Not all renovation projects are created equal. A renovation project can take many forms – from making small changes to spruce up a property to changing the whole layout and configuration to retrofitting the whole property to make it energy efficient. Regardless of what your plans are, a renovation project can feel like a daunting task. However, these are projects that can yield huge rewards, like being able to afford your dream property in the perfect area or allowing you to explore your inner designer and create your forever home.

Keep Things in the Right Order

Create a Schedule of Works. So what is the right order for a home renovation? We believe that every project is unique and as such, there is no one process that fits all. However, many projects do share similar requirements.

A key component to keep any renovation project on time and on budget is a Schedule of Works. A Schedule of Works should outline all jobs required to complete your renovation project successfully laid out in the correct order of execution to achieve maximum efficiency. It will tell all involved parties when they are expected to carry out their designated chores and when these are to be completed. And, it will help you keep financially organised so you know when certain expenditures and disbursements are expected.

Finding the Right Property for You

Finding the right property to renovate might prove more elusive than you think. As renovation projects have become highly sought after, many buyers feel pressured into purchasing projects that are not a right fit. Make sure you know when to walk away from a project or you might end buying a money pit.

Some homes that are marketed as a renovation project, are indeed overpriced. It is a common belief that these type of projects are an effective way to get more house for your pound. While many times this is true, others, the competition amongst buyers inflates the price to a point where the project ends up being purchased for more than it’s really worth.

When first viewing a property consider the following:

  • What is its design potential?
  • Is there enough outdoor space for you to extend?
  • Have other properties in the area been extended in similar ways?
  • How much structural works is likely to be involved?
  • What are the ceiling prices of similar properties in the area?

Many Renovation Projects are sold at auction, end up going to sealed bids or sold to “best and final offers”. Familiarise yourself how all these processes work so that you are fully prepared to move quickly when you find the right property. Properties in need of renovation are in high demand which means you might need to move swiftly so have all your finances sorted so you are in the best financial position possible before you make an offer.

Keep in mind that the price of the property and renovation costs are not the only costs you need to consider. Budget for other costs such as: Reconnection fees, valuation fees, council tax, legal costs and professional fees. You should also always factor in a contingency fund just in case there are unexpected expenditures.

Do Your Homework

You might consider hiring a chartered surveyor to carry out a building report. These should unearth any area of concern such as: Infestations, subsidence or heave, damp or drainage problems. This will give you a much clearer idea of the kind of work and budget you are really looking at, future insurance considerations and potential resale issues. It will also tell you about the original construction methods used when the property was first constructed which will come in handy when considering materials and construction methods for your renovation.

If you think you need to get a planning application, you will need a measured building survey. This will give you a precise scale drawing of the existing building. You might also consider a drainage survey to give you some peace of mind.

Also, always view the property – at least twice. Believe it or not, people sometimes buy properties off a catalogue without ever seeing the property first. If possible during one of your visits take a detailed video so you can review it later at home.

Be Insured

Once you exchange, you are responsible for the site which means you will need insurance. In many cases, if you are funding your renovation through a mortgage, your lender may not release any money without proof of insurance so make sure this is sorted out early in the game so that your project runs smoothly. Insurance will protect you against issues such as flooding, theft or fire. You should also include public and employer’s liability, cover for building materials, plant, tools, temporary buildings, the existing structure, personal accident and legal expenses.  

Once these things are in place you are good to start your project. There will be many other things to consider while renovating a property, such as which contractor to work with, the decision to work with an architect or creating your own design, choosing the right finishes, etc. but the above should give you a good idea on how to begin the process.

At Dominant Construction we are always happy to have a chat and guide you through the renovation process. If you are looking at renovating a property give us a call. We are always happy to help.

You are well into your home renovation project and you think that most difficult decisions have been made. Have you thought about your balustrade? Most people forget them, and by nature balustrades and staircases are central to your home design.

The structure and shape of your staircase will most probably be dictated by the style, age and size of your property, however, the style of your balustrade will most probably be up to you and the choices you make, can make or break the overall design of a home.

