letting natural light flood in:

  • Start with the basics – Daylight is free! It’s an obvious statement, but few people actually take note that by utilising more natural light in their buildings means a lower electricity bill. This is especially useful in an office or school environment where the hours of being in the building are predominantly within daylight hours.
  • Now then, Mardy Bum – Studies have proven that natural daylight has a positive effect on mood. For schools it would be worth noting that you can make changes to those grumpy teens and grouchy grownups, and for office buildings, you can cheer up your workforce with a little ray of sunshine (or the possibility of one. This is the UK after all). Daylight has been associated with improved mood, enhanced morale, lower fatigue, and reduced eyestrain.
  • Positivity leads to Productivity – With all of that natural light flowing through a well-designed glazing system, a workforce or class of pupils are proven to be more positive. As an added plus, positivity creates productivity, and through the correct use of natural daylight more work targets will be met, and school grades will increase over time.
  • Bye-bye mold – Most diseases, including chronic respiratory problems, are often associated with bacteria and fungi built up in damp areas. With the ever changing weather in the UK, it can be hard to avoid these things growing in dark, dank rooms without correct lighting. Natural daylight can decrease the production of these harmful annoyances. Did you know that sunlight is considered to be one of the best natural disinfectants?
  • Beautiful buildings – Natural light is one of the most appealing lights, and is used by most interior designers to showcase a building in all of its glory. It can be a difficult technique to get right, but when it is used correctly it encompasses all of the above benefits whilst showing a building in its best light!

Howells Patent Glazing have an expert design team who help architects and builders alike to make the most of natural daylight on our projects. With 40 years’ experience, and three record-breaking years behind us, our team are hoping to spend the next 40 years delivering professional, trusted and creative solutions to the UK’s glazing industry.

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Whew…. What an exciting year it has been so far!

 

 

 

12310497_1213485495335585_5562631088650869829_n 11737826_10206253668355925_2018866034100478201_n IMG_0838 11698388_1125503814133754_5263457770373316075_n 10409679_1128077187209750_7579884523696173369_n 11705362_1128077190543083_6029983261892540102_nAs 2015 draws to a close, we pause to reflect on this past year

Here at Howells we have been so busy with all our Christmas preparations that we have forgotten to write our Blog.

 

So far this year we have attended the Midlands Air ambulance annual charity ball and shown our support for Devon air ambulance through Aspect Windows.

 

We have shown our commitment to the young minds of the future by taking on a new welding Apprentice through our local college network and also giving work experience to 4 young year 10 students from Redhill  and Ellowes Hall in both our manufacturing and marketing departments.  We have to say that our experience of these young people found them to be respectful, polite and eager to do a good job, it reaffirmed for us the quality of local education.

 

More recently, we have donated 2 full shopping trolleys of much needed and necessary non perishable items, enough to feed 2 families of 4.  We did not forget the Christmas crackers…..

 

Lastly, for this year on Friday 11 December we sponsored the Senior citizens Christmas lunch hosted by Ellowes Hall Sports and Redhill School.

 

As we sign out of 2015, we would like to wish our customers and suppliers as very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

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Howells Patent Glazing thrive through winter for a second year running!

We are proud to be celebrating the end to another bumper year with two key projects under our belt for December. Our family run firm have just announced record sales and turnover for a second year in a row thanks to a great workforce and grants from local councils and colleges.

 

Bourton Meadow School Install in progress

Our Family run business has a full order book throughout December and into the New Year – working on a number of commercial and domestic jobs up and down the country. Our latest jobs in the Commercial sector are for Bourton Meadow School and Leeds City College. Dave Bennett from Howells Patent Glazing has said, “because of our 40 years’ experience of working in the construction industry, we can claim the expertise to accommodate the many challenging demands in our specialist sector. We are constantly evolving and improving our glazing systems and methods of working to cater for the every changing market place”.

The team at Howells work directly with builders and architects to give a complete service, and to mitigate any potential problems that can arise from different trades all working in the same vicinity – If you have ever had any work done on your premises, you will know that having the plumber, builder, window fitter and carpenter all on site isn’t quite how it seems on ‘DIY SOS’.

 

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Bourton Meadow ~Buckingham

http://www.howellsglazing.co.uk/patent-glazing-bars.php

 

Leeds City College Install in progress

“Every project has its own issues. We love it – It means that every job is different. Things like tight time frames, very motivated project managers and more can all effect how your install goes. On the two commercial clients this month, the tight time frames and working on a school environment is very different to working on a domestic install. A major issue was having to work during the school’s term time; the project was achieved with careful planning and good communication between our fitting teams and the school. All of our fixing team were DBS checked, and now that the school projects are complete, they now have energy efficient glazed roofing systems dedicated to improving the quality of learning in both environments”.

