Article Index

Here are all our articles sorted A – Z

 

Window seats are the design trend of the moment. From sea-fronting self builds to cosy farmhouses, this design idea is popping up in many projects, offering not just a focal point in a room, but a perfect spot to sit and enjoy the view. There are plenty of opportunities to introduce a window seat, but how do you go about getting this design detail right in your self build, renovation or extension project?

It’s worth noting that making a feature of your window does not always require enormous expanses of floor-to-ceiling glazing. In order to draw the eye outwards, and exclude any less attractive aspects, pinpointing a vista with perhaps a linear, spherical, or ultra-wide window frame can be more successful.


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

1. A Minimalist Approach

In this self build project by Platform 5 Architects, a simple wooden bench spans the width of the rear wall with a singular cushion beneath a tall frameless window, offering a simple solution to this design idea. It’s worth noting in instances where you have large glazed sections such as this that if your window seat is orientated south, then consider solar control glass which has a low G-factor to reflect heat away from the glazing. Likewise, incorporating a roof overhang into the building design can help to prevent overheating in the summer months.


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

Framing the view is a key draw of installing a window seat into your design. In this remodel project, a spherical design punctures the walls to lead the eye out towards a tree in the garden. A pop of colour in the form of a cushion offers a striking contrast against the white-washed walls.

3. A Built-in Window Seat

If you’re intending on a built-in style window seat to make the most of your view, you’ll need to ensure the window itself is deep enough to accommodate room for a bench that can comfortably sit at least one person without making them feel like they’re perched on a ledge — a bay window is a good example here. In more contemporary settings, such as this project from Kast Architects, where you may have frameless glazing or the window is flush with the wall, well-placed joinery could allow a seating area to be built in front of the glazing. The window seat here offers uninterrupted sea views as well as a spot to perch before dinner. 

4. A Curved Design

This curved window seat at this holiday let in Cornwall is perfect for perching on and engaging with the rest of the roomImage credit: Martindale c/o Jill Stein

In rooms where you have a curved wall, introducing a window seat can act as an additional seating arrangement within the room and allow everyone to be part of the conversation. This curved window seat at a holiday let in Cornwall is perfect for relaxing on and engaging with the rest of the room. An adjacent built-in bookcase means your favourite read is within arms reach if you want to curl up on the cushions.

For those limited on space, a window seat is a great opportunity to build in storage underneath the bench. This could be an ideal home for storing children’s toys, books and so on. Better still, you could open up the space beneath as an alcove that makes room for a pet bed or bookcase. What’s more, if you’re keen on built-in joinery, transforming the wall around your window into storage or bookcases could be a great way of framing the window seat — not to mention making it easier to grab your latest read while you relax. In this conversion project, a window seat complete with bookcase has been built into wall, making this area an ideal spot to read while enjoying views of the outdoors.

Where you might have an internal window, perhaps as a result of linking a series of buildings together in a barn conversion for instance, creating a window seat here is an effective way of adding a spot to relax in what might otherwise be used as just circulation space. In this project, a window seat within the glazed link offers a quiet spot to relax between spaces, and shares views into multiple rooms around the property thanks to its position.

For those who like to wind down of an evening before bedtime, introducing a window seat in the bedroom is ideal. Plumped up with cushions and a padded base, this can be a comfortable spot to relax. In this self build project in the Lake District, a window seat positioned within the dormer window of the master suite makes for a great place to curl up with a book before bed.

In a snug or living room, utilising free space below a window to include a seat can be a great way of increasing your seating space — particularly when you have guests over and sofa space is limited. A small window seat (left of shot) in this extension and remodel project offers an additional seating area within the living room, without having to make room for an extra piece of furniture.

A concrete window bench in this London home has been designed to appear as if it continues out seamlessly to the garden thanks to a divide of frameless glazing. It is worth bearing in mind that sitting next to glass can be uncomfortable if not correctly specified. “Triple glazing is becoming more of the norm in window specification, and it certainly provides significant thermal benefits over double glazing (and the price difference is closing),” says Nicholas James. “Poor seals, however, can result in uncomfortable draughts, so the detailing around the window is critical to ensure continuity of insulation and avoidance of air leakage.”

10. A Functional Solution

Providing a functional purpose, this window seat doubles up as seating around the dining table in the kitchenImage credit: c/o Platform 5 Architects

A window seat doesn’t just have to be a spot within your living room to sit at now and again. In rooms such as the kitchen for instance, why not design your eating area around the window by positioning your breakfast/dining table here, with a bench set within the recess or against the window to sit at, allowing you to take in the outdoor views while enjoying a meal? Providing a functional purpose, the window seat in this project doubles up as seating around the dining table in the kitchen.

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/10-charming-window-seats/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

When it comes to designing the interiors of your home and utilising the space, whether it’s a self build, extension or renovation project, the height and shape of your ceiling can have an impact on everything from furniture placement, to arrangement and use of rooms, where to position glazing, and even the general feeling you get from being in that space.

From curved spaces to jagged arrangements, varying heights and more, we showcase some examples of how homeowners have created and dealt with unusual ceiling heights.


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

The partially vaulted ceiling in this oak frame home allows for areas of the ground floor to benefit from lofty heights, while still accommodating for a mezzanine level. A rooflight here also allows light to pour down from above.


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

The exposed timber beams within this barn conversion create an unusual arrangement of ceiling heights, with the combination of double-height and partially vaulted spaces broken up with lower beams which divide the more intimate areas from the voluminous ones. Thanks to the exposed nature, you can still glimpse up to the ridge height.

The curved nature of this entrance hall allows for a striking curved staircase design which moves up the curved expanse and connects all three levels of the home. Complete with a gallery and glazed balustrade, the result is truly unusual.

In this extension project, the tall ceiling has been punctured with structural frameless glazing which moves down the rear wall. Combined with the design of the glazing sitting above the ceiling height to one side of the room, the homeowners benefit from an open air feel.

In this American loft-style self build in Surrey, the open plan kitchen/dining/living space is broken up into zones thanks to the jagged ceiling made up of varying levels. The kitchen sits under a lower ceiling while the dining space opposite boasts views up to the roof. Exposed steel beams and glazed mezzanines add to the jagged effect.

A change in levels adds drama to the living room in this self build project. Stepping down from the more enclosed kitchen with lower ceiling, the impact of the double-height volume in the living room is made even greater. A mezzanine breaks up this space.

A dramatic triple-height void in this contemporary self build leads the eye upwards thanks to a rooflight positioned at the apex. Galleried sections with glazed balustrades at first and second floor level allow each part of the home to enjoy views up and down the void.

The varied ceiling in this woodland home has been made all the more unusual thanks to being partially clad in timber — the same material used on the staircase and sections of wall cladding. The effect helps to break up the space and also signpost the elements which are double and single height.

The steeply sloping pitch in this bedroom creates an almost triangular shaped space. Hidden LED strip lighting washes the top of the void in light.

A ceiling clad in timber to match the walls creates a cosy, enclosed space for a home office in this renovation project, and creates the illusion of the ceiling being lower than it is.

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/unusual-ceiling-heights/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

This dated 1930s bungalow was extended with a single-storey side extension and two-storey rear addition

Extending is a great way to create much needed extra space in your home, whether to accommodate a growing family or to adapt to modern living requirements, and is often cheaper than moving house.


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

If you’re considering extending for the first time, or are keen for project success, these 10 key rules will set you on the right path.


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

1. Only Extend If It Makes Sense

In some circumstances, it is better to move than to extend. If an extension will spoil the property, or will be a case of over-development (thus making an extension nonsensical from an economic perspective), then it is best to move.

But if an extension will improve the existing home, adding both space and value to the property, then it makes complete sense.

2. Make a Considered Brief

Start by defining what the new space should achieve and what problems the extension should solve. Unless you can tell your architect what is missing, then they won’t be able to make the extension more than a simple addition of rooms. This description should be more than ‘add a bedroom and bathroom’ or ‘make the ground floor bigger’.

These statements are not wrong but it helps to think more about the added benefits, for example if you are extending a kitchen:

  • Where does the light come in?
  • Can I eat my breakfast with the morning sun?
  • Do I want to sit and enjoy a view or see my garden?

The architect will solve and come up with ideas, but the best solutions come from being set the best questions from a client with challenging thoughts.

3. Choose Materials Carefully

Sometimes the materials choices are obvious and the existing house demands the extension should follow suit with a subservient extension.

