National Home Security Month

National Home Security Month

October is National Home Security Month which is an event created to raise awareness around the importance of home security.

Opportunist thieves

According to a survey most burglaries occur during the week and between the hours of 6pm and 6am with the average burglar spending just 8-12 minutes inside a home.  That small amount of time can cost from £700-£3,000 for homeowners to fix broken doors/locks with an average cost of £2,300 for items stolen.

Home security

Despite this 25% of Brits admit to having no home security at all and 70% don’t have a burglar alarm.  Also there is a 25% spike in burglaries during the autumn and winter months with 1 in 10 taking place in November.  Therefore now is the time to get prepared.  Here is a handy checklist that you can download which may help


There are also benefits to increasing your security at home that you may not be aware of.  Check out our recent blog on the subject here

Security grilles

Not only is it important to deter opportunist thieves with things like gates, wall top railings, high hedges but also to use simple products such as lighting timers.  And of course a good alarm system is a great investment and another good deterrent.  For commercial premises just a broken, open window allowing thieves in to grab goods can cost thousands.  Decorative security grilles are a great way to help prevent windows getting broken whilst still being able to display products to your potential customers.  Here are a few examples of ones we have installed:-


As ever if there is anything that you have seen here that we can help you with please get in touch.  You can call us for a free no obligation quotation on 0161 303 7383 or email us at  Or if you would just like some advice we are always on hand and happy to help where we can


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gate Safety Week

Gate Safety Week

Gate Safety Week runs from the 9th to the 15th October this year.  The week was created to help raise awareness of the proper installation and maintenance of powered gates and how to prevent accidents

Powered and automated gates are more and more frequently becoming part of the design of buildings but historically the industry has faced problems with poorly installed and maintained powered gates leading to accidents.

It is estimated that there are 500,00 gates in operation in the UK but only about 30% are classed as safe.  It is therefore important to use an installer with proven experience.  Take a look at our Facebook page for a short video showing a set of gates we recently installed for a customer

There has been particular concern in recent years over the number of incidents involving young children with some cases being quite high profile on the news.  The Workplace Regulations now state that school gates must be inspected to identify and control hazards and that the gate is subject to regular maintenance.

We offer a service where we attend schools to inspect all the gates and provide a report on which ones could be a hazard and so need to be addressed.  For a low initial cost the report is provided and highlights if action needs to be taken, or not, on each gate and is provided to show compliance with the regulations.

The report also highlights whether if work is required it is urgent or just needs to be addressed at some point.  Once the school has the inspection report it has the ability to make informed decisions about the work taking into account risks, budget and timescales.

If you think a gate inspection would be of use please contact us to make arrangements either by telephone on 0161 303 7383 or via email at

And as always, if you have comments or would like to share this with others please feel free


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

3 Benefits to Extra Security For Your Property

3 Benefits to Extra Security For Your Property

There are 3 main benefits to securing your property, ideally before you are burgled!

  1. Reduced insurance premiums
  2. Deter opportunist thieves
  3. Improved peace of mind

1. Reduced insurance premiums

According to who asked their range of insurers the higher your level of security the lower you can expect your insurance premiums to be.  Better security helps to bring the premium cost down and many providers will give discounts depending on what security measure you have installed.

Insurers expect a minimum level of security like door and window locks but extra security like an alarm system, CCTV and even membership of a neighbourhood watch scheme can help.  For details on this check out the website


“Good home security can reduce the chance that you’ll have to make a claim in the first place, saving you money and hassle in the long run”
Ben Wilson,

2. Deter opportunist thieves

Burglars are opportunistic in nature and will look for soft targets.  According to a burglary occurs every 40 seconds.  If your home and garden look secure from the outside it will be less vulnerable to break ins.

According to claims data from Admiral Insurance the average cost of theft from the garden is £1,593 with the top 5 items being taken as:-

  • Bicycles
  • Tools/lawnmowers
  • Golfing equipment
  • Garden equipment
  • Sporting equipment

Crimestoppers suggests securing side gates and says that fencing or raiings can be a good investment.  Also gravel driveways are noisy and so act as a great deterrent.  Adding secure driveway gates gives another element of security.  As is commonly said it is better to be safe than sorry

3. Peace of mind

By the year ending Sept 2015 there were 743,000 incidents of domestic burglary in England and Wales.  Peace of mind comes from knowing that having security means you are 5 times less likely to suffer this.

