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10 tips to creating a great house extension | The perfect guide...

How to build a good house extension…

Are you happy with where you live but would like that bit more space? Extending your property is the way forward! Every home is unique to the individuals who live in them so here are some tips about how to successfully extend your home.

planning permission step 110 – Get all approvals first

This is when the experts come in…depending on the size, shape and scale of your new extension, you may have to make an application for planning permission  in Manchester but don’t worry. As each local council is different there is no clear-cut rule of thumb for designing extensions which can only mean one thing; find a designer who’s pleased to go the extra mile and push the boundaries! You will learn that many council websites supply a lot of information and design guides which are made available to ensure that your local area is accented by architecture and not destroyed so it’s not a system to be knocked!

Even if your extension doesn’t need Planning Permission it’ll need Building Regulations Approval which is there to impose construction standards across the UK. Building regulations safeguard designs by ensuring the buildings are constructed correctly and inspections occur along the way which helps prevent unprofessional procurement and the dreaded ‘cowboy builder’ which is always a good thing!

To learn more about Planning Permission and Building Regulations visit –

9 – Speak to your neighbours

Get your neighbours on side! Sometimes it’s your neighbours that can make or break a planning application in the eyes of the council as an objection to your proposition has never been an easy barrier to overcome. A simple chat with them can go a long way so show them what you’re planning and explain the design and share reasons why this is your desire. It will definitely help them to understand your proposal more and then hopefully there’ll be minimal or no objections.

set a budget8 – Set a budget

This might sound a basic move towards making your dream reality but it’s common to overspend on even the littlest projects. The general rule of thumb is to allow for £1,000-£2,000 per square meter and then allow an extra 10-20 percent contingency fund. Even better practice would be to issue the designers drawings to Quantity Surveyor for them to present an accurate cost.

Also remember that you don’t only have the build budget, there will be the designer’s and consultants rates, government VAT and also local authorities fees for the applications as well. So, be realistic with your budget as to create the perfect dream home, it isn’t all about the new build extension alone. Numerous factors collaboratively create a beautiful and functional space.

7- What is the function of the extension?

A question most people will think they know the answer too, nonetheless there tend to be more answers to this question than space and budget allows so compromise will likely be required or a really good designer who can work tirelessly with you to achieve your dream extension! Whether you’re a young couple in the early stages of living together or a family of four whom have lived in the same home for many years, for each individual in that home will need a different and diverse outcome of the space/s. For one person it could be a serene environment to return to following a hard day at the workplace and for the other it could be a social environment to host friends and have a good old natter. Therefore be sure you consider who will use this space, when it will be used and what it’ll be used for. Is it an additional bedroom you are looking for or are you craving a bigger, brighter kitchen/dining open plan living space?

your new house extension6 – Look at the location and setting

Where your house is positioned is extremely important to the design of your extension. The best extensions out there are those sympathetic to their surroundings or across the spectrum those which contrast their surroundings. From a rural village to a city suburb no one extension is the same so why not use your surroundings as an opportunity to push the boundaries of construction engineering and compliment or contrast your innovative designs. Are you near a babbling brook? Noisy train line? Woodlands wildlife? Busy urban street scene?

5 – Research different materials

Material choice is vital to the design of extensions as it’s the material finishes that bring the structure alive. Whether you want your extension to stand out from the crowd or be a understated improvement, there are various options to choose between with many different manufacturers and suppliers of the same product all who offer diverse services, so make sure to do your research prior to entering the minefield!

Timber cladding is a material choice that is progressively more frequently used so if you are wanting a rustic feel to your extension give timber the thumbs up! If you would prefer a clean, crisp and clean finish to a modern extension perhaps a mix of white render and grey slate would work well with large spans of glazing.

4 – Think outside the box

An extension can be up wards into the attic room, outwards as an addition or downwards to a cellar for that reason no extension is the same so make yours stand out from the crowd and give it the wow factor! Maybe add some quirky details to the design which sets yours aside from the typical extension – whether it’s the shape of the extension or a disguised . glazing panel where the new meets old. Make sure to keep on pushing them boundaries and proving why residential architecture is fascinating!

