Category Archives for "Home Improvement"

Apr 20

Understanding Building Regulations For Loft Ladders, Loft Stairs And Loft Conversions

By Chris Walker | Home Improvement , Lofts

There are a lot of authority rules out there that at times come out as confusing to people who want to construct loft stairs, loft ladders or just simply carrying out a loft conversion. However, there are requirements for example in constructing loft stairs, the authority sees to it as an opening to using the loft as some sort of living space. As required by law, the authorities regulate the construction of premises including the living space. When you are planning to use the loft as a storage space, then it is not going to be frequently accessed. This is taken to be different from a loft that has been converted to a living area. The law is there to ensure that every conversion is done by the required standards and relevant rules. This is because, when a loft is converted into a living area, it means that it will be accessed frequently so if the staircase has not been put up well, it could lead to an accident or such so the law is here to prevent any injuries that can result from any accident that could occur.

Details that are Applicable for Building Regulations

The major concern of local authorities, when it comes to loft ladders is the ability to escape in case a fire breaks out. If the loft has been converted to become a bedroom for instance, and a fire breaks out, it is extremely easy for one to escape by use of a staircase in comparison with a simple loft ladder. It is for the same reason that when it comes to loft stairs, whatever you put should be reviewed by the local government to prevent any injuries that might occur from a fall in case any emergency was to come up.

Undertaking the Conversion Project

It is advised to at least go through a copy of regulations under which your project is covered to be familiar with what is required of you.  It is wise to do so but it helps so that you are aware on whether you have attained the minimum standards that have been set for design and construction, by the law. There are 5 major categories in loft conversions. These include an access method, ventilation, fire safety, insulation and its structural stability.

Structural Stability

This is usually put into consideration if you want to use the loft as a storage unit for extremely heavy equipment. This would mean that the joists holding the ceiling would need to be reinforced or strengthened so that they are able to hold the weight.

Fire Safety

Conforming to fire and the safety regulations is imperative. The floors and the walls should be able to resist fire for at least 30 minutes. There should be escape windows and fire alarm systems.


Be familiar with both background ventilation and rapid ventilation.  Your roof should also be ventilated so that it prevents the condensation of moisture.

Apr 15

Ideas For A Small Conservatory

By Chris Walker | Conservatories , Home Improvement

There are so many ideas for small conservatories which end up maximizing space which is valuable. When you add a conservatory to an existing room results to the provision of extra room and also gives you much more natural light which is healthy.  You are able to enjoy the garden, throughout the year. There is no need for one to look for so much space when setting up a conservatory. This is because it also works in small spaces and areas. For instance, if you create folding doors, you then only need any glass structure that is very simple.

small conservatory example

This adds up extra elements into your home. You can be extending the kitchen or creating the study, maybe the dining room so, by putting thought to decoration and lighting, you transform any space you have to the maximum effect. Going small helps you keep the conservatory budget low, it also most falls in ‘permitted development’ side, so you don’t need any planning permission. There are numerous designs and also materials to select from, including classic styles that have timber frames up to modern looks that contain aluminum and PVC structures.

If the space has a lot of natural light on its own, then you are able to get numerous decorating schemes and a lot of trends without putting in much effort. Most people attach the conservatories to the kitchen or to the living rooms.  By so doing, they are able to maximize their use.  You should be smart when selecting your hardware furniture which will not end up getting bleached from too much natural lighting since this is an important décor for your conservatory.

You should also employ the same thinking when looking for the floor that you are going to put into your conservatory. Most people prefer stone because it can hold any heavy traffic that can go to the conservatory on a daily basis without wearing out and looking unattractive. Other preferable floor materials are either sisal or laminate floor covering. You can then brighten up the setting of your conservatory by adding patterns and also color. You could also include themes that would create a small conservatory which is ideal for you.

You can come up with a safe haven for yourself. You can create a space where you can escape to sit, relax, unwind and enjoy the sight. You can then decorate piece by piece. For example, you can add furniture which is lime-washed, have an armchair that is made of linen or maybe covered with one, and then have a stool which brings out a coastal mood and feel such that you feel calm and peaceful in your small conservatory.  You can go beyond and add small articles such as cushions which are made of pastel and maybe a number of blankets or duvets which will maintain the coziness. Having a bay tree indoors will also help in maintaining if not adding to the natural color in the conservatory.