So what is a balustrade? Balustrades comprise spindles (aka. balusters), handrails, base rails and newel posts. The spindles connect the handrails and the base rails and are more often than not, the most decorative part of a staircase. Spindles come in many different shapes, sizes, colours and can be constructed from a myriad of material ranging from wood, to iron, to glass. When selecting a spindle and a balustrade style for your home ask yourself:

Is Your Staircase Closed String or Cut String?

A closed string staircase encloses the stair treads and risers and the spindles are fixed to a base rail at the bottom and a handrail at the top. With a cut string staircase, the stair treads are exposed and the spindles will sit directly on the stair tread. If you have a cut string staircase, you will probably need two spindles on each tread. Cut string staircases will allow you to be more playful with your spindle design and choose spindles that are more decorative at the base and top. Glass panelling for example will work much better with a closed string staircase as it will yield a cleaner line at the base and top.

Does Your Staircase Diminish?

If while going up, your stairs hit the ceiling line, yours is a diminishing staircase. Should this be the case, as the spindles approach the ceiling, they will become shorter. Choose a spindle that won’t look odd if made shorter.

What is the Overall Style of Your Property?

If yours is a period property and you aim to retain its period features, you might choose a wooden spindle more in keeping with the home rather than an ultramodern glass and chrome option. Conversely, if your home is ultramodern, you probably will not choose an Edwardian, dark wood, heavily decorative spindle.

Who Will Live in the Property?

Choose a style that will work for those living in the house. For example, consider choosing a balustrade with sturdy spindles in a hardwearing finish over glass panels if there will be children in the house. Most homeowners who have younger children will shy away from glass panels or chrome as these show fingerprints and smears easily. On the other hand, if this is a home for a young professional, you might want to choose a modern metal spindle or glass panels that better reflect the inhabitant’s personality and style.

Which Material Will Work Best For Me?

There are many options when it comes to materials for balustrades and spindles.

Metal spindles for example are extremely strong and durable. They also require little maintenance and sometimes offer easy installation as some have adjustable lengths and come with adjustable brackets. Metal is a versatile material and can work in combination with wood or other metals.

Wooden spindles are a classic choice, especially if you are working on a period property. Wood is strong and durable and you can paint it with ease should you wish a change in look. When choosing a wood balustrade, keep in mind that there are many options including oak, pine and primed wood.

There are many other factors and considerations that you must take into account when choosing the right balustrade for your home. The shape of the spindles, spacing between them, building regulations, finishing and how each part of the balustrade works with others. Speak with your contractor or interior designer if in doubt. At Dominant Construction we are always eager to help and will be more than happy to work with you to help you choose the perfect balustrade for your home.

If there is one floor in the house that has to endure plenty of abuse is the kitchen floor. Having to cope with tomato sauce, muddy boots, water, temperature and humidity changes and everything else  you can think of  – and having to so while looking good – is not an easy feat. So it is no surprise that choosing a floor that matches your design ideas as well as your lifestyle is crucial. Thankfully there are plenty of choices, from beautiful stone to wood, tiles to concrete, the possibilities are endless. As with everything in life, every choice will come with some benefits and some disadvantages. Here we will share some information and tips that will help you choose the right floor for your kitchen.

Do take into consideration how the floor will be used. Will your kitchen be an area of heavy traffic and some serious footfall or will it be a quite space only used by a couple of people? Do you want flooring that will look pristine all the time or are you looking at something with some character and some imperfections? Will you be cleaning it and polishing it on weekly basis or do you want something you can just mop and go?

When renovating your kitchen, it will be wise to make your flooring choice early in the game. Will wide wooden floor boards or small porcelain tiles provide you with grout lines that work best with your plinths? How will your units sit on this flooring? How does the floor work with other textures in walls and units?

