Tag Archives: Tips

The best in new technology for the home

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In an age where technology is fast-paced and continually updated, it makes sense that sooner or later, we are all going to invest in nifty gadgetry for the home. After all, smartphones and tablets have made our lives easier on a daily basis and given us unlimited access to the rest of the world. It may not come as such a surprise therefore that homes up and down the country will soon be stocked with these new forms of technology.

Let’s take a look at some of the cool ideas out there. Here is the best in new technology for the home.

 

The IQ Alarm Clock
We found this cool alarm clock on awesomeinspiration.net. It will mean the end of bleary-eyed get ups as you’ll have to answer questions correctly before it turns off. Who said you weren’t a morning person?

 

Smart Bathroom Mirror


If you head to home-designing.com, you’ll come across this magic mirror, created to give you information relating to the weather outside, as well as help you to decide which tie will match with your suit – morning wardrobe dilemmas will be a thing of the past.

 

E-Shopping Lists
Are you fed up of trying to decipher your hastily scribbled shopping lists? Or maybe you tend to forget items in the store because you’ve listed them in a haphazard order? If this sounds like you, you’ll need an electronic shopping list organiser like this one seen on houzz.com. Not only does it print out your list, it also lets you put it in a comprehensive order first. There are no more excuses for forgetting the milk.

 

TV/ Bed Combo
Although not strictly a brand new concept, a TV and bed combination unit does have the advantage of saving space, not to mention giving you the ability to relax and unwind in your cosy bed each night. We found this one on channel4.com.

Do you wish you could install technological gadgets in your home? Is space an issue? If so, why not create an extra room by converting your loft.

Take a look at some of our designs in our gallery – they’ll offer plenty of inspiration. While you’re at it, see what our clients have to say about us.

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.

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05.09.2013 No Comments

Quirky Home Storage Ideas

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Last week we brought you some handy storage ideas for you to implement in your home. Well today we’re taking a look at some of the quirkier ways in which you can tidy up your home. After all, a home is yours to put your own stamp on. You can use these ideas to show off your individual style and kooky personality and double up on easy storage at the same time – it’s a win-win situation. Here are our favourite quirky home storage ideas.

1. Dolls house bookcase
Transform your little girl’s bedroom into a fairy-tale like paradise by turning the bookcase into a dolls house.

This nifty idea from housetohome.co.uk will earn you serious brownie points with your little princess. Making the doll’s house is really simple too – all it takes is a couple of pieces of wood to make a roof and then a chimney on top. Decorate it with pretty wallpaper to add the perfect finishing touch.

 

 

2. Tree bough and branch coat hangers
Rock-a-bye baby on the treetop – well, maybe not, but sheknows.com recommends that cut off bits of tree boughs and branches make ideal coat hangers.

Fix your bits of tree to the wall in your hallway for the perfect coat hangers. You could even have them at varying heights on the wall so your little ones can reach too. What’s more, it will double up as a decorative wall feature.

 

 

3. Tea tins as fridge magnet storage
Do you always misplace your shopping list? What about the hassle you go through trying to find a pen to write it with? Not anymore.

We found this charming storage idea on everyday-lovely.blogspot.co.uk. Get your hands on some brightly coloured vintage tea tins and use them as fridge magnets and pen storage. You’ll never misplace that shopping list again.

What is your favourite quirky storage idea for your home?

Did you know that by converting your loft, you’ll acquire an extra room ideal for storage purposes? A loft conversion will help you to tidy away all of your floor-strewn items for good.

Take a look at our gallery for plenty of design inspiration. Our client testimonials are worth a read too; they’ll tell you 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.

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15.08.2013 No Comments

Q is for… Questions

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Well time is indeed flying by – we’re now up to letter ‘q’ of our A to Z blog. If you’re planning to convert your loft, there are a few points to consider, so before you begin, ask yourself the following questions. Making sure that you have considered everything before the work begins will ensure that the whole process will run like clockwork, and you’re less likely to encounter any mishaps along the way. So today, Q is for questions.

Costs
Getting a quote on the overall cost of the work is a good place to start, but you should also factor in any other costs that you will incur as a result of converting your loft. For example, building costs, architect’s fees, interior designer costs, and decorating and furniture purchases should all be considered before any work begins. The last thing you need is to get halfway through the job and to find that all of your budgeted money has been spent.

