Making the Most of a Small Kitchen

We’re looking at how you can make the most out of a smallish kitchen. You may have larger rooms throughout your home, but your kitchen may be the one place where you have less room to manoeuvre. Of course, this doesn’t have to be a problem as we discover in our post this week on making the most of a smaller kitchen.

Can our kitchen fitters here at Start 2 Finish help you create the illusion of space?

If you want to create the illusion of more space, then using lighter colours to decorate the walls is a good idea. Choosing a fitted kitchen with a light finish will also help increase the sense of space.

No more clutter

Getting rid of any clutter from your work surface will help too. You can also choose kitchen fittings that come with loads of storage space, freeing up much needed workspace and helping to make the kitchen look a little more spacious.

Dedicated utility area

You can also help create more space by removing white goods such as tumbler dryer and washing machine and putting them somewhere else, if you’re not lucky enough to own a dedicated utility room, then why not place them in a spare room or in the airing cupboard, if there’s room enough.

More storage can help keep things out of the way

You can also replace your kitchen with one that has more cupboard space, with units that open, carousels, little cupboards that open out and close without taking up too much space. You can also use a centre piece where the pots and pans can be hung from the ceiling.

Be centred if it works for you

A centre unit is also good because you can also use it as storage and as an area where the family eat together. A ceramic hob on the work surface may eliminate the need for a stove and an oven can be built into the kitchen fitting.

Light – Space can have a fundamental difference on a room, and if you’re fighting to create more space then light can be your ally. Maximise natural light so have some blinds if possible rather than curtains, this is because the minimal window coverage will make the most of the light coming in. Artificial lighting over the kitchen are can also be strategically placed so it’s where it is most needed, e.g. workspaces, food prep areas. You could also have ambient lighting placed around dining areas so it’s less harsh and more relaxing.

How about a statement piece?

So, the colours, lighting and work surfaces will all help to give your kitchen an impression of size. However, just because you’re minimalizing the kitchen area doesn’t mean it can’t have a little pizzazz, you can still have one statement piece that sets it off. It could be anything from a new gadget that simplifies cooking and food prep, impressive lighting, or wall tiles.

Talk to  the Kitchen Fitting Experts

If you need any further advice and guidance on what we’ve discussed today, please get in touch with us here at Start 2 Finish, we’re trained and very experienced kitchen fitters and we’re always happy to help.

Garage Conversion – The Basics

Garage conversion is nothing new, and it’s a popular option for those who don’t want to buy another property and move their family out of the area. After all, not only is this a more expensive option, it’s also very disruptive. A garage conversion then is always a better idea, and you can turn your garage into almost anything you want it to be.

We’re going to be covering the basics of garage conversion so you’ll get a head start.

Clearing Out Before a Garage Conversion

Firstly, think about what is in your garage, anything large such as a chest freezer or any other white goods will need to be removed, so you need to think about where else these things are going to go. If, like most people, you only use your garage for junk rather than the actual car, then the entire garage will need clearing first.

Garage Conversion Planning Permission

Most garage conversions are considered permitted developments, but there are some exceptions. These would normally be if you’re living in a conservation area, or if you live somewhere where there are strict guidelines.

You can always discuss this with your builder or architect and they can check whether what you’re asking for is complex enough to require planning permission from your local authority. You can also get in touch with your local planning department in your local authority who can also help.

The Finer Details of Your Garage Conversion

There will be other details you need to consider too such as access, consider the ideal position for your doors, natural daylight, by making sure you have adequate windows, decoration, such as making sure they match the rest of the house, and this will mean sourcing similar fittings, doors, windows, flooring, light fittings and skirting.

Proportion is another consideration, if you want to give an illusion of space to a fairly small garage, think of using colours which help to make it look bigger, keep the area uncluttered such as windows and use mirrors to reflect light, this will give the illusion of more space. Consider storage too and this will help you cut back on clutter.

Start 2 Finish Building Services – Garage Conversion Specialists

If you’re looking for a garage conversion that’s built to last and gives you years of pleasure while helping to give your home extra space, then get in touch with us here at Start 2 Finish, we’re always happy to help.

House Extension Planning & Design

If you’re planning on a new house extension, then there are certain things you need to think about before you do anything. It’s such a large endeavour that it’s enough to leave you feeling overwhelmed. However, do not despair because we’ve come up with a guide on planning the perfect house extension.

House Extension Budget

This is always an important one, how much money can you afford to spend? Sit down and decide exactly what’s in the money pot and how much you can afford to spend. You’ll need to figure in costs for a planning application, although this may not be necessary, and also consider architect’s fees. Once you know how much you can afford to spend, stick to the budget and try not to go over.

What exactly is it you want out of your house extension?

Are you planning on a new bedroom, living area or an extra bathroom for guests, or perhaps you’re hankering after a new office? Whatever it is, make sure you’ve decided first and you’ll see a pattern coming together of the type of alterations you’re going to need to make.

How long will your house extension take to be built?

You’ll need to figure in the time taken to get planning permission and approval from the building regulations office. All of this can take months before you even start doing anything. Don’t be impatient, once the build starts there’ll be mess, upheaval and interruption, so keep this in mind. Depending on the time of year, you’ll also have to figure in vacations, special occasions and time off school for the children, so be careful at what time of year you decide to have it done.

Planning Permission?

Depending on the nature of the alterations you’re having, you may need to seek planning permission. If you’re having a single storey extension perhaps, or certain types of loft conversion or a conservatory, you’ll need permission. Check all the regulations and make sure you understand what’s required of you before you do anything. You can ask your architect or builder about this before filling in an application.

Architect?

We’ve mentioned an architect once or twice now, but your house extension may not necessarily need one, it all depends on the complexity of your extension. It’s not going to be a simply DIY job if you have something more sophisticated and have major alterations to your home. If you are, then you’ll need an architect to provide plans, plans which will have to be part of your planning application.

