Your Guide to Building a Shed in East London

If you’ve found yourself with more time on your hands lately, now can be a good time to take on a DIY project. Building a shed is a project that can be enjoyable and rewarding. However, it’s not one that you want to take on lightly. You’ll need to plan and prepare to make sure the project is a success. In our guide on how to build a shed, we run through everything you need to know.
small brown wooden shed

Benefits Of Having A Shed

A garden shed is something that many of us take for granted. They’re often the forgotten structure at the bottom of the garden, unloved and neglected. However, there are so many benefits that a shed can bring. Whether you’re giving your existing on some TLC or building a new one from scratch, it can transform your garden. Here’s why:
  • Organisation. Your shed can be a hub from which you do all of your gardening. With storage shelves and space for tools and materials, it can help you get organised. You could even make it into your own little workshop.  
  • Relaxation. Your shed doesn’t have to be somewhere just for storage. Having some space outside to get away from the hustle and bustle of life can be a luxury. Whether you add some chairs to sit and relax in, or some soundproof walls so you can blast your music, a shed can be a great escape. 
  • Aesthetics. Sheds don’t have to be dilapidated and run down. In fact, they can bring some elegant charm to your garden. As well as looking great, they can add value to your property.
White and red shed on water

Deciding On The Type Of Shed

So, you’ve decided you want to build a shed. But what type should you choose? Shed design is generally quite varied, so you’ll be able to choose how ornate or practical your new one will be. 

There are also three main materials that are used in shed construction. Wooden sheds are ‘traditional’ designs. Wood is pretty versatile, so it can fit in with any garden. You can stain it or treat it to match your preferred style. However, they take a lot of upkeep and can be hard to assemble. 

Plastic sheds are pretty robust. You don’t have to treat them and they require little in the way of upkeep. They’re also lightweight and fairly easy to assemble. Unfortunately, they’re not the most attractive, and the less expensive ones can fade in the sun. 

Small woodshed design

Metal sheds are more the most heavy-duty and can withstand just about anything. However, as they’re so light, you’ll need to make sure your shed foundation is robust enough to keep it anchored. You also need to watch out for eventual rust. 

Whichever material you choose, you’ll also have to think about design. Will you build a large shed? Or do you only have space for a small shed? For those with difficult angles to work with, an L-shaped shed can be a good choice.

Shed Designs

If you’re struggling for some inspiration for your shed design, we’ve included some ideas to get your creativity flowing. Think about how each type/style would look outside your home: 

This cute wooden shed is reminiscent of a beachside getaway. The vivid blue really makes it stand out, bringing character to your garden. 

Small shed painted blue
With this green shed, you get vibes of the American west. Its barn-style design is spacious and looks fantastic.
Green wooden shed design
This compact and frankly adorable shed is the ideal tool storage solution. It’s discreet enough to fit just about anywhere, yet still practical and eye-catching.
Green wooden shed design
This cosy shed uses both wood and metal to create a rustic-looking structure. It’s a versatile design that could be used for storage or as a hideaway spot.
Small blue shed with curved roof
If you’re looking for a spacious and open design, this wooden shed is just the thing. It gives you easy access and looks simply fantastic.
Wooden shed open concept

Permissions and Regulations

We often hear the question, ‘how big can I build a shed without planning permission?’ Thankfully, a 2008 law clears things up nicely. Essentially, outbuildings are automatically given planning permission provided they follow some rules. 

The main requirement is that the structure is for ‘purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house’. This means that it can’t be for residential purposes. The other rules state: 

  • It can’t take up more than 50% of your garden. 
  • It can’t be in front of your house. 
  • It’s a single storey structure with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and a maximum overall height of 4 metres if it has a dual-pitched roof. In any other case, it’s 3 metres.
  • However, if it’s within 2 meters of the property boundary, it cannot be more than 2.5 meters high. 

In most other cases, you’ll need to apply for planning permission for your structure, the same as with an extension

Shed building regulations

Essential Shed Building Supplies and Tools

So if you’re looking for a project to spruce up your home, building a shed can be a great place to start. But what tools and materials should you use? We’ve outlined some of the essentials: 

  • Carpentry hand and power tools. You’ll need all of the essentials here, including a hammer, tape measure, handsaw, framing square, level, and flat pry bar. In addition, a cordless drill and impact driver are necessary. 
  • Extra tools. To make things easier, you may also want to consider a job site table saw or portable circular saw. Alternatively, a compound miter saw comes in handy. 
Array of tools for building a shed
  • Protective gear. As well as a tool belt, make sure you have eye goggles, a dust mask, hard hat, and work gloves. Ear protection can also be helpful. 
  • Foundation materials. If you buy a prefabricated shed, you’ll need to know how to build a shed base. This means you’ll need concrete and pressure-treated wood posts.

Dos And Don’ts

So, once you’ve chosen your design, figured out whether you need planning permission, and have all of your materials. It’s time to start assembling your shed. Here are some tips and tricks for the process: 

  • Don’t build at the bottom of a hill. You don’t want water collecting around your shed. It can cause rot, damage wood, and cause rust, mould and mildew. It’ll also be a nightmare to get in and out of if the ground is flooded. 
  • Do avoid wooded areas. Although you may want to tuck your shed away undercover, you should avoid doing so. Your shed needs airflow and sunshine. Additionally, you want to avoid damage from the trees. 
mistakes to avoid when building a shed
  • Don’t forget the details. Even if your shed is for purely practical purposes, don’t leave out the details. Little touches can make it look nice and make things more convenient. 
  • Do prepare your site. Do your research on things like how to build a shed on uneven ground. Make sure to then prepare your site for the construction, clearing it of any potential hazards and getting your materials close to hand. 