What will you use the space for?
While many homeowners favour a master bedroom loft conversion, you may also like to consider whether it is worth installing an en-suite bathroom too. Enquire about any extra costs associated to make sure you have enough in your budget. You should also consider whether you have the space required for a bathroom too, and how it will impact the size of the bedroom. What’s more, you’ll need to seriously think about how you are going to heat the water – using your central heating system or installing a power shower.

Of course, there are no fixed rules about what you must use the space for – you could just as easily turn your loft into a dining room, a kitchen, a second living room, a guest room, a kids’ playroom, a games room or even a home cinema – there are endless possibilities, and as we tailor all of our designs to your specifications, you really are in charge of the process.

How will you make the most of the space?
In addition to working out what to use the space for, you’ll need to bear in mind where you will put the furniture items once the work is complete. You can make the most of any low ceiling space by using it for storage. If you’re going to convert your loft into a bedroom and you have a sloping roof, remember to allocate enough headroom for when you sit up in bed. You may prefer to purchase a lower height bed to compensate for this.

Consider where to put electrical points
Although it is only a small matter, you may find that it is inconvenient to have plug sockets at the opposite end of the room to your bed. After all, this may mean that you have to get out of bed to turn off your alarm or to turn on your ‘bedside’ lamp. Save yourself time and money by putting serious consideration into the finished project before the work begins.

Soundproofing
You may wish to install an extra layer on insulation in the flooring of your new room to prevent any rooms below from suffering from the noise – especially useful if your loft is going to be a games room or home cinema. Of course you may also wish to soundproof the room to stop noise from the rest of the house disturbing the peace – useful if it is going to be a guest room.

Lighting
As well as interior lights, you should consider installing windows to let in as much natural light as possible. Again, if your loft is to be a bedroom, it may be wiser not to place your bed directly under a window. You can increase the light potential in your new loft by painting it a bright, clean white. This will also make it seem bigger in proportion.

Insulation and ventilation
Good quality insulation is imperative in a loft – make sure you check the building regulations and ask an expert for advice on what insulation method would be best. If you are installing a bathroom, be wary of ventilation. Your bathroom should have a least one open able window or good quality ventilation system to ensure that all of the moisture and steam is removed quickly.

Once you’ve considered all of the above points, it’s time to get in touch with the experts.

Take a look at our gallery of previous work to give you deign inspiration for your new room. Our client testimonials detail why we are the best company to use 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.

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12.08.2013 No Comments

Super Home Storage Solutions

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Do you ever take a look around your home and wonder how on earth it got to be so cluttered? With day-to-day life passing by so quickly, it is easy to neglect to tidy everything away all of the time, in favour of all of the other chores we get caught up in. So today, we thought we would help you put an end to your messy home woes – here are three super storage solutions to help you find a home for some of that clutter.

 

1. Dining Room Storage
You may not have a separate dining room – many homes come with a huge living room which can then be used as part living, part dining room. Now as you spend a lot of time relaxing in these rooms, clutter can build up all too easily. Here’s how to sort it.

Make your storage into a presentation feature like in this image from housetohome.co.uk. Choosing a bright colour to add accents will really complement a neutral wall colour scheme. You can alternate between displaying books and ornamental decorations to fool guests into thinking that your storage unit is for decorative reasons.

 

2. Hallway Storage
The hall is the first thing guests will notice when they come to your home, and first impressions count. Rather than having a myriad of shoes, handbags and coats strewn across the floor, store it tidily – it’ll give you lots more space too.

Hallways tend to err on the narrow side, so make good use of your wall space instead by installing wall hung shelving units with hooks attached for any coats, umbrellas or dog leads. We love the simplicity of this storage solution from lovehome.co.uk – the natural wood gives it a rustic, homely feel.

 

3. Kids’ Bedroom Storage
If you’ve got small children then you will know just how fast their bedrooms become messy. Whether they insist on emptying their entire toy box every day, or leave crayons and small plastic figures all over the floor, it’s safe to say that tidying a kid’s room can be time-consuming.

Steal this nifty idea from channel4.com and affix shelving cubby holes to the walls. You can also get your hands on a child’s bed with in-built storage space underneath, allowing your child more floor space to play on. Keep everything brightly coloured and fun to make it more appealing to your children.

