Contemporary Design Options for Balconies with Glass Balustrades

Contemporary Design Options for Balconies with Glass Balustrades

Pinnacle Works loves to combine craftsmanship with exceptional finishes, and here we want to talk about the seamless beauty of balconies with glass balustrades.

Traditional balconies, porches, decks and roof gardens often feature blocky wooden fencing and brick walls, obstructing the view and taking up valuable floor space. Toughened glass makes for an excellent focal point and, blended with stainless steel, can transform how your home looks and feels.

Our focus, as always, is on first-class service, from designing a unique balustrade to match your aesthetic through to finishing off your installation with impeccable attention to detail.

The Benefits of Glass Balustrade Balconies and Decks

Precision-engineered glass, handrails, frames and bases enable us to construct a vast array of glass balustrade designs, with laminated glass that is strong and durable yet with lightweight framing suitable for most roof spaces. As a sophisticated feature, a glass balustrade is also practical, rust-resistant and low maintenance offering multiple benefits that don’t stop with increasing light filtration.

Turning a Flat Roof Into a Focal Point

For many homeowners, a flat roof is wasted space and often a nuisance where felting requires regular repairs or maintenance – but it could be an exciting opportunity to customise your home.

Dreaming of sipping your coffee on a summer morning and watching the world go by or entertaining in the evenings on a beautifully constructed balcony space? The lightweight aluminium or stainless steel frame profile is perfectly suited to even small roof spaces, turning a patch of property that doesn’t serve a purpose into a versatile area.

Adding Value and Appeal to Your Property

Adding a balcony to your home can boost its value by around 12% – and potentially much more if you have a streamlined, modern glass balustrade to amplify the view and surrounding scenery!

The appeal of a balcony space is in its varied uses:

  • Sunbathing and relaxing
  • Entertaining and dining
  • Safe kid’s play space
  • Extra outdoor area
  • Yoga or workout deck
  • Balcony or kitchen gardens
  • Private reading nooks
  • Outdoor office in pleasant weather

Tailoring your balcony to your intended use is part of the fun; perhaps rattan furniture for a classic dining space, suspended hooks for hanging baskets, or waterproof storage units to keep your outdoor cushions dry.

Maximising Panoramic Views

We often work with clients with a balcony that tends to be overlooked, with brick walls, thick fencing or unsightly barriers incorporated as a safety feature. Glass overcomes those limitations by replacing solid walls with an equally robust and secure material that will not block the light. Natural light flows freely into your home, making your rooms feel more open and airy.

Expanding Your Usable Spaces

The simplicity of crystal clear glass conceals a considerable amount of technology that goes into manufacturing incredibly safe, strong glazing. Glass balustrades are as tough and durable as any other balcony material. It would require significant structural pressure to cause the glass to crack or break (it’s a similar strength to steel!).

For families, the extension into a balcony is a chance to create new outdoor spaces with plenty of fresh air and sunlight without any safety risks – even if the glass were exposed to huge amounts of weight, tempered glass does not break into sharp shards.

Featuring Ultra-Modern Frameless Glass

Frameless glass is the most modern design possible and means that your balustrade appears to be floating, creating an ethereal and striking statement. The natural illusion is one of greater space, like an infinity pool where there are no harsh lines to break up your lines of sight.

Stainless Steel Handrails for Safety and Style

The sharp contrast between sheer glass and stainless steel is a great way to maximise the impact of your glass balustrade. Stainless steel won’t crumble, chip, bend, fade or warp and has a few added environmental benefits.

Using bright stainless steel ensures your balustrade is better visible to birds and wildlife, making it safe for local ecosystems. It is also 100% recyclable, ideal for eco-friendly homes and conscious living spaces.

Incorporating Statement Architectural Steel

High-quality architectural steels are an excellent choice for outdoor balconies, walkways and platforms, providing stability and a polished appearance with a wealth of fabrication options to suit your desired appearance. Custom architectural steel can create a clean, modern design or a more ornate styling, with railheads and embellishments to reflect the period of your home.

