House Renovation

House Renovation

Bathtubs: Everything You Want To Know

There are many different bathtubs such as: 

  • Freestanding tub  
  • Drop in tub 
  • Three-wall alcove tub 
  • Corner tub 
  • Undermount tub 
  • Claw foot tub 
  • Hot tub 
  • Japanese tub  

Three-wall alcove tub 

Pros  

  • Easy to clean and maintain 
  • Practical and functional  
  • Can be decorated  
  • Affordable  

Cons 

  • Generic in feel  
  • Must be placed between two walls  

Freestanding tub 

Pros 

  • Adds to house value  
  • Visual impact 
  • Can be situated anywhere in the room 
  • Versatile look 

Cons 

  • No storage areas  
  • Expensive  
  • Extremely heavyweight  

Drop in tub 

Pros 

  • High end, luxurious feel 
  • No slip, grip handles  

Cons  

  • Difficult to install and remove. 

Corner tubs 

Pros 

  • Maximum versatility  
  • Makes use of corner space 
  • Can be glasses enclosed or open style  

Cons 

  • Tub accessibility is limited  
  • Can only be in the corner of the room 

Clawfoot tub 

Pros  

  • Adds immediate vintage charm and period detail to a bathroom 
  • Easy to install 
  • Space beneath 

Cons  

  • Lack of storage 

Undermount tub  

Pros 

  • Easy to clean 
  • Durable and sturdy 
  • High end, luxurious feel  

Cons 

  • Tub cannot simply be removed without destroying the surrounding decking. 

Hot tubs 

Pros 

  • Deep soaking relaxation 
  • Hydrotherapy for those with achy joints and arthritis 

Cons 

  • Expensive  

Japanese tub  

Pros  

  • Amazing design  
  • Adds house value  
  • Artistic presentation  
  • Offers deep soaking  

Cons 

  • No storage  
  • Expensive  

Questions that are frequently asked about bathtubs 

What materials are bathtubs made from? 

Often bathtubs are made out of porcelain which are usually steel based. But bathtubs can be made from marble, acrylic and fiberglass. However, historically bathtubs have been made from wood, copper and iron. 

Can bathtubs be repaired? 

It is possible to make repairs on a variety of tubs. These include porcelain tubs and those made from marble, acrylic and fiberglass. Small chips and scratches can often be repaired making this more of an economical option than replacing the entire tub. 

How long do bathtubs last? 

It depends on the tub material and how well it has been made. You can find original bathtubs in old houses that are in fantastic condition at 100 years old. 

What are the most popular bathtubs? 

  • Freestanding tub 
  • Drop in tub 
  • Three-wall alcove tubs 

Can bathtubs be recycled? 

A bathtub is not easily recycled. Cast iron tubs may be of interest to some metal scrap yards or foundries. Steel is one of the most recycled materials. However, it takes some work to remove the enamel finish which may not be worth the effort for some recyclers. It may be better to repurpose your bathtub instead of recycle, for example: 

  • Feeding and drinking troughs for animal farms 
  • Container for garden 
  • Backyard pool for pets  
  • Party bucket for beverages and ice. 

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Design and Inspiration, House Renovation

Renovations That Increase Your House Value: Part 1

Renovations to consider when wanting to add more value to your home 

Loft and garage conversions  

These two conversions are the most popular way of extending and adding value to the property. Converting these into living space will add value by 15%. A garage conversion will increase the value by 20%. People convert these to create more living space and storage. 

Energy efficiency improvements  

This can fall into two categories: 

  • Simple low-cost improvements 
  • High-cost improvement works 

From research energy saving improvements to your property can raise the value by 14%. For example, improving lost insulation, cavity wall installation, double glazing and adding a high-performance boiler would decrease energy bills giving the home more value. 

Outdoor décor (garden landscaping and external works) 

Maintaining the garden area can add value by 10% – 20%. The things people keep in mind about the garden is: 

  • Privacy and security  
  • Good lighting  
  • Well thought terraced area  
  • Flat lawn  

Other renovations that can increase your house value  

  • Garage conversion 20% increase 
  • Loft conversion 15% increase 
  • Energy saving 14% increase 
  • Balcony 12% increase 
  • Outdoor décor 10% – 20% increase 
  • Open living plan 6% increase 
  • Kitchen 6% increase 
  • Central heating 5.4% increase 
  • Bathroom 5% increase  
  • Paint and decorate 5% increase 
  • Fireplace 5% increase 
  • Conservatory 5% increase 
  • Flooring 3% increase 
  • Roof 3% increase 
  • Decking 2% increase 

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House Renovation, Interior Design

10 ways to modernise your old house and make it feel brand new

As the saying goes don’t move, improve. Especially if you love your house but want to modernise it to become more of your style. Adding affordable improvements can also add value to your home and can maximise how you use it.

