Loft Conversions: A Great Way To Create More Living Space

building a loft in your homeDo you have high ceilings in your home that you feel are no more than an empty and wasted space? If so, you may be losing out on your home’s real potential. Through loft conversion, you can transform unused ceiling or attic space into a functional loft room or living area.

From Wasted Space To Extra Space With A Loft Conversion

The typical vaulted ceiling or enclosed attic space can amount to almost 30% of the total potential space of a home. Unfortunately, this portion is usually left unused.  By building a loft conversion instead of an extension or room addition, you get an additional room without taking away space from your garden or lot area.

Also, as opposed to constructing extensions or basements, building a loft gives you maximum use of your home with lesser disruption to the existing structure.

Remodeling Contractors Are The Cheaper Alternative

In this uncertain economy, more homeowners are turning to loft conversion to address their need for more living space. It’s an alternative that tends to cost less because instead of adding to the house, you will be working within its existing dimensions and foundation.

Build What You Need

The attic space offers a versatile area from which various types of accommodation can be built. Some homeowners want living additional living space, such as a bedroom, children’s playroom, or even an entertainment area. Others prefer to make it an office space. There are also those who just want more storage area.

Building a room addition/loft conversion can be a fun and rewarding experience if you decide to give a personalized take to the room being created. Think about how you would want the room to look. Decide on details like the color palette, space layout, furnishings and other design elements. Always remember that during this whole process, you are the boss.

Increase Your Home’s Value

More space means more money. It is generally believed that having a loft constructed in your home will add a substantial amount of value to your property. Though exact figures are hard to determine, it is said that a professional loft conversion can increase the potential price of a house to approximately 20%.

Constructing lofts has gained popularity among many homeowners over the past years.  Since this is not an “easy” remodel, if you aren’t an adept do-it-yourselfer, it is advisable to seek the services of remodeling contractors to ensure a smooth loft conversion.  With the assistance of a professional, you can see your ideas implemented and a new space created that perfectly suits your needs.

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“Aging In Place”: Senior-Friendly Remodeling Tips

aging in placeIn the last few years, there’s been a significant adjustment in what is being offered to enable people to “age in place.” The trend is to provide alternatives that don’t give a home the feel of “an old folks’ home.”

As the baby boomer generation ages, the market for attractive, senior-friendly products has grown, as well. Nowadays, manufacturers are tempting buyers with things like grab bars that make you think “pretty,” rather than “old;” kitchen drawers that make you think “wow,” rather than “useful,” and kitchen faucets with temperature presets that make you think “elegant” rather than “avoids burns.”

Here are some other ideas for “updating,” rather than “senior-proofing” your home:

Changing the color inside a drawer makes it contents easier to see.

Installing LED strips around medicine cabinets or in drawers also helps people to see what’s inside more easily. LEDs don’t get hot, and they’re discreet and efficient.

Manufacturers have come up with a stepstool device that can be installed under a cabinet and can be opened with a light kick to the door.

There’s a trend towards drawers and cabinets that open by gentle touch and close automatically.

Bathtubs are now available with one side that can be raised and lowered with minimum pressure. Some are also available with a protruding seat. This has proven to be useful not just for seniors or for physically-challenged individuals who might need to transfer themselves from a wheelchair into the tub, but also for young parents who can sit there to bathe their children.

Battery-operated faucets are now available that will sense the body’s electric current and will turn on automatically if a human is within four inches, and turns off with a touch or within seconds after you walk away.

There are now kitchen cabinet designs that incorporate a drawer which holds stacks of plates and makes them easier to lift out, rather than removing plates from an overhead cabinet or shelf.

There’s no question that the aging of the baby-boom generation has fueled many such design innovations. People who no longer can get at pots and pans easily or set out  a spread for a party might feel less confident and less inclined to entertain.  This starts to isolate them.

This new trend in product design not only is helping a significant portion of the population to remain in their homes longer, but also to be more vibrant and more socially connected. This is a wave that is only going to get stronger as more of the population moves into the senior demographic.

Useful Remodeling Ideas – BEFORE You Get Started!

home remodeling ideasHome remodeling can be done for function or just because the house needs a new look, or a combination of the two. The focus of home remodeling for most homeowners is usually the kitchen or the bathrooms because those are the rooms that add the most value to a home and can become outdated more quickly. Just as in fashion, home décor goes through fads, and typically if bathrooms and kitchens have not been remodeled for ten years or more, it’s obvious!

How many times have we heard the jokes about the ambitious do-it-yourself homeowner who starts project after project, only to stop in the middle and not finish any one of them? Usually the weekend warrior runs out of time, or perhaps money, or maybe he or she realizes that much more has been bitten off than can possibly be chewed. The results are evident – half-finished paint jobs that leave some walls in one color while others sport another; flooring has been exposed but never finished; kitchen cabinets are leaning against the wall yet will not be anchored in for weeks or perhaps months. Sadly, many a homeowner neglected to receive some sound remodeling tips prior to embarking on their tasks. To this end, here are some tips and tricks that will you to get off to a good start, before you actually pick up your checkbook or your tools!

One of the first remodeling tips that are usually neglected is the fact that it should have a general appeal. Granted, this may be common sense, yet it is astounding how many homeowners add or take away from their homes in such a way that a future sale is compromised. While the homeowner may think that a purple bathroom with yellow handprints is just darling, the potential buyer who tours the house two years down the line will probably wrinkle his nose at this décor faux pas. In the same way, if you decide to add on to your home, do it with an eye on the investment potential. In other words, do not do a half-fast job yourself, but instead pull the proper permits and hire licensed contractors to at least take a look before the building inspector stops by.

Experts have a tool box full of different small bathroom remodeling ideas, but most can be grouped into two categories: creating light and creating visual space. The illusions of space and light complement each other and expand a small space. Anyone who has tried to apply makeup in a small dark room knows how important light is, and it’s created in a variety of ways, both natural and artificial. Natural light comes from windows, skylights, and any other opening that allows sun into the space. Whenever possible, windows should be left uncovered or only lightly covered by a filmy white or light-colored window covering. Paint colors from the cool end of the color spectrum reflect and enhance natural light, as do mirrors and light-colored flooring. Even a light-colored, inexpensive rug used to cover a dark floor can brighten up a space. Artificial light, originating from ceiling lights, wall sconces or lamps, can also brighten a space when employed artfully. Recessed lighting, which creates the illusion of space as well as light, could also be a viable option for you. Just be sure to use artificial light that is bright without being oppressive. Look in your home and garden store for special bulbs that can be used to effectively diffuse the light.

Other remodeling tips include the popularity versus functionality of a desired item, as well as value for the items. For example, just because recessed lighting is the latest fad, it may not be the lighting of choice for the bathroom where it may create dark spots and shade in undesirable areas. In addition to the foregoing, the value of the items purchased should remain intact, thus adding value to the home rather than simply costing money. Thereafter it is a smart idea to do a bit of research to see where home decorating trends are headed. Some old time favorites, such as ceiling tiles or even marble counter tops, are becoming a thing of the past, and if you are wondering about adding value to your home it is best to decorate with the market in mind. Naturally, not all homeowners will look to sell their properties within the next few years or until after the next remodel, yet this rule of thumb is certain to add value to the biggest investment you will ever make rather than just drain the bank account.

Hopefully these remodeling tips have added a little bit of common sense to the mix of weekend projects and large undertakings, and the next time you contemplate a project, please be sure to think it through from beginning to end before your jump into the car to head to the local big box store for supplies!

by Michael Johnson