Will your neighbours be affected by the noise?

If you are going to be making some serious alterations to your property beware of the impact the noise will make on your neighbours. You also need to consider how the extension itself will impact on the quality of life of those around you, living nearby. Fill them in on what’s going on from the get go, so they’re fully informed.

Do you live near or are in an area of conservation?

Check with your local authority if you’re unsure, if you are then there may be strict rules on what alterations you’re allowed to make, if any.

Where are you having your house extension built?

Where you place your extension will largely determine on whether you need planning permission. It will save you time and money if you can extend within your home (a simple loft conversion is one example) rather than extending outwards, so give this some thought. However, if you want a one or two storey extension, then building on the side of your house may be the better option.

Find a Good House Builder

Always make sure you have a good builder, shop around, look out for the best one you can find. A good builder will have a good reputation, listen out for word-of-mouth recommendations and check that they’re members of a trade association. Look at samples of their previous work, at before and after pictures.

Plan Your House Extension Properly in Advance

If you plan ahead, you’ll have time to prepare for the upheaval. Make sure your builders know how much time you’ve allocated and that they’ve given you a clear indication of how long it’s going to take. Make sure they understand that they can’t over-run too much and that you have plans. Yes, it may not go exactly to plan, and yes it probably will over run, but you don’t want to be sitting in rubble for weeks or possibly months on end.

Start 2 Finish – House Extension Expertise

If you’re looking for a team of excellent house extension builders with many years’ experience, an impressive portfolio and a friendly can-do attitude, then get in touch today. 

Creating a Family Friendly Loft Conversion

If your family is getting bigger then extending your living space is a good idea. The loft area is the most popular area of the house to be converted. If you want a family-friendly loft conversion, then there are some considerations to keep in mind. It could be a play area for the children or a nursery, but whatever you do with it, even if it’s a study for you or your partner, it should always be family friendly if there are children in the house.

Practicality Can Coexist With Style and Space

You’re probably thinking practicality, in that you want an area that can hold a new family member, a room for all your books and DVDs, or office equipment if you’re turning it into a work area. You could make it airier and more aesthetically pleasing by adding other things to it such as a balcony or a larger window. A balcony may not be such a great idea if you have young children, but a window can be accommodated so it’s safe.

Bookshelves, Cupboards and Storage

If you’re going to be using bookshelves and you want more cupboards and shelves, then you need to make sure they’re safe from falling. If you have young children, you don’t want the books toppling over them. Planning ahead is crucial so that you have a safe area in which to either work or play, regardless of whether it’s specifically for you or small children.

Stairs

You’ll need to consider the stairs when converting a loft. They need to be safe and they need to be child proof. If your staircase is wider then it’ll be helpful for carrying things up and downstairs for both you and little ones. Steep narrow staircases aren’t good for children or the elderly, so try to avoid those if you can.

Bathroom Storage

If you’re going to use your loft conversion as a bathroom remember to figure in storage space. You need somewhere you can place all your bathroom accessories safely where it can be found when you need it, and always make sure that medicines are put away safely out of reach from little hands.

Window Restrictors

You may want larger windows but you’re going to have to think about safety where young children are concerned. However, you can add something known as window restrictors to the windows that prevent children from being able to open the windows.

If your loft conversion is being turned into a play-area remember to consider sound proofing and insulate it too with thicker carpets, and make sure there’s good wall insulation. That way your children can play as loudly as they wish.

Start 2 Finish – For Quality Loft Conversions

If you’re looking for a no obligation quote before going ahead with a loft conversion, get in touch with us here at Start 2 Finish Building Services. We’re the best at what we do because we have many years of experience matched by the right training and qualifications

Types of Loft Conversion

Are you considering a loft conversion? If this is the case, you’ll probably be bombarded with information about loft conversions and you may find it a little confusing. After all, which one is the right one for your home?

There are different types of loft conversion and in today’s post, we’re going to be going through them so you can make an informed decision about what’s right for your property.

There are four basic types, and the type of loft conversion you have will largely depend on the design of your roof and the type of property you own. You’ll also have to factor in your budget, your personal choice and any planning restrictions in your area.

Dormer Loft Conversion

This is an extension to a roof giving you more floor space and plenty of headroom. These types of loft conversions protrude from the slope of the roof at the rear of your house and it can be built in different styles. Inside your dormer, there’ll probably be a horizontal ceiling and vertical walls and with the extra head room and floor space, this is ideal for those battling with limited space.

Mansard Loft Conversion

This type of conversion gets its name from Francois Mansart, a French architect, it consists of a 72-degree vertical slope with a top section being horizontal. This will help you maximise space much like the dormer, so it’s up to you which one you prefer.

Hip to Gable Loft Conversion

This type of loft conversion will definitely involve a lot of changes to your roof. A new roof section is built where the gable wall is built up towards the ridge line. A hip roof doesn’t lend itself to a more conventional type of loft conversion, so a hip to gable loft conversion is the answer. These can be more expensive and require a lot more complex work, but if you feel this will really help you to create much needed space, and your home has a hipped roof, then this may be the ideal solution.

Velux Loft Conversion

This type of loft conversion is also known as roof light conversion, and they are both the same thing, as Velux is a brand name. It’s quite simple to erect and you won’t need any planning permission. The windows are also easy to install and are usually fitted with the line of your roof so that the rest of the roof structure is not touched. This is an ideal conversion if you’re on a shoestring budget. You’ll need lots of headroom for this type of conversion and if you’re in desperate need of light it’s ideal. You can also invest in window blinds for your Velux windows, giving them a really slick, minimalist look, while at the same time giving you perfectly fitted window coverage.

