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HOW TO have a lush Wimbledon lawn

Posted on by Gwyneth

Top ‘how to’ tips from James Neale & Son on how to have the perfect Wimbledon lawn.


Once again, the Wimbledon season is upon us and as we once again prepare to be amazed and staggered by volleys and serves, we may also spend a moment or two taking in our own lawn.

The green patches in the front and rear garden by the end of June, should be delightfully green.

However, the lawn can be an unpredictable thing; without due care and attention is can soon wilt in the heat of summer, looking parched and dusty. It is never too late to give your lawn a welcome boost.

So, as we head in to summer, what can you do to save your lawn?

If you haven’t already done so, rake the lawn with a spring rake but don’t be too harsh or you will tear it. The idea is to remove winter debris, leave and other detritus clogged in between clumps of grass.

Bare patches attract weeds so as soon as you see one, re-seed it with a good quality grass seed and water regularly.

Top tip – to stop birds eating the seed, use a light fleece of polythene cover over it

Don’t start mowing the lawn until it is at least 1cm in height. In summer, the ideal height for an all-purpose law is 2.5cm.

The worst job about mowing the lawn can be raking up the grass clippings but, according to experts, you should leave these clippings on the law as they release up to 30% of the nutrients your law need.

Top tip – Spot a weed? Dig it out with a narrow trowel

Just like you feed your flowers to promote growth, you should feed you lawn a good quality feeding product. However, not only does over-feeding promote huge growth it can also make these areas prone to disease.

If your lawn has performed poorly over the summer months, suffering in the heat and lack of water, in early April, rake and sow a good quality seed. However, make sure that all the dead moss and so on is removed first as this inhibits growth too.

Dry spells of weather can spell disaster for the lawn. Providing there are restrictions or hose pipe bans, your lawn would appreciate a drop of water every now and then too.

Excessive footfall or use of your lawn can cause bear patches too thus, stepping stones or other kind of paving can be helpful in creating a path that doesn’t damage the lawn.

With a little bit of care, your lawn can look Wimbledon perfect!

Posted in Garden, How to... | Tagged , , , |

Universal Design – the skill and style of improving the flexibility in your home

Posted on by Gwyneth

It is a well-known and well-publicised fact that we are living longer. This is great news but, it brings with it a whole heap of dilemmas, one of which is the home.

Take an objective look at your home – is it future proof? If you start to loose mobility, can you still access all the utilities you need to or, will life be confined to a few rooms?

The truth is, our homes are not adaptable and flexible enough to age with us.

To help solve this problem, and allow people to live a full life in their current homes, is the concept of universal design.

At James Neale & Son, we have already worked with many customers in Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and surrounding areas to future proof their homes with some clever universal design features.

What is universal design?

A universal designed space is one that will mould and change as your needs change. A great example are the modern day trends for wet rooms. Once found only in hospitals and nursing homes etc., the wet room is a universal design that can be both modern, cutting edge and trendy and yet, should your mobility needs change, you carry on using the same bathroom with no need for adaptations.

Designers have realised that there no longer needs to be a separation between the aids used for ‘the elderly’, ‘the infirm’ or ‘this disabled’ in how they look or when they can be used.

Here are just some of the universally designed adaptations we have made for customers in Colwyn bay and Llandudno:

Say goodbye to steps – steps can be difficult to negotiate, especially as we age. By clever design to the outside of the property and hard landscaping, steps can be replaced with flat, smooth surfaces that don’t look like ramps.

Upgrade the bathroom – everyone loves to wallow in a bath after a hard day but, there may come a time when getting in and out of the bath safely could be a real problem. Many people have chosen to invest in walk-in showers, with a glass partition, excellent tiling and some other trendy, yet helpful gadgets. Again, it doesn’t have to look like a bathroom for those with impaired ability, as we have come to recognise in so many magazines.

A friendlier kitchen – the kitchen is a busy place and so the next time you come to upgrade or modernise it, take some time to think through what needs to be changed to make it friendlier, and easier to use. We have installed cabinets with clever interior shelving that pops out on when opened, and don’t forget there are some great innovations in the future that could make life easier for all of us.

No climbing – stairs from one floor to another can be a real nightmare. Installing a lift is not only expensive, but also a big consumer of space. There are other options and one adaptation is to build an extension on your home, incorporating an en suite. There are other solutions too, so why not contact us to find out more?

Gadget heaven – and then there are gadgets and technological innovations that are perfect in so many ways. From moving light switches and electrical sockets, to installing sensors and gadgets that allows for remote access and so on, there is sure to be a gadget that if perfect for so many things.

Your home is your castle and can be for longer than you think. With some minor changes – as well as major ones like extensions – you can adapt your home to make it a versatile and universally designed haven of loveliness.

