Tag: Extension

Design and Inspiration

Showers: Which One Works Best For You

Different types of showers 

  • Electric  
  • Mixer  
  • Power
  • Digital  

Electric shower 

One of the main advantages of an electric shower is that a hot water supply is not needed from your boiler. These showers have been proven energy efficient as you do not need to heat your boiler tank for an electric shower. Also, electric showers are simple to install. However, this shower needs a good water pressure either from your main supply or water pump. An electric shower can instantly heat up water instead of taking the hot water supply from your boiler tank. No more waiting for your boiler to heat up! One downside to an electric shower is that your existing water pressure isn’t good, your shower may not be very powerful. 

Mixer shower 

A mixer shower is different to an electric shower as it needs an existing source of hot water. The shower does exactly what the names says it does. This shower mixes your hot and cold water together before the water comes out the shower head. An advantage to a mixer shower is that it is more powerful than an electric shower. The water comes out a lot stronger.  

Power shower 

These showers a perfect with homes that have low water pressure. A power shower uses a pump to improve the flow rate of the water it using. One of the  benefits to a power shower is that flow rate is instantly increased for a powerful shower. Also, the installation is quick and simple and many power showers come with eco-friendly options.  

Digital shower  

Digital showers are at the top of bathroom technology. This shower stands out due to the control panel that can change the temperature and the flow rate. This means you can adjust the temperature by the degree. Key features to this shower are that some are even compatible to smart devices and there are many options of different digital showers available. There are different types of digital showers to suit almost any water system, this is why they are the perfect showers. 

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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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Listed Buildings: An Easy Guide

Categories of listed buildings 

In England and Wales there are 3 categories of listed buildings 

  • Grade 1 (2.5% of buildings)- Buildings of exceptional interest. For example, the Liverpool Anglican cathedral. 
  • Grade 2*(5.5% of buildings)- Buildings with particular importance. For example, Buckingham Palace. 
  • Grade 2 (92% of buildings)- Buildings of special architectural or historic interest. A grade 2 listed building is defined as a UK building or structure that is of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve it. 

Things you should know before buying a listed property. 

  • From your local authority, you’ll need to be granted permission for any changes to the building. This is including all renovations or any changes to the internal layout.  
  • All listed buildings are on a national register which is searchable on the Historic England Website. 
  • Repairs will cost more. You will have to hire specialist labourers that have the correct skills and tools to carry out the repairs, which can be more costly than a standard labourer.  
  • You’ll need specialist home insurance to cover your home which will cost more. This will cost more due to the materials needed for your home. 

Do’s and don’ts for listed buildings  


  • Remove or alter original architectural features such as doors, decorative stonework, fireplaces or windows. 
  • Don’t assume your garden is yours to play with. Walls and Trees are listed too. 


  • Before buying a listed building, you need to make sure that all renovations done by the previous owners were done correctly. It doesn’t matter if the renovations were done before you owned the building you are still liable. 
  • Make sure you have specialist home insurance. 
  • Keep in regular touch with your conservation officer as they have all the information you may need.  

How are buildings chosen for listing? 

The older the building is the more likely the building is listed. All buildings that were built before 1700s which is still in its original condition will be listed. 

The newer the property the more remarkable it needs to be to become listed, for example a building with outstanding architecture. Buildings are not usually eligible for listing until it’s at least 30 years old. 

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Advice Center, Extensions

What Are The Top 6 Different Types Of Porch?

The porch is the first thing visitors see as they approach your house. So, if you are looking to create a beautiful entrance to the front of your home but are unsure of what style of porch you would like, this blog is perfect for you.  

1 – Overhang 

Firstly, simple overhang porches can be visually beautiful. An overhang is the part of the roof that extends over the edge of the house. Porch overhangs help shield your house from strong winds and heavy rain. They can also help shade windows from the sun in the summer.  

80 The Best Front Porch Ideas #frontporchideas landscape ideas front yard,  porch and patio ideas, front porch ro… | Modern front porches, House  entrance, Porch roof

2 – An enclosed porch  

An enclosed porch is usually the traditional style in the UK. If you have limited hallway space, an enclosed porch is a great way to add extra space and storage. Many people use these as a space to keep your shoes and coats, so you don’t have to bring your dirty shoes inside the house. You should include plenty of light in the design of this porch so it’s not dark and gloomy.  

3 – Veranda   

A veranda may be a large porch that’s a room for outdoor enjoyment and entertainment. A veranda is an open-air porch or platform that has a roof and runs across the front and sides of the home. Often, enclosed by a railing and is mainly leveled with the ground level of the home. 

Glass Verandas: Everything You Need to Know | Canopies UK

4 – Open porches  

 An open porch is one without screens or any sort of enclosure. They are usually elevated structures, with a roof overhead and open support structures. If you prefer to have an airier open space then you might prefer an open area, rather than an indoor room.  

Border Oak Porches | Border Oak

5 – Deck  

Decks are open outdoor porches or platforms without a roof. They are typically made out of wood or some simulation wood material. Many homeowners like to go for this option because the materials make the deck look warm and inviting. However, decks can be more expensive to install due to the material, installation, and maintenance. 

Wood Decks: Ipe & Exotic Hardwoods Installed in Lancaster & Central PA –  Stump's Quality Decks & Porches


6 – Detached porches –  

A detached porch is separate and not attached to the house. They are usually connected to the house by a walkway or a wooden deck leading to it. The detached building can be screened in, open-air, glass-enclosed, or anything in between. These types of porches could potentially be more expensive because it is a separate structure from the house.  

What Is A Porch | 15 Types Of Porch Used For Home

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Advice Center

Roofing Materials: Simple And Easy

What are the main roofing materials in the UK? 

  • Slate roof 
  • Concrete roof 
  • Clay roof  

Slate tiles 

Slate roofing materials lasts more than 100 + years. It won’t burn, its waterproof and resists Mold and fungus. Slate is effective in wet climates but is expensive, heavy and may be easily broken when stepped on. 

Clay tiles  

Roof tiles made from clay can withstand damage from winds up to 130 miles per hour, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes. Clay tiles are also known as Spanish tile roofs. These tiles are a good choice for your roof as they are durable and long-lasting tiles but they are extremely heavy meaning your roof may need to be reinforced to support the additional weight. 

Concrete tiles  

Concrete tiles last the life of the structure, fire resistant and weather resistant. These tiles are a good choice for roofing materials as they are very durable. 

Frequently asked questions about these roofing materials 

Are slate roofs expensive? 

Yes, slate roofs are one of the most durable and longest-lasting roofing materials on the market. 

Are clay tiles eco-friendly? 

Clay tile roofs are eco-friendly because they are made from natural earth minerals that can be recycled. 

Are concrete tiles cheaper than slate? 

Concrete tiles tend to be cheaper than slate. 

Are slate roofs expensive?  

Yes, slate is one of the most expensive roofing materials. 

How do I maintain a slate roof? 

Cleaning the gutters around 3-4 times a year. You should get professionals to inspect the roof for any damage around once every 10 years. 

How long does clay roofs last? 

80-100 years old  

What is the life of concrete tiled roof? 

Normally, a concrete tiled roof can last as long as 50 years. 

Is a clay tiled roof waterproof? 

Clay tiles are waterproof, fire resistant and wind resistant. 

Can you walk on slate roof? 

Slate is hard-wearing and durable but it can easily crack if under too much pressure. Professionals use hook ladders, jacks and planks on slate roofing, which allows them to walk across the roof without putting weight on the slate and damaging it. 

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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 


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


  • Generic in feel  
  • Must be placed between two walls  

Freestanding tub 


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


  • No storage areas  
  • Expensive  
  • Extremely heavyweight  

Drop in tub 


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


  • Difficult to install and remove. 

Corner tubs 


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


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

Clawfoot tub 


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


  • Lack of storage 

Undermount tub  


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


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

Hot tubs 


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


  • Expensive  

Japanese tub  


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


  • 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

Window: Everything You Need To Know

Need a new window? There are many different windows you can have and here are 20 of them listed. 

  • Awning 
  • Casement 
  • Double hang 
  • Single hang 
  • Picture 
  • Jalouise  
  • Tilt and turn  
  • Fully reversible  
  • Bay  
  • Sash 
  • Cottage 
  • Egress 
  • Slider  
  • Roof 
  • Skylights 
  • Glass roof 
  • Arched  
  • Garden 
  • Storm 

Casement windows  

The casement is the oldest and the most versatile style of frame in UK. They are easy to open and close due to their configuration and many can even be installed alongside automatic openers. Double-glazed casement windows offer superior installation and security. They allow a lot of lights into the room. These windows are not compatible with screens or storm windows meaning you will not be able to use casement windows as they open outwards. There are 3 types of casement windows which is single framed, double and push-out. 

  • Single framed are most commonly installed and tend to be cheaper. 
  • Double used to be known as French casement windows. 
  • Push-out come in both single and double. 

Double-hung windows  

A double-hung window has two sashes in a single frame, with both sashes able to slide up or down independently of one other. Double-hung windows are easy to clean and is an ideal fit when the height is taller than the width. These windows have outstanding security, with low profile, double cam locks that join at the sashes for an extremely secure and tight seal. Double-hung windows can be found in multiple places in the home. However, these windows are best in the bedrooms due to their ability to have both lower and upper sashes opened. This allows maximum ventilation. 

Jalouise windows  

Jalouise windows gets their name from the French word jealousy, or to screen something from view. The parallel slats or panes of these windows would open much like the slats on venetian blinds. When in the open position, they would allow maximum ventilation. There is little to no security with these windows as one can easily reach inside of one these panels. Also, having this type of window will make it difficult to keep the warmth in your home in cold weather. 

Fully reversible windows 

Fully reversible windows are one of the house styles that rotate fully and give you easy access to each side for cleaning. This window can give full ventilation when open. This modern style of window can give full ventilation when open. This modern style of window is perfect for high rise locations, such as flats or offices, where space around the window could be an issue. However, the window rotates on its own axis, opening to allow airflow and then rotating further so that the outer glass can be cleaned. 

Tilt and turn windows  

Tilt and turn windows have a mechanical hinge that opens on two axes. It has a single handle that you can use to tilt the window from the top to let in a light breeze or turn the handle to open the window from the side and open it wide for full ventilation and easy cleaning. Benefits of tilt and turn windows are that it has better air seals and they are made more secure. These windows have really good ventilation. 

Awning windows  

Awning windows are hinged on the top and open outwards from the bottom, allowing for ventilation and protection from the rain. These windows provide protection from the weather while still allowing ventilation. This allows little no leakage from rain when open. Awning windows are ideal for high wind locations, less prone to the wind which usually blows from the sides, rather than the top. 

Picture windows 

A picture window is a large, fixed pane window. This window gets its name from the fact that is designed to give a clear view of your surrounding without any obstruction essentially acting as a picture frame for the scenery outside the window. Picture windows are stationary and can’t move or open. 

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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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Design and Inspiration, Materials

Flooring And Its Pros And Cons

Wanting to change your flooring at home? Heres a list of different types of floors and their pros and cons.

Types of flooring 

  • Timber  
  • Laminate 
  • Bamboo 
  • Vinyl 
  • Cork 
  • Tile  
  • Carpet 
  • Rubber 
  • Poured floors 
  • Wood  
  • Engineered floors

What are the main types of flooring? 

  • Wood 
  • Vinyl 
  • Tile 
  • Carpet 
  • Engineered floors

Pros and cons  

Hardwood Pros 

Hardwood flooring is adaptable in its looks and can complement all types of interiors. 