Start 2 Finish – Loft Conversion Specialists

If we’ve helped you to come to a decision about which loft conversion is right for you, or if you’re still undecided, get in touch with us here at Start 2 Finish Building Services, and one of our professional team members will be happy to help. 

Your Hip to Gable Loft Conversion Guide

If you have a semi-detached or detached home or an end of terrace house you may have been advised that a hip to gable loft conversion is the best for your home. Whoever suggested this, whether it’s another builder, or you’ve done some research yourself, a hip to gable loft conversion is indeed a perfect choice for this type of property.

Loft Conversion Considerations

You will have gone over it with your family and friends about which is the right type and taken in different factors, such as roof height and the type of property you have. You will also have thought about planning permission and this is certainly an important factor to consider. You’ll find however that since the mid noughties planning permission is no longer necessarily needed. However, you may feel more comfortable if you check this out anyway, and your builder will be able to do this on your behalf.

Why do people choose a loft conversion?

A loft conversion is usually a cheaper way to create more space in your home than buying a new property and leaving the area. If you have a family, then the last thing you’ll want is to uproot the kids and move to a completely new town, just because you need an extra bedroom or bathroom.

A hip to gable conversion is a perfect choice because it offers up so much more space. The advantage of this type of conversion is that they let you have a better staircase with the extra space so you have an important escape route from the loft. It also increases the value of your property and that’s great should you decide to move on at some point.

How long does a loft conversion take to complete?

This will largely depend on different factors such as how many people you have working on it. The builder you choose to work on your loft should be able to give you an indication of the length of time, normally, it takes around 6 to 8 weeks.

Hip to Gable Loft Conversion From Experienced Builders

If you feel that you’d now like to go ahead with a hip to gable loft conversion and you’re yet to settle on a builder, then do please give Start 2 Finish consideration. We’re qualified, trained and experienced and we’d be more than happy to show you our testimonials and recommendations from former clients. 

Your Mansard Loft Conversion Guide

You may have thought about the fact that you’re having a loft conversion, but have you thought ahead to what type of conversion you’re going to have?

Have You Considered a Mansard Loft Conversion?

This is one of the best ways to convert a loft although there is a lot of construction work to consider. What you’ll have at the end of it however, is a loft conversion which is full of extra space, and more than worth the time and effort that’s been put into creating it.

Planning Permission

With a mansard loft conversion, you will need planning permission because it’ll involve changing the roof structure. It’s a good idea to speak with an architect or a builder before you start so you are well prepared. A mansard loft conversion will usually consist of a flat roof with a 72-degree slope. You will also have dormer windows built in with parapet walls. This will help it match up with the rest of your property.

Cost

It will be more expensive than more traditional loft conversions, but a mansard is a perfect choice if you really need a lot more floor space. There’ll be a bit of a mess, noise and some upheaval, but it’ll be worth it in the end once you have your mansard loft conversion finished. What’s most important is that you hire builders you can trust, ones with a good reputation and a past history of completing this type of conversion.

So, the most important question is, why should you invest in a mansard loft conversion, what’s in it for you?

  • It provides a lot of space

  • It’s suitable for most types of property

  • It really fits in well with the existing style of your home.

The only disadvantages with this type of conversion is that there’s a lot more work involved and it’s a little more expensive than more traditional loft conversions. However, if you want to maximise your space and you have the budget for it, you may well consider it worth the extra expense.

Expertly Built Mansard Loft Conversions

 

If you want a professionally built mansard loft conversion that’s made from quality materials and built by professional builders, then Start 2 Finish are the team to come to. We have many years’ experience in this area and you’ll get a professional job done well.

If you work with us, we use only high quality materials and the best craftsmen, joiners and builders with years of training who know exactly what they’re doing. We’ll clear up after ourselves, so we won’t leave you with any mess. A mansard loft conversion is a perfect choice to expand your home and add value to your property. We’re happy to show you our previous work and our client recommendations, so please get in touch.

Your Dormer Loft Conversion Guide

We’re going to be looking at whether a dormer loft conversion is right for you and whether your house is suitable for one. A dormer conversion will project vertically on the sloping roof of a house, and it can offer a lot of extra space which you may not get with a smaller conversion. It is also a great way of getting better light as it will come with dormer windows. It’s a great idea for bathrooms or bedrooms.

Dormer Loft Conversion: Different From Traditional Loft Conversions

It differs from traditional loft conversion because it has vertical walls with a horizontal ceiling. They can be built on to any type of house, and that includes semi-detached, terraced or detached end of terrace. You can also fit a staircase directly above the already existing staircase, this means the job is far less complicated than you’d think.

No Need For Planning Permission

A dormer loft conversion doesn’t need planning permission but it will have to adhere to specifications which you can find out all about by contacting your local planning office. A good building firm should also be able to advise on this for you too, you could contact anyone of us here at Start 2 Finish and we can guide you on the specifications for a dormer loft conversion.

Other Advantages to a Dormer Loft Conversion

A dormer loft conversion will give you the following:

  • Better ventilation

  • More floor space

  • More light

  • More headroom

Dormer Loft Conversion Cost

There will be more cost involved for a Dormer loft conversion, but if you really want one you may find it’s worth the extra cost because of all the advantages it offers.

Loft Conversion Building Regulations

Although you don’t need planning permission, you will need to adhere to the Building Regulations. The Building Regulations are there to ensure that the structure is safe and that you’ve paid attention to sound insulation, stability, safety and that there are suitable emergency exits.

What would you like to use your Dormer Loft Conversion for?

There are so many different ways you can take advantage of a dormer loft conversion, and here are a few ideas: -

  • A larger bathroom

  • A playroom

  • Self-contained flat

  • Games/media room

As you can see, there is so much you can create with a Dormer loft conversion, so it definitely offers so much versatility and choice.

