5 tips to get your garden summer ready

5 tips to get your garden summer ready

OK so I know it doesn’t feel like summer is quite here yet but that is good as it gives you chance to work on getting your garden ready for you to enjoy when the sun does make an appearance! So here are our 5 tips for now to get your garden summer ready:-

Tip 1 – Plant out summer bedding

Now is the time to get your summer bedding plants in ready to flower and look gorgeous all summer long

Tip 2 – Tie in climbing and rambling roses

Climbing and rambling roses need help so tie them in now.  Our wrought iron garden arches and arbours are a great way of holding your climbing roses in place.  They also make a great garden feature too.  Here is an example of oneA detailed garden arch

Tip 3 – Stake tall or floppy plants

Just as with climbing roses tall plants need help keeping upright so they can grow so use a stick or something else to stick in the ground then tie them up too

Tip 4 – Position summer hanging baskets and containers outside

My favourite part of doing the gardening is putting the baskets and containers out full of flowers.  You may be surprised to know that wrought iron manufacturers like us also make planters (like these pictured) but it is part of what we offer and we think they look great. As part of our bespoke range we also offer hanging basket brackets      

Tip 5 – Mow the lawn weekly

This is what I call a Marmite one!  You either love mowing the lawn and feel its therapeutic OR you just hate the monotony and tedium of it all.  Which one are you?  Either way the lawn needs to be mown weekly to keep it short and looking good all summer longgardening meme

So once you have done all that you can sit back, relax on your patio and admire all your hard work whilst you enjoy the view.  Maybe some of our wrought iron railings or stainless steel balustrades may just finish it off nicely?  What about our garden decor?  Take a look on our website for some ideas. http://sykesbespokesteel.co.uk/domestic-products/garden-decor/

However you choose to sort your garden out just make sure you enjoy it and if there is anything you think we can help you with please get in touch for a free quotation.

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National Bike Week 10th-18th June 2017

This week sees the start of National Bike Week which runs from the 10th to the 18th June in the UK.

The week was formed as an annual opportunity to promote cycling, and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life by encouraging ‘everyday cycling for everyone’.
Demonstrating the social, health and environmental benefits of cycling, the week aims to get people to give cycling a go all over the UK, whether this be for fun, as a means of getting around to work or school, the local shops or just to visit friends.
To find out more or an event near you check out the website http://www.bikeweek.org

Apparently, incentives such as the Government’s Cycle to Work Scheme has encouraged many to take to their bikes to get to and from work as well as for leisure or exercise.

I have to admit I have never been one for cycling.  Even as a kid my parents couldn’t afford a new bike for me so I had to borrow a friend’s (which was actually a trike) and so it just wasn’t fun.  My kids are different as they have both learned to ride at a young age and my 10 year old daughter has even undergone a Bikeability course at school.

Despite my lack of cycling prowess I am quite jealous and admire those that do and can, particularly people like my friend Chris Doyle of Hub Projects who recently cycled coast to coast to raise money for charity after someone he knew sadly passed away (see his Facebook page for more info and to pledge something https://www.facebook.com/c2cforSarah/?ref=br_rs)  I even have a lovely pink mountain bike sat in the garage but am afraid to say it is just gathering dust!

Nevertheless if you are one of the thousands who do cycle, whether it be for work or pleasure, we can help you out.  Whether you need a cycle rack to keep your bike safe, are looking for something bigger like a cycle shelter or just need to keep an area free of vehicles so cyclists and pedestrians can enjoy it freely we can manufacture a vehicle barrier.

    

Contact Sykes Bespoke Steel for a free, no obligation quotation on 0161 303 7383

 

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7 Ways We Can Help Enhance & Secure Your Property

7 Ways We Can Help Enhance & Secure Your Property

In the second of our series of articles on how we can help enhance and secure your property we are going to talk about how we can help you to enhance your garden.

Enhancing the garden

Whether you are a keen gardener with greenfingers or just someone who likes to sit out and enjoy the warm weather (when it makes an appearance!) we recognize the value in adding features to your outdoor space.  With many people now adding to their homes with extensions, renovations and wanting to use the garden more it is becoming like an extra room of the house to entertain, relax or play in.

