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.

 

The Home Renovation Planning Process

The Home Renovation Planning Process

Deciding on a perfect home renovation to breathe fresh life into your living space can be exciting – and daunting! For many homeowners, the challenge is how to make a dream design a reality. Renovations, whether a general refurbishment or full-size extension, can be overwhelming, with no end of considerations.

At Pinnacle Works, we support every client end-to-end, from creating digital models of your desired layout to piecing together the components, project stages, and any permission required.

Here we’ve laid out a short series of steps to work through and get to grips with making your wildest home renovation imagination something achievable.

Step One: Pinpoint Your Home Improvement Aims

We’re often inspired by images of beautifully executed renovations and want to replicate ideas into our properties. Before you start calculating budgets or appointing contractors, the first stage is to assess precisely what you want to accomplish.

For example:

  • Do you need an extra bedroom space to accommodate a growing family?
  • Would you like more natural light and better airflow in your home?
  • Is your target to increase the saleable value of your property?
  • Do you want to improve curb appeal and refresh the exterior?
  • Are you renovating to create a dedicated space for remote working?
  • Is your home outdated and in need of modernisation?
  • Do you want a larger kitchen area or play space for your kids?

This step is perhaps the most important of all. Once you’ve clarified your overall aims, you can keep coming back to them and ensure each decision you make contributes towards that goal.

Step Two: Think About Your Home Renovation Budget

Next up, it’s time to crunch some numbers. You can collate estimates first, but we’d recommend setting a maximum budget.

There will be a finite value you feel comfortable spending in most cases, and it’s better to have a solid idea of your total budget before you start speaking with contractors.

Here’s why:

  • You know what you want to do and how much you have available to spend – Pinnacle can then recommend solutions and options to meet both requirements.
  • All renovations have multiple choices of materials and finishes, so if you’re confident in your figures, you can make informed judgments about which options fit your needs.

It can be tempting to be swept away with the excitement of an incredible design, but your finances matter. Putting in a little homework will ensure you won’t end up putting your budget under strain. Make sure you think about the variable costs outside of the work itself. For example, you might need to rent temporary accommodation during construction, apply for planning permission, and cover costs to redecorate and furnish your finished renovation.

Contingency budgets are also wise, so you aren’t stretched if anything runs overtime. A 10% buffer is usually a good benchmark to ensure you will stay on track.

Step Three: Ask for Quotes and Estimates

A quote and an estimate aren’t the same – and there can be quite a difference!

Quotations should be itemised and include all costs (including VAT), so you have a fixed price you’ll expect to pay for all the work contained within that quote. Estimates are usually open-ended, so they might guess how many days of labour are involved or provide a rough price for the renovation project.

If you’re in the early planning stages, estimates are sufficient and will help decide whether you can achieve what you’re hoping for within the confines of your budget. However, before you accept any quote, please ensure it is from a respected contractor and that you understand what is – and is not – included.

Step Four: Create a Detailed Renovation Plan

Planning is the detail that makes a massive impact on the success of a renovation project, so don’t ever feel that you’re spending too much time looking at the details – you’ll be thankful you did when work gets underway!

A renovation plan sums up all of the steps so far, so:

  • The aim of the renovation project.
  • Designs, styling and aesthetic you would like.
  • How much the work is expected to cost.
  • Sketches or plans of the finished remodel.
  • Details about what your contractor will do and any work you’re undertaking yourself.

At this stage, it’s best to look into things like planning permission, permitted development and building regulations, as you might need to apply for approval before any construction can start. If you’re unsure about your local planning rules or would like advice about renovations allowed under permitted development, please get in touch with the Pinnacle Works team.

Step Five: Hire Your Contractor

When all the planning is complete, it’s time to get cracking! Pinnacle has years of experience working on a vast range of renovation projects. We always recommend basing your hiring decisions on more than the cheapest quote (which is often a false economy).

Think about:

  • Whether your contractor has sufficient experience? Have they worked on similar renovations before?
  • Reputation – check out reviews on social media or Trustpilot to ensure your selected contractor is of excellent quality.
  • Look into insurance and qualifications; any professional contractor will be happy to provide evidence of any specific skills or insurances you need.
  • Payment schedules, usually based on an upfront deposit and staged payments according to progress.

