For many people converting the garage is a sensible and cost-effective way to add more living space to your home, and in general this is true. Garages can often end up filled with rubbish and clutter that you actually find that you don’t really need and for many of us, unless you are a classic car owner, gone are the days of having to park your car inside to protect it from the elements. However as trusted and reputable Bolton builders, we have seen our fair share of garage conversion mistakes and have been there to pick up the pieces of a job gone wrong. So if you are thinking of creating extra space in your home by converting your garage, have a look through our list of common garage conversion mistakes below, to make sure that you don’t fall into the same trap.
Make sure everything is good and legal
Just because you already own the property and you are only converting the garage and not necessarily adding anything to the footprint of your house, it doesn’t mean that you can just do whatever you want without consulting the authorities. Especially if you are planning to use that space for a granny annex or possibly for a space from which you will run a business, then you should consult your local planning authority to see if there are any special permissions that you need to get granted before work can commence. Also even if you are a keen DIY-er, you need to make sure that your work will meet current building regulations, because if not the space may be deemed unfit for habitation.
Remember that you are losing your garage
You may be gaining an extra room but what are you going to do with all those things that are currently residing in your garage? A good clear out may deal with some of it but it is worth having a proper think about where you are going to store the golf clubs, bikes, suitcases etc once the garage is your new man-cave? We presume you don’t want them propped up against your cinema screen?! It may be possible to do a partial conversion which would still leave you with some storage space, or think about installing a decent shed and/or get your loft properly boarded out. Also losing a parking space can also cause problems for many areas where parking is at a premium so make sure that you have a reasonable alternative.
Future proof your build
You can never predict exactly what is going to happen but if your garage is attached rather than integrated, think about ensuring that the conversion is able to stand up to a second story being added at some point. Even if finances say that this isn’t an option now, it is much cheaper to ensure that the walls etc are strong enough now, than having to go back and amend them when you do decide on that extra bedroom later.
For free, friendly, no obligation advice about converting your garage, contact the lovely people at Wisecraft Ltd. today.
Now we’ve hit March, it somehow feels like Christmas is finally over and the New Year has properly begun. We’ve spent the last two months hibernating from the cold and figuring out just what to do with the mountain of Christmas credit card bills and trying to find somewhere to put all of the kids’ new toys. But now that the spring flowers are appearing and we’ve even been out without our winter coats on (admittedly only once and it was only to the paper shop round the corner!), it feels like the right time to start getting our home ready for another great year. And one of the very best ways to do that it to redesign, remodel or refit your kitchen.
But remember, kitchens are for life (or at least the next 10 years or more), not just for Christmas, so make sure that you get the design spot on. Have a look at some of the hottest trends for kitchen design this year to get your creative juices flowing.
Bye bye bright colours
For 2016 kitchen colour schemes are focusing more on soft, muted and even pastel tones. There is still a focus on white, which can be a great choice for cabinets that won’t look dated even in years to come, but this is going to be mixed with more subtle tones on walls, floors and accessories. Or try combining them with softer wood shades such as walnut and white oak.
Up the tech!
With the amazing number of gadgets and gizmos that are now part of our everyday lives, kitchen designs are adapting to include these. Worktops will have multiple plug sockets for all of those juicers, blenders, mixers and even toasters and kettles. Whilst your design should also include space for premium appliances such as steam ovens and built in coffee machines. Clever space will also be found to create charging stations for all of your devices, so that everything will be on hand and ready to use and the days of trailing wires everywhere will be gone forever.
Is it a kitchen?
Whilst open plan kitchen-living spaces are nothing new, the trend is moving towards rooms where the kitchen and living space really are one. This trend see there’s no longer being a delineation between the kitchen area, dining area and living area, with the three uses being seamlessly combined in one truly multi-function space. Think sofa by the sink and you’re not far wrong.
For more information about how to create your perfect on trend kitchen, contact Wisecraft Ltd today.
For many people, when taking on a home improvement project, there comes a time when your budget forces you to have to choose between getting an amazing finish indoors or doing a ‘good’ job on both the home and the garden. Here at Wisecraft we would always encourage our clients to get the best possible finish in your preferred area and come back to the other later on, rather than having to put up with an average job throughout. So if you have decided to prioritise your budget on your house, don’t worry, there are still some great things that you can do to landscape your garden on a budget. Have a look at some of our great landscaping on a budget tips below:
Saving on Paving
If you have a large area that you would like to pave, why not consider setting your paving stones apart from each other and filling the gaps with inexpensive spreading groundcover plants such as sedum and thyme. Over time a small number of these plants will fill in the gaps providing weed free groundcover that is much less costly than a fully paved area.
Take Advantage of Cuttings
There are many plants that grow perfectly well from cuttings, especially things like lavender, succulents and butterfly bush. So if you have friends with lovely specimens of plants that will grow from cuttings why not ask for a favour? With a little TLC these cuttings will flourish into wonderful free plants for your garden.
Try Upcycling for Creative Planter Ideas
Rather than buying expensive planters why not try upcycling things that you already have? Wine crates, old barrels, buckets or even tyres can all make fantastic planters, especially when given a lick of paint in a bold colour. Or why not pick up some cheap pallets and use the wood to make your own planters
Get Modern On A Budget With Ornamental Grasses
For a contemporary look try planting with a mixture of fast growing ornamental grasses. They fill space fast and get great height and so can achieve a fantastic modern look fast. Some of our favourites include: Blue Oatgrass, Feather Reedgrass, Flax, Fountaingrass, Little Bluestem and Zoysia.
Shop For Bargains
It is tempting to buy everything that you need for your garden as soon as the weather starts to improve and the first signs of spring appear. However it is at this time that plants, bulbs and almost everything else are at their most expensive. Instead try waiting until towards the end of the growing season and you can find some lovely perennial plants that you can plant out now and will really spring to life the following year, for surprisingly cheap prices.