Archive for the ‘home improvements’ Category

LUXURY GARDEN SPACES

Monday, April 9th, 2018

The garden is now widely recognised as an extension of the home, where people can feel comfortable and make the most of their outside space.  Creating your own luxury garden living space couldn’t be easier and with our experienced design team on hand to help shape your ideas and bring your ideas to life, you don’t need to worry about a thing. From planning to completion, we manage the entire process and leave you with not just a unique and stunning extended living space, but a first class customer experience.  Visit our sister site for more information KIK Build Outdoor Living

Let’s face it, apart from a few occasional glimpses of that big yellow ball in the sky, so far Spring has been a bit of a let down.

It’s not all doom and gloom however, as typically, after a wet March, we tend to get a decent Summer and with it will come some gorgeous long hot hazy days. It is during the Summer months when many of us will want to head out into the garden to enjoy more light, warm sunshine, BBQs and simply experience the outdoors.

Hot Tub Heaven! 

As we all know, the British climate can be unpredictable, making it difficult to plan spending time outdoors. With this in mind, more and more clients are coming to us for a bespoke solution to extending their living outdoors, with a space that they can use and enjoy, all year round.  The average garden in the UK is now estimated to be worth around just under £2,000 and a growing trend is to now to own a luxury hot tub or outdoor spa. This can act as a private space, or a place to socialise with many people choosing to own their own pool or hot tub as an alternative (or in addition to) a gym or spa membership. Your own home provides the privacy and total relaxation that you need to fully enjoy your hot tub experience. With options to buy now pay later, visit Hot Tubs and Spas to see our extensive range.

Easy to Manage

With sensors to detect the correct chemical levels, hot tub and pool hygiene is now easier than ever to manage at home and luxury lighting and sound options can be built in for a personalised finish.  We are able to provide you with a fully-fitted, self-cleaning tub, which means that you don’t have to worry about maintenance. Hot tubs have truly become a hassle-free way to relax all year round.

Maintenance Free Lawn

The perfect English lawn is a mark of hard work mowing, watering and, unfortunately, polluting our planet with chemicals. Now, however, we  our hallowed English lawns need no watering, nor endless mowing nor environmental harming pesticides to keep them pristine. We all want to make life easier for ourselves, particularly when it comes to maintaining our home and there are countless benefits to having artificial grass installed in your garden.

The best part of switching to artificial grass? Your children can play all day on the grass and not get muddy; pets don’t leave unsightly stains marked when they go to the toilet; and your gardener can retire because you never need to mow the lawn.  Visit our sister site for Artificial Grass options Artificial Grass Discounts

Major advantages of switching to artificial grass

  1. Reduce your water bills and help the environment
  2. Spend more time relaxing
  3. Less mud and dirt walked into the house
  4. Great for Dogs
  5. Great for Tenants and Landlords
  6. A perfect solution for shaded areas
  7. No maintenance when you are on holiday
  8. No need for harmful pesticides

Keeping a natural lawn green and moss-free not only takes dedication, mowing and watering, it also requires using harmful pesticides and herbicides that filter through the soil and drain into the waterways. These chemicals kill, pollute, and pose potential health threats to people, even those who may not even have a lawn.

How to make money on your property

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

With TV property programs becoming more and more popular and the cost of moving high, many homeowners are tempted to improve, not move, and add another bedroom. Loft conversions are often considered the easiest and cheapest way of adding that all-important extra bedroom, a recent survey by Direct Line Home insurance found that 36 per cent of British builders and tradesmen said they are the most problematic home improvements.

This means it is important to choose an experience company who know how to deal with any problems that may occur during the project. This means they will be able to work within their budgets rather than some cheaper companies who will have rising costs due to difficulties or problems with the build.

Loft conversions were followed then changing bathrooms, where 26 per cent of projects go wrong, and fitting a new kitchen, where 19 per cent cause problems. 47 per cent of builders and tradesmen said extensions are currently the most popular home improvement. It has been proven with the recent sore in house prices that loft conversions and extensions can have a massive rise in the value of your property.