3 – Landscaping

This, you could ask why it is in the top ten…but…a great landscape designer in Manchester will take into mind the surroundings and incorporate it into the proposition because all things considered, all of us love the outdoors! Architecture is complimented by nature so if you have a view make use of it, if not create one in your outdoor area.

When showing your new extension to friends and family do you really want a weary looking garden or would you rather exhibit your home as an entirety and be proud to call it all yours?

2 – Choose the right builder

Choosing the right builder in Manchester is vital to constructing your dream as with the wrong one your dream will very quickly become a nightmare! So be sure you research builders long and hard, visit past projects they’ve carried out, carry out numerous chats with them (as let’s face you have to be able to work with them!) and take a look on websites for reviews. Some local council panels have set up schemes in their boroughs to help with this decision and created directories for you with only the local builders who meet the high standards and are recommended by others in your area so research them! You could start your search with trustmark.

1 – Selecting the right Architect or Consultant!!

This is the most important part of all. If you would like stand above the crowd and have the best extension on your street, choose an architect in Manchester with a pile of experience in residential architecture.

You will go through a lot of designers’ websites looking through portfolios of previous work but don’t forget to notice if the company have won any awards for their work. Awards indicate not just that they’re experienced and inventive at what they do but also they are highly respected within the industry too which is second to none for you as the consumer.

In Summary

Extending your home can be very rewarding and can make a huge difference to your lifestyle and with a little insight and some handy advice you will soon be well on your way to living the dream! I have included int he above article links to an award winning architect in Manchester, a highly accredited builder in South Manchester and a 20 year established landscape designer with an impeccable reputation in the North West, these local businesses look like gems.


Wet Room Installations For Smaller Bathrooms

Stylish, functional and a terrific advantage when considering making the most of really small rooms, wet rooms are also an excellent way to add value to your home, at times adding thousands to your asking price. You’ll find some helpful advice on wet rooms below provided by Ace Plumbing Developments of Altrincham, Cheshire.

A Quick Guide If Your Considering Installing a Wet Room in Your Property

wet rooms for small spacesClear away the clutter which could have built up in your bathroom and take careful and exact measurements. Take note of any unusual angles and walls which are not quite flat because this can have an effect on your bathroom remodel. Then sketch out, on paper, several different choices for your bathroom style and design, placing the key items in different places to see how it could look. Do give thought to pipe outlets as this regularly dictates the positioning of toilets and baths and might be pricey to modify.

Once you’ve an idea of the preferred layout, start to pick out the individual elements which will go into creating the perfect wet room. Don’t be tempted to skimp on the preparation steps as these will make sure that your bathroom stays watertight, safe guarding the rest of your home from damp and mildew.

First of all, pick a wet room set, which will matches your home, the dimensions of your bathroom and your spending budget. Following that, it is easy to build-up your perfect wet room bathroom, choosing each element of the room to match your personal tastes. The end result of all this hard work is sure to be a bathroom that you love and will enjoy using for years to come!

Important Considerations To Consider Before Installation

Some critical considerations in a wet room are drainage, condensation and space. Space is often the grounds for getting a wet room in the first place as waterproofing the entire space is fairly easy and cost-effective, and the effect is to open out the entire small space, creating a pleasant bathroom from even the most compact space. Condensation is often an issue and the installation of an efficient extractor fan is recommended as it is for all bathrooms anyway. The water drainage must be considered from the very beginning of the process as pipework will have to be laid to whisk away all the water within the room, and the floor needs to be slightly tilted so as to discourage standing pools and puddles of water which can be tricky to shift otherwise.

It will not take long and can cost much less than expected to transform your bathroom into a delightful and practical wet room!


You can source wet rooms and all furnishings for bathrooms from lots of different places. Of Course big retailers such as Homebase & B&Q but countless small independent businesses offer stunning suites too. If your considering a wet room and you live in or around South Manchester consider Mizu Bathrooms, they have a stunning collection for the discerning homeowner!

