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Loft Conversions: A Step-By-Step Guide

Can My Loft Be Converted?

Before any work or materials are bought you first need to work out whether your loft is suitable for a conversion to be carried out. Most houses will have an allowance of space, which means you can carry out a loft conversion following permitted development without the need for planning permission.

Even under permitted development there may be some occasions where you might still require planning permission such as if you’re based in a conservation area. The company or architect you choose to carry out the conversions will go through any permissions you might need before the work is carried out; although you can also find this information out yourself. If you’re still unsure about converting your loft space, then follow these steps below to see if your loft is suitable for conversion.

  1. Look At Others On Your Street – An easy way to tell if your loft can be converted is to look if anyone on your street has had one carried out, this will give a good indication that yours is also suitable.
  2. Measure The Head Height – The minimum height you need for a loft conversions is 2.2m. Many Victorian properties tend to be lower than those built from the 1930s onwards.
  3. Check What Type Of Roof You Have – Some roofs will have trusses or rafters, and by looking in your loft you should be able to tell the type of roof you have from the offset. Lofts that use trusses will need extra structural supports putting in places to support the removal of the trusses.
  4. Consider The Floor Below – It’s common not to take this into consideration, but it’s important to consider where stairs and access to your loft will go, even well designed access can eat into a considerable amount of space from the floor below.

What Type Of Loft Conversions Should I Go For?

There are a number of different types of loft conversions available and the type you decided on will depend on whether you need planning permission or not. The type of conversion you can have will depend on where you’re based, your budget, the roof you have and the type of property you have. Some of the most popular types of loft conversions are:

  • Roof Light Conversions (Velux)
  • Dormer Conversions
  • Hip-to-Gable Conversions
  • Mansard Conversions

Will I Need Planning Permission?

Some conversions are covered by permitted development rights and won’t need planning permission to have them carried out. However, certain style of properties and land require further development and alterations to make a conversion of your loft suitable; these occasions are when you typically require planning permission. Contacting your local authority will help you to find out whether you require planning permission or not. On the other hand, your builder or architect will work with you to obtain any permissions you might require for the conversion of your loft space.

Choosing The Right Contractor

choosing the right contractor can be one of the hardest parts of a loft conversion, talk to friends, family, neighbours about who might of carried out their conversions and this will help you build up an understanding of the best people to work with. Once you have a few companies to choose from look at their reviews online to see what others are also saying about the work they have carried out. Here at Country Construction, we have years of experience converting lofts and have developed a well-known reputation for the quality of the service we provide. Get in touch today and we’ll be more than happy to assist.

Guide To Building Your Own Home

How To Build Your Own Home

Nearly everyone dreams of building their perfect home, however it isn’t always the best option. However, building your own home can be quite affordable and it ensures you’ll get the home you’ve always dream of. Planning is important and failing to have a stable plan before you start could lead to financial problems occurring.

Top 3 Reason To Build Your Own Home

  1. Most self builds, when managed correctly are actually quite affordable and will work out cheaper than buying a new build. If everything runs smoothly then you’ll end up with your dream home for a fraction of the price.
  2. Building your own home gives you the freedom to include features and rooms that current homes on the market don’t have. Features such as solar panels or needing to add an extension can be quite costly so tackling it in the main build is more cost-effective.
  3. Additional luxuries such as underfloor heading, can be added a fraction of the cost compared to what it would cost to install them in an existing building.

Building Work

Is It Cheaper To Buy?

This is the most difficult question to answer when it comes to new builds. Working out the cost of a land, building work and materials as well as a contingency budget will help you to assess if it’s cheaper than buying an existing property.

The important things to remember about existing properties is they could have underlying problems that are missed even by surveyors. A good plan as well as secure contracts with builders will help to ensure that your new build runs smoothly and stay on budget; meaning it works out cheaper than buying a new build property.

Can I Get a Mortgage For Self Builds?

Yes! Some banks and building societies offer self-build mortgages that are specifically designed for people wanting to build their own properties. Unlike traditional mortgages the money will usually be released in stages, meaning you’ll pay for your building materials and contractors as and when the money is released. The amount of money you might be able to borrow typically varies to that of LTV mortgages. When it comes to self-build mortgages you might be offered around 75% of the cost of the land and 85% towards the build and labour costs.

Where Should I Build My Home?

Just like when you buy an existing property, location is everything. However, where you can build will depend on a number of factors such as if it’s green or brown belt land, and the options for land are more likely to be restrictive.

One of the easiest ways to achieve planning permission is to contact your local authority, so see if there’s any plots of land they have available for sale or places they are looking to start developing. Doing this makes it easier to achieve the planning permission you require for your new property.