While the average cost of an extension is approximately £35,000, the average difference between a two and three-bedroom property in London is around £157,202. In Scotland, where the gap is narrowest, the difference between a two and three-bed home is £45,949. Those considering work should remember that the cost would vary substantially depending on where in the country they are – it could prove much trickier to get a £35,000 extension in London than in Scotland.

IMG_4704DSC00463

A number of builders said kitchen refits or extensions frequently go wrong, as homeowners often want to have lots of input, without necessarily understanding the feasibility or implications of their demands. It is important to make sure your builder knows exactly what they are doing, maybe check online or ask another builder about your ideas. Only an experienced building company such as Four Corners Properties would be able to incorporate the customer’s ideas while making sure everything is done property with no problems.

Greater access to light is the most popular reason for homes to get a refit, with 15 per cent of builders surveyed reporting this as the latest trend. Popular light-enhancing home improvements include installing large bi-folding doors, exterior brickwork replacement and fitting new skylights.

Extending homes or converting rooms to add light and space can add real value to a property so can be worth the investment. With the constant rising cost of house prices making it expensive to move, home improvements are a popular way to improve your living situation without breaking the bank.

Carrying out any form of home improvements requires proper planning, realistic budgeting and knowledge of any applicable planning permission requirements. Agreeing a quote with builders before any work starts and setting a viable timeframe upfront can also help prevent future problems.

These are all important aspects of any building work and with Four Corners Properties you will get a detailed break down of your quote so you know where your money is going. We will do everything for you from design and planning, getting all necessary permits and permissions before we complete the whole build ourselves with our experienced tradesmen.

Below we have our tips for home Improvements

  • Agree a quote beforehand – set aside a strict budget but allow a contingency in case of overspend to mitigate financial strain
  • Agree on a realistic timeframe upfront and remember to allow for contingencies, ie, weather
  • Make sure you understand what the project involves and be honest about previous work done to the house so builders can be prepared
  • Keep in regular contact with your builders throughout the project
  • Have a contract in place to cover both parties and never hand over payment upfront
  • Use the same builders or tradesmen from start to finish to ensure consistency
  • Make sure the builders are only working on your job and commit to working on it every day
  • Check your builder has the right insurance in place before work begins

IMG_3192Directories Photo

Detailed Quotes You Can Trust

Friday, December 11th, 2015

With any building project it is always important to use a company that you can trust and rely on to do a professional job within an allotted time scale and within a budget. It is commonly known that many builders do not fully calculate jobs and end with additional costs for the customer either because the job lasted longer than expected or there are other materials and designs needed that were not planned for.

This is an area Four Corners Properties has become renowned for looking after the customer. We provide a detailed quote of each and every section of the job, so what needs to be done with an explanation to give you an idea of what is being done. Each section is also individually priced so you know how much you are paying and what your money to been spent on. For example waste clearance, plumbing, planning permission, design plans, lights and light fitting. These are but just a few areas in which we would price covering all areas of the work.

With our many years of experience in the trade we find this to be the best way to provide quotes to our customers. It means you the customer, know exactly where your money is going, so we can then plan accordingly from it and you know what work needs to be carried out before your project is complete. This also allows us to work within your budget to make sure your quote is the price you pay! No one likes overspending which is why we go to such detail in the planning section to give you a realistic price based on all parts of the project.

We pride ourselves on our work which is why you can expect us to finish within the time slot we quote with no hidden costs. This is something that separates us from the competition by giving you one of the most comprehensive quotes around. Builders in Bournemouth need to be trusted by their customers which is why our reputation is what makes us who we are. We feel it is important that our customers know exactly what services they are paying and how much each one costs to know that the quote has been custom made to them and they are not getting overcharged.

This is why we are known as the company you can rely on, with many experienced professional tradesmen we get the job done to the highest possible standards. Another positive about our quotes are if you are on a budget and wanted to save money, you can see the areas in which maybe you could reduce costs and customise it to suit the job you require! All our designs are made with customer contact throughout to make sure the designs and prices are to suit you. Don’t settle for the rest use the best!