Choosing a Balustrade Design for Your Balcony

There are countless options when designing a glass balustrade – if you need any support, the Pinnacle Works team is here to help.

As a summary of some of the most popular finishes and construction methods, we have run through a few of the alternative designs you might select below.

  • Handrails, risers or bannisters made from wood, metal or stone.
  • Clear, opaque or patterned glass, with numerous texture, framing, and colour choices.
  • Juliet balcony spaces, opening windows and doors, post and rail (vertical bars with a fixed handrail), or frameless glass balustrades.
  • Subtle spigot glass systems with steel clamps to secure the glass panels.

The right glass balustrade balcony will normally depend on the age of your property, the size of the balcony space, and the overall effect you’d like to achieve – whether a flawless finish to avoid detracting from heritage stonework or a highly modernised glass and steel extension.

It’s also possible to use glass balustrades in inventive ways, to segregate seating areas in your garden, add a safety element beside swimming pools, or create optimal lighting within a stairwell. One of the key advantages to glass balcony balustrades is that the bulk of the work is completed off-site, with panels engineered to fit your specific sizing and then installed in minimal time to avoid unnecessary disruption.

For more inspiration about the diverse ways to incorporate a glass balustrade within your balcony design or property, please contact the Pinnacle Works team for guidance and advice from the home improvement professionals.

 

 

Benefits of Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps

Benefits of Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps

There’s no escaping soaring energy prices, increasing living costs, and the fact that our properties are becoming ever-more expensive to heat, cool and run. Ground and air source heat pumps have been around for a decade, and are coming into their own as alternative heating devices with excellent benefits for the environment, and your bank balance.

Pinnacle Works is passionate about renewable energy and has extensive experience installing high-performance pumps that are fast, reliable, and economical.

What are Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps?

Many homeowners are unfamiliar with these eco-friendly heating appliances, but the concept is simple:

  • Pumps absorb environmental heat, converting it into a liquid.
  • The fluid is then compressed to a higher temperature.
  • That heat is used for central heating and to produce hot water.

The core difference between the two heat pumps is where the heat originates. As the names suggest, air pumps absorb heat from the air, whereas ground heat pumps rely on thermal heat in the ground. We’re often asked how this works, particularly given that we don’t enjoy the warmest climates in the UK! Even when it feels cold, quality heat pumps can still extract heat, and remain operational at sub-zero temperatures, with the ideal tolerance being 25 °C to -5 °C.

Without getting into the technicalities, a ground source heat pump utilises a network of underground pipes (called a loop) with the pump at ground level. Air source heat pumps absorb warmth from outside air using a liquid refrigerant. The compression and condensation process releases stored heat to warm your home and water.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Although the technology behind heat pumps is advanced, the installation is relatively straightforward.

Fitting an air heat pump is quite quick provided you work with a qualified installer, and the pumping and controls are similar to those used on your existing boiler. Ground source heat pumps are a little more involved because we lay a network of piping underground, which requires a certain amount of space.

If you’re interested in comparing these low-cost heating solutions, we can arrange a survey to offer advice about the suitability of each option.

We can install a heat pump in almost any home, but the right choice for you will depend on a few variables:

  • Insulation is key, and the pump must be correctly insulated to ensure it operates efficiently and doesn’t experience heat loss.
  • Most clients who opt for a ground source pump are either not reliant on the mains gas network or have a wider outdoor space.
  • Pumps can be fitted in properties of all ages, but renovated homes and new-builds can present higher energy efficiency ratings, making them ideal for an eco-friendly heat pump.

Average costs sit at around £7,000 – £13,000 for an air source heat pump, and between £14,000 and £19,000 for a ground source pump, with the cost differential owing to the external groundworks.

The investment balances out because a ground pump is a more efficient renewable energy source and produces greater cost savings and lower utility bills. It’s also worth noting that the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) provided higher financial incentives for ground source heat pumps. However, the current application round has closed and been replaced with a new scheme, which we’ll explain shortly.