If you’re looking for some inspiration check out the video below:


When To Change Your Homes Locks

secure your homee by changing the locksThere are several times when you should change your locks. But a lot of people don’t think about changing them when they’re in one of these situations, but if you don’t, you will be making yourself and your family more vulnerable to burglars and other criminals. Here is a look at the top reasons to get your locks changed.

Change of Employee

Change your locks when someone you have employed no longer works for you. This can include garden maintenance companies, house cleaners, child minders and other people you may have given a key for entry to your property. You can not be sure that they have not made copies and could return to clean you out.

Loss of a Key

If you lose your key, then you’ll need to replace your entire locking system as there’s a chance that somebody who knows your house may have taken them and has an ill objective. There has been a lot of reported cases of stolen and lost keys which end up in the wrong persons hands and the end result becomes a break-in and burglary. So every time you misplace or lose your key, replace the complete lock with immediate effect.

Moving to a new house

Moving into a new property is one of the automatic times when you should change your locks. Most people understand the need for this provision, but if you don’t think you need to change them after a move, you better reconsider. You can’t ever be sure that the prior resident turned over each key ever made. It’s simply not worth fretting about someone you do not know having a copy of a key to your property. Change them and be done with it. Otherwise, even your home security system can’t provide you with the protection you require. Although many of the prior owners of the house are regular, good and law-abiding, there’s a small minority that makes use of copied or unreturned keys to enter a house with the intention of taking what they can from the new occupiers.


One of the best ways to avoid recurrence of break-ins is to change your locks anytime your house has been broken into. Chances are those who broke in still have a spare key of your property or may have taken one when they forcefully broke into your home. If someone has a key, no one is going to think twice about somebody entering your home when you’re not home. After all, if someone has a key, he’s supposed to be there, right?

Change of tenant

Finally, if you are a landlord, change the keys when your tenants vacate. They may give you a key back, but you can’t be sure they didn’t make more than one copies. Change the locks as soon as your tenant leaves so you can better ensure the wellbeing of your new tenants.

Author Bio

Door Lock & Key Locksmiths are a well established locksmith in Altrincham covering Manchester, Cheshire & Derbyshire. They offer a 24 hour emergency service for domestic, commercial and automotive lock services, fully CRB Checked with over 10 years industry expertise behind them.



Four Roofing Options For Your Home

Every house needs a strong roof, but there are lots of choices available for roof engineering that make the roof look and feel unique. The kind of material you select will depend, to some extent, on the kind of roof you’ve got, and the amount of money that you are happy to spend on the project. There is a perfect roofing material for each individual situation, and you will be able to find a solution which you like the look of and that fits your budget.

Asphalt Roofing

One of the most common forms of roofing materials today are asphalt shingles. They are popular because they’re extremely easy to install and they are inexpensive. Homeowners can perform a lot of their own roof repairs with asphalt shingles because they are so easy to put into place. Asphalt shingles can also come in a wide range of colors which are manufactured to match up with the exterior of just about every type of property on the market. They last a long time, and most asphalt shingles have a limited lifetime warranty that will cover damage that the roof might suffer. Overall, this is the best option for home-owners with a restricted budget.

Cedar Roofing

The upgrade to asphalt shingles are cedar shakes. These wooden roofing materials are customizable to meet the whims of the property owner, and they are treatable to withstand damage from the elements and even fire. Cedar shanks do need some specialized knowledge, and there are very few companies that have the competence to install cedar shanks. Homeowners that are happy to do a little digging to find the right contractor will be very happy about the fifty year warranty and the wonderful appearance of their cedar roofs.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has fallen out of favor slightly in recent years as a result of price of the materials, however it is gradually making a comeback. Metal roofs resist damage from the outside a lot better than various other roofing materials, and they do not have to be replaced as often. On the other hand, the roof needs to be repainted every year or so to make sure that the roof continues to look good, even after it’s been around a long time. For colors, homeowners are restricted only to the kind of color they’re able to think up for the job.