How to Build a Shed – Final Thoughts 

So, we’ve covered all of the essentials you need to know about building a shed. Perhaps the most essential thing is that you do your research and planning before you get started. Know what it is you want from your shed, and how you need to go about erecting yours.

How to Convert Your Garage in East London

When it comes to home renovation projects, a garage conversion can be a challenging and rewarding one to take on. With the proper research, planning, and preparation, you can renovate your garage into a practical and enjoyable space. However, there’s a lot that you need to consider before you get started. We take a look at some garage conversion ideas, as well as some other key information.

Garage conversion East London tips

Why Convert Your Garage?

Whether your garage is full of clutter or totally devoid of anything, converting it can bring a host of benefits:
  • Better use of space. No matter what you use your garage for, it’s highly likely that you can utilise the space in a more efficient way. It gives you more functional space without the need for an extension.
  • Extra living space. You can easily transform your garage into a living space. So, if things are a bit cramped, you can add another bedroom, living room or another type of space.
Pink painted garage door
  • Added value. If you take your time and add a high-quality garage conversion to your home, it can add value to your property. Some experts suggest it can add as much as 10% to the value. 
  • DIY project. Whether you’re just doing the planning or taking on the whole conversion, it can be a fun and fulfilling project. The important thing is to know how to do a garage conversion in the first place. 

What’s Required?

Before you get started, it’s essential that you’re familiar with all of the permissions and regulations needed for converting your garage. For example, you need to familiarise yourself with garage conversion planning permission rules. Luckily, we’ve outlined them here: 
  • In most cases, your conversion will fall under what’s known as Permitted Development. This means that planning permission isn’t needed. 
  • If you live in a listed building or conservation area, you likely will need planning permission for your conversion. 
  • For those with a Permitted Development, you should apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC). This certificate makes things much easier if you ever sell the property. 
  • If your garage is an external structure (a detached garage conversion), you’ll need to apply for a change of use. 
If you’re in doubt as to whether or not you need planning permission, you should contact your local authority.
A person planning a garage conversion

How Much Does a Garage Conversion Cost?

The exact cost of your garage conversion will depend on a wide variety of factors. However, as an example, the cost of a basic integrated conversion is around £8,000. This takes into account a cost of around £400 per meter squared. This total cost is far less than the value you could add to your home.  When working out costs, there are several things that will influence your total outlay. This includes: 
  • Whether you need to reinforce your foundations. 
  • The condition of your existing garage walls and floors. 
  • Whether you need to raise the ceiling height and by how much. 
  • Whether you need to hire a designer, builder and structural engineer. Also think about other extension specialists.
Cost of converting a garage

You can keep your garage conversion costs down by doing as much of the process as possible yourself. However, this depends on your level of skill and experience. You also need to think about the quality of the materials and fittings you’ll use, and whether you’ll need insulation and plumbing. 

What To Convert It Into?

So, you’ve decided that you want some more space at home. Your garage is the prime spot to convert, especially if you’re not really using it for much at the moment. But what can you convert it into? Well, there are a few solid options you can choose from: 
  • An office. If you work from home, having a dedicated space away from the rest of the house can be a lifesaver. 
  • A bedroom. Whether it’s a guest room or a space for a new addition, adding an extra bedroom is a sure-fire way of adding value to your property. 
  • A playroom. Why not create a space to kick back and relax in? Whether it’s a man-cave, cinema room, or playroom, it can be a valuable addition. 
Of course, the options are as expansive as your imagination, so spend the time to think about what kind of room you’d like.
Garage converted into a family room

Design Tips

So, by this point, you’re probably raring to get started with your garage conversion. However, it’s worth considering some of the design elements of your project. We’ve highlighted some popular garage conversion design tips to help you out: 
  • Rework your space. A garage conversion can transform your downstairs living space. Account for how this new room impacts your layout, and rework your space accordingly. 
  • Consider a kitchen diner. Depending on the placement of your garage, you could consider combining it with your kitchen. Having a kitchen diner is a highly sought-after feature.
Garage door wood pattern
  • Add natural daylight. Ex-garages don’t have to be dingey. Add some windows to create a bright, light space. 
  • Make it seem bigger. Of course, you can only work with the space you have. However, the use of paint and mirrors can make a room seem more spacious. 

Design Inspiration: 5 Beautiful Garage Conversions 

If you’re still looking for some inspiration to get your project off the ground, we’ve got just the thing. Check out these stunning garage conversion ideas and see which elements you can borrow for your design:  This retro-cool design uses the existing space and adds a few flourishes. It’s practical and stylish.
Garage conversion idea: Home workshop
If you’re looking for a cosy nook to escape for a while, an office and library like this one can be just the thing.
Garage conversion idea: Cozy library
For those with a larger space to work with, this stunning room combines a living room and bedroom into one functional space.
Garage conversion idea: Living room + Bedroom
A playroom makes for the perfect garage conversion idea. This modern space utilises the available space perfectly.
Adding another living space is a great use of your unused garage. Creating a cinema or entertainment room brings many benefits.
Garage conversion idea: family room

Garage Conversions – Final Thoughts 

So, it’s clear to see why converting your garage is such a rewarding project. It can transform your home, add value to your property, and create a relaxing and functional space. 