You might need to hire multiple contractors if you want to take on a professional qualified in one specific trade. Still, a full-service contractor such as Pinnacle will include every element of your home improvement within one team.

This option is preferable since you’ll benefit from streamlined project management and won’t need to juggle invoices and schedules between various tradespeople.

Step Six: Get Your Home Ready for Renovation

Finally, before your contractors get to work, you’ll need to ensure your home is ready for the work to begin and the space is prepped. Leaving rooms furnished can often add time or even end up in damaged furniture.

Here are some examples:

  • Kitchen renovations: do you need to buy or hire temporary cooking facilities or move any of your cutlery and dishes to a different room?
  • Furniture: can you move furniture into a new space or put valuable items into storage?
  • Living space: are you moving into rented accommodation? Have you packed up anything you won’t need with you so it isn’t in the way?

Once your home is ready, you’ll be able to move forward and allow the professionals to start work on your fantastic new home renovation.

Following these planning steps might seem like a delay, but you must invest time into researching your required outcome, choosing styles that match your aspirations, and making sure you have a reliable contractor and a total cost that is achievable within your budget.

If you’d like further advice about planning your home renovation or turning your ideas into a real-life project, please get in touch with Pinnacle Works for friendly, tailored, and professional guidance.

 

 

Pinnacle’s 2021 Guide to Kitchen Renovation

Pinnacle’s 2021 Guide to Kitchen Renovation

Many clients come to us for inspiration with their kitchen renovation, in hopes of achieving their dream kitchen. The cliché that kitchens are the heart of our homes stands true – and with modern materials, a massive range of layouts and exciting ways to transform your dining space, we’ve got lots of ideas to share.

In this article, our kitchen experts run through the leading trends for 2021 kitchen design to shed light on the options out there. We’ll also showcase how sometimes, just a tiny tweak in your property can make a substantial difference to the way you use your kitchen space.

Ready, steady, let’s cook!

Kitchen Renovation on a Budget

First, let’s clarify that there are many kitchen design options out there that fit a range of budgets. It’s easy to assume a beautiful kitchen space is out of reach, and yes, a bespoke granite worktop, hardwood flooring and marble fixtures can be expensive. Still, our kitchen design teams work with suppliers across the pricing spectrum.

Contemporary appliances offer such a breadth of functionality. You could opt for:

  • Freestanding or fully fitted cookers and washers.
  • Steel, chrome, plastic, wood – materials selected for price, quality, eco-friendliness, durability, texture, aesthetic and finish.
  • Smart appliances, energy-saving devices and remote lighting management.

If you would like to update your kitchen or elevate the design, it’s absolutely possible to do so without breaking the budget.

Easy Ways to Expand Your Kitchen Space

One of the most popular ways to enhance your kitchen is to look at the layout.

Period properties often have small, dark galley kitchens to the rear of the home, which aren’t comfortable spaces to work in, and aren’t conducive to socialising and eating together. Again, there are many opportunities to transform your kitchen and make the space feel fresh, bright and airy.

Here are some ideas to think about:

  • Removing Walls: separate kitchens and dining rooms are a prime example – knock through an internal wall, and create an ample, free-flowing, open plan space that will add value to family time and quality dinners.
  • Kitchen Islands: a brilliant way to create an additional workspace and stylish addition to a modern kitchen (under counter wine fridges work brilliantly). However, you need to have plenty of space around each side, so this option is best for larger spaces.
  • Breakfast Bars: an alternative to an island, a breakfast bar adds a dining space even to a smaller kitchen, constructed in an L-shape. Kids can tuck into their breakfast while you prepare their lunch boxes, and you’ve got plenty of extra surface area too.
  • Kitchen Lighting: we’ve mentioned the tendency to overlook lighting, and if you’re cooking in a darker room, you can make a considerable difference with a skylight or roof lantern. Optimising natural light makes the whole room feel much more inviting.

Remember – you don’t need to have a huge kitchen to make it feel generous. You can use design tricks such as lighter colours to lift dark spaces, replace tired cabinets with fresh materials, or swap solid back doors for a great glass fixture or sliding door.

Dining al fresco is all the rage, and fitting a Bifold door, for example, instantly makes a kitchen feel bigger and brighter.

Using an Extension to Upgrade Your Kitchen

If you’re considering a complete kitchen renovation, it’s worth thinking about a rear extension.

