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Extensions

Building A Conservatory On A Budget: Ways How To Save Money

If you are looking to add a valuable asset to your home, conservatories are the way to go. However, if you are trying to stay within a budget there are ways you can achieve a well-designed project. Some conservatories can reach up to £75,000 although, there are ways to get one done for as little as £5,000.  

Here are some ways to save money on a conservatory. 

Create a DIY conservatory –  

One of the best ways to save money on creating and installing a conservatory is by doing it yourself. While this is a much cheaper option, the process is complicated and can cause a lot of stress. 

You’ll need to build every element on your own, from the foundation to the roofing. As well as this you will have to make sure your design is within permitted development. Otherwise, you will have to spend more money on planning permission.  

Choose a cheaper type of conservatory –  

 There are a lot of options when it comes to the type and size of the project you want to create. You can decrease the costs by being careful with the size of the new space.  

For example, you could do a flat-roof and squared-off build to reduce the number of materials. However, if you use double glazing and slimline frames it lets the natural light flood in.  

If you design a conservatory with a fully tiled roof and partial brick wall instead of glass, be expected to pay more. Whereas, you can get simple lean-to frames that are not that expensive.  

 Choose uPVC over aluminium  

 UPVC offers a great balance between durability and price. It is a cheaper price than aluminium but it isn’t far off when it comes to performance. UPVC gives you as much flexibility and energy-saving potential. You can ger recyclable uPVC, meaning you can also help the environment while you cut the cost of your conservatory.  

Decide what it’s going to be used for first –  

Make sure you know how you are going to be using the conservatory. So, you don’t payout for any unnecessary features you don’t need.   

You should think about what you will use it for and when you are spending the most time in it. If you only use it on hot days in the summer you might not need as many electrical sockets. And if you use it all year you may consider adding underfloor heating.  

Use energy-efficient double glazing –  

A crucial way of saving money is to make sure you are using energy-saving materials. A way of doing this is by getting double glazing windows which increases the insulation and reduces energy usage.  

Double glazing works to create a thermal barrier for your space, pairing with the frames to give you air and water tightness. Because of this, you can stay comfortable in your space without relying on heating.  

Small Conservatories - Small conservatory range | Anglian Home

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Advice Center

Looking To Become An Architect? Here’s What You Need To Know

What do you do as an architect?  

An architect is a skilled professional who plans and designs buildings and usually plays a key role in their construction. Architects are trained in the art and science of building design. Since they’re responsible for the safety of their building’s occupants, architects must be professionally licensed. 

Is being an architect a good career?   

Architects are highly respected in society. Due to their creative nature and attention to detail, they are considered a combination of arts and intelligence.  

Is studying architecture hard?  

You may have heard that architecture is a challenging subject to study, which might be daunting if you are thinking of perusing a career in it.  

Architecture is more difficult than many degrees as it involves thinking creatively and technically. It is also a very time-intensive course with an average workload of 36.7 hours per week. 

The different ways to get into this role –  

You can get into this job through:  

  • University courses 
  • An apprenticeship  
  • Working towards the role  

University –  

For example, you’ll need to complete:

  • A degree recognised by the architect’s registration board (ARB) 
  • A year of practical work experience 
  • A further 2 years full time university course like BArch, Diploma, MArch 
  • A year of practical training 
  • A final qualifying exam 

Course providers will want to see a portfolio of your drawings, hand-drawn sketches, photos, and models. So prepare when you are getting interviewed for degree courses.  

Apprenticeship –  

In particular, you can get into this role through an architect degree apprenticeship. This usually takes 48 months to complete, with a mix of workplace learning and academic study at an approved university. In addition, you’ll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) AND A levels, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.  

Work –  

If you’re already working at a high level in an architectural practice but cannot study full time, you could qualify through RIBA Studio.

You’ll need to be registered with the ARB. Furthermore, you can register here:

https://architects-register.org.uk/

How much do architects earn?  