There are many things you should consider when undertaking such a project. However, the most important thing is to make sure you take the time to plan and budget your renovation. The useful tips and design ideas we’ve outlined can go a long way to help! 

How To Update Your Home

Updating your home can sometimes seem like a bit of a daunting task. You may want to refresh your interior or keep up with the latest style trends, but knowing where to start isn’t always easy. Thankfully, there are many affordable home improvement ideas for the UK that you can easily implement. We take a look at why you should update your home, how you can do so on a budget, and give some inspiration for interior and exterior improvements. 

Why Should You Update Your Home?

There are many reasons you may want to make renovations at home. One of the most common reasons is simply to make your space more enjoyable and comfortable. Even the smallest changes, such as painting a room, can brighten your home and improve your mood. 

Whether you’re trying to make your house more in line with the latest trends or improve its functionality, making changes can make you feel more relaxed and at home. 

House exterior updated
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Of course, house refurbishment can also add value to your property. Whether you’re looking to sell in the near or more distant future, updating your home interior or exterior can increase its market worth.

Renovating Your House - Where to Start?

Once you’ve decided that a home DIY project is for you, it’s time to start making preparations for the refurbishment. There are a few aspects you’ll need to bear in mind while you’re planning: 

  • The cost. For each project, make sure to research how much you’ll need to spend on materials, tools, and any specialist tradespeople. Add an extra 10-20% for any extra expenses. You also need to plan for how you’ll finance the work, whether it’s cash, a loan, or credit.
Array of tools for home refurbishment
Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash
  • The time. Work out how long your project will take. A smaller one, such as adding new shelves, may only take a day. A more thorough undertaking, such as re-decorating an entire room, could take days to weeks. Plan appropriately and give your self a little extra time. 
  • Tools and materials. Make sure you have everything you need before you begin updating your home. Your basic toolbox should have a hammer, screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, utility knife, handsaw, pliers, and a tape measure. You’ll also need safety gear, as well as nails, tape, plaster, and paint. 

Updating Your Home on a Budget

If you’re unsure whether updating your home is the right idea, it’s worth knowing that there are many ways you can DIY on a budget, and home decor in an affordable way. Here are some cheap home improvement ideas: 

  • Research. There is a wealth of online guides, free how-to videos and other great resources. You don’t necessarily have to pay for consultations if you can work out the details yourself. 
Updating home on a budget with DIY
Photo by Stephanie Harvey on Unsplash
  • Shop around. Chain DIY stores are often expensive, but there are deals to be had elsewhere. Whether you’re looking for second-hand tools or leftover materials, sites like eBay and Gumtree can help you save a few quid. 
  • Borrow. If you find you’re missing some of the tools you need, don’t be afraid to ask friends or relatives for a loan. Just make sure you return it once you’re done!

Updating Your Interior vs Updating Your Exterior

When you’re planning on updating your home, you may be wondering which parts to start with. That choice depends on what your overall intention is. Updating your interior can give you a cosy and calming space while adding value. Updating your exterior can give your property kerb appeal while giving you a relaxing environment to enjoy. 

Interior 

One of the easiest ways to add value to your home is to give your kitchen a facelift. You don’t have to splash loads of cash on an entirely new kitchen either – painting cabinets, replacing fixtures, or adding a new sink can give it a new lease of life. However, it can often be a big project that can disrupt your routine at home. 

Exterior

Adding new windows can make a huge difference to your home’s façade. Whether it’s adding a modern or a traditional twist, it can add real value, updating your home. It can also bring some character to the outside of your property. Such a project needs either approval from your local authority or needs to be carried out by a FENSA-registered installer. 

updated patio glass doors leading out to back garden
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Expert Tips on Improving Your Home

Hopefully, you’ve now got some vague ideas on your home refurbishment project. To help you solidify these ideas, we’ve outlined some expert tips to give you some inspiration: 

Reupholster your cushions 

Add a splash of colour to your living room or bedroom by recovering your existing cushions. You can find all kinds of fabrics and colours, so try a few swatches to see what works. Combined with a lick of paint on the wall, it can go a long way to updating your home. 

Throw and pillows on grey couch
Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Add some patio furniture 

To create a relaxing and inviting outdoor space, some new or upscaled patio furniture can work wonders. It gives you space to sit and relax, whether you’re enjoying some alone time or entertaining guests.

Photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

Recycle your frames 

You can add some real character to a room by adding new art, posters, or prints to your wall. The best part is, if you’ve got some old frames hanging around the place, you can easily renovate them by sanding them down and starting again in a new colour.

DIY old frames in vivid colours
Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

Add some string lights 

To bring some mood lighting to your patio or garden, string lights or Edison bulbs are always a safe bet. Not only do they look great, but they’re also an affordable way of illuminating your outdoor space.

