5 Things to Know before Converting Your Garage to a Living Space

5 Things to Know before Converting Your Garage to a Living Space

If you have decided to add new living space to your home by converting your garage into an additional living space, you’re in for a treat! This is a popular trend in home renovation. However, before you begin making any changes, make sure you read these five things to be fully prepared for your project.

Budget

Know exactly how much you are able to spend for your transformation project. Keep in mind that unexpected expenses will probably occur, and you should budget for them accordingly. Also, don’t forget to budget the cost of furniture for your new living space! You will be disappointed to learn you don’t have any money left over for these items.

Check Your Cars

Double check to make sure you won’t need your garage to store your cars. If you plan on getting an additional vehicle in the future, you may want to delay your renovation. Also, if you are comfortable keeping your vehicles outside of your garage, you still may want to consider investing in covers for your cars to protect them from the elements.

Know Your Purpose

Make sure you know the exact purpose of your new living space. Are you interested in using it as a place to quietly relax? Do you intend to use it for parties or social gatherings? Will you be using it as an additional bedroom? The choice is up to you. However, knowing exactly what you want to get out of the new living space will give you the focus you need to complete your project successfully, whether that be managing the garage door or adding amenities like air conditioning or more electrical fixtures.

Checking Permits

Remember, transforming your garage into an additional living space is a type of renovation project. This means you may need to obtain permits for some of the work. Double check with your local officials to learn if you will need to get any paperwork done before you begin. If you don’t, you may be forced to pay a fine or undo your entire transformation!

Can It Be Undone?

Keep in mind that the future owners of your home may want to use the garage for more traditional purposes. This means you should consider how easy it will be to undo your renovations. There also may come a time when you need to use the garage for other purposes. Having a plan to transform the garage back into a great storage area for cars and other big items is something you should consider.

Transforming your garage into an additional living space is a great idea. After you have considered the above points, get started on that transformation!

Lonely Loft? What to Do with the Attic You’ve Never Used

Lonely Loft? What to Do with the Attic You've Never Used

As you walk around your house, one of the spaces that might seem a bit lonely is the attic. It’s often an area that is used for storage, especially if you don’t have a lot of closet space in the home. There are a few remodeling ideas that you might want to consider so that you’ll have some kind of living space for the family instead of a wasted room.

Design an Extra Bedroom

If you plan on expanding your family in the future or if you want to invite parents or other family members to move in when they are older, then consider transforming the attic into a bedroom. Wire mesh—think of the type that you would have it you were to use SKS overscreens—can be added before dry-walling and painting so that there is a bit more insulation as well as support for the walls. Add a bed, dresser, television and other comforts that your guests would have at their own home so that it’s a relaxing environment.

Play With the Kids

Transform the attic into a playroom for the kids. With bright paint, fun wall stickers and decorations and a hardwood floor that’s fun for playing on, your attic can be a mecca for children to enjoy. Carpeting is an idea for young children, but if you have hardwood or at least laminate that looks like wood, then children can ride a tricycle or play with cars and other toys that have wheels on them easier than they could if there’s carpet in the room.

Relax the Day Away

Since the attic is often a quiet space away from the rest of the home, turn it into a reading area. Install plush carpet and oak walls that make space look like a library. Put bookcases along one wall and a comfortable couch or chair along another wall so that you can read a book in peace when you want some time to yourself. You could also create a space where children can do their homework without worrying about the noises from the rest of the home.

Take a Soothing Bath

There’s nothing like having an extra bathroom in the home, which is a design option for the attic. You’re going to need to make sure the plumbing is installed correctly before decorating so that you have a tub, shower or combination. This bathroom can be one where you escape from the stress of everyday life or just an extra bathroom for when it seems like a line is forming at the other one in the home.

There are numerous ideas for your attic space. Think about what you could use in the home, and get to work designing a space that can be enjoyed by the family. It might take some work since it’s at a higher level than the rest of the home, but the effort will be worth the investment.

