What you need to consider before your loft conversion

Of all the ways to transform your home, a loft conversion is one of the wisest investments you could make. There’s been a real surge in the popularity of loft conversions over the last couple of decades, and it’s not hard to see why – not only do they provide useful additional space, but they can also add thousands of pounds to the value of a property.

But before you get to work, there’s a lot you need to think about.

A bit of careful consideration can help you make the most of your loft space. Here are some particularly important points to mull over

  • Think about what you actually want from your loft conversion. What do you intend to use it for? How much are you prepared to spend on the job? Try to formulate a clear vision of how you want your completed loft conversion to look, as this will all help you to end up with a finished product that you’re actually happy with.
  • Familiarise yourself with the relevant building regulations first. Before you start on your loft conversion, you’ll need to obtain planning permission from the local authority. Failure to do so could have unpleasant repercussions further down the line, so make sure you tell your neighbours about your upcoming renovation if you live in a terraced or semi-detached property.
  • Make sure your home can actually accommodate a loft conversion. Your converted loft will add weight to your house, so check that the building can actually support it. If your house needs underpinning, it’ll likely cost you quite a bit more to have the work done. Also, check there’s sufficient head height so you know how much headroom you’re likely to have once the loft conversion is complete.
  • Think about how you’re going to maximise the amount of natural light entering your loft space. Which windows would be best suited to your converted loft? Skylight windows are the most obvious choice, as they’re fairly easy to fit. Alternatively, you could go for dormer windows – but as these need walls and a roof, there’s a bit more work involved. Do some research into which different types of windows are available.
  • Another important issue to consider is access. How are you going to get in to your converted loft space? Finding space for stairs can be tricky, and purpose-built staircases don’t come cheap. You could go for a winding staircase, but carrying bulky items up such narrow spaces is often difficult.

Sprucing up your home for summer

So the weather’s starting to perk up a little and the nights are finally getting longer, which can only mean one thing – the great British summer is very nearly upon us.

dv1460011But before you whip the barbecue out, you might want to think about how you can make productive use of the better weather. Maybe you have other things on your mind – and that’s perfectly understandable – but now’s a good time to carry out a few home improvements so your house looks fantastic all summer long.

There are lots of things you can do to revitalise your home for the summer. Here are just a few points you might want to consider.

 

Refreshing the interior

Breathing new life into your home needn’t cost you a fortune. In fact, making a few fairly modest changes to your interior décor can make a big difference to the way it looks. Simply changing the interior colour scheme to something a little more seasonal – think fresher colours, such as cream and light green shades – can really help to brighten things up. Maybe some new furniture would make a worthy addition to your home; wicker furniture in particular can work well in the summertime.

You could also bring some garden-themed elements into your home. For example, indoor plants can work well and gardening implements can actually make for quirky ornaments provided they’re used sparingly. Also, take advantage of the increased amount of natural light. Mirrors can amplify the natural light in a room to make the space appear bigger by reflecting the light around.

 

Reviving your garden

The warmer weather also offers a great opportunity to get out into the garden and spruce it up a bit. First and foremost, you need to make sure you clear away any weeds, dead leaves and whatever other detritus might have gathered. Then, give your lawn a thorough watering (as a general rule, you’ll need to use more water the less rain you have) and use fertiliser. Image 2Spread grass seeds evenly over any bare patches, and mow your lawn carefully so as to avoid cutting off any grass shoots. Once you’ve got your lawn right, you can then go about other tasks such as painting fences and creating rock borders.

 

Looking for something more extensive?

Of course, those are just a few simple tasks you can undertake to improve your home in time for the summer. Alternatively, perhaps you’re thinking of carrying out more work on your home to really transform it. With that in mind, maybe now would be a good time to embark on an extensive home improvement project – such as a loft conversion. Converted lofts are great for taking advantage of natural light, transforming what was an empty and unloved void into a vibrant new living space.