This type of project is one of the most frequently requested, and the Pinnacle Works team has some incredible projects in our portfolio that show how dramatic an impact you can achieve. Kitchen extensions offer flexibility and the choice to tailor your design, colours and materials to the style you’re after.

Think sustainable fitted floors connecting with outdoor decking, fully opening sliding doors to flood your kitchen with fresh air, and low-hanging spotlights to make cooking a breeze even in the depths of winter.

A kitchen extension offers:

  • Scope to significantly increase the size of your kitchen – the only limitation is how much outdoor room you have to build on.
  • Linking the garden with your home makes it feel more spacious and provides a great way to join outdoor dining areas.
  • Variable glazing and lighting – from skylights, large-pane windows, LEDs, under-counter lights, automatic motion sensors and mood lighting for romantic meals.

The choice is yours, whether to use the extension to add to the existing kitchen or whether you’d like a brand new space and renovate the old room into something different.

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Kitchen Renovation?

Don’t let planning permission rules put you off – our teams are always on hand to advise and help you navigate the process! Generally, if you’re redesigning your kitchen, knocking down an internal wall, or renovating a pre-existing space, you won’t need approval.

Kitchen extensions can need permission, but many fall under the Permitted Development rules. That means you don’t need local authority approval and can get your ideal kitchen project underway.

Permitted Development rules, in brief, state that you won’t need permission if:

  • The extension isn’t on the front of the house by the road and is up to one storey tall (maximum of four metres in height).
  • It isn’t over three metres tall if within two metres of the boundary.
  • Your extension shouldn’t take up over 50% of your garden or outdoor space.
  • It cannot feature a balcony or veranda and mustn’t be any taller than the house.

There are some exceptions – primarily listed buildings – but Pinnacle Works recommends kitchen design options that fall under Permitted Development if you’re keen to avoid the extra time and cost of a planning permission application.

In summary, there are so many options to breathe new life into your kitchen space. From a simple cabinet upgrade to a total refit or a new extension construction, there is an option for every size kitchen, every style property, and every homeowner budget.

To explore more inspiration for your kitchen upgrade, get in touch with Pinnacle Works, and our experienced team will be happy to share ideas!

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of a Garage Conversion – Growing Families, Growing Homes!

The Benefits of a Garage Conversion – Growing Families, Growing Homes!

Millions of UK garages across the country become idle spaces. Perhaps they’re a storage shed for those bikes the kids have long grown out of or are collecting old furniture year by year?

There are many reasons why garages don’t tend to be used for cars, with the primary cause being that traditional building plans simply aren’t large enough for modern vehicles! Pinnacle Works offers complete garage conversion services, from helping to design the perfect space for your family to creating contemporary conversions that enhance your home life.

Let’s explore the potential of a garage conversion a little further to give you some inspiration for transforming that dusty cave into something unique and really useful!

Why Invest in a Garage Conversion?

First, let’s think about the usability of that space; it’s a broad scope of opportunity. As we’ve mentioned, most garages aren’t used for parking. Cars are bigger, garages haven’t grown, and they’re often a pain to get in and out of when you’ve got a handy parking space right outside your door.

Converting a garage gives you thousands of options for using that space more effectively, and there are no limits on what you might do with it!

Some of our recent garage conversions have included:

  • Creating home office spaces, gyms and playrooms.
  • Expanding interior rooms such as kitchens or living areas.
  • Developing an annexe for a family member to move into.
  • Adapting disability-friendly spaces with more room to manoeuvre.

These are only the tip of the iceberg, and given that the garage is separate from your main property, you can knock through to create internal access, remove the wall entirely, or keep it as a standalone asset.

Five Benefits of Converting a Garage

Garage conversions offer some attractive benefits, and they’re not all about having flexibility in how you change your home.

1.     Separation from the Main Property

Think about a quiet snug for relaxing, a home gym where you can make as much noise as you like, a private office space, or a music rehearsal studio where you won’t need to keep an eye on the volume dial.

2.     Potential for Changes of Use

Teenagers like privacy and little ones tend to gather no end of toys! Using a garage as a dedicated children’s space keeps the clutter at bay and frees up ‘adult’ living rooms, allowing your home to feel more peaceful.