If the house has no overriding character or style, then a contrast can improve both parts. The skill and challenge of the architect is to decide, with you as their client, what will work best. If you are going to contrast an existing house with materials that vary, then the solution has to be of high quality and well thought through.

A bland extension on an ordinary house is simply bland; if it also stands out because the materials look wrong, then the whole effect is ruined.

The materials are an intrinsic part of the architectural style so don’t pick materials at the end as an afterthought, or because they were ‘on offer’. Remember, you have to live with this for many years.

4. Get the Size Right

Getting the right size for an extension is probably the biggest challenge to the owner and the designer. There is no set rule, but many times I have seen extensions added to buildings that have spoilt the original house because they are too big and dominant.

When thinking about additional spaces, consider how they can combine or improve existing spaces, rather than simply adding more.

5. Give Thought to Architectural Style

Every house has a style, built in a certain period or with particular materials. So the architectural style that the extension takes on is important to the combined result. A Georgian house can have an extension that matches or contrasts.

If you are going to match a building, then the proportions, details and materials must be very good to make it work and appear authentic.

So is a contrast easier? Not necessarily so. If you want a modern extension on an older property, the same rules of proportion apply but the new extension must add something. This could be more glass in contrast to a solid form, or a flash of colour in contrast to a neutral palette.

6. Respect Neighbouring Properties

One of the biggest questions on a semi or a terrace property is the effect that the extension or alteration has on its neighbour’s property. Try to design your new extension with respect and awareness to neighbouring houses.

Can you avoid overlooking or overcrowding? Many extensions become so large that they appear to join up separate houses, creating terraces where they were never intended.

7. Quality vs. Quantity

So, how much will it cost to build? It is always better to build with better materials and better design than build more space of less quality. If you are going to build large and can’t afford everything, then plan to fit out the space later rather than cheapen everything.

8. Extend or Replace

Many people now alter a house so significantly that the question is not “Should we extend?” but “Should we knock it down and replace?” There is a point when you are extending when it might be easier. However, I find that reusing existing buildings, where possible, is more environmentally friendly and can provide a great base to create the dream home.

Bear in mind, though, that an extension attracts VAT at 20 per cent whereas a new build is 0 per cent, so do the sums on the costs at the beginning when you can make the right choice.

9. Prepare to Live Through the Mess

If you are extending and living in the house then prepare for disruption, mess and dust. Many clients have said they will live in the house and come to regret it. If you can move out and leave the builders to get on, there are real advantages:

  • The build can be faster and a shorter programme also saves money
  • The builders can turn power, water and heat off
  • They don’t have to tidy up all the time, and there are fewer arguments over the toilet

Most people have to stay while building goes on, so agree ground rules on access and use of the toilet. Seal up as many rooms as possible and invest in dustsheets to protect furniture, as plaster dust seems to get everywhere.

Above all, keep smiling throughout the process and think about why you started.

10. Assess the Difference Between Cost and Value

When you are planning your build, work through the costs at the beginning. Only you can decide what constitutes good value. The cost can be determined by the quantity surveyor or the builder but only you, the client, can say if that is worth it in monetary, enjoyment or usefulness terms.

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/10-golden-rules-for-extending-your-home/


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

Contemporary self builds come in many shapes, sizes and guises. While some new homes take their cue from modernist forms (think flat roofs, larges areas of glazing and white render), many of today’s crop of contemporary new builds embrace contextualism.

“Contextualism is all about an architecture that is a response to its surroundings and respects the locality. Contextualism is all about the site,” explains architect Darren Bray.


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

Often, this means a design which sits comfortably on its plot, embraces local materials and elements of vernacular architecture, but reinvents them in new and exciting ways.


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

This selection highlights the wide variety of contemporary self builds being built across the UK.

This contemporary self build, designed by architect owner Jake Edgley, was built on brownfield plot in south London. The rear courtyard was designed around a 100-year-old pear tree on site.

  • Build cost: £2,000/m²
  • Location: Dulwich, London

Architect/owners Annelies and Peter Tompkins replaced a 1960s bungalow with a brick-clad self build. The new house uses a local brick, carefully laid in a bond which matches the vernacular style — and ties in with the neighbouring Arts and Crafts house.

  • Build cost: £335,000
  • Location: Berkshire

This contemporary build, with its striking Cor-ten (weathered steel)-clad first floor, pays homage to the industrial buildings which once stood on site.

  • Build cost: £850,000
  • Location: Lewes

One couple built this single-storey home in the garden to their former Victorian house, for their retirement. A significant slope and the desire not to negatively impact on their former home was critical — the new house sits lower on the site, but makes the most of spectacular valley views.

  • Build cost: £327,900
  • Location: Derbyshire

Ben Warren’s contemporary self build, designed by Stan Bolt: Architect, has taken the concept of the white rendered box and reinvented it. The result is a home that combines different materials and breaks away from the box-like form with varying levels of scale and mass.

  • Build Cost: £300,000 (£1,382/m²)
  • Location: East Devon

Large expanses of glass and a predominately open plan ground floor give this oak frame self build a contemporary edge.

  • Build cost: £490,000
  • Location: Hertfordshire

Concrete and timber cladding – not to mention that gravity-defying cantilever – combine to create a minimalist-inspired home. The large chimney breast ‘anchors’ the building to its site, while the roof overhangs create shading in the summer.

  • Build cost: £3,660/m²
  • Location: Dorset

This well-insulated, airtight home was constructed in SIPs, but features natural clay tiles, brick and timber cladding as a nod to the vernacular.

  • Build cost: £495,000
  • Location: Hampshire

This striking new build on a corner plot in Bristol replaces a row of derelict garages. The contemporary self build has been designed in three parts in order to maximise privacy and minimise overlooking.

  • Build cost: £300,000
  • Location: Bristol

This contemporary Scottish self build, with dynamic roof planes, features natural materials which help it sit comfortably within its setting. The interiors take their cue from mid-century modern design.

  • Build cost: £500,000
  • Location: Argyll & Bute

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/contemporary-self-builds-gallery/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

1. Give Thought to Size and Layout

One of the benefits of building a new house, or extending and/or remodelling an existing home, is that you have more flexibility to decide on the size and shape of your kitchen diner. Ideas include:

  • Large square or rectangular rooms work best when carefully zoned.
  • An L-shape arrangement is another option (and may be readily achieved by extending to the rear and knocking through to an existing reception room). This layout allows a degree of separation between the kitchen and dining space, and often means you’re not in sight of kitchen mess when sitting at the table.

Find a kitchen fitter


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

2. Your Lighting Scheme Plays an Important Role

As multi-functional rooms, kitchen diners are arguably one of the most complex spaces to light in the house. A well-designed lighting scheme features layers of light:


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

  • ambient (general) lighting
  • task lighting (i.e. under-cabinet lighting, introduced to facilitate activities such as food prep)
  • accent lighting used to highlight features (used within glazed kitchen units, for instance)

Think too about the other activities which may take place in this room. For example, while pendant lights look stunning above a dining table or island, if this spot doubles as a place for the kids’ to write their homework, you may want to consider an additional source of light.

3. Plan For Extraction Early On

Lingering cooking smells are a common problem in open plan kitchen, dining and living spaces. Giving extraction some thought at the design stage can help mitigate this issue. Ideas include:

  • Specifying a ducted hood – which removes air to the exterior, rather than a recirculating hood, which instead uses filters to purify the air before expelling it back into the room – is a good idea
  • Opt for a model with an intensive power setting, designed to eliminate odours quickly
  • The cooker hood should be adequately sized for the space, too. Cooker hoods need to be at least the width of the hob. (For an induction hob, you’ll need a hood which is wider than the hob in order to catch vapours which dissipate outwards)
  • “Ducting and correct installation is also crucial as inefficient ducting is the number-one cause of poor performance, including noise,” state the experts at Miele GB. “For efficient extraction, the ducting should be as short and straight with as few bends as possible, with smooth walled ducting”

4. Introducing Natural Light is Vital

Given this room is likely to be the most-used space in the house, maximising potential for introducing natural light is a very good idea. ‘Daylighting’ will inevitably reduce reliance on artificial lighting too.