Stone

Stone floors are beautiful and timeless. As each slab is unique and imperfect, they will add texture, tone and depth to a room. There is also a great variety of options including slate, marble and granite; each with their unique pros and cons so make sure to speak with your supplier or contractor before making a decision. Stone floors will provide you with an incredible wow factor, they are robust and durable and work well with underfloor heating. On the downside, stone floors can be unforgiving on your feet when standing on them for extended periods of time. Without underfloor heating, they can be cold and they can also be scratched. As their surface is uneven, they can potentially harbour bacteria. When thinking of choosing a stone floor, make sure that it is installed on a perfectly level base and be aware that these cannot be installed on a floating floor.

Polished Concrete

Polished concrete floors are trendy and can look amazing when done right. If you are going for the industrial look, this is the floor for you. A word of advice – do not try to lay it on the cheap, this flooring option is easy to mess up if the installer does not know what he’s doing. This is a hard-wearing long-lasting option. It also has great thermal qualities as a concrete floor will absorb heat throughout the day and release it at night and it can be poured onto an existing floor even if the base floor is not totally levelled. Concrete floors can be created in a variety of colours, are easy to clean, will not harbour bacteria and work well with underfloor heating. Unfortunately, they can also crack or be chipped (though you really would have to work hard at it) and are not forgiving on our feet when standing on them for a long time. They can also be slippery unless you apply a matt sealer.

Porcelain Tiles

This option is great for those who want a maintenance free floor. They are extremely hard-wearing, resistant to impact and can be made to resemble surfaces such as wood, concrete or even leather. Porcelain floors are incredibly hygienic and can be washed with ease. It is also a good choice if you want to instal underfloor heating. However, there is a definite look to these tiles and should they chip, you will not be able to repair them. Porcelain tiles can, like other materials, be hard on your feet when standing on it for a long time and can be cold if there is no underground heating.

Ceramic Tiles

These are a budget friendly option to porcelain tiles. They come in a huge range of shapes, sizes, textures and colours and can also mimic other materials such as wood. They are also hygienic, easy to care for and can be used with underground heating. They are not as resistant as their porcelain cousins and they can crack if not laid on top of a solid flat floor. Once chipped the damage is obvious as colour usually does not go all the way through.

Solid Wood Floors

When it comes to floors wood is a timeless classic. It is extremely versatile and can look contemporary or traditional and comes in a myriad of shades, grains and shapes. Wood is very forgiving on your feet and has some give. It is warm to the touch, renewable, recyclable, beautiful and long-lasting. It can also be sanded when needed to revive it and it can be stained in many colours. Unfortunately, real wood floors also have some cons that you need to consider. Solid wood boards for example tend to move, especially in humid environments or when it has to be mopped constantly. If you want to install wooden floors, you will need a subfloor which comes at a price. It can be noisy and if not treated with some degree of care, it can scratch or stain. It will also show wear and tear in areas of high traffic, like in front of the hob or sink. It is not recommended to use underfloor heating with this material.

Engineered Wood Floors

These are made from two lengths of wood veneer that sandwich a layer of birch ply. Engineered wood has the look of real wood with some added stability. Engineered wood boards don’t expand or contract and work well with underfloor heating unlike solid wood. This type of floor is better adapted to mopping and if you use a good quality material, it can be sanded to refreshen them. It is also a greener alternative to solid wood as it utilises less hardwood. On the negative side, they lack some of the personality of hardwood floors, it can be scratched or stained and just like solid wood, it can be noisy.

Laminates

If you choose a laminate flooring, we recommend you go for the higher quality variety to get a floor that is tough, and resistant to wear, stains and fading. Laminates provide a wide variety of looks from wood to ceramic tiles or slate. They are covered in a ‘wear’ layer that is quite tough, making it difficult to scratch. Underneath this ‘wear’ layer you will have a high definition image which can be of anything from wood to stone. Laminates are reasonably priced, are of low maintenance and humidity resistant and can be installed over an existing floor. They do however need an under-layer. Make sure you ask your provider if the underlayer is attached to the laminate or if you need to install it separately. Once this floor is scratched it is impossible to repair and not all laminates will work well with underfloor heating.