Below we have a few examples of things we have priced for in the past to give you an idea of the depth of detail and descriptions that we cover within our pricing and quotes. The prices would be to the right of each section but for the example we have not included prices due to that prices will vary from each job due to the size and amount of our expert tradesmen needed to make it possible. For prices and quotes contact us directly and we can help with you with anything you need.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 15.44.53 Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 15.45.21 Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 15.45.37

House Refurbishments Bournemouth

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Many houses in the UK are outdated and have not been refurbished for many years. This is a common trend due to the fact the majority of people would rather just buy a new home and move elsewhere rather than spend the time and effort on doing up their current property. We at Bournemouth House Refurbishment would like to look at whether this is more beneficial or if you are better off redesigning your own home?

House designs follow trends just like anything else, with the current trend that everyone is currently wanting in home designs being open plan spaces. There are a few reasons for this, firstly is allows the rooms to feel a lot bigger and more spacious and it is great for when friends or family come to visit. This is where we like to think outside the box, why move to a house to accommodate this then you can change your own home to meets your needs.

Been an experienced building company in the Bournemouth area we have complete many extravagant designs to suit all types of people. Some like a simple conversion, maybe knock a wall down and use a steel support to open the space. Others prefer to have one big open space with arches into other rooms. What ever design you are after we can help!

open plan1   open plan2

We design all the architect plans ourselves and using the details you give us we can find ways to make it work. These designs can add great value to a property and increase the likelihood of them selling in the future. Even simple a simple renovation to update the property can be financially rewarding as it makes the property much more appealing to buyers.

Most families like these open plan designs as it makes the home feel much more spacious. When friends and family come to visit the property will feel more welcoming and add that sense of luxury to every room. There are many different styles and designs depending on what theme you want so it is important to decide how you would like your home laid out. This is something you would want to think but we are always here to give a helping hand and help to design your perfect home.

We have lots of examples of house refurbishments completed in the local area in our galleries and more information can be found in the refurbishments section on our website. So have a look and see what ideas might inspire you for designs in your own home. Please feel free to contact us about any questions or ideas you have and we will help support you. We are happy to provide prices for the range of work you require and supply all the materials needed.

open plan4 open plan 3

 

 

Building materials – what you need and where to find it

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Which any kind of building project you will always need certain materials for the job. This could be from timber, bricks and blocks to steel lintels. No matter how big or small you will need materials to do it. This is where we would like to offer our years of work in the industry to make sure you know where to get what you want and how to get it.

Traditionally people would go to the big builders merchants who will change what they want as they know people will pay it. But now with the use of the internet customers have a much wider range of choices as well as looking online in the comfort of their own homes to find materials they need for the best prices.

It is always important to remember that you are finding the right materials for the job, as online buying can be risky if you click and buy without checking it is the correct item. For example, if you are buying timber to build a rabbit hutch in the garden then it is essential this timber is treated to help protect it again the weather. Untreated timber will rot quickly if used outside so these minor details could make a big difference to what you need it for. When using timber is it also important that you go for a thickness that meets the demands of a job. The size of timber represents the strength so 8×2 would be stronger than 4×2. A key factor when looking for any product is how much is costs and how quickly it will be delivered. Kikbuild are know for there competitive prices in supplying all sizes and lengths for any job. They also have great customer services who would be happy to guide you towards the right product you and help with any questions or queries you may have. They will do all this while also trying to get you the cheapest price possible. Click on either of the pictures below to look at the timber products they sell and receive 5% discount off list prices.

 

timber timber2

Bricks and concrete blocks can also be expensive to buy without knowing where to buy them from. This can range from many different things such as building a wall to block paving a path or driveway. What ever is it you need Kikbuild can help. They supply a wide range of bricks and blocks and can advise on which ones would be best for you. You have different strength and weight of concrete blocks depending on what you are building. It is important to know if you need dense or medium dense blocks, 3.5N or 7N and Celon or Themalite. They will be happy to answer your questions and help you find the right product. They have competitive prices to help you save with your projects, even if you are using a builder, always check how much they are charging you compared to what price you can get them yourself to make sure you are getting the best deals around. Why pay more when you don’t need to.