Renovation ROI: 4 Home Additions That Are a Tremendous Bang for Your Buck

Basement converted to a gym_White Plains

Many homeowners set aside money every year to reinvest back into their property. Your home will most likely be one of the biggest purchases you ever make, and you want to be sure that every remodeling project you carry out is going to increase its value. Here is a quick look at four popular home additions that often have an excellent return on investment.

Turn Your Attic into a Bedroom

The National Association of Realtors says that an attic conversion has an average ROI of around 61 percent. Adding an extra bedroom is one of the easiest ways to boost the value of your property without actually changing the structure of your home. When you are converting your attic, you should make sure that it is both accessible and comfortable.

Add an Outdoor Living Space

Those who live in a relatively moderate climate might be able to substantially increase the value of their home by adding an outdoor living space. Unlike many indoor renovations, creating an outdoor living space can often be completed by the homeowner. You will only need to call in a professional contractor if you want to install underground gas, water, or electrical lines.

Install a Utility Carport

A utility carport will maximize your outdoor space without breaking the bank. In addition to the covered area, a utility carport from places like Coast to Coast Carports Inc. also includes a small indoor area for storage. These structures can be installed within just a few days, and they are the perfect option for those who have boats, motorcycles, extra cars, or ATVs. You can even run power to the storage area to turn it into a workshop.

Remodel the Basement

While converting a basement into a bedroom can have an excellent ROI, you might also want to think about turning it into a family room, entertainment room, or bar. Many real estate agents and buyers love to see unique additions that will make a home stand out from all other nearby pieces of property. Updating the lighting, adding some neutral carpet, and painting the walls can be carried out in just a few hours, and those upgrades will drastically increase your home’s living space.

Even if you have quite a bit of experience as a DIY enthusiast, most of these major additions should be left to the professionals. Not only will a reputable contractor be insured, but they will also guarantee that your project adheres to all local and state regulations. If those contractors make a mistake, then you won’t have to worry about stiff fines and fees.

The Benefits of Porch roofs and Garden Rooms

porch roof

As summer approaches and the days become brighter and warmer you,  will want to spend more time outside enjoying the sun. Unfortunately,  the weather can be unpredictable and what was a sunny day can turn into a rather wet one. This is were garden rooms and porches come in handy. These structures will allow you to enjoy the sun without getting wet from any sudden and unexpected showers. We have looked into their benefits to help you choose which is the right choice for you.

Garden rooms are an alternative to conservatories and are generally used as a place to relax and socialize with friends and family. They tend to add more light into your home, natural light can add warmth to your home and improve your mood. Conservatories tend to get hot on sunny days, whereas garden rooms are kept cool with their insulated roofs, which also eliminates any condensation problems. These roofs also keep the garden room warm in winter so it can be enjoyed all year round. Garden room roofs are available in various shapes and sizes allowing you to create a unique room to suit your garden.

Porch roofs can be made with or without walls. They are available as an open structure that is supported by pillars or columns or as an enclosed structure. The open porch roofs allow you to enjoy the fresh air, whilst being covered for protection against the sun or light showers. These roofs are great to shelter garden furniture or plants that prefer the shade. Open porch roofs are ideal for entertaining guests in the summer, they offer cover away from light showers without having to go inside.

Porches can also be made as a small covered entrance to your home, usually used to house small plants and as a place to store shoes.

As you can see, both of these options have their benefits.  Garden rooms are more enclosed and are an excellent addition to your home, whilst porch roofs are more open and provide a sheltered area in your garden. Whichever option you choose, it is sure to improve your home and provide a space for you to enjoy the sun. These structures will also add value toapc-mouldings-logo your home by creating a unique feature.

At APC Mouldings, we supply various styles and shapes of porch and garden room roofs to help you create a style that is suited to you and your home. These structures are a great way of enjoying the summer. For more information please visit our friendly team who will be more than happy to offer advice and help you choose the right option for you.

Written by Amy Reed a SEO specialist on behalf of APC Architectural Mouldings.

Author Bio:

My name is Amy, I live in the north east of England. I am a copywriter for APC Mouldings who provide architectural mouldings to help people improve their homes. As a homeowner, I am constantly looking for new ideas for my home.

How To Choose Architects For Your House Extensions?

