Should You Convert the Front Garden into a Drive?

Have you been considering if turning your front garden into extra parking is right for you? Creating additional off-street parking can really add considerable value to your home, especially for housing in expensive urban areas. It can be an ideal solution if you struggle for parking, have multiple vehicles and have enough space in the front. The good news is that in many cases you do not need planning permission to create or replace a driveway. It comes down to area, material and ensuring you have PD rights. If it is a porous material, such as gravel or permeable asphalt or block paving and you have PD rights, you usually will not require planning permission. If it is more than five square metres of impermeable material, planning permissions will most... Read More »

Choosing Wood Flooring Responsibly

Wood flooring definitely offers a timeless beauty and elegance that many are attracted to. The problem is that some hard woods take a very long time to grow, are rare and are not ethically harvested. There are however, several alternatives that are earth friendly and can offer the same look as exotic hardwoods. Sustainable Flooring Options: Reclaimed Wood Flooring (salvaged from another property) Vintage wood will add value to your home, is aesthetically pleasing, generally very durable, and can be painted, white-washed or stained any colour. However, it must be examined thoroughly and could amplify sound, but this could be mitigated with the use of rugs. Bamboo (a quick-growing grass that can be worked into hard-wearing floorboards) Bamboo is quite easy to clean, water resistant, inhospitable to dust mites, repels... Read More »

How to Know When Windows Need Replacing

Are you wondering if your windows need to be replaced or just need some maintenance? Sometimes, a simple DIY fix like replacing weather stripping or installing window films can be all that is needed to take care of minor window issues. However, your windows will most likely need to be replaced if there is: 1. Cracked windowpane/frame- a warped, broken or damaged fame should be replaced 2. Fogged glass- this happens on double or triple paned window and indicates the windows are no longer sealed 3. Soft Frames- if you have wooden frames and they feel soft to the touch instead of rigid 4. Windows keep getting stuck- this is a good indicator the windows need replacing as the stress of opening and closing are creating cracks in the frame... Read More »

Do You Need Planning Permissions for a Loft Conversion?

In most cases, loft conversions can be done without requiring planning permissions but you will still need to satisfy building regulations and it is always best to consult with a builder or architect to confirm this. You shouldn’t need planning permission if: • The total area of additional space doesn’t exceed 40 cubic metres for terraced houses or 50 cubic metres for detached/semi-detached houses • The extension does not go beyond the outermost edge of the existing roof sloop at the front of the house • The extension does not reach higher than the highest part of the existing roof • Materials are similar in appearance to existing property • It does not include a veranda, balcony or raised platform • Side-facing windows are obscured or glazed and 1.7m or... Read More »

How have conservatories changed over the years?

If you’ve owned a conservatory in the past, or perhaps still do, you will probably know of the common problems associated with conservatories. One of the biggest disadvantages is that they can be incredibly cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. That said, in recent years, thanks to new technology, conservatories are being redesigned somewhat, and it’s not uncommon to now choose a tiled conservatory roof. Okay, so you don’t have supreme sky view. But because the entire roof structure is not made of glass, it can be insulated, making a huge difference.