Resins

Poured resins are a trendy choice for kitchen flooring. This material can be easily revived by sanding it and applying a couple of coats of sealer and it will be like new. If you fancy changing its colour, it is as simple as choosing a different colour of sealant. It comes in a variety of finishes and it can be poured over the whole kitchen floor giving you a seamless finish. It is warm and waterproof, easy to clean and hypoallergenic. It can also be cleaned with great ease by just using soap and water and works really well with underground heating. On the negative side, once damaged you will have to sand and reapply a few sealant coats if you wish to achieve a perfect look as repairing only the damaged area will provide you with a noticeable ‘scar’.

Linoleum

Linoleum is relatively warm underfoot and quite forgiving. It’s available in lots of colours, easy to clean with soapy water and is great for allergy sufferers as it doesn’t harbour dust mites. It’s also suitable for underfloor heating and can be laid over an existing floor. It also has the added bonus that it is a relatively green option. This material is available in a variety of designs and colours and can come in tiles or sheets. A sheet however will have no joins which means the surface will be waterproof and provide you a better look. This material must be cleaned, sealed and left to dry thoroughly. If not sealed properly the surface will be rough and it will be difficult to clean. It is difficult to cut and lay so make sure that it is installed by professionals.

Rubber

This modern material is durable and provides a sense of warmth giving you a softer option to concrete if you are planning to achieve an industrial look. As other material, this one comes in tiles or larger sheets, the later giving you the option of creating a neater finish and is by nature more resilient. Rubber provides you with a number of textures but if you are looking for an option that is easy to clean, we suggest you choose a flat design. Rubber is strong and hard-wearing, is gentle on your feet and crockery and is easy to clean. Some polished rubber can be slippery and sharp edges or heavy objects dropped on it can dent it. It also has a tendency to fade over time when exposed to strong sunlight. It requires a very smooth sub-floor to be installed and not all of them work with underground heating so check with your supplier before purchasing.

Cork

This material is super eco-friendly. It is warm and has a bounce to it, making it friendly towards your feet, dropped plates or falling children. It is also a great sound insulator. Originally you would only find this material in its classic tan format but today there is a variety of designs and finishes. It is naturally anti-bacterial, resistant to mould and mildew, non-slip and fire-retardant. As if that wasn’t enough, it is easy to clean and can be sanded an resealed to be revived. Unfortunately it is not the hardest-wearing of all materials and heavy furniture can leave an imprint. Sunlight can also fade it and it is easily scratched. Lastly, if you leave spill on it for long periods it will be damaged.

There are plenty other choices – vinyl, brick, parquet and bamboo just to name a few. All will have pros and cons. Non the less, what is important is to realise that there are always options fit for purpose and budget. At Dominant Construction we are always keen to help so give us a call if you are planning a kitchen extension or renovations and let’s explore which kitchen flooring is the right one for you.

The past year can be described as unprecedented at the very least. The way we work, live and interact with others have been deeply affected by the current pandemic. Amongst the most dramatic changes to our everyday life, has been the time we spend at home. Being stuck indoors has meant that many homeowners have been forced to revaluate how their home fits in with the current changes in their lifestyles, as many of these, have the potential to become permanent.   

A recent report by money.co.uk has revealed that the UK has spent approximately £55 billion on renovations since the beginning of the pandemic in an effort to create homes that are better suited to the way that we are living today. While it is true that many household’s finances have been affected by the current circumstances, it is also true that these have encouraged home owners – up to 65% of them – to invest in renovating their properties. This report also suggests that this is not a fleeting trend as many people, up to 73% of those polled, foresee hybrid working and staying at home more than before as a permanent trend.

While the reasons to renovate or update their properties varied greatly from case to case, most of those who took part in the study (63%) said that one of the reasons they had considered improving their homes was they were spending or planned to spend much longer at home and they needed a space that better satisfied their needs and made their home more comfortable. Only 27% said that they were carrying out renovations in order to increase their property value. Interestingly, 40% of those polled also said they were planning to improve their home as they were suffering from “zoombarasment” over their home appearance.