Are you planning for house extensions? If so, you have ample tasks to perform among which the key action will be to hire a competent and worthy architect. For a layman, the task of assessing the worthiness of an architect will never be an easy task. Hence, you need to approach this task, being wise and considerate. This article will discuss the key points of consideration in this regard.

House Extensions
House Extensions

Does the architect hold the necessary qualification to operate in the similar capacity?

The first and foremost point is to check whether the architect holds the necessary qualification to operate in the similar capacity. This is a high-end profession and hence, a professional in this regard should have the necessary qualifications. Approaching to a qualified professional for house extensions will ensure that you will be getting the most delightful outcome in the end.

The extent of experience that the provider holds

Remember, the best services can come from the experts hand only. With that said, you should always consider the extent of the experience that the provider holds. An experienced architect will have the expertise and solution to address your needs. Most importantly, an experienced architect can give you worthy suggestions that will enable you to complete the house extensions flawlessly with the perfection, without getting into troubles and hassles. An experienced architect will know the tricks and tips to complete the extension projects, within competitive expenses.

Does the architect accomplish similar projects like yours previously?

You should check whether previously, the architect has accomplished projects, similar to yours or not. This will ensure that the architect will have the expertise to deliver up to your expectations. In this regard, it will be a wise decision to approach the experienced architect that have executed innumerable projects for House Extensions. In his/her avid experience, he/she must have accomplished the type of the extension plan that you might hold. This will ensure that the architect can meet your expectations. You can even ask the architect to furnish portfolio of the works that he/she have already executed in the past.

House Extensions
House Extensions

What about the service fees payable to the architect?

When you are looking for an architect for house extensions, you should consider the service fees payable to the professional as well. Depending on the experience and reputation, the fees payable to the architect can go to a sky-high extent. Hence, before you hire a professional architect, you should check the fees payable to him/her. You should discuss with the professional in this regard and collaborate with the architect who charges reasonable service fees. However, don’t overemphasize the aspect of the payable service fees. You should look for architect that hold reputation in the market, yet, charges competitive professional fees. Fortunately, the best architect always adopt fair pricing strategies.

What about the reputation of the architect?

The Reputation of a professional grows only after he/she had served the customers consistently for a significant span of time. Hence, you should always approach the reputed professional. A reputed professional will know the tricks and tips to meet your expectations. Moreover, by availing the services of these professionals, you will certainly experience the best grade services. In this regard, it will be wise to refer to the reviews on the services of the architect that will enable you to make a realistic assessment of the worthiness of the professional. A reputed and reliable architect will always feature positive reviews and hence, you can definitely afford to rely on such professional.

Selecting an architect, considering the points stated above will fetch you the most competent expert to take care of your plan for house extensions.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Factors to Consider When Planning Home additions

Home additions, when done right, can be pleasing and functional additions. Many opt for home additions to add more value to their home or just get more space for the family. However, just like any other project in the world, it is wise to count the cost before diving into it. Many have started home additions without planning it out completely and they have failed or ended up with horrible result.

Home Extensions Service
Home additions

So to help you out with your next endeavor, here are certain important things that you need to consider before implementing a home extension project:

1. Get the Objective Clear

Before starting with home additions, ensure that you are clear about what you are going to do and why you will be doing it. Often, home additions are not needed and the home can become more spacious with just a little bit of planning of interior décor. If home additions are absolutely necessary, then just think about for whom you are doing it and what design would be most appropriate for them. For example, if the home extension is for kids then add more fun and zing to the design, whereas for the elderly a more cozy and relaxed design that is accident proof is needed.

2. Finalize on The Design

While considering the design, you will also need to think about the availability of space that you want to extend. Is it wise to extend sideways or does an upward extension makes more sense? Along with this, you will also need to consider the budget and see if the home extension design and plan fits well within your budget or not. There are other such important factors that come into picture such as should the home extension design match with the existing design of the home or can more sunlight come into the home extension. Considering these factors will help you get the best design for your home additions plans.

3. Planning Permission & Building Regulations

Check with your local building department to make sure your home extension meets set building regulations. If it meets the material requirements and other regulations, then go ahead and apply for your building permit. Be sure to include the costs of acquiring one in your budget before even planning it.

