Andrew S. W.

I enjoy spending time of the Internet reading about my hobbies and my passions. And one day I realized I could start a blog of my own, where I could write about the things I like. Home improvement is one topic I never get tired of, so most articles I publish here are on this niche. I hope you like what I write, but if not, drop me a line or two so I can improve my skills. Cheers!

Richmond Loft Conversions – Where should a homeowner start?

Perhaps the most practical way to add livable space and boost the value of your property is by converting your empty attic into a useable room. It could turn out to be a gym, entertainment room for teens, home office or another bedroom. However, most homeowners are not sure how to start their Richmond loft conversion and what are the factors they need to consider.

Reasons to Convert Your Loft

Converting your loft can add a considerable amount of cash, at most 20% to the value of your property. Majority of homeowners decide on converting their loft area to create more livable space without going through the high costs and stressful procedure of transferring to another home. The work involved in loft conversion is not as disruptive as a major expansion of an existing space. Richmond loft conversions

Most helpful tip: be careful to go overboard. If you spend more than expected and expand too much, your Richmond loft conversions may not recover your investment.

Richmond loft conversions to get more useable space?

  1. To begin with, try to assess if your roof space is fit to convert.
  2. While many lofts are suitable for conversion, it would help to consider three main things to make sure. The first and most critical is the loft’s internal height that runs from above the ceiling joist to beneath the ridgeboard located in the apex.
  3. Measure the base of the ridge timber up to the point above the ceiling joist. You will discover that the room can be useful with at least 2.2m in the roof’s useable part but this is a critical number and has to be 2,500mm for it to be suitable for conversion.
  4. The next thing to consider is the roof’s pitch. Generally, it is fine if the pitch is 30 degrees or more.  When the pitch angle is higher, the central head height is likely to be higher as well.
  5. The last thing to take into consideration is the existing loft space’s footprint. As a rule of thumb, the internal walls should have at least a measurement of 5,500 mm from side to side together with chimney and 7,500 mm from front to back. If your measurement reaches the minimum or more, your loft can be converted. Loft converted to bathroom

Who should I hire for a Richmond loft conversion?

Consider the following options:

  • Get the services of a building surveyor or architect/technician. They can prepare the necessary drawings and designs according to your proposal, get the required approvals and help find the best builder that will manage your project.
  • Hire an expert loft conversion company. Such companies provide an all-in-one shop for loft conversions. They have a design department that can create the drawings you need and get the required approvals while their construction department will transform these drawings into reality.
  • Hire the services of an experienced builder. There are builders that are experienced in converting lofts so they can offer packages that are comparable to that of loft conversion companies.
  • Ask recommendations from relatives, friends and neighbors or search on the web for a reputable architect, experienced builder or loft conversion company for your plan. Remember to get 3 quotes and see to it that they visit the site to quote based on exact measurements. To get good quotations for any Richmond loft conversions, you first have to know how to use the space.

Home Improvements That Can Reduce Living Costs

Now is the time to plan on home improvement projects that let you save money while increasing your home’s value. Though you may have some exciting remodeling plans in mind, it would also help to include cost-saving devices such as smart home technologies, energy-efficient appliances and water-conserving landscaping to make you achieve your financial goals for the coming years.

To reduce your utility bills and home service costs as well as invest in your property’s long-term value, consider these eight home improvement projects that are friendly on the pocket.

Increase Home Security

Some homeowners may not be aware of the cash they can save on their home insurance payments when they make simple home improvements like home security system installation. Not only do you make your home safe from fire, break-ins and natural calamities, you considerably decrease your liability and experience peace of mind. Other improvements include installation of storm shutters, reinforcement of roof, installation of heavy-duty downspouts gutters as well as updating fire and carbon monoxide alarms.

Improve Insulation

When drafts, insulating doors, walls and floors are fixed, you can save lots of money on monthly utility bills and make your home more comfortable. A fast and easy solution is to upgrade your door skirts and weather stripping as well as install foam gaskets at the back of light switches and outlets. There are older houses that may benefit a lot from insulating available stud cavities by means of injection foam or other insulation types that can be installed after constructing a home.

Projects like this are usually done during fall but sometimes it cannot wait. These home improvements let you save on heating bill costs during colder months and prevent cool air from leaving your home during spring and summer.

Smart Heating and Cooling

Connected Thermostats allow you to conserve energy by studying your heating and cooling choices then automatically adjusting so that your home remains comfortable at all times. These affordable smart thermostats can be controlled from your smart phone.