Start 2 Finish Building Services – Dormer Loft Conversions

If you’re considering a dormer loft conversion, whatever you’re thinking of using it for, consider Start 2 Finish Building Services. We have the experience and our team are a group of experienced, reputable and fully trained, qualified builders. We can help you create the perfect space, for whatever reason and for whatever you’re going to use it for, so get in touch today and let’s create something spectacular.

What are the Benefits of Home Renovation?

By making improvements to your home and renovating areas you’re not happy with you can really add value to your property and make your home a more pleasant area to relax in. Changing the size, layout and design of your home can also give you a real sense of accomplishment as you realise you’ve changed it in a way that’s more pleasurable to live in for both you and your family. 

Change and Renew Your Home

You can make the changes you want on your terms when you’re ready, and at the end of it you have a beautiful ‘new’ home. An important part of increasing the value of your home is not just by doing it internally either, you can really add some curb appeal, and as we all know first impressions count, so you can make a unique impression outside your home as well as inside.

New Kitchens and Bathrooms Make the Biggest Impression

The kitchen and bathroom have perhaps the biggest impression on potential buyers, so it helps if you focus your attention on these two rooms. Also, if you’re fighting for space then it may be an ideal to renovate one or both rooms. A conversion is a great idea for adding extra rooms too, such as an extra bathroom, so you’re all not fighting for the shower first thing in the morning.

Adding Space to Your Property

By increasing the size of your property you’re giving yourself extra space and simultaneously increase the value of your home. An extension is another way of doing it, if you’re not interested in a conversion and want something a bit more exciting.

Reduced Heating and Energy Bills

One of the many advantages of renovating and remodelling your home are the benefits you get from reduced energy and maintenance bills. You could make a real difference to loss of energy if you improve the insulation by replacing windows and doors.

Conversions and Extensions

Conversions can add real value and if done professionally, and it doesn’t have to be a bathroom either, it can be a bedroom, a games room or a dining room. Done well, and blended in with the rest of the house, (that is, decorated in such a way that it looks like it belongs to the same building!), it can really add something unique to the property.

Hire Professional Builders and Joiners

Whether extensions or conversions, they all require a certain degree of investment and expertise, which you get back when the value of your property goes up. You need to make sure you hire professionals who know what they are doing and who have the experience. It’s futile hiring cowboys and renovating on the cheap, because you may as well flush money down the toilet. You’re not going to get a professional job and you’re home could be devalued rather than increased.

Home Renovations With Start 2 Finish Building Services

If you’re thinking of renovating your home and making some changes, then why not get in touch with us here at Start 2 Finish, and our professional team will be more than happy to help you. 

Traditional Kitchen Fitting Design Guide

If you’re not into minimal modern and monotone when it comes to kitchens, then perhaps you’re hoping for something more traditional. A traditional kitchen is not necessarily something with a country theme, but more about a kitchen fitting that embodies warmth, with muted soft colours such as taupe’s, greys, greens, creams and whites. It’s about bringing something of the outside in, with flowers, fruit and birds and butterflies.

Eclectic Mixes of Fabrics, Textures and Colours

For a traditional design, a mixture of colours and fabrics is good with pots and pans in different colours and shapes. It doesn't have to match, and for a really gorgeous traditional kitchen feel, mixed colours and textures are a must.

What we’re talking about here is a mix of styles and details so there’s room for ornamentation and less sleek clean lines you’d get in a more modern kitchen.

Go For Several Period Pieces That are Compatible

If you like the idea of this type of kitchen, then get rid of any modern or contemporary pieces you have in your kitchen and replace with a few period pieces, and create kitchen designs around it that match. You could also add some compatible pieces from other periods to make it interesting.

Flooring Can Be Irregular and Interesting

The floor deserves something a little different if it’s going to fit in with a more traditional kitchen. We’re talking original materials not linoleum copies, look for tiling or wooden floorboards. Stone is also a great material dark or light, or slate perhaps, using different sizes and creating an irregular and eclectic pattern.

Warm Corners and Interesting Lighting

Create warm corners, perhaps near a window to sit and use old pieces such as church pews and older kitchen tables to sit around as a family. Colours should be a mix of warm shades, stay away from garish patterns and geometric shapes and lines. Use different knobs for doors and cupboards with different shapes and colours. Choose interesting light fittings, mix paints and wood stains and although they should combine well, they don’t have to match.

Start 2 Finish Building Services – First Class Kitchen Fitters

If you’re thinking of radically changing your kitchen to a more traditional style, then get in touch with us here at Start 2 Finish Building Services, where our professional team of experts will be more than happy to talk you through it and help you put together your dream kitchen fitting.

A Guide to Building Your Own Home

The housing market is a confusing place right now and it makes sense somehow to build your own house. We've come up with our own guide to building your own home if this is what you've decided on, and we're hoping you'll find it as helpful as we found it enjoyable to write.

Plot

If you are set on building your own house, then you'll need to find a building plot first, you'll find there are plenty of resources both online and off at your disposal, so you're not on your own. Plot search is one such resource and it can help you find somewhere in your local area.

Budget

Naturally, before you start you'll need to consider how much you can afford to spend on your house build. You find that as you get carried away with thinking about how you want your house to look, that you forget that you don't have the budget for it. Make sure you work this out first before you start.

How big will your house be, and how much can you realistically afford to spend? Think about architect fees, builders and VAT. You must try and stick to your budget once you've decided on how much you can afford to spend. That way, you won't have any nasty surprises.

How will it take for your house to be built?

It takes time to build a house. It can take quite a considerable time just to get planning permission, and that’s before you start building. Make sure you create a a sensible time-frame from which to expect your house to be built. And try to plan your house build so that it doesn't happen during school holidays or trips away, as this will delay your deadline.

Planning permission

You'll need planning permission before you start. You need a good idea from your local planning office of what's viable and what isn't in terms of style, size and materials. The more you know ahead, the more chance there'll be of you getting the planning permission you need when you submit your application to the local council.