One of the bigger shifts in renovation trends over this period has been a change in focus as to what takes precedence when considering improving your home. Traditionally, most home owners would favour utility areas over social ones. This has changed greatly. So much so, that we have seen an increment in people adding to their renovation dream wish lists things like home pubs and home gyms which previously would have not been a consideration.

Prior to the pandemic, social areas of the home such as gardens and living rooms were considered non-essential. This has changed. It is reported that more and more homeowners perceive these areas as a primordial asset rather than a novelty. A garden studio, leisure areas, indoor gyms or any other area that focuses on well-being are now considered a necessity rather than a luxury.

In addition, how people finance these improvements has also been modified by the current situation. Homeowners seem to  have changed what they place first on their priority lists. While 26% of those who participated in the study said they had financed their home improvement by utilising their savings, up to 24% said these were executed by using money originally intended for a holiday. Even 4% of those polled decided to use money intended for a wedding or for buying an engagement ring to carry out home renovations instead.

Another interesting shift in the way people think when planning a home renovation concerns to the use of outdoor spaces during the winter. Historically, homeowners in the UK have regarded outdoor spaces off-limits during the winter months. Prior to this winter, there was a huge surge in people looking to update their gardens to make them usable during the winter months. Items such as fire pits, outdoor heating and electric patio heaters were top of the list of internet searches with other items such as outdoor blankets and gazebos saw an increment in demand.

Whatever your reasons for renovating your home and whatever your plans are to make these come a reality, we would love to hear from you. Out team of professionals at Dominant Construction are always keen to explore how we can help you achieve the property of your dreams.

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home – and with good reason. 42.6% of British people cook for their family or themselves every day and it is believed that the average Brit will spend around three years of their life in the kitchen, be it cooking, socialising or consuming a meal. It is no wonder that kitchen extensions are one of the most popular type of home improvement projects in the UK.

A kitchen extension is a big undertaking and there are a few things you can do to ensure you project runs smoothly and meets your expectations once completed. The better prepared you are prior to commencing work, the better the chances that your kitchen will be exactly what you envisioned. 

  1. Always have a plan.

What does your perfect kitchen look like? Is it a massive space decked out with professional equipment used to prepare culinary extravaganzas? Is it going to be a kitchen and dining area? Or is it going to serve as your main entertaining space? Whatever your vision for your perfect kitchen is, you must have a plan in place so you can make it a reality. Make a decision earlier on regarding what this perfect space looks and feels like and what its purpose is. Different spaces will require different budgets, different equipment and fittings, and will need a different set of experts to help you achieve it. Ensure that your kitchen fabricator, your architect and/or designer and your contractor are the right fit for the project. Also make sure that they are all aware of what your plans and needs are and that they have effective communication channels amongst themselves so that everyone is on the same page.

2. The more information you have, the better.

It might seem strange for us to recommend you get a few comparison quotes, but as we are absolutely confident that we always provide great value in every project we take part in, we are going to go ahead and say it – get a few quotes. With a few quotes at hand you will be able to see what your project will really cost and be able to asses if any one provider is overcharging you for a specific service. A word of caution here, when getting quotes for comparison, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. At Dominant Construction we might not always come in with the lowest estimate, but this is because we always provide you with a quote that will meet your brief accurately and give you detailed information on overall costs. Some contractors can quote for cheaper materials that might not meet your specs or hide third party costs from you so that their estimate seems more appealing. It is our practice to include all costs; not only for the work we need to do for you, but that for potential additional expenses that you might need to incur independently. This gives you the opportunity to budget efficiently and make any necessary modifications early on in the project helping you avoid unpleasant and potentially expensive surprises.  

3. Know what you want.

There are multiple decisions to be made when you embark on a kitchen extension. What will be the floor finish? What type of kitchen do I really want? Should I go for traditional fixtures or splash out on the retro copper ones? Lights, worktops, windows…. the list seems endless. It might seem daunting but with the right guidance and an adequate amount of organisation we assure you it can be done. Make as many decisions as possible on as many things as you can early on in the process. This will help you budget realistically and allow you to share your ideas with your providers and contractors who can advise should one of your choices could cause some kind of problem down the line, affect their completion schedule or blow your budget.

