Architecture & Building

Architecture & Building

All there is to know before moving into a bungalow

What is a bungalow?  

A bungalow is a one-storey house, cottage, or cabin. Bungalows are usually small in terms of square footage, but it’s not uncommon to see large bungalows. They were originally designed to provide affordable, modern housing. 

Characteristics of a bungalow –  

Bungalows are great homes for people with disabilities and the elderly because they are small and easy to maintain. Because there is only one storey, they tend to be more cost-effective compared to a typical home. The gas and the electric costs would end up being lower because it is a smaller property.  

Because bungalows are single storey homes and it is known that either elderly or the disabled usually live in them, the property can fall victim to break-ins. Therefore, it is a good idea to invest in some security cameras for your home.  

Advantages and disadvantages –  

Advantages – 

There are many benefits to living in a bungalow and they include:  

  • The potential for garden access from bedrooms  
  • Bright, airy, open plan layout 
  • A good connection with the outdoors  
  • No stairs to factor in the layout 
  • Can have vaulted ceilings and skylights in the main living areas.  
  • Can offer more privacy 

Disadvantages –  

  • Not enough room separation. Since all of the rooms are located on the same floor, creating separation between living spaces and bedrooms can be difficult.  
  • Lack of security  
  • Size can be an issue.  

How much do bungalows cost in the Uk?  

The cost of building a bungalow in the UK depends on the size and complexity of the structure. In total, the average cost of building a bungalow can range anywhere between £181,000 and £552,000. This is because the cost of a bungalow is influenced by land costs and the size of the plot.  

How long does it to build a bungalow?  

The time it takes to build all depends on the size of the house and the specifications of the design. But on average it should take between 4 and 5 ½ months to build a bungalow. However, this time could extend it any complications occur.  

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Advice Center, Architecture & Building

Top things to consider when building a home for the disabled

There are a number of disabled people that are living in a home, made for an abled person. By living like this it can make their life and day-to-day tasks a lot harder. This is why it is important that more disability-friendly homes are being built.  

A disability-friendly home should ensure independence for homeowners or family members with a disability. Whilst also allowing freedom of movement and comfort for all of the family members and visitors.  

Here are the top things to consider when building a home for the disabled:  

Wider doorways – 

One of the first things that you need to consider is building wider doorways so that it is easier for wheelchair access. For wheelchair users to comfortably navigate within their homes, it’s essential that doorways must be at least 32 inches wide.  

It is also better to use lever door handles because knobs can be difficult for people with dexterity problems. However, even if you don’t have a disabled person within the property, these features are still the most practical. Wide doorways are also growing in popularity which is a great thing for the future.  

The correct flooring – 

Flooring can actually affect the way people with certain disabilities live. Here are some options of flooring:  

  • Hard wood floors are very useful for people who use wheelchairs and walkers, because it is slick for the wheels.  
  • Vinyl floors are a popular choice because they are affordable and are known to be slip resistant.  
  • Carpeted floors provide softer cushioning which is great for people who suffer from joint pain. This is because having a softer floor helps to avoid aggravating the pain.  

Safer bathrooms –  

Bathrooms have proven to be the most difficult area in the home to access. It is important to give the bathroom more space than you would for an abled person. This is so there is more mobility for those who need it, this is why wet rooms are popular within these houses. If you don’t have a wet room or a shower, adding a bath lift will help you get in and out of the bath easier.  

It is crucial to use slip-resistant floor tiles so there is less chance of falling over. Installing hand railings where necessary will also help to provide stability when in the bathroom.  

Security –  

Adding an intercom or alarm system to the property can be very important because it could end up saving someone’s life. If someone falls, they could set off the alarm, and help can be on the way. You should also think about installing outside lights just for extra safety.  

Driveways –  

Driveways for disabled-friendly homes should be about 3.8 meters in width and 5.4 meters in length, maybe even bigger. This is because they need enough room when getting in and out of the car. There should be a wide flat path between the front door, with no plants or trees in the way. Having ramps and slopes is a must in these types of homes so that they are accessible to everyone.  

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Architecture & Building

How to convert a commercial property to residential?

Converting a commercial property into residential is becoming increasingly common within the UK. Although this market continues to show potential, it’s still essential you learn how to successfully convert a commercial property.  

Step 1 – check if there’s an exception 

A lot of commercial buildings are now eligible to be converted to residential. However, there are some exceptions, for example:  

  • Listed buildings 
  • Buildings within conservation areas or national parks  
  • Properties within areas of natural beauty/ scientific interest.  
  • Buildings within safety hazard areas  

If you are unsure if your property is one of those then it would be best to check. In addition, some of the examples might be acceptable to convert, but you would need to apply for full planning permission.  

