Archive for March, 2012

Tips For Planning A New House Extension

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Are You Thinking of Building A House Extension?

House Extensions are becoming more and more popular due to the cost of moving house being so high and house values continuing to fall. Now is a great time to build a new house extension so that when house values increase, so will yours with that newly added house extension.

Cardiff and Bridgend House Extension Builders There are many house extension ideas to choose from but it is not always as simple as picking one from a magazine or one that you may have seen on holiday.

We generally find that most of our customers appreciate the comprehensive and flexible packages we offer. By that I mean, here at Derwood Homes we can design your new house extension from scratch, submit a planning application on your behalf and of course prepare and submit a detailed Building Regulation Application.

Unfortunately planning fees and applications have increased and so have construction costs.

This is one reason why a lot of people think they can cut corners by having plans and building regs designed and submitted by unqualified individuals. This is a big mistake. As we all know, preparation is always the key. Otherwise it will come back and bite you hard. Do NOT be tempted !

8 Top Tips For Preparing To Build a New House Extension

1.  Ensure that the order in which you design, prepare and submit your house extension plans is done correctly to minimise costs. People tend to get this process mixed up. House extension costs can vary, so getting the plans designed in accordance with your budget will save time and prevent you having to re-design your house extension if the cost turns out to be much higher that what you can afford.

2.  Make sure you find someone who can design the plans and engineering detail for your new extension at the same time or at least take the two points into consideration from the start. It’s all good and well designing a modern high spec house extension and obtaining planning permission only to later discover that the house extension construction costs are not within your budget. We always tend to discuss with our clients what their budget is and then design their new house extension within those boundaries. Getting that fine balance right is paramount.

3.  Ensure that your designer and engineer are one of the same people or company rather than two separate individuals who may not know each other. This will save you costs in the long run. The amount of times we have taken over projects because an Architect / Engineer have not communicated properly and ended up providing a poor service to their customers is quite shocking. Communication is so important.

4.  Avoid cutting corners when preparing to build a house extension by not designing a full set of Building Regs for approval before works start. By doing so will ensure that all of the construction detail for the builder you choose to build your extension, knows what the current regulations are and the materials to use. If the builder tries to cut corners then only he is to blame rather than the onus being placed upon you.

5.  There are lot’s of good reputable builders around despite what some of the programmes on television say. Finding one that can provide the above from start will definitely save you time and money in the long term. In fact it will make the whole experience much more pleasurable and help develop a good working relationship. Derwood homes House Extension Builders

6.  Find a reputable builder who will project manage the works for you. Our customers love this type of service that we offer. There really is no need to appoint an outside project manager, but if it makes you feel more comfortable to pay the extra cost to do so then there is nothing wrong with that.

7.  Never pay a builder more than 10% of the build costs before works commence for building materials or as a deposit. Make sure that you fully agree what the stage payments are throughout the construction of your house extension project and what if any works may be deemed as extra or outside the main scope of works. Personally, I believe that some payment should be made before works commence as it is always a risk for a builder to carry out work for a customer who may not have any intention of paying and of course vise versa. It’s all about trust, honesty and having a first class working relationship.

8.  Try to allocate between 10 and 15% of the new house extension cost towards any unforeseen costs that may crop up. I know budgets are always tight but this can help a great deal. Remember that a builder inspector can always insist on extra works being carried out during the construction stage over and above what may be on the design drawings and of course there can be a situation whereby something within the existing property is uncovered that may require urgent remedial works to be carried out.

I hope the above is helpful. Good luck.

Feel Free To Contact Us For Any Advice You May Require. We Would Be Glad To Help

Kind Regards


Home Maintanance Tips And Advice

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Are You Looking For Some Home Maintenance or Home Improvement Advice ?

Keeping on top of home improvements and home maintenance is vital if you want to save money in the long term. Owning a house can be an expensive hobby especially if you’re not careful. home maintenance builders in South wales
As soon as the spring and summer months arrive take a few minutes to walk around your home inside and out to establish what work may need doing to prevent further damage to your home.

I generally find that as soon as the bright sun light arrives and our homes and gardens are lit up with the more intense light than in the winter months it tends to high light the home maintenance jobs that are required such as the grubby paint work, rotting timber work, and worn looking home decor. My wife also tends to notice it more as well, especially as the hidden cobwebs and any dust that she may have missed during her cleaning stand out like to her dismay, hence the reason why we have ‘spring cleans’.