4. Have realistic expectations.

Make sure your perfect kitchen extension can be achieved within your budget and time frame. A hand crafted Calacatta marble worktop is not within everyone’s budget and most probably will not be delivered the next day after ordering it. Going into a project with unrealistic expectations (and working with providers that tell you that these can be met even when they know it to be otherwise) is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you speak with your contractor and providers of what you really want and be honest with them about your budget. If your team is a good one, they will let you know what can be done within your time-frame and budget and, as is always our practice, advise you on the best next option when necessary. 

5. Do your homework.

We love a good recommendation, and these are a great starting point. But be prepared to do your own research. A recommendation can be based on an experience which is not relevant to the type of project you are going to embark on. A company may be great at carrying out small repairs and decoration but not be adequately equipped to provide you with the kitchen extension of your dreams.

6. Be inquisitive.

Contrary to popular believe, we do not get annoyed when clients ask us questions. It is important that you are part of the project; the more you are involved in the build, the better the chances that things will be done according to your standards.

If you see something on-site that strikes you as odd or that you think is not in accordance to what has been agreed  let your contractor or provider know. Do not be shy about asking why things are being done (or not done) a certain way.

7. Budget Wisely

A project’s budget should include not only building costs, but should also take into consideration finishes and potential unexpected costs. Not including these in your forecast might result in unforeseen expenditures that could potentially affect the final outcome of your project by having to compromise in the quality of things such as taps, tiles or flooring. At Dominant Construction, we know that unless you have done these type of projects before, these are costs that are regularly overlooked. This is why our estimates not only include our cost, but provide you with estimates for additional third party and direct expenses you are most likely to incur so you have a clearer picture of what achieving your ideal kitchen extension will really cost allowing you to keep control of your budget.

As well, we suggest once you have fined tuned your budget, you allocate a 10 – 20% contingency fund to address any underlying problems with the existing structure that could be uncovered during your project.

8. Design is key.

Work with a team that understands design and that will help you achieve the look you are going for, but also one that knows how to maximise space and future-proof your brand new extension so that it meets your long-term needs.

9. Don’t forget the lights!

Light is a great way to create the illusion of space. It will add appeal to your kitchen extension and will help you deliver the mood for the room. Keep in mind how much natural light you will get with your new space as this might affect design and budget. Do you need additional artificial light? Should you consider a skylight and is this even an option?

10. Out with the old, in with the new?

Consider how your kitchen extension will work with the existing structure. Will it compliment or contrast what is already there? Are there features of the original structure that you want to preserve or that must be kept? This will affect the materials you choose as well as your budget and overall design.

While this is not an exclusive list, it will provide you with a great starting point. A kitchen extension should not be a source of anxiety for you. It is indeed a big undertaking but by working with the right team and by planning and budgeting with care, it should be a task that is achieved with relative ease, within budget and within a time-frame that you are comfortable with. We would love to help you plan your kitchen extension and are always happy to have a chat on how we can be part of your next project.

Let’s face it, we all have thought at one time or another that we need more space at home. Specially if you live in cities such as London, Hong Kong or New York, where properties are usually of modest proportions. For example, according to the Office for National Statistics, properties across London are some of the smallest in the United Kingdom. 45% of them have a median size of only 78sqm. So if you are a city dweller and you are looking for additional space, what is right for you? Should you look at moving into a bigger property or should you make the most of your current home?

An increasing number of homeowners seem to believe that improving their current property is a better option than moving to a larger one. Recent research by TSB found out that at least one fifth of all property owners in the UK are considering extending their property rather than moving, with exorbitant costs of acquiring a larger property driving the trend. The relaxation of planning laws, allowing for homeowners to add rear extensions to their properties without planning permission, have also helped extensions seem as the most viable solution to space dilemmas. The same research by TSB found that one fifth of homeowners are in fact planning to extend their home within the next three years. When asked for the reason for this decision, 50% of homeowners said they were emotionally attached to their current property, 49% said they were not comfortable or couldn’t afford with the cost of moving to a larger home and 25% said that they would not consider moving as their current property was in a location that worked well for them.