Change your mind? The framework of the garage conversion is there, so you can redecorate and use that space however you wish in the future.

3.     Adding Value to Your Home

Undoubtedly, in central city areas where parking is at a premium, a garage can be a great asset. However, the vast majority of homes don’t need this room, so converting the garage is an excellent way to maximise living space.

Buyers will happily pay more for any home with an additional room compared to neighbouring property listings, and having a professional garage conversion can be a major selling point.

A garage conversion can add as much as 10% to the value of a home. Given the relatively low cost of the work – since the core structure is already there – it’s a high return on investment compared to any other home improvement projects.

4.     Making Your Workshop Work Harder

Perhaps you’d love your own workshop or to keep your garage as a functional area for storage but without the unused floor space.

There are two options here – a total conversion, where you reconfigure the whole space or a partial conversion where you keep some areas as a storage space or workshop, with the rest used for other purposes.

Optimising garage space can completely change how you use it. That might mean adding insulation, more windows, installing heating and proper lighting so you can work any time of the day or night.

Storage racking, robust flooring and user-friendly access points make a garage workshop far easier to use and a better place to work.

5.     Increasing the Garage Size

Another option is to look at optimising the space available. For example, some of our clients want to use that extra capacity to extend outwards, making a small living room or stuffy kitchen far more generous.

Garages tend to be boxy shapes, which means they are relatively easy to convert and can make a significant difference in the flow of air and light around your home.

Planning Permission and Building Regulations for Garage Conversions

Now, planning permission can make even the most enterprising home improvement fan reluctant. Still, there are several solutions to streamline the process and ensure you can convert your garage any way you’d like!

Here are some of the options:

  • Keeping the external aesthetics as they are. That means you leave the garage doors in position but block up the entrance internally to remodel the interior. That option means you won’t usually need any planning and can proceed through Permitted Development rights.
  • Using Pinnacle Works for your garage conversion means our team of experts are on hand to provide support and ensure the building regulations approval process is managed seamlessly.
  • Opt for a total property makeover with our help to ensure you have accurate drawings, specifications and costings to pass through the planning permission system without a hitch.

A great factor in a garage conversion is that it’s minimally intrusive, so you won’t need to worry about dust, debris and muddy boots – not that we’d ever leave a home in anything but pristine condition!

Garage conversion projects can proceed even when you’re at home, and the Pinnacle Works team consult every client about the best scheduling for noisier tasks such as knocking through a wall or creating a new door space.

Note that converting the garage won’t impact your council tax and is tailored to your style preferences and aspirations.

Turning a tired old garage into a sparkling new home gym or dedicated office can make a substantial difference to space and make your home a better, more comfortable place to be. For more information about garage conversions or to discuss your ideas, please get in touch with the team at Pinnacle Works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revamp Your Lifestyle Without Moving House – Redesign Your Home Interior

Revamp Your Lifestyle Without Moving House – Redesign Your Home Interior

Walking into a fresh, perfectly laid out space or a room that makes you instantly feel at home and relaxed is always the ideal. Pinnacle Works provides a wide range of services to our clients that can transform the atmosphere, usage and design of any home interior – making your property bespoke to your lifestyle without needing to pack a single bag.

The challenge for so many homeowners is that it can be difficult to see beyond your existing interior and imagine what you could achieve with creative craftsmanship, contemporary materials, and a little reconfiguration.

Here we’ll run through some of the concepts we have worked on with our clients that have made a profound change to how their home flows, the amount of functional space on offer, and as a compelling way to remain in the property you love, making it work for you.

Open Plan Property Reconfigurations

One of the most sought-after home reconfigurations is to create a light, airy, open plan living space. This aspiration is extremely popular in family homes and properties where it is essential to maximise natural light and ensure there is sufficient space and storage for busy families.

Many period homes and traditional properties contain multiple separated living spaces. For example, a ground floor layout might be split into a utility space, kitchen, dining room, conservatory, hallway and lounge. While separated living can work for some homeowners, it can have several downsides:

  • Smaller rooms can be dark, cramped, and rarely used.
  • Family members in different parts of the property become isolated.
  • It is less sociable, with designated spaces often not large enough for entertaining.
  • There is reduced capacity for larger pieces of furniture due to narrow doorways and wall space.

