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Our Divisional Director comes out on top

It has been a great month for Ploughcroft so far — and it’s not even Christmas yet! We’re ecstatic for Chris Hopkins for winning his award at RCI Magazine’s Pitched Roofing Awards 2018.

At the end of November, Chris attended the ceremony, hosted by actress and comedienne Kerry Godliman, at The Midland Hotel in Manchester.

There he won the award for Outstanding Contribution of the Year, with judges commenting:

“During his career to date, Chris has contributed to making a visible difference within the roofing industry. Going above and beyond, Chris promotes good practice and has experienced just about everything the industry could throw at him. Chris continues to lead by example and act with professionalism and integrity at all times.”

We’re as proud as ever of our Divisional Director and his achievements over the years. Some favourites, which we listed in an earlier post, include the training school he established, the unique solar technology roofing course he developed, The Roof Anchor he invented, and his appearance on BBC’s Dragon’s Den.

Adding these to Chris’s continued commitment to the roofing industry, we feel his award is well deserved.

Chris, Helen and Tony at Pitched Roofing Awards 2018

Another familiar face at the awards was Tony Burke, Managing Director of Ploughcroft’s parent company, Avonside [pictured above at the ceremony with Helen, our Sales and Marketing Manager and Chris]. Avonside scooped the Commercial Property Application Using Roof Tiles award for their work on the roof of a new £10-million music school at King’s College School in Wimbledon. This project involved flat-roof coverings and metal copings at the interface between the flat and pitched areas on the roof. Avonside worked alongside Tudor Roof Tile Co., who made all the required bespoke roof tiles by hand for this award-winning project.

Well done to Chris, Tony, and all the other Pitched Roofing Awards winners of 2018!

Had a call offering a Free Solar PV Health Check?

We recently seem to have been inundated by calls from our customers saying they have been contacted by companies offering a ‘free solar PV health check’ for their solar PV system.

These companies are claiming that if your original solar installer has gone out of business or your system is more than 5 years old, then you should be looking to take up one of their ‘maintenance packages’ or paying out to ‘upgrade’ your existing solar system.

However, is this really necessary? In our opinion – definitely not!

  • If your solar system has worked just fine for the past 5 years then there is no need to touch it. Your warranty could become invalid if you allow an unqualified person to tamper with it!
  • If there is a problem with how much your system is generating, your energy company will be in touch to let you know.
  • Be wary of wild claims about improving your existing generation.
  • If your inverter is working fine, then there is no need to replace it.
  • Nothing is free! And any ‘free health check’ will undoubtedly lead to some paid work from somewhere.
  • In some instances, it is being claimed that solar PV systems that are older than 5 years old are a fire risk. This is not the case.

So what should you do if you receive such a letter?

Quite frankly, we think it’s best that you ignore these letters. If you respond, without a doubt they will badger you until you give in and sign on the dotted line.

Most of these letters will be addressed to the ‘homeowner’ but if they do have your personal details then you should ask how they have come across them. Ploughcroft never pass on customer information to a third party.

If you start to feel intimidated or under pressure then you should report them to Trading Standards.

What should you do if you do have a problem with your Solar PV System?

We urge Ploughcroft’s customers to contact us directly. We will do our best to help you, and should your solar system need attention, then our parent company’s renewable division Avonside Renewables will endeavour to help.

Contact us today if you have any concerns!

The popularity of flat roofs continues to rise, reasons behind the demand are plentiful. If you’re in the market for a new roof to enhance the look of your property that Kevin McCloud would be proud of, then look no further than a flat roof. This choice of a roof can look contemporary and stylish.

A flat roof, as you would assume is described as flat as it is almost level. However, it is pitched slightly, usually below 1.5 degrees, to allow rainwater to run off effectively.


Relatively low cost means flat roofs are ideal for commercial buildings. There is less surface area to cover than a pitched roof. As they are easier to install it can have a significant reduction in associated labour costs.


Flat roofs on commercial buildings are much easier to access due to the slight pitch. Easy access means they are a lot easier to inspect and maintain.


Versatile in their design, covering the roof entirely whilst utilising the space that’s on offer. Many commercial buildings use the flat space to install solar panels or turn it into a usable outdoor space for employees such as a rooftop garden.

Increased Lifespan

Flat roofs are designed to withstand the elements including rain, wind and snow. With a life expectancy of 30-40 years, the product is extremely durable.

Energy efficient

Thermally efficient materials can prevent heat loss which reduces the amount of energy required to keep the building at optimum temperatures throughout the year. Flat roofs help to keep the internal temperature stable which can have a dramatic impact on heating bills.

A smart solution for businesses

Whether your property needs a refurbishment or you’re at the beginning of a new build project, the costs you are incurring will always be a priority. The popularity of flat roofs continues to rise as they are cost-efficient: quality, flexible materials with a fast installation. When combined with easy maintenance, energy efficiency and a long lifespan, flat roofing is a smart solution for businesses.

Improve your Home Life

We take a look at some of the ways you can make your home work harder for you. Here are 7 things you can do to make your home a better space to live in, creating a better place to live and work, whilst reducing your carbon footprint and reducing your energy bills too.


Tiled Conservatory Roof Replacement

Replacing your old Tiled Conservatory Roof, Ploughcroft, Making your home work harder for you polycarbonate conservatory roof with a Tiled Conservatory Roof Replacement will make your conservatory a more usable space, keeping it warm in winter and cool in summer.

If you already have a conservatory but feel as though you get little use out of it, a solid conservatory roof replacement can turn your underused space into a delightful living space which can be enjoyed all year round. Aesthetically pleasing and boasting superior energy efficient qualities.

Mr & Mrs Hirst, Brighouse:

We were very pleased with the whole procedure of replacing our conservatory roof. The finished tiled roof is amazing and we love sitting in our new garden room!


Bi-Fold Doors

Bo-Fold doors, Ploughcroft, making your home work harder

Extending your living space into your garden with bi-fold doors is a wonderful way of transforming your living space.

Modern alternatives to the ‘patio door’ offer high energy performance, come with triple glazing and are designed to withstand the elements. Maintaining warmth within your home during winter and providing refreshingly cool temperatures in summer.


Super secure and extremely energy efficient, they will keep the heat in and reduce outside noise levels whilst still leaving a lasting impression.


Eco Roof™

If your propertEco-Roof, Bi-Fold Doors, Ploughcroft, Making your home work harder for you y has an attic conversion, room-in-the-roof, loft conversion or a vaulted ceiling, re-roofing and insulating with modern hi-tech solutions could save you a substantial amount on your heating bills each year.

Keeping the heat in, especially in older properties, is undoubtedly the best way to make your home work harder for you!

Pat Walker, Filey:

Our Eco roof was installed over 2 years ago. We rate it as one of the best improvements that has been done to our bungalow. We were impressed with the advice we were given and the price. Our heating bill is now so low, to the point that the energy supplier wanted to check the meter was working correctly!



You don’t need to forfeit too much of your outdoor spaceHouse extensions, Ploughcroft, Making your home work harder for you in order to make a huge difference to your living space. What may seem like a wasted bit of land could give you that extra living space to transform your home.

A small ground floor extension could give you the perfect additional space, and the great news is you can go ahead and build without planning permission if the work falls within certain guidelines.

Alison Hall, Bailiff Bridge, Brighouse:

It looks like we’ve made pretty good progress against your initial plan for the building of our extension. Firstly thank you! It has been a great experience and we are really looking forward to decorating and moving in to use the space. Thanks also to Mark and the various teams and individuals who have been involved with our build. They have all been polite and totally professional throughout.


Balcony Systems

Balcony systems, Ploughcroft, Making your home work harder for you

Balcony Systems can transform your flat roof or garage into a delightful, usable and unique outdoor living space – a little piece of heaven for you to relax on with family and friends. Roof balcony systems can be installed on most flat roofs and walkways and offer elegance, privacy, and shelter from the wind.

While some balcony systems may require planning permission, many don’t, and we can provide advice on planning permission if necessary.

Mr Taylor, Osmotherly:

Needless to say we are very pleased with the overall look you have given the project, our home. We would like to convey our thanks to all the team involved with special mention to Luke and Scott, also many thanks to the 2 Karl’s and Graham who worked tirelessly to achieve such a perfect finish. Luke is a very personable young man really deserves to do well, he worked hard, and showed innovation and ingenuity when required and as you can see in the photos the balustrade he constructed is millimetre perfect.

Your workmen were polite and respectful at all times, they are a credit to your company. Furthermore, we would have no hesitation in recommending your company to friends (we have done so already) or anyone else who enquires.


Roof Windows & Skylights:

Replacing old roof windows and skylights with modern, contemporary, energy-efficient alternatives gives you the perfect opportunity to enhance your home and increase natural lRoof Windows, Luxlight®, Ploughcroft, Making your home work harder for you ight.

Contemporary alternatives, such as Roof Maker, provide the best thermal performance technology on the market. The ‘more glass and less frame’ philosophy ensures a beautiful minimalistic look, which will make you the envy of your neighbours! With U-Values as low as 0.6 these windows certainly deliver on energy efficiency too.

N, West Yorkshire (courtesy of Which? Trusted Traders):

Ploughcroft have been fantasic. The first time we used them for Velux windows, this time it was for the roof. Once again they have been very professional, on time, polite and tidy whilst carrying out the work. I would be happy to recommend them.


Solar Panels

Capture & harness the energy of suSolar Panels, Ploughcroft, Making your home work harder for you n! Solar PV converts daylight into electricity. With new advances in technology, it is also possible to incorporate battery storage. Enabling you to generate electricity during the day and store it for later use.

Contrary to popular belief, solar PV doesn’t need direct sunlight to work. Solar panels use the energy from daylight and can still generate electricity on a cloudy day.

Mr & Mrs Birkenhead, Halifax:

Thank you ever so much. Thank you to all your staff, what a great team you are, bless you all.

To discuss any of the above ways of making your home work harder for you, simply get in touch today or call us on 01422 202919.

Ploughcroft have a wealth of experience transforming homes by adding contemporary and stylish balcony systems to most flat roofs and walkways.

We’ve put together a list of reason why investing in a balcony is a great choice for your home, and even your business.

1. They increase a property’s value up to 12%. A house with a balcony has a higher resell value compared to a house without, due to the extra benefits you get from them!Balcony, Ploughcroft, Improvements, Property, Increase Property Value

2. Extends living space. A balcony gives you more space to do as you please! Due to their versatility you’re able to transform them into practically anything.

Balcony, Ploughcroft, Improvements, BBQ, Summer

The many uses include:

• A place to eat and drink – simply by adding a small table and chairs, you’ve got a brilliant outdoor dining space!
• Somewhere to grow plants or do some extra gardening – perfect if you don’t have a garden, yard or any outdoor space.
• It can be ideal for storage – especially if you don’t have much space to start with. Balconies can be used to store bikes, tools or even a place for a shed! If by adding a balcony, the options are endless!
• A private area for small gatherings, great for BBQ’s – especially in summer!
• If you think you’ve already got enough space, why not use a balcony as an extra living room – outside!


3. Private gardening. A balcony offers a more private area to grow flowers without the fear of wildlife destroying any plants, trees, fruit or vegetables!

Balcony, Ploughcroft, Improvements, Garden, Private

4. Great for pets. If you’re a pet owner, you’ll understand that it’s not recommended to have your pet cooped up all day, which is why a balcony is a great feature to have in your home! It gives your pet the opportunity to go outside, go to the toilet and get some fresh air, all in a safe and secure area! You can let them out, without you actually letting them out!


Balcony, Ploughcroft, Improvements, Dogs, Pets, Safe

5. Beneficial for summer. By having a balcony, you’re able to instantly get outside with ease and soak up the sun! Sunbathe, read a book, take in the view – all whilst getting Vitamin D!

Balcony, Ploughcroft, Improvements, Sun, Summer

6. Increase the aesthetic appearance of your home. There are many things which you can add to your balcony such as flower pots; guaranteed to increase the beauty of your property. When you incorporate flowers to your balcony it utilises the outside environment, which is important them to grow. There are many architectural designs which you can use to plan a layout of your balcony. This one is the major advantage as everyone prefers to live in a beautiful house.

Balcony, Ploughcroft, Improvements, Aesthetic Appearance

7. Provides an extra form of privacy. Unlike back gardens, a balcony is usually above ground floor level, raising you up above the height of being looked over by neighbours.

Balcony, Ploughcroft, Improvements, Privacy, Neighbours

8. Improves views. By adding a balcony, you will increase your view of the outside and your surroundings, no matter what room you chose it to be for! It will instantly light up any room!

Balcony, Ploughcroft, Improvements, Views, Homes

9. Safer than a typical garden – especially if you have young children or pets! By having a balcony, you know you can let your pet roam free with minimal supervision, without the fear of them getting lost or stolen. With a balcony being raised up, there’s no place for children to get lost or escape, making it an ideal play space for them!

Balcony, Ploughcroft, Improvements, Safety

10. Suitable for eateries and nightclubs as well as homes! Many people think of private homes when they envision a balcony, but restaurants and nightclubs offer this option as well. Benefits of having an outdoor balcony at a restaurant is the ambiance it offers. For instance, many restaurants overlooking the ocean make use of a balcony.

Balcony, Ploughcroft, Improvements

If you’re considering a balcony to improve your home, why not get in touch with us today!

Ploughcroft who are part of the fast-growing Avonside roofing group, are pleased to be looking to recruit an exceptional person to fill the position of Brand Ambassador / Technical Roofing Surveyor in our expanding and dynamic company.

Could you be the right person for the job? Read on to find out more.

Key Attributes that the Ideal Candidate Will Have:

  1. Positive attitude.
  2. Drive and determination to succeed.
  3. Proactive problem-solving skills.
  4. Friendly and approachable attitude.
  5. An ability to gain the customers trust and confidence.
  6. A proven ability to close sales.

Key Skills Required to be Successful in the Role:

  1. Full driving licence.
  2. Ability to measure.
  3. An understanding of roofs and how they go together.
  4. An understanding of buildings and how structures are built.


The role will briefly comprise of visiting 3 potential clients’ properties in the Yorkshire/ Lancashire area per day. Discussing what the customer requires, ranging from flat roofs, warm roofs, Velux windows, balcony systems, Eco Roofs™, roofline, re-roofs, loft conversions, dormer roofs, and extensions and then measuring up for the primary product, photographing the area, drawing up a sketch, working out an estimate, and presenting the estimate to the customer by email or by a second visit.

The pay will be exceptional for the right person. We will supply a brand new liveried vehicle for your use at work.

Please send a C.V. and more importantly a covering letter outlining why you feel you will excel in this role to info@ploughcroft.co.uk. If you believe this role of Brand Ambassador/Technical Roofing Surveyor is for you, we look forward to hearing from you.

For more information, you can contact Ploughcroft by calling: 01422 202 919.

They say you’re as young as you feel and at Ploughcroft we practice the belief that, while age and experience can bring valuable wisdom, young people can bring a vibrant enthusiasm and energy to the table- vital for any business.

Apprenticeship Recruitment

We’re passion advocates of apprenticeships that deliver the ideal fusion of on-site hands-on training and useful technical classroom learning.  To reflect this, we are currently looking for Roof Slating & Tiling apprentices to start in July with the view to beginning their apprenticeship at Leeds College of Building in September.

We offer a two-year NVQ Diploma Apprenticeship in Roofing and Slating and the Level 3 NVQ Diploma Advanced Apprenticeship in Roof Slating & Tiling, which is an additional 13 months of training, to those that have successfully completed the Level 2 qualification. The apprenticeships are available to 16 to 24-year-olds in partnership with Leeds College of Building.

To find out more simply click here and send us your CV to info@ploughcroft.co.uk if you’re interested and think you’ll make a great addition to our team.

Our Apprentice’s Achievements

As well as looking for new apprentices we’re also pleased with our current trainees. Our talented Roofing and Slating Level 2 apprentice, Charlie Oakes recently got nominated by his Leeds College of Building tutor Chris Messenger to take part in the Redland Apprentice of the Year 2017 awards.

Excelling in his studies and impressing our Director Chris Hopkins, Charlie has been hailed as one of the ‘up and coming’ apprentices of Ploughcroft and our parent company Avonside.



Of his skills, such as slating using Burlington slates and single lap tiling, which he mastered during his 10-week pre-apprenticeship trial, Charlie says: “I’ve improved loads over the course of the two years.” You can view the rest of his nomination in the video above.

Charlie, who is also due to compete in regional heats of the prestigious SkillBuild competition on 22 June, now has ambitions to progress up the career ladder to work in a supervisory role.

Redland is a brand of the international Braas Monier Building Group, a leading worldwide supplier of pitched roofing materials. The Redland Apprentice of the Year awards prides itself on highlighting the achievements of apprentices whose knowledge transcends roofing skills, making them well-rounded individuals with a passion for the roofing work they do.

With the final on 27th and 28th June, Redland offers finalists and the winner free courses at the Redland National Training Centre amongst recognition and many other prizes.

The Job- Heritage Restoration

As well as new roofs and roof replacement, you may not know that we also specialise in Heritage Restoration, being Heritage Certified and fully qualified in Understanding Repair and Maintenance of Traditional pre-1919 Buildings. St Pauls Church is a conservation building in Manningham, Bradford that desperately needed updating. During our restoration of this building, it was essential that the skills and materials used in this project were in keeping with the existing building, which called for Burlington Random Slate to ensure consistency throughout.


The Slate

Random Slating involves laying diminishing courses of Slate with the largest slates used at the eaves and gradually smaller sizes as you work up to the ridge. This tradition of laying slates in diminishing courses gives a pleasing visual perspective to the roof and is often used on church roofs.

The biggest difficulty we came across was working out the linear meterage and sorting out the slate, as Burlington provides natural slate that doesn’t come in set sizes.

“It took us about two days to sort out the slate, from this we could work out how many linear meters of each slate we had and from that a graph could be drawn up to work out how many courses we would require.”  – Carl from the Ploughcroft team

The project was carefully and efficiently completed in just a month and the results are stunning! Well done, Ploughcroft team!

If you are considering putting your home up for sale, you’ll make sure that it is presented to potential purchasers in the best possible light. There are numerous reasons why a sale can fall through and one of the most important, that many vendors don’t think about, is the condition of the roofing on the property. Replacing the roof of your house is a significant investment but when you sell the house you can expect an immediate return reflected in the price you are able to ask.

You can be assured that prospective purchasers will look at the state of the roof when considering the sale price and of course a new roof will significantly increase the value of your property. For purchasers, a roof that is in excellent condition represents one less problem to worry about, less stress about future expense and peace of mind that the roof is not going to cause damage to the interior or exterior of the house.


What surveyors look for

Savvy buyers will want a surveyor to inspect the whole of the property including the roof and here are some of the most common things the surveyor will take into consideration:

  • The quality of the roofing materials, what materials have been used and whether those materials are appropriate for the location of the property
  • The age of the roof and how long it is likely to last before repairs are necessary; for example, if the existing roof may need to be replaced within 5 years this can impact negatively on the price you expect to achieve for the property.
  • Whether the roof can sustain extreme weather; for example roofing in Yorkshire where rain is prevalent can be vastly different from materials used in the Scottish Highlands where snow is expected every year. People often underestimate the role the weather has in determining what a roof is made of. A surveyor who lives locally will be acutely aware of normal weather conditions in the area.

Professional roofing contractors

Naturally, it’s not always essential to replace the entire roof. In some cases a good standard of repair is sufficient but vendors should consider the following:

A good quality roof can last for more than 50 years before it is necessary to either repair or replace it. Obviously, this will depend on the quality of the initial installation, regular annual maintenance and the standard of care. It’s worth investing in a roof survey before you place your property up for sale because a professional roofing contractor will be able to identify any flaws that might prevent a sale.

Roofing contractors are both experienced and qualified to identify damage and will look for loose tiles, water damage, a sagging roof, algae and a host of other structural and weather related problems. They can advise whether the roof needs replacing or can be saved with repairs. If a number of repairs are necessary, it can often be more economical to replace with a new one since over time roof repairs can cost thousands of pounds.

If you are considering selling your house, contact us by phone or email and we will be happy to inspect your roof and let you know what needs to be done to get it in tip top condition.

Summer is on its way, but are you and your home ready? Chances are you loved your conservatory at some stage, but like many others, you’ve probably realised it gets too cold in winter, and too hot in summer. However, it doesn’t need to be like that, and we’ve got the solution!

Ploughcroft offer bespoke tiled conservatory roof replacements that not only give it a beautiful permanent roof but will better regulate its temperature, meaning it can withstand anything the British weather will bring. So, rain or shine, it will make your conservatory a great place to spend time whatever the season.

Replacing your conservatory roof comes with a whole host of benefits:

  • Eliminates leaks and noise from rain
  • Reduces the amount of time you spend cleaning
  • Retains warmth in the winter and keeps cool in the summer
  • Will meet current building regulations with a fantastic U-Value of 0.18
  • Most importantly, it will have superior energy efficient levels

Not only this, but you can choose the colour scheme of the tiles and add unique features like vaulted roofs, exterior features and even VELUX windows to help make your conservatory the perfect place to be this summer.

Ploughcroft’s conservatory replacement roofs are installed by skilled, fully qualified roofers. They also come with a 10-year guarantee on all components and a 25-year guarantee on tiles. To find out more about how to make your conservatory ready for summer visit Ploughcroft here.

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