Step 2 – identifying the buildings use class

All of the buildings in the UK are placed in a use class. Some of the classes include: 

  • A class – shops, restaurants, and businesses that provide professional services.  
  • B class – offices, storage facilities and warehouses 
  • D class – schools, doctors, cinemas, and other leisure facilities  

In order to convert a commercial building, you will need to apply to change the use class.  

Step 3 – budget  

Before you even think about looking on the market for properties, you need to work out how much you can afford to spend on your project. It is also smart to over budget, just in case of any unexpected additional costs.  

Step 4 – planning permission  

Some of the conversions won’t require planning permission. However, the buildings must be 150 square meters or smaller, if your plans include changing the appearance of the exterior or extending then you may need planning permission.  

Step 5 – finding the property 

Commercial to residential conversions offers a lot of profit potential. It is important to think about what you can do with the property after the conversion. For example, if you’re renting make sure there are plenty of interested tenants, and that you are able to make enough profit. Before you buy you should also look into the surrounding area and see if you like the place.  

Advantages of converting commercial to residential –  

  • Prices are competitive – many commercial properties remain empty, which has forced property owners to ask for less. 
  • Commercial properties are usually located in popular locations. This will be very attractive to the growing tenant demand.  
  • You can turn commercial properties into HMOs. Which is a great investment.  

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Architecture & Building, Loft Conversion

The ultimate guide to loft conversion stairs

Loft conversion stairs are tricky to get right, and they can make or break your project. Here’s what you need to know about ensuring that the stairs comply with regulations.  

Where should the stairs be located?  

The most ideal situation would be that you place the new stairs above the existing stairs for the most space-efficient solution. By doing that, it helps the new stairs feel like they were part of the original home.  

Make sure you have enough head height for your stairs –  

Making sure that there is enough head height is probably the most important thing because it may be impossible to get permission to build. This is why it is important to get a good architect and make sure that problems on the drawings are spotted early. If you don’t realise this mistake it can lead to major problems and an angry homeowner.  

To follow building regulation rules, you must have a minimum 2m head height to get permission for this type of project. This is to follow the health and safety rules of the building regs. You need to make sure that there is no room for risk of falling and injury.  

What to do if you don’t have enough head height?  

Finding a new place to put a staircase can be very tricky. It may be necessary to locate the stairs to a more central location under the roof’s highest point. However, you may have issues with this because there might be a bedroom or a landing in the way.  

Experienced architects will know some type of solution to not having enough headroom. You can create extra headroom by:  

  • Extending the roof with a dormer window  
  • Installing a roof window that adds extra head room 
  • You can also change the roof shape although it is a process 

Regulations for a loft conversion staircase –  

To be able to create a loft conversion you must comply with building regulations. The regulations for a loft staircase are:  

  • The staircase must be in place to provide safe access to and from the loft.  
  • The minimum head room height is 1.9m  
  • Hand rails must be provided  
  • Must have a maximum steepness pitch of 42 degrees 
  • All risers must be equal  

How much will it cost to put stairs in the loft?  

The total average price for a loft staircase is around £2,000 – £9000. However, if you would like custom-built stairs, you’ll be looking at around £5,000 – £10,000.  

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Architecture & Building

Everything to know about designing a driveway

A nice driveway design can completely transform the first impressions that your home creates. Not only can a driveway increase the aesthetic of your home, but it can also add value to the property as well.  If you’re renovating your driveway here’s everything you need to know.  

What materials should you use for your driveway? 

The materials that you use for your driveway should complement your home’s exterior or any walls in your garden. So, this will affect the colour of the material that you can use. Here are some materials that you might use:  

Gravel or pebble. – 

 They are good-value and an ecologically friendly option, as they retain rainwater rather than sending it into the drains. Gravel also acts as a security feature because you can hear when people are approaching your home. 

Gravel is a good option because it’s affordable and quick and easy to lay. However, it will shift over time so you may need to level it out with a rake from time to time. If holes appear, you can simply add more gravel. And gravel won’t stop the weeds from growing so you will have to maintain the driveway.  

Block paving –  

Usually made from moulded concrete blocks, clay bricks, or natural stone, paving can be permeable to allow water to drain away. Using paving allows you to be creative with your new driveway design, the shades grey, and terracotta are the most popular. Block paving is ideal if you are on a strict budget because it is cheap, and doesn’t need much maintenance. 