Of course, another room that works well for storing items is the loft. Maximise your loft potential by converting it into another room. That way, you’ll have more space for storage.

Take a look at our gallery for more loft design inspiration and have a read of our client testimonials – they will tell you 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.

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08.08.2013 No Comments

P is for… Plumbing

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Can you believe we’re well over half-way now with our A to Z series? Today we’re up to the letter ‘p’ and we thought it would give us a great opportunity to help you avoid and plumbing problems in your newly converted loft. You don’t have to be installing a bathroom for these issues to be relevant. So read on for our plumbing advice.

 

What are you using the space for?
Consider carefully what exactly you will be using the space for as this will determine which plumbing issues you should pay attention to. Bedrooms, home offices and children’s playrooms will require heating. Whether you choose to extend your central heating system or find another means of heating your loft is up to you.

That said, the majority of homeowners would love nothing more than an extra bathroom. Think how much faster it would make the morning routine. Plus you’d be able to luxuriate at the end of the day without having to worry about someone else needing the bathroom in the meantime. That doesn’t mean that the entire loft converted space should be used as an extra bathroom however, as you can always fit one in as an en-suite to a new bathroom. Of course, a bathroom does make plumbing more of an issue as you’ll also have to consider the water supply and the relevant pipework.

Making plans for en-suite bathroom plumbing
Your first consideration when planning your en-suite bathroom layout should be the position of the stairs with respect to the bathroom. There are regulations with regards to headroom and space required for stairs, but bathrooms should also be as close as possible to your waste pipe, usually at the back of your property.

A bathroom pipe that feeds into the main waste pipe is only permitted to be as much as two metres in length. The best place to install the bathroom is directly above the existing family bathroom, as the plumbing work will be much easier.

Remember that a bathroom requires ventilation – you can provide this by installing a small dormer window to the side of your home that the en-suite bathroom is installed.

Plumbing
– With an extra bathroom, you may be concerned about the amount of hot water available. With a power shower, you’ll have access to a limitless supply of hot water on demand, as it will heat water from the cold mains supply electronically.
– If you cannot for some reason install a window in your loft bathroom, an electric extractor fan can be used to remove the steam.
– Unfortunately walk-in showers are not possible in lofts as they require a concrete floor. Instead, you’ll have to install a shower tray.

If you are considering converting your loft, you’ll need to choose a firm that you can rely on. With 40 years’ experience in the industry, you can trust Econoloft to create the home of your dreams.

Check out our client testimonials for proof of why we’re the best company to convert your loft. Our gallery of previous work will give you plenty of design inspiration.

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.

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05.08.2013 No Comments

Top 3 decorating secrets from interior designers

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Have you ever wondered how some people’s homes are just so beautiful? The reason for that could be one of two things: they’ve hired a professional interior decorator or they have a natural creative flair.

They say that you should never spill a secret but some secrets are just too good to keep to yourself.

Today we’re revealing top decorating secrets from the experts. Feel free to use these decorating tips in your own home and see what a difference they make.

 

More is more!
Don’t be fooled into thinking that a smaller room requires small furniture – instead, housebeautiful.com recommends investing in a bigger bed with a tall headboard for your small bedroom and your room will suddenly seem much bigger.

 

Let there be light
If you’re looking for a fast, cost effective way to transform a room, hgtv.com suggests that you simply invest in good quality lighting. Your room will instantly feel brighter and bigger.

 

“Ceilings must always be considered. They are the most neglected space in a room.” – Albert Hadley
Looking for a way to instantly add warmth to the room? Albert Hadley reveals his secret on freshome.com – consider the ceiling! The gold painted ceiling in this room reflects the natural light coming in from the window, adding depth and warmth to the room at the same time. What’s more, it’s a lot more fun than a standard white ceiling.

Now we’ve let you into these top decorating secrets, here is another not so secret piece of advice – if you’re looking for a way to get some use of out your loft, consider using Econoloft to convert it for you.

We tailor our designs to suit your specifications. Want a cinema room? Need a playroom for the kids? Or perhaps you’d love a brand new master bedroom? Let Econoloft lend a helping hand. Check out our gallery of previous work to give you plenty of design inspiration.