The cost of up-sizing is not a fixed one and one of the key factors driving cost is location.  The cost of upsizing property could vary from tens of thousands of pounds for areas in Wales, the North East and the North West, to hundreds of thousands in London and parts of the South West. For example, upgrading from a flat to a semi-detached property in Wales could be achieved with a budget of just under £40,000, while the same move in London would see you part with at least £160,000.

A second factor that drives the cost of an up-size move is the type of property you are looking for. If you are planning to move from a semi-detached property to a detached property for example, you would need to have a budget of at least £100,000 in most areas of the UK. If you are trying to do so in London you better be ready to part with at least £200,000.

If the above figures make your head spin, then you might instead consider extending or improving your current property. But extending your home comes with its own set of factors to consider. For example, you must think if your investment is likely to pay dividends in the long-run or if the type of extension you are planning will indeed provide you with the benefits you are looking for. In most cases, experts agree that where space is a commodity, adding any floor area will add value. However, one must also take into consideration design, layout, trends and functionality if you want your investment to be a sound one. And don’t forget, you will also need to consider the time these extensions take to be completed. This means coming to terms with living, albeit temporarily, in a construction site.

But if you have decided that extending your home is the right move, then the next step is decide, what works for you and your type of property. Extending your home can mean many things; from loft conversions to kitchen extensions, conservatories to basement conversions. And within each one of these categories, there are many things to keep in mind: the size and complexity of the project, style, materials used, the quality of the work and the current state of your property and of course, your budget.

For example, one of the most favoured ways to add extra space to a home is a loft conversion. A versatile solution, a loft conversion can extra bedroom to your home or create the perfect home office. Like any other extension project the complexity and size of the extension will drive the price but in London, expect to pay between £50,000 and £75,000 depending on the intricacy of the project and be ready to live in a construction site for approximately 8 weeks. As with most things, you must make sure that you work with a reputable builder to ensure that the process is a smooth one and the result is what you had in mind.

If you decide to add space to your home by creating a kitchen extension expect to pay between £50,000 to £65,000 depending on the complexity of the project. Other things that will influence how much you could spend in creating your dream kitchen are the existing and proposed space, the design and layout, structure, fixture and fittings, external appearance and internal remodelling. Adding details such as skylights, underfloor heating or premium fixtures and fittings will add to the bill, so make sure you work with a contractor that provides you with a clear picture of the entire cost of the project and that has fully grasped your needs and expectations. Don’t forget that rarely a kitchen extension will be a stand-alone project and more often than not, some work will have to be done in adjacent rooms. However, adding a good quality kitchen extension could add up to 15% the overall value of your home and as mentioned before, with the relaxation of some regulations, this particular type of extension can be a fantastic choice for you.

Other few things to consider when thinking of extending. Usually it is more affordable to extend out than to extend up. Even if you have a limited budget, a well thought out addition to your home will create more usable space, can enhance natural light and will most probably increase the property value. If you the plans for the extension interferes with your neighbour’s property, you may require a party wall agreement to continue. This means that you will have to obtain your neighbour’s permission before starting the work.

Be it a loft conversion or kitchen extension, a basement conversion or a double story extension, If you like so many other home owners in London are thinking of extending your property, give us a call – we would love to explore how we can be part of your project. Dominant Construction are always here to make your ideas into a reality.

2020 was a unique year to say the least. It tested our spirit and made us re-evaluate what is important in our lives. It also made us spend more time at home. Much more time than many of us ever thought possible. It made us think of how our homes works for us. Made us consider that maybe – our home, one of our most valuable assets – could probably use some TLC so it can really deliver everything we demand of it.    

