With foreign holidays not an option for many this summer, a significant number of people are keeping the money at home, literally.
Home renovations and house extensions have boomed in popularity once again with many homeowners choosing to increase cooking space with a kitchen extension, revamp their showers and sinks with bathroom extensions or all of the above with a full house extension.
Before engaging in a major project like this though, it’s important to do your research and enlist the best help possible.
Light, Light & More Light
Sunrooms are making a comeback once again, but did they ever go away? Constructing a sunroom is a great way to add some increased space to your home or add an additional feature to your garden. Coming into the summer months, this is a fantastic way to make use of the limited sunlight and heat we get here in Ireland.
However there is a few important things to consider before going ahead with the construction process so as to ensure the whole experience is as seamless as possible. Many people fall fowl to this, but make sure the room inside will not be covered in darkness once you place your new roof on.
Be sure to utilise roof lights as the new construction will block the entry of natural light into your home. Take note of the light already present in your home, if it is already dark then it will actually become darker by building a sunroom, you do not want to effectively lose a room in the house by building a new one.
Also be very careful with your measurements and consider your neighbours. Sunrooms have gutters, soffits and fascia board which will overhang, you don’t want them to overhang into next doors property.
Kitchens are one of the most commonly renovated / extended areas in any property. It can breathe new life into a space and is a hugely important area due to it being the ‘heart’ of the home.
One of the most vital factors to consider is adequate ventilation. Your house will already have a window looking through to the back garden, if you are removing this or positioning it elsewhere you have to allow for some natural ventilation within the space.
If you don’t allow for this natural ventilation process to occur you’ll soon end up with build ups of mould or damp on the surrounding areas. If possible, leave a vent on an external wall, better again is to place your kitchen extractor vented to an external wall. Bear in mind, all kitchens will also have waste pipes for washing machines, sinks and dishwashers – if you’re moving the appliances, you’re going to have to move the pipes too.
Again, light is hugely important. By building an extension you will be displacing some of the natural light that already reaches into the space. A roof light can be a good option here as by positioning it at the back of the extension you can allow sunlight to flow into those dark spots.
Budgeting is vital when engaging in any new project. Be sure to communicate with whoever you hire what you want and how much you want to spend. Experts will be able to give you appropriate quotes for the type of work you need done.
There’s a number of different types of bathroom renovations people are gravitating towards in recent times, from the traditional, more “vintage” style bathrooms, to modern, simplistic designs, ensuites, wet rooms and even simple water closets.
Like with a kitchen renovation, be aware if you are moving things like a sink, shower or toilet you’re looking at increased plumbing costs. It’s generally recommended to keep this type of movement to a minimum, but if you do need to make some alterations at least try and keep the toilet close enough to the pre-existing waste pipe.
The bathroom Is one of the more tricky rooms to renovate, mainly due to the precarious nature of having electrical wiring present in a room that gets quite wet and damp. Make sure to touch base and liase with your electrician before any works starts so they can plan any jobs they may have to do around your schedule.
There’s also lots of opportunity to salvage some existing sanitaryware during this time. Good quality taps can also be saved and reused, you can also place a new surround around a bath or re-enamel it, this is a great way to maintain character and also cost-effective.
Also it’s important to remember that a bigger space is going to be more difficult to heat. Before expanding the space look into whether or not you will also need to upgrade your heating options. Alternatively, you could take this opportunity to explore the viability of underfloor heating.
With bathrooms it’s a constant balancing act between functionality and aesthetically pleasing features. You’ve also got to remember that older bathrooms don’t always have the most cost-effective solutions in place, many older properties can have highly inefficient lights, showers and even toilets. By renovating a bathroom you’re actively making it more efficient and in turn, reducing energy costs.
A loft conversion is not only a great way to add space to your home but can also add about 20% onto the value of your property. If you’re not interested in a full home extension, a loft conversion can be a fantastic alternative. Firstly, you will have to ensure that your loft is actually a viable, useable space. The internal height and the pitch of the roof are key factors here.
Once you’ve gotten the go ahead, you need to plan on how you will actually use the space. Following the COVID Pandemic, we’re seeing some people convert their loft spaces into at home offices. This is a great option, mainly due to the degree of separation of the loft from the rest of the house.
When converting a loft to a home office you can use the pre-existing space to your advantage by building storage into the nooks and eaves in the space. However, you can make the room multi-task for you perhaps as an office/guest bedroom. By cleverly incorporating built in storage to the angles present in the loft you can create a hugely flexible, practical space.
With loft conversions, you don’t usually need planning permissions but do need to adhere to building regulations, for example, ensuring that the structural strength of the new floor is sufficient, the stability of the pre-existing structure isn’t compromised and there are safe and fit for purpose stairs installed between the conversion and the rooms below.
Things to Remember
Before going into a new build, make sure you get all of your approvals first. Depending on how big your renovation or extension is, you may need to apply for planning permission. As we mentioned earlier, talk to your neighbours also and get them onside. Sometimes, your neighbours can be the ones that make or break a planning application if you need one, so engage them in conversation and work with them on any objections or alterations they may have
Find the right builder for you. Here at AD Services we offer a completely comprehensive service and with 20 years of experience in the construction field, we know what we’re talking about.
Have a question? Don’t hesitate to get in touch today to discuss your kitchen extension dreams, bathroom renovation ideas or any house extension thoughts you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.