We are all set for the Grand Designs Live appearance

With London gearing up to host the latest Grand Designs Live event next month and thousands of people expected to attend the event, the team here at Econoloft are among those getting ready to put in an appearance.

 grand designs

Firmly established as the UK’s most popular home improvement exhibition, Grand Designs Live regularly attracts hordes of visitors as well as celebrity appearances from some of the biggest names in the home design field. Anyone visiting the forthcoming Grand Designs Live event will also have the opportunity to tap into the Econoloft team’s vast knowledge of loft conversions, as we’ll be on hand to answer whatever questions you might have.

 

The latest Grand Designs Live event is scheduled to take place at London’s Excel Centre from May 2nd to 10th – and whatever you need for your home improvement project, you’re sure to find it on show there.

 

Presented by design guru Kevin McCloud and inspired by the popular Channel 4 TV series of the same name, Grand Designs Live brings together a dazzling array of home improvement specialists, workshops and presentations to help you make the most of your home. There’ll be hundreds of exhibitors at the event next month covering a range of different sections – including gardens, kitchens and bathrooms, self-build, interiors and technology. There’ll even be a street food market for the foodies among you.

 

At Econoloft, we’ve been specialising in loft conversions for more than 40 years – so if you’re planning a job of your own and you’re trying to work out how to go about it, don’t do anything until you’ve spoken to the Econoloft experts at Grand Designs Live. Our friendly, knowledgeable and helpful team have many years of experience between them and are always more than happy to share their knowledge and inspiration.

 

If you’re wondering where you can find us, we’ll be at stand B59 (you can consult the Grand Designs Live floorplan here to help you work out just where that is). Please feel free to come and have a chat with the Econoloft crew – whether you’re trying to work out if a loft conversion would be right for you or you’ve already set your heart on what you want to do, we can help you get the most out of your loft.

 

The Econoloft team will be only too happy to discuss your plans and ideas, or alternatively, you can make an appointment for us to come round and visit you at home later on.

Unusual buildings you wouldn’t expect to be homes

This week, we’ll be focusing on some truly special homes. Everyone considers their home to be the best – with all of the time and effort you put into it, why wouldn’t you? But not everyone has the privilege of calling a windmill their home. Believe it or not, you can convert pretty much any building into a home, with a little imagination and some help from the experts. So let’s take a closer look at some unusual buildings you wouldn’t expect to be made into homes – you may be surprised.

 

Water pumping station

Found in west Yorkshire, this former water pumping station is now a stunning contemporary home, complete with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two reception rooms. While the interior has been totally modernised and refreshed, the building’s exterior is a true reflection that this was not always a home. And as homedit.com rightly points out, the countryside views are amazing.

 

Windmill

This Grade II – listed converted windmill can be found in Brighton. It was built back in 1885 and served as a lookout post during WWII. During the conversion process, the ladders were replaced by spiral staircases, with the ground floor featuring a bespoke kitchen, and the upper floors housing four bedrooms. And according to homesandproperty.co.uk, it could be yours for a cool £1 million.

 

Brewery

The Abbey Brewery in Wiltshire has been a four bedroomed home since its conversion in the 1980s. It hasn’t lost some of the more recognisable period features however, such as the exposed beams and vaulted ceilings. And what a cool place to call your home! We’re definitely jealous of the current owners. This brewery turned home features on a list of unusual buildings up for sale by the telegraph.co.uk. You can own this home for £565,000.

Do you live in an unusual building?

Here at Econoloft, loft conversions are our area of expertise. With more than 40 years’ industry experience, we’re the ideal choice to complete your loft conversion job.

We understand how important it is to put your own stamp on your home, which is why we tailor our designs to meet your specifications.

Take a look at our gallery for design inspiration, and check out our impressive client testimonials.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

Quick and easy spring cleaning tips

We’re willing to bet that you sometimes look at your house and wish there was a cleaning fairy – be honest! It’s easy for clutter to mount up, especially during the winter when all you really want to do is curl up under your duvet with a mug of hot chocolate. But now that it’s nearly spring, the time has come to clear out that clutter once and for all – or at least until next winter. Cleaning doesn’t have to take long – just follow our quick and easy spring cleaning tips and your house will be spick and span in no time.