Fire Safety and What To Consider

When building a property from scratch it’s important to consider fire safety, with a new build property you can add additional features such as sprinklers. Having a sprinkler system installed into your property can help to bring down insurance costs and will also help to protect your dream home should a fire happen. All new homes much meet current Fire Safety and Building Regulations meaning they need to:

  • Provide escape routes from the home
  • Measures to restrict or prevent the spread of fire to neighbours
  • Restrict or prevent the spread of fire inside the property
  • Provide suitable access for the fire brigade to attend

Finding The Right Builder

When it comes to building your dream home, you’ll need a professional construction company to undertake the building work for you. At Country Construction, we can work closely with you to discuss your plans and the best and most cost-effective building materials to choose.

Building Work
Uncategorised

Top 5 Ways To Add Value To Your Property

Adding Value To Your Property

Adding value to your property is important and there are a number of ways in which it can easily be achieved. Whether it be major work or minor improvements, the value of your property could easily be increased. Most people look to add value to their property when they are wanting to sell, however it’s something everyone should think about as an investment for their future.

5 Ways To Add Value To Your Property

There are a number of ways to add value to your property. Whether you’re wanting to sell or you’re simply thinking about the future, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t think about adding value to your property. Find out the top 5 ways to add value to your property below.

Loft Conversions

Loft conversions are one of the most common ways to increase the space in a property and add value to it. Most style of properties are capable of handling a loft conversions and most properties don’t require much roof work. From velux conversions to mansard conversions the options for converting your loft space are endless. As loft conversions are quite extensive, it’s important to weight up the cost with the potential value it could add to your home.

New Kitchen

Most people love their kitchens and there comes a time when they simply need updating. The great thing about having a new kitchen to add value to your property is not all aspects need replacing. A new kitchen could be a complete overall, however a more effective way to add a new kitchen and increase the value of your property is by replacing the doors and the worksurface. The carcases of the kitchen don’t always need to be replaced, and only replacing two things means can quickly overall your kitchen and add value to your property.

Bathroom Refurbishment

Just like a new kitchen, having your bathroom refurbished is a great way to increase the value of your property. However, with a bathroom refurbishment you’re likely to need to replace all parts of it to gain the best overall look. If you have a plain white bathroom suite, then it can easily be spruced up by updating the tiles, flooring and the colour of the paint on the walls. Bathroom installations are a cost effective way to add value to your property. Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the most important things when it comes to people buying a property.

General Renovation Work

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to spruce up your property is by renovating your property. This can be done in a number of ways such as plastering unsmooth walls, painting walls a neutral colour and replacing flooring. Making small improvements to the look of your property can actually add a huge amount of value. Simply putting plain carpets down and painting walls a neutral colour can actually add thousands to the amount the property is worth. New double glazed windows and doors could also help to increase the value of your property whilst making it more energy efficient. In addition to sprucing up your home, why not spruce up your home with a new driveway. There are many different types of driveways available such as tarmac, block paving and concrete. The choice is entirely down to you and a professional and high quality will not only improve it’s visual appeal but it will help to increase it’s value to.

Apply For Planning Permission

Apply for planning permission might seem strange, but if you’re looking to sell then it can be a huge selling point for any potential buyer. If a buyer knows they can build an additional floor or an extension on their property without hassle, then it can be an attractive prospect. Having approved planning permission for your property, can add thousands to the value of a property.

Planning Permission
Construction Consultant, Uncategorised

Understanding Building & Planning Regulations

Introduction To Building & Planning Regulations

Many people ask what building and planning regulations are and why and when we need them. It’s easy to think of regulations as restrictive and bureaucratic but they are in place to ensure that your building work runs smoothly and all work is carried out in safe manner and to a high standard.

The regulatory bodies will give you permission to carry out your plans and there are only few occasions where planning permission is rejected. In cases like this they must give an explanation and you have the right to appeal.

Understanding Planning & Regulations

There are number of planning and regulations in place that you must follow when carrying out building work on your property. Some of the most common hurdles and regulations people come across are planning permission, building regulations and permitted development rights. Each one of these will be explained below to give you a better overview:

Planning Permission

Planning permission is designed to regulate the use, location and appearance of buildings and other types of constructions. There are many things that might seem like small implications that could lead to much larger changes to a building. Planning permission is usually only denied when the design doesn’t fit into the existing environment or when it could cause a hazard. Listed buildings will also require permission before any type of work is carried out.

Building Regulations

Building regulations are designed to focus on the structural integrity of the building and the sustainability of the materials that are used during the construction. Most types of building work will need you to meet with building regulations. When work is carried out to building regulations you’ll know the work being carried out is to current standards.

Permitted Development

It is possible to carry out work on your property without needing planning permission; this is known as permitted development rights. Since October 2008, people have been able to carry out a number of different types of work with needing to apply for planning permission. Some cases where you mightn’t need planning permission are:

Full details in regard to when you might or mightn’t need planning permission can be found on the government website Planning Portal. When it comes to permitted development, the rights will vary depending on whether they are flats, maisonettes or commercial buildings.

Listed buildings also have a number of different rules around them as they tend to be based in conservation areas or they’ve gained listed status due to historical reasoning. Before carrying out any work it’s always best to check with your local planning authority. Builders will regularly follow planning and carry out work to current legislation and regulations.