Designing the House

In terms of architects and design you can choose a package supplier who'll not only build it but design it as well, or an architect who can act on any designs you or another designer have come up with. The architect can obviously design the house themselves based on the ideas you've given them. You need to choose someone who will understand what it is you want, and be able to respond intelligently to your ideas, tell you what's feasible and what isn't, and be able to tell you whether what you've decided on will fall in or out of budget.

Prepare the Plot for Building

You'll need to prepare the way for your house build, and this can start with clearing the ground from vegetation and levelling out the plot so there are no uneven areas. This isn't always necessary, but it's a good idea to check first. If you decide to go with a package supplier, they may do all this for you.

Building Your Home

This is probably the best part, it's when you actually start to see your new home take shape. There are different systems to work with when building a house from scratch, but it really depends on what you, your architect, or package suppliers decide is best for the design of your house. You can choose from between brick and block, structural insulated panels or insulating concrete form-work, and there are many others, your builders will known which method is best for you.

Start 2 Finish Builders Glasgow

Once it's finished of course, you'll both be happy it's completed and all ready to move in. If you are in need of further advice or you're looking for reputable builders in Glasgow for your home build, then look no further than Start 2 Finish. We're here to help and ready to hire, get in touch today. 
 

Multi-Storey House Extension Guide

Today we're going to be looking at multi-storey house extensions and we're hoping you'll find our advice and guidance in our post this week both useful and interesting. Extending your house is always going to be hard work, and you'll need plenty of determination to see it through, but it is ultimately a rewarding experience.

What You Need to Consider

There are certain things you need to be aware of when extending your house because if you don't plan it carefully then you'll find yourself immersed in constant changes and at constant loggerheads with your planning department. There are certain conditions that your extensions must meet in order to pass the planning department's scrutiny.

One Storey, Two or Three

If you're building a single storey extension to the rear or side of the house, then the planning department will normally be more relaxed about this because changes to the house are minimal.

If you're talking two or maybe three storeys then that will be a different story. There'll be far more scrutiny from the planning department, because the changes to the house will be more significant. Issues such as the invasion or compromise of your neighbours privacy or significantly reducing the amount of sunlight caused by shadowing will be considered.

Terraced House Extension

Perhaps you live in a terraced house, if this is the case then an extension to the front of the house is likely to be refused. In fact any storey, back or front is going to have significant impact on your neighbours because you live so close to each other. One possible choice is a ground floor extension that is to the rear of the kitchen with a new bathroom above it. You normally access a bathroom of this type via the rear bedroom.

Semi-Detached House Extension

If you're in a semi-detached house with three bedrooms then you can create a multi storey extension at the side of the house and you could easily fit in a new bathroom or bedroom in here.

Light, Privacy and Windows

You must think about windows and light if you're adding another floor to the house. You wouldn't be allowed to place windows in it at the side if this means you'd be able to look directly into your neighbours garden, or if it looked directly into their living rooms or bedrooms. You can have windows with obscured glass which would be suitable for bathrooms.

Rear extensions can also create problems of their own where light and views through windows could create problems for neighbours. Balconies are a great idea, but again they mustn't look into neighbours gardens or rooms.

Gaining Approval and Planning Ahead

Gaining approval for three storey extensions will prove difficult and you will need to discuss this with your builder and ideally, an architect. You need to make sure any house extension you build, whether it's front or back, does not compromise your neighbours privacy.

House Extension Building Regulations

Building Regulations will depend on the whether your new house extension will have either three or two storeys. Conditions are that they must have adequate sound insulation, one window and an escape route. An extra storey will cause more risk to its occupants, so escape routes and windows hold even more importance, they must also have walls that provide 30 minutes of fire resistance so occupants can escape.

If you have any further questions about this or any other queries regarding multi-storey extensions to your property, then you can always contact us here at Start 2 Finish. We have many years experience with house extensions, so we give good advice based on our knowledge and expertise.  

Space Saving Tips For Kitchen Renovations

Perhaps you love your kitchen, but the only thing that really gets you down is its size. It doesn't help when you tune into cooking shows with chefs standing in opulent kitchens with all mod cons, and a large fully functioning oven that does everything but wash the dishes on your behalf. Yes, you may be hankering after a large beautiful kitchen, but it doesn't have to be the end of the world, because you can make your small kitchen seem much bigger than it really is with a little know how, without spending a fortune on a new fitted kitchen.

If you think carefully about maximising space and invest in smaller appliances you can really improve on storage options and make your kitchen seem far more spacious.

Downsize Your Appliances

Rather than invest in large white goods with all mod cons, you could consider vintage appliances which are smaller. Do you really need large appliances? If you don't have a large scale family any more, or you're not thinking of making it bigger, then ditch the large fridge and freezer and consider down sizing.

Double to Single Sink

Change your sink from double to single, and get a smaller one. Do you really need such a large sink? A single under mount sink is a good idea and could give you much more room.

Utilise Your Pantry

If you have a pantry, then you could really make use of this extra space. Here, you can create hooks so you can hang up all your pots and pans, wall-mounted storage is such a great idea and if you don't want to use your pantry, you could create a centre kitchen island with room for hanging space for pots and pans, as well as somewhere to put the garbage.

Pull Out Pantries

You could also invest in a pull out pantry, yes you heard right, a pull out pantry. This will help you conserve space and free your workspaces from clutter if you don't already have a one.

Pull Out Corner Cabinets

Pull out corner cabinets are a great idea for storage too and you can easily hide a few things away from view. Shop around and see if you can find one that serves your needs, ones that can swivel and pull out, a half moon shape is perfect, and will give you extra storage space without giving you a potential trip hazard.

Remove the Wall

A little more drastic but effective, and that's removing a wall in your kitchen. You'll let in more light as well as making it feel much bigger. It'll make your kitchen part of the living and dining space, opening up opportunities for you to converse with guests and share your cooking area.

