Interior Design Trends for Summer 2017

In case you hadn’t noticed, the summertime is finally here. Just a couple of weeks ago, most of the country basked in soaring temperatures and sunshine – only for that to be pretty rapidly replaced by the more familiar grey skies and driving rain we’re so used to in Britain. Continue reading

Costing and planning your loft conversion: essential tips

If you’re looking to add more space and value to your home, then a loft conversion is the ideal solution to your needs. Not only do loft conversions make homes that bit more spacious – ideal if you’ve got a young family – but as they make such a great selling point, they’ll also add more value than any other home improvement. But before you press ahead with your loft conversion, you need to make sure it’s properly planned and costed. Here are some key areas to think about.

How much does a loft conversion cost?

The exact cost of your loft conversion will depend on the layout of your property, the size of the loft space and the type of loft conversion you’re choosing to have carried out. You can expect your loft conversion to cost you in excess of £20,000 and perhaps as much as £50,000. This might well sound like a lot of money – and it is – but it’s important to remember that you are highly likely to recoup this investment and more when you consider the value it adds to your house.

Getting light into your loft conversion with sky lights

Working out whether it’s worth it

Given the amount of money your loft conversion will cost you, it is of course very important to think carefully about whether it’s a worthwhile investment. It’s worth looking at the value of other homes in your area which have converted loft spaces in order to find out whether you’re likely to recoup the money you’ve put into the work. Of course, if you want to have your loft converted purely for the additional space it gives you at home, then the value it adds to your home is a less important consideration. However, the Nationwide study referred to earlier found that on average, loft conversions add more than a fifth to house prices.

What about regulations?

One good thing about loft conversion work is that it generally doesn’t require planning permission, as in most cases this work is classed as permitted development. It is worth asking a loft conversion specialist whether this is definitely true in your particular case, though. Your chosen loft conversion firm will give you a clear idea of what you will and won’t be able to do.

You should also be aware that your converted loft must comply with the relevant building regulations – this is a separate matter from planning permission. These include accessibility (including easy escape in the event of fire), electrical safety and insulation. Your loft conversion firm will guide you through this process, so that the project complies with the appropriate regulations right from the outset and you’re thereby spared any unnecessary hassle further along the line.

Converting your loft to storage space

If you’ve got a young family or you’ve just been living in the same home for a few years, then you’ve probably noticed how easily all sorts of junk can pile up. Finding space for it only gets harder and harder over time – even if you have periodic clear-outs, you tend to find that the big pile of bits and pieces never seems to get any smaller. If that’s the case, then perhaps you need to think about creating more space. But how?

More and more homeowners are looking up for a solution to their storage problems – by converting their loft to storage space. This is different to having a full loft conversion, so you’ll need to take different considerations into account. Here are some key points to bear in mind.

What does the work involve?

You might be under the impression that it’s basically a matter of going into your loft, putting a few floorboards down, putting your stuff up there and then forgetting about it. Unfortunately, using your loft space for storage isn’t quite as simple as this. You’ll need to ensure that your loft is fitted out properly for the purpose, because a normal loft can’t really be used to store belongings as it is.

Unconverted loft spaces are often prone to damp and condensation. The first step you need to take, therefore, is to insulate your loft so that anything you store up there doesn’t end up mouldy or damp. The insulation will need to be attached to stud walls and loft boards. You’ll also need to think about ventilation – vents may need to be installed depending on the pitch of the roof. If you change the way you use your loft space without making adequate provision for ventilation, the timbers could start to rot.

If you’re using your loft purely for storage space then decoration costs will be minimal if there are any at all. You won’t need to bother plastering and painting the walls or anything like that – that’s the sort of stuff you’ll need to sort out if you’re undertaking a full loft conversion.

What about the cost?

Converting a loft into storage space is a lot cheaper than carrying out a full loft conversion. However, the flip side of this is that having loft storage space won’t add much in the way of value to your home, whereas a full loft conversion could add tens of thousands. If you’re planning on moving house in the not-too-distant future or you simply need the extra living space, it is well worth considering having a loft conversion carried out – over the long run it should effectively pay for itself, and more.

Getting your home ready for sale

Selling up and moving on to a new home is never entirely plain sailing. For a start, there’s the prospect of leaving the place you’ve made home for however many years you’ve been there, and this can be a bit of a wrench. There’s also the task of finding a new home that has everything you need – sufficient space, the right location and so on. And then there’s the not-insignificant issue of actually finding a buyer for your home and getting the most you can for it.