Home improvements are not just about buying new furniture or kitchens or bathrooms, it’s also about finding the right balance to keep the whole of our home well maintained and in tip top shape. If you don’t then repairs thereafter can end up costing you 10 times as much. The same applies to the garden, dirty patio’s and driveways, blocked drains and gutters, damaged fascia boards, cracked tiles and render all of which will need urgent attention before the next winter and frost takes it’s bit!

As a general guideline, find a builder who is willing to pop around to your home and offer you some free advice on what may need urgent attention. A good reputable builder will generally be willing to do so and provide you with an estimate to carry out effective repairs in the hope that you will have money left over to spend on the nicer home improvements that we all wish for.

Home Maintenance Check List
Below are typical examples of some of the common home maintenance repairs to look out for around the outside of your property. Home maintenance check list with Derwood Homes

1. Gutters, Rainwater Pipes And Drains
Blocked and over flowing gutters can lead to major damp problems. Leaves are the most common issue to cause blockages. Snow can losen gutters and rainwater pipes so you may have to securely re-fix them.
2. External Walls
Have a look around the exterior walls of your home especially the External Render. Cracked render will allow water and damp to enter your property. Once water gets behind and freezes it will cause the render to ‘blow’ and break away from the wall.
3. Check your Roof tiles
Cracked or loose roof tiles will allow rain and birds to enter your roof and cause damage both of which are a very common cause of damp that could end up being very costly if you’re not careful.
4. Outside paintwork
Check for signs of any flaking paint work on external walls, fascia boards, windows and doors. If you don’t carry out any repairs when needed it will cause these structures to quickly breakdown. Don’t forget to check the silicone seals around your doors and windows. Very important to ensure that they aren’t letting in any damp other wise your interior decor will soon deterioate.
5. Window Sills
Check your window sills to see if they have any cracks that could be letting in damp into your property.
6. Patios and Paving.
Very often after a good jet wash with the right chemicals, patios and paving can look refreshed and like new. It is well worth checking the mortar joints to see if they need repairing. It may be a fiddly and messy job but well worth it.
7. Driveways. Worn or just dirty?
Driveways very often may look messy and worn, but again may just need a good jet washing. Use the right chemicals to get rid of any oil spills or bird droppings very often does the trick. Every year like clockwork I give my drive and patio a jet wash so that it looks like new. Fill any cracks or refit any loose paving stones to prevent others from becoming damaged. If any part of your drive has sunk, get it repaired otherwise it will cause more unnecessary damage.
8. Check your chimney.
If the lead flashing around your chimney looks damaged or loose have it checked out. You’ll be surprised the damage a leaking chimney can cause in your attic space without you knowing.
9. Garden walls
Combined rain and frost can soon cause some serious damage to garden walls causing them to subside, crack and worst of all fall down. A quick check for any damage is well worth it. Remember that if your wall does fall down and cause injury or damage to some else or their property, you are liable!
10. Trees and shrubs.
It is always worth checking any trees around your property to ensure that they are not leaning or have any cracked branches that could end up falling down.
11. Garden fencing , decking and sheds. home maintenance in hand with Derwood Developments
The weather can greatly reduce the life span of any timber garden fencing, decking or sheds. Applying an annual coat of wood preservative and stain will add years to their lifespan. Remove any rotten timber and replace it with new. Check the stability of fencing posts to ensure that they have not become loose will help reduce the risk of future damage. While you’re at it you may want to apply a coat to any timber garden furniture you may have at the same time. This is something I do every year.
12. Electrics and lights
A visual inspection of your external lights, switches and cables is always a good idea. It you see any signs of water inside your external lights or any damaged cables you must call out a reputable electrician to repair the faults. Any one carrying out electrical work has to be Registered and fully qualified, so don’t take any risks !

And finally, you may want to give your gutters, fascia boards and Upvc doors and windows a good clean with soapy water or Upvc cleaner. It will give them a new lease of life. It may all sound like hard work or expensive, but keeping on top of home maintenance checks will definitely save you a lot of money in the long term and help to keep your home looking like new.

If you would like us to give you any advice please feel free to contact us at any time. Contact Us Here for a Free Quote

KInd Regards

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