The Benefits of Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps

The biggest advantage of a renewable heat pump over a conventional boiler is that it will undoubtedly reduce your household costs. A heat pump is significantly cheaper to run than any electrical heating system oil boiler and most gas boilers. Either type of pump is fully automated, so they have an advantage over biomass boilers, requiring much less work.

Other benefits of replacing an older boiler with a heat pump include:

  • Superior energy efficiency, with performance ratings of 200% to 400% higher than a standard heating system.
  • A substantially lower carbon footprint, with no emissions other than those at the point of electricity production – the compressors use very little electricity and non-harmful refrigerants that don’t impact the environment.
  • Condensation prevention, with automatic dehumidifying properties.
  • Improved air quality – the heat pump doesn’t burn anything to produce the warmth, so no fumes or smoke filter into the air.

Heat pumps are ideal for families with allergies, as the circulation process purifies the air and removes spores, odours, smoke, particles, and dust.

How Much Money a Heat Pump Could Save You

Much depends on your energy consumption and property, but you could stand to save:

  • Over £1,000 a year compared to electric heating systems.
  • Up to £570 a year if you use an LPG heating system.
  • Around £30 a year against oil or gas boilers.

Of course, with the energy price cap increasing this month by 54%, those statistics may soon multiply.

Government Heat Pump Grants

We mentioned the incentive scheme earlier, which closed on 31st March 2022 – but has been replaced with a more straightforward initiative.

This programme offers a £5,000 grant, or £6,000 towards the cost of a ground source heat pump, and covers any part of the supply or installation cost. The government won’t be accepting direct applications, but Pinnacle Works can apply to Ofgem (the energy regulator) on your behalf, securing a voucher confirming the grant value.

Due to launch this month, these grants are part of a £3.9 billion programme to encourage all households to switch to a low-carbon alternative by 2035.

Exterior Ground Source Heat Pump Case Study

If you’re looking at replacing an old boiler or inefficient heating system, an air or ground source heat pump is an outstanding option, providing long-term, low-carbon and cost-effective heating.

One of our recent commissions involved the installation of an exceptional ground source heat pump housed in a pump house with bespoke fitted oak doors. This example shows the aesthetic achievable, with internal ply lining and professional quality insulation to provide the ultimate energy-saving solution, with maximised pump efficiency. With subtle touches, such as bat boxes in the rafters to encourage local animals to relocate to the pump house, you can see the finished project via our social media HERE.

For more information about whether a renewable heat pump would be right for your property or to enquire about the best option and apply for a government grant, please contact Pinnacle Works at your convenience. Our skilled teams work closely with every client to ensure your finished pump meets every expectation, creating future-proof eco-homes that are as cost-effective as possible.

 

Changes To Make For An Eco-Friendly Home

Changes To Make For An Eco-Friendly Home

With continuing rises in living costs and expected energy bill hikes as high as 50% in April, Pinnacle Works regularly speaks to clients exploring the options to make their homes greener and leaner.

There are massive benefits to making your property more efficient:

  • Reducing utility costs
  • Creating spaces that are easier to heat
  • Increases in market value
  • Accessing grants and support schemes

Let’s look at some of the most popular green home improvements, what you stand to save, and how it all works.

Updating Heating Systems to Reduce Utility Costs

Most properties rely on gas boilers to heat their rooms and water – but with gas prices getting ever steeper and the typical maintenance issues (and repair costs) to think about, a new heating system is a fantastic option. We’ve recently completed work on an eco-friendly exterior ground-source heat pump, encased in a beautiful outhouse with bespoke oak doors if you’d like some inspiration.

There are multiple advantages:

  • Switching an old gas boiler for a condensing model or a ground-source or air-source heat pump makes your home more sustainable, reducing CO2 emissions by a huge 15-30%.
  • If all UK properties replaced their gas boilers, energy bills nationwide would drop by £1.3 billion.
  • Air-source pumps are reliable and continue generating heat in outside temperatures from an arctic -15 °C, so they are dependable and low-cost to run.

In terms of pricing, a new air-source pump system costs around £7,000 to £11,000 on average, making it a big investment. However, you could save from £295 to £1,805 every year, with a system paying for itself in around six years.