Remove walls – 

removing the walls between the dining and living room or even the kitchen can transform an older home. Creating an open plan living space and making the room feel airy and modern, without damaging the character too much. 

How to Divide an Open-plan Space With a Half-wall | Houzz UK

Replace or clean the flooring –  

If the older house has a dirty carpet, it would be best to either clean it or buy a new one and make the space feel fresh. And if the flooring is wood or dark in colour to modernise the place you should opt for a lighter colour choice. 

▷ How to replace carpet with vinyl flooring? And why? | L'Antic Colonial

Paint the walls – 

The walls in outdated houses often have crazy wallpaper or dark paint on them. To make your home modern you need to choose colours that will tie your home together. This is an affordable easy way to transform your house quickly.  

Bright Pieces gallery wall - White and gold - desenio.co.uk

Install larger windows –  

By replacing the old windows with larger ones or by adding bi-fold doors it can open up a space. By doing this you will be creating indoor/ outdoor living which has become a very popular style of home design.   

50 Living Rooms with Big Windows (Photos) - Home Stratosphere

Replace old fixtures  

From light switches to cabinet handles, fixtures can really date a home. Update these common fixtures in your home and they will bring your design.  

  • Light switches 
  • Outlets and plugs 
  • Cabinet hardware 
  • Door handles  
  • Indoor and outdoor light fixtures 
Modern Nordic Lighting | Wayfair

Hide the clutter –  

Having numerous ornaments, pictures and magazines can instantly make a home feel outdated and uninviting. Having multi-functional furniture and hidden storage is a simple way to declutter and give your space a modern feel.  

Amazon.com: HOMCOM 39" Modern Lift Top Coffee Table Desk with Hidden  Storage Compartment for Living Room, Coffee Brown Woodgrain : Home & Kitchen

Add new lighting to your home – 

Having proper lighting can bring a room to life. A poorly lit room looks small, dark, and cramped, while a bright room appears open and welcoming. The easiest way of doing this is by adding lamps to dark areas and replacing the ceiling lights.  

Lenny Smoked Glass Table Lamp | Dunelm

Landscape the garden – 

 Landscaping is often overlooked. Planting more trees and flowers or having freshly cut grass can transform the garden and the look of the house. Many outdated houses have overgrown plants or plants that need a lot of love. To modernise the house, you should show just as much care to the outside as you do on the inside.  

9 Peter Fudge Gardens ideas | modern garden, landscape design, outdoor  gardens

Revamp the fireplace –  

A fireplace is a great focal point to a room. However, because fireplaces first became popular in the 70s and 80s you may need to make some changes for them to become modern. 

Traditional or Modern Fireplace? | Heat & Glo

Refresh or replace internal doors –  

You can give any room an update with a new door. By repainting or adding glass windows to the doors it can transform the entire layout of a home. Glass doors create an open-plan area without removing any internal walls, which is perfect for families.

An inspiring guide to French door perfection.

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Architecture & Building, House Renovation

Everything You Should Know About Home Elevator Before Purchasing

To some people installing an elevator in their home might be a luxury, saving you walking from one floor to another. However, too many other people living in a multi-story home might come with some concerns. Especially if you face physical limitations, as a result of injury, surgery, or age.  

Types of home elevators –  

Cable-driven elevator –  

This type of elevator is powered by a cable wound around a drum. These are some of the most well know elevators, they are typically seen in commercial buildings and stores. Elevators with dedicated shafts require a pit and machine room in addition to the shaft itself to operate. They are also the most cost-effective when built into new construction. The average prices for this type are £15,000 – £26,000. 

