Six Tips for Planning Your Home Build Project

For many people, ‘home improvements’ never go beyond a lick of paint and a new bathroom suite.

For others, however, the whole concept of putting ‘their’ touch on a home goes way beyond that. Their existing home is a blank canvas of possibility, just waiting to be remodelled, extended, converted, opened up and redesigned to make the house they bought a home that is truly ‘theirs’.

Once you start thinking in terms of how you can connect separate floors in new and exciting ways, or how you can double the size of your kitchen-diner by knocking through and extending, you are starting to move beyond the realms of a bit of DIY decorating.

Your dreams are starting to look a lot like a substantial building project, and you are taking on the role of project manager. And all good building project managers do one thing well – plan.

Whether you are looking to renovate, remodel or extend, here are six great tips for getting your home building project off to the best possible start.

1. Don’t Skimp On Costs

Perhaps more so than in any other walk of life, with construction you really get what you pay for. Cheap materials, poor design and shoddy craftsmanship will lead to low quality work that will just need to be done all over again in a few years. It also pays to consider every detail carefully. It is easy to find costs spiralling when you start to face knock-on costs in materials and fixtures you hadn’t considered.

Think carefully about bringing in a professional to help with the planning and design stage. Investing in their expertise at this stage can save you money and headaches in the long run.

2. Get the Right Consent

Although many home extensions and improvements are covered by Permitted Development Rights  and don’t need planning permission, the rules are strict and vary from place to place. You should always consult your local authority to check the rules and let them run the rule over your plans. You also need to ensure your plans meet building regulations, for example for how steep the flight of stairs will be into a loft conversion. But rest assured that much of the work that we carry out, such as a bespoke or glass staircase doesn’t require planning permission.

3. Consider Utilities

One of the most common stumbling blocks people come across during a building project is unforeseen impact on utilities. The planning stage is the right time to consider how to run heating pipes to your loft conversion, to get a gas supply to a new kitchen, and how an external extension might impact on sewage pipes and land drainage.

4. Think Outside As Well As In

Although the focus on a home extension or renovation is the building itself, it is easy to forget the impact building can have on the grounds of your property. A rear extension will necessarily eat up some of your garden, while the work itself can leave the exterior space looking blasted and rubble strewn. If you are hiring an architect, ask for some help with landscaping the exterior to really complete the project.

5. Schedule Well In Advance

Good building contractors are in high demand, and are often booked up months in advance. Moreover, if you need a range of different tradesmen working on your project, scheduling so they are all available within a reasonable timeframe can be tricky. The only answer is to be ahead of the game and get your bookings in well ahead of time.

6. Check Your Insurance

Finally, a major building project on your home will have an effect on your buildings insurance. You are legally obliged to keep this up to date, so make sure you talk to your provider.

Top Tips for the Perfect Stainless Steel and Glass Staircase

When looking to add a ‘wow’ factor to your home, it is easy to get caught up doing more of the same – a new bathroom or kitchen suite, a new set of windows, a change of colour scheme.

But if you really want to add a touch of something different, you should look no further than your staircase.

It is easy to overlook the functional importance of your staircase – how would you move between floors without it? But it is even easier to neglect how much of a feature a staircase is, often the first thing a visitor sees when they set foot through the door, and usually the dominant presence in whatever space they live in.

So what does your staircase say about your home? If you really want to make a statement, a stainless steel and glass staircase is a refreshing break from solid wooden convention. Stainless steel is a material which adds contemporary chic to any home, an expanse of glass is a great way to allow light through to create bright, airy spaces.

Match Design to Space

Your first consideration is to think about the space available for your staircase, and then deciding on your preferred design accordingly. There is no point setting your heart on a stunning, stylish design if it won’t fit your home.

Safety First

Although a staircase can add a fabulous ‘wow’ factor to your home, don’t lose sight of its functional purpose. The last thing you want is a staircase that people are prone to fall down.

Think of who will be using the staircase, and design accordingly. If you have children or elderly relatives who visit often, a stair railing system, glass, stainless steel or otherwise, is essential. It is also worth bearing in mind that straight staircases tend to be easier to navigate than spiral.

Open or Closed

Deciding between an open or closed staircase has a massive impact on the feel and functionality of your home. In the end, it comes down to a question of how you want to use space.

 An open glass and stainless steel staircase can look stunning, allowing light to pass through freely into a wide, spacious living area below. Closing the space below a staircase off, on the other hand, gives you a different, segregated space, perfect for storage. One great tip for gaining additional storage from a closed staircase is to have drawers in the risers.

Finishing Touches

This is really where you can add personality and finesse to your staircase, and the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. An obvious part of this is in your choice of fixtures and fittings – whether you go for an elegantly glass balustrade or an artfully turned stainless steel handrail, the design of your newel posts and finials.