Nov 2, 2016

Posted by | Comments Off on Refurbishing Your Home With a New Staircase

Refurbishing Your Home With a New Staircase

Considering a staircase renovation?

Whilst a staircase is a key feature in almost any home, its potential for design impact is frequently overlooked in older properties. With so many brilliant ideas and eye-catching solutions available these days it’s worth considering an update after a renovation or hallway redecoration.

Fees begin at around £200, dependant upon the materials and design, but you can spend as much as £30,000 on a bespoke design in high quality finishes. Providing the staircase is structurally sound, it is usually more cost-effective to makeover the already present steps and balustrading.

Recladding the stairs in timber costs from about £500 with a company such as Complete Joinery Solutions, who specialise in Wooden staircases in Newcastle while new spindles are as low as £3 each. Hiring a business for a total refurbishment service costs from approximately £2,000.

DIY staircases

Complement timber flooring in a classic interior by cladding your older staircase in natural oak. Staircase Kits, such as those supplied by companies Like Chiltern Timber help you transform the steps and risers by lightly sanding the surface, then glueing and screwing 20mm thick wooden strips on top. You can finish and seal the oak to match the floors, walls or furniture in your house.

diy staircases

Adding a light staircase

If your hallway is narrow with few openings, or your staircase is a natural part of an open-plan living space, dark wood steps and spindles will block the flow of light, making the area really feel gloomier than it really should be.

With glass panels designed to let the light shine through, in addition to white oak for a vivid and contemporary feel, this staircase is ideal to replace a heavy, outdated style.

adding a light staircase


Floating staircases

Make a striking impact with a cantilevered staircase, where the treads look as if they’re defying gravity but are in reality completely supported by the wall on one side.

This brand of staircase may be fitted into an older house during a renovation and needs a structurally sound wall to conceal the support construction; alternatively, a steel wall can be built to anchor the treads. Finishes for the steps include timber, stone, Corian or even glass, for an awe-inspiring minimalist look.

open plan living staircases

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Oct 25, 2016

Posted by | Comments Off on Extending Your Home With a House Extension

Extending Your Home With a House Extension

In my time in the building trade I must have completed over 200 house extensions. Side returns, kitchen extensions, single story, double storey, there are plenty of options when considering an extension to your current home and one needs to consider what the additional space needs to be used for, if you need a larger kitchen or dining area then a kitchen extension is the obvious and would usually result in a single storey extension to the rear for instance.

17 Extensions Finished With DNA Home Improvements

I enlisted the help of a building firm I have worked with many times in the past to help with this Article. DNA Home Improvements is a firm in the North East. I worked personally on 17 house extensions in South Shields with Michael Ahmed. The company is registered with Check a Trade with verifiable references online and you can also find them on Checked and Vetted, an online resource similar to Check a Trade with a significant following and reputation in the North.

A Little Advice on Your House Extensions Project

Be aware of the Building Regulations for Extensions

Even if you don’t require planning permission for your extension, given that you are using permitted development rights, you will need to get building regulation approval.

The Building Regulations put down minimum requirements for architectural integrity, fire safety, energy efficiency, damp proofing, ventilation together with other key elements that ensure a building is safe to use.

Most repair work is omitted from the Building Regulations, with the exceptions of replacement windows, under­­pinning and electrical rewiring. On the other hand, aside from certain new buildings including garden sheds, outbuildings and some conser­vatories, all new building work, including altera­tions, will have to conform to the Building Regulations.

Normal Illustrations of Work Needing Approval:

  • Home extensions such as for a kitchen, bedroom, lounge, etc.
  • Loft conversions. Internal structural modifications, such as the removing of a load-bearing wall.
  • Installation of baths, showers, WCs which entail new waterflow and drainage or waste plumbing.
  • Installation of new heating systems appliances.
  • New chimneys or flues.
  • Altered openings for new home’s windows.

There is a Contrast Between an Estimate and a Quotation

An estimate is generally a contractor’s guess as to what your extension will cost you. Whether supplied verbally, or in writing, isn’t legally binding and the closing bill might exceed it.

A quotation is a clear price. When deciding which builder to choose, always get written quotes from a minimum of two firms, if possible ones which have been highly recommended to you.

The written quotes should itemise the work to be undertaken, provide a breakdown of costs and a total, and state whether VAT is incorporated. When you receive the bids, check whether there are any caveats which may include more charge. Also, compare provisional sums for work like foundations to ensure that you are assessing like with like.


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Sep 22, 2016

Posted by | Comments Off on Hiring Building Contractors

Hiring Building Contractors

images-3In case you wish to make changes to a particular building, for example adding an extension to your home, you need the help of Building contractors. When you’re doing an augmentation, modification or remodel, you begin with a thought, then an affirmed arrangement, and afterward you begin searching for a builder to undertake the work. Builders are enlisted to complete and supervise the physical construction. While some may represent considerable authority in one specific industry, for instance a general contractor who only handles basement renovations and conversions normally a building contractor will be able to offer a range of services covering brickwork, joinery, carpentry and associated works such as plastering and flooring.

Where too Look?

dsdThe building services industry has a bad name in general with countless “cowboy builders” giving entire industries a bad name. From plumbers to electricians, builders to maintenance companies. gardeners, paving companies. When it comes to hiring a tradesman you can really never be too careful these days. Look for a tradesman with good references to begin with – Any experienced contractor with a good track record should be able to provide you with names and numbers of previous customers, before and after photos of previous jobs completed. A good trader should also have verifiable references online on sites such as yelp,, freeindex, google plus.  Taking it a step further, and you will likely pay a premium for trades people listed in the following sourced but you are far less likely to hire a cowboy if you find you use resources such as:

Bare in mind that not all good local trades people can afford the expense of marketing with the likes of Which Trusted Traders. There are many good, honest firms out there who are not registered with any of the above but any good trades person will always be able to provide local references and photos of building works carried out. It is your home, so you should always be careful who you let in and do some thorough homework before handing over any money or signing any contracts.


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Sep 22, 2016

Posted by | Comments Off on How to Find a Dependable Building Contractor

How to Find a Dependable Building Contractor

images-1Making improvements to your home, whether a large project or small will require the help of of some kind of tradesman, be it a building contractor, plasterer, electrician or gas engineer. Along these lines, here are our top tips for picking a good tradesman and making sure your building work is completed to high standards, on time and at a reasonable price. To begin with, never go with the first quote you get, get at least 3 quotes from 3 different local firms. Ask for pictures of previous work completed. Take references. Any good tradesman will have plenty of references. Speak to your contractors previous customers and get some information about costs and service, nature of work and whether they were happy with the finished job. Go and take a look at their past work. This can be difficult, but in the case of for instance a house extension, driveway, windows, doors or any other external work, it requires a simple drive by of the property. Great contractual workers are typically bustling constantly, even in a subsidence. If the temporary worker can begin on Monday then be ready.

Tips on How to Find a Dependable Building Contractor

images-2Does your chosen firm have staff members or are they a sole trader? Either is fine but if the contract is relatively large then consider what aspects of the work will be sub contracted out and who the work is to be contracted out to. It’s very common to subcontract electrics and plumbing but these are important aspects of the build in themselves and as such you should find out who will be undertaking this work, whether they are reputable themselves and hold the proper qualifications.


Compare your quotes and don’t just go for the cheapest price. You may find drastic differences between quotes, if one quote is particularly high then the likelihood is that the contractor simply doesn’t need the work and has priced high for that reason. If they get the work at an inflated rate then they will fit it in, if not then they are too busy anyway. Compare your quotes and make your final decision based on references, qualifications, experience and timeframes for job completion.



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