Glass Cable Elevator - Octagonal - Elevators | Nationwide Lifts

Chain driven elevator –  

Similar to a cable-driven however this one is powered by a chain wound around a drum. The benefits of the chain rather than the cable are that is it more durable. It requires less maintenance and doesn’t need to get replaced. They also don’t require a machine room so it saves space. The average price for this is around £15,000 – £37,000 

What are the Common Types of residential elevators? - Kravelv

Hydraulic –  

This is powered by a piston that travels inside a cylinder. The cylinder connects to a system that pumps fluid, usually oil to control the movements. They do not require a machine room as the power system is contained in the elevator shaft. However, the builders would need to dig a pit below for the shaft. Because of this, it would be relatively simple to fit into a home. The price for this would be around £15,000 – £37,000 

Home Lift: Residential Home Elevators in Hyderabad, Telangana |Celcius  Systems

Pneumatic elevator –  

Finally, this one uses a vacuum system within a tube to power the elevator’s movement. The futuristic design adds an element of interest to home décor. Because it is vacuum-powered, it doesn’t require a pit or a machine room, making it easy to install in homes. The prices vary from around £26,000 – £37,000 

Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators | Morning Star Elevator

How safe are home elevators?  

Modern home elevators are very safe. With safety codes, local building codes, and extra safety measures, home elevators today are designed to ensure a high level of safety.  

What happens if it gets stuck?  

If the elevator gets stuck between floors you should have an emergency phone installed. You can use this phone to call an emergency operator and they will send someone to help you exit the elevator. You should never try and exit the elevator yourself if it gets stuck.  

How much space is needed for an elevator?  

A home elevator typically won’t be more than 18 square feet, and an elevator with a shaft usually needs about 5 square feet of shaft space.  

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House Renovation, Interior Design

The Best Beginners Guide To Removing Internal Walls

You can transform your home and save on the cost of an extension by knocking down the internal walls that separate your kitchen and your living room. 

If you want a spacious open-plan living space but fear the cost of an extension, removing internal walls is a great alternative. You could open up a dark room and create a fresh living space without the hassle of the expense and construction of an extension.  

Do you need planning permission? 

Usually, you don’t need to apply for planning permission for internal alterations, such as removing walls. However, if you live in a listed building, you would need listed building consent or any works, internal or external.  

Can you remove an internal wall yourself? 

 You can knock down a wall yourself, but you need to first make sure that the wall isn’t load-bearing.  

A load-bearing wall is an active structural element, which holds the weight of the elements above it, by conducting its weight to a foundation structure below it.  

If the wall is a load-bearing wall it is advised to seek out professional help otherwise the removal could have a major effect on your home. In contrast, a non-load-bearing wall doesn’t support anything above them. Which makes them easy to remove all it takes is a sledgehammer and some common sense.  

Removing an interior non-load-bearing wall is messy, dusty work, but it’s not a difficult job and most walls come out more cleanly than you might expect.  

How long does it take to remove internal walls?  

Removing internal walls can take between 2 and 5 days once the work starts. The removal of load-bearing walls usually takes the longest amount of time due to the need for additional work and the installation of the steel joist, plastering, skirting, and painting. Whereas, smaller non-load-bearing walls take as little as four hours of total labour to remove.  

How much removing the walls will cost  

The average cost of removing a load-bearing wall is in the region of £1,250 to £1,750. Whereas, a non-load-bearing wall will cost between £400 – £800, depending on the size of the removal. 

HLN Engineering | How to Identify a Load Bearing Wall

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Architecture & Building, House Renovation

An Informative Step By Step Guide To Building A New Home

Looking to build a new home but don’t know where to start? this step by step guide is a perfect way to understand the process of the construction

1. Prepare the construction site 

Firstly, before any construction can happen, the local government must approve the design and provide permits. You will need these permits for everything from home construction, electrical work, plumbing, and planning. Once the permits are required, construction can begin.  

Often site preparation and foundation are performed by the same people. The crew clears the site of rocks, debris, and trees. They then level the site, put up wooden forms to serve as a template for the foundation, and dig holes and trenched. The footings are then formed and poured, as well as the foundation walls. The areas between them are levelled and fitted with plumbing drains and electrical chases; then the slab is poured. Once all of the concrete is set an inspector will visit the site to make sure the foundations are up to code and installed properly. 