Home Extensions
Home additions

4. Inconvenience to Neighbors as Well as Yourself

While planning your home extension project, make sure to create a timeline of the different phases in the project. This will help you see if the project overlaps any holidays or family events and if any inconvenience will be caused to you or not. Sometimes, the home extension project may need you to move out for some time. So, think about the moving out arrangements for your family.

Additionally, the home extension may cause inconvenience to your neighbor so think about them as well. If you need any permission from your neighbor’s get them well in advance or inform them of the home additions project so that they are prepared for it.

5. Do I Need an Architect or Builder?

The complexity of your home additions design will help you determine if you need an architect or a builder or not. If the design demands for anyone of both of them then search for the right one that you can rely on for high quality work as well as to do things within your budget. Ask around for recommendations and your family and friends can help you with this.

Consider these factors well in advance in planning stage of your home additions project. Doing so will ensure that you accomplish the project smoothly without any hindrance or problems!

Positives facts of building a 2 bedroom granny flat

A granny flat is the special residential setting that many homeowners build to accommodate elderly people who are in their later age and cannot make living on their own. Putting them in a nursing home for strangers to take care of them is not your only option. A granny flat is an accessory suite that belongs to the primary dwelling and can be found with attached or detached design. So, a granny flat comes in to aid old-age family members who can live happily in 2 bedroom space that are complete with kitchen, bathroom and pleasant living area.

2 bedroom granny flat
2 bedroom granny flat

This concept has found a significant place in today’s homeowner’s essential to-do-list when it comes to building an extra personalized space for accommodation of their loved ones. The thought of constructing the granny flat setting also crosses the mind of urban citizens because of its ability to enhance the value of property and give you an opportunity to earn additional income.

Of course, there are pros and cons of building such an accessory to your existing property. Your final decision of whether or not to go for the extra space depends on what you make of it.

Positives

Here are some of the pro factors:

Great emotional support

Can you think of the pain your parents may have to go when they get retired from their job? Or worse, when they lose their partner? In time of emotional trauma and misery, the elderly members of your family need support and shelter and warm touch of their loved ones. To make them feel less lonely and loveless, you can allow them to stay in a 2 bedroom granny flat built close to your existing house and make them feel loved, cared and secure.

2 bedroom granny-flat
2 bedroom granny flat

Relationship gets stronger

As you are able to provide much needed emotional support and good care for your parents, you can earn better opportunities to stay close and connected to the elderly family members. You know them better, so only you can give them much comfort and warmth they deserve. By spending more time with them, you can make them feel special, safe and healthy. Thus, your relationship with them remains active and stronger.

Affordable alternative

Can you compare the arrangement of 2 bedroom granny flat built close your house to an independent second house built separately for your parents? Without a doubt, having a granny flat is much more affordable than any other option you have thought. Sending your parents to a retirement home will also not be an appropriate decision since it will cost you more, and your parents may not feel easy and comfortable in an alien environment.

Your second reliable income source

You can switch the users of your flat from time to time. Though the main purpose of building a granny flat is to accommodate certain family members, you can change the rules of the setting in the future. You can rent it out to teenagers who need some space for recreation or music studio and generate regular income stream. Plus, investors are always looking for additional functional space that can be of special use.

Moving on up: What to Consider with a Second Story Addition

Wouldn’t it be cool to just easily add another story to your house like you can do with Legos? Well, removing and re-attaching the roof isn’t that easy, but it isn’t much of a drag either. Adding an entire story addition to your home provides your family with a lot of spare space and amazing views, but there are some requirements you need to meet first.

expand-your-house

Structural Requirements

Unlike your old roof system, an entire second story with overcrowded rooms will weigh much more. You cannot just start building it; otherwise your home will collapse. You will need professional engineers to calculate how much weight the foundation and walls can carry and how to strengthen them. A second story will require structural support, which consists of adding steel connections and plywood in main walls and foundation. You cannot neglect this, especially if your home is older and if you live in the area of high seismic risks.

