Product of the week
If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to winter-proof garden wood. Try using Ronseal Ultimate Protection Decking Oil in Natural Oak (from £35 for 2.5ltr, B&Q) for a subtle finish. This oil slightly darkens the wood without greatly changing its appearance. Available in natural and several colours, Ronseal Ultimate Protection is designed to prevent wood splitting and greying, and also resists mould and algae growth. It even restores natural wood oils lost through weathering, and offers UV and waterproofing protection. Best of all at this time of year, it’s rainproof in just 90 minutes, so as long as you keep an eye on the forecast and the clouds in the sky, your hard work shouldn’t be ruined by the weather. Ideally, the floor/ground levels on either side of bi-fold doors should be the same. This may involve some work in the garden, but it will improve the indooroutdoor flow and increase the wow factor, especially if you use the same, or similar, flooring on both sides. Engineered or solid wood flooring inside and decking outside works well. Bi-fold doors are often fitted in new extensions, but if you’re retrofitting them, you’ll probably have to replaster, redecorate and move things like radiators, sockets and switches to make space. Off- the-shelf bi-fold doors are available, but doors are often made to order. Unless you have an existing window/door that’s the same as, or bigger than, the size of the opening required for the bi-fold doors, a new lintel will have to be fitted above the opening for support. Your first step (at the planning stage) should be to consult a structural engineer, or use a reputable window and door company, to supply and fit the doors. They should carry out a survey and do whatever’s necessary to make your home structurally sound. Planning permission isn’t usually needed for If you get a builder to fit the bi-fold doors, it’s important to get the work checked and signed off by a building control inspector (either from your local council or a private firm) to ensure it complies with building regulations. The easiest option is to have the doors fitted by a window and door company that can self-certify that their work complies, such as companies belonging to FENSA (www.fensa.co.uk). If the manufacturer fits the doors, you should get a guarantee and their help if anything goes wrong with them, but if they only supply them and your builder fits them, you may be left with problems no one wants to take responsibility for.