I’m sure that we’ve all been enjoying the hot weather the last few days. It makes a change from the typical British summer! It has made for some uncomfortable working conditions. But it’s not just people that suffer. It’s our homes too. And certain home improvement products suffer more than most.

Killer conservatories

Anyone who has had, or currently has an existing conservatory will understand perfectly the climate control problems that come with conservatories. Over the past few days, I suspect that most conservatories, many with old polycarbonate or clear glass roofs, have reached well over 100f in there. Far too oppressive for anything living to be in there. And it warms up the adjoining rooms too, making those uncomfortable.

It’s a funny thing really to complain about heat when in reality the UK just isn’t that hot as a country. But as we all know, it only takes a little bit of sunshine for those internal temperatures to start rocketing.

But while millions of conservatories up and down the country continue to bake, this spell of hot weather should serve as a timely reminder to those homeowners that there are products out there which can control climate and temperature for more effectively than their current versions.

Solid roofs and proper solar control glass are products that should see a boost in interest as homeowners finally decide to get something done.

Pressure on panel doors

I wonder how all those PVCu panel doors have been holding up in the past few days, especially those that are south facing and wood grained. Probably terribly.

PVCu panel doors are notoriously poor when it comes to sun and heat. Massive expansion and contraction put pressure on the product, and before long you start to see cracks forming in the corners of the molds, spreading further and further into the door panel itself. It doesn’t look good.

As a general principle, I never sell a panel door that sits in direct sunlight, certainly not one that is Rosewood or something similar. That’s not to say we sell loads. In fact I reckon I sell only one panel door per year now, the rest being either composite doors or engineered doors like these:

The nice thing with these doors is that they are reinforced. So even in they’re a dark colour, they generally tend to hold up well, with very little expansion. I have a black engineered door that gets sun most of the day and that has performed very well during any hot weather.

Right products for the right area

As an industry we have to be selling the right products for the right places. I still see companies selling PVCu panel doors into places that sit directly in the sun. You just know they’re going to be back numerous times to adjust the door, replace the panels etc throughout the guarantee period. It would be far better to sell and install a door designed to cope better with weather extremes, leaving both the homeowner and installer happy.

For installers of conservatories, now would be a very good time to heavily promote the benefits of things like solar control glass and solid roofs. Overheating conservatories will be on people’s minds right now, so a gentle nudge to say “here, this will sort it” might be a good idea.

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