Attic Conversions – A Popular Home Improvement Project

Conversion of attic is a process by which an empty attic space can be transformed into a functional area or room, which can be used as a bathroom, bedroom, play room, kid’s room, storage room, gym room, etc. Owing to their numerous benefits, it is a very popular form of home improvement.

It provides you with added space so that you don’t feel that you live in a house which is cramped up.

It helps to raise the value of your existing property.

It prevents from causing any kind of inconvenience to the family, as they do not have to move to a new home and locality.

It is much cheaper than buying a bigger house.

It helps you to live in peace in your own home.

The many advantages that one gets out of an attic conversion can be extremely tempting, but prior to starting the conversion project, one has to make sure whether the project is feasible or not. How do you do that? Here are some of the basic requirements to ensure that you can have a successful conversion:

Inspect the attic room thoroughly and check how much of a headroom space is available. To convert an attic into a habitable place, you would require 2.1 meters of minimum headroom space.

Check the roof of the attic for any damage caused by rainwater. If there are visible black patches, it means that the problem persists, and that should be taken care of before commencing on the conversion project. Also, check for leaks and cracks on the roof.

Since the attic is a room which is just below the roof, it will be slightly warmer and colder during summer and winter months, respectively, than the other rooms in the house. For this reason, the attic should be properly insulated to create a comfortable living atmosphere.

If you have been using a pull-down stairs to climb up and down the attic, then you will have to change that and add a staircase which is permanent. While adding a staircase, one has to consider about what lies below, how much space the staircase would be taking up, whether they will interrupt the flow of the other rooms, etc.

Have a clear idea about what kind of usable living space do you want to convert your attic into. Take help from experienced and reputable companies who have the required knowledge in order to get the best assistance and to protect yourself from over-spending. The professionals will be able to perfectly guide you and answer all your queries to your satisfaction.

Find out if you need to apply for planning permission for conversion of your attic.

The above points are only the basics of conversion which are required to check the feasibility of the project. Conversions are growing in popularity as we speak, because of their many benefits, affordability and the convenience of the homeowner to be able to get free space in their own home without having to go through the stressful process of moving. Also, the value of the house increases by an approximate 20%. It’s a win-win situation for the homeowners, in case they opt for this option to improve their home and add value to it.

Five Most Popular Home Improvements

The Halifax found that almost three-fifths of homeowners (58%) have undertaken some form of home improvements over the past year. Younger adults are particularly keen on feathering their nests, with almost seven in ten 18-34-year-olds (68%) carrying out home improvements in the past twelve months.

Of course, as well as updating and modernising their homes, DIYers hope to enhance the value and improve the saleability of their properties. The bottom line is that the works are generally anticipated to net an additional £5000 on the resale value of the owners’ homes. According to Halifax’s annual Home Improvement Survey, the five most popular home improvements are:

* Re-decorating – 66%
* Garden improvements – 41%
* New furnishings – 30%
* Laminate or wood flooring – 25%
* New bathroom – 24%

So, how would you go about paying for these home improvements? Here are three options for you to consider:

1) Use cash or savings

As a reformed debt addict, this would certainly be my first choice. What’s more, it’s likely to be the cheapest option, since all you stand to lose is the interest on the money you put to one side or withdraw from your savings account. However, if you can’t afford to fund your home improvements from your regular income, and you don’t have an emergency fund or nest egg to fall back on, then your next option might be to…

2) Get an unsecured personal loan

These are known as ‘unsecured’ personal loans because they are not secured on your property. In other words, if you don’t keep up the monthly repayments, you aren’t likely to lose your home (although it is possible). Alas, choosing a personal loan is far from simple, as there are hundreds of different loans from which to choose. If you want to borrow from £1,000 to £25,000 without putting your home on the line, then don’t move a muscle until you’ve read my twelve tips in The Loan Arranger Rides Again.

3) Borrow against your home

If you’re planning some major work on your home, such as an extension, loft conversion, new kitchen or bathroom, then you’ll probably need to borrow more and over a longer period. In this situation, you may decide that a secured loan is your best option. Although secured loans have their critics (and I’m one of the most vocal!), they do enable sensible homeowners to borrow cheaply against their properties.

If you do go down this route, then the first step is to ask your mortgage lender how much extra it will cost to extend your existing home loan, as this is often the cheapest option. If you don’t wish to approach your existing lender for whatever reason, then next look into remortgaging with another lender.