As our lifestyles changed, we came to realise that the space that once worked for us, was maybe not as efficient as we thought. Additional space suddenly became a very valuable commodity and we became aware that additional kitchen space to accommodate the whole family at every meal, or a home office where you could have some peace and quiet, was no longer a luxury but a must.

But while we pondered which of our new found needs was most important and daydreamed about interior design indulgences, we had to also think – if I am to invest money on renovating my property, what would really add long-term value to my home?

Understandably, a property renovation for a family home should be guided by a family’s lifestyle needs. But in terms of the monetary value a renovation can add to a house, not all are created equal.

Create a Bespoke Bathroom

Many property experts consider the kitchen and the bathroom the most important rooms in the house. A bathroom renovation – should yours be looking a bit tired – is one of the best investments you can make. Not only will a spacious shower room or a luxurious bath provide you with amenities that work for your family, but will be one of the most eye-catching features should you choose to sell in the future. If your home is currently lacking a downstairs lavatory, this might be the perfect time to think of adding one. A downstairs powder room usually will not encroach terribly on your home’s original footprint and can potentially be a great selling point. Besides, regulations as to where a powder room can be added, have recently been relaxed, making this addition to your home much easier to achieve.

The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home

The average Brit, spends 253 minutes per week in the kitchen. That is 219 hours per year or 439 days over the span of your lifetime. If we are to spend this much time there, why not make the experience one that is pleasurable? One of the home improvement projects with best returns is a kitchen extension. Not only will it provide you with all the additional cupboard and surface space you really need but could, by using something like a side-return extension, increase your property value by up tot 15%.

The Loft – Your Own TARDIS

In most houses, the loft just sits there, underutilised and ignored. But lofts have the potential to provide you with heaps of additional space and to add considerable value to your home. Converting a loft into an additional bedroom has the potential to add as much as 15% value to a property’s price. As a selling point, being able to put on the market a three bedroom home on a street where all other properties only offer two, will definitively give you an advantage. A Loft conversion can be incredibly versatile. Besides creating additional bedrooms, lofts can also accommodate home offices, additional storage space or even a children’s playroom – your imagination is the limit.

Convert the Basement.

Not every home has a basement. But if your home does, a basement conversion carried out by a specialist, is definitively something you want to consider. First of all, a basement conversion will provide you with substantial additional space. Secondly, a professional basement conversion can help you avoid the basement becoming a source of damp or other problems that could potentially come up during a survey. Just like loft conversions, basement conversions are extremely versatile, and will turn a space that is usually underutilised into one that potentially adds up to 30% to the value of your home.

Bring the Inside Out – Add a Conservatory

One of the most cost effective ways to increase your home’s foot-print, conservatories have always been incredibly popular. Adding a conservatory is not only relatively affordable but thanks to Permitted  Development Rights, this renovation rarely needs planning permission making them one of the easiest projects to undertake. As these come in a myriad of styles, conservatories are incredibly functional and versatile.

Buyers Often Judge a Book by its Cover

Often overlooked, basic home maintenance can have a great impact on the perceived value of a property. Your home could be incredibly beautiful and functional inside, but if there is no kerb appeal, buyers might be immediately put off. Simple things such as keeping front gardens tidy, making sure that the drive and the exterior don’t show obvious signs of neglect or even smaller things like ensuring that your front fence is in good shape, can make the difference between a fast sale and a long-drawn price tug of war between you and a potential buyer.

Any renovation when executed properly has the potential to add value to your home. Home improvements should definitively be driven by whatever will  raise your standard of living if you are planning to live in the property, but you should also consider the potential financial impact that carrying out any of these works will have on your property. As with everything, price will probably play an important factor when choosing how and when any of these potential renovations can be made. Remember though that high quality work can come at a price and you might sometimes be tempted to carry out these renovations on your own or choose the cheapest provider. However, if you think a professional’s work is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.

Dominant Construction can help you make the right decision to discover your home’s full potential. We are always happy to have a chat to guide you on how to achieve this while making sure that you choose the best renovation option for your property, your lifestyle and your budget.