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.

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11.07.2013 No Comments

J is for… joists

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Every week we bring you the latest instalment of our A to Z of loft conversions, in which the technical elements become easier to understand. Today we’re on to letter ‘j’ and we’ll be talking about joists.

For those unfamiliar with the loft conversion process, it is one of the most effective solutions for creating extra space in a house, while adding the most in terms of your home’s monetary value.

But before you can give the go-ahead for a loft conversion, your existing loft will need to be inspected to ensure that it is structurally able to support a conversion. And that’s where the joist theme comes in.

There are two types of structures generally used for roof construction – traditional framed type and truss section type:

Traditional frame type
A common element of houses built pre-1960, the traditional frame consists of rafters and ceiling joists, along with supporting timbers, being cut to size before assembly. Giving the best structural support, this type of roof structure is often deemed the most suitable for loft conversions. By strengthening the rafters and adding in more support, it is relatively simple to open up the space and increase the size of the room.

Truss section type
Truss roofs have been used since the 1960s. The advantage of this roof structure is that it is very easy and fast to assemble as the majority of the work can be done in a day. There are of course a few setbacks – namely, the thinner, cheaper timbers used are not given any loadbearing structures underneath which means that it requires a lot more work to open up the space to be used as a room. If your house has this roof structure and you wish to convert the loft, it will be necessary to insert steel beams between the loadbearing walls. The new floor joists will then hand on to the beams to add further structural input. While it is possible to do this task before converting the loft in question, it is usual practice for it to cost more under this circumstance.

Do I need new joists?
Often, the existing ceiling joists will not be enough to support a conversion floor, which means that additional new joists will need to be installed in order to comply with Building regulations. A structural engineer will be able to specify the size and grade of the new joists to ensure that your home will be able to hold a conversion floor.

The new joists will be fitted between the loadbearing walls, alongside the existing joists. Where there is a window or door opening, thicker timbers will be used to reduce too much pressure being exerted on the opening lintel.

Once the work on the joists has been completed, the construction team will then be able to get on with the loft insulation (covered in last week’s post) and before you know it, your newly converted loft will be complete.

Here at Econoloft, we’ve been in the industry for over 40 years, making us something of an authority on the loft conversion process.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our gallery of previous client work.

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.

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24.06.2013 No Comments

How to make your home sellable (part two)

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In our last post we talked about small home improvements that you can make before you put your house on the market.

After all, your house may be lovely but that doesn’t necessarily make it sellable. In order to impress viewers and persuade them to part with their cash, you need to make your home in to somewhere they can visualise living.

So here’s part two of how to make your home sellable.

 

1. Pay attention to the outside of your house
It’s vital that you make a good impression on house viewers, but if the first thing they notice about your house is that the windows haven’t been washed in a while, the garden is messy and the paintwork on the door is peeling, it’s unlikely to impress them.

Give your house so-called “kerb-appeal”. Housetohome.co.uk recommends trimming the hedges, repainting the front door and hiding the rubbish. When it comes to selling a property, it’s the little details that can make the difference between a buyer offering a good price or not putting in an offer at all.

 

2. Become a domestic god(dess)
It may sound obvious but it’s really important to give your house a thorough clean before the viewers turn up. That means vacuuming the carpets, dusting every surface until it shines, and cleaning the kitchen and the bathroom until they sparkle.

This Pinterest.com user knows the importance of having a kitchen that sparkles. Imagine how you would feel walking around a house where you could see dust or sticky crumbs on the kitchen countertops – whilst it would look lived in, it probably wouldn’t make you want to buy it.

 

3. Make it look attractive
Convince the people viewing the house that it is the best looking property they have seen with a few added touches. Fill a fruit bowl with fresh fruit and make it into a table centrepiece and fill vases with bright, bold blooms to add pops of vibrant colour.

Take inspiration from channel4.com and dress your table with this attractive coloured glass tableware set. The contrasting blue and yellow tones work well to produce a sunny, welcoming mood.

Studies have shown that by converting your loft, you could add nearly a quarter to the overall value of your house, which is no small sum.

Here at Econoloft, we have 40 years of industry experience under our belts, and the many positive client testimonials prove how happy our clients are with the work we’ve done for them.

We know that everyone’s tastes differ which is why we tailor each of our designs to match your specifications.