Whole-House Look

Your home probably has one design that prevails throughout the exterior and interior. Adding a second story can disturb the completeness of the design if not done right. There are a lot of décor details to be considered, but the Hudson Homes experts suggest planning a design of a second story as it was always intended or present in your home. Don’t deviate from the house’s design. Rather, mimic the colours, finishes, mechanical and structural work and your home will look complete. A good design of the second

construction

story will only enhance your curb appeal and the home’s functionality.

Mechanical Work

This aspect of adding a story could seem tedious. The furnace, water heater and electrical panels are adjusted to the initial square footage, but now you have to expand all the systems. HVAC systems can easily be replaced or new zones can be added, depending on their type. Electrical panels are upgradable, and can be upgraded to 200 amps, and hot water can be delivered in many ways. You can install tankless heaters that have circulating pumps, opt for regular tank systems or separate on-demand systems for your new master bathroom. Another option is to upgrade your home to energy-efficient systems and install ductless or geothermal heat pumps and solar-assisted hot water.

Stairs

Second story addition has one more tedious, but solvable problem – the stairs. New staircase means reducing the space in one of the rooms, which can greatly affect their use and functionality. However, there are the lucky situations such as extending the existing staircase from the basement. If you are of no such luck, you will need some creative thinking. Consider the use and function of all the rooms and consult with an experienced architect. There is no doubt that you can find the perfect solution without disturbing the traffic flow in your home.

spiral stairs

Insulation

This remodeling will probably require removal of the old siding and sheathing from the exterior. Do not despair; use this opportunity to renew your home’s insulation. Some older houses usually don’t have any insulation in their walls, so installing some on both the main story and the new one is a good investment. If your home does have insulation, you can use this occasion to upgrade it to more sustainable one. Keep in mind that the energy consumption will increase along with the increased size of your home, so put in some more effort and money into natural insulation or cladding systems.

Roofing

Without exception, this upgrade of your home requires the removal of the entire roof. Even though you cannot just attach it like it’s a Lego block, a good contractor will make things almost as easy. Many experts recommend adding a second story during the winter when the rains are scarce, but in case of any weather inconveniences, they will make sure your home is protected. You might not even have to vacate your home during the project.

This project is a big investment and it takes time, so make sure not to bite off more than you can chew. Precise plans and trustworthy contractors are a must for a quality base, while the design will be a piece of cake.

Home Garage: Design Considerations

garage

Many people love to imagine how their dream home will look someday. The problem is that by “home” they usually mean “living room”, “kitchen” or “bedroom”. Surely enough, the garage is rarely a place where you bring your friends to, but after some time of navigating your car through a narrow space, not having enough room to put your stuff, you will realize that not giving the garage’s design the same attention you gave to the rest of the house was a big mistake. Let us make sure this never happens by looking at some of the things you can consider while designing the garage.

Put the Things into Perspective

Today, the vast majority of families own 1-2 cars. You have to bear in mind, though, that these numbers are not set in stone, and that you may, at some point, need room for a bike, or even a company vehicle. That does not mean that you will have to build some monstrous garage and satisfy all these needs at once. As for now, you want to make it practical, with enough room to move freely when you are inside, as well as some functional storage units, but you should always leave enough space for possible expansions.

Set up the Perfect Height

While designing a garage, people usually make plans how they can use the available floor space, but fail to notice the importance of the third dimension, which can easily turn out to be a big mistake. You might, for example, start attending truck and machinery auctions and find a vehicle or a piece of equipment which you cannot possibly fit into your garage due to its excessive height. Or you may notice that the storage space is running dangerously low and decide to make a hanging bike rack or install another shelf above the existing ones. If you make your garage just a little bit higher from the get-go, all of these things will be possible.

Choose the Right Doors and Windows                                                                                                                                  

garage doorsPutting the looks aside, the main thing you should consider before spending any money on doors and windows is the question of the available space. Among different types of garage doors, the canopy ones may be the simplest and the most common solution, but they do need the largest clearance, too. If you are short on space, you should probably opt for sectional or even roller doors. As for the windows, they should allow a lot of natural light and be placed high enough so they are immune to the prying eyes. For increased safety, window bars are always a welcomed addition.