Resin-bound gravel and paving –  

This is a single–stone layer, created by applying a film of resin onto the surface, and scattering aggregate on top. Meaning it is quite rough and there may be some loose stone. It’s suitable for slopes and is available in different colours and textures.  

Resin-bond paving gives a smooth and durable surface. Resin-bonded paving is cheaper as it’s quicker to lay and uses less material. 

Cost and longevity –  

An average driveway will cost around £50 to £70 per square meter. Although the prices can vary because each project is different. Resin-bound driveways can last up to 25 years. 

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Architecture & Building

Understanding All Of The Details Of A Roof

When it comes to the roof of your home, there are quite a few components. Here you can gain an understanding of all of the details that make up a roof.  

What is a ridge?  

Firstly, the ridge is defined as the highest point on a roof, often referred to as the peak. It is a horizontal line running the length of the roof where the two planes meet. 

A ridge beam is a necessary structural member that carries half of the roof load and must be used when building roofs with slopes less than 3/12.  

 If you are thinking of installing a loft conversion, you must measure from the floor to the ridge height to see if you have a minimum head height of 2.2 m.  

What is a hip?  

A hip roof has no vertical ends. It is sloped on all sides, with the slopes meeting in a peak. The hip is the external angle at which adjacent sloping sides of a roof meets.  

The hip provides the ideal protection from the weather, like heavy rain, snow, and high winds. This is because the sides are sloped towards the ground so the weather can slide off and makes the building more stable.  

Rafters –  

A rafter is a structural component that is used as a part of the construction. Typically, it runs from the ridge or hip of the roof to the wall plate of the external wall. Rafters contain two main outer beams which support the structure. In addition, they are usually laid side-by-side, providing a base to support roof decks and coverings. 

Valley –  

A valley is a gutter-like valley that runs between two sloped sections. They are used so that the rainwater has somewhere to escape.  

Although just like gutters, valleys undergo a fair amount of wear over time. They can leak, rust, and get blocked up; however, the repairs are a common situation and easy to fix.  

They are typically made of lead, concrete, or fiberglass. Although, aluminum is now growing in popularity, as a lightweight and rust-resistant alternative to older iron/ steel valleys.  

Rakes –  

The rake refers to the slanting edge of a gable roof at the end wall of the house. This f is most common in colder climates and consists of two sections sloping in opposite directions from the peak to allow for the best flow of water off the roof.  

They are important because they help keep your roof dry and they serve the important function of preventing water from getting into the fascia.  

Shingles –  

Finally, shingles are coverings consisting of individual overlapping elements. These elements are typically flat, rectangular shapes laid in courses from the bottom edge of the roof up. With each course overlapping the joints below.  

Roofing Terms | Brothers Roofing NJ

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Architecture & Building

Architecture: Around the World Part 1

Architecture, the art and technique of designing and building. Architects design structures such as office buildings, businesses, stadiums, schools, malls and homes. They also design outdoor spaces. 

Is architecture a good career? 

Architects are highly respected in society making this a good career. 

Different types of architecture  

  • Landscape architect – A person that designs outdoor environments. 
  • Architectural technologist – An architectural technologist provides technical building design services and is trained in architectural technology. 
  • Architectural designer – They create digital plans based on architectural sketches, visiting construction sites, oversee contractors and facilitate communications with consultants. 
  • Preservation architect – They prepare plans for appropriate work on historic buildings and direct the work to preserve important features and avoid damage. 
  • Green building and retrofit architect – This person’s job is to safeguard water, air and the earth by choosing eco-friendly materials and protecting the biodiversity of the area during construction. 
  • Commerical architect – Somone that specialises in designing commercial buildings such as shops, restaurants and public buildings. 
  • Industrial architect – An architect that designs buildings for industry. 

Best places to study   

  • England 
  • China 
  • Italy 
  • Japan 
  • France 
  • Spain 
  • Australia 
  • United Arab Emirates 
  • The Netherlands 

Examples of famous architecture  

  • Eiffel tower – France, Paris. Constructed 31st of March 1889 

  • The Burj Al Arab – Dubai. Constructed in 1994, Finished 1999 

  • Parthenon – Greece, Athens. Constructed in 447BC 

  • Angkor Wat – Cambodia. Constructed in the 12th century  

  • Saint Peters Basilica – Italy, Rome, Vatican. This started to be constructed in 1506 and was finished in 1415. 