Windows and glazed doors (French, sliding or bifold) aside, one challenge in rooms of this size is introducing light deep into the floorplan. Try one of these practical and beautiful solutions:

  • a bank of rooflights
  • a large roof lantern above the kitchen or dining table

Material choice can also have an impact. Gloss kitchen units in light colours or neutrals can help bounce light around the space; while light flooring, such as limestone, travertine or pale wood can be beneficial, too.

kitchen–diner-with-rooflightsRooflights can be a clever means of introducing light deep into the floorplan of a kitchen diner

5. Zoning is Vital

Successful open plan spaces are not only cohesive, but are zoned, with different areas of activity defined. There are many ways of zoning a kitchen diner:

Considered furniture placement

Using a kitchen island or breakfast bar is not only a cost effective way to visually divide the space, but adds surface area and storage.

Well-designed lighting

Use different circuits to ‘shut down’ the kitchen when dining, or utilise dimmable lighting to create different moods.

Varying ceiling and floor heights

A particularly impressive means of creating zones is through creating various levels. One classic example is placing the kitchen beneath a standard ceiling (say, 2.4m high), with the dining space beneath a vaulted ceiling or double-height space.

6. Give Thought to Flooring

Flooring can require some considerable thought in kitchen, dining and living areas. You have two key choices:

  • Use the same floor running throughout, creating a sense of cohesion across the entire room
  • Using a hard-wearing, low-maintenance floor in the kitchen, like slate, and something softer underfoot in the other areas, such as wood or carpet

If you want the same flooring throughout then stone flooring such as slate or limestone is a practical choice. Luxury vinyl tile (in a stone or wood effect) is another solution which is a little softer underfoot.

A variety of floor finishes can work well in zoning different areas in an open plan space, but the juncture where the two floors meet can be a challenge; transition strips often look ill-placed and clumsy. Solutions include:

  • introducing a partial wall divide
  • a variation in floor height

7. Conceal Kitchen Clutter

Sitting down for an evening meal or settling on the sofa with dirty plates and pans on view is not a recipe for relaxation. It can be a particular problem when entertaining in an open plan space, too.

  • One solution for larger properties is the introduction of an adjacent food prep room
  • Another clever solution, without having to introduce a dedicated room, is designing in sliding partition doors which can be closed when guests arrive
  • Space-spacing ways of hiding clutter include introducing a raised worktop or breakfast bar
  • Again, setting the kitchen at a different height to the dining space is another idea

8. Connect Your Kitchen Diner with the Garden

Positioning a kitchen diner at the rear of the house is a good way to make the most of the garden views and opportunities for alfresco dining. To make the garden more accessible from this principal living space, try:

  • Adding an opening. While French doors suit period homes, sliding and bifold doors have become a staple of the modern home (as below)
  • Incorporating a well-placed outdoor eating area — preferably on a level threshold and readily accessed from the kitchen

9. Consistency of Design is Key

Using a similar palette of materials and/or a unified colour scheme across an open plan space is particularly effective in creating a cohesive interior.

  • Many bespoke kitchen companies will create cabinetry for the dining space which matches units
  • Picking up accent colours used within the kitchen in the dining space will help tie these spaces together
  • Symmetry and repetition of shape help too — for example, introducing a dining table of similar proportions to the kitchen island

10. Address Noise

While noise-generating appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers can be tucked away in a utility, there are some essential pieces required in an open plan kitchen diner.

The cooker hood, for example, needs to be both powerful enough to quickly eliminate odours, but also ideally quiet. (Correct ducting and installation are key here). The dishwasher can be another significant source of noise, sloshing away just as you sit down to diner.

  • Invest in appliances which promise a low decibel (dB) rating. The Servis dishwasher, works at just 39dB, which is quieter than a fridge humming; while Bosch offer models with Silence Program and SuperSilence programmes — the quietest work at 38dB
  • Look out products which come with Quiet Mark approval

But appliances aren’t the only source of noise within a kitchen diner. Our penchant for open plan spaces often goes hand in hand with our desire for hard flooring, lots of glazing and other such hard surfaces — all dreadful for acoustics. If noise is a potential concern:

  • Introduce soft furnishing (rugs, curtains, soft wall panelling, etc)
  • Acoustic plasterboard, such as Gyproc SoundBloc, can also aid in reducing airborne sound transmission

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/top-10-kitchen-diner-design-tips/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

Traditional buildings seem to have lost their time in the spotlight following the popularity of ‘Grand Designs’-style TV shows where contemporary architecture reigns supreme. It is these more humble buildings, however, which make up the majority of the UK housing stock, and their simple nature can take many charming forms.

For those who prefer roof pitches to flat roofs, casement windows to structural glazing, and local building materials as opposed to white render and shards of glass, this selection of homes is sure to inspire.


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Built to look like it’s been stood for centuries, this traditional Cotswolds home has been constructed using the local stone to look like an old coach house which has been added to over the years.


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

  • Build cost: £500,000
  • Location: Gloucestershire

This traditional home has been constructed using timber frame and clad in Cotswold stone to look like a Georgian farmhouse.

  • Build cost: £316,000
  • Location: Wiltshire

This project in the south of England has been built using traditional methods in a Cape Cod style, complete with dormer windows, low eaves and a wrap-around veranda.

  • Build cost: £273,000
  • Location: East Sussex

Tall chimneys, a steep roof pitch, gables and dormer windows all help to achieve the Arts and Crafts aesthetic in this new traditional-style home built by Snell David Architect.

  • Build cost: £800,000
  • Location: Cambridgeshire

5. An Energy-Efficient Cottage

Constructed in a Conservation Area and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this traditional-style cottage has been built to mirror the form and materials typical of this part of the Dales. Thanks to its ultra energy-efficient insulation materials and building techniques, the home just missed Passivhaus certification.

  • Build cost: £180,000
  • Location: County Durham

Built using brick and flint, with nods to both the Georgian and Arts and Crafts movement, this self build oozes character and looks as if it’s been standing for years.

  • Build cost: unknown
  • Location: Wiltshire

This beautiful timber frame holiday home just 200 yards from the lake in the Lake District combines traditional building materials with contemporary aesthetics.

  • Build cost: £565,000 (incl. £35,000 for the garage and £40,000 for landscaping)
  • Location: Lake District

This Georgian-style timber frame self build with symmetrical façade and sash windows came in on a tight budget thanks to taking on elements of the project on a DIY basis.

  • Build cost: £145,000
  • Location: Worcestershire

This cottage in Cambridgeshire has been built to look every bit the period home, complete with a combination of a Norfolk reed thatch roof and dutch herringbone patterned brick.

  • Build cost: £250,000
  • Location: Cambridgeshire

By learning the basics of a few trades, and taking on the role of project manager, the owner of this home in the Cotswolds was able to build his dream home for around half the price of the average detached home in the area.

  • Build cost: £135,000
  • Location: Wiltshire

Anne and Rob Skinner found a prime plot in west Sussex which was occupied by a pre-war bungalow that was ripe for demolition. In its place, they built a traditional-style home where energy efficiency and low maintenance were key criteria of the design.

  • Build cost: £418,000
  • Location: West Sussex

Behind the façade of this traditional, vernacular-style self build is a highly sustainable home, built on a tight budget. Costs were kept low by homeowner Geoffrey and his family undertaking all the decoration, painting the kitchen cabinets, insulating the loft and fitting out the garage.

  • Build cost: £140,000
  • Location: Norfolk

Ingrid and Warren Furlong have built a traditional farmhouse using stone from their own land and reclaimed materials. “People are usually surprised when they discover our house isn’t old,” says Ingrid of the farmhouse.

  • Build cost: £100,000
  • Location: County Wicklow, Ireland

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/traditional-homes-gallery/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

If you’re looking to build your own home, but don’t have the available time or knowledge in order to project manage your own build, then you might be tempted to go down the package build route.

Package build or kit homes are fully specified at the design stage and often prefabricated off site. This leads to a quick and efficient build process with fewer unexpected surprises, and thus more certainty when setting the budget.


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Kit homes are no longer limited to a range of designs chosen from a brochure. Bespoke options are available, while off-the-shelf designs can be altered to ensure they suit your lifestyle needs.


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

Kerrie Daykin and Emile Borgonha turned to a German package supplier for their eco-friendly chalet-style self build.

The couple had been considering a traditional oak frame property, but instead opted for this contemporary A-frame design, which was constructed by Baufritz to have outstanding green credentials.

The package company positioned the house to make best use of the sunlight. This southern most orientation is complemented by the house’s most striking feature, the overhanging roof. It protects the interiors from overheating in summer through several composite tilt and turn windows, while still allowing the low winter sun to penetrate the open plan interiors.