String lights hung in back garden
Photo by Wyatt Ryan on Unsplash

Revitalise your furniture 

If your wooden furniture is starting to look a bit faded, why not give it a new lease of life? Working with what you already have can save you money, is good for the environment, and can look fantastic.

Wooden dresser updated
Photo by Rumman Amin on Unsplash

Update your front door

Your front door can say a lot about your house. Whether you’re replacing your old door or repainting your existing one, it can show you take pride in the appearance of your home. It’s the first thing people see, after all.

updating exterior doors
Photo by Christian Stahl on Unsplash

Start Your Project

Hopefully, you’re now brimming with ideas for some DIY projects to start updating your home. If taking care of your home is important to you, then improving it is a must. So why not let the professionals do it? Contact us to help you right away.

Tips on Planning and Designing a Kitchen Extension

Adding a kitchen extension to your home is a great way to update the central hub of your home, making it a place people will love spending time in. It’s also one of the most cost-effective ways of adding value to your house. We take a look at some top tips for kitchen extension ideas, as well as how much kitchen extensions cost.

How Much Does a Kitchen Extension Cost?

One of the most important aspects to consider when planning your kitchen extension is the cost. Not only is it useful to know roughly what the project is going to set you back, but it’s also essential to budget for it ahead of time.

White house exterior with pool and kitchen extension
Photo by Digital Marketing Agency NTWRK on Unsplash

Of course, it’s impossible to say exactly how much your kitchen extension design will end up costing. However, there are some good guidelines on kitchen pricing:

  • Single storey extensions. Will cost around £1,500 per m² 
  • A more individual extension. Includes things like bespoke windows and doors. Will cost from £1,900 to £2,200 per m².  
  • Higher specification extension. With extra details and flourishes. Can cost up to £3,000 per m².
  • Redesigning work. Includes things like reworking an interior layout. Can cost £500 to £900 per m².

Make sure that you allow some extra room in your budget for any unforeseen costs.

Building Regulations for a Kitchen Extension

You’ll also need to bear in mind that, depending on the size and scale of your extension, you may need to get planning permission. This is another key factor when you’re trying to figure out how much kitchen extensions cost.

Regulations for houses with kitchen extension
Photo by Jesse Roberts on Unsplash

Several variables determine what kind of permission you’ll need. However, in general, you can avoid the need for planning permission for your rear kitchen extension if: 

  • A single-storey extension. These can be up to 6m from the original rear wall of an attached house or 8m on a detached property. It can be up to 4m in height unless it’s within 2m of your property’s boundary. In those instances, height is limited to 3m.
  • A double-storey extension. These have to be at the rear and can’t be any taller than the highest part of your existing roof. They also can’t extend beyond your rear wall by more than 3m, and they must match the original structure.

If you want to find out more about whether you need planning permission, you can check planningportal.co.uk for full conditions.

What and Who Do You Need?

It can be a daunting prospect when figuring out how to plan a kitchen extension. There are many different aspects to consider aside from how much the kitchen extension costs. To make the process easier for you, we’ve outlined some of the dos and don’ts of planning a kitchen extension: 

  • Do get detailed plans. Work with professional builders and tradespeople to come up with a cost estimate and detailed plans. Make sure to cover all angles and don’t leave anything to chance. 
  • Do plan for material storage. There will likely be many different building materials that will need storing somewhere on or near your property. Make sure there’s a safe place for them. 
Contractor working on kitchen extension
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
  • Don’t micromanage. Once you’ve agreed on a price and timescale with your builders, let them work in the way they’re used to. Each tradesperson has their own way of working, so respect their profession. 
  • Don’t be unclear. If you’re taking on some parts of the project yourself, make sure your builder knows exactly which parts. Sometimes the line between where one job starts and another one ends can blur, so be sure to discuss this in advance.

Timeline of Building a Kitchen Extension

So, how long should your project take? Well, that depends on factors such as the size and scale of the work. You may be planning a rear kitchen extension, a conservatory kitchen extension, or a glass roof kitchen extension, and each would take a different amount of time. 

However, as a general rule, you can expect: 

  • Week 1. Prep.
  • Week 2. Groundwork and Foundations. 
  • Week 3-4. Low-Level and Ground Work.
  • Week 5-6. Internal and External Walls.
  • Week 7. Build Roof Structure.
  • Week 8. Lay Roof Covering.
  • Week 9-10.Guttering, Windows, Doors.
  • Week 11-12. Knock Through and Plastering.
  • Week 13. Final Work.
  • Week 14. Snagging and Garden Work.

Again, there’s always the potential for things to move faster or slower than these estimates, and delays may be possible. 

Photo by Im3rd Media on Unsplash

Kitchen Extension Layouts

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics of the prep, it’s time to provide some inspiration. Below, we’ve picked out seven gorgeous kitchen extension designs to give you some ideas: 

This beautiful open-plan kitchen extension gives a light and airy feel to the room. 

White kitchen with back garden view
Photo by Mark McCammon from Pexels

Those in search of a rear kitchen extension will love this design, which mixes modern and contemporary themes.

Grey kitchen design extension
Photo by Tamil Hari from Pexels

This sleek, modern design gives plenty of space with monochrome stylings.