If you’re interested in swapping your gas boiler for something more efficient, keep an eye out for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, due to launch in spring 2022. The initiative will offer upfront capital grants for homeowners to cover the costs of a heat pump.

Harnessing Natural Energy Through Solar Panels

Solar panels are one of the best-known eco-friendly upgrades, but they can take several years to pay back the investment.

The positive is that once you’ve fitted your solar panels, you can wave goodbye to huge electricity charges. If you have an aspect that soaks up a good amount of solar energy, you might find yourself living sustainably off the grid altogether. Fitting a new set of solar panels will set you back around £4,800 on average, but the perks include:

  • Utility cost savings of £165 to £440 a year based on typical household usage.
  • Income generated from selling excess power back to the grid.
  • Reliable electricity, with solar panels generating power even on dull days..

Warming Your Home With Quality Insulation

One of the main reasons energy bills become so costly is that homes are not insulated properly – so the heating remains on around the clock because the chill sets in the second the boiler turns off.

Insulation is one of the most affordable ways to make a home greener, and you can look at:

  • Replacing loft insulation.
  • Boosting cavity wall insulation.
  • Investing in underfloor insulation or heating.

The exact cost of fitting new, quality insulation depends on where the work is required and the size of your property, but simply insulating your loft adequately will save an average of £315 a year.

Underfloor Heating to Keep Your Toes Cosy

Underfloor heating is a wonderful addition to an eco-friendly home that is a joy to live in. It’s more discreet than blocky radiators or wall-mounted heaters and can be retrofitted to older homes as well as installed in new builds.

Heating pipes laid under your flooring use between 15% and 40% less energy than a conventional radiator, and the broad surface area means you can set your thermostat lower for the same level of warmth.

Effective Lighting With Energy-Efficient Bulbs

Light bulbs might not seem to make the biggest dent in your electricity bill, but the reality is that if you replaced every halogen bulb in your home with an LED light, you’d instantly knock off £40 a year from your running costs.

Energy-efficient alternatives are so much cheaper to use, better for the environment, and a priority for people wanting to live sustainably. You’ll also find that LED bulbs are cheaper to buy and last significantly longer than their counterparts – so you make a saving twice over.

The big benefit is to our planet – if every home in Britain switched to 100% LED bulb usage, we’d cut our carbon emissions by an impressive 1.7 million tonnes.

Controlling Energy Usage With a Smart Meter

As the winter starts to bite, it’s easy to be tempted to leave the heating running – which contributes to excessive energy usage and booming living costs. A smart meter is a simple, effective way to keep an eye on what you’re using and when.

For example, if you’re out of the house at work during the day, and the kids are at school, you can programme your meter to switch off when you leave and back on before you return, so your home is always warm – but only when you need it to be. If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint or your energy bills, knowing how you consume electricity can help you make good choices, such as only running the washing machine when you have a full load.

Smart meters work best when they come with a timer and thermostat and are equally useful for gas or oil central heating systems if you’re taking your eco-friendly renovation one step at a time. A timer, thermostatic radiator valves and a room thermostat will save the average three-bedroom property from £70 and 300 kg of carbon emissions every 12 months.

Replacing Old Glazing and Updating Window Frames

Double or triple glazing can work wonders to reduce the flow of heat that escapes through thin, single glazed glass panels that do nothing to contribute to an efficient home.

Families serious about being green can also opt for durable, professionally fitted wooden frames instead of UPVC to avoid the toxic compound emissions and pollution associated with plastics. Excellent quality glazing can reduce heat loss by a whopping 30% and save £110 to £140 a year on heating costs.

Reducing Water Consumption

Our final suggestion is to think about water usage – because, although your water bill might not sting as much as other utilities, you’re still using heating and electricity systems to warm the water you use and send it through your pipework.

Only boiling as much water as you need, investing in an eco-kettle, or upgrading to those incredible smart taps means you’ll use less electricity and avoid unnecessary water wastage. A low-flow shower head is also a great idea, which uses less energy while being just as powerful.

Adding Value to Your Property Through Green Energy Upgrades

We’ve mentioned a few indicative costs and savings to give a rough idea about the financial benefits of making your home more eco-friendly – but there is a tangible economic advantage that goes far beyond your household bills.

Whenever you sell a property or rent one out, you must present the buyer or tenant with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Your assigned rating indicates how efficient your home is and, therefore, what it will cost to run. A recent survey shows that 55% of homeowners want to make sustainable changes to the way they live, and 33% of buyers consider the EPC rating very important. While a higher energy rating might not seem like a pivotal selling point, in 2021, a better EPC added a £40,000 premium to sustainable property selling prices.

Even if it takes a few years to repay a green investment through your utility bills, it’s also adding value back elsewhere.

For more information about any of these eco-friendly home ideas or advice on the best projects to tackle your green property upgrade, please get in touch with the Pinnacle Works team. Our experienced, friendly team can recommend sustainable swaps that will pay the best dividends in energy costs and make your home warmer, greener, and easier to sell in the future.

 

 

 

 

Silicone-Based Exterior Render Systems: Functional and Attractive

Silicone-Based Exterior Render Systems: Functional and Attractive

Rendering involves applying a coat to your external walls, creating a smooth or textured finish that provides a seamless appearance. This process protects your brickwork from the weather and damage, and you can opt to render every aspect of your home or use a mixture of brickwork and render, depending on the aesthetic you would like.

One of the most advanced exterior render systems is made with a silicone base as an alternative to conventional sand and cement.

We’ll explain the benefits shortly, but silicone may be the ideal option if you would like a durable, flawless finish and a high-performance render.

What is Exterior Rendering?

There are two key reasons to add render to the outside of your property:

  • To prevent moisture and dampness from penetrating your walls.
  • Providing an attractive, uniform finish.

Traditional render is made from a sand and cement mixture, which can be the cheapest solution since the materials are widely available. It can also be patched if the render breaks down or cracks over time. You’ll likely be familiar with some of the finishes applied, such as pebbledash.

The issue with cement render is that it isn’t the most durable material. You’ll often need to regularly paint the outside of your property since exposed render isn’t appealing to most homeowners.

How Do Silicone-Based Exterior Render Systems Work?

Pinnacle Works offers an alternative exterior render system, using silicone render, which is water-resistant and can be coloured as you wish – removing the time and cost of painting.

Silicone-based render systems have superior performance qualities compared even with other newer systems, including acrylic, providing greater breathability and lasting longer. While it may be slightly more expensive to apply, silicone render lasts an average of 25 to 30 years, so it is an investment that pays dividends over the long term. This top of the range render is easy to apply and is inherently hydrophobic, with excellent water repellent qualities that avoid dirt and moisture from accumulating on your property.

We can render most properties with a spray machine and the application process takes very little time if the external walls are carefully prepared.

Rendering requires just one coat of a thin application, although we’ll usually advise using a basecoat to create a stable, level and strong surface. Once the basecoat is dry, the silicone is applied, usually across each elevation in one go, to avoid any lines or patches between adjoining render.

The Advantages of Exterior Render Systems

Silicone-based external render systems have a range of compelling benefits!

Some of the most important include:

  • Waterproofing your property from the outside in – mitigating any potential issues around leaks, staining, damp and mould.
  • Improving the thermal value of your property. Incorporating insulation boards can make your home significantly more energy-efficient.
  • Silicone render can be applied directly onto an existing finish, provided it is in reasonable condition, reducing the application timescale and costs.
  • The uniform render looks stunning once dried, without any need to paint your external walls or touch up paintwork over the years.
  • This render is self-cleaning and gives a contemporary, fresh appearance to properties of any age.

Once your rendering is complete, it is highly unlikely that the silicone-based finish will crack, extending its useful life, and remaining in perfect condition for up to around 30 years.

Can I Choose a Coloured Silicone-Based Render?

Render can be tailored to your style and design aspiration in any colour you wish. A pigment can be blended with the render before application or we can offer a range of pre-coloured renders, creating a far more durable, coloured finish than any external paintwork.

Coloured render lasts considerably longer than paint and provides a beautiful, smooth finish.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Using a Silicone Render System?

The only real downside to silicone render is that it is more costly than acrylic or sand and cement render. Still, it is more durable, water repellent, maintenance-free and self-cleaning, easily offsetting the usual maintenance expenses involved with property upkeep.

Choosing Between Traditional and Modern Rendering

There are pros and cons to both traditional and modern rendering, and the systems operate very differently.

Silicone render is self-coloured, which is one of the popular advantages, and excels above and beyond conventional render, incorporating silicone to make the render more flexible and thus less prone to cracking or damage. Breathability is also important; balancing the trade-off between water resistance ensures the brickwork remains in good condition underneath.

Listed buildings and period homes may have a lime render system used on most properties built before the 1930s. Lime mortar was generally used in construction and matched with a lime render. Issues commonly arise because these older render systems are:

  • Not particularly water-resistant, which can cause untold damage to external walls, and problems with dampness, water damage and rot.
  • Of a basic finish. Silicone render can be applied to properly prepared walls with a base coat to ensure adequate adhesion. A bad quality render may need to be removed if there is any risk of falling away from the wall.
  • Old render usually needs to be painted once every four years (on average) since the colour will fade and stain, and paintwork will chip and crack over time.
  • Lime render cracks as the property moves and settles, which is natural. Cracks must then be patched over or the property re-rendered.

Much depends on your home, budget, and the finish you wish to achieve.

Expert Advice Choosing a Render System for Your Home

If you’re unsure which type of rendering would suit your property and provide the right finish, please contact the Pinnacle Works team.

Properties with underlying challenges such as damp or cracked render may require remedial work beforehand to ensure your external walls are ready for the new render application and provide a perfectly smooth appearance. It’s advisable to seek guidance before investing in a render system that may not last as long as you expect.

Our experienced professionals can discuss the various types of render and suggest the right solutions to fit your requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

Opening Up Your Home Interior With Structural Steels

Opening Up Your Home Interior With Structural Steels

Removing unnecessary internal walls can radically transform your living space, creating wide, airy rooms and enhancing natural light. One of the most elegant options is to use structural steels, which can be a cost-effective way to develop larger living spaces without needing to construct an extension.

We often live in our homes as they are out of habit, but can create much larger areas to play with by knocking through and steeling spaces (as it’s known in the industry) to improve the ceiling height or layout.

Let us explain how internal structural steels work and some of the benefits of remodelling in this way.

Advantages of Incorporating Structural Steels to Augment Your Living Space

There are multiple reasons our clients look to enhance the area in their properties. Many have outgrown the home as it stands and want to find ways to improve the floor plan without the cost and inconvenience of moving or beginning a more disruptive building project.

If you love where you live, and want to maximise the room to breathe, then knocking through to create larger, more fluid rooms may be the answer.

Other advantages include:

  • Creating open plan living areas, maximising usable space.
  • Increasing storage capacity by removing bulky walls.
  • Reimagining how your home works and bringing a new dimension to your residence.
  • Improving the light and airflow throughout your property.

Internal renovations are the best way to add value to your home, other than extending into your garden space.

Our structural experts can advise on the best ways to open up your property, whether you’d like more generous bedrooms, a bright family kitchen and dining area, or to make better use of conservatories and garages.

How Do Interior Structural Steels Work?

Almost every residential property has a mixture of walls, some of which are load-bearing and form part of the buildings’ structure, and others that are purely aesthetic. Load-bearing structural walls support the upper levels of your home, so a structural steel beam is inserted to allow you to lift the division away without compromising stability.

Pinnacle Works can guide you through the process, but our engineers will consider:

  • The correct width and depth of the beam required to provide permanent support.
  • Where to position piers, which act as upright beams and support the steel.
  • Options to disguise structural steel, sometimes through a decorative finish, or by embedding the beams into the wall space for a seamless finish.

Modern properties often enjoy a natural look, featuring elements such as polished concrete, raw brickwork and exposed beams. If you prefer an unconventional finish, please get in touch for inspiration from some of our previous projects!

There are regulations around boxing in steel beams with plasterboard; compliant with fire regulations, although there are multiple options available to achieve the aesthetic you’re looking for. The remodelling process is relatively simple. However, you must work with an experienced contractor skilled in structural engineering.

Calculating the appropriate size and positioning of the beam is essential, as is looking at factors such as adjusting floor or ceiling heights, relocating plumbing or electrical wiring, and reconfiguring heating systems to adapt to your newly expanded space.

Choosing Which Internal Walls to Remove

If you have a firm idea of your ideal living environment, it may be simple to narrow down the options and create a floor plan that fits your family’s needs! Otherwise, we’d recommend getting a set of floor plans to reassess how you utilise your home and identify opportunities to expand upwards, downwards or sideways – without any foundational work required.

Another great option is to look at how the sun moves around your home during the day. Open plan living rooms can attract daylong sunlight, or you can combine separate, small rooms flowing from one end of your property to the other to enhance the feeling of space and brightness.

Structural steels are appropriate for any load-bearing wall, although as we’ve mentioned, we’d strongly advise consulting a qualified engineer before making any final decisions. There are few limitations, and larger structural beams can be concealed in the floor structure in the storey above to avoid a downstand, where the beam extends into the room below.

Remodelling Ideas for Open Plan Living

Kitchens are perhaps one of the most popular rooms to knock through, with many homes having separate areas for cooking and dining, often with a utility room that isn’t required. Knocking through a kitchen into a dining room opens up a huge range of design opportunities, from relaxed, casual dining spaces to ample kitchens to make mealtimes a sociable occasion.

Another common request is to design a structural beam project to remove internal walls between small bedrooms, or a box room (typically used for storage), producing a large master bedroom, perhaps with an ensuite and dressing room. Unused garages, sunrooms, utility spaces and cloakrooms all demand a considerable volume of floor space.

Revisiting your floor plan and evaluating which areas you use the most can throw up some exciting options!

FAQs – Using Structural Steels to Open up Your Home Interior

Let’s run through a few of the most common questions our team receives about making internal alterations to homes and removing interior walls.

Do I Need Planning Permission to Knock Two Rooms Into One?

Normally, you don’t. The only general exception is for listed properties, which require consent for any significant work, inside or out.

What Are the Benefits of Open Plan Living?

Traditional properties were built to maximise the number of rooms, which are often very small, dark, and less easy to make good use of.

Removing internal walls to open adjoining rooms is simpler than creating an extension. Still, a professional is required to ensure the correct structural steels are used to protect the property’s structural integrity.

How Long Does it Take to Knock Through a Load-Bearing Wall and Insert Structural Steels?

The exact project duration will depend on the size of the wall and beam and the finish you require on the newly extended room.

Usually, a project might take around a week to remove a wall, provided there is easy access, plus perhaps another week in total to insert the new joist, plaster the exposed sections of the wall, boxing in the beam and painting.

How Can I Visualise How My Home Will Look After Removing Internal Walls?

Please contact Pinnacle Works if you’d like any guidance about reconfiguring your living spaces to create enhanced light and room in your property.

Our teams have years of expertise designing outstanding open plan living areas and can help you visualise the finished project through advanced software graphics.

 

 

Benefits of Investing in Your Property Instead of Moving

Benefits of Investing in Your Property Instead of Moving

When you’ve outgrown your living space or feel like your home isn’t meeting your requirements, choosing whether to move or remodel is a big decision.

There are many compelling reasons to look at opportunities to upgrade your property, expand the number of bedrooms, or go for a loft conversion or extension, particularly if you love where you live.

Let us explain the benefits of home improvements and provide some suggestions from decades of successful renovation projects to solve your property dilemmas. If you’d like tailored advice about the options available within your home, please give us a call, and we’ll be happy to make some recommendations.

Reconfiguring Your Home Rather Than Relocating

One of the most significant challenges, if you’re considering selling up, is that a lot rides on the property market, which is notoriously turbulent. Currently, we’re seeing volatile demand, with peaks in some areas and dips in others.

Selling while the market is flat will undoubtedly mean either:

  • Accepting a lower offer than you’d like.
  • The stress of waiting for months for a buyer.
  • Breaking a property chain if you are unable to sell.

Another issue is around mortgage rates. Interest base rates are expected to rise steeply in 2022, which means that mortgages will become more expensive, in addition to the need to raise a large deposit, usually of at least 10% of the new property value.

Remortgaging to extend your current home loan or even short-term finance may be far cheaper than taking out a brand new mortgage on a different property. As lenders increase mortgage interest charges, it can also mean that homeowners cannot pass stricter affordability assessments to raise enough finance to purchase a larger home.

Costs aside, there are lots of other reasons to explore the renovation opportunities you have and rethink how you use your home to make it better fit your family.

The Best Home Improvement Projects for Investment Returns

Investing in home improvements does more than enhance your living standards – you can drive up the market value of your property if you later decide to move and retain a bricks and mortar asset that will likely grow in value in the meantime.

Some home investments deliver exceptionally high returns, depending on your region. A good example is off-road parking, which can cause no end of hassle for families in busy urban areas struggling to find parking spaces close by. Fitting a driveway or constructing a garage solves the problem while making your home appealing to prospective buyers in the future, and you don’t need to budget for the cost of moving.

While these are averages, the statistics below reflect how you can often double the value of your investment in a home improvement project:

Home improvement Average UK cost Average return on investment
Extending into loft space £21,000 – £44,000 170%
Adding a bedroom £15,000 – £40,000 115%
Building a single story extension £30,000 – £48,000 108%
Outdoor landscaping £100 – £125 per m2 100%
Installing a new bathroom £6,500 – £7,000 93.2%
Installing a new kitchen £5,000 – £14,000 91%
Replacing entrance doors £850 – £1,500 90.7%
Adding a deck, patio or porch £15 – £80 per m2 90.3%
Converting a basement £800 – £1,500 per m2 90.1%
Replacing windows £500 – £3,200 per window 89.6%

In comparison, moving from a three-bedroom house to a four-bed to acquire an extra bedroom will typically cost an average of:

  • £142,400 in the property value
  • £1,700 in removal costs
  • £11,300 in Stamp Duty
  • £800 – £1,500 in legal fees

Unless there is a tangible benefit in selling your home and moving to a larger property, it is hugely more cost-effective to expand or reconfigure your existing home. Eco-friendly improvements, such as replacing an old boiler, will also mean that your utility bills drop and your home achieves a better energy efficiency rating if you choose to put the property on the market at a later date.

Benefits of a Home Improvement Project

There are countless ways to change your property, from a complete remodel, removing internal doors, repositioning walls and building extensions. If you have an existing space that isn’t used, for example, an empty attic or a redundant side return, this space is perfect for extending into.

An experienced contractor, such as Pinnacle Works, is helpful since we can recommend the best solutions based on your existing home and the key aims you have for your home improvement, for example:

  • A rear single-storey extension doesn’t usually require planning permission. It could enable you to create a new living room, playroom, home office, sunroom, or increase the size of your ground floor.
  • If that might eat into your outdoor garden space, a side return extension is often a great option for semi-detached or detached properties.
  • Standalone home offices are ideal for professionals needing a dedicated working space but without the capacity to build extra rooms within their property layout. A separate office at the end of the garden can be fitted with complete plumbing and heating or used as a home gym or studio.
  • If you want to improve natural light, you could contemplate replacing old windows with energy-efficient double or triple glazing, installing roof lights or a dormer window.
  • Rooms that feel cold and draughty can be easily updated with a suspended ceiling.

Modern materials and efficient installations often mean your renovation or extension will be finished in a matter of weeks, creating a new way of living in your house with minimal disruption and heavily reduced costs.

Making your home a home and one that is suited to your tastes and preferences will ensure you feel truly comfortable in your property, with custom-designed spaces aligned with your family’s needs.

If you’d like more inspiration for ways to modernise your home, please get in touch with Pinnacle Works, and we’ll discuss some ideas to improve your living standards – and property value – for the long term.