  • Supplier: Baufritz
  • Build cost: £450,000 (£2,432/m²)
  • Location: West Sussex

This low-energy, contemporary home was built using an innovative dry construction technique with some of the stages taking place offsite. This meant that the house took just six months to construct. The result is a super-insulated and highly energy-efficient home, with flexible living space and light-filled interiors.

  • Supplier: Facit Homes
  • Build cost: £312,000 (£1,560/m²)
  • Location: Hertfordshire

Constructed in just three months, this eco-friendly log house with its North American lodge vibe features internal walls clad in wood.

The prefabrication construction method used ready-cut redwood pines (along with made-to-measure doors, windows and insulation) imported from Latvia.

The speedy build also meets and surpasses eco requirements and costs the homeowners very little to heat and run.

  • Supplier: Log Cabin UK
  • Build cost: £180,000 (£1,059/m²)
  • Location: Derbyshire

Liz and Mike Hauck wanted their new home to be contemporary – unlike the large traditional homes nearby – practical, and easy to maintain as they approached retirement.

They were also looking for a house that wouldn’t be a source of toxins, as Liz suffers from multiple chemical sensitivity, a condition triggered by materials in the built environment.

So they chose German package company Baufritz to construct the home, as the company has a unique building system using natural, healthy materials and a carbon shielded coating designed to minimise electronic radiation.

  • Supplier: Baufritz
  • Build cost: £2,300/m²
  • Location: Surrey

Chrissie and Richard Baker were looking for a contemporary but unfussy design with lots of glass, inside/outside living, an open plan living area and a garage underneath. They also wanted their new home to be low energy.

Rather than using an architect, a quantity surveyor or a project manager, the couple spent many hours planning and designing their dream home on a simple piece of home design software, using magazines and the internet to guide their schemes.

They then turned to Potton, who turned their conceptual drawings into working constructional drawings and planning submissions before designing and erecting the timber kit home.

  • Supplier: Potton
  • Build cost: £398,000 (£1,396/m²)
  • Location: Isle of Man

This timber frame single-storey property was designed to look like two old weatherboarded barns connected by a glazed conservatory link.

Peter and Rita Hutchinson worked with retired architect and friend Clive Plumb to plan their home for their retirement. They then employed a local builder to organise their project, and used a bespoke timber frame kit which was designed and erected by Potton.

The spacious 400m² single storey layout contains only two bedrooms, and has been totally dictated by the couple’s lifestyle and their overriding desire for open spaces and large rooms with high ceilings.

  • Supplier: Potton
  • Build cost: £650,000 (£1,625/m²)
  • Location: Bedfordshire

Paul and Kate Lauder wanted a traditional Kent-style house that would fit in with the local vernacular and look as though it had evolved over the years.

Oakwrights was commissioned to build the oak frame that makes up the main construction element of the house and is largely responsible for the characterful, period look.

The main section of the house has been designed to replicate an old Kent farmhouse. Another section is designed to look like a later addition, with partial timber weatherboarding over brick, and dormer-style windows. A smaller single storey ‘extension’ has been fully weatherboarded and painted in a different colour.

To complete the illusion of a house that has been added to over the centuries, a number of different window and casement styles have been used.

  • Supplier: Oakwrights
  • Build cost: £500,000 (£1,684/m²)
  • Location: Kent

Useful Information

‘Minsters Walk’ was constructed as a bespoke timber frame kit, with an off-the-shelf design  customised for the homeowners’ needs. 

The homeowners, Ellen and John McCann, chose the ‘Borve’ house from Firefly Wood, which is suited to south-facing plots like this one. The layout keeps service zones to the north and living spaces to the south to make the most of the sun and passive solar gain for warmth. The design is open plan and has double-height living spaces to maximise light.

The McCanns decided to dispense with the fourth bedroom, and include a studio and study space instead. They also removed several doors to enhance the open plan arrangement. For the interior, they used oak and ceramic floors with oak detailing in the staircase and kitchen. 

  • Supplier: Firefly Wood
  • Build cost: £225,600 (£1,376/m²)
  • Location: Scottish Borders

When Andy and Alison Nicholls first contemplated building their own home, they were driven by their wish to save energy bills rather than any desire to build a pioneering home.

Nevertheless, the Nicholls are now the proud owners of what is believed to be the UK’s first carbon-positive home.

The home, which uses natural materials and building methods, locks away more CO2 than was emitted during its construction and manufacture — including transporting the entire building from Germany and even running the house for the first few years.

  • Supplier: Baufritz
  • Build cost: £625,000 (£2,050/m²)
  • Location: Cornwall

Homeowners Richard and Rachel Stent replaced their old 1930s home with this contemporary PassivHaus, which was built as a turnkey project by German manufacturer Hanse Haus.

Once planning permission had been granted, the couple undertook two trips to Germany to refine the drawings and specify internal finishes, including flooring and sanitaryware.

Quick build times are common when building a Passivhaus, due to the large amount of factory prefabrication involved. The shell of the house was completed in just two days and four months after work first began on site, the family moved into their new home.

  • Supplier: Hanse Haus
  • Build cost: £400,000 (£1,600/m²)
  • Location: Somerset

This oak frame cottage been constructed using SIPs (structural insulated panels) for a quick build, while maintaining a period style with a traditional porch.

Border Oak was responsible for erecting the oak frame, which has been finished externally with traditional lime render. The timber framed utility room is clad in contrasting weatherboarding, and a traditional picket fence adds the finishing touch.

High-quality building materials, including handmade clay roof tiles, oak doors and windows were selected. Internally, the cottage has been finished in pale pastel shades designed to show off the oak beams and joinery.

  • Supplier: Border Oak
  • Build cost: £200,000 (£909/m²)
  • Location: Cambridgeshire

This four bedroom red brick home combines the charm of a traditional farmhouse with modern technology, such as a sprinkler system and a ground-source heat pump powering the underfloor heating.

Homeowners Simon and Louise Sturdy chose to use a Potton timber frame, as speed was important to them. The couple worked with one of Potton’s in-house designers to develop a bespoke design based on the company’s Rectory range, incorporating fine casement windows and a sweeping feature staircase.

Once the foundations and slab were completed to precise dimensions, the timber frame was delivered and erected by Potton in just two and a half weeks.

  • Supplier: Potton
  • Build cost: £380,000 (£1,105/m²)
  • Location: Salisbury

Homeowners Robin and Miyuki Walden met several package suppliers at a Homebuilding and Renovating Show, including Hanse Haus — the German package company they eventually chose to build their home.

“While Hanse Haus built the home, it was crucial we had our own architect as the planners insisted we respected the local Cotswolds style. Our architect Renato got it spot on. Once he had done the sketches he sent these off to Hanse Haus,” says Robin.

The result is a striking home that takes its cue from the nearby agricultural buildings, using Cor-ten steel cladding.

Energy efficiency was another priority for the couple. The home features a host of renewables features including 16 photovoltaic panels, a borehole and air-source heat pump with underfloor heating. Triple-glazed windows, along with masses of insulation, keep the home airtight.

  • Supplier: Hanse Haus
  • Cost: £746,000 (£1,445/m²)
  • Location: Gloucestershire

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/13-inspiring-kit-homes/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

All prices are in dollars as this is a US review …. but all these drills are available in France

 

For me, the cordless hammer drill is arguably one of the most well-used tools in my arsenal. Anyone who uses these tools knows they have tons of torque, and the selectable transmission gears, variable speed motors and various drilling modes make them extremely versatile. In fact, you can drill and/or drive fasteners into nearly any material with these tools. No matter how advanced rotary hammer technology gets or how impressive the new wave of cordless impact drivers may be, cordless hammer drills are still the go-to tool for many builders and contractors. When drilling into wood, they give you a more consistent cut with paddle bits and hole saws, and they won’t stall out as easily as an impact driver will when they run into obstructions.


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

Editor’s Note: Check out our 2015 Best Heavy Duty 18V Hammer Drill Buying Guide


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

The multi-purpose aspect of the hammer drill has got to be its largest appeal. With the multi-geared transmissions, I have been known to set my drill in low gear to mix up a bucket of tile grout or a batch of knock-down drywall finish. Given the rise of concrete construction in the residential market, we are seeing more and more the need to drill a hole or two in concrete to set an anchor. For this type of “occasional” drilling of smaller diameter holes for anchors and other concrete fasteners, the cordless hammer drill is perfect. Because of the tremendous use you can get out of these tools, it’s very likely the hammer drill is going to be around for a long while. Plus, as manufacturers continue to develop and improve on their models to make them smaller, more powerful and versatile, the reasons for wanting to see which ones are the market leaders becomes clear. This round-up is going to take a first hand look at most of the major players in the 18V cordless hammer drill segment.