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

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04.04.2013 No Comments

How to make your home sellable (part one)

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This month is all about home improvement here at Econoloft. With the London Evening Standard reporting that house prices in London soared by 0.7% month-on-month and the announcement of the multibillion-pound scheme Help to Buy, in last week’s Budget, it’s looking promising that house prices around the UK are increasing.

Whilst this is great news for those looking to sell, it doesn’t give you an excuse to slack when it comes to getting your home ready for house viewings. Before you put your property on the market, there are several things you can do to help your home stand out from the rest.

With that in mind, we’re taking a look at how to make your home sellable.

 

1. Give your house a spring clean
Tidy away all of your usual clutter and make your home into a beautiful blank canvas so those viewing it will be able to imagine their own belongings there.

We love this nifty storage idea seen on Pinterest.com. By hiding away all of your clutter under the stairs, your house will look far less messy and the viewers will be none the wiser. So don’t put off potential buyers; give your home a ruthless spring clean this month.

 

2. Lick of paint
You may not realise but simply by giving tired looking surfaces a fresh lick of paint will instantly brighten the room and leave it looking fresher than ever.

Channel4.com offers a wealth of advice for those looking to sell their home, but this one stood out to us. A couple of coats of paint can transform a room fast and increase your home’s selling potential – what’s more, it’s cheaper than redecorating completely.

 

3. Finish the D.I.Y.
You know the jobs we mean; the niggly little ones that have perhaps needed to be done for some time now. So get out your tools and fix the leaking tap in the bathroom.

As usual, we have some helpful advice from housetohome.co.uk. It’s really important to fix those jobs you’ve been putting off for ages before you invite people to view your home. Botched or incomplete D.I.Y. jobs are off-putting to potential buyers as they will think it will cost a lot of money to put things right. So completing the job may help you to sell your house faster.

Here at Econoloft, we love to help you make the most of your home. But did you know that by converting your loft you could add considerable value to your property?

Take a look at some of the previous work we’ve done for our clients and see how highly they recommend us.

For more information about converting your loft 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.

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02.04.2013 No Comments

Grown-up bedrooms for your older teenager

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In our last post we wrote about how young teens require a bedroom that makes them look cool to their peers; a sanctuary safe-haven place to go to when they’re stressed. But what happens when they get a bit older?

A few years can make a lot of difference to your teenager’s attitudes and outlook on life. As they get older, they’re more comfortable in their own skin so there’s less of a need for the cool factor. Now they need a bedroom suitable for the adult they’re fast becoming.

So today, we’re taking a look at grown-up bedrooms for your older teenager.

1. Go bright

Make the room a vibrant and happy place for your older teen to be, but introduce adult accents to highlight the fact that they’re growing up.

We love this room from hgtv.com. The bright colours keep it looking fresh and energetic while accents such as the chandelier, posh headboard and artwork adorning the walls add grown-up glamour.

2. Make it into a mini apartment
It’s only natural for your older teen to invite mates over and there will come a time when boyfriends / girlfriends are on the scene. Turn their bedroom in to a multipurpose bedroom / living area so they have space to entertain guests.

This room screams grown-up. The seating area is perfect for entertaining mates – you could even buy a sofa bed for when people stay over. The filmy curtains separate bed from living space, while the cushions pick up on the décor and tie the room together.

3. Plenty of storage
As your teen gets older, they will acquire more and more stuff. That means they need somewhere to put it all that isn’t the floor so make sure you invest in plenty of storage to at least give them the option to not leave their clothes strewn everywhere.

Freshome.com has the right idea about teen bedrooms. This room has storage space underneath the bed, above the bed, and next to the wardrobe. What’s more, there is a double wardrobe so there’s no excuse for clothes on the floor.

Why not consider transforming your unused loft in to a bedroom for your older teen. Encourage them to add a touch of their own personal flair to make it homely for them. That way they’ll have their own personal space; let’s face it, they’re practically grown-up now, so they need it.

Here at Econoloft we’ve been converting lofts for 40 years so we’re experts in the industry. Take a look at our client testimonials to see how much a loft conversion can transform your home.

It may even add considerable value to your property – see how we tailor our conversions to the client specifications.

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.

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28.03.2013 No Comments