Rubber Roofing

Rubber roofs are a design that is only suitable for roofs which have very little pitch. The roof has to be installed perfectly, or you will see leaks, and there are not so many suppliers that can do this style of roof without problems. Homeowners who want to install a rubber roof need to talk to their contractor and get individual references and examples of rubber roofs they have done before so the homeowner can have a little reassurance that the contractor can perform the work and there will be less reason to fear that the roof will fail.

robert cunningham with prince harryAuthor Bio:

Article Submitted by Robert Cunningham of Rated Roofing. Check a Trade approved roofer in Darlington ( North East) They have worked on DIY SOS: The Big Build to help princes William and Harry with some work in Manchester.

Hiring a Gas Engineer for Plumbing Work in Your Home...

It’s well known that boilers are essential and that they need to be taken care of to assure they are safe ( more on that here) but do you know what really goes into a new boiler fit? Here’s everything that you’ll want to know…

always use a gas safe registered engineerFirstly

If you need any kind of help with your boiler, it is so important that you find a Gas Safe registered engineer. The reason this is critical is that it is unlawful for any individual to manage or work on a gas appliances in the UK if they are not on the Gas Safe register. This is to help keep yourself and your family safe by retaining a level of competency in all engineers. We’ve heard horror stories where homeowners have attempted repairs or obtained help from family friends. If you remember very little else – never allow someone to work on your home’s boiler if they are not Gas Safe registered.

Ask the important questions

combi system diagramAccording to PN Plumbing Ltd there is no perfect boiler for every home which is why you must engage with your heating system engineer to make certain that you get exactly what is good for your home. If you live in a bigger home for instance, then a combi boiler may not be able to deliver the heat or hot water that you and your family really want. The reason being they don’t employ a tank and draw water from the mains. Your heating engineer will be more than happy to walk you through exactly what is best for you after hearing your wants and needs, so be sure to let them know exactly what matters to you personally.

It’s also important to remember that a new boiler install really should be seen as an investment for your property as they can be expensive in the first instance but will improve energy efficiency. Asking numerous questions before hand means that you receive exactly what you need!

What’s next?

After this, your engineer must do a job survey. This involves getting all the details that they need to complete the job. They’ll also check to see if your boiler is in a good position in your home to best do it’s job. If this isn’t the case or something isn’t consistent with standard regulations, your engineer will tell you. This is an important step to be sure that you don’t rush, so always find a time that operates for both you and your engineer.

From this point, your heating engineer will make recommendations. This is where spending some time to talk with them about what you need is extremely important so make sure that you don’t rush this part either, as your engineer should take time to ensure that you get what precisely you need just as much as you do and build you a quote where you know precisely what is going on.

From there, if you’re happy with everything then plan a start date that works for both you and your engineer and they can get to work!

Need a New Boiler installed in Your Home?

Every home is different so we know that it’s important to get a good understanding of what is best for your home. Why not start your search on check a trade, review some engineers and view their feedback? If your based in Wrexham and want some advice on a boiler installation we can highly recommend KW Plumbing & Heating, a well established engineer with an impeccable reputation covering most areas in the North West .

Energy Efficient Measures For Your Home

New data have demonstrated that the number of energy-efficiency procedures executed across the UK with the help of national programmes has dropped substantially over the past 3 years.

Based on analysis carried out by the Association for the Conservation of Energy and commissioned by the Energy Bill Revolution campaign, the count has lowered from its peak of 1.65 million in 2012/13 to 661,000 during 2013/14.

What’s more, the investigation goes on to estimate that there will only be 507,000 energy efficiency steps, including insulating a house, completed in the year ahead.

Looking into the study, Ed Matthew, the Energy Bill Revolution’s Director, acknowledged: “The government’s energy efficiency policies are in free fall … The government must make home energy efficiency an infrastructure investment priority to put the funding in place to end this scandal once and for all.”

An additional noticeable aspect of the study was the estimations that 13 million households in the UK are still needing energy-efficient boilers, 7.5 million homes require loft insulation and five million properties can be made eco-friendly with cavity wall insulation.