Try Building the Attic

It may occur that, in spite all of your efforts and upgrades, your garage is still not able to fulfill its storage duties. In that case, you should probably opt for building the attic. Not only will you finally be able to move all the seasonal items out of sight, but you’ll also get a very appealing visual upgrade. Why would you have an ordinary garage, when you can turn it into something much livelier, and, if you want to, almost barn-like?

Make the Most out of the Interior

If you want to make room for more than one vehicle, you should avoid placing robust furniture pieces in your garage as much as possible. In addition to this, you can make few inbuilt garage interiorclosets while you are still building the garage, as they will prove to be much less of an obstacle than the regular pieces, and you will also get a safer place to store some of your more expensive tools.

Although it is far from being the most important part of your house, the garage has its own share or perks, and the more effort you put into its design, the list of amenities it has to offer will grow. Take some time to see what upgrades you can have, try using the vertical space as much as possible and your garage will become much more than a place where you just park your car.

Loft Conversion: Things to Consider

loft remodel

A loft conversion is one of the most affordable and profitable ways to add some extra space and style to your home. Usually there is no need for planning permission, which is yet another perk of this endeavor. Every house which has an attic suitable for conversion on disposal can benefit from this extension, with just some essential space planning. The interesting roof shape will give the new rooms more character and make them totally different than the rest of the rooms in your house. Read on, to find out what you should consider once you decide for loft conversion.

Assessing the Potential

The first thing you should do is to assess the potential of your attic. The space between the joists and rafters should be 2m at least. It is important that once you finish with the flooring and insulation of the roof, you have around 1,9 or 2m of headroom left. If, due to roof height, shape or the roof truss design, that isn’t possible, there are some design solutions to make it work. For instance, just by increasing the volume of the roof, you’ll have more usable space.

The Possible Conversions

loft lightingDepending on the design you choose for, you’ll have to make some changes. Those changes can vary from simply adding roof lights to increasing the volume of the roof. You can install dormer windows into the pitched roof plane. It is also possible to replace the whole roof with a new structure, if needed. Mansard roofs (four sided roofs) can add more available space. It is possible to achieve similar effect if you lower the ceiling in the storey below.

Insulation Issues

This is a logical issue to consider, when you are already replacing the tiles, slates and the other coverings. It should be done with breathable roofing membrane, which is both air-permeable and waterproof. That way, you’ll have proper ventilation and a ‘warm roof’. Some other space efficient options are foil-backed rigid foam and thin multi-foil insulation materials. You shouldn’t worry about the pricing, it is possible to find affordable offers and even get free loft insulation deals.

Soundproofing

If you’ve decided to use the loft as a living space, be aware that there will be a lot of noise transfer, through air and impact. Airborne sound transfer can be reduced by using under skirting boards and floorboards and by taping insulation materials. As for the noise transferred by impact, it can be toned down with high-density cement-impregnated chipboard, while acoustic mineral wool can be used for filling the voids between the floor joists. You should also check other hacks you can employ to reduce inside and outside noise.

Design and Position of Staircases

loft stairsThis decision is crucial in the process of loft conversion. What kind of stairs you’ll have and where you’ll position them will dictate how much of the floor below is lost in order to gain access to the loft doors. Your options concerning where the stairs will land are limited by the height of the headroom. In that particular area, it has to be at least 1,9m. One of the most space efficient staircases shapes is the spiral one. If you are not a fan of them, then opt for some other steep and narrow shape.

Additional Considerations

Besides all the things said, you should have in mind the lighting, and include all three types (ambient, accent and task), depending on the space requirements. Some of the crucial issues are concerning the heating and ventilation. If you’ve done the insulation job well, you’ll have just a little work here. Upgrading the boiler (if you’ve added the bathroom) and including extra ventilation in the bathroom and background ventilation should be enough.

With some work and time, you’ll be able to turn your attic into an additional storage room, guest space or even a home office. That will, not only make your life easier, and your home more pleasant space to live in, but it will also turn it into a more appealing property for potential buyers, should you decide to sell one day.

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