  • Sydney Opera House – Australia, Sydney. Constructed in 1973 

Panoramic scenery of Sydney harbour and Sydney opera house, Australia
  • Colosseum – Italy, Rome. Constructed in 70AD 

  • Tower bridge London. – Constructed in 1886  

  • Hagia Sophia Istanbul – Turkey. Constructed in 537AD 
  • Kremlin – Moscow. Constructed in the 13th century  

  • Empire State Building – New York. Constructed in the 1930s 

  • Petronas Towers Kuala – Malaysia, Lumpur.  Constructed in 1993 

  • Leaning tower Pisa – Italy, Pisa. Constructed in 1173  

  • Taj Mahal – India, Agra. Constructed in 1631 

  • Guggenheim museum Bilbao– Spain, Bilbao. Constructed in 1997 

  • Beijing national stadium – China, Beijing. Constructed in 2008 

  • Flatiron Building – New York. Constructed in 1902  

  • Villa Savoye – France, Poissy. Constructed 1931 

  • Kauffman residence or falling water – Pennsylvania. Constructed in 1936. 

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Architecture & Building

The most festive Christmas getaway locations due to their architecture

Many people and families love to go away around Christmas. This is because the aesthetics and architecture are even more festive and enchanted around the December period. Here’s a list of locations and buildings that you might want to visit to get you into the festive spirit.  

Colmar, France –  

Firstly, this town in France is well known for its charm. The town is well decorated with cobblestone and medieval and renaissance architecture. For example, it has a similar style to the Maison Pfister.  Colmar’s Christmas markets are among the best in the Alsace region. It is one of the most photographed Christmas markets in Europe. The houses and buildings are beautifully decorated and lit up with Christmas lights.  

Colmar , France shared by Lucian on We Heart It

Hallstatt, Austria – 

Secondly, Austria’s Lake Hallstatt is full of character, and one of the oldest towns in Europe. The city contains baroque architecture. Baroque architecture is a highly decorative and theatrical style, taking basic elements of renaissance architecture. Making it grander, more decorated, and more dramatic. However, the town is the most festive when the beautiful architecture is covered in snow.  

A Winter Fairytale in Hallstatt, Austria - Find Us Lost

Lapland, Finland –  

When you think of Christmas where is the first place you think of? For myself and a lot of other people, it’s Lapland. The architecture and landscape are basically straight out of a movie. It’s popularised to be the home of Santa Claus and has some of the best Christmas markets in the world. A lot of Scandinavian architecture merges the structure with the surrounding environment. For example, using wood and natural materials, natural light, clean lines, neutral colours, and more.   

Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi in Lapland Finland Arctic Circle

Bruges, Belgium –  

If you are into cities that have a lot of history, Bruges would be a perfect place for you to visit. The city still has a ton of original medieval architecture still intact. Medieval architecture features styles from Romanesque, French style, and gothic style architecture. As well as, characteristics including stained-glass windows, tall spikes, turrets, and arches.  

Christmas in Brugge, Belgium. Photo @quan.engine | Places to go, Beautiful  places, Vacation

Quebec City, Canada –  

Quebec City is a great old-world treasure, the historic streets date back to the 1600s. The City is the closest thing to a European Christmas you will get, without all of the travel. The city hosts a German Christmas market each year and it is a perfect getaway for the festive season. The city alone is very picturesque so when you go in the winter it is even more showstopping. Especially with all of the decorations and the snow on the ground and buildings. 

The Ultimate Guide to Quebec City – A Charming Wonderland Perfect for  Short, Winter Honeymoon or Vacation – The Honeymoon Guy

Rothenburg Ob der Tauber, Germany –   

Finally, Rothenburg is Germany’s Christmas capital and it’s the home to the world’s only Christmas Museum. Its well known for its well-preserved medieval old town. It is one of the only three towns in Germany that have completely intact city walls. In addition, this town is considered to be Christmas all year round. It is popular among tourists and it attracts around 1.5 million people every year. 

Winter in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, northern Bavaria, Germany :  r/MostBeautiful

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Architecture & Building, Design and Inspiration, Interior Design

Swimming Pools: Things You Need To Know

There are 3 types of in ground swimming pools  

  • Concrete  
  • Vinyl-lined 
  • Fiberglass 

Concreate pools 

Concrete swimming pools take longer to install than most. Generally, it takes between 3-12 weeks. However concrete pools are the strongest and most durable. Unlike other types of pools, existing concrete pools can be remodelled, enlarged and updated. 