They include an auto-scheduling feature that lets users reduce the heating/cooling of their home even if they are sleeping or away from home. Most of them come with a geo-fencing technology, which uses your smart phone to know if you are near your home and await your coming by adjusting the temperature based on your preferences. When you adapt your home’s temperature on a regular basis, these thermostats can reduce energy consumption by as much as 15%.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

An easy way to reduce electricity and water costs is to invest in an energy efficient refrigerator, dryer, washer and dishwater, among others. At first, you may spend on energy-conserving models but they pay for themselves in the long run, making them a long-term investment. If you do not know how to pick the best home appliances, opt for those that are ENERGY STAR certified. They provide handy guidelines so you can compare features depending on your needs.

Avoiding headaches – Tips for Choosing an excellent Twickenham Loft Conversion Company

In case you have decided to go ahead with a loft conversion, you should keep in mind a few points if you don’t like getting into any hidden problems that you may encounter at a later stage. An important thing in this aspect is to decide which Twickenham loft conversion company should be given the job.

There can be many unforeseen problems related to safety and health as also the large amount of financial investment involved. You would surely like to hire someone who is not a fly by night operator who may swindle you of payments made in advance or leave your work incomplete but a trustworthy organization that would deliver an excellent job. Therefore, when you are trying to search for a company, it is important to know which companies have a good reputation. Given below are five tips on how to avoid giving your money into wrong hands and making a good deal with a reliable company.

Twickenham loft conversion company

Physical Address with a Landline Telephone

The first thing is to check if the company has physical office and address with a landline telephone. If they lack these two features, they should be immediately out of the list to be considered. This is important because in case anything goes wrong it is possible to locate the people responsible for it. If the person is hesitant in giving these details, you need to ask why they do not want to share these with you.

Accreditations

 The field of construction companies has various types of third party certification of competency against official standards which certify and recognize skills or ability level of a company.

You should try to look for a Twickenham loft conversion company with accreditation by NIC EIC, which is legally required by a contractor who wants to do electrical works. You should try to ensure that the company you hire can give you evidence of certification by required authority.

The Federation of Master Builders is the largest organization of builders. Therefore, the FMB Associate Member is an impressive accreditation as its members are required to abide by very strict rules to be able to get certified. They go in for client references, job inspections, and proof of financial ability to take up the job. If you select a company which is an FMB associate, it would mean that you get work of a certain standard done by a company that is not only financially strong but also has a good work culture.

No Outsourcing

 Many companies undertaking the job of loft conversion are actually the face of different traders in the market. They employ very few people and usually give sub contract to others to do various parts of the entire job. It does have its disadvantage because you cannot have consistency in quality between one job and another. When the workers who are working at your house are those who have been employed by the principal Twickenham loft conversion company on a full time basis, results are to your satisfaction because you know that they are experienced in the job, having done it so many times over and over again.

Recommendations from Known People

 We should look positively at personal recommendations by friends and family. These are the most neutral of all reviews of a Twickenham loft conversion company or service provider coming from people who are known to you and can be relied upon. You can ask them any number of questions related to the service and if it happens to be someone from the neighborhood, you have the choice of seeing the final result yourself to verify the claims.

No Payment in Advance

 Refrain from making large payment as advance before starting of work unless the company is known to your relative or friend. These days many builders come up with suggestions that they require a minimum payment to be made upfront to be able to start work on your project. A company which is financially stable should not have a problem in carrying out an order without an advance payment if the client is going to follow a structured payment schedule.

The Basics of Garage Conversion

People seldom park their car inside the garage. For this reason, it is more practical to convert it into a habitable space. In addition to providing additional space, it boosts the value of your property.

However, it is important to take time in making a decision. A garage in a busy location where other parking is not allowed can be more than just an extra room. So, it would help to search on prices of similar houses that have and do not have a garage.

Garage conversion

Also think about how you will organize all the stuff you kept inside the garage. If it contains your lawnmower and garden tools, you need to create a new garden space or include it in your plans. If this is where you put your chest freezer, you have to think of a spot where you can transfer it, unless you cannot live without it.  But if you do not have enough space for your things, consider a partial garage conversion, which allows a huge area to store things inside it. This can be a better option for you.

How can the room be used?

When it comes to garage conversion, the way you will use the new room will be based on your needs as well as the way it is related to the other parts of the house. Therefore, if your garage is attached to your living room, it could be converted into a home office or play area. There are different ways to convert the room and it comes with some pros and cons.