According to the RIBA jobs salary 2020, the salaries of registered architects in the Uk range from £21,000 to £80,000 a year. In addition, the average mid-career salary is somewhere around £40,000 a year.  

Although, we see that many architects actually earn very little, considering the work that they do and the responsibilities that they carry.  

Is being an architect worth it? 

The short answer is yes, it’s a creative, diverse, and ever-changing subject and profession that provides a huge array of opportunities and avenues to explore. Architecture is not easy, but if you dedicate yourself to it and are passionate about the subject it can be very fun.   

B.Arch Degree Course Syllabus,Eligibility | Education After 12th
an architect in work

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Conversions, Extensions

Planning A Basement Extension/ Conversion: Here’s What You Should Know

If you are in need of extra space but aren’t in a position to move house or extend outwards or upwards, there is another way. You could consider a basement conversion or an extension.  

What is a basement extension? 

A basement can be a great way to expand your living space by creating an extra bedroom, lounge, office, or gym. Basements are slowly becoming more popular in the UK. As people look for more space and don’t have the ability to extend wider, longer, or higher.  

What is a basement conversion? 

A basement conversion is a process of changing the space into an inhabitable room.  

There are three ways of building a basement extension:  

  • Conversion or refurbishment of the existing one 
  • Adding a basement to an existing property – a good option for when there’s no other way to gain extra space.  
  • Building a new basement as part of a new house build. 

Do basement conversions/ extensions need planning permission?  

You should speak to your local planning authority and building control department before you start any work. To make sure you know what permission is required. 

If you are converting an existing basement and are not making any changes to the external appearance of the building, you are unlikely to need planning permission. Whereas, if you are creating more room or if you are making changes to the external appearance of the property by adding a light well, then you are likely to need planning permission.  

Advantages basements can provide –  

In some parts of the UK especially London, where property values are at a premium, many people are turning to conversions and extensions. Another advantage is that you can create a new floor that can be used in different ways. 

Some more practical advantages are: 

  • Sun tunnels – these use mirrors to reflect sky and light above. 
  • Open up the space – keep the space as open as possible with minimal structures like walls. Consider using glass to enhance the light, for example, a glass staircase.  
  • Rooms with no light – rooms that work well with no light are perfect for basements, for example, entertainment rooms, storage, utility rooms, etc.  

Conversion/ extension disadvantages –  

The major disadvantage of starting a project in your basement can be the cost. However, in areas where property values are high, basements can work financially. Another disadvantage is that the construction of an extension or conversion can be complex, messy, and loud. 

Cost –  

Depending on the type of project you would like to achieve the prices will differ. Converting an existing basement will averagely be around £800 – £1500 per square metre. And if you are lowering the floor level it will cost you between £1400 – £2000 per square metre.  

Architects in London were asked how much it would cost to extend a basement. Most varied between £3000 – £4000 per metre square, for mid-range finishes.  

East Sheen - Cellar Conversion and Basement Construction Cellar Conversion  and Basement Construction

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Advice Center

Architectural Service Prices UK: How Much Do They Charge?

Architects’ prices can vary, not only in their level but also in the methods of their calculations. There are different methods for calculating the prices. This includes the percentage of construction, a fixed fee, and hourly rates.  

When you decide that you would like to use architectural services, the first question you have in mind is how much does it cost to hire an architect? 

Prices back in the day  

Up until the 1980s, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) published a mandatory and recommended fee scale on the prices they could expect architects to charge. However, due to the increase in competition the fee scales were abolished.  

How much do architects charge? 

This isn’t a simple question because there are so many different ways, they can charge you. And it also depends on your project and the features you want to include. Although here is an overview of the different methods:  

  • A percentage of the project – this can range from 1.5% to 20%. Usually, the bigger the project, the lower the percentage.  
  • Fixed fees – the architects can quote you a lump sum depending on how much work they will have to put into your project.  
  • Hourly rates – will get charged by the hour.   