One of the reasons for this separated living style is that older homes didn’t benefit from the building materials and resources now available. For example, a closed off living room might have been cosier and less draughty and retain heat from a fireplace without it spreading throughout unoccupied spaces.

However, today’s homeowners have a vast array of options, from underfloor heating to triple glazed windows, panoramic Bi-fold doors and recessed lighting solutions, rendering those practicalities far less of a factor than having a light, spacious and appealing home.

Redesigning Your Home Interior

The kitchen is always a focal point in a home where meals are cooked, and people gather to talk about their day. Hence, it is no surprise that we often manage projects focusing on expanding this space and incorporating a generous kitchen/diner into what was a boxy, stuffy room.

Converting a kitchen can be a relatively simple job, with maximum impact on how you use your property. Some clients opt to retain their existing appliances and cabinets with a floor layout change to ensure the room feels wide open and attractive.

For example:

  • Separate kitchens can quickly become hot, steamy and damp without enough space for the heat caused by cooking to disperse – whereas reconfiguring this can revamp it into an entertaining area, with large windows, vents and plenty of light.
  • Galley kitchens can be tiny, with sufficient space for only one person at a time. Kitchen diners are more social and allow the person cooking to converse and chat with others in the dining space, or perhaps for them to lend a hand!

If you’re considering reconfiguring your ground floor to allow for an impressive kitchen/diner, it’s unlikely you’re keen to move. However, a fresh new kitchen can add around 10% to the value of your property. Large, open-plan kitchens are also one of the most desirable qualities on a buyer’s wish list.

Removing Redundant Walls

The next redesign project we work on regularly is in knocking down unnecessary walls. The amount of space you can gain by opening up an interior is astonishing.

Remember that a wall inside your property isn’t just a layer of bricks but includes plaster, insulation, and fittings. We often hear that clients are amazed by the change in space and how much valuable capacity a simple wall had taken up.

There are two scenarios here, depending on whether the walls you’d like to remove are load bearing or not. Non-structural walls can be knocked through quickly, with work required to make good the walls and flooring where the previous structure had been. This might be to:

  • Create a larger bathroom.
  • Open up a conservatory or sunroom to extend your living space.
  • Convert two small bedrooms into one generous room.
  • Knock through an unused box room to make it more usable.

Load-bearing walls (or support walls) are more complex but can still be removed if you want to increase the space, light and airflow in your property. This type of wall is part of the property’s structure and holds the weight above it through the foundations.

Even if you have a sizeable load-bearing wall running smack bang through the middle of your property, this can be removed and reinforcement built in to ensure the weight of the floor or roof above remains correctly supported. This usually involves creating a temporary support wall for the removal project and fitting a structural beam to carry the load. We can also add structural steelwork frames connected through robust bolting systems to ensure the new, more expansive space is structurally sound.

Note that it is essential to use a professional contractor to remove any structural walls. If they are removed incorrectly or the weight is not correctly supported, it can lead to disastrous consequences, including collapsed ceilings.

We regularly work on these types of reconfigurations and can provide professional advice about the best solutions to suit your property and intended use of your new open-plan space.

Architectural Property Redesign

We love the opportunity to work on exciting and innovative home reconfigurations – and to see the potential of properties with outdated layouts or tired interiors take on a whole new life.

We have specific architectural and structural steelwork experience, which is a fundamental component of any successful redesign where integral parts of the structure need to be changed, moved or removed. Led by our Director, Dave, who has 18 years of professional architectural steelwork expertise, the Pinnacle team has the know-how to advise on a wide range of property redesign projects, including help with reimagining your internal space and the range of layouts available within your property.

Please contact the Pinnacle Works team for more assistance with your home improvement project, whether you need initial design inspiration or are keen to get to work!

 

 

 

 

 

Designing the Ultimate Garden Fire Pit

Designing the Ultimate Garden Fire Pit

A garden fire pit is a stylish, chic and popular way to make the most of your outside spaces.

Our team receives frequent enquiries about constructing bespoke garden fire pits – and as the weather warms and we all appreciate the benefits of spending more time outdoors, that’s only going to increase! Your fire pit style depends very much on the shape, size and aesthetic of your landscaping and what garden inspiration you want to bring to your home.

Here, we’ll run through some of the many benefits of garden fire pits to revitalise your outdoors and how you can adapt your entertaining areas to your own unique tastes.