Kitchen extension with large windows and doors to back garden
Image by Connoman from Pixabay

The gold of the lamps and the leather bar stools accentuate the clean design of this kitchen.

Kitchen extension layout
Image by Ryan Doka from Pixabay

Those looking for small kitchen extension ideas can take inspiration from this design.

Kitchen extension and dining room with skylight

If you’re looking for a kitchen extension with skylights, they don’t come much better than this one.

When it comes to conservatory kitchen extensions, this modern take is absolutely stunning.

Start Planning Your Kitchen Extension Today

You now have all the information on planning your project and how much kitchen extensions cost. Hopefully, you also have plenty of inspiration to get started on your own plans with. Adding a kitchen extension can significantly increase your space and improve your life. So contact us today and let us build the kitchen of your dreams!

Tips To Consider When Choosing an Extension Specialist in London

Is this the year you take the plunge and build an extension on your London house? If you’re wondering how much house extensions cost and what’s involved in the process, this guide is for you. We’ll walk you through house extension design through to the cost of an extension. 

Advantages Of Having A House Extension

Save Time and Money

As families grow and needs change, many of us simply grow out of our homes. But searching for something new, putting down a deposit, and then spending thousands making it home is hard work. Instead of uprooting your family, building an extension can save so much valuable time and money. 

Personalize The Space

Unlike buying a new home, adding an extension means you can customise and personalise it exactly as you need. You can add in as much storage space, large windows, and make it a truly useful space. 

Inсrеаѕе Yоur Property Value

Adding an extension is a fantastic way to add value to your home. Adding another bedroom or more useful downstairs space will help your home stand out in the neighbourhood as well as adding more valuable square footage.

Sunroom house extension
Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash

Things To Consider Before Building An Extension

If you are going ahead with an extension, here are some vital factors to keep in mind. 

Planning Permission

Before you get started, check the planning regulations in your area. Not all extensions need permission, but any substantial building work definitely will. Head to your local council website for more information.

White couch in basement house extension
Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

Access

Next, think about how tradespeople will access the site. If you live in a terrace house without a driveway, think about where vans will park and how materials will be delivered. Even if you do have access, think about gateways, steps, and any other obstacles that might hinder tradespeople.  

Inform Neighbours

It seems obvious, but before going ahead with any type of building work, inform your neighbours of the disruption. The last thing you want to do is burn bridges with the people you live next door to.

Planning Tips

When it comes time to plan your extension, we’ve got some tips you should keep in mind for the planning process:

Identify Your Needs

Many people make the mistake of focusing on adding value to their house when building an extension. Although this is important, your main focus should be on identifying your family needs. 

Does the room need to accommodate bunk beds and wardrobes? Is it a kitchen extension that you’d love a pantry in? Make sure these needs are front of mind when planning. 

Planning layout design for a garage house extension
Photo by Marius Ciocirlan on Unsplash

Hire an Architect

If you want the best plan possible, working with a professional architect is a great option. Although this can be an expensive process, it’s worth the investment. An architect will create a plan that makes the most out of the space while taking into account all regulations in your area. 

Finding a Reliable Builder

Nothing can make an extension project go off the rails more than an unreliable build team. Make sure you find a professional team that understands your project and has a reputation for excellence.

House Extension Costs

You may be wondering how much house extensions cost. It varies depending on many factors, but the average cost of an extension in the UK is between £1000 and £2000 per square metre. 

The quality of the finish will drive this price up. A high-quality finish can cost almost 50% more than a builder-grade finish. 

Budget for a home extension
Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Regulations To Be Aware Of

Depending on what extension you are aiming for, you may be able to complete the work under Permitted Development (PD). This means you won’t need planning permission as long as you meet the criteria which you can research here

No matter where you live if you are planning a large extension, you will probably need to apply for planning permission. A planning permission application in England costs around £206.

House extension permits and regulations
Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash

House Extension Designs And Ideas

Still looking for inspiration for an extension? Here are some examples of extensions to get you started: 

1. Add a Conservatory or Sunroom

An affordable way to extend your house is adding a conservatory or sunroom. These cost significantly less than a full extension but still give valuable extra space. Plus, small conservatories and sunrooms usually don’t need planning permission, which is a bonus.

2. Extend Your Kitchen

Since the kitchen is usually on the back of the house, it’s usually one of the easiest rooms to extend. This is a great opportunity to create a spacious, modern kitchen of your dreams.

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

3. Over the Garage Bedroom

Another affordable option is adding a bedroom over an existing garage. If the existing structure is strong enough, no foundational work will be needed. This is a relatively easy way to add another bedroom and increase the value of your home.

Bedroom extension over garage
Photo by Evan Dvorkin on Unsplash

Ready to Extend Your London Home?

If you’re reading this then you’ve already found your home extension specialist! Contact us today!

How to Soundproof Your Walls In London: The Myths and Reality

Noise complaints in London are up a staggering 86% since last year. And noisy neighbours are just one of many noise pollution issues making homeowners want to know how to soundproof a room. If you’ve thought about soundproofing your home in London, this guide will show you how to make walls soundproof. 

Benefits Of Soundproofing

1. Privacy

Everyone wants a peaceful, quiet place to unwind and relax at the end of a busy day. But when you can hear muffled conversations from noisy neighbours, music pumping, or even traffic driving past, your privacy goes out the window. 