Vinyl pools 

Vinyl pools are made from a performed flexible liner that fits into the evacuated hole. It’s secured to a reinforced frame made of steel, aluminium or non-corrosive polymer. The majority of vinyl pools are rectangular. Its takes about 1-3 weeks to construct this pool. When wanting a vinyl pool, you must be aware that pool toys, pets and sharp objects can puncture the liner, needing it to be replaced. 

Fiberglass pools 

Fiberglass pools are factory moulded into one giant bowl, which is set into the evacuated hole by a crane. Pools made from fiberglass can be installed much faster than other pools. It can take as little as 3 days. Fiberglass pools are extremely durable and stain resistant. However, fiberglass pools come in fewer sizes and shapes meaning you may not be able to have one if you have a small or uniquely shaped back garden. 

Frequently asked questions about  

What is the most efficient way to heat pools? 

If you want an energy efficient way to heat your pool, you should consider using a pump pool heater in mild climates. Solar water heaters are cost competitive with other types of water heaters and have low annual operating costs. 

Which is better a heat pump or gas heater for pools? 

Heat pump heaters cost more than gas pool heaters. Gas pump heaters typically have lower annual operating costs because of their higher efficiencies. However, with decent maintenance heat pump heaters last longer than gas pool heaters. 

Is a heated swimming pool worth it? 

Pool heaters have potential to be an incredibly worthwhile investment if you want to use your pool all year round. 

What is a conventional boiler? 

Conventional boilers provide both heating and hot water with the use of a cold-water tank and hot water cylinder. 

Do solar rings work to heat a pool? 

Most solar-rings can absorb up the top 50% of the sun’s energy to heat water in your swimming pool. 

How efficient are pool heaters? 

Pool heaters can operate between 80-90% efficiency. 

When should I start heating my pool? 

Using the heater only when the water clips below a certain point keeps the energy consumption down. For the average person, a pool that is at 78 degrees or higher is comfortable. 

Cheaper ways to heat your swimming pool 

  • Use of solar cover 
  • Pool heat pump 
  • Solar sun rings 
  • Combine a solar cover and heat pump 
  • Liquid solar pool cover 
  • Black hose trick 
  • Windproof pool enclosure  

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Architecture & Building

A step-by-step guide to the commercial construction process

Step 1 – Planning and finding a location  

Firstly, out of all of the steps included in commercial construction, this one might be the most important. Finding the correct location can either go one of two ways, very easy or extremely difficult. Before choosing a location for a new commercial building you must consider these factors:  

  • The location must consider access to clients and employees and proximity to other buildings.  
  • Ensure the location doesn’t have a suspension on building. 
  • Ensure the nearby infrastructure can handle the needs for future business.  
  • Verify that the water and sewer lines can handle the needs for business.  
  • Does the area have sufficient fire hydrants and flow.  
  • Have environmental testing to see if there is any contamination in the soil.  

Once you have decided on a location you should get in touch with an architect and a contractor straight away.  

Step 2 – Setting a budget  

It is important to set a budget so that when it comes to the design and build element you will be able to afford it. The average cost of commercial buildings covering a large range of building types is £1,310 m2 – £3,100 m2.  

Step 3 – The design  

The design phase defines all of the intentions and goals of the project. Once you have discussed the plans with the architect, they will then draw up a set of plans and designs. Once the design phase produces a full set of drawings with final specs that contain costs and timelines for each stage of construction. Contractors use the drawings to construct the build.  

Step 3 – Pre-construction  

Before beginning the construction, the contractors must make sure all building permits and insurance requirements are obtained. For example:  

  • Submit the plans to the building department 
  • Get builders risk insurance 
  • Commercial and contractor general insurance 
  • Workers’ compensation 

There are also different roles that need to be assigned, including:  

  • Project manager – in charge of the project team, maintains construction, and time schedules.  
  • Contract administrator – helps the project manager with contract details.  
  • Field engineer – investigates the site to determine if any steps need to be taken prior to commercial construction.  

Step 4 – Construction  

The construction process will begin and this is the order in which they will take place.  

  • Implement drainage 
  • Excavate site 
  • Arrange power, water, and sanitation. 
  • Remove vegetation. 
  • Begin inspections  
  • Foundation  
  • Framing  
  • Roofing, siding, HVAC 
  • Interior 
  • Exterior  
  • Landscaping 

Step 5 – Post-construction  

Before you can move in, there are several steps you have to take after you’ve completed the commercial construction. You should do a final walkthrough of the property, checking the paint and seeing if everything is working correctly. Once you have done this you can start installing furniture and equipment. 

Why Do You Need Scaffolds For Both Residential And Commercial Project? -  STAK Scaffold Ltd

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