But before you start the process of selling your home, there’s work that needs to be done. By ensuring that your property looks its very best, you can add thousands of pounds to its value as well as ensuring that it sells quicker. Here are some of the essential tasks you should carry out before attempting to sell your home.

  • Sort out minor repairs. Wear and tear is inevitable over the years, but the more of it there is, the less attractive a proposition your home is likely to seem to would-be buyers. Put together a checklist of minor repairs that need carrying out – go round your home checking for any issues that need to be sorted out, from loose door handles to cracked tiles, and take care of them.
  • Clear away that clutter. The chances are you’ve acquired loads of junk that you don’t really need. It’s a good idea to get rid of this before you start showing prospective buyers around your home, because it makes home storage ideaeverywhere look that bit more cramped as well as untidy. If you’ve got a load of bits and pieces you don’t intend to take with you to your new home, there seems little point in waiting to throw them away.
  • Consider redecorating. If you’ve not added a fresh lick of paint for a few years, then maybe you need to consider doing so before you start trying to sell your home. It’s also better to keep your home’s décor relatively neutral – nothing over-the-top, otherwise that might deter potential buyers. Of course, if they want to go wild then they can do that once they’ve bought the property themselves.
  • Add extra space where possible. The more space you have at home, the more attractive it’s likely to be to prospective buyers. Garage and loft conversions, for example, are widely sought after by house hunters. Research indicates that a loft conversion could add as much as an additional 20 per cent to the value of your home, so you should recoup the costs of the work and plenty more besides.
  • Make sure the exterior looks its best. When you’re hoping to sell your home, you need to remember that the first thing any potential buyers will see is its exterior and surroundings. So it’s up to you to make sure that they look as good as possible. Make sure the lawn is nicely trimmed, the weeds cleared away, peeling paint removed and so on. You’d be surprised at what a difference these fairly modest odd jobs can make.

With property prices hitting new heights in many areas, now is certainly a good time to sell. But if you want to take full advantage of this boom in property prices while it lasts, then carrying out these tasks should help to make your home attract a lot more interest.

Amazing ideas to inspire your loft conversion

Need more space around the home without having to move house? Want to add value? Or does it just feel like the time’s right for a big home improvement project? A loft conversion could be the perfect choice for you. Whatever you choose to do with it, a converted loft space could be just the ticket for revitalising your home.

But before you roll your sleeves up and get stuck in, you need to think carefully about what you want to do with your loft conversion. Having a clear idea of what you’re looking for in advance can help you get the best end results. Here are a few design ideas you might want to consider before you start work on converting your loft.

  • Turn your loft into a handy office or study space. Finding the opportunity to work or study in peace can be difficult when you’ve got a house full of people to contend with. A converted loft, situated above the melee, could be ideal if you’re looking for somewhere to escape to. The calmer and quieter surroundings should help you be more productive and, hopefully, less stressed out.
  • How about an open-plan loft bedroom? By taking a minimalist approach to your loft conversion, you could make it look spacious as well as sophisticated. Think sleek, simple modern furniture and whitewashed walls, along with bare floorboards. This way, you can make even small loft spaces look positively spacious.
  • A rustic spare bedroom could add a touch of class and charm. Wooden beams are always a reliably charismatic feature, especially in a converted loft space. Complement them with stripped-back wooden furniture and muted décor for added allure. The end product should be a timeless and cosy converted loft.
  • Alternatively, you could turn your loft into a fun playroom for the children. Any kid would love to have their very own playroom to lark around in, so why not give your children the playroom of their dreams in your converted loft? Your best bet would be to keep the playroom nice and bright – so you could have a skylight to let in natural light as well as a bold colour scheme.
  • Perhaps you could turn your converted loft into a cool, charismatic and modern dining room. Why cram yourselves in downstairs when you can dine in style by turning your loft into a spacious dining area? If you’re going for that rural rustic vibe, wooden dining furniture could be ideal for rounding off the whole look.

Of course, there are lots of other factors you need to consider before starting work on a loft conversion. You should think about how you’re going to take advantage of natural light, how you’re going to accommodate a flight of stairs, how you’re going to retain privacy, and so on. But these design ideas are just a few suggestions to help you get started. Good luck!

18.03.2016 No Comments