Knowing how to soundproof a wall from noisy neighbours and other irritating noises will give you back your valuable privacy. 

2. Improve Health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates over 1 billion people suffer from hearing impairment or loss globally. A major factor contributing to this is persistent exposure to unwanted noise. 

With a massive 10% of the global population exposed to excess noise, this is something that needs to be addressed. Soundproofing your walls reduces exposure to unwanted noise and gives you a peaceful space to recharge. 

3. Improve Your Quality of Life

Soundproofing your walls can drastically improve your quality of life. If you’re currently plagued by the droning sounds of traffic outside your window, soundproofing will let you get a sound night’s sleep. 

 
Multi colored London houses
Photo by Lee Jeffs on Unsplash

Mistakes To Avoid When Soundproofing

When it comes to soundproofing walls, here are the most common mistakes to avoid:

1. Buying Any Soundproofing Material

There are many different types of soundproofing material that work best for different noise pollution issues. You need to understand the cause of your noise pollution in order to get the right materials. 

Some noise variables to bear in mind are:

  • The pitch (e.g. birds chirping)
  • The loudness
  • Where the noise comes from (e.g. through an adjoining wall)
  • If the noise is continuous (e.g. busy traffic on a main road)

2. Using Ineffective Materials

Some materials are used for soundproofing that don’t stop sound pollution at all. In fact, using the wrong materials could make the problem worse.

Here are some materials that are useless:

  • Cardboard
  • Carpet
  • Thermal insulation fibreglass
  • Rubber
  • ‘Soundproofing’ paint
  • Pointed foam sometimes found in recording studios
Blue soundproof wall with decor
Image by Ferenc Keresi from Pixabay

3. Not Consulting an Expert for Installation

When installed incorrectly, soundproofing is not only a costly mistake but can actually make the problem of noise pollution worse. 

For this reason, it’s best to consult a professional who will be able to give you expert advice on the best materials and techniques for your specific problem. 

Know Your Wall

Soundproofing techniques will differ depending on the type of wall you have. Here are the different types of wall so you can figure out what you’re working with. 

Load Bearing Walls

A load bearing wall is structurally integral and helps to support the upper floors of your home. Load bearing walls tend to run perpendicular to floor joists but in the same direction as the ridge of the house. 

Non-Load Bearing Walls

A non-load bearing wall isn’t integral to the structure of the house. Usually, these are interior walls that divide rooms. They are built much lighter than load-bearing walls and can be identified by the joists and rafters.

Corner of soundproof walls
Photo by David van Dijk on Unsplash

Cavity Walls

A cavity wall is made of two masonry wythes known as the internal and external leaf. This type of wall gives good soundproofing when sealed airtight. They also give better thermal insulation than solid walls. 

Partition Walls

Partition walls are secured to the floor and ceiling and although it is integral to the structure of the house, it is strong enough to carry a load.

How Much Does Soundproofing Walls Cost?

The cost of soundproofing depends on several factors:

  • What type of wall do you have? Is it solid brick, cavity, etc.?
  • How loud is the noise pollution?
  • How large is the area you need soundproofed? 
  • What needs to be soundproofed? (e.g. wall or floor soundproofing)

These questions will affect the cost of materials and time needed to complete the job. On top of this, an expert will charge around £500 per day for a two man team.

Pile of money laid on a table for soundproofing costs
Photo by Colin Watts on Unsplash

Soundproofing An Existing Wall

One of the main questions we get is how to add soundproofing to existing walls. It’s incredibly easy to soundproof existing walls without losing precious square footage.

The easiest fix is professionally sealing the area where noise is coming through. This takes up no extra space and is a quick solution. If this is not sufficient, soundproofing panels are added that don’t take up space in your room.

Soundproofing an existing wall
Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Interested in Soundproofing Your Home?

Soundproofing your home is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family, especially if you’re living in a busy area. Let us help you with that!

How To Build An Under Garden Basement in London

When most people need extra space in their home, they think about a loft conversion or extension. But there is another option that many people don’t know about – building a basement under the garden. This type of extension is a fantastic way to use dead space on your property and get the extra room your family needs. In this step by step guide to building an extension under your garden, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started.

Benefits Of Having An Under Garden Basement

As well as adding value to the home, there are other great benefits of having an under garden basement:

  • They allow more light in than traditional basements. This is because you can add more windows.
  • You can easily ventilate the area with fresh air through open doors.
  • They can be made larger than a regular basement, giving you bonus space.
  • They are inconspicuous as they are under your garden.
Under garden basement entertainment room with pool table and bookshelves
Photo by Luke Davies on Unsplash

Cost of Building a Basement Extension

The cost of building a basement under your garden in the UK can vary greatly depending on the size required and garden. However, since there is no underpinning required, it can be as much as half the cost of an under property basement, making it a great option to consider.

Costs of the add-on

Things that will impact on the cost include: 

  • The size you want the basement to be
  • The external access you have to the garden – poor access can bump up the cost 
  • Garden soil type – certain soils and a high water table can also drive up the cost. 

Additional garden basement room costs include architect fees if you need one, structural engineer fees, planning applications and surveys. 

In general, the cost of a basement conversion in London is between £4,000 and £6,000 per square metre.