 

Leeds College

Leeds College

Looking into 2016, Howells are predicting that we will have another bumper year, from big clients through to small, domestic window styling. We are proud of our workforce, and are looking forward to what we hope will be another record year!

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Local Enterprise Partnership helps our Black Country business move with the times!

The ‘Innovation Centre Support Grant’ provided by the Black Country Growth Hub and established by Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley councils was set up to support local businesses looking to grow – And that is just what it has helped Howells Patent Glazing do. Alongside the Bournville College and ERDF Accelerating Local Growth funded scheme, our Cradley Heath based business is surpassing previous targets, and we are proud of how far we have come.

When we first started the Government funded Growth Accelerator scheme in September 2013, our focus was to maintain our position in the market place, and, if possible, make a small profit. However, the coaching we received changed our focus and made us adapt to the ‘bigger picture’. With a new, reworked management team and allocated workloads, our drive and goals for the future enabled Howells Patent Glazing to take the company from teetering on marginal growth with a turnover of 2,100,000 to one that is hopeful of at least 3,200,000 this year.

In two short years, the team at Howells have turned our family run business into an exciting place to work, and we have been able to build a new website, sector lead marketing campaigns, indulge in PR features and newsletters, build a bespoke cloud based CRM database and production and stock control systems are now firmly in place.

Debbie Willetts, Howells Patent Glazing company secretary has said “The current success that the company is enjoying is attributed to the fantastic employees we have with us today – Without them, it wouldn’t have been possible. As a management team, we wanted to address the potential high turnover of staff and their commitment to the company, but at the same time we wanted to recognise those who stay with us for their length of service. We are now able to offer every employee access to further education with NVQ’s through Dudley College. Our first twelve months are now complete and we are pleased with the many employees that have decided to continue with this program.”

Howells have since gone from employing 26 people to now a team of 36 staff, all with an individual role to play in the business. With a new factory move on the cards for 2016 too, we are sure to be extending our team even further. For Howells, it’s all about giving back to the community that surrounds us, with support for Ellowes Hall Sports College OAP Christmas Lunch, Midlands Air Ambulance, Youth Diabetes Charity and more, our values remain even with such great growth. We also support two local secondary schools by providing their pupils with valuable work experience.

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The sky’s the limit: Howells Patent Glazing turn designs into reality

Our roof-lights are an extremely versatile product, which can be used for a multitude of purposes, proven by our impressive list of prestigious projects, including the NEC, Millennium Point in Birmingham and at the Albert Docks, Liverpool. Now with a full service on offer, from design right through to fitting and finishing a project, we are proud to showcase what we do.  Howells’s new operating system allows for our products to be installed on anything; from private homes, listed buildings, commercial units or public sector installations.

As our service is bespoke to each project, it can be adapted during the design stage to incorporate a unique set of parameters.  This could be dual colour (one colour outside and another inside), which in itself could be matt, satin, specialist RAL, mill finish or anodised. Whatever the specification and needs of our wonderful clients, our dedicated and experienced team are able to work with each of you to ensure your requirements are met from start to finish.

Howells Patent Glazing - Alton Towers Orangery

Howells Patent Glazing – Installing Alton Towers Orangery

We have specifically redesigned our HGR1 glazing bar so that a new glazed structure which we have created for Alton Towers will blend in to the theme park’s existing orangery.

Tracey Jackson, Marketing Manager at Howells Patent Glazing said, “Our clients are diverse.  They range from lord of the manor though to celebrities and to public procurement departments. We are really excited to be working together with English Heritage for jobs at Longford Castle and Beningbrough Hall Gallery and Gardens.”

“Having had our rooflights tested at Wintech for weather tightness forms part of our plans to be trade show ready.  We are hoping to exhibit at a trade show in the next year and we are starting the process of testing our products and renewing our brochures in anticipation”.

 

Double Hipped Roof Light from Howells Patent Glazing

Double Hipped Roof Light from Howells Patent Glazing

Our Black Country firm has adapted its internal systems over the years, and we have recently released a slim line version of our glazing bars for a streamlined look and a completely flat version of our ever popular rooflight, which has absolutely no bars across the glass to give a completely open view of the sky, continuing to move with the times. We have also had our roof-light system independently tested at Wintech for Weather tightness testing this year and it passed to bs 6375 pt 1, snow and perm loading EN  14351 – Great news for our Midlands based business, as we go from strength to strength in our industry.

Howells Patent Glazing is a family run, well-respected manufacturer of glazing, rooflights, canopies and more for both trade and domestic clients; and has been for over 42 years. We hope to continue to see growth and incredible opportunities come our way!

 

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