Apr 12

What to Consider When Planning a Loft Conversion

By Chris Walker | Home Improvement , Lofts

If you want to add space and also value to the house, you can do this by opening your loft. However, it is not easy to plan this conversion. Not everyone is aware that there are certain regulations and also steps which should be thought through before embarking into the conversion.  Below are some of the low-downs which need to be considered before starting the conversion.

loft conversions

Conduct an Investigation on Whether You Will Need To Have a Planning Permission

We should be aware that planning permission is not required on all properties. All of these depend on the house type. Some houses may be allowed to conduct a conversion without necessarily having a planning permission. However, if your house or flat is in a conservation area, then you are specifically required to have planning permission. The main rule is that, if you are altering your roof for instance, either by raising it up or lowering it, you should get a planning permission from the authorities.

Find Out If You Are Located In a Conservation Area

The easiest way to know is by visiting the website of your local area and see if you are located in the given areas set as conservation areas. It is simple since you only key in your postal code and you will know if you are located in the given location. If you do, then you are required to go to the authorities and seek a planning permission before you do the conversion.

Get an Approval for Building Regulations

It is standard practice to get building regulations when it comes to building industry. Make sure you will have the correct materials and the right structure required for the conversion and also get in touch with professionals who are competent enough to carry out the conversion. However planning permission is not the same as building regulations. Building regulations mean that the government, the local one has inspected and verified the construction as having fulfilled all the required standards. This includes assessment of the work quality, accessibility, insulation, ventilation, safety, structure and much more.

Consider a Specialist

There are specialists available who deal with loft fixtures such as timescale, the fittings and also the payments. However, it is also possible to partially use the services of the specialists and then outsource other services on your own such as plumbers and others that might be necessary. However, it is highly discouraged to manage your project on your own if you have no experience in the same field. It is recommended to acquire professional services that have experience in loft conversions for a long time.

Seek For Advice If You Want To Create Storage Space

If you are intending to add more space by adding floorboards, for instance, you should consider the amount of weight that the joists can handle. You should, however, enlist guidance from an engineer who deals with structural work on how to go about it.

Mar 18

5 Things You Should Know About Home Improvement

By Chris Walker | Home Improvement , Home Improvement Tips

When we are talking about home improvement, there are certain things you should know, that are practically universal. Therefore, whatever is the home improvement project you plan to work on it in your home, you should definitely think about these things before you start it. All in all, if you want to have a successful home improvement project behind you, consider some or all of these five things.

  1. You Must Consider Budget

The first thing you must think about is of course your financial budget. There are a lot of home improvement projects, and the prices that each home improvement project requires are very much different. Needless to say, but the smaller home improvement projects is, the it would cost – at least in theory. All in all, it very advisable to think about your budget long before you start implementing any changes in your home and before you start working on any home improvement projects. When you are considering your budget, make sure you think about the price range which is suitable for you, much rather than a specific number. This will give you enough space to spend more or less money, but as long as you are within your price range limits – that should not pose a problem.

  1. It Requires Working With Contractors

Unless you are very handy and skillful, when it comes to home improvement projects, you will have to work with contractors on your home improvement project. Make sure you take this into account, because it requires working with people and having a lot of people skills, in addition to having an excellent communication with your contractors. All in all, if you want to work with contractors, make sure you stacked with patience, and you are able to communicate what your desires are.

  1. … Or A Lot Of Expertise!

The only way in which you can avoid working with contractors is being your own contractor. Even if you have a lot of experience, make sure you are diligent when it comes to executing a home improvement project, and take it very seriously. Any mistakes you may make will only make you frustrated, not to mention that it will set you back financially, and spend your precious time. Therefore, if you have enough experience or enthusiasm, to tackle a home improvement project on your own, make sure you do so, but still take it very seriously if you want your project to be a success.

  1. It Is An Investment

Needless to say, but every home improvement project is ultimately an investment. If you want to invest money in your home, make sure you do so, just be very careful when choosing which home improvement projects have the priority.

  1. You Must Have Patience

Home improvement projects generally require a lot of patience and diligent work, either on your behalf, or on the behalf of your contractors, and sometimes even both. It will change your daily routine and sometimes mess up your entire home. This is something you should definitely have in mind before you start a home improvement project in your home.