What are the Benefits of Having a Garden Fire Pit?

There’s little more romantic and relaxing than having a softly cracking fire, warming your toes (and perhaps your marshmallows) as you chill out with friends, enjoy dinner with family, or catch up with your nearest and dearest.

While fires have always been an autumnal tradition, garden fire pits bring this instant ambience into year-round use.

  • A garden fire pit can be purely decorative or used for cooking and toasting.
  • Year-round use means you can have a cosy garden seating area, whatever the weather.
  • Fire pits provide gentle light, mood and atmosphere perfect for entertaining.
  • Being usable throughout the summer extends your garden space into the night.
  • Garden fire pits are safe, with flames properly contained and limited to your drum and fuel source. You can also add fire guards and covers if there are young children around.

Fire pits can be as straightforward or as intricate as you like – speak to us about your garden inspiration, and we’ll be delighted to share some design ideas with you. There are thousands of garden design styles to choose between, from slick, contemporary sunken seating areas to snuggly warm dens, functional outdoor kitchen spaces to casual family relaxation pods.

Another benefit is that having a fitted garden fire pit in your property can add value to your home! That depends on what fuel source you use, how well the fire pit has been maintained, and whether it’s a permanent installation or occasionally used in a seating area or deck.

Are Fire Pits Expensive to Maintain?

Garden fire pits are multifunctional, used for warmth, cooking, as a design statement, or entertainment. You can burn a wide range of fuels on your fire pit, and if installed correctly with stable foundations, they require little maintenance apart from periodic cleaning.

Examples of suitable fuel sources include:

  • Charcoal
  • Kiln-dried logs
  • Almost any dried wood – birch, oak, alder and ash are popular.
  • Smokeless fuels
  • Wood briquettes

Choosing an aromatic kiln-dried wood is a great way to bring a pleasant scent to the evening air and add to the atmosphere.

Maintenance is simple – you should remove ash and any debris from the garden fire pit, clean with a non-toxic solution, and rinse. Most fire pits only need a general clean from time to time and a deep clean every six months or so. It’s essential to allow your fire pit time to dry after it has been cleaned to ensure it will burn just as brightly next time you want to use it.

Most garden fire pits will burn for anything from three to six hours, depending on how regularly you top up the fuel source. They can be lined with sand to ensure the heat distributes evenly, and cleaning is a little easier.

With so many diverse styles available, Pinnacle can also fit bespoke seating areas, raised or sunken, around a standalone fire pit of your choice. Some homeowners prefer an option with a removable drum for easy storage when not in use.

Why are Garden Fire Pits so Popular?

There’s little doubt that what was once an unusual quirk is now something that millions of homeowners wish to install in their gardens – and the trend for fire pits has taken off significantly in the last few years. Many of the reasons relate to personal taste and how we value our gardens and want to maximise the fresh air and natural light we experience daily.

Particularly over the last year, when so many of us were confined to our homes, we have a newfound appreciation for how much our outdoor spaces bring to our lives. It is essential to ensure your property is somewhere you can relax, spend quality time, and enjoy the best that British summertime has to offer.

Garden design is also completely adaptable, and so you can create any seating area, decking, patio or landscaping that captures the personality of your home and family. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Using sunken rendered walls to create a sleek feel, with curved edges and a smooth finish to deliver a dedicated seating area for dining with guests.
  • Tiling your garden fire pit area, whether a bright pop of colour to inject energy or a subtle pattern, to blend in seamlessly with your garden design.
  • Creating shape with elongated fire pit designs, complementing your garden’s layout and bringing unused areas back into value.
  • Making your fire pit a focal and social hub of your garden, by building outwards from the seating area.

There are also multiple material options, ranging from modern concrete block to Mediterranean inspired designs, robust brickwork to traditional stone.

Whatever your garden inspiration might be and how you use your outside spaces, a garden fire pit can bring a new dimension to your property and expand your use of the outdoors. From warming winter evenings to relaxing summer nights, family dinner times to barbecue parties, fire pits bring a touch of luxury living that offers real benefits to our wellbeing.

For more information about garden design inspiration or to view previous garden fire pit installation projects, get in touch with the Pinnacle Works team to begin your garden transformation – just in time for summer!