Start 2 Finish Building Services – Expert Kitchen Fitters

Would you like to take up some of the ideas we've suggested above and you need to talk it through with someone? Our team of kitchen fitters would be more than happy to advise and guide you and if you're lost on ideas, and if you'd like some inspiration, then get in touch and we can talk you through some of the options. 

Things You Need to Know if Your Planning a House Extension

If you're planning a house extension, there are probably a few things you should know before you start. If you make sure you're fully prepared, then there should be no nasty surprises. After all, a new house extension should be a happy and positive experience, not fraught with difficulties.

Let's take a few moments to go through some of the potential difficulties and some of the little things you may not be aware of, forearmed is forewarned so let's make sure you know all you need to know about house extensions.

House Extension Ceilings

You may be under the impression that, seen as a legal minimum ceiling height is no longer part of the Building Regulations, you can forget about it. However, there is still a minimum height of sorts. All the rooms should have a practical height of 2.1m at least, from floor to ceiling. If you have a room with a sloping ceiling then half the room should have a 2.1m floor to ceiling height.

It's a good idea to really think carefully about how many rooms and what they're going to be used for. If you have one extra room that winds up as a through room then it could be a wasted room. If you already have one that will form part of the new extension then don't think about using it as a through room, if possible. The reason for this is that it could end up being used as a dumping ground, and that is really going to spoil the whole look and feel of your new extension. You need to think about every little bit of space you have in the room and make sure the best is made out every inch.

House Extensions & Conservatories

Are you thinking of having a conservatory as part of a house extension, or do you have one that you'd like to integrate as part of the new extension. This is problematic, as the Building Regulations say that a conservatory must be separate from the existing house by exterior doors. It can seem really separate from the rest of the home though, like an alien add on that isn't really part of the house, and in some cases is rarely used. However, you could try removing the exterior wall that separates the conservatory from the house. It is then more like an actual extension. You could also add plastered wall and an insulated roof so the conservatory is used to extend a room.

Liaise With Your Building Control Department

Keep in mind you will have to let your Building Control Department know the calculations, which will show the amount of glazing you're using for the roof and doors of the extended conservatory, including the glazing of doors, windows and roof lights of the original part of the house. Also that they don't go over 25% of the floor area in the conservatory, and of course all of the floors in the house added together. You'll also find that any new doors and windows in your extended conservatory must meet the current U values which are required by the Building Regulations.

Removing Trees For a House Extension

Some trees have preservation orders known as Tree Preservation Orders or TPOs, so you need to check before removing them to build your extension.

Shower Rooms

You can add a shower room anywhere as long as it complies with certain measurements.

Room Sizes

You need to consider the size of any rooms you are thinking of adding to your extension. There are recommended room sizes, but they usually apply mostly to social housing, but do consider who has to occupy these rooms and think about whether they'll be big enough. Also, all rooms must have external windows unless its a kitchen, bathroom, study or dining room. Contact the planning department about the recommended sizes for each room.

House Extensions in Glasgow and Throughout Central Scotland

If you have any further questions regarding house extensions in Glasgow or throughout central Scotland, then you can get in touch with us here at Start 2 Finish Building Services and one of our team will be glad to talk to you. Don't forget to get in touch with your local planning department so you can bone up on all you need to know to make sure your house extension goes to plan. Good luck!


 

Home Improvements to Add Value to Your Home

If your home is looking a little tired and a little cramped, perhaps you could improve the situation by creating a new extension. You can convert your garage, loft or create a house extension at the back, front or side of your house.

By adding an extra room or extending the property you can add value to your home as well as living space. It will cost time and a certain amount of money, but in the end it’ll have been worth it. With quality builders in Glasgow, such as ourselves at Start 2 Finish Building Services, you’ll have a home that will impress future potential buyers.

House Extensions

There are different types of house extensions on the market, and it is up to you and the advice of a good builder to decide which one is best for your home. It could make a tremendous difference to the ambience of your home and with good use of interiors you will have added real value to your property.

Loft Conversions

If you’re in desperate need of a new bedroom or bathroom, then use the existing loft space you have and convert it. It’ll be far better than leaving to buy a bigger property and work out much cheaper. At the same time, you will have added value and saved on money.

Conservatory

A new conservatory is an ideal way of improving your dining facility and creating a really classy part of the house with which to entertain your guests. If you style it well and make sure it fits in with the rest of your home, rather than looking like it’s been added on, you’ll have a beautiful spacious area to relax and a real attraction for interested buyers.

Garage Conversion

If you never use your existing garage, then why not turn it into a new room, a media room perhaps, or a dining area, bedroom with en suite bathroom or a family room. What you decide it’s an attractive addition to your home as well as adding value.

Curb Appeal

Never underestimate the power of curb appeal for your home. You need to make sure it looks as good outside as it does on the inside. Make sure you maintain the condition of your exterior door and that the front garden is well maintained with any hedges, gates or wooden fencing kept in tip top condition.

Start 2 Finish Building Services – Premier Glasgow Builders

If you want to give your home a fresh new look as well as adding value to your property, then get in touch with us here at Start 2 Finish Building Services. We have many years’ experience in the trade and we've created a variety of different extensions for satisfied customers over the years. Contact us today and we can talk over your ideas. 

Keeping Loft Conversions Cool

In high temperatures or direct sunlight loft conversions in West Lothian can get warm very quickly. Warm air also rises from the rest of your home, and these two factors can make your converted space uncomfortable to live in.

So how do you keep your loft conversion cool? We’ve put together a few handy tips.

Insulate Your Loft Conversions in West Lothian

When dealing with excess heat, insulation may seem like the worst tool for the job. But insulation is about maintaining a regular temperature. It is often used to keep heat in during the winter and to ensure that your central heating efforts don’t go to waste, but the principle of trapped temperatures works just the same in reverse.