2. Complete rough framing  

The floor, walls, and roof systems will all be completed. Usually, plywood sheathing is applied to the exterior walls, roof, and windows and the exterior doors are installed. It is then covered with a protective barrier known as a house wrap. This prevents liquid water from infiltrating the structure. This also reduces the likelihood of d rot.   

3. complete rough plumbing and electrical 

Once the shell is finished the roof can be installed and the following are installed: 

  • Pipes and wires 
  • Water supply lines 
  • Sewer lines and vents  
  • Bathtubs, shower units 
  • Ductwork for HVAC system 
  • HVAC vent pipes 

Once all of the things are installed you will need to have a few more inspections. 

4. install the insulation  

Insulation plays a key role in creating a more comfortable, consistent indoor climate and improving the home’s energy efficiency. The most common types of insulation used in new homes are fiberglass, cellulose, and foam. Most homes are insulated in all exterior walls, as well as the loft and floors.  

5. Complete drywall and the interior fixtures, start the exterior fixtures 

The next step is to hang the drywall and make sure it is taped so the seams are not visible. After the taping is complete the primer coat of paint is applied. Then the contractors will begin installing the external finishes such as brick and stone. 

6. finish interior trim, install driveway and walkways  

All of the interiors get completed and this includes doors, baseboards, window sills, cabinets, vanities, fireplaces, and much more. The walls get the last coats of paint and the wallpaper is applied.  

Generally, the driveway, walkways, and patios are formed at this stage.  

7. install hard surface flooring and countertops  

Ceramic tile, vinyl, and wood flooring are installed as well as the countertops.  

8. finish mechanical trims 

Light fixtures, outlets, and switches are installed and the electrical panel is complete. All of the bathroom fixtures are also installed such as sinks, toilets, baths, and showers.  

9. install finishing touches  

Mirrors, shower doors, and carpet are installed and a big final clean-up takes place. They also complete the landscaping by adding trees, grass, and shrubs  

10. The final walkthrough  

The final step is a walkthrough, your builders will show you and acquaint you with your new home, the features, and the operation of some things. This is also an opportunity to spot items that need to be corrected or adjusted. And also, to check there are no possible damages to the countertops or walls.  

Discover How to Avoid Budget Blowouts when Building a Home | BBBLOGS®
Building a new home

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Advice Center, House Renovation

Are New Build Houses Better Quality Than Old Houses?

Many people say older homes are of better quality than new homes. This is because in an older home they are probably with plaster and lathe. Whereas, the modern newer homes are often made out of drywall which is a weaker material.   

What is the difference between a new builds and an old builds?  

New build houses are homes that have recently been build and have never had anyone live in them. Whereas, an older house has had at least one person living inside and has been built for a couple of years.  

There are many pros and cons for both types of houses for example:   

Pros for a new build:  

  • Energy efficient – newer and modern buildings have become super insulated, they have double glazing and have heating and cooling systems.  
  • Builder’s warranty – usually new builds have a warranty for around 10 years, and if anything goes wrong the builders will fix it.  
  • More personalisation – you get to have more of a say in the design element. For example, you can choose the carpets, flooring, kitchens and bathrooms. 
  • Everything is brand new – because everything is new it will all be less maintenance than an older home.   

Cons for a new build:  

  • Space – new homes are often a lot more crammed and they seem to suffer with parking.   
  • Smaller rooms – new builds are often smaller and you would need to think more about internal space.  
  • Premium prices – the houses are brand new which means everything is new so it will become more expensive.  
  • Build delays – if you buy the house before its actually built you can experience delays. It can also have a knock-on effect on your mortgage offer.  

Pros for an old build:  

  • Character – if character and history is important to you an old build is perfect. They often have decorative windows, fireplaces and flooring.  
  • Size – older houses tend to have more internal and external space. And houses that were built around 1920 – 1930 often have large gardens and high ceilings.  
  • See issues – with these houses’ problems are usually visible and if you are purchasing you can pull out of the deal if you like.  
  • Adds value – you are able to renovate the house to how you like and add on to it. However, it’s hard to add value to a new build because everything is new.  

Cons for and old build: 

  • High maintenance – the houses have been standing longer and could have had a lot of owners. You also need to keep it looking good and structurally sound.    
  • Poor energy efficiency – the energy bills may be higher because the houses are bigger and less insulated.  
  • Renovations costs – the houses are less likely to be suited to you and they could be run down from previous owners. It could cost you money to repair it.  

Deciding on which houses are better is completely down to people’s opinions and there is no right or wrong answer.  

Old house vs New house

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Advice Center, House Renovation

The best guide to building in a conservation area

What is a conservation area?  

A conservation area is an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. And in other words, the features that make it unique. So conservation areas protect all the natural resources that are critical to people on earth. The protected areas provide for life’s essentials.  

To build a property and/or make adjustments to your property on a conservation area you would need a wildlife assessment check. This assessment is a free online tool that identifies protected or priority wildlife species in the location where proposed works take place.  

The trees are automatically protected from being cut down. This is because the trees may contribute to the special character of the conservation area.  

You can check with your local planning authority to see if your proposed work is in the area. And planning authorities designate the conservation areas.  

Generally, you need planning permission for relevant demolition and alterations to the house in a conservation area to do the following:  

Demolition –  

  • Demolish a building with a volume of 115 cubic meters or more. 
  • To demolish any gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure with: A height of one meter or more if next to a motorway, footpath, waterway or open space. And a height of two meters or more elsewhere.  

Alterations to the house –  

  • Any type of extension. 
  • Additions, alterations or extension to roofs. 
  • Cladding any part of the house with stone, render, timber, and another material. 
  • The construction of buildings (sheds) containers (tanks) and enclosures (swimming pools)  
  • The installation of chimneys, flues and vents on the main elevation of a house. 
  • Installation of satellite dishes or antennae on a chimney, wall or roof slope.  

Alterations to windows and doors, and painting the outside of the house do not require planning permission.  

It might be more expensive to have work done in a conservation area. This is because there are a lot of restrictions, especially on materials. And paperwork has to be completed 

A conservation area is likely to boost the value of your home, due to the fact that that the neighborhood is attractive and will remain so.  

Buying in a Conservation Area
Houses in a conservation area

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lockdown
House Renovation

Home Improvement Activities to Keep You Busy During Lockdown

Are you stuck in your home during a lockdown? Well, this is not the time to worry instead you should use this time for some productive work. What about renovating a room inside your home or repair a bath. Keep in mind that you are not the only one spending most of your time at home. Most people will start thinking that they are no more productive than they used to be. Well, it is normal as the pandemic of COVID-19 has restricted us from our normal life.

However, staying at home all the time does not mean that you cannot make good use of this free time. If you are working from your home or lazing around the whole day, there are many things that need your attention such as fixing or an upgrade.

If you are unable to sort it out on your own? Well, do not worry as these some DIY home improvement ideas will help you spend your free time in some productive work.

Fix Your Bath

A bathroom is a place in the home where most people try to put off repairs as much as possible. It is also true that fixing your toilet, bathtub or shower is a daunting task. But what if you are stuck in your during lockdown then it is an important repair to do.

Everyone in your family is at home, which means that more people are using the bathroom. In such a case, the last thing a homeowner would want is a major issue emerge from a small one. So, why not take some adhesive caulk strip and start fixing the tub. You can also use it on other surfaces to avoid leakage.

Fix Sharp Edges and Cabinets During Lockdown

Maybe you are ignoring the need for waterproofing and childproofing, now’s the time for you to complete these delayed tasks. These are really minor details, but in the long run, they can prevent major damages. So, it is time to fix those sharp edges and the cabinets. You need to make sure that the storage cabinets are waterproof. It is important to keep the things inside safe and dry.

Build An Extension During Lockdown

After fixing these minor issues what about an extension that you are planning for many months. What if you need more space for your growing family or why not just add a new home office in your home. Having an office in the home makes you feel at the office, where you can perform your office tasks as you are working from home during the lockdown. Having your own personal space is important to be productive.

When you are working from your home, it is difficult to keep everyone out of the room to focus on your work. So, it is time to plan a home office where you can be alone and think that you are actually working without disturbing or get disturbed by other members of the family.

If you want a home extension for your growing family, then it is the best time. The reason is that you can watch the work done without the tension of getting leave from the office. I mean it is better to do good for the family as you are stuck with them whether you want or not.

Gardening

Another activity that you can think of is gardening. Especially, if you are the kind of person who is not fond of going out. You love gardens but do not have enough time to work on them. So, instead of getting bored at home while watching the same movies again and again, get your tools and start gardening.