Universal design and adaptation brought to you, by James Neale & Son

We can help you with pinpointing some key changes and suggest all kinds of additions and adaptations. All it takes is a phone call – 01492 545514 – and we can provide you with a no obligation quotation at your Colwyn Bay or Llandudno home.

Posted in General Updates | Tagged , , |

Transform the conservatory at your North Wales home

Posted on by Gwyneth

Many years ago, the way to add much needed living space to a property was to add a conservatory.

In a matter of days and usually within permitted development guidelines, the conservatory could be up and being used. The addition of a few pieces of furniture and accessories made for an instantly appealing and welcoming space.

As the choices of design and finishes increased, so did the popularity of conservatories at all kinds of properties across the North Wales coast.

When the sun shone out of the bright blue sky overhead, breakfasting or dining in the conservatory was a delightful thing to do. Entertaining friends and family in this warm space was also a delight.

But, as some people found, there are problems with the conservatory. Although it was the much-needed additional space that they wanted, it was, in some cases, not quite as flexible and versatile as North Wales home owners needed.

The issues were many and varied…





The answer


There are three options;


You can of course, live with your conservatory as it is but there are some changes that you can make that will transform the conservatory a from leaky and cold, or sweltering hot, to a space that you can use all year round.

How James Neale & Son can help


As conservatory specialists, we have designed and built hundreds of conservatories, orangeries and sunrooms at properties all along the North Wales coast. We understand the need for the space to be useable all year round – no exceptions – and that this ‘extra room’ needs to fit the bill, exactly – no exceptions.

Firstly, you don’t need to knock down the conservatory at your North Wales home as we can work with the existing structure and create something amazing.





Budget busting’ or within reach?


In most cases, providing the conservatory has been well-designed and professionally installed, the hard work is done thus, the transformational tweak needed can be well-within budget.

But, James Neale & Son have always been known for quality thus, every conservatory transformation is quoted for on an individual basis. Our quotes are free and there is no obligation so why not call, book a visit and see how what we can do to transform your leaky conservatory into an amazing space?

Email sales@james-neale.co.uk or call 01492 545514

Posted in General Updates |

5 Top Home Improvement Trends for 2015

Posted on by Gwyneth

When it comes to home improvement, there are a whole heap of things you can do to make your home the stylish haven you have always wanted.

There are many trends on the horizon but, we have rounded up the 5 home improvement trends that we think we will see a lot more of before the year is out.

In the kitchen…

#1 streamlined kitchen

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and no matter what event or gathering you are holding, guests naturally gravitate towards the kitchen.

Style and function are key in making a kitchen the usable space you need it to be and 2015 brings n one key change – no handles.

Handles come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and finishes but the key trend looking to sweep across the kitchen is the ‘touch-to-open’ drawers and cupboard doors. But, the kitchen appliances are getting a makeover too.

Take a look at the revolutionary ‘knock2open’ technology from Miele. Rather than using a levered handle to open the door, you simply knock twice to gain entry.

Style is one thing but designers predict that handle-less kitchens could become the driving force behind universal design. This concept effectively future proofs homes, so that no matter what mobility you may or may not have, you can still live in the same home, with the same accessibility.

#2 Commercial kitchen influence

Commercial kitchens are places of work and can often be seen as bland and devoid of style. However, manufacturers have realised that the home cook may need the power and versatility that some of the larger, commercial kitchen items provide.

Blast chillers that cool and freeze food quickly help to maintain the most delicate of flavours, colours and textures. If cocktails and entertaining are your thing, why not take a look at some of the new ice cube ‘machines’ that provide crystal clear ice as well as the increasingly energy efficient ovens; some manufacturers claim their ovens now cook, roast and colour food much faster than a domestic fan oven.

#3 customised kitchen gadgets

Staying in the kitchen, we see that manufacturers of kitchen appliances are finally realising that the need to be able to customised kitchen appliances so that they fit us, and not our lifestyles fitting them, has finally been heard.

Freezer manufacturers now have over a 100 different organisation systems to choose from, as well as the interior of the fridge door being completely customisable. Likewise, touch screen control panels are making an appearance and could soon be the norm…

Go outside

#4 brining the outside, in…

The garden space at a home is important and nothing has changed in how people see their outdoor space. From amazing copycat gardens from Chelsea Flower Show, to installing fire pits, patios and amazing decking, the key trend for 2015 is to make sure the garden is on the home improvement list.

Fire pits are one thing, but what about a pizza oven?

Seamless transition from inside to out is also a key trend that we think will be in full swing by next year. If you are thinking of opening up your home to the garden, take a moment to consider investing in bi-fold doors. Flooring materials in the home can also be used outside the home in many cases too.

On the inside

#5 Gadgetry

Electronic gizmos and Internet of Things (IoT) are destined to play an even bigger part in the time and there are some wild ideas out there already!




And so…

What home improvements will you be making in 2015?

Posted in General Updates | Tagged , , , |

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