Regulations for Building a Basement

Different authorities will have different policies outlining planning permission for under garden basements. It’s vital to know what you can and can’t do and what design is feasible and effective, so make sure you’re familiar with your local policies. 

For example, Wandsworth recommends retaining half your garden, whereas Merton explicitly states you must not exceed 50% of any garden space. Also, Kensington and Chelsea limit the extension to half the garden and the depth of a single storey. 

There may also be conservation area restrictions. If you have trees in yours or your neighbours garden, you will have to consider the impact of digging into your garden. 

When planning your basement project, contact the local authorities to get up to date regulations. If you’re working with a build team, they will also be able to give you guidance and advice on how to build an underground room and what’s feasible. 

Planning the Layout

When designing the layout of your under garden basement, it’s important to maximise the space to make it worth the investment. This is where an architect can add value to the project. Here are some planning points to keep in mind:

  1. What shape and size do you want? Remember you will be restricted by planning regulations.
  2. How will the new room connect with your existing property?
  3. Where will services such as water, electric and waste be located? It’s useful to talk to a certified plumber and electrician to make sure your plans are feasible.
  4. Where will roof lights or light wells be positioned?
  5. What landscaping is needed to reposition the garden that will go back on top of it?

An important part of your layout plan is factoring in basement waterproofing. It’s best to have an expert put in a waterproofing course to make sure you have a guarantee. The last thing you want is a leak in your new space.

To make sure everything is taken into account professionally and to code, you will need to appoint a structural engineer to design a layout. A well thought out design will factor in the results of your planning survey, help protect your budget and keep the project on task

Blueprint for the construction
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

Interior Layout

Once you have a solid plan for the structural layout, you can turn your attention to the interior design. Here are some points to consider at this stage:

  • Will you incorporate spotlights, wall lights, or other sources of light into the design?
  • Where will doors and walls be positioned? Is this maximising space and what structural support will be needed?
  • If you need a staircase, where will this go?
  • If you’re installing a bathroom, where will plumbing be run?
  • Will you be installing heating or air conditioning?
  • What will the floor finish be?
  • How will you arrange the furniture?

It’s best to go through each of these points in advance. Without a proper plan, you might find you don’t have enough space for a bed or perhaps a bathroom isn’t a feasible option where you wanted it to go. Knowing in advance will help ensure your build team can run as smoothly as possible.

Uses for Your New Room

Building a basement under your garden is a great solution to many homeowner headaches. Whether you’d love more storage space or a home theatre, a basement is the perfect way to give that extra space you need. Here are some basement room ideas to get you started:

  • Kids need more space? Turn it into a playroom. 
  • Struggling to drag yourself to the gym? A home gym is another great option. 
  • Love family movie night? A decked-out cinema room will be a hit. 
  • Passionate about wines? Why not a wine cellar?
  • Need a little indulgence? A sauna or spa is will create a relaxing retreat. 
  • Love hosting friends? A bar or game room will keep them entertained!
  • In-laws constantly visiting? Think about a bedroom or granny flat. 

The possibilities are truly endless and can solve any of your current struggles. 

Underground living room with small windows, grey sectional sofa, brown wooden table

Under Garden Basement Ideas

Need some inspiration to design your basement? Here are some of the best under garden basement ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Rustic and Cosy

By adding in wooden stairs and wood beams, the basement has a rustic charm and added character. 

Wooden beams and stairs in undergarden basement
Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

An Entertainment Space

Who doesn’t love a bar in their own home? This space is perfect for entertaining friends and family. 

Undergarden entertainment room with tv
Photo by Aw Creative on Unsplash

A Home Spa

An easy way to make your new basement feel like a luxury spa is to add in some wood panelling. This gives a luxurious sauna feel that will melt away the stress of the day. 

A Playroom

When your kids need some extra space, a basement is a great idea. This adorable playroom is light, spacious and the perfect play for kids to make a mess. Just shut the door and visitors will never know!

A Stylish Bedroom

Show off the unique features of a basement by leaving some of the stone and brickwork bare. This industrial look is a unique style guests will be wowed by. 

Bedroom in basement with exposed walls
Photo by Aw Creative on Unsplash

Is an Under Garden Basement Right for You?

Do you feel you could get more from your garden and basement? Maybe it’s time to dig deeper and find out. Contact us to discuss your project.

East London Loft Conversion Ideas And Tips

If your house is in desperate need of more space or you’d love an extra bedroom, then extending into the loft can be the ideal solution. But before you start knocking through walls, there are several things to consider before getting started with a loft conversion in London. This guide will give you everything you need from the regulations you must meet to the best loft conversion ideas to help you get inspired. 

Where to Begin?

You probably have plenty of ideas about what to do with your loft space. But before undertaking  a loft conversion, you need to assess whether one is viable in the space you have! 

The most important things to know are:

  • Internal height – this needs to be 2.5m from ridge part to joist in the apex. 
  • Roof pitch – the higher the pitch the more head room you will have. 
  • Footprint – ideally, this should be 5.5m wide and 7.5m front to back. 

You also need to consider if your loft will allow for conversion. Traditional frames are best for converting but the rafters may need to be strengthened. However, trussed roofs will require more work to make them structurally sound. 