You then need to shop around for the best possible deal in a choice rich secured loans market. However, this market can be dangerous, so watch out for bandits – especially those which advertise in the back of newspapers or on daytime television!

As with all borrowing, your goal should be to minimise the amount that you repay, so pay close attention to the interest rate (which may be variable) and fees being charged. Furthermore, be sure to get written details of all charges for credit, plus the total amount repayable (TAR), which should include all interest and charges. Get it right and the TAR for a £25,000 loan over five years could be as low as £29,775 (7.34% APR). Get it wrong and the total could be as high as £38,884 (21.27% APR). Ouch!

Finally, don’t be tempted to borrow more than you need and, while taking affordability into account, aim to arrange your loan over the shortest period possible, as this will minimise your final interest bill. In addition, don’t become too eager on keep on borrowing against your home, because it’s your dwelling, not a cash machine!

Safety and Accessibility – The Most Popular Home Improvements For Seniors

It won’t come as a surprise that the vast majority of middle-aged and older Americans want to remain living independently in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. This was verified by a survey conducted by AARP. This regular survey, based on telephone interviews of 2,000 persons age 45 and over, examines the opinions and behavior of middle-aged and older Americans regarding their current and future housing situations.

These older Americans want their independence, but they also need to be able to function in their own homes. The survey found that seventy percent of those who are able to make alterations to their homes have made at least one modification in order to make it easier for them to get around. As many as two-thirds of those who made modifications to their home believe those improvements will help allow them to live in their homes longer than they would have been able otherwise, most estimate for another ten years or more. The most popular improvements were focused and accessibility and home safety. Of those polled, 85% said they have already made simple changes to their homes, such as placing non-skid strips in bathtubs, safety bars in showers and handrails on both side of the stairwells.

The top 10 most popular home improvements reported were:

Levered doorknobs.
Grab bars in bathrooms.
Levered faucets in kitchen sinks.
Handrails on both sides of stairwells and on front and rear steps.
Grab bars in showers; removal of any door threshold.
Movable shower heads for those who must sit.
Portable shower seats.
A bathroom with a bath/shower as well as a bedroom on the first floor.
Widened doors to accommodate wheelchairs.
Ramps for those using walkers and wheelchairs.

As Americans continue to live longer and demand independence, these types of improvements will likely continue to increase.

Popular Home Improvements

Many home owners have been showing so much interest in improving their homes in the last few years. Most of them have already executed varying improvement projects for their homes and have been appreciating the results of this fruitful undertaking. Home improvement not only helps in raising the value of a home but also brings out a better and more attractive look for the home. This makes the owners feel more comfortable and confident with the place.

There are varying home improvement ideas that are available and ready for execution. The size and design of your house matters a lot and this can actually hinder you from applying some of the ideas. Within those varying ideas, there are a number of them that can be applied in most homes because of their usefulness and ease of design. They are the popular home improvements. The list below shows those improvements and can be used as a guide for choosing the best home improvements to go with.

1. Upgrading bathrooms and kitchens

With the increasing rise in technology, many bathroom and kitchen appliances are continuously being developed. Some of the appliances are oh so useful and economical. This makes them require a certain setup that cannot be accommodated by the old school room designs. This raises the need for a makeover on those places. New and highly attractive bathroom and kitchen designs that raise the value of a home are also coming up at a high rate, and this is making many home owners opt to go with those designs as they are truly elegant.

2. Using boilers

Boilers are highly valued assets that are continuously gaining fame and use because of the benefits they bring to home owners. Acquiring and installing them requires a good sum of money and this forces the value of a home to rise immediately after a boiler is installed. Apart from new installations, people are also replacing their old boilers with new ones that are more expensive and coming from reputable companies.

3. Double glazing

Many homeowners have been replacing their old windows with the double glazed ones due to a number of reasons. Double glazed windows are good at reducing noise and heat transfer. They are also important in improving home security as well as enhancing its value. This makes double glazing an important feature for homes and has thus been gaining a great acceptance and application by the people.

4. Home garden makeover

A home garden is an important part of the home’s face. Having a decent garden helps in creating a better image of the home and in turn raises its value. The home also becomes more attractive and this is something that every home owner wants. Being an easier and more economical way of improving the overall homestead, garden makeover is a very useful step and has thus been considered to be part of the popular home improvements that have been trending.