Architect’s fees for residential projects will normally vary between 10%-14% of construction cost.  

How much does it cost for the drawings?  

Architects make design decisions that will add value to the site, they will then draw the floor plans, elevations, and visualisations. You will need these for planning applications, building control approval, and for the builders to use for construction.  

Prices typically range from £1400 – £6000 with an average of £3700. Although the prices will differ depending on the size and complexity of the project.  

Your architect will play an important role in:  

  • Discussing your project in detail with you  
  • Providing advice, guidance, and assistance  
  • Preparing and submitting your planning/ building regs application  
  • Hel you manage design and building mistakes (if any) 

A good architect will save you money in the long run, through careful planning that avoids costly changes and a U-turn on site. They would be looking out for your money at every stage.  

What to expect from an architect’s price proposal –  

Although each project is different, the proposal should include the same key information: 

  • A description of the project and brief 
  • A schedule or description of services to be provided 
  • The fee chargeable, broken down against work stages of the project 
  • Additional chargeable expenses  
  • An outline of project timescale  

If your proposal doesn’t include any of the information above, ask your architect for further clarification.  

What's the Average Building Cost Per Sq M in 2021? | Checkatrade

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Extensions, House Extension

Timber Frame Extensions – The Good And The Bad

A timber frame extension is an economical and impactful way to increase your home’s space and add value to your property. This type of extension is often quicker and easier to build than blockwork projects and it’s great if you’re building on a budget.  

Advantages of timber frame extensions –  

Choosing a timber frame structure will allow for a quick build time, it would be weatherproof and secure much faster than other construction methods. Timber is an environmentally friendly material with excellent insulation. This means that not only will your extension be eco-friendly, it will also be energy efficient.  

Your timber frame extension can be produced in any style. It will blend in with your extension home whether that be wood, render, or brick finish. However, because you are allowed to select any style if you would like you could apply a contrasting finish to really make it stand out.  

Disadvantages –  

The timber used in home designs is all pressure treated with preservatives. However, the risk of rot is greater when it comes to working with wood. But assuming they’re built correctly the risk should be minimal.  

 A timber frame won’t resist sound transmission as a well-built home because the block home has more density to it. Although, you can add insulation or sound-deadening materials to stop sound transmission. 

Often people say they don’t feel solid enough compared to traditional extensions.  

Why timber frame extensions are built quickly –  

Timber frames are usually built off-site in a factory and are designed to fit the exact measurements provided. While the frames are getting constructed the external groundwork takes place. They do two things at once because it is important to get it done before the weather changes.  

Once the frame is built the extension will be watertight, allowing for you to install electrics, plaster, and plumbing sooner.  

Deciding you install a timber frame extension can eliminate a lot of issues such as the noise and the mess from the construction. With this, you can gain an extension without feeling stressed and enjoy your house.  

Depending on the scale and complexity of the job, it usually takes between 6 to 12 weeks to design and build a timber extension. 

Will you need planning permission?  

You will need to check with your local council to see if your proposed extension is under permitted development. And if it is not you will need to seek planning permission. You may find that if you live in a conservation area or an area of natural beauty that you have restrictions on what you can achieve.  

How much does a timber frame extension cost? 

On average in the UK, the cost of planning and constructing a timber-framed extension is around £27,000, which is around £1,400-£2,400 per square meter. Prices can vary depending on the size of the project and also what type of timber you are using.  

Designing an Oak Home for Life - Build It
Timber frame extension

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Extensions, House Extension

What You Need To Know About Flat-Pack Extensions

With not enough houses on the market, and unstable house prices more people are choosing to improve their homes rather than moving. Although it can be a better investment, extensions are not cheap. This is why people are looking for a low-cost option.  