  • Many options available 
  • Expensive  
  • Can be refinished multiple times (However this can be expensive) 
  • Strong and durable  
  • Increases home value 

Hardwood cons 

  • Expensive  
  • Can incur scrapes, scratches and dents 
  • Avoid water contact – You should avoid large amounts of water that will destroy the flooring with seepage. 
  • Cupping – This happens when the edges of the wood board is higher that the centre, due to the moisture content which has slowly happened will cause the wood to expand. 

Engineered wood pros 

  • Price 
  • Better temperature resistance  
  • Adds value to your home 

Engineered wood cons 

  • Maintenance 
  • Fading 
  • Potentially weak 

Carpet pros 

  • Warmth 
  • Cost 
  • Variety 

Carpet cons 

  • Stains 
  • Cost 
  • Variety 
  • Restricted (You don’t tend to find carpet in the kitchen or bathroom) 

Tile pros 

  • Easy to maintain 
  • Water resistant  
  • Durable 
  • Cost 

Tile cons 

  • Cold 
  • Heavy 
  • Slippery and hard 

Vinyl pros 

  • 100% Moisture resistant  
  • Low maintenance  
  • Easy to clean 
  • Easy DIY installation 
  • Cost 
  • Variety of décor options  

Vinyl cons  

  • Difficult to remove if glued down  
  • Can be punctured with very sharp objects  
  • Can dent with heavy objects on top 
  • Not bio gradable 
  • Can fade and discolour 

Things to consider when choosing flooring for your home 

  • Location – Not every type of floor is suitable for every room. You should pick wisely when picking flooring as engineered floors would be perfect for a kitchen however carpet would not be.You need to take into consideration what the use of the room will be before purchasing flooring for the space. 
  • Durability – Durability is important factor in your flooring decision because the quality of your floors can influence the value of your home. 
  • Price – Floors can vary in price. Stone floors are extremely expensive whereas tile and laminate flooring is quite reasonable.  
  • Family’s lifestyle – You need to consider the activities that take place in your home. For example, if you have children or pet’s carpet would be best. However, if it is just you and your partner you can take the pick of whichever suits you best.  
  • Maintenance requirements – it advised to check maintenance requirements of any floor so you know if your able to maintain it after it’s been installed.  

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Architecture & Building

Permitted Development, Everything You Need to Know (PD)

What is Permitted Development?(PD) 

Permitted development is a scheme that was created that allows you to extend or renovate without the need for a full planning application.PD rights are an automatic grant of planning permission which allow building works and changes of use to be carried out. 

What is the difference between Planning Applications and Permitted Development? 

Planning permission is asking your local council for permission to construct a scheme.Whereas PD is notifying your local council of your intentions to construct. 

Do I need drawing for permitted development? 

Yes, you do need drawings. Also any PD application must be accompanied by Architectural drawings.  

Do I need to pay a fee for a PD Application? 

Yes, you do need to pay a fee. 

What size extension can I build without Planning Permission? 

Without planning permission you can only extend on a terraced or semi-detached property. However you cannot go any taller than four meters in height or three meters across. 

What projects fall under Permitted Development? 

  • Building a small rear extension 
  • Building a porch less than 3m2. 
  • Changes of use, such as loft conversions, basement conversions and garage conversions. 
  • Internal altercations (knocking down internal walls) 
  • Installing satellite dishes and erecting antenna 
  • Adding roof-lights or dormer windows 

Properties that don’t have PD rights 

  • Flats, Maisonettes or Houses in multiple occupation. 
  • Builds in conservation areas. 
  • Listed buildings 
  • Properties that have had the rights removed. 

Do I need Building Regulations approval under Permitted Development? 

Yes, building regulations is for the construction work itself. Also you must comply the rules of building regulations, as it’s not permission to carry out the work. 

What happens if I’ve built under PD rights, but should have sought Planning Permission? 

If already constructed you could be faced with enforcement action, which would result in a request for a retrospective planning application.However if the permission is refused you will need to demolish the new construction. 

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