Block paving is a beautiful way to decorate a path or driveway. There are many different colours and styles to choose from to match the design that you need. By clicking the picture below you can see a few examples but if you don’t see what you want, please phone and someone will be able to help find you the right style and design. These bricks can be expensive if you buy from some of the high street names but Kikbuild offer the same products but at fantastic prices. You might even be surprised at how much you could save by using this recommended supplier. To get an idea of what sort of bricks and blocks you can get please click the pictures below.

block paving pewter multi concrete block block paving brindle

Whenever you are doing any major building work you will always have to look at the structure of the work been carried out and making sure there is enough support to make it last. The worst thing that could happen is you carry out a build and then it collapses causing damage and a waste in time and materials. Structural lintels can be very expensive but we are helping to drive down the prices with high quality low cost Catnic Lintels. All sizes and types are available so no matter what lintel you are after Kikbuild can supply it. These are the lowest prices you will find for Catnic lintels, if you are a builder looking to save costs of have employed a builder for structural work, check out these prices as you could make some big savings. Some lintels are up to 50% off retail prices meaning you could make serious savings.

With a great customer service team willing to help your every need you can phone then anytime to find out information such as what sort of lintel you would need for the job whether is it a cavity lintel, internal or external wall lintel, they can advise what type you would need. They could also offer advise about if you need a standard duty or an extra heavy duty lintel depending on the loads they will support although it is advised you speak with a structural engineer who can also tell you which lintel will meet the requirements of building standards and regulations. It is important to remember that lintels need to meet building regulations to make sure they are strong enough and suitable for the job they are going to be used on. By clicking on any of the pictures below you can see a few of the lintel available and also receiving a 5% discount off list prices.

 

 

catniclintel2 Catnic CCS1 catniclintel

For any building supply needs Kikbuild can help you. Contact them on 01309-691203 or email admin@kikbuild.co.uk.

Improving your home

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Money that is spend on home improvements not only makes your house a much nicer place to live, but if done correctly it will also increase your properties value. We find when refurbishing or improving a home most customers will want to know about returns as it can be seen as an investment to improve your living environment while recouping the money and more when you come to sell. Most home improvement are said to give a healthy 10 per cent profit on top of what they spent. Below we will look at a few areas in which we have recently researched to see what is currently giving the best returns for your money.

Conservatories

This is a great cheap way to add that bit of extra space to a property. These cost a lot less than extending a house while still adding some extra space and in summer months with the sun shining through it can be a real place of tranquility. Unlike building an extension, conservatories do not require planning permission as long as they are no more than half the area of the land of the of the original house is covered. They are also exempt building regulations as long as at least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is either glazed or translucent material and if the conservatory is separated from the house by external doors. All of this helps to save money and reduce the time and effort to get it build. Below are the averages for what most people who have had conservatories built found with their money.

Average cost: £5,300

Average profit: £5,750

Return on investment: 108 per cent

Gardens

These are sometimes forgotten when people look to improve a home. Quite often people let them get overgrown and messy especially when it is cold and wet like most days in this country. But if well maintained this is something that will make a real difference to a property as it is something you can always see out the window and when you arrive and leave if you have one in front of the house. Especially from a buyers point of view it will impact on their first impression which is very important. You can easily tell if a garden is well looked after as the colour of the grass will be different and you can see dead or no plants. Plants add a bit of colour to the garden and help top give a nice smell as well as giving a nice feel and look to your home. All of this can make a difference to giving your home a warm, welcoming modern feel. Of course you can always use slabs or decorative stones to add pathways to more style to a garden. Below are the averages for what most people who have had garden conservation on their property found with their money.

Average cost: £4,550

Average profit: £4,000

Return on investment 88 per cent

Exterior

As well as a garden, the exterior of your home is one of the first and main things anyone will see. If the paint is worn down or faded or you have poorly maintained bricks then this will lower your houses appeal. There are many ways to decorate the exterior of a home. One new option that really draws the eye are fibre cement cladding. These can be made in most colours and are durable and had wearing due to the cement. Other ways could be to repaint or K render. These are just a few of the choices you have when you come to improving the outside of your home. You should alway look at all the options to make sure you get the one which will best suit your home and the neighbourhood. Even just fixing any cracks on the outside walls as well as giving it a clean could surprise you by how much of a difference it can make. Below are the averages for what most people who have had exterior work done found with their money.

Average cost: £6,000

Average profit: £4,500

Return on investment: 75 per cent

Extensions

Extensions are a great way to add the extra space to a home by expanding a room or adding more. This can be done on one or two floors deepening on how much space you wanted to add and your budget. These do require planning permission and all work must be check by building regulations to ensure they are up to an acceptable standard and meet the criteria. Extensions are a great way to expand your current house without having to move which is always great and are known for showing great returns as long as they are designed and built properly. There are a few guidelines that you must follow when planning but these have all been covered in one of our previous articles if you wanted more information. Below we have some averages from what people who have had extensions added to their properties found from their money.

Average cost: £19,750

Average profit: £14,000

Return on investment: 71 per cent

Roofs

Roof will occasionally need maintaining. This might be checking the tiles are not cracked or damaged and the water flows off the roof and into guttering. Regular checking and maintenance to a roof will help to keep it looking in good condition and can help prevent future damage. It is important there are no leaks and it is properly insulated to keep the heat in. These are things you will notice by living in a house and can make a property hard to sell as most buyers avoid houses with roof problems unless they are getting it for cheap. Just giving the roof a good clean can give it a new look and it is worth thinking about solar panels if you haven’t already. We have spoke about this in detail in previous articles but the government currently has great schemes in which you could save a lot of money over time, especially since some homes make more electricity than they use to run their house meaning they get more money back. Below are some averages of what people found the returns of their money was for roof repairs and maintenance.

Average cost: £4,150

Average profit: £2,600

Return on investment: 63 per cent

Carpets and Flooring

Carpets are slowly become a bit old fashioned but we still believe in the right environment that they can make a real difference to the look of a house. The biggest problem with them is that over the years they will wear, especially in hallways and stairs where people walk more. They also hold dirt and odours which which is never good. This leaves a few choices, getting them steam cleaned to try to bring them back to a newish condition or replace them. New carpet can be expensive so it is always worth looking if they can be cleaned to bring back those years. Wooden laminate flooring is the modern fashion as it is easy to clean and adds a smart look to the home. It always wears better than carpet due to the hard material. This is a fine balance as to what design you go with but we feel it has to be personal to you and what would look best in your home. If you are redecorating a whole area then is should definitely be considered about changed the flooring. Below are some averages of what people who spend money on flooring found their returns.

Average cost: £4,000

Average profit: £2,000

Return on investment: 50 per cent

Loft conversions

Loft conversions are another great way to increase the size of a property without moving. Many lofts are just used for storage and are wasted space. We feel more people should make use of this space by converting it into extra rooms and you should still have some space for storage. Loft conversions are also seen as a great way to increase the value of a property as it is like adding another floor to your home. Most homes would not need planning permission for this as it falls within the category Permitted Development Rights unless you wanted to extend the roof out to make it bigger. Planning officials are usually keen to maintain the rhythm of residential roof lines in a street, so most extensions need to have minimal external impact. Below are some averages of what people who spent money on loft conversions found their returns.

Average cost: £24,6000

Average profit: £12.000

Return on investment: 50 per cent

Kitchens

Kitchens have moved on a lot in the last few years in terms of design and the technology people have in them. All units and cookers are becoming touch screen as this is the latest fashion with white been by far the most common colour design for kitchens. Kitchens are a place where people do spend a lot of time so they like it to be modern and welcoming. Buyers always look to a kitchen to give the house their own personality. If you did this is could provide you with a more convenient place to make your meals but also increase your houses appeal to buyers in the future as buyers will pay more for a modern decorated kitchen to save the hassle of them doing it themselves. Below are some averages of what people who spent money on kitchen refurbishments found their returns.

