Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first Forestrall Timber and FencingSuper Diet blog of 2013.

Although perhaps a distant memory, we hope everyone had a lovely Christmas? With today being many people’s first day back at work, the focus is probably just on making it through the week and perhaps sticking to the diet / detox! However, we’ve been working a lot over the Christmas break, and have been giving consideration to the “don’t move – improve” concept that seems to be prevalent at the moment.

With the economy being as it is, homeowners appear to be doing their very best to upgrade their current property rather than go to the expense and stress of moving house. As such, we’ve researched a list of things you can do to improve your living space.

Front Of HouseNaturally one of the key factors when people start thinking about a possible move is the need for more space. There are three fairly common ways of making your home bigger – by extending UP into the loft, OUT into an extension, or DOWN into the basement.

Modern building techniques and new materials give you more choices nowadays for a loft conversion whether it’s to serve as a bedroom, bathroom, home office or a playroom for the kids. Planning permission isn’t normally required, and loft conversions can add real value. The loft is the perfect place for a home office, keeping you away from household distractions but do remember that once you’ve converted your loft, that’s a whole host of storage space that you lose – so you’ll need to find a new home for all the suitcases, boxes of paperwork and other such clutter that we all have in our loft!

If you have the space to build outwards, then an extension could be the perfect answer for you. Whether you’ve got a hankering for an extra bedroom or a bigger kitchen, the most common type of home improvement is a rear or side extension. Equally, this type of project is top of the list for adding value to your home too.

If there’s room to do it, extending the overall “footprint” of your house is often the simplest way of extending, particularly as many homes simply aren’t suitable for loft or cellar conversions.

Obtaining planning approval for an extension is pretty straightforward, as long as your plans are in keeping with the style of your property and your neighbours don’t object. A single-storey rear extension for an average three-bed semi will cost around £10,000-20,000 while a double-storey rear extension could cost £40,000-plus. This type of extension can add anything from 10 to 50 per cent to the value of your property.

Finally, if you have a basement / cellar, then there is always the possibility of extending or converting that. Extending below ground has been out of favour for many years, but Cellarrecently there’s been a surge in popularity. A stylish basement can add a real “wow” factor to any home and can significantly increase the value too, particularly if you are adding beneficial and usable space to the property.

Many Victorian terraced properties already have basement space which is ideal for conversion, as these tend to be the properties that benefit the most from an additional room, as they may have limited bedrooms or just one reception room.

We’ll continue on this theme next week, looking at ways to improve your property because sometimes it’s not just about the space, it can be about the aesthetics and how you feel about the property. Small improvements can give your house a new lease of life and make you once again appreciate the space around you.

Don’t forget, if you are making any plans at the moment or are in the stages of thinking out your next project, then do get in touch with us at Forestrall as we can assist with materials for internal and external projects, so whether its redecoration or landscaping, give us a call on 01474 833096 or e-mail us at sales@forestrall.co.uk

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