This is why flat-pack extensions are on the rise. Because they are pre-made additions they have been gaining popularity, thanks to their budget-friendly price and quick installation. They are also a great way of adding extra space to your home if you don’t have the space or don’t want construction work going on.  

What is a flat-pack extension?  

A flat-pack extension is a home addition that is built off-site. Either in a workshop or a factory. Once it is constructed it’s delivered to your home, and then put together by the extension provider and a contractor.  

Just like a normal extension, there are many different styles of flat-pack extensions, for example:  

  • Steel 
  • Timber  
  • Brick   
  • uPVC  

Do you need planning permission with a flat-pack home?  

Yes, flat-pack require the same planning and building regulations as a traditional extension. Although, if you are within the permitted development rights you will be able to extend your home without planning permission.  

Flat-pack Extension costs –  

On average a flat-pack extension would cost between £1,260 and £1,680 per square meter for a room that is at a plastered finish. So, you can expect to pay around £25,000-£33,000 for an average-sized single-story extension. However, you need to keep in mind that this doesn’t include paint, flooring, and lighting. All designs are unique so the prices will vary. And also, fees could become 10-15% higher if you’re getting help from architects, planning officers, and engineers.  

Pros – 

One major benefit to having a flat-pack extension is that the only on-site work that needs to be completed is digging the foundations and connecting the utilities. Another benefit is that it would cause less disruption to your everyday life and the neighbour’s and it would be less of an inconvenience.   

Cons –  

With flat-pack extensions, you are limited in the designs you choose, and you might not be able to get an extension that matches your home. This could affect your planning permission and devalue the property. They are also more common on the rear of the property. Which is a disadvantage for someone who was hoping to add a side or a two-story extension.  

What are my options? - Habattach - Modular Extension | elink
Flat-pack extension

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Architecture & Building, Flat Conversions

Looking To Live In A Maisonette? Everything You Should Know

What is a maisonette?  

It is a set of rooms for living in, typically on two storeys of a larger building and having a separate entrance.  

The difference between a maisonette and a flat –  

A maisonette is a two-storey flat, where the front door is your own. This means you can exit your home directly to the outside. However, with a regular flat, you have a shared corridor. And your usual flat consists of several rooms that span a single floor.  

Maisonettes are often more bespoke than flats and aren’t typically sold as part of a development block. They also vary largely in square footage, layout, and spec. Living in a maisonette also gives you more outside space as opposed to a flat.  

Is a maisonette a house? 

They are not necessarily a house although they can come with similar square footage and many of the same perks. For instance, they offer similar privacy to that of a house, and they are argued to be safer. Because with all the windows on the higher level, and the only access is the front for it is less likely you would get burgled. 

Maisonettes are ideal for families because just like a house they often house gardens and sometimes even garages. However, the garden might have to be shared with others in the flats. And you’ll have to access the garden separately outside, typically through a side gate.  

Where can I find them?  

In the UK maisonettes are not uncommon, you can find them usually above shops, in town centres and close to cities. Due to them being slightly smaller and more affordable than a house many are located in cities.  

They are also popular in areas with lots of students because landlords convert one house into two separate dwellings to take on more tenants.  

Is it good to live in one?  

There are plenty of advantages to living in a maisonette the first one is that they are warm and cosy. Being upstairs is a major positive especially in the winter because the heat from the downstairs flat rises and it heats up the house.  

Maisonettes often also have a lot of storage compared to a flat or an apartment. This is because most of them have exterior storage such as a garage.  

Maisonettes itself would be about 20-25% cheaper than the equivalent space in that block.  

Some negatives to living in one –  

Although there are many positives, there are some hurdles to living in a maisonette. With either no off-road parking or a shared driveway parking you can be difficult. And a lot of people find parking on a residential street a nightmare.  

When living above someone you have to be extra neighbourly, you need to be respectful and keep an eye on the amount of noise you make.  

8 Maisonette Designs That Are a Step Up from Your Usual HDBs | Qanvast
A modern maisonette

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