Many of our products have a security aspect even if it does not seem obvious at the time.  Take our customer Mrs S of Oldham for example.  She had an extension to the house which left the garden in a mess and when complete she wanted gates and wall top railings to finish it off.  After the job was complete she commented on what a “lovely, secure feeling” it gave her.  Check out the testimonial here


It is also worth bearing in mind that secure doesn’t have to mean ugly!  We manufacture a range of window and door grilles that are functional but look great too.  Check these out…


If you would like a free, no obligation site survey and quotation please call on 0161 303 7383.  Or you can email us on to make a convenient appointment.

Please also connect with us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at

Thanks, Karen

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

7 Ways We Can Help – Handrails Provide Ease of Access

Handrails Provide Ease of Access

This is the fifth blog in our series “How We Can Help Enhance And Secure Your Property”. And this one is about ease of access.

Handrails are an easy solution to provide ease of access and help those with mobility problems.  They are relatively cheap, quick and easy to install with the use of a qualified fitter.  Also they come in a range of sizes, styles and budgets to suit most.  Below are an example of some of our previous work:-

     panel used as handrail

Customer example

A good example of how we help customers in this respect comes in the form of Mrs H from Glossop.  She ordered a functional, tubular floor to floor handrail to assist her in navigating the front steps to her property.  However after it was fitted she felt it looked a little plain.  Although pleased with it she asked us to return to discuss what we could do.  We discovered she had a love of wildlife, especially birds, and so we added a swallow design to provide decoration.  She was over the moon with it.  Take a look at it:-

So although handrails are often a necessity, and are functional, they can look decorative too.  We manufacture them in wrought iron or stainless steel and in a number of designs:-


We can also provide small grabrails to be fixed to the side of the door for a little help getting inside.

Handrail guidance

If you are not sure if you require a handrail for your property this infographic may help

Our range includes interior balustrades ( or stair panels) to help when climbing stairs or just for decorative purposes and again can be manufactured using wrought iron or stainless steel and glass.

If you are interested in a free, no obligation site survey and quotation please call 0161 303 7383.  You can also email us on to make a convenient appointment.  Please take a look at our full range on the website

You can also connect with us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at

Thanks, Karen

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Testing the boundaries – boundary disputes

Testing the boundaries – boundary disputes

Boundary disputes between neighbouring properties may be a problem that can quickly escalate.  You may end up with full on “Nightmare Neighbour Next Door” scenarios if not dealt with correctly.  Check out the TV series they have even made about it –

Often just a chat over the fence to try to sort things out can help when it comes to establishing the boundary.  If that doesn’t work you may need to check your property deeds.  Also it may be worth speaking to an advisor at the Land Registry or an experienced solicitor.  However we can help when it comes to establishing the boundary with demarkation once this had been agreed.

Marking out the property line

Fitting railings or just a small panel can mark out the property line.  This helps to provide a clear view of where the end of your property is and the neighbour’s property starts.  For example this simple wrought iron railing we have previously installed:-

Seek professional advice

We are happy to take instruction on where to place fixings.  However we do stress that the property line should be agreed or legally checked first.  There is a blog from the Land Registry published last year which helped to highlight the problems and provide assistance. You’ll love it even more if you are a fan of Coronation Street!

So if you need help with a boundary dispute we do advise you first contact a local solicitor or speak to the land registry.  Then if you want to mark the agreed boundary line get in touch with us to consider our range of wrought iron or stainless steel railings that may help.  We offer free, no obligation site surveys and quotations so call us on 0161 303 7383 to make a convenient appointment.  You can also email us at

Please like our Facebook page for more news, updates and funnies at and you can follow us on Twitter at

Thanks, Karen


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Ways We Can Help – Keeping the Neighbourhood Safe

Keeping Your Neighbourhood Safe

In the next series of our blogs on 7 Ways We Can Help Enhance and Secure Your Property we want to deal with the issue of how we can help keep your neighbourhood safe as security at home is an important issue.

Now we don’t make any promises about doing the next shift of the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme but we have seen first hand how a very simple product can make a big impact for a customer.

Take Mrs N from Shaw for example:-

Mrs N lived in a lovely house on a small, new development where the children would often play outside.  However she had an issue with some children running past the front of her house, directly next to the lounge window and front door, which caused noise and a nuisance.  When she got in touch we advised a simple wrought iron panel fixed to the front wall would prevent them running past without looking out of place.  It resolved the problem with the children and gave her added security.  Here is a before and after picture of the panel which made all the difference:-


There is also our customer Mrs H from Oldham who had a problem with kids congregating outside her house and sitting on her wall making noise, littering and generally being a nuisance.  This also raised security issues.  After installing some simple wall top railings it deterred the kids from sitting and congregating and made a huge difference, allowing them to enjoy their home again.  Here is a picture taken after the railings were installed showing what an affect it had:-

So whether you have a problem with unruly people congregating outside your property, children causing noise and a nuisance or just need security in your property give us a call.  We offer a free, no obligation quotation to discuss your needs.  Call us on 0161 303 7383 or email

You can also like us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why to choose stainless steel?

Interesting facts about stainless steel

A man named Harry Brearley was said to have invented stainless steel in 1913 but in the early years it was mostly just used for cutlery.

Stainless steel is not a very good conductor of electricity.

It is 100% recyclable

It can remove smells from your hands and you can even buy stainless steel soap bars!

Why choose stainless steel?

Stainless steel has good corrosion resistance in a wide variety of environments.

Although it is not maintenance free it is maintenance friendly and it just needs cleaning periodically and usually soap and water is fine to use for routine cleaning.  For grease marks organic solvents can help and for sticky finger marks just use glass cleaner. Where discolouration has occurred you can buy stainless steel cleaner which you just spray on and wipe with a soft cloth.

Stainless steel is a good alternative to the traditional look of wrought iron as it gives a modern, sleek, clean look to a property and allows an unobscured view from your patio or garden.  Often we use toughened glass panels with our stainless steel balustrading and these provide some UV protection too.

What type of stainless steel should I choose?

There are 2 main grades of stainless steel which are 304 and 316.  Grade 304 is generally used indoors for example on a stair panel.  Grade 316 is commonly referred to as marine grade as it is used outdoors and manufactured to withstand the elements better.  Here at Sykes Bespoke Steel we use marine grade 316 as a matter of course because of the superior quality it offers.  Here are some examples of the stainless steel work we have done:-



So if you would like to know more about stainless steel, how it could be used to enhance and secure your property or you would just like a free, no obligation quotation then just give us a call on 0161 303 7383 or email

You can also like our Facebook page

Or follow us on Twitter at

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s in a name?

Naming Your House

Research has shown that giving your house a good name can actually increase its value!?

As long as your house number is still visible you can pretty much name your house whatever you like providing the name is not already in use in your local area.  There is even a website to help you choose a name if you’re a bit stuck for ideas –

To check if your house name is already being used locally you should contact your local council.  Also if you want to change the name of your house you should contact them then register the change with all the relevant parties such as your utility companies, the Land Registry, your mortgage lender and the electoral roll.

Apparently Orchard House and The Willows are very popular, at least according to this article from The Express with the 50 most popular house names.  You can use this for inspiration or as something so you can avoid the more obvious ones

Personally I like house names that give you a clue to the property.  For example Nutshell Cottage which was picked because of the prominence of squirrels in the house garden.  Here is a gate we made especially for this property.

So whatever name you choose, or if you just want to add your number to the front of the property we can help you make a statement with your entrance.

Here are just some examples of the properties where we have helped them stand out.  Who could argue that Candy Cottage doesn’t conjures up images of home sweet home?


If there is anything you think we can help you with then please contact Sykes Bespoke Steel for a free, no obligation quotation on 0161 303 7383 or email your enquiry to

You can also like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at

Also please feel free to comment on here if you named your house or have a favourite!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Ways We Help Enhance & Secure Your Property – Safe & Stylish!

In the next in our series of blogs on “7 Ways We Can Help Enhance and Secure Your Property” we want to show you how we help our customers make things safe as well as looking stylish.

When we come out to see you at your property for your free, no obligation quotation we don’t just come along to have a nosey and take a few measurements…

We also like to discuss with you what you want, what you need, how it will look and whether it complies with the relevant legislation or guidelines.  We can give you options then too.  Although we are generally happy to manufacture something to the customer’s specification we also want to ensure that it will last, be safe AND look good for many years to come.

Take our customer Mr H from Saddleworth for example.  He was renovating his home and had an old, worn out wrought iron balcony rail that he wanted to replace.  We suggested we could make him a new wrought iron one but that a balcony rail made from stainless steel and glass would not only be strong and safe, but it would give an unobstructed view of his lovely garden and was more in keeping with the modern renovation he was doing on his home.  Here is how it originally looked:-


And then after the installation you can see the difference.  Mr H was very happy with it:-


So if you would like to enhance and secure your property, whether it be with wrought iron or stainless steel, or just want some advice then please get in contact with Sykes Bespoke Steel on 0161 303 7383 for a free, no obligation quotation.

Also please keep an eye out for the next in our series of blogs entitled “Keeping The Neighbourhood Peaceful”

Made to Measure Not Make Do

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment