London is a fantastic market for flats. There are many single or couple professionals in London who would rather have a flat than a house or simply cannot afford the cost of renting or buying a house.

The advantage of turning a house into 2 flats is that there is a good opportunity for a higher rental income with the flats combined and sometimes even higher profit from selling the separate properties.

Points To Bear In Mind When Converting a House Into Flats

Do Your Research! – Speak to estate agents in the local area. Is there a higher demand in the area for flats than there are for houses?

Planning Permission

Make sure you can get planning permission for this conversion. Contact the local council.

Services

Each flat will need its own gas, electricity and water. It is important to contact the service providers as soon as possible, they often take much longer than expected and can delay the whole project.

Boilers

You will need to have separate boilers for each flat.

Heating System

You will need to have a separate heating system for each flat.

Entrance

Each flat will need an entrance so bear this in mind when planning the design.

Soundproofing

You will need to add soundproofing when converting a house into flats.

Building

You will need to meet building control approvals

Mortgaged Properties

If the house that you want to convert is currently mortgaged you will need to speak to your lender as they may be reluctant in case you default. Some lenders will consider it on a commercial basis.

Do your before taking on a project. In some areas of London the house value will be more than the flats combined or will come out to the same price after the costs spent on the refurbishments so make sure this will be a worthwhile project for you.

The most important building block of a successful home refurbishment or home extension is the design process but not everyone realizes how important this is until it is too late! This blog post will discuss points to consider as you work through the design process.

First things first sit down with your family to discuss and understand the space that you need. You are getting a home extension for a reason, you need more space.

Evaluate what space you have currently and ask yourself the following questions:

Points to Consider When Designing The Property With The Architect

Talk all of these factors through with your experienced architect.

Better still, a design and build firm is usually the best qualified to take all of these factors into consideration as they will be taking the build through to completion and can come up with some great ideas based upon previous experiences to help you design your space.

Start by completely clearing the rooms so that you are working from a blank canvas. Keep in mind from the start that you want to avoid clutter. Consider the shape of the room and if there are any areas you can use as features like built-in bookshelves or quirky nooks and crannies. Sometimes knocking through walls can provide a much larger space to live in and increase light.

Small front garden

Make sure your garden is regularly maintained or add hard landscaping to cut down on maintenance. Nothing says luxury more than a sturdy gate and security system. A porch is always welcoming and purchasing a statement door with a bold colour like pillar box or black.

Home Entrance

Depending on the property you have the entrance will vary but if there is space add a table with a lamp or flowers on it and a large mirror. If you have a large entrance then turn it into a feature library. Remember guests will see this first when they enter your house so do something bold.

Reception area or Living room

Do not forget comfort whilst selecting the style that suits you. Lighter sofas and whites always look more luxurious but if you have children then it’s not wise to have a light sofa. Adding scatter cushions is a great way to glam up a sofa.

Once again make sure there is no clutter and add large pieces of artwork around the room.

Bedroom

The bed is the focal point for the bedroom so ensure you have a plush headboard with two matching side tables and matching lamps on each of them.

Bathroom

Luxury bathroom with rainforest showers and jets, jacuzzi bath, heated towel rails, heated flooring, large mirrors, marble flooring, dimmer lights and candles, no clutter.

Lighting

Lighting can radically change the atmosphere of a room. Use lights to make statements, perhaps even chandeliers.

Although the cost of building an extension can be significant, it is a sure-fire way to add value to your home and will serve those looking to move away in a few year's time just as well as those who are setting up for the long haul.

As with any major project, there are a lot of factors that need to be carefully considered before any work on an extension can be undertaken. From initial designs to planning applications, supplies to labor costs, each stage of the process has the potential to cause major disruptions to the project if it is not thought through beforehand.

1. Design

If you've designed the extension yourself you may need the aid of a designer or draftsperson to draw up your plans to submit them for planning approval (if required) and a structural engineer to produce drawings and calculations for Building Regs’ purposes.

Choose someone who's worked on similar projects before and understands what you're trying to achieve with the budget you have.

2. Cost

Extension budget is one area where most people fall down, often underestimating the time and money that is required to complete the project. Adequately budgeting for an extension is one of the most important things to consider when planning a project to improve your home. Here are a few tips to remember:

3. Access to the site

You’ll need to factor in how trucks and lorries will reach the property and unload large items and materials. You’ll also need to determine where trades will park and store their tools.

4. Services

Check your current services for the installation, you need to plan this before building an extension or renovating your home. Don’t assume that your electrical, heating, and plumbing will be able to cope with lighting and heating extra space.

No construction worker should be left alone in a crisis and that has never been more important than it is right now as builders struggle with the ongoing physical, mental, and economic effects of COVID-19.

It has developed a simple five-step framework that companies can follow in order to create a better mental health.

FIRST STEP:

Mental health charter and make a commitment towards improving mental health in the industry.

SECOND STEP: 

Order a helpline pack and promote the 24/7 construction industry helpline to your colleagues.

THIRD STEP:

Deliver a ‘tool box talk’ about mental health and wellbeing in your workplace.

FOURTH STEP: 

Offer employees who manage people the opportunity to complete mental health first aid training.

FIFTH STEP: 

Ensure you have enough mental health first aiders trained for your workplace

Get in touch with us 📞020 7916 2087

A cracked or severed underground water line is a vexing problem that few homeowners ever want to face.

By separating this project into manageable steps, you can repair your underground water line by yourself, or at least take on some parts of it, thus reducing the project's overall cost.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Prior to digging in your yard, you should always have utility lines marked by your local utility location service. 

DETERMINE IF YOU HAVE A LEAK 

Some common indicators of a leak in your underground water line include:

> Water meter indicator is spinning even though no water in or around the house is turned on

> Mushy, soft spots in yard

> Recessed or swelling lawn or ground

LOCATE THE LEAK 

Once you know the general area of the leak, pinpoint its precise location.

TURN OFF WATER TO THE HOUSE AND AT THE STREET

Open the metal water meter box. Locate the valve beside the meter, on the house side of the meter (not the street side).

DRAIN WATER FROM THE TRENCH

Bail water from the trench with a bucket. Toward the end, drain the rest of the water with a shop vacuum on wet mode. REPAIR THE WATER LINE. 

TEST THE REPAIR

Examine your repair under pressure to make certain that it is secure. 

If you are not confident about your ability to turn the project around in a satisfactory period of time, you'll need to call in a plumber.

Why now could be the best time to continue or start your renovation or building project ? Construction and architecture are some of the few industries in London that will keep going during and after lockdown. Why now? We are going to share 4 aspects to seize the opportunity to continue or start the planning phase […]

Why now could be the best time to continue or start your renovation or building project ?

Construction and architecture are some of the few industries in London that will keep going during and after lockdown.

Why now?

We are going to share 4 aspects to seize the opportunity to continue or start the planning phase of your home project – with flexibility to choose when you start the build.

1. Use your free time at home:

During this time, most of us are at home and likely spending most of our day online – there´s plenty of time to design ideas for your new home project that you want to renovate or build.

2. Avoid the post-pandemic rush:

Once the lockdown could be lifted, we are predicting a rush for building and construction. That's why it is important to keep your plans moving forward now.

The waiting time for the council approval will also increase significantly once this situation returns to normal, so we recommend to submit your plans early and avoid this possible scenario where everyone will want their plans to be approved.

3. Most of contractors and architects are working from home:

Despite any lockdown, contractors and architects continue to work and provide services to their clients from home digitally.

It is an excellent opportunity to work closely with you and communicate regularly and remotely.

4. Low interest rates:

The Bank of England cuts interest rates to all-time low to limit the economic effect from COVID-19. Borrowing money to do your project has never been cheaper.

Instead of delaying your plans to build a new home or renovate later on, now’s prime time to take advantage of low borrowing costs by starting the design and planning part of the project.

Contact our expert house renovation team today to learn how we could benefit your house renovation project. Call us on 📞 020 7916 2087 or email us atadmin@propertycontractors247.comto arrange a free no obligation consultation and quote.

Plumbers have their own secrets of the trade, so consider some things you should know about your plumbing that they might not tell you.

Protecting your pipes is the key to preventing costly water leaks. A water leak not only causes property damage, but it can also drive up your water bill. 

Wrap Them With Insulation

You can buy foam tubes that are easy to install and that will keep pipes warm during the winter.

Take Care of Your Sump Pump

Without the sump pump, the interior of the house can flood and that will lead to mold growth. 

Educate Your Family About the Toilet

The best way to avoid a clog is to make sure everyone knows what can and what can’t go down the toilet bowl. 

Caring for the Water Heater

If your water heater is over 8 to 12 years old, it’s time for a new one. If the one you have isn’t operating efficiently, it costs you money.

A little maintenance goes a long way with water heaters, too. Start by draining it at least once a year to remove sediment from the bottom.

When You Do Need to Hire a Plumber

There are some projects that simply require a licensed professional. When you need a plumber, look for someone that has been in business for at least five years. Check our sites Property Contractors 247

Toilet repair isn’t a job for the faint hearted though; whether it’s an issue with the flush or a problem with a leaking tank, lots of things can go wrong and it’s important to be able to pinpoint the problem if you need to call a plumber.

Here are just some of the plumbing issues you might experience with a toilet.

Toilet repair for leaking or running water

There should not be a constant sound of running water coming from your toilet, or water running down the toilet bowl a long time after flushing. 

If there is, a toilet plumbing expert will tell you that you have a problem with leakage. 

Toilet plumbing and blockages

One of the most undesirable toilet repair issues, a blocked toilet can cause an overflow and in the worst case scenario, it could flood your bathroom with unclean water from the toilet.

The causes of such blockages can be either due to the materials being flushed down the toilet, or because of an inadequate flushing mechanism.

Toilet repair techniques for poor flushing

If your toilet isn’t flushing correctly, there’s a chance it can be rectified simply by lifting the lid in the cistern and examining the tank for common toilet plumbing problems.

These are some simple ways to diagnose minor toilet plumbing issues, but if any significant repairs or replacements need to be carried out, it’s always best to consult a professional.

At Property Contractors 247, we have a fully qualified team of toilet repair technicians who can spot and treat all types of toilet-related problems for you.

Protect your Home From Electrical Fires

It’s the time of year when the majority of electrical fires occur due to an increased number of heating appliances in homes and plug sockets being overloaded to accommodate Christmas lights.

Electrical fires happen because of problems in house wiring or appliance failures, but many occur due to mistakes that homeowners make like overloading electrical sockets or extension leads.

Here are the five most common causes of electrical fires in homes:

1.Faulty Sockets / Appliances

Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical plug sockets and dated appliances that have been around for a while.

Don’t use an appliance with a worn cord which could send heat onto combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire.

2.Light Fixtures & Fittings

Lamps, light bulbs, and light fixtures and fittings are another common reason for electrical fires. 

Installing a bulb with a wattage too high for the lamps and light fixtures is a leading cause of electrical fires. 

Check the maximum recommended bulb wattage on any lighting fixture or lamp and never exceed this amount.

3.Extension Leads

Appliances should be plugged directly into outlets and not plugged into an extension lead for any length of time.

Only use extension cords as a temporary measure. If you do not have the appropriate type of plug sockets for your appliances, get an electrician into your home to install new ones – a much safer alternative.

4.Portable Heaters

Many times people put these types of heaters too close to combustible surfaces such as curtains, beds, clothing, chairs, sofas and rugs. 

Coil space heaters are especially dangerous due to the coils becoming so hot that they will almost instantly ignite any nearby flammable surface.

If you do use portable heaters, use the radiator-type that diffuse heat over the entire surface of the appliance.

5.Outdated Wiring Systems

If a home is over 20 years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances in today’s average UK home, such as computers,  televisions, games consoles, kitchen gadgets etc. 

Breakers should be triggered when circuits get overloaded by too much electricity, but outdated breaker boxes often have worn connectors that do not work, causing the system to overload and start an electrical fire.

If you can run through this list and be happy that everyone has been considered or actioned, then you’ve given your home the best chance against fire.

Accidents happen but usually an accident is penned down to wiring neglect or appliance failure that’s too near combustible material.
Your local fire and rescue service will be able to help and potentially conduct a home fire risk assessment. For more information, visit property contractors 247

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