How a Hammer Drill Works
Hammer drills use a “cam-action” to create their hammering motion. Inside the gear case, there are two sets of toothed gears that mechanically interact with each other. When the motor is rotating, this mechanism causes the chuck assembly and bit to move forward and backward on the rotational axis of the motor. In fact, the hammer action is directly tied to the rotation of the motor. The faster the motor spins, the more “hits” occur. Given the design of the hammer system, these types of drills are normally not used for production (serial) drilling but rather for occasional masonry drilling applications.

 

The 18V Cordless Hammer Drill Round-up Tools

Since this is a test of18V cordless hammer drills, it’s worth pointing out some of the commonalities among all the tools in the lineup. At the time when I requested the tools for this review, the products submitted represented the top offerings from each manufacturer for this category. All the tools were tested as they come in their kit forms, which is to say that I didn’t swap in higher capacity batteries to enhance performance. Each drill kit came with two batteries, a charger, detachable side handle and some kind of carry case or tool bag. If you are a carry case kind of guy, the DeWalt is the most compact and the carry-on sized Makita is the largest. All the drills have switchable, multi-gear transmissions, variable speed motors, torque limiting selection rings and three different drilling/driving modes. All the drills have keyless chucks that are ratcheting, single sleeve models with serrated jaws that bite into the bits to minimize slippage (especially when in hammer mode). The drills that we tested featured three different motor design characteristics—among them, brushless, brushed, frameless and four pole varieties. In my testing I strove to see if any of these motor technologies helped to make a drastic difference in performance and if that could be quantified.

Testing 18V Cordless Hammer Drills

When looking at hammer drills and how to test them, I tried to come up with ways that would simulate how I have used them on past construction projects. For starters, my testing was not designed to see which drill I could cause to smoke first by doing drilling and fastening applications that they weren’t designed to do. Mixing up buckets of thinset or mortar is a good example of what not to do with a cordless drill. (From experience, I can say that you can get a way with this a few times, but eventually you will burn up even the most expensive and powerful drill.) In contrast, I wanted to test using applications and materials that would be encountered by any regular Joe involved in residential or commercial construction.

Test 1 – Concrete Endurance

With freshly charged batteries on each drill and a brand new 3/16” Tapcon brand carbide tipped concrete drill bit in the chuck, I was ready for the first test. The goal of this test was to see how many 2” deep holes (for use with 1/4” x 1-3/4” Tapcon screws) we could drill on a single charge. After every 20 holes we gave each hammer drill a minimum of a 15 minute cool down time to reduce overheating the tools and the batteries. Using 4” x 8” x 16” masonry cap blocks we picked up from Lowe’s, I drew a 1” x 1” grid on each. Three different contractors were used to test each tool to help minimize the differences in user technique and to provide feedback as to how each tool functioned. The winner for this test was the Milwaukee 2604-22 with second place going to the Hilti SFH18-A. The interesting thing to note on both of these tools is that they are the only drills in the test that came with batteries over 3.0 amp-hours. In debriefing, we saw that the number of holes seemed directly related to the watt-hour rating of the batteries. In fact, if these two drills were equipped with lower capacity batteries they would likely have been right in the middle of the pack as far as the number of holes drilled. Given that the Ridgid R8611501 currently comes with a 3.0 amp-hour battery, it did a stellar job for being the only other tool to break 100 holes. Considering many manufacturers (including Ridgid) are in the process of bringing their next-gen 4.0 amp-hour batteries to market, this should present an exciting upgrade for current users of these drills.

Nearly 600 holes were drilled in all, and we had an opportunity for some secondary results that had to do with user comfort. Since we had multiple tradesmen involved in testing these tools, I had a good chance to gain some feedback on the perceived vibration and ergonomics of each. I say “perceived” vibration since I lacked scientific tools to actually measure it. (Such tools exist but were out of the scope of this review.) The tools with the least amount of felt user vibration were the Hilti, Makita and Milwaukee (in that order), making them a real joy to operate. When using these drills, it felt as if the bit was simply melting into the concrete. The drill that just about made all our teeth chatter and our hands fall asleep was the Hitachi. Limiting user fatigue didn’t seem to be a design priority in this drill’s development.

Test 2 – Speed in Concrete

The objective of this test was to show off how fast each hammer drill could make a hole. What this test demonstrates is the tool’s ability to effectively transmit the energy of the drilling and hammering action into the workpiece. Specifically, I measured and averaged how fast our construction professionals could drill a hole in the same concrete cap blocks used in Test 1. With new batteries installed in each drill and a brand new 3/16” Tapcon brand carbide tipped concrete drill bit in each chuck, I had each of my contractors drill four holes. Each hole was drilled to a depth of two inches, and the time to drill each hole was recorded. In total, twelve holes were drilled by each tool and the average time of drilling these holes was taken in order to get the time seen in the chart. Since three different operators were enlisted to test each tool, we also minimized the effects of differences in drilling technique.

dewalt DCD985L2 concrete drilling

Timed Drilling Tests

On serial drilling applications, we’ve found rotary hammers to be the the tool of choice, but that’s not always the tool you have on-hand for less repetitive work. In any case, we wanted to see how quickly each of our seven hammer drills could bore a 3/16″ Tapcon bit two inches into our 4″ cap block.

timed drilling tests

There are three solid ranges of speed that came out of this test, The fastest tools were the Milwaukee, Hilti and the Makita (in that order)—all taking less than five seconds. The second place group included Bosch, DeWalt and Ridgid—each hitting around the mid-five seconds. The slowest tool in the test was the Hitachi which averaged over a second longer than the next closest tool.

Test 3 – Wood Boring

For most of my plumbing and electrical rough-in projects I like to use self feeding bits. While traditional paddle bits are good, self feeding fluted bits are better. Chip removal is improved, and the need to bare down on the tool is almost eliminated since the bit will literally pull its way though the material. The trick with self feed bits is that when they are being fed into the material, you need a drill that can handle the task. For this test I took 1” Irwin Speedbor MAX Speed Bits and sent them through 2×4 spruce studs. All the drills were set to drill mode with the mechanical gear boxes set to the lowest speed which gives more torque. I timed each hole that I did and took the average to come up with the numbers in the table. The fastest drill in this test was the DeWalt, taking just 4.1 seconds to make the hole. Second place went to Milwaukee who came in at 4.4 seconds. Even some of the “slowest” tools, the Ridgid and Hilti, took just 5.5 seconds each (which is really not slow at all).

makita LXPH03 drilling

Test 4 – Hole Saws

Arguably, one of the most strenuous tasks for a cordless drill is using a hole saw. Hole Saws need a lot of torque and power. For this test we used 2” Lenox hole saws and drilled three holes with each drill though a spruce 2×4. The average time was taken for each tool to get the number that is on the chart. The DeWalt was the clear winner in this test, and the Bosch came in a close second. The interesting thing that we noted is that the tools that did really well in the concrete drilling applications did not necessarily fare the same with high-torque drilling tests in wood. If you thought a hammer drill was a hammer drill, be sure to check out our chart near the end of the review. There is a 14.4 second difference between the fastest and slowest drill when tackling a single 2″ hole. That’s a stat that might just change your mind.

milwaukee 2604-20 hole saw

Test 5 – Lag Bolt Install

As a final test to challenge the torque, power and durability of these drills, I decided to drive large size lag screws into laminated board made up of seven layers of 3/4” sub-flooring plywood. Plywood is a great choice since it is not prone to cracking or checking. I chose 1/2″ x 6″ long lag screws as the size to base this test on. I did not do any pre-drilling or pilot holes, and I was not concerned with the number of screws that could be put in. Rather, I was simply looking to see if they could be driven fully home. The idea behind this ambitious test comes from dock and deck building where large size ledger lags are utilized. The only difference is that pre-drilling those holes is preferred and has actually been shown to provide a more secure hold.