Here’s a look at the advantages of checking out each of these projects:


Energy-efficient boilers


energy efficient boilersA different way to look at energy-efficient boilers is condensing boilers, since it is now law in the UK for every new central heating boiler to use this technology.
Once setup, which is a very simple process, condenser boilers provide a much better heat exchange than standard systems. Therefore, more heat is recovered while cooler gases are sent up the flue.

A side effect of cooler fumes being sent up the flue is these gases can reduce in temperature to the point where the water vapour present condenses out. Even more energy is then reclaimed through this activity. To learn more about improving the energy efficiency in your home you can contact Anthony Johnson. Anthony is a plumber who covers most areas in the North West of England and Wales but offers expert, impartial advice on condensing boilers to consumers throughout the UK.

Loft insulation

loft insulation

Attic Insulation

The systematic indisputable fact that heat rises should provide you with a clear indication of why it’s advised that you install loft insulation in your home.
As well as cutting down the quantity of heat which is able to escape from a roof structure, this energy efficiency measure may also diminish troubles with condensation.

Of course, having a thick material placed into the middle of a loft’s walls will lead to a reduction of exterior noise heard inside a property as well.

Cavity wall insulation

cavity wall insulation illustrationJust like loft insulation, install cavity wall insulation around your premises and the benefits will be less issues with condensation and the ability to keep more heat in the house. Clearly, a primary difference between the two is that cavity walls can be found in various rooms at your house.

Don’t be concerned about the installation taking hours if not days either. All a specialist needs to do is drill a few holes into the exterior side of the wall and then use specialised devices to pump the right amount of insulation inside the space.

The Cost of Building Contractors

downloadThe Cost of Building Contractors. With so many Building contractors to choose from it can be really hard to figure out which one you should entrust the matters of your home conversion or extension to. All in all, a trusted contractor can be hard to come by. Start your search with a trusted trader website like Check a Trade, or Which Trusted Traders. Finding an accredited trader on sites such as this lessons the liklihood of hiring a rogue trader.

Understanding the Cost of Building Contractors

framebldgpermitsinsNever, and we mean never, pay any cash in advance. Material costs you will often need to pay for in advance, but in terms of work and man power, you should never pay upfront.

Ten to fifteen percent is most likely OK for materials and supplies. Ensure you don’t overpay the contractor at the start of the project and if the builder doesn’t have enough cash to begin the contract and pay his staff pre job completion then as a general rule you should consider looking elsewhere.


Take for instance a local builder undertaking a garage conversion, you’ll need new flooring, so it would be reasonable within the remit for you and the contractor to source suitable flooring and for you to pay for the flooring itself, at which point you have the flooring which you want to be installed in your new garage room, what you should not do is pay for the flooring to be fitted pre installation. The Advice given by a lot of trusted local builders is to never pay for services in advance. Learn more about payment schedules for building services here.

The Fine Print with Building Contractors

images-5When it comes to the matter of house extension or conversion, you need the help of Building contractors. However, make sure to read the fine print ahead of time. Attempt and concur any extra charges before they take every necessary step. On the off chance that you request that the temporary worker does a great deal of additional work then the project will be influenced and you will need to concur additional time for the holder to wrap up. It is generally your duty to get arranging assent, concur party divider honors, get fundamental licenses to work over channels and so on. The developer will likely manage the building monitoring process.

Managing the Fine Print with Building Contractors

images-4We know this sounds like a bother, trust us, it’s nowhere close as much bother as a half wrapped up building and a developer who has been paid excessively, a last bill that is spiraling, surveyor racking up expenses esteeming work and evaluating quality and legal counselors debilitating to sue everyone, also a manufacturer dumping a skip on your drive and taking off. On the off chance that you are going to do your own particular task administration don’t think little of the measure of time and stretch that it includes. Archive everything.

You could obviously ask a surveyor or draftsman to go about as an agreement/venture director and manager. They will most likely have the capacity to set up the drawings and timetables of functions and in addition manage statutory assets. They will assume liability for overseeing varieties, additional items, and costs, beware of value and program and concur what ought to be paid for what and when.Request that sees protection strategies and looks at they don’t keep running before the work will be done. In the event that it is protection they should have, they need to give you a chance to see the arrangement.