How To Identify Damp?

Identifying Damp

Damp can be a serious problem for many homes; no matter what type of property you might live in. From causing a nuisance to making your home cold, unwelcoming and when left untreated it can lead to health problems.

Fortunately damp can often be treated and further prevented through a number of methods. It’s important to first identify the type of damp of it, this will then help you to understand how it can be repaired.

How To Identify Damp

How To Identify Damp?

Damp can occur at any time of the year but it will most often appear and worsen during the winter months. There are a number of location where damp will commonly occur these are:

  • Walls – If a wall feels very cold or is visibly damp on your hands then you should look for other signs such as mould of fungal growth. Black speckled marks might start to appear on the wall itself or i’s surroundings.
  • Ceilings – As well as looking for signs of mould look at the colour of the ceiling. If there are discoluorations or stains, especially around the chimney then it could be damp.
  • Windows – Condensation build up on windows could indicate high moisture levels in your home. Puddles of water might occur and frames might discolour, warp or rot.
  • Bathrooms and Kitchens – If the sealant around your bathroom or kitchen have black mould on them then it could indicate high moisture. If cupboards smell or have mould growing in them then the wall behind them could be damp.
  • Furniture – When furniture is around a damp area will start to cause mould and mildew to grow on it.
  • Basements and Cupboards – These areas are usually unheated meaning they are most likely to suffer from damp. Visible mould, damp patches and smells will typically happen if you’re suffering from damp.

What Causes Damp?

Damp Damp can be caused by a number of reasons and the four most common are ventilation, penetration, plumbing and rising. All of these are caused by different factors but they will still cause the same problems to your property when left untreated. When damp is left untreated it can start to affect your health and your properties structural integrity. In the majority of homes damp is caused by the following:

Poor Ventilation

Many buildings suffer from ventilation problems and most modern builds struggle to allow moisture to escape them. Some of the most common places to experience poor ventilation is the bathroom, kitchen and sometimes even the bedrooms.

Penetrating Damp

This is caused when your properties weatherproofing fails and can be caused by leaks to the roof or gutters or the building itself deteriorating meaning the damp proofing fails.

Plumbing Problems

Leaking hot or cold water supply, waste water or central heating pipework that can cause anything from gushing water to a slow trickle of damp. Similar to penetrating damp marks can appear on the ceiling or walls.

Rising Damp

Rising damp typically occurs in older homes, even when damp proofing has been installed it’s more likely to fail due to how the foundations are made. Damp proofing helps to provide a barrier between the soil and the house. Older houses damp proofing isn’t as substantial meaning the bricks absorbs the moisture which leads to rising damp.

How To Treat Damp

There are a number of ways to treat damp and many different methods you can use to help try and prevent it. When treating damp we always advise seeking professional advice to ensure it is treated correctly. If you’re suffering from damp get in touch with Country Construction today.

5 Things You Need To Know When Building A New Home

Building A New Home

Building a new home from the ground up is one of the most rewarding and thrilling experiences that any person can experience. However it can seem like a daunting task that feels never ending especially when something catches you off guard during the construction.

When having a new build constructed there are a wide array of things that you need to take into consideration. When you choose Country Construction, we’ll ensure the construction process runs smoothly and you end up with the property you’ve always dreamed of.

Construction

5 Things You Need To Know About New Home Construction

When having a new home constructed there are 5 main things you need to know and take into consideration before laying the first brick or even buying the materials. The 5 things you need to know when building a new home are as follows:

Finances

New Property BuildBuilding a new home is a number game and the finances need to add up before any building work starts. When working out the finances you need to take into consider things such as architectural designs, building costs, price of materials and a number of other factors. It’s important to have a contingency pot of money in place to ensure that any unexpected problems that might arise are covered.

Building Contractors

When choosing a building contractor, it’s important to choose one that will cover all aspects of the building project. Here at Country Construction, we’ll work with you with everything from design to the finished project. We undertake home builds of all shapes and sizes.

Building A New Property

Materials

The materials you choose to construct your home are important for a number of reasons such as personal taste or legal requirements. There are many options to choose from with the popular being brick. Other materials such as concrete, wood, metal and glass are becoming common place in construction and they are used to create visually stunning properties. When it comes to building materials we can help you choose the best ones to suit your requirements and the budget you have available.

 

The Resale Value

It’s easy to get caught up in the complexities of the construction process and lose sight of your initial goals. From start to finish, even if you’re thinking of living there forever, it’s important to consider what the resale value of your home will be. A solid financial plan at the beginning of your building project will help you to decide whether your new home is going to make you money or whether it’s just going to be a black hole that swallows your money. If it was worst case scenario then you can adapt your plans and scale back materials or the design to make it a profitable build.

Energy Efficiency

When building your own home, it’s important to consider how energy efficient you want it to be. If you’re building a new home then you might as well make it as energy efficient as possible as it’s going to help save you money in the long run. Properties that are more energy efficient are likely to save you money on your energy bills and will make your home sustainable for the future.