The test results reveal that actually none of the tools were able to fully install the 1/2″ x 6″ lag screws. Not being able to fully install the screws is not a failure, but rather a demonstration of just how hard it is to drive these monster size screws. What I experienced with every drill was they they timed out when the load was more than the tool was able to handle. This is a good thing since the electronics kicked in to help protect the motor and battery from the potentially disastrous results of being over stressed. Every tool tested has this excellent feature. When I took my results and changed them into percentages of the screws that were installed, I found that it nearly perfectly corresponded with our initial electronic torque testing results as well as the manufacturer’s specs. My torque testing results vary slightly from the manufacturers’ since there are differences in equipment, fixtures and testing methods. My goal was not to prove or disprove manufacturers’ specifications, but rather to see if I could find a reasonable way to quantify the torque statements given by the manufacturers. I found that the tools with higher torque ratings were indeed able to drive the larger screws further before the tool experienced shut down. Score one for truth in advertising.

specs grid part 2

specs grid part 1

18V Cordless Hammer Drill Round-up Conclusion

Hammer Drills are a great demonstration that certain tools will never go out of style. The ability to drill wood or concrete and drive screws with the same tool makes 18V hammer drills the base tool for almost any decent tool kit on the market. In our round up, I really enjoyed the smooth way that Hilti SFH 18-A melted the drill bit into the concrete and how fast the DeWalt DCD985 sent a hole saw though a wood stud. I did not find substantial differences between the motor technologies other than the Milwaukee, which seemed to run faster and further than the rest. (Of course, some of that can be attributed to its higher capacity battery.) In many of the categories in which I tested the tools, you will see that most of the results are pretty close to each other. What this means is that aside from certain small features and user preferences, many of the tools in this line-up are very similar in terms of their raw performance.

18V Cordless Hammer Drill Round-up Tool By Tool

bosch HDH181

Bosch HDH181
The Bosch HDH181 hammer drill struck us as a wood-boring drill made to do occasion concrete drilling. Our conclusion is based on the fact that this drill did the fewest number of holes in our concrete endurance test, yet it did the second best in our wood drilling tests. We noted that when under extra strain, the handle assembly on the drill (not the secondary extension handle) seemed to flex a little too much. Also this drill is the second most expensive tool in the line-up.
Pros: Quick wood drilling.
Cons: Low concrete endurance, Unsettling tool handle flex, 1 year warranty.
Price: $329
Verdict: Decent wood drill with a bonus hammer function.

dewalt DCD985L2DeWalt DCD985L2
Of all the drills, the overall style and functionality of the DeWalt DCD985L2 stays true to its roots. Anyone that is familiar with earlier generations of this product will be quick to recognize that over the years not much has changed on the outside. With a large metal gear box, there is a certain level of conveyed toughness. I did like the three speed mechanical gear box. DeWalt seemed to take the “if its not broke, don’t fix it” path with this tool. This drill did the best in all our wood drilling tests and was mid pack for our concrete drilling. DeWalt just released new XR Series drills, however at present those are geared towards compactness and run-time (as opposed to raw torque), and so we didn’t include them in this series of tests.
Pros: Fastest wood drilling, Rock solid secondary handle, Three-speed gear box.
Cons: Rigid materials means extra felt vibration.
Price: $299
Verdict: Tough build quality that should deliver years of use.

hilti SFH 18-AHilti SFH 18-A
The single best word to describe the Hilti SFH 18-A is “refined”. With the overall fastest RPM and BPM, this drill literally melts the concrete out of its way. Much like an Italian sports car, the SFH 18-A has a unique sound all its own, and like an Italian sports car, it also has a premium price tag. Those who are familiar with Hilti products will be quick to latch onto this tool knowing that they are getting some serious performance wrapped up into a sleek package that is a joy to use.
Pros: Hi-speed, Low vibration, Second fastest concrete drilling speed, Lifetime warranty.
Cons: Expensive, No LED work light.
Price: $399
Verdict: The sports car of hammer drills that will make your buddies jealous.

hitachi DV18DBLHitachi DV18DBL
On paper the Hitachi DV18DBL looked promising. With a brushless motor and a four-level electronic speed control (besides the two speed switchable gear box), we thought that we would be in for a treat. Seeing how brushless motors seem to be the rage in some product categories, we were eager to see how this one did. I hate to say it, but we were disappointed. This drill not only did the fewest number of holes, but it was also the slowest in drilling concrete and had the most felt vibration. Perhaps for some users that demand extremely critical speed control, the presence of eight speed and torque settings will be enough. Hitachi also offers a limited lifetime warranty for their cordless lithium-ion tools.
Pros: Eight speed & torque options, Limited lifetime warranty, Belt clip.
Cons: Slow concrete drilling with too much felt vibration.
Price: $279
Verdict: User comfort, speed and torque need to be higher on the priority list next time around.

makita LXPH03Makita LXPH03
Makita had the highest measured torque of all the tools tested. That translated into competitive performance in our wood boring tests (though not the top spots) and netted the tool a tight third place in our concrete drilling speed tests. The Makita feels quick when drilling into concrete and felt vibration is pretty low. One ongoing pet peeve is that Makita still has no battery level meter on their packs or the tool, so you never know how much charge is left when you pick up the drill.
Pros: Belt clip, Highest measured torque, Low felt vibration.
Cons: No battery level gauge.
Price: $289
Verdict: A solid performer with a lot of competition.

milwaukee 2604-20Milwaukee 2604-22
The engineers at Milwaukee have been doing their homework on what tool users like. With probably the best combination of size, performance and features, the 2604-22 is a great workhorse tool that keeps asking for more. The only thing that we did not like is that the detachable side handle is only able to be installed in two pre-set positions, leaving the user wanting more options to maximize comfort. Their 5-year warranty is also something that inspires confidence in your tool purchase.
Pros: Fastest in concrete with most holes drilled, 4.0 amp-hour battery, 5-year warranty.
Cons: Limited handle positioning.
Price: $299
Verdict: Concrete drilling monster.

ridgid R8611501Ridgid R8611501K
At my shop, Ridgid has become known for their workhorse dependability and features. They are not sexy or sleek tools, but they work. In today’s economy, price sometimes becomes a bigger factor than features for contractors. I am continually impressed with the quality and features that Ridgid incorporates into their tools for a a reasonable price. The R8611501K hammer drill is no exception. With what can be considered the best results for all the 3.0 amp-hour equipped tools in our concrete drilling, the Ridgid is a good choice and a solid performer.
Pros: Highest number of holes with a 3.0 amp-hour battery.
Cons: Middle of the pack torque numbers.
Price: $279
Verdict: Faithful and dependable workhorse.

 

Concrete bits and testing materials for this review were provided by Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse.

Related Post


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

When planning updates to your home, it is always worth considering how that work will add value to the property. This is essential if you are planning to work your way up the property ladder as it will ensure the best return when you come to sell and move on.

It’s not just cosmetic enhancements, like redesigning the kitchen or converting the loft, that can add value, basic structural repairs can make a big difference too!


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

1. Identify and Remedy Structural Problems

Before considering cosmetic improvements and repairs like new bathrooms, kitchens, flooring and redecorating, make sure you fix any major structural problems.


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

Examples of structural defects include:

  • a sagging or leaking roof
  • rising damp
  • structural cracks to walls
  • bowing walls
  • rotten joists or roof timbers
  • insect infestation
  • missing or broken roof tiles
  • an unstable chimney stack
  • a collapsed floor/slab

These defects are likely to be amongst the most expensive work required in a renovation project but, in terms of adding value, they are absolutely essential.

If you are unsure about confusing structural defects with purely cosmetic faults, then consult a builder, surveyor or structural engineer.

Find a tradesperson

2. Ensure Central Heating is in Working Order

Adding or updating the central heating system will always add more to the value of a property than it costs. Using a plumber to add central heating to an average three bedroom Victorian or Edwardian house will cost around £3–4,000.

Updating the heating system needs to be done in conjunction with improving the general energy efficiency of the building. Consider:

  • sealing any drafts around doors and windows (but not airbricks)
  • replacing windows that are beyond repair with double glazing
  • add insulation into the loft space

If the existing boiler is in reasonable working order and has adequate output for the heat requirement of the building, always try to make use of it with the exception of boilers that draw their air intake from inside the house.

If the boiler has sufficient capacity, you could add new radiators and a heated towel rail, or underfloor heating to the existing system.

3. Update Services

Updating services such as wiring and plumbing is a disruptive job, involving lifting floors and chasing out plaster walls, so find out exactly what is required and complete the work before making any cosmetic improvements.