 

Organise your shelves

If you’re anything like us, you’ll be itching to reorganise your shelves, particularly if you use them to store books or DVDs. It may sound like an arduous job, but tackling your shelves will give you a sense of satisfaction – plus it’ll be much easier to locate something. Housebeautiful.com recommends organising books by size and subject but if you’d rather sort them alphabetically, we totally understand.

 

Double up

While it makes sense to tackle one room at a time, styleathome.com suggests tackling two things at once to save time. For instance, you could be making your bed and ironing your clothes while another load is in the washing machine.

 

Clean as you work

Rather than letting your greasy pots mount up as you’re cooking, fill a bowl with hot soapy water and put any dirty dishes in there immediately. That way, the pots and pans can soak while you’re tea is in the oven, making washing up less of a daunting task afterwards. Womansday.com also suggests wiping up any spillages straightaway with a damp cloth to protect your surfaces.

 

Wash your windows

You’re forgiven for not wanting to wash your windows in the winter, but once spring is here, there’s really no excuse. So get a bucket of warm soapy water and a squeegee and scrub off all of that winter grime. Marthastewart.com recommends washing large windows in a “snake” motion, before touching up the sides – that way, there’ll be fewer streaks.

 

Which chore do you plan on tackling first this spring?

Here at Econoloft, we have over 40 years’ experience in the loft conversion industry. As such, we’re something of an expert when it comes to home improvements.

Check out our gallery for design inspiration and be sure to have a read of our client testimonials – they detail exactly why we’re the best firm to complete your loft conversion job for you.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

Add some colour to your home this spring

During the winter, everything seems dull and drab – even the clothes we wear are darker. That’s why we’re so excited that spring is nearly upon us. It’ll give us all a chance to inject some colour back into our lives. Using brighter colours in your home will boost your mood and get your home looking fabulous for spring. So let’s take a look at the colours you should be using this spring.

Pastel tones
This spring, it’s all about the candy coloured pastel shades – at least according to elledecor.com. We love the interplay of pink, green and yellow in this rug, offset by the muted sand coloured walls. The lavender sprigs and pale pink vases atop the mantelpiece complete the look, to give a soft, welcoming feel.

 

Rainbow hues
Check out this rainbow coloured room from houseandhome.com. Don’t you think it’s just perfect for a kids’ bedroom? Each block of colour is broken up by a solid white stripe, giving the room a bright and breezy feel. We love the bright blue curtains and sunshine yellow bed linen too – you couldn’t fail to be happy if this was your bedroom.

 

Shades of green
It’s no secret that green is a popular colour for spring. Not only does it signify new life, growth, and vitality, it’s also very calming. So why not recreate this multi-tonal green look from bhg.com in your home? The mint green of the wall adds a fresh vibe, while the pretty patterned lampshade and the curtains bring some warmth to the mix. And you can’t go wrong with a few springtime flowers either.

What’s your favourite springtime colour?

Here at Econoloft, we’re not just about interior design – although if you’re in need of inspiration, be sure to check out our gallery of previous work, as well as our client testimonials.

Our 40 years’ experience in the loft conversion industry makes us something of an expert when it comes to understanding the ins and outs of conversions, as well as what our valued clients want.

We offer a tailored service, which means that everything we do is in line with your specifications, so get those creative thinking caps on.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

Springtime florals for your home

It’s nearly spring – hurray! That means that we’ll soon be seeing lovely flowers blooming everywhere, the weather will get warmer, and winter will finally be over. Flowers go hand in hand with spring, which is why we’ve chosen to focus on them for today’s blog post. Let’s take a look at how you can introduce springtime florals into your home.

