Have you outgrown your family home? Do you need extra space for an office or the in-laws? Or are you simply getting tired of the layout of your current space? If any of this rings true, it might be time to get creative. In other words, you should consider making some changes to your existing floor plan, do an extention or loft conversion. Being creative and imagining things in a different way might not be your strong point and that is where we come in. We can help you look at your space with a new pair of eyes. We would firstly look a the current floor plan and see if we cant creat what you want with the existing space by making a few changes. Creative storage, moving things into a different space can be a simple solution. Oftern moving a few internal walls and repositioning a few rooms can also create a more flowing living space. Solutions such as extensions, loft and garage conversions will also be looked at. We aim to create the space you want with the simplist solutions first and then look at bigger changes. Options will be discussed. The process is very unique for each home as each person will have different needs. We will also explain cost implications with each solution. We are not builders but we work with a great team with different trades who will help us create your ideal living space so that your home really feels like YOUR home.
Before you dive into an alteration of your home’s existing floor plan, it helps to understand what you would like to achieve. Would your ideal dwelling have defined functional spaces or an open layout? Would it have sleek, modern lines, or a classical, romantic feel?
The word “plan” is important since most changes to an existing floor plan are not weekend DIY projects. These tend to be bigger jobs that require professional help and we can help you through each step of the way. In some cases, a skilled architect and a building team will help us to achieve your ideal living space .Alterations may sometimes be allowed under permitted development but in some cases planning permissions will be required. Dont let this worry you as we will discuss all this with you and help you to understand when you need planning permissions and when not.
Not sure where to begin? Give us a call. We’ll love help you take the first steps towards creatng the home you want.
1 Layout Changes
Re-evaluating the use of each space and if moving things around could increase living quality. There will be various considerations such as moving of plumbing, electrics and also structural wall removal will require a structural engineers input. This might seem daugnting but by making some changes could save you having to move home and also make you fall in love with your home again.
2 Loft Addition
For homeowners who need additional living space, the loft often offers the most the opportunity to add an additional room and wc to a home. Since lofts tend to run the length of a home, they offer enough space for a big rooms a bathrooms. A loft can also be your new office if you need some space away from the business of the house when working.
As with any home remodeling projects, there are some important points to consider before you begin a loft renovation. Considerations include the installation of stairs for loft access, re-routing of mechanical systems, and whether the loft has a high enough ceiling to accommodate the intended living space.
3 Transform One room into Two
There are many different architectural approaches to homes these days. Some are designed with many small rooms, while others have fewer, larger rooms. In the latter case, homeowners may want to carve out a functional nook within a larger room, perhaps for a nursery or home office. You might also want to turn one large bedroom into two smaller ones for kids who are tired of sharing a room. Sometimes by zoning areas and having clever storage solutions you will be able to create the additional space.
4 Make a Great Garage
Is your house feeling cramped or overcrowded? Evict your car and turn your garage into a spectacular party room or man cave! Garages are a great way to add square footage to your living space with relatively minor modifications. And they’re also usually roomy enough for plenty of layout options.
Before diving into a garage renovation project, be sure to consider what it will take to make the space habitable. Is your garage currently wired with electricity? If so, space heaters may be all you need to keep warm in winter. Do you need a bathroom in your garage get-away? If so, adding a plumbing system will substantially increase the scope and cost.
If you want to keep your car’s parking spot, consider building a relaxation space or art studio on top of the existing garage. In that case, you’d begin by removing the roof and building a floor that can accommodate the added level. Just be sure you’ve sealed the lower level ceiling so that carbon monoxide and other gases don’t penetrate the space. You might still want to include fans and plenty of windows in your above-garage abode just to be sure the air is kept clean.
One potential problem with converting garages is that you often need planning permission to do so. Different councils have different rules. Sometimes certain conditions would have been placed on the garage when originally built.
5 Create an Open Concept
In the old days, residential architecture generally included several small rooms rather than one big one, mainly for ease of heating and cooling. These days the trend in floor plans is the open concept, in which one large space connects to smaller areas of a home. Having an open floor plan can add natural light, make a space feel bigger, and be great for entertaining.
A general contractor is qualified to work with load bearing walls, installing beams to support upper floors where necessary. But some jobs require a structural engineer, especially when creating a very large great room from several smaller ones . In some cases, a structural engineer is needed in order to define what the structure needs in terms of support as well as the size and strength of each beam that will be bearing weight. You also need to consider the loss of walls for mechanical systems and making sure your heating and cooling systems can accommodate the new layout.
6 Design a Deck
There is perhaps no better way to merge indoors with outdoors than to build a deck off the side of a home. It’s also a great way to increase your home’s value. Adding a deck is one of the top five ways to stretch remodeling.
A deck is particularly important for smaller homes with interiors that can seem cramped or dark, such as row homes and townhouses. Deck additions are also a great way to add natural light to a home since they are generally connected to the house by glass doors.
Decks that have large French, sliding, or folding doors can really brighten up a home.
7 Add a bathroom
One of the best and easiest ways to increase the value of your home is to add a bathroom.
A lot of older homes were built with only one bathroom despite having two floors and at least three bedrooms. Newly constructed homes typically have at least one full baths upstairs and a wc below, so having only one bathroom can limit the resale value of a home.
Additional considerations for adding a bathroom include where to put it –- you’ll save time and energy by choosing a location near existing plumbing lines. If you need to tear down walls in order to bring plumbing from another side of the house, the cost of the job goes up substantially.
8 Lateral Expansion
Building laterally onto a home is a common way to alter a floor plan and gain additional living space. Examples include expanding a living room or kitchen or other entirely new space to an existing floor plan.
Two important considerations are having the lot space to accommodate the addition and maintaining harmony between rooms. Under permitted development side extentions without planning permissions could be a possiblility. Considering if you would need planning permissions or not is important. In some cases it will take up too much of the garden space and when reselling will put families off if your area is a very family orientated area.
You have to consider the arrangement of windows, furniture placement, and the flow from room to room.
The best thing about building an addition onto an existing property is that adds substantial value to a home in terms of resale. Lateral additions also offer flexibility.
A floor plan is a scale diagram or drawing of a room or building from an overhead perspective. These plans will vary greatly from house to house, depending on the specific needs and preferences of the inhabitants. A blueprint is a more detailed, exact scale drawing of your plan. The blueprint shows the foundation (plus footing and framing), roof, and an electric and kitchen plan with detailed construction notes beyond the basic floor plan — it acts as the contractor’s instructions.
When revaluating your floor plan for your home, you should consider the following factors:
What are your individual lifestyle needs?
Do you have a family or pets, or are you considering them in the future?
Do you entertain guests, and will they need places to sleep? Where do you think you and others will spend the most time within the house?
What are your individual privacy needs? Your house’s shape, for one, can add a higher level of privacy. You’ll also want to consider your privacy needs as you plan for windows.
Will you need designated work rooms? Many people need or want home offices or laundry rooms.
In what style will you be decorating the home? The layout should work with to how you’re going to use and decorate each room. If you plan on having a large sectional sofa, you’ll need a space large enough to accommodate it.
Windows are something most of us see (and see through) every day. We install them in our homes, offices and cars to protect us from the outside elements, but at the same time, they allow us to get a good view of what’s all around us. Windows in our homes are especially helpful during the daytime, since they let in lots of natural sunlight, creating warmth during winter months and lowering the costs of heating — provided they’re properly insulated. Sunlight generally makes people happier and more energetic, too, since it provides us with vital boosts of vitamin D and serotonin, the levels of which affect our moods and general enjoyment of life. People in the northern hemisphere who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sometimes called the wintertime blues, especially need sunlight during the cold and dreary months between fall and spring. Sometimes sitting near a window is the best solution.
If you take a window and physically move it up, tilting it slightly or placing it directly on the ceiling, you have an entirely different design with an even more dramatic effect. Adding a skylight above the windows you already have in your home can increase the amount of sunlight your room gets while making the area feel more spacious and attractive. They can also be used for natural ventilation during the summertime, since many are designed to open.
There’s more to skylights than punching a hole in your ceiling and fitting some plastic or glass within it. Skylights come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the material they’re made with and the care with which they’re built and installed can affect important structural aspects, like how well your home is insulated and whether or not a room is protected from leaks. How and where they’re positioned also affects the amount of sunlight a room can get.
Skylights typically are constructed with either plastic or glass, and the choice you make depends on several factors, including climate, location within the home and pricing. Manufacturers refer to types of skylights by their glazing, a general term used to describe how a skylight or window is constructed.
Plastic glazing for skylights is less expensive than glass glazing and yet it’s still fairly durable.
Glass glazing for skylights is more expensive than plastic, but it’s generally preferred because it’s more durable than plastic, it doesn’t discolor and many people simply think it looks nicer. Glass made for skylights must be made of safety glazing material, which means it has either been tempered or laminated. Tempered glass is glass that has undergone a process of heating and rapid cooling to make the material much harder than normal glass. As a result, when it breaks it shatters into small pebble-like pieces with no sharp edges. Laminated glass is made with a thin layer of plastic sandwiched between two pieces of glass. Although there are many different combinations, most manufacturers build skylights using a pane of tempered glass on the outside and a pane of laminated glass on the inside.
Various glazing techniques can increase a home’s energy efficiency, too. Tinted glass can absorb heat and reduce the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), a measure of the amount of heat from sunlight a window or skylight blocks. How high or low you want your windows’ SHGC depends on the climate in which you live — the lower the number, the less heat is transmitted into your house. A skylight with a high SHGC, for instance, would be best to have for colder winters, while a skylight with a low SHGC is better at blocking heat during hot summers.
There are also low-emissivity (low-E) coatings on skylights, microscopically thin layers of metal spread over one or more of a skylight’s panes. A low-E coating reduces the U-factor of a skylight — the amount of non-solar heat allowed in. The lower the U-factor, the more efficient the window.
People typically install skylights in bathrooms and kitchens in their homes. A skylight in the bathroom gives the room more natural sunlight, yet still maintains the privacy of the area. People tend to spend a lot of time in their kitchens, cooking and eating, so bathing this room in natural light is a nice way to spend mornings, afternoons or early evenings.
The Right Angle
How you position a skylight, not just how big it is, will affect the amount of sunlight coming in. For instance, a skylight facing toward the east will wake you up and get more sunlight during the morning hours, while a skylight facing toward the west will get more afternoon and early evening sunlight.