Electricity:

  • Updating the electrics may be essential if the house has not been rewired for some years. You should be able to tell by looking by the meter if there is an old fuse box, you probably need to rewire the house and install a modern consumer unit with a RCD (residual circuit device) for safety
  • Adding extra sockets will also add value to your home and in some cases it might be worth opting for attractive face plates for sockets and switches
  • If rewiring, use the opportunity to update lighting and to add extractor fans in the bathrooms

Plumbing:

  • Old pipework can be very furred up, leading to poor hot and cold flow, knocking or rattling sounds and other noises at worst, it can lead to burst pipes. Consider a pressurised plumbing system, rather than gravity fed, as it eliminates the need for a header tank, thus freeing up space, and ensures good pressure on both the hot and cold supplies
  • If you have room for a cylinder, you can still have stored hot water for filling a bath quickly. If not, consider a combination boiler that provides hot water on demand but make sure you choose one with a good flow rate you need at least 10 litres a minute for a decent power shower

4. Consider a Loft Conversion

A typical loft conversion costs around £500-600/m² compared to around twice this for an extension. In terms of adding value, it is likely to be a very good investment providing it adds more accommodation than it takes away (remember you need to make room for a full staircase and this will take up existing space).

Natural light can be brought in either via dormer windows or rooflights. A loft conversion does not require planning permission, as it uses existing volume however, creating dormer windows may need planning if they face a highway (typically the front of a property) and so it is always worth checking with the planners.

5. Identify and Fix Superficial Defects

Small defects do not directly affect the value of a property. However, cumulatively they will prevent it from selling at the optimum price. The following are typical defects that will put many buyers off, yet which can be fixed simply by any competent DIYer:

  • peeling paint
  • squeaking or sticking doors and windows
  • door latches that don’t work
  • mouldy sealants in kitchen and bathroom
  • dripping taps
  • loose tiles
  • sewer smells
  • broken or damaged windows
  • squeaky floors and stairs
  • cracks to ceilings and plasterwork
  • lifting flooring

6. Replace Windows

New double-glazed PVCu windows can add considerable value to a property and in the lower end of the market are considered essential by most buyers, regardless of their style or lack of it. PVCu windows require very little maintenance, are energy efficient and, depending on design and installation, can be very secure.

Where windows need replacing, they should be replaced like-for-like although it will be necessary for them to be double glazed to meet the current building regulations, unless the building is listed or in a Conservation Area. For most listed buildings, plastic windows are not acceptable to English Heritage.

Make sure that replacement windows:

  • are well balanced and have equal sight lines (the same frame lines on fixed as well as opening lights)
  • avoid top hung air vents the little top lights that are not at all traditional
  • has proportions that are taller than they are wide, ideally at a ratio of around 1:1.6 for each casement and each light

Timber windows can also be low maintenance, either stained hardwood (not a good look for a period style house though), or timber coated with an external layer of PVCu, vinyl or aluminium.

Replacing Windows in Period Homes

When it comes to higher value period properties, aesthetics start to become a more significant factor, to the extent that a premium can be placed on a property that still has its original period windows, providing they are intact and functioning well.

In such properties, it is often only worth replacing windows that are either beyond repair or inappropriate in terms of style, or where they could add more light.

7. Improve or Add to Existing Accommodation

A great deal of value is placed on the number of bedrooms in a property, and so adding bedrooms will usually add to the sale price, although be aware that there is a ceiling value for every street and so at some point the additional cost ceases to bring any return.

Extra bedrooms can be created by dividing up existing space by removing and adding walls, by converting the roof space, or by extending. Re-using existing space is most cost effective but only likely to be an option in old period houses with vast bedrooms.

Make sure you create a balance between bedrooms and the number of bathrooms a ratio of one to three is a minimum.

8. Give the Kitchen a Makeover

An attractive, hygienic-looking kitchen is essential both to buyers and valuation surveyors. Before replacing a kitchen, consider the fundamentals such as its shape and position and decide if you are going to make any structural changes to the space, or if you want to relocate it elsewhere.

Many existing kitchens can be given a new lease of life for a modest investment.

9. Remodel Existing Space

Before thinking about adding new space, you should consider how you can improve the use of the existing space. Maximum value will be added by improving public space, such as the kitchen, dining and living areas.

  • Draw up a simple floorplan of the existing layout. Play around adding and removing walls to achieve the optimum layout
  • Think about making use of circulation space such as halls and corridors that may not be needed in a home suited to less formal lifestyles
  • Think about combining dining room and kitchen to create a dining kitchen and other potential multi-functional living spaces
  • Fewer but larger rooms with clear sight lines will make a house seem larger, especially if the flooring and wall finishes continue throughout

Before removing any walls, work out which are structural by checking the direction of the floor joists joists should always rest on structural walls. Structural walls can be removed, but will need to be replaced with steelwork and this will require calculations by a structural engineer or building surveyor. Adding new stud walls to divide existing space is relatively straightforward and inexpensive, but remember to add acoustic insulation.

10. Makeover Existing Bathrooms

Bathrooms need to be fresh and hygienic looking, so make sure there is adequate light and paint the walls a nice neutral light shade ideally an off white. If there is not enough light, replace a single pendant with a triple halogen spotlight unit, available for as little as £10.

The bathroom is the ideal place to add a touch of luxury and, with it, a real wow factor that will add value.

  • Make sure that at least one bathroom has a shower – it is an essential for most buyers
  • Check your plumbing system first and buy the right unit depending on whether you have a mains pressure system (modern houses), a gravity fed system (consider a power shower) or a combi system (if the flow rate is low you may need to install an electric shower that heats its own water direct from the mains)
  • If the existing sanitaryware is chipped, badly stained, or an unfashionable colour such as pink, avocado, peach or chocolate brown, replace it. A basic white bathroom suite, complete with taps and waste, can be bought for around £300 and will have much broader appeal
  • Flooring should be clean and hygienic. Go for a vinyl or tiled floor tiles
  • Consider painting unfashionable tiles with white tile paint. If you need to replace tiles, you could tile over the old ones as removing tiles can be a difficult and very time-consuming job
  • Make sure the bathroom has an extractor fan for ventilation
  • Adding a mirror or two will make the space seem larger and brighter and think about adding a heated towel rail
  • If you are laying new floor tiles, consider underfloor heating, but bear in mind that an electric mat system will raise the floor level by 3–4mm

11. Tidy Up the Garden

An attractive, tidy, well designed garden can add a great deal of value to a property as well as making it more sellable. It is worth getting a designer on board for a consultation and to give you a few ideas. You can then draw the plans yourself.

  • Privacy is vital and improving the feeling of seclusion will add value
  • Consider adding fences and even mature trees
  • You can raise boundary fences and walls up to 2m without needing planning permission (0.6m on the highway)
  • Structures within the garden, such as pergolas, can be up to 4m without needing planning even if they are right up to the boundary
  • Create distinct areas for each function, seating, eating/barbecue, storage, lawn, work area
  • A well-designed deck will extend a buyers perception of the amount of useable living space somewhere between the house and garden, and will add value

Even if you do not makeover your garden, make sure you carry out at least the basics:

  • clean up and tidy litter and dead plants
  • weed
  • repair and feed the lawn
  • cut back overgrown trees and shrubs
  • create interesting shapes with beds and borders
  • add colour and interest with planting

12. Enhance the Kerb Appeal

Most buyers will decide if they do not like a property before they even get out of the car and it can be hard to shake off negative first impressions created by a poor or unattractive exterior. The garden is important but you can also significantly add to the value of a house by improving its exterior. This may involve any of the following:

  • repointing brickwork
  • repainting doors and windows
  • replacing an old garage door
  • changing/repairing windows
  • repainting walls
  • repairing cracked or broken cladding such as render or timber
  • removing stone cladding
  • adding a porch
  • adding climbing plants/trellis
  • replacing/adding a house sign or number
  • or even renaming the property

Larger scale external makeovers can totally transform the appearance of a property, changing an unattractive 1950s or 60s house into a property with period charm, or an old bungalow into a cutting edge contemporary house. This may involve changing roofs, wall cladding, windows, chimneys, and porches. Conversion of existing space such as garage or roof, or extending may also appeal.

Such radical exterior makeovers will need designing and may need planning permission although there is a great deal you can do under Permitted Development Rights.

13. Add a Conservatory

A conservatory can add far more to the value of a property than it costs, providing it is designed, built and integrated into the layout of the house well. Conversely, a poorly conceived conservatory can detract from the value of a property.

In most instances, it will not require planning permission, although it will have to comply with the Building Regulations. On valuable period properties, a basic kit conservatory is unlikely to be a good investment, depending on the ratio of cost to value; a bespoke conservatory is likely to make more sense, even if it costs £10,000s.

14. Add a Memorable Feature

One or two memorable features that add a real wow factor to your property and set it apart from others for sale in the area will add a significant premium to your sale price. The impact of such features will be enhanced the further up the property ladder you climb.