Good insulation will help to keep your loft conversion cool, by preventing heat from building up inside. This can help to remove the need for air conditioning, allowing you to save money on your energy bills.

Ensure You Have Good Ventilation

Having decent ventilation in your loft conversions in West Lothian not only helps to keep them at a pleasant temperature, it also stops too much moisture from building up inside. How well a loft conversion is ventilated will depend upon the design choices you make, such as what windows you have fitted. Ideally you should choose ones that have ventilation flaps, or can be opened part way to allow some cool air to get in.

Ventilation also helps to give a way for that rising heat we mentioned earlier to escape.

Fit Reflective or Blackout Blinds

Your loft conversion is naturally going to get warm if it is in the path of direct sunlight. Fitting reflective or blackout blinds in your windows will give you a way of blocking out the sun so that your room doesn’t get as hot.

Fit Solar Powered Air Conditioning

The invention of solar powered air conditioning systems has given you a way of keeping cool in your home without having a significant impact upon the planet. Air conditioning is not usually environmentally friendly, but when it is powered entirely by sunlight it hardly has an impact at all. Solar power is a great way to use the sun against itself – after all, sunlight is going to be the biggest reason why your space gets too hot in the first place!

Want to know more about keeping loft conversions in West Lothian cool? Get in touch with us today.

Considerations If You're Planning A Loft Conversion

If you’re planning on a loft conversion in Glasgow then you’ll be looking at all the different things you need to take into consideration. A loft conversion is a lot cheaper than a house extension or a complete move to a larger property.

However, whether it adds value to your home really depends on whether this type of conversion is right for you. Let’s look at some of the consideration for planning a loft conversion and help you to make the right decision or whether or not to go ahead.

Weight and Height

These are probably the first practical things to consider before deciding on a loft conversion in Glasgow. You need to measure from floor to ceiling to see whether there’s sufficient head height available for one. You also need to think about the weight of your house and whether a loft conversion is suitable, you can expose the foundations and get someone else, or yourself, to check. You may need additional support for your loft with extra beams to strengthen the floor and roof if needed.

How long does it take to build a loft conversion in Glasgow?

It can take around a month to build a loft conversion in Glasgow. There will be noise and perhaps a little mess, but less than you’d get with a house extension. There’ll be a chute for waste to go straight down and out of the house into a skip. Scaffolding will link the loft to the house until the conversion is complete.

What do I need to consider when choosing windows?

It is very important to choose the right type of window for your loft conversion. Dormer windows are a popular choice and allow headroom and plenty of light into the room. You may need planning permission for dormer windows as they can change the outside appearance of your house. You can have skylights installed into the roof and again, this is a popular choice and let’s in lots of light.

Budget Considerations

Know how much you want to spend and allow for any unexpected emergencies or extras. You must think about plumbing and electrics too, so add this into your budget. Don’t let yourself be taken by surprise.

Think About Loft Insulation

You need good insulation in your loft and this is required by the building regulations. As you can imagine a loft can get very hot in summer and freezing cold in winter. The walls and ceiling should be properly insulated and building regulations stipulate that your insulation should cater for thermal and sound insulation.

Roof Structure Considerations

There should already be internal support in the roof but they will be removed to make way for your loft conversion and naturally they’ll be replaced with new support.

There will be many changes to accommodate your new loft, and floor and ceiling joists will see some dramatic changes. You need to make sure that the builders you hire know exactly what they’re doing and that they understand how to create safe and reliable structure for your loft conversion.

Loft Stairs

You need a practically built stairway to your newly converted room. They can work out expensive, so make sure you figure this into your budget. It may be a good idea to get building control to approve your staircase before it’s built so you don’t waste money. You can send a copy of the design so they can take a good look at it before you go ahead. You also need to consider emergency exits, and that whoever occupies your new room can escape quickly should there be a fire.

Start 2 Finish – Loft Conversions Glasgow

If you’re thinking of creating a loft conversion in Glasgow, then we hope the above information gives you all you need to think about when considering a new conversion. It’s an important step and it deserves to be done well. If you’d like to discuss it with us, then do please contact us. We’re happy to answer all your questions, we have many years’ experience and all of our team members are trained and qualified. 

Types of House Extension

If your home needs a revamp and you really don’t want to move house then perhaps you’re starting to consider a house extension. House extensions provide new ways of increasing the living space in your home without the expense of moving house.

There are different types of house extension, and in this post we’re going to explore a few of them, so you’ll have a better idea of what’s best for your property.

Rear House Extension

If you’re looking for kitchen space, then this type of extension could be perfect for you. It extends through to the back and it can also give additional space for the dining area. The extension can lead nicely to your garden or patio, giving it a really beautifully spacious feel.

Wrap Around House Extension

A wrap around extension simply consists of combining side and rear parts of the house to create extra space, it’s similar to the rear, except it takes in more of the house. You can add some extra living space with a kitchen and dining area so you can entertain guests.

Side Return House Extension

A side return extension cleverly brings your property into a drive way or an alley way at the side of your house. It gives some really good interior space, not perhaps as large as a wraparound or a rear extension, but valued extra room all the same. If you’re looking to create something open plan, then it’s ideal.

Roof House Extension

This type of roof extension must complement the existing main roof and usually comes with a dormer window, it’s a great idea if you’re looking for an extra bedroom, but make sure it doesn’t dominate the original house in any way.

Double Storey House Extensions

This will really give you some great space with room downstairs, and upstairs too with an extra bedroom.

Garage House Extension

Garage extensions are extremely popular. Garages that come with a property are often a waste of time and could easily be put to better use as well as adding value to your home.

It does need some careful consideration though, but a new bedroom or the creation of another family room could be just what you need. This is something that should be discussed with a reputable builder first before going ahead.