  

Our range of garden decor includes pond railings and covers to help keep children safe, bespoke planters for your flowers to show off your hard work and garden arches and arbours as somewhere to sit and relax or just have as a feature.  Examples are given above.

In this second article our example of how we can help comes from Mrs V in Saddleworth. She wanted something in her flat, somewhat sparse garden to add interest and be a feature.  We manufactured a heavy duty wrought iron garden arch to sit at the top of some steps.  This not only showed the divide between different parts of the garden but also was a lovely feature, an imposing entrance way and gave her a way of adding climbing plants which she had not been able to do before.  Below is a picture of the finished installation:-

A detailed garden arch

As everything we do is bespoke we can make these in a number of designs.  So if you’d like to get your garden summer ready, just want to add a feature or there is anything else we can help you with please get in touch on 0161 303 7383

Sykes Bespoke Steel – Made to Measure Not Make Do

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Do I Need Planning Permission For My Gate?

Planning permission for building and renovations can be a complex issue and one that you should seek professional advice on from a qualified architect, building surveyor or building control officer.

But we are often asked, when quoting for gates and railings, whether planning permission is needed for them.  This link is a great resource if you ever want to check for yourself:-

https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common.projects/20/fences_gates_and_garden_walls

A good rule of thumb to use is two simple questions:-

  1. Is the gate or railing over 1 metre high?
  2. Is it next to a highway?

If the gate or railing is not over a metre high then you will not need planning permission unless its for a listed building or on a boundary with a listed building.

If the gate or railing is over a metre high then you will only need planning permission if it is next to a highway.

     

Check out this useful list of 20 things you can do with no planning permission required:-

20 Things You Can Do Without Planning Permission

And as ever, if there is anything you have any questions about do not hesitate to contact us

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7 Ways We Can Help You

7 Ways We Can Help You Enhance and Secure Your Property

According to the Oxford Dictionary a gate is “a hinged barrier used to close an opening in a wall, fence or hedge https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/gate

            

 

We make more than just gates here at Sykes Bespoke Steel as you can see from our website.  Also we believe that we help our customers in a number of ways with the range of products and services we provide.

Over a series of articles we shall show you some of the ways we can help including:-

  • providing an easier means of access
  • keeping your neighbourhood peaceful
  • giving you a feeling of security
  • making the most of a wonderful view
  • compliance with building regulations
  • enhancing your garden
  • making things safe as well as stylish

Wonderful view

In the first of this series we share the customer experience of Mr H from Glossop.

Often people dream of the days they can sit out in the garden enjoying a spell of warm weather (few and far between though they may seem to be!)  To enhance his garden Mr H wanted some railings around his newly laid patio but without blocking the view of his lovely garden.

We suggested stainless steel rails to complement the style of his house, for their ease of maintenance and adding toughened glass panels so as not to obstruct the view.  We worked with the customer, and the builder who laid the patio, to schedule the works to minimise the disruption to the customer and ensure the work was completed around the same time.

Here are some pictures – a great result I’m sure you’d agree – and he was very happy.

  

So if you’d like some help to make the most of your view give us a call for a free no obligation quotation on 0161 303 7383.

And for more of the ways we help our customers look out for our next blog post entitled “Enhancing the Garden”.

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Bespoke vs B&Q* (*other DIY stores are available!)

A Bespoke Service or DIY?

So it’ll soon be Easter and the bank holiday season.  No doubt you, along with thousands of others, will decide to tackle some DIY over the bank holidays and head out for your nearest DIY store full of great ideas and enthusiasm.

But, stop and think for a moment whether this is actually the right way to go?

If the weather is nice and you are going to tackle the garden or outside space do you really want to cram the family in the car, scrunched together in the heat, to then drive and spend half an hour just looking for a space on the already busy car park?

Once inside the store you wander around trying to find the aisle you need whilst seemingly everyone with a name badge on their overalls is busy with another customer or walks past like you are the Invisible Man.  All this whilst the wife decides to grab every paint tester pot and wallpaper sample she can physically carry.  The children are screaming at you because you didn’t buy them an ice cream from the van conveniently situated outside and so instead begin to blackmail you into shiny new things for their bedrooms/garden/play area etc.

Once you find the gate you want you then have to carry it yourself and get it loaded into the car. (Obviously making sure not to break the paint tester pots, rip the wallpaper samples, bang the kids new lamps/ornaments or anything else they’ve picked up!)

Once home you breathe a sigh of relief at having made it back in one piece.  Now you can relax yes? No! Then you realise you now have to fit the gate.  Having argued with the other half over where exactly it’s going to go you have to make sure you have all the fixings for the gate, all the necessary tools then you have to fix it making sure it hangs properly and can be opened and locked when needed.  All this whilst the kids and dog all decide to test it out whilst you’re still trying to install it.

Yeah, you’re exhausted just thinking about it aren’t you?  You’re already dreading it and wondering how you could possibly avoid having to do it all without being nagged constantly for months that the “hole” where the gate should be lets the dog/kids out, or in, or looks a mess.

Wouldn’t you be rather sitting in the garden enjoying the nice weather?  Then you can! Just pick up the phone and ring Sykes Bespoke Steel.  We will come out to you for a free design visit to see what it is you need, how you want it to look and take measurements.  We shall send you a quote and once you’re happy with it we can get on making it for you.  Once made we can have it galvanized, so it’s less maintenance for you in the long run, and paint it.  (See our previous blog post for more details on galvanizing http://sykesbespokesteel.co.uk/what-is-galvanizing-and-why-is-it-important/)  Then our team of experienced fitters will come and fit it for you

  

Once it’s fitted and you’re happy with it then you pay (other than a small deposit to secure your order) then you can sit back in the knowledge it’s all done by a team of professionals

So call us today on 0161 303 7383 or email info@sykesbespokesteel.co.uk to find out how we can make your life easier

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Made To Measure Not Make Do

From post boxes and pond covers to gates and garden arches, wall tops and welly racks to stainless and glass…

Although driveway gates maybe our most popular product we manufacture a vast range of wrought iron products including smaller items that you can buy all year round.

We began in the recent winter months by making boot scrapers in both a simple and ornate design, examples of which are shown below

 

In addition we made a range of welly racks including single barred, circular, double barred and also a wall mounted welly rack with integral dog lead holder

   

Then once you’ve come home from the dog walk, scraped your boots and hung up the lead what could be better than a warm fire and a nice glass of vino?  Well here’s a sneak peek of some other products that we are in the process of doing…

   

And there’s plenty more ideas and products to come so keep an eye on the website and also our social media to see what is happening.  You can like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/SykesBespokeSteel and follow us on Twitter @SykesBespoke

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6 steps to your bespoke product

 

6 Steps to your Bespoke Product

We are often asked about the type of products we make.  It is difficult for us to cover everything within our marketing as we do such a huge range of items from gates and garden arches to wall top railings and welly racks.  We are asked do we have them in stock and how long do they take to make and if we can add or change things etc

Firstly to clarify that everything that we make is bespoke

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bespoke

So whether you want gates in Glossop, railings in Reddish, handrails in Hyde, security grilles in Stalybridge, pond covers in Poynton, canopies in Chadderton or stainless steel in Stockport you will get something that has been made from scratch, to order, just the way you asked for it

Not only do we manufacture but our services include a number of other things to complement that.  You can have a no obligation site visit to your property, at a time convenient to you, where our representative will discuss what you want including the design and any other aspects before taking measurements and providing any advice needed.  This is followed by a formal quotation confirming the details and this quotation is valid for 12 months

Once the quote is accepted the item is put into manufacture.  Often when using wrought iron the product is then galvanized to protect it from rust (for more information on galvanizing check out our previous post http://sykesbespokesteel.co.uk/what-is-galvanizing-and-why-is-it-important/

We then paint the product, which we can do in a range of colours, before it is ready for fitting

The infographic below summarises our manufacturing process but if there is anything else you would like to know please get in touch with us either by phone on 0161 303 7383 or email info@sykesbespokesteel.co.uk.  You can also connect with us on Facebook or Twitter and message us via either platform

 

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5 ways to add value to your property

What adds value to your property?

According to a recent survey of the general public about what they think adds value to your property top of the list was an extra bedroom (don’t we all need a little more space?)  In second place was outside space with 19% saying they think a good garden area or outside space would add value, closely followed by a garage and en suite bathroom.  Check out the infographic below for the top 5 ways to add value, plus more

Property values

Garden

Obviously we can help make your outside space somewhere to enjoy being in with our range of wrought iron and stainless steel products which may be something you are thinking of as better weather is only round the corner (fingers crossed!)

Not only do we make wrought iron gates, railings, garden arches and pond covers but also stainless steel balustrading with glass panels and stainless steel handrails for access and to give a clean, modern look.  The stainless steel and glass panels look stunning and will not block your lovely views.

IMG_3064

We work all around the Tameside, Oldham, Stockport areas and offer free quotations and guarantees of up to 5 years on our galvanized products.  Check out the range of garden decor we offer here http://sykesbespokesteel.co.uk/domestic-products/garden-decor/

Or if you are looking to work on your outside space at the front we manufacture a wide range of garden gates, driveway gates, automated gates and barriers that can incorporate your house name and number too.  Check out these examples below

11091333_10206595345906941_8655584283457296553_n     

Kerb appeal

Also if you are thinking of selling your property amd making the move this year then you want to make sure your property has plenty of “kerb appeal” which is something estate agents often talk of.  You can achieve this with our bespoke wrought iron gates, wrought iron railings, wall top rails and stainless steel handrails.  If you live in Tameside, Oldham, Stockport or Greater Manchester we will come out to visit you to take measurements, discuss design and provide you with a free quotation valid for 12 months

FullSizeRender-4

So, what are you waiting for? You can call us on 0161 303 7383, email us at info@sykesbespokesteel.co.uk or message us on Facebook and Twitter

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Why we ask for a deposit

Paying deposits

Doing business these days is hard work.  People have less money to spend, there’s more competition online, you have to shout to be heard by your customers, raw materials cost more, wages are increasing…

Now I’m not here to be all doom and gloom but what it all boils down to is that running your own small business is not easy and anything that helps you out is a good thing.  Asking for deposits upfront is one of those things.

When you order something that is made to measure is it not reasonable to expect to pay at least part of the monies upfront?  I ask the question, even though this is what we do, as there seems a real divide of opinion over this.

For and against deposits for bespoke work

When researching online about asking for deposits or people paying deposits there were definitely 2 camps: absolutely never pay for anything upfront OR no issue paying a deposit

“if a tradesman asks for money up front, it doesn’t mean he will run off with it”

“shouldn’t pay for something you’ve not got”            “cover some costs by taking a deposit”                             

 

“some jobs are a lot of outlay then you wait forever to be paid by the customer”

“good tradesmen won’t require payment upfront”     “doesn’t seem unreasonable to me”

“would never entertain it”    “most tradesmen ask for a deposit as confirmation of booking”

 

Whatever your view is the truth is that making things from scratch costs time and money.

Not only are the prices on raw materials, like our steel,  steadily increasing

but also a weakened pound makes it harder to get good prices.  Although we have good relationships with our suppliers many do not offer credit terms that allow for us to cover all the costs before we can invoice and get paid.

Our prices have barely increased in 6 years despite all the above and cashflow can be a real problem for small businesses like us.

Made to measure

Everything we do is made to measure for you, exactly how you want it, and because of the time to get the materials in, make them up, get them painted and then fit them it can take around 2 months from the date of order before we can even invoice for it and then we often have to wait for payment.

As whatever we have made is bespoke we cannot simply sell it on later to recoup costs if we are not paid.            

 

 

 

Feedback

So we hope you understand why we ask for a deposit upfront.  But if you ever have any queries please get in touch and we shall be happy to discuss it.  And we’d certainly be interested to hear your views so feel free to comment below or share this on social media to see what other people think.

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