In a basic house, a wow factor might be a wooden deck, a contemporary style kitchen or an elegant working fireplace. In a larger more expensive property, it could be: a master bedroom with a vaulted ceiling, perhaps with exposed roof timbers; a panelled sitting room; or a contemporary style frameless glass conservatory.

Many simple features can be added easily and cost effectively, providing they are planned and undertaken thoughtfully. Remember to work in sympathy with the building in terms of scale and period.

15. Buy More Land, Renew Leases and Apply for Planning

A property with a diminishing lease will begin to reduce in value once it gets to under 60 years. Once the lease on a property gets below 30 years it can be difficult to get a mortgage. If the landlord does not live on the premises you may be able to buy the freehold, or a share of the freehold, and grant yourself a new lease, restoring the value to the equivalent of a freehold property. Taking control of the freehold will also give you control of ground rent and service charges, plus management of repairs and common areas.

Usually you will have to pay your landlords legal costs, as well as your own, plus a share of the marriage value, the uplift in the value of the property created by joining the lease with the freehold. A solicitor will be able to work out if you qualify to buy your lease known as enfranchisement and a surveyor will be able to work out how much it will cost.

Buying adjoining land can also significantly increase the value of a property, especially if:

  • it enhances amenity (allows the creation of a garden or off street parking where there was none, for example)
  • creates potential for further enlargement of the property
  • it adds the potential to keep horses to a rural property

Gaining planning consent for improvements, from an extension, to a new house in the garden, can enhance the value of a property, even if the work is not carried out.

16. Restore or Enhance the Building’s Character

Inappropriate alterations or additions to a property can depress its value and so it follows that removing them can add value. Removing the following is likely to be a good investment:

  • polystyrene ceiling tiles
  • pine cladding
  • internal stone cladding
  • textured ceilings or walls
  • plastic fake beams or beams that are inappropriate
  • poorly laid laminate flooring
  • mismatched period details such as mouldings or fireplaces
  • flush doors
  • windows that are out of keeping
  • inappropriate porches
  • conservatories with a flat polycarbonate roof

Restoring or replacing the following will add value:

  • original or period style fireplaces
  • decorative mouldings
  • panelled doors
  • polished floorboards
  • appropriate style windows
  • stair banisters and handrails
  • knot-free panelled doors
  • concealed timber beams or beams concealed behind masses of black paint

The key is to find out about the buildings origins and the way it is constructed and to work in sympathy with this, whilst avoiding being twee.

17. Create Off-Street Parking

Off street parking can make a big difference to the value of a property, especially in an urban location where on street parking is restricted. In such instances, creating one or two parking spaces in front of, or alongside, a property can add significant value, even if it means sacrificing part of even all of a front garden. For many buyers, a well designed, low maintenance drive is more valuable and appealing than a garden they never use.

If a road is unclassified, i.e. neither an A- or B-road, then you will not usually need planning permission to create a new vehicular access onto your land. You must, however, comply with the local authority Highway regulations for the construction of the drop kerb, and details such as visibility splays. You must also check that you have a right of way to cross over any land that you do not own e.g. a grass verge. You can check ownership via HM Land Registry at a nominal cost per search.

18. Add More Storage Space

Storage is a real selling point and lack of it can really put buyers off and depress your property’s value. Make use of every bit of spare space you can find, and either build shelves or fit doors to create cupboards. Look for:

  • concealed nooks in corridors
  • dead space either side of chimney breasts or at the end of corridors
  • space in the eaves
  • understairs space
  • space in the cellar or attic that can be upgraded
  • space beneath the bath tub or alongside cisterns
  • space above sinks
  • unused wallspace for wall mounted cupboards

Creating a measured plan of the layout of your home can sometimes reveal odd spaces concealed behind plasterboard that you did not know existed.

19. Add Bathrooms/Shower Rooms

Adding a bathroom is usually a good investment, especially if it creates an en suite to the master bedroom. Extra bathrooms can be added by remodelling existing space, or by extending. Ideally there should be WC facilities on every floor that has bedrooms, so if you are converting the attic, try to include at least a WC, if not a full bathroom.

In a traditional two-storey Victorian or Edwardian terraced house, moving the downstairs bathroom upstairs can add value, but beware of losing a bedroom.

20. Make Your Property the Pick of the Bunch

If you make your property more attractive even purely in cosmetic terms than the rest of the street, then providing it is structurally sound and in a good state of repair, more people will be interested in purchasing it and the sale price will be correspondingly higher. (In other words, just by decluttering, adding a lick of paint and careful styling, it is possible to add 5–10% to the value of a property).

Valuers may find it hard to place a figure on the increase in value made by only cosmetic improvements, but the market will always place a premium on an attractively decorated and styled property.

Simple ideas that will make a difference include:

  • adding wooden floors
  • repainting throughout in neutral shades
  • reopening fireplaces
  • decluttering
  • upgrading lightbulbs
  • cleaning windows
  • a makeover to kitchen and bathrooms
  • sanding floorboards
  • creating storage
  • stripping woodwork
  • styling with furniture, lamps, accessories and flowers

Save

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/20-sure-ways-to-add-value-to-your-home/


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

For those looking to improve, and not move, extending your property as part of an internal (and often external) remodel can offer the additional space you need and create a more attractive home.

If you’re hoping to introduce a contemporary addition to the rear or side of your home, these examples listed below are sure to offer plenty of design ideas and inspiration to get you started.


DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


 

Arts & Crafts meets futuristic fantasy with this modern addition and its wing-like roof from Stan Bolt Architect.


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

Frameless glazing sits alongside period brickwork in this stunning project designed by Hampshire-based practice AR Design Studio.

Two modern ground floor box-out extensions, designed by architect and homeowner Nils Feldmann, have increased the living space in this Victorian home, and contrast against the existing brickwork.

A modest rear extension to this 1930s semi-detached home offers the extra space the growing family needed, while keeping within a tight budget.

A dynamic new cantilevered extension connects with this original stone barn, forming an angular and quirky stepped layout inside and providing a spectacular master bedroom space.

A flat roof rear extension designed by AR Design Studio houses a large kitchen diner and opens up the ground floor of this Hampshire home. A second two-storey side extension, clad in the same London stock brick as the existing property, houses a utility at ground level and a new master suite above.

A collection of contemporary extensions designed by Paper Igloo, clad in timber and Cor-ten steel and connected by glazed links, has been added to an old farmhouse.

A far cry from the existing dated red-brick bungalow, the homeowners here added a single-storey extension and internal and external remodel to create a California-style home.

Thanks to the vision of Ellis Williams Architects, a convex two-storey extension with glass façade wraps around this listed water tower.

From bungalow to brilliant — this timber frame first floor addition with contrasting cladding boasts wow-factor.

Designed by Beam Cottage Architect, a new glazed link offers a transition between this period cottage and its modern rear, complete with a dramatic timber first floor box.

A dramatic first floor extension, complete with covered balcony has turned this bungalow into a chalet-style home that wouldn’t look out of place in a luxury ski resort.

This impressive modern extension completed by Matt Maisuria Architects almost doubles the size of the existing home.

A stylish basement extension designed by Riach Architects offers open plan family space to a Victorian terrace in Oxford.

This double-height Cor-ten steel-clad wedge by Andrew McAvoy of Retool Architecture offers striking contrast to a granite steading.

A post-war property has been expanded thanks to a unique timber-clad corridor of bedrooms designed by Dan Brill Architects.

A boring bungalow becomes a Modernist masterpiece thanks to a two storey additio by Matt Maisuria Architects.

A larch and stainless steel wing by Room Architects offers a dynamic contrast to this period farmhouse — and proof of just how these older agricultural buildings can be transformed.

This glazed box designed by Belsize Architects proves that extensions do not have to be huge to make a visual impact.

Shards of glass lend to the futuristic feel of this flat-roof addition to a Victorian home, designed by Coffey Architects.

A new timber frame box linked via glazed panels from PAD Studio renders this 1970s home unrecognisable.

Adding interest, this multistorey timber tower rear designed by 51% Studios sits above a new light-filled base, offering increased accommodation.

A series of jagged boxes set off from one another – one grey rendered, one timber clad – offers a splash of modern style, designed by AR Design Studio.

This functional, frameless glazed link by Emrys Architects connects three buildings to form one home.

See the original article here https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/modern-extensions-design-gallery/


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

%d bloggers like this: