Football Stars Come Out To Shine

Astral Team

We are delighted to see the team we sponsor at Sutton United reach superstardom this season.

The team have just taken the Premier Elite League title for an U12 team and become Surrey Youth League Champions. This is the highest any team can go in their age range, their equivalent of the winning the Premiership.

Director of Astral, Darren Clarke says “We are thrilled that we can sponsor this team and encourage the budding football stars of the future. The boys have really gained from the experience, the friendships that they have made and the team spirit they have learnt and we are delighted to be able to support them.


BEATING THE EXAM STRESS BLUES

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As we head into the exam season is now the time to think about what space your budding genius will need in the future to create a quiet studying area.

You may have already been exhausted by the rounds of university visiting, sorting out accommodation or filling in student finance applications but as the end hurdle nears have you got the right environment in your home to create the space that they need to be productive.

So, what do you need to think about…

If you have a child coming up to GCSEs or A Levels in the next few years, how can you help? Many of us find that the house we bought at the start doesn’t allow for an expanding family but equally we don’t want to move because of schools, because we love our local area and we love our family homes.

But do they have enough space to really spread out, leave their books out and have time to break away from their studies without having to pack their materials away each time?

More Space

A conservatory might be the answer to expanding your home giving you that much-needed extra family space without the need to move. In the past conservatories were not all year-round rooms as the style of roof meant that they were too cold in winter and too hot in the summer – not an ideal space to revise in for hours on end.  However, developments in warm roof technology mean this is no longer a problem and that a new conservatory can give you the extra space you need for your family – even in the summer months.

Quieter Rooms

If a conservatory is not the solution, then why not think about investing in triple glazing.

The majority of us don’t spend daytimes in our own homes and are probably unaware of the distractions that are around our own properties. A noisy road, building works or even holiday kids playing in a nearby garden can all impact on the peace level of your property and be a distraction.

So how can you solve this problem to make a stress-free study zone.

Triple glazing can significantly improve the noise levels in your property and whilst most people understand that it increases energy efficiency therefore reducing bills the real value could be the significant drop that can be achieved in noise pollution, therefore creating a better environment for study.

And finally, especially for students… here are our top tips for revising:

You need to keep track of what you are doing so make yourself a timetable and tick off what you have done so you know what you have left to do.

Designate a quite space in the house that is yours for revision and where you can set out your books without being distracted.

Turn off your social media so you are not tempted!!

Give yourself treats at the end of each session – chocolate can work wonders!!

Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Think around your subject and use tools like the internet to help you.

Ask for help if you need to.

And above all stay motivated and stay calm.


HERITAGE WINDOWS – 2017 STYLE

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So how do you combine the luxury of modern security features, heat retention and quality whilst trying to keep the character of your property. Modern heritage windows are designed to do just that. With a wide range of special features, we can tailor-make your installation to suit the style of your property and even, using the most up to date uPVC technology, give your property the look and feel of its original design.

You can select from a range of special designs with luxury features in a variety of finishes including:

 

  • Tilt and turn windows with the benefit of controlled ventilation and easy cleaning.
  • Vertical sliding windows which perfectly mirror the features of traditional wooden sash windows but with all the benefits of uPVC technology.
  • Run-through sash horns which replicate the traditional techniques of manufacture in modern fabrication.

To really enhance your heritage windows why not also look at enriching your propertSash_1y with decorative glass panels to really give you the kerb wow factor. Choosing from diamond or square leaded glass to bespoke coloured glass designs or adding arched overheads can really enhance your property.

Whatever your needs our design consultants are here to give advice and guidance to give you the best options for your home, so for an informal chat call 020 8683 1234 and we will be happy to help.


SECURITY IN MIND

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Many people worry at this time of year that their homes are not secure, especially when they are away visiting over the holidays or have an abundance of gifts under the tree.  Sadly, the winter months are the peak time for breaking and entering your home with the dark nights making it much easier for criminals to hide themselves.

But all is not lost, modern windows and doors have been specifically designed to combat even the most persistent offender.

So here are our top tips for keeping your property secure:

  • Make sure your house is externally neat and tidy, they will assume that if you are lax in your home security, open gate or single lock on door, at the front of your house you will be even more lax at the rear making it easier to break in.
  • Invest in doors that have double secure locks that are obvious.
  • Make sure all windows are fitted with a multi-point locking system.
  • Lock all windows even if you are going out for a few minutes.
  • Doors should be fiited with a 5-lever mortice deadlock.
  • Ensure door frames are strong and can support the door, hinges and locks.
  • Fit letterboxes with an internal cover plate.
  • Avoid leaving valuables, and in particular, keys in reach of letter boxes or windows.

Criminal techniques are very advanced now although it is worth remembering that they will also know they will know that newly installed windows and doors will have all of the following and are much harder to break into:

Windows

    • Locking wedge
    • Hingeguards
    • Hardened steel shootbolt and roller locking
    • Centre lock

Doors

    • Hingebolts
    • Endurance tested hinges
    • Hardened hookbolts
    • Central deadbolt
    • Stainless steel handles
    • Rollercam locks

So, if you are looking for peace of mind in 2017 upgrading your windows and doors to a secure system could be the solution.

Call Astral today for an in-depth guide to improving security in your home. 020 8683 1234.


CASE STUDY – WHITGIFT SCHOOL

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Installing windows in a domestic property can be a challenge but installing windows in a school is almost certainly a challenge with the scale and planning of such a project, to fit in with the school timetable, a significant factor in managing a large installation.

We have worked closely with several schools in recent years planning and managing projects to work around the academic year, working closely with the on-site facilities team to ensure that Health and Safety and school policies are adhered to.

One of our most recent projects has been with Whitgift School in Croydon. In 2016 the school wanted to mount an exhibition to commemorate the students that had fought during WW1.  As part of this project they decided that the building that was to house the exhibition needed to be upgraded and worked with Astral to project manage the installation.  Working with Mark Blendell, the school looked at increasing light into the hall by replacing the high-level sky light windows. They also wanted to make the entrance more accessible to incorporate the exhibition graphics to create a stunning entry point for visitors.

The outcome gave the exhibition team the opportunity to display amazing graphics within the windows and the school were exceptionally pleased with the outcome.

“Astral have always given Whitgift School an extremely prompt and efficient service, often working to tight deadlines.  They have also successfully undertaken a couple of very challenging projects and have come up with effective and workable solutions.  Combined with excellent customer service, professional installation and competitive prices the School will continue to make full use of Astral going forward.”

James Stremes, Whitgift School, Croydon, Surrey

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