If your loft has a water tank in it, you may also need to consider moving the tank to accommodate the conversion. 

Furniture to use for your conversion
Image by tookapic from Pixabay

Biggest mistakes to avoid

Loft conversions come with many potential problems. Before you even get started, here are the biggest ones to avoid: 

  1. Forgetting about the stairs – finding staircase solution to a loft conversion can be tricky if there is limited space on your landing. There are also regulations to abide by so make sure you know these. 
  2. Forgetting about plumbing – this might need to be extended upon if you want to heat the room. 
  3. Assuming insulation is adequate – you may need to upgrade your insulation to make sure that at least the minimum standards are met before work can begin. 

Types of Loft Conversions

When you begin planning your loft conversion, you’ll need to decide which type is best for your house. Here are the different loft conversions available:

Dormer loft conversion

This is the most possible type of conversion. It creates a box shape from the slope of the existing roof which allows for windows. This leaves straight walls and ceilings, good light and ventilation, giving a light, airy space in an otherwise cramped attic. 

In addition, it usually falls under permitted development, is suitable for most homes and is relatively cheap. The downside is that they are not always the best to look at and can make your roof look a little clunky. 

Mansard loft conversion

Popular in terraced houses, these make use of the shared wall by raising the roof on that side and only having a slope on one side. This conversion is considered better looking, gives more headroom than other conversions and allows more light into the loft. 

But, this type of loft conversion will usually need planning permission, can take longer to complete and can be more expensive than other conversions.

If you have ideas for a bedroom loft conversion, this is usually the best option. 

Hip to gable loft conversion

This is best for end of terrace or detached homes. It works by straightening a sloping wall and can make a huge difference to the living space. It blends in with the existing home, can be combined with other extensions and is suitable for all homes including bungalows. 

It is not, however, suitable for mid-terrace homes is more expensive than dormer conversions. Plus, it can make the house unbalanced if next door doesn’t have one. 

Roof light loft conversion

This type of conversion doesn’t alter the space at all. Instead, windows are added and the floor reinforced. It’s much cheaper than full conversions, more likely to be approved and will get you plenty of storage if you use the eaves creatively. 

The downside is It does require a minimum head room in the centre, doesn’t give any extra space or may still require planning permission. 

How Much Does a Loft Conversion Cost?

Loft conversions can quickly become expensive when you don’t prepare a budget for the project and make a plan. However, when done professionally, loft conversions don’t have to cost a fortune. 

The cheapest and most straightforward loft conversion will be a room in roof conversion and will start around £15,000.  

A dormer will cost upwards of £20,000 but if you want to add an ensuite it will typically be £35-£40,000.

If you have to alter the roof structure it will cost upwards of £40,000.

These are just guideline figures, prices vary hugely depending on the work needed and level of finish you want. However, you’ll be able to get a quote for your project to get an idea of the cost for you. 

Conversion Regulations and Permissions

You don’t always need permission to have a loft conversion, but designs will need to adhere to certain parameters. If your property is listed or in a conservation area, then you may well need planning permission. 

You will also need a planning permission to extend the height of the roof or the shape of the roof. 

If you’re stressed about the planning permission, you have two main options to help you deal with the legal side:

Option 1: Hire an Architect or Designer

An architect or designer will deal with all the planning of the conversion and will be able to liaise with the planning permission authorities. They will also know exactly what is feasible and what isn’t when planning loft conversion layout ideas.

Image by aymane jdidi from Pixabay

Option 2: Hire a Build Company

What you’ll get from a design and build company is an all-inclusive package that will deal with all the planning permission and regulations that can come with a loft extension. They’ll also be able to take on the entire project which can save you a lot of stress. 

Choosing Who to Hire For Your Conversion

When it comes to choosing the right professionals to take on your loft conversion, it can feel a little overwhelming. With so many companies out there, it’s hard to know who to trust and the best people for the job. 

Here at Master Build Team, we make it our mission to help make the entire process of a loft conversion effortless and stress-free for you. With extensive experience in loft conversions, we know exactly what we’re doing and will walk you through every step of the process. 

Image by Borko Manigoda from Pixabay

Get Inspired: A Few Amazing Loft Conversions

If you’re raring to get started with your own loft conversion, here are some beautiful ideas to get you started.

Minimalist but Cosy

If you love a minimalistic, Scandinavian feel, you’ll love this loft conversion. 

simple and modern room with furniture
Photo by Julien Mussard on Unsplash

Industrial Brick

This light and spacious loft is the stuff of dreams.

warm and cozy leather slash brick combination
Photo by Derick McKinney on Unsplash

Functional and Organised

Make the most of every square inch of space with a wall of bookcases. 

a huge wall with books
Photo by Nathan Van Egmond on Unsplash

Bright and Architectural

Make a feature of your conversion with an architectural window that lets the light flood in. 

Photo by Kevin Wolf on Unsplash

A cosy Library

Need ideas for a small loft? Turn it into a cosy library you’ll never want to leave.

Small library in attic with lots of books
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Get Your Project Started Today

Interested to know if your loft conversion dreams can become a reality? Get in touch today to talk about your project. We’ll give you our expert advice on how we can help. 

Don’t fancy a loft? There are lots of other ways you can extend your space! 

Check out our post on Building An Under Garden Basement.