Pick flowers from your garden
It’s no problem if you can’t afford to keep buying fresh flowers – head out to your garden and pick some instead. Simply arrange them in old jam jars, like in this image from housetohome.co.uk, to make the perfect springtime table centrepiece. You can even coordinate your tableware to match, using shades of yellow and green.

 

Floral cushions
These pretty petal patterned cushions, seen on marthastewart.com, add a touch of femininity to any living room. We love the cornflower blue and olive green combination – it works really well against a neutral backdrop. The only issue we can see with these cushion is that they’re far too pretty to sit against – but we can live with that.

 

Floral headboard
Add some extra cheer to your bedroom with a ditsy floral printed headboard. We found this pretty bed on countryliving.com. Keep the rest of your bed linen neutral – we love the soft pastel shades in this image – they really complement the colours of the headboard. And to add some intrigue, mix and match your prints, like with the striped chair cushion and polka dot wallpaper. It makes for an eclectic, whimsical room.

 

Hang flowers on the wall
Of course, you can always incorporate floral designs into your wall hangings too, like in this picture we found on bhg.com. You can make this decoupage artwork yourself at home – simply print out some outlines of flowers or cut out images from magazines and arrange them onto a sheet of ivory coloured card. All you have to do then is frame your work and proudly display it for all to see.

What’s your favourite flower? How do you plan to introduce it into your home this spring?

Here at Econoloft, we have over 40 years’ experience in the loft conversion industry. But we’re not all construction work – we love to make a real difference to your home, and enjoy transforming it into the home of your dreams.

Just ask our previous clients – they’ll tell you exactly why we’re the best firm for the job. And if you’re in need of some more design inspiration, check out our gallery.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

Put a little spring into your home today

You may not think it, judging by the horrendous weather we’ve had recently, but spring is just around the corner. Soon the grey, dreary days will be replaced by sunshine and blue skies; the leaves will start to grow back on the trees, and you’ll probably find your mood start to improve too. So how can you reflect the outdoor change in your home? Well read on, because today we’ve got some great spring home ideas to share with you.

Leaf patterned wallpaper
Bring a little bit of outside into your home with this natural-looking leaf patterned wallpaper, seen on housetohome.co.uk. Teamed with white washed furniture, this room looks clean, bright and fresh – everything you’d expect from spring really.

 

Grass candles
We saw these grass candles on marthastewart.com and we think they’re perfect for bringing a little calm into your home. You don’t have to choose scented candles – the design can be enough to add tranquillity to a room. However, if you’re looking for the perfect spring scent, we recommend choosing a fresh smell such as clean linen, grass, or sea breeze.

 

Fresh fruit and flowers
Tulips and daffodils are the perfect springtime flower to add a pop of colour and cheeriness to your home. Why not go one step further though, like in this image we found on bhg.com, and fill a vase with bright fruits, before adding in a colour clashing bunch of flowers – this will definitely brighten up even the dullest of days.

 

Bright paint
A splash of paint will add a pop of colour to your home at little cost. We love this bright yellow kitchen, seen on housebeautiful.com. If you are going to paint your walls in a bright shade of paint, keep the rest of the furniture neutral, like in this image. That way, the wall colour will do all of the talking.

How will you add a bit of spring to your home?

As the season changes, you may well be considering a spot of home improvement. Here at Econoloft, our 40 years’ experience in the loft conversion industry makes us the ideal choice.

We can offer you the benefit of our many years’ experience and knowledge – don’t worry though, you’ll get plenty of opportunity to put your personal stamp on it, as we tailor all of our designs to your specification.

Take a look through our gallery for more design inspiration, while our client testimonials detail exactly why we’re the ideal firm to complete the job for you.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

DIY Valentine’s Gifts For The Home

It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow – we can’t wait! Earlier this week, we brought you the best ideas for a romantic night in. Today we’re focusing on gifts. If you find it hard to think of original gifts for your loved one, or you simply fancy a change from the usual flowers and chocolate, then read on, because this post will give you plenty of inspiration. Here are our favourite DIY Valentine’s gifts for the home.

Personalised soap
Sometimes telling someone in person how you feel about them can be difficult, so why not say it with homemade soap instead? We found this great tutorial on sonyanimri.blogspot.co.uk. All you need are some letter-shaped biscuit cutters and some soap. Feel free to write any message you like, though it’s probably wiser to stick to something romantic, as it is Valentine’s Day.

 

Personalised photo frame
We heart this photo frame idea, from realsimple.com. You can personalise it with a message or draw on a design of your choice. Paint a frame with chalkboard paint (preferably red) and then chalk away. We love the idea of framing a black and white photo – chic, classy and elegant, this gift is a true keeper.

 

Memory board
If you’ve been with your Valentine for a few years already, then this memory board idea from bhg.com will make the perfect gift. Take a look through your old photos, and try to find some memorabilia that reminds you of the fun times you’ve shared – it could be concert tickets, a copy of the key to your first flat, an old love letter – anything you can find that will bring a smile to your face. Then simply choose a canvas board in a colour which will match a room in your home, and pin on your memories. Be warned: this present may make your loved one cry, it’s that sweet.

What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever received on Valentine’s Day?

Here at Econoloft, we’re committed to transforming your home for the better. Our 40 years’ experience in the loft conversion industry has given us plenty of experience, but don’t worry, we won’t take over – we tailor all of our designs to suit your specifications.

Take a look at our gallery for design inspiration, while our impressive client testimonials prove just why we’re the best firm for the job.

For more information, or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

Treat your loved one to a night in this Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day on Friday – have you got anything special planned yet? Well if you haven’t, then we’ve got just the ticket. This year, rather than going out and spending a fortune (not that your loved one isn’t worth it of course – some couples have to live to a budget though), why not treat your loved one to a night in. That might not sound like your idea of romance, but you’d be surprised at just how special you can make the day, with a bit of décor here, and some candles there. Read on for some fabulous ideas for a stay-at-home Valentine’s Day this Friday.

Jar of hearts
Don’t panic, we’re not about to serenade you. We found this pretty Valentine’s Day décor idea on digsdigs.com. This person seems to have thought of everything – there’s the iconic red and pink colour theme, heart garlands and a heart shaped wreath, red candles and matching flowers, and our personal favourite – jars of heart shaped sweets. How could your loved one fail to smile at this?

 

Fill a vase with flowers
There’s nothing technically wrong with a dozen red roses – after all, they’re the most bought flowers on Valentine’s Day. But how about this year, you buy something a little better-thought out? We absolutely love these parrot tulips, seen on housebeautiful.com. They are the ideal flowers to arrange in a pitcher-style vase. You don’t have to choose white – some of the most beautiful flowers we’ve received have been red tulips. So try something different with your flowers this year – you can guarantee she’ll notice (for all the right reasons).

 

Scatter some petals
If you’ve overdone the bunch of flowers gift, here’s a great alternative. We saw this romantic love heart idea on marthastewart.com. We love how it still incorporates flowers but in a thoughtful way. You should arrange the petals somewhere prominent, where your loved one will spot them as soon as they walk into the room – watch their face light up.

 

Set a romantic table
The final step to your romantic night in is to lay the table before your other half arrives home. We love this pretty vintage style table decoration, seen on Pinterest.com. Choose soft pink coloured china in a whimsical pattern, and place paper love heart shaped napkins on top. Decorate the table with coordinating flowers, and scatter some confetti around. Finally, if you want to continue the pink theme further, choose only pink food and pink coloured drinks. It’s as simple as that.

How are you planning to make Valentine’s Day extra special this year?

Here at Econoloft, we love to bring you inspirational ideas and tips for decorating your home. Having been in the loft conversion industry for more than 40 years, we like to think we’re experienced enough to give you the best advice when it comes to home improvements.

Take a look at our gallery for more design inspiration, and check out our impressive client testimonials, which detail exactly why we’re the best firm for the job.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.