Average cost: £9,600

Average profit: £4,750

Return on investment: 49 per cent

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are another area in which make a big difference to a home. As well as making a home a more comfortable living experience they are also a big factor for people looking for houses. Most people like their own style in a bathroom and like it to be a clean, smart and well maintained room. This might not cost you much depending on how dated your current bathroom is but it is money well spent as you will always be that bit more comfortable in there and it will definitely help with the sale of a house. Below are some averages of what people who spend money on flooring found their returns.

Average cost: £4,900

Average profit: £2,350

Return on investment: 48 per cent

It is important to remember all the figures in this article are based on national averages and these figures can vary deepening on are and condition of the house before any work is carried out. We are here to answer any questions you may have or any designs and plans that you might want done to your home. Please get in touch if you feel we could help you improve your property.

pond kitchen    front

Home Improvements

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Four Corners Properties offer to cover all aspects of home improvements to suit the style of your home. There are many different ways in which you could improve your home and this article will hopefully give you a few new ideas. After many years of working in Dorset and Hampshire improving homes, our experience has given us many new and different ideas to suit our customers. We don’t just look to improve a home, but to transform it into what you want.

Many people want to improve the look and feel of their houses but don’t know where to start but that is where we can help. We always find the best thing to think about before doing anything is to look at what you have and how it could be improved to suit your living needs. This means is there enough space, is it energy efficient and is it structurally sound. This is the best place to start as if you were to do any work then found that one of these need doing you might end up doing a job twice. A house needs to be big enough for you and your family, if not you have a few choices, you have a loft conversion, build an extension, garage or basement conversion or move house. It is important the house you live in is spacious enough for you to live so you don’t feel cramped in your house as it should be a place to relax and enjoy.

You also want a house to be energy efficient, meaning that the walls and loft are properly insulated and you have modern windows to keep the heat in. Living in a cold country like England, poor insulation will cost you a lot in bills so any money you spend on improving this you will make back in bills and property value. Many people are surprised when they find out how much heat they could be losing through either poor insulation or old windows and never understand until they see the decreased bills after they upgrade. This is always worth checking because no one wants to pay more money for gas or electric than they need too. Another way is to look at the latest technological advances in solar panels and air heat sources. We have previously spoken about the huge benefits of adding these too houses due to the money you save and current government grants for making your house more energy efficient. We advise this as a great way to save money in the long term. Also checking that the structure of the building is still ok as some older buildings might get cracks or damp and this should always be rectified before carrying out other work.

These are just a few starting points to improve a home that you might think to consider. Others that you might not of considered are driveways, fences and gardens. These can have a big effect on how a house looks and feels to live in. Having a pleasant garden that is looked after and has nice fences can give you a bit of privacy from the world in order to relax. You can organise a garden to suit you whether it be somewhere to relax or just for the kids to play but this can still impact your impression of a house. A driveway also will affect your reflection of the house as this is the first and last thing you need every time you go out or come home. There are hundreds of designs and colour to choose from that can make your house stand out from the rest. We find many people like to have a different design to neighbours so it adds some personalisation to the property and gives a great impression to visitors. This is an area worth researching to find the right design and colour to suit you and your property.

We feel home improvements need to be personal to allow you make your house have that homely feeling. Often when people move to a new house they need some sort of change to make it more comfortable. The obvious way to improve the look of a home would be decorating. This comes in a few ways; this could be changing the flooring, wall styles, lights and furnishing. Changing the colour and styles of walls can brighten a place up and by decorating different rooms themes to each part of a house. It is always worth considering if you wanted to open up a room by removing walls or putting up walls to separate rooms depending on what you want. We also provide furnishing and materials for all work through our side company kikbuild. We complete all work as one company so it cuts out any middlemen so we can pass the savings on to you.

If you have any thoughts about home improvements or have read this article and it has inspired your thoughts of what your home could look like you are more than welcome to get in touch. We are the local builders you can trust who thrive off our reputation and no matter what your budget we can help you find a way to improving your home. We have lots of pictures of previous jobs so browse our website as it might help give you some fresh ideas.

westmoores bathroom

Four Corners Properties: KikBuild – A Full Package

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Four Corners Properties has been improving its services during the years giving paramount attention to detail, quality and what really matters: Good Value for Money. Following this path of action it has created KikBuild. A way to give its customers a much bigger and better package of goods and service.

The Brand KikBuild offers From Building Materials to even Furniture at the best prices possible. It helps to save valuable time and money plus the advantage that if you are planing to improve your home using Four Corners Properties services you may have discount as a package, because Four Corners Properties has it all for their customers.

Please have a look to this Video Tiles Sample:

And the video below shows you KikBuild Furniture:

And if you want to build an extension for your home have a look to this Video Sample of a Kitchen Extension:

That is why Four Corners Properties is your best option when it comes down to anything regarding the Construction Sector, from Building Materials to Furniture, Tiles, Doors to improve your home and giving you more value for your Home.

Why many people are now building summer houses

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Summer houses are a great way to extend the space available in your property and they can be used for many different things. Many people who work from home use them as offices, others as a playhouse for their kids; some are even so extravagant they turn them into a luxury space with a sauna and a hot tub.

Planning Permission

One of the main reasons people are choosing to build their own summer houses are because as long as you meet a few rules, you don’t need planning permission. These are classed as outbuildings. Outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
  • Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
  • Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from house to be limited to 10 square metres.
  • On designated land buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.
  • Within the grounds of any listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.

The advantages

One main advantage of a summer house is it is somewhere to unwind and rest outside of your house. It is a personal space where you can just enjoy the moment. It can also be decorated to match your house or to give it a different feel. This might allow you to have an artistic side where you can design your summerhouse to match your occasion. Of course everyone is different so will have different uses and reasons for building a summer house. With the increasing price in properties and the increase in traffic on  the roads using a summer house as an office could not make more sense. You get to work from home, have a cheap affordable office and will never be caught up another traffic jam. These are all reasons why the modern homeowner is starting to see a summerhouse as a necessity.

Other families see it as a way of spending time together outside. If you have things like a sauna, hot tub or swimming pool then it can be a great way to spend time together. In the summer months when the sun finally comes out it can be nice to relax in the comfort of your own garden as a family. It can be a perfect place for the family to bond with each other. You can play games together, have a picnic or a barbecue party, or simply play relaxing music while the children play along. We have customers who have used this opportunity to invest in order to save the money and stress that can be involved with family vacations. This helps you save money in the long run as travel and accommodation can be expensive when you could just as easily make the most of your house.

Things to consider before getting one

We know it’s not all positive and there are of course a few things to consider first before deciding to build a summer house. One of these is of course to think about the space. You will be losing a sizeable part of the garden and you need to make sure this is ok as once you start you won’t be looking back. Another thing to consider is where you are building it. You don’t want it to take all the light away from the house or any garden you might want to use to relax in the evenings. We know you do not want to sit in the garden of an evening and be shaded from the sun because of your summerhouse. The last important thing we think you should also consider is that is it built to last using durable materials and is not a cheap one as these are only going to cost you more money when they fall apart. But if none of this affects you then you need to ask yourself why not?

Building to last

There is a lot of choice when it comes to summerhouses. If you look at places like B&Q you will find smaller low end summerhouses that will be good for a few years but will soon deteriorate. They also do not offer much space. The way we look at them is if you are going to do it, do it the right way first time and build your own. This might cost a bit more but it will be built to last. This also means you can have your own design, decorating and style. It will be a much more comfortable environment and will be much more like an actual house. With the use of long lasting materials and a strong structure you know it will be stable and if looked after will be there for many years to come. This is where we feel the cheap ones you see in the shops fail as they use cheap materials and are built to last for a short time. This in the long run will cost you more and look a lot worse.

Our current project

At Four Corners Properties we have built many luxury summer houses and can build any design you want to a budget. As seen below we have a few pictures of a project we are currently working on that will be our new office, shed, sauna and hot tub all in one. This is a fine example of a proper summer house. Keep looking on our website for the final pictures in a few weeks when all the work is finally completed. You need to remember it is not quite finished and this would be near as big as a summer house as you could build without planning permission.

If you have any questions or inquiries about getting an outbuilding in your garden please get in touch.

shed1                shed2

Reasons to Refurbish

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

How this could affect your home

Whether you have just bought a property or looking to sell, you might find it worthwhile to look at refurbishments. When buying a property, a key thing everyone looks for is that they will be able to feel comfortable and get that homely feel to it. You don’t want to be living in a house where you are unhappy and don’t want to be otherwise, why buy it in the first place?

There are two main types of buyers; ones who buy to what they want and ones who buy to make it what they want. Either way, most people will normally change something in their home over time to really add that feeling of home. We would recommend this as we understand what it’s like to have a place that really feels like yours. The benefits of this are more than making it yours, but it will also add property value when you come to sell while also making it more attractive to new buyers.

If you are selling a home you might think why you should refurbish a home, but most properties that are refurbished and fully furnished sell much quicker. People looking to buy properties usually want a property they can move straight into and has all the essentials. They don’t want to have to do too much work straight away, this is normally done once they have money together later down the line. When selling a house you don’t want it on the market for ages as the agents will often lower the price to try and persuade someone to buy it. You want it to stand out and appeal to the buyers so as soon as they see it they want it. The fact that refurbished homes sell for more is an even greater incentive as you might make more than you thought. When selling a home you need to remember that it is a competition between houses and that buyers want the best house for their money so you want yours to be that house. This is becoming even more so now that there are fewer buyers on the market.

House refurbishments have become as business for many people as they have realised if you buy a cheap house that needs lots of work, you will get it for a good price and by the time you have paid someone to get it looking fashionable again and sell it, you have made huge financial gains. This has become big business, but while we like to help people generate income through these businesses, we also like to help the average person who just wants to improve their current living conditions or update the property. We know not everyone is looking to make lots of money from the property which is where we will give you the property you want, while increasing the resale value of the property if it comes to it.

Whether you are looking to fully refurbish a house or just do a single room Four Corners Properties are happy to help. With helpful, friendly advice and offering competitive prices for any household work that needs doing you will find we can help you. If you have any rooms that you think need to be refurbished don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Our research tells us that many properties have outdated interiors and could do with work to spruce it up. A big question that people often ask us is how much would you have to spend to see a healthy financial return? The answer is that this does depend on a few things. The main things to consider before doing any work are how much is the property worth and what condition is it in? Speaking in generality the more expensive your house is the more you are to gain. For example if you had a £200,000 house and spent 20 per cent of the value you might make 5 or 10 per cent on top, but if you had a property value of £1 million and spent 20 per cent you would expect 10 to 20 per cent on top. These are examples and many things such as the area and the type of work carried out will influence the price. These are all individual to the house so it is always worth seeking advice before any work to make sure you are not just wasting money.

Balancing a property is also something to remember when refurbishing a property. For instance, converting one bedroom of three to an en-suit may cause imbalance, but in a four bedroom house it might enhance it. Bathrooms are seen to be one of the biggest let downs in most properties. This is due to them been overlooked when people want to improve a home and it is estimated that 41 per cent of bathrooms are over 25 years old. This is why even a simple shower upgrade or re-plumbing can make a big difference to a property.

It is always worth remembering that if you are hiring any professional to carry out work that they have got all the relevant qualifications and health and insurance to cover any accidents that may occur. You also need to get an exact price for the job you want doing so there are no added fees later on as this is something no one wants when doing any work on a home. Below we have a table that gives a rough idea of the returns you could expect from any refurbishment work. It is worth remembering these are all averages and might not reflect your home so check with an expert before if you are looking to make financial gains. We are here to help you and answer any questions you may have.

 

London

% increase

Rest of UK

% increase

Loft conversion

10-20

10-15

Side return

10-20

Same in cities such as Oxford/Cambridge

Extension

10-20

15-20

New kitchen

10-20

5-7

New bathroom

8-10

up to 5

Conservatory

10-12

3-10

Complete redecoration

10-12

5

Garden room

15-20

5-15