House Extensions From Start 2 Finish

Here at Start 2 Finish we have many years’ experience in the building trade and the majority of our work comes from recommendations from previous clients. We pride ourselves on the work we do, and with each job we care for the home as if it were our own.

If you’re still undecided whether to go ahead with a house extension and you’d like to talk it through, get in touch with us here at Start 2 Finish and one of our team will be more than happy to answer all your questions.

If you do choose us to build your house extension – we’ll take good care of your home and personal possessions, we never leave any mess behind us and we’ll do a professional job. We’re all trained, qualified and experienced so you’ll find you’ve placed your house extension in the right hands.

Kitchen Fitting Design Ideas

Whichever way you came to the decision to get the kitchen fitters in, it probably feels like it’s about time, you've stared at it for long enough. You feel the place is getting you down now and you’re ready for something new. You can’t use any new appliances or gadgets, you can’t move around as you’d like, and your family are finding it hard to use the kitchen in a meaningful way.

So, you’ve decided on a new kitchen fitting and before you start, you need to think about what you want from your kitchen and how you want it to work for you.

What kind of kitchen layout would work for you?

If you want to totally update your kitchen, make sure it functions in a way that suits what you want to do in there. Does it bring a tangible benefit to your time in the kitchen, and will the new layout really add something special to it?

Also keep in mind that too many individual twists to a kitchen may not necessarily add value to your property as a new buyer will want to make the kitchen their own after they’ve moved in.

How do you want the kitchen to work for you?

Perhaps you want the cooking station and fridge close to each other, but where do you want the worktop space, near the oven perhaps. Think it through, write it down, or draw a diagram of where you want things to be. An overall plan will make it a little easier.

Storage?

How much storage do you need in your new kitchen? Create too much and you’ll have empty cupboards and shelves and unused areas that create an eyesore, and give the impression of a kitchen that’s far too big.

Dinner parties?

If you use your kitchen for dinner parties then this will have to be accommodated in the overall layout. Perhaps your children eat in the kitchen and if this is the case, then you’ll need to create space for that too.

Utensils and Dinnerware

How much space do you need to accommodate the utensils and dinnerware? Do you have a few sophisticated technological gadgets you use in the kitchen and need areas in which to keep them? Then you’ll need to create room for these to hang, or create a place where you can find them easily when you need them.

Appliances

The size and width of your fridges, freezers and ovens are all things that need taking into consideration. Does your fridge/freezer need to be all one, and longer than it is wide, or do want your freezer separate from the fridge and in a separate utility room. Do you want room for your washing machine and tumble dryer or will you have them separately in a utility room as well?

Kitchen Fitters West Lothian

So there you have it, if you think about everything you need from a kitchen fitting before going ahead, you’ll find your kitchen will serve you well. And a well fitted kitchen will add value to your property too.

If you need further advice and guidance regarding your fitted kitchen then get in touch with us here at Start2Finish and we’ll be happy to help. We have many years’ experience and we can help you create your dream kitchen and help you add value to your property. 

Garage Conversion Ideas

You’ll be spoilt for choice with what you can do with a Garage Conversion in West Lothian. If your house is chock a block with family and friends, then perhaps it’s about time you created a little more room. Rather than sell up and find another house which can be quite costly, why not make life easier, and convert the space you have in your existing garage?

Bedroom (with or without en suite)

An extra bathroom is a fantastic use of a garage conversion and a great way of providing extra living space for a family member. You can have it en suite or you can have it as a bedroom alone. You could also rent the room out and take in an extra lodger. This in itself with help you to bring in an extra income. It will also help provide privacy for a family member, perhaps a teenager or adult who may need a place of their own.

Bathroom

If you spend the majority of your time fighting to get into the bathroom in the morning then perhaps you could use a garage conversion as a bathroom. You can spend as much time as you like in there when you’re all not fighting to get in all at once. Think about it - no more morning rush.

Living room/Lounge

Another area to sit and relax. This can be a place where you watch TV, quietly read a book and have a little time out. It’s the perfect escape.

Dining Area

Are you tired of trying to squeeze your guests into a tiny area when you have them round for dinner? You could use a garage conversion to change all that and turn it into a spacious dining area where you can sit and relax over dinner. Entertaining won’t be that stressed filled evening it once was and you can decorate and furnish your new dining area to your own personal tastes, and perhaps try out some new ideas.

Children's Playroom

A playroom will give your kids the space they need to play and explore without getting under anyone’s feet. This is a perfect idea if you simply don’t have enough space for your children to play indoors. A simple garage conversion can make all the difference to playtime, giving your family back some peace and harmony.

Utility Room

Perhaps the kitchen simply doesn’t accommodate enough room to fit in a washing machine, or freezer, making it almost impossible to move around and carry out simple housework. A Utility room could change all that, by giving you extra space in your kitchen and putting your old garage to good use.

Home Office

Perhaps you need a place to work or your children need a study area. A garage conversion that converts into an office is a great idea and gives you and your family extra space to study and work without having to put up with noise from other parts of the house.

Home Gym

If you want to exercise and you don’t live near a gym, then why not convert your garage into a home gym? That way you can take regular exercise as and when you please with no membership fees to worry about.

Small Home Cinema/Games Room

A great way to watch the latest film releases with your family or friends. You can use a garage conversion as a games room or partition the room and use it as both a small cinema and a games room. That way your family gets the best of both worlds.

Garage Conversions West Lothian

We hope we’ve provided you with some great garage conversion ideas and perhaps come up with some of your own. If there’s an idea you’d like to explore, which we haven’t covered here, then why not give us a call, and we can talk it through. At Start 2 Finish we have many years’ experience in the building trade and we are a team of professional builders who are both qualified and highly skilled. Get in touch and let’s talk about your garage conversion