Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

Lofty Ideas

Many householders need more space but can’t afford to move house, or don’t want the financial risk. One option is to convert the space in your loft into habitable rooms. Doing so can add up to a third more usable floor area in a two-storey building, and nearly twice as much in a bungalow. A loft extension costs less than a home extension of the same floor area, because the shell (the floor and roof) is already there. And you can save money when you get to the furnishing stage by buying online. Add websites like to your ‘favourites’ and follow them on Twitter and Facebook to find out what their best prices and new designs are before everyone else does.

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It is absolutely essential to get advice before embarking on a project like this. Check relevant building regulations first and get a surveyor to ascertain if joists need strengthening (they may well do, because second floor joists are often much weaker than on the first floor). Expert advice is not an area to skimp on.

However, you can save on the expense of having a staircase built from scratch by choosing a ready-made spiral staircase, fire regulations permitting. This will not only be cheaper, it will save valuable space and can look very stylish too. Check the small ads in your local newspaper for low-cost or second-hand stairs, or place a ‘wanted’ advert yourself.

In general, it will be cheaper to employ an independent builder rather than going to a specialist loft conversion company, as a builder will have lower overheads, fewer fixed costs and minimal promotional costs. Do check that the builder you are planning to employ has a good track record in successful loft conversions however. Ask for a reference and request the builder to get permission for you to see other jobs he has completed locally. In addition, you can make some big savings by doing part of the work yourself, as long as your DIY skills are up to scratch – from laying floor coverings, installing a roof window (not all types require scaffolding) to decorating. This might just be your dream DIY project!

Author Bio:
Scott is a very creative home and design blogger. He loves to contribute to other home and design blogs and one of his main specialties is home DIY and also how to find quality bedroom furniture sales online. One of his sources is using social media – where he follows Furnishing Homes Twitter page.

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