Spring into House Alterations for the Summer
Whether large or small in scale, house alterations require careful planning. So, when better to start thinking about the improvements than during the last of the cosy winter nights so you’re ready to spring into action when it’s well… spring?
House alterations bring new life and interest into your home environment, but the planning of these can easily turn into a daunting process causing only headaches and fallouts. Seeking support from family members may be the way to alleviate the stress and to form structured brief all can follow next!
So, gather your family, take out a notepad and a pen and start planning the next Grand Designs of yours! What are some lesser thought of, yet key considerations that will make your house alterations successful?
Observe Other Alterations In Your Area
There’s nothing more sensible than learning from others who’ve walked the path before. Explore your neighbourhood and notice what alterations have been done. Be observant; what does work and what doesn’t.
Bake an apple pie and pop into a neighbour who has or is busy with their home improvement and ask what challenges they have faced. They may well relate some of the obstacles they overcame, this way you can avoid falling into the same trap.
Notice also the type, scale and style of the alterations to the neighbouring properties as this is the best way for you to realise what your preferences and priorities are.
Professional Assessments for House Alterations
If you’re planning extensive alterations to your current property, or you’re thinking of buying with a view to making essential changes, we advise getting in touch with a quantity or building surveyor first.
These professionals can provide you with a feasibility report or a pre-purchase inspection report and advise you on how much anticipated alterations or remedial repairs may cost.
At this point contacting an architectural practice will be a wise move as well as an architect will be able to visuals and illustrate your desired spaces and have it estimated. It’s all about careful planning and managing your expectations and budget!
Matters Material for House Alterations
The construction methods of the current building might have a bearing on your planned house alterations. Those in the construction industry will be familiar with any new building techniques, materials and systems available on the market for you to use and maintain integrity and aesthetics of existing fabric.
This may relate to choosing good quality windows and doors, the right type thermal insulation, the rendering system or cladding that looks pristine, but does not require maintenance or that extra strong plasterboard that enables you to hang heavier objects wherever you wish, without having to scan the walls for the neatest stud!
The interior design (which is really the fun part!) will come into play near the end of the project. It is still important however to have the interior planned early and then fine-tune the details, as the building works progress, with a view to finding perfection. For example, the kitchen layout will affect the progress of jobs like 1st fix electrics and plumbing or the order and fitting strategy of new windows will affect dry-lining and plastering of the interior.
Home Alteration Insurance, Money & Warranty
If you anticipate taking out a mortgage to fund the alterations, the lender may have strict rules on insurances and warranties you and your builder will have to provide for before or upon practical completion of the works.
Type of insurance policies that may be required are:
- Public and employer’s liability
- Legal expenses.
- Personal accident cover.
- Existing building cover
- Temporary building cover
- Building materials & tools cover
A knowledgeable mortgage advisor will be able to put you in touch with a willing lender and manage the process on your behalf and we happen to know a few, so let us know if you need one – firstname.lastname@example.org !
A warranty from your designer and builder then give covers you against flaws in the design, quality of the building works and materials, and the issues that may arise therefrom. That is why it is important for you to opt for a skilled and diligent team of professionals to deliver your grand design.
The Role of an Architect in House Alterations
You can only but benefit from using an architect on your project and this is because their lengthy training and broad industry experience and interests enable them to comprehensively design the space meeting your expectation and budget and protecting you from all the common design errors that might have otherwise occurred.
Their service should adhere to the RIBA Plan of Work 2020
Some architectural practices can also help you with project management, making sure there is an enforceable building contract in place and a contract administrator overseeing it.
Architects can also help you with the CDM Regulations that we all must mitigate these days on the construction projects. For further guidance check the HSE website: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg411.htm or contact your architect.
Your House Under Construction; Site Access, Storage & Quality Checking
Is there a room to store machinery and building materials needed? The garden or driveway is likely to take the strain and they may need to be temporarily altered to facilitate construction vehicles and the like.
Keeping alteration spoil out of the way from the start means we are likely to always have access to skip lifters or grab lorries to take building waste away.
Certain alterations yield materials that can be reused. That, along with delivered materials may need a temporary structure for safe, dry storage until needed.
Finally, short of writing a diary on the progress of the project, develop a snag list. This is an easy way of recording quality concerns that your architect then can review during his next site visit, to inspect the works, and addresses with the builder.
It’s Going to Be Amazing!
With all the foregoing under your belt, don’t stop believing your house alterations are set to be an exciting and rewarding project!
Improving our homes adds value, but even more than that, it makes the place we call home comfortable and to be proud of. And the boredoms of the process can be alleviated by the right team of professionals.
So, please don’t hesitate to call MarbleAir for advice on all aspects of the home alterations.