Kitchen diner

Extension of Kitchen-Diner

If your garage is adjacent to your kitchen, the wall between them can be removed to come up with a larger and brighter kitchen-diner. Since this will become a widely used room, this will give the best outcome with regards to your financial investment. It is critical to plan carefully for the right design. The new room should be comfortable to stay in and not feel like a converted garage.

Additional living room

If your family is starting to grow, you will need more livable space to meet every family member’s preference and needs. You can convert the garage to a space that can be used by your kids for relaxing, gaming or entertaining friends.  In addition, add lots of sofa beds with slouchy seating as well as a flat screen television to turn it into a versatile place. The only disadvantage is that they become noisier as they grow older. So make sure to include some sound-proofing.

How to add value to your home when renovating

Real estate investing often comes to mind when you hear the phrase “fix it and flip it”. The idea is to undertake a number of  renovation projects to add more value to a home.  For this reason, lots of homeowners have their houses renovated even before putting them up for sale. They believe that fixing up their place brings more profit.  Most often, though, there are improvements that cannot recover the costs. Discover the ways on how to strategically renovate and know which of them really increase the value of your property.

Distinguishing Owners from Investors

It is a great idea to renovate a property for investment purposes since those who have succeeded in the “fix it and flip it” strategy buy neglected houses then do most of the repairs by themselves, saving cash in the process. A little effort and hard work contribute to the profitability of a real estate investment.

Home renovation

Investors are very careful in choosing their remodeling projects. They go for those that bring about the most profit with the least possible costs and effort. As part of the process, they pay close attention to the neighboring homes so they can avoid over improvement. If the other houses in the vicinity do not have Corian counter tops and crown moldings, it will not be sensible to add them since they are not likely to give a higher selling price.

In contrast, owners have a less strategic remodeling approach in fixing their homes before putting them up for sale. This often results to investing a significant amount in repairs and renovation, which is even more than what they will receive when they sell.

To get the most out of  your renovation projects, consider the four types of projects: the basics, curb appeal, personal preference and added value.

The Basics

These are the features that buyers expect to find whenever they buy a home. These are the following: a roof without leaks, functioning downspouts and gutters, dry basement, sturdy floors, efficient furnace, walls that do not need any repairs as well as the other sensible things that are usually found in a home.

More expensive properties are expected to have features like air conditioning,  additional bedrooms, bathrooms and garages plus other amenities that are usually found in the neighborhood like a swimming pool.

Including such features to a house does not increase its value but just brings it to the level of the other homes in the vicinity. The funds used on these improvements may not be completely recovered but at least, it can ensure the owner that the home can sell for a price that is close to the rest of the homes within the area.

Curb Appeal

To make the property look more attractive to prospective buyers, it would be a great idea to add items that give curb appeal. Though such projects may not significantly increase the monetary value of your home, it allows the property to sell faster. Some of these curb appeal items are beautiful landscaping, green lawn , brand new appliances, new carpet as well as fresh interior and exterior paint. When you are expecting a prospective buyer, it would be a great idea to bake a delicious apple pie. This is an effective technique to set the stage, allowing your home to look more welcoming and inviting.

Added Value

“Fix it and flip it” advocates opt for projects that give more value to a home. Most of these attempts will not recover the costs involved but others will come close to the figure. The projects  that make the most of your investment are remodeling of the kitchen and bathroom as well as new windows, siding, decks plus a new living area. According to the National Association of Realtors, projects involving kitchens, windows and siding are among the most beneficial projects, recovering at least 80% of the costs during resale.

Add value to your home

Personal Preference

These projects entail features that you like but are not necessarily wanted by others, who may not be willing to pay for them.  These are the amenities often found in most parts of the country like swimming pools, hot tubs, tennis rooms, basement game rooms, wine cellars and ponds. While you could add such items to your home, once you are ready to sell, you cannot expect prospective buyers to be keen on paying more for these things.

House and Home

Whatever project you are taking into consideration, keep in mind that your residence is not merely a house but also your home. In case you intend to stay there for a long time, include amenities that you like without thinking about how they will affect its resale. Just work on the basics and curb appeal when you want to resell, so your property can be at the same level as other houses in the neighborhood.  Do not waste effort and money on a wide range of projects just to boost the value of your property. Chances are, you will spend more money than you will receive, even when working with projects known to increase value of a home.