What Do Today’s New-Home Buyers Prioritise? Here’s What

An impression of our new homes at Bunbury Heath, coming soon

What do new-build buyers prioritise?

Earlier this year, the NHBC published a collaboration of research with Savills that highlighted some interesting results about house buyers in the UK. More specifically, Savills and NHBC were focusing on the needs and wants of new-home buyers. With new-build homes on the rise in the UK, more than ever it’s important to see what potential purchasers are prioritising. And of course, here at CB Homes, we don’t just offer a self-build service but we also design and build beautiful property developments too. The difference is, each of our new-build homes is unique and bespoke. But that’s for a whole other blog post… Let’s find out the results of the Savills research and explore the findings.

What the survey found out

So, in a nutshell, the report showed some pretty unsurprising, but still interesting, results. There were some factors which were held as high priority by all new-home buyers. However, the majority of priorities differed between the varying circumstances of people buying new-builds. As we well know, there are no single demographics purchasing new homes. From growing families looking to upsize to first-time buyers just fleeing the nest, there is a great variety in purchasers. NHBC and Savills surveyed people from the under 25 age group to over 65s. And these varieties, obviously, influence individual priorities. In terms of universal priorities, over 59% of new-home buyers in the survey held ‘minimum maintenance’ as very important. The second most important priority to buyers across the spectrum was ‘new-home warranty’. An exception was first-time buyers, who felt that the Help to Buy scheme was the top priority when purchasing a new home.

Help to Buy scheme - a mother and baby looking happy

Take note…

Some other notable priorities included the appreciation of modern architecture and design along with the fact that there is no purchasing chain. As to be expected, purchasers in urban areas considered walking distance to amenities higher than parking arrangements. And vice versa, purchasers in suburban areas considered parking much more important than walking distance to amenities. When it comes to local amenities, different types of people hold different priorities. For example, local NHS services were most important to suburban buyers whilst rail or tram stations were most important to high-density urban buyers. In terms of specific types of purchasers and their priorities, 70% of downsizers voted minimum maintenance for their top spot. Off-street parking was most important for around 60% of both upsizers and relocators. As we mentioned earlier, first-time buyers (58% to be precise) see Help to Buy as their top priority.

new-home build in Cheshire

What you’ll get from a new-build CB Homes property

So, why are we so interested in this research? Well, as we touched on at the start of this post, we offer new property developments as well as our self-build service. It’s always interesting for us to learn about the preferences and habits of our potential customers! Our homes are built in beautiful rural and suburban areas across Cheshire and Shropshire. So, of course, we can always offer incredible locations, good parking arrangements and ample living space. Not to mention, modern design and tip-top fixtures and fittings are second nature to us! Not only that, but you’ll also get a 10-year NHBC warranty which each of our new-build homes, for that extra peace of mind. We’ll also ensure that you have a low level of maintenance for your new home, including the efficient dealing with of any initial snags. If you don’t believe, you can hear it straight from our current homeowners…

Why We Support the Joshua Tree and How You Can Too!

Get involved and make a difference

In today’s blog post, we thought we’d do something a little bit different but massively important. Here at CB Homes, we love to give back to our community whenever we can. So, naturally, this leads us to support the fantastic cause we’re going to discuss today. Say hello to The Joshua Tree – you may have heard of them! If you haven’t, don’t worry. The Joshua Tree is an amazing charity based in Cheshire, just like our office and many of our properties. Although we could shout out about this charity every day of the week, this time is even more important than usual. The Joshua Tree has been chosen as one of Global Radio’s special charities, to be involved in their “Make Some Noise” charity campaign. The official “Make Some Noise” Day is this Friday – 5th October! But more information on that later…

Why do we support The Joshua Tree?

Well, where do we start? As we mentioned earlier, we enjoy giving back to our community and it’s important for us to support local community campaigns and organisations, like The Joshua Tree. This brilliant charity supports families who are going through the incredibly challenging experience of childhood cancer. Not only is The Joshua Tree a massively worthy cause but it’s also very close to us geographically. As we are based in Cheshire, we take a great interest in what happens in and around our local council, so it was a no-brainer that we show our support for the charity. What’s more, we have to mention how impressive it is that The Joshua Tree have built themselves up from nothing to this amazing organisation!

Supporting The Joshua Tree for “Make Some Noise Day” & “Strive to the Summits” challenge

But why are we really here today? Well, we wanted to bring some attention to the fantastic Make Some Noise campaign that The Joshua Tree is proudly a part of. If you’re wondering how they are getting involved, keep reading. Joshua, who originally inspired his parents to set up the charity after being diagnosed with childhood leukaemia, will be walking the famous Three Peaks challenge with Make Some Noise, starting in Snowdon. The team actually started yesterday and we’re wishing them the best of luck for completing the challenge tomorrow (Thurs 4th October)!

As for Make Some Noise day, that will follow on Friday 5th October. There will be challenges and events all across the UK. The charity is asking supporters to Dress Loud for the day, hoping people will sport their jazziest shirts and craziest colours. From schools to offices, Global Radio is hoping to raise plenty of money on the day to support the amazing charities that work so hard to make a difference in people’s lives. And you can help too!

Heart Radio presenter Toby Antis and Olly Murs dressing loud for Make Some Noise via makesomenoise.com

How to donate

There are plenty of ways you can get involved yourself. Find out more information on the Make Some Noise Day here. To donate to the Make Some Noise ‘Strive to the Summits’ challenge click here. Alternatively, to get involved directly with The Joshua Tree, please visit their website here.

How to Add Value to Your Property

There are certain factors that naturally make your property more valuable than another. For example, a larger property with more bedrooms is going to be worth more than its smaller counterpart with fewer rooms. On the other hand, if that smaller property were to reside within a much sought-after postcode, it could well be more expensive. Local amenities are also one of the crucial elements of determining a property’s value, along with size and postcode. If there’s an up-market supermarket nearby, chances are the area has more expensive homes than that of an area with budget supermarkets. However, these things can sometimes vary. Commuter towns with good transport links can also bump the price up, as well as the surrounding areas of a property location. Of course, we can’t really change these factors. But don’t worry, there are plenty of steps we can take within our four walls to add value to our homes. Keep reading to find out how.

Easy steps to add value to your property

Keep a good standard of cleanliness and maintenance

This one should be a no-brainer but all too often people can forget. Maintaining a good standard of cleanliness throughout your property is a sure-fire way to make sure it stays at its deserved value. A run-down home that’s not been looked after is never going to get the price it deserves when it comes to selling time. Maintenance is also an important one – looking after your home is just like looking after your car. A regularly serviced vehicle will always be worth more. Plus, people are always attracted to a home that they can move straight into. That means getting a new boiler when you need one, ensuring any superficial damage is fixed and seeing to any structural problems as and when they occur.

Maximise your property’s space

It’s a well-known fact that potential viewers hold space very high on their list of priorities. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up if you have a smaller house. You just need to use the space you do have wisely! Make your rooms look bigger by keeping furniture and knick-knacks to a minimum. The best way to make the most of a smaller space is to utilise clever storage. Double up your bookshelf as a TV stand. Install shelves instead of taking up floor space with cabinets. Use under-bed and under-desk storage where possible. This allows estate agents and buyers to see the true potential of your home… and therefore add value to your property!

Invest any spare cash into your kitchen

This is an important one. If you’re planning on redoing any room in your house to boost its value, it should be the kitchen. The kitchen is a central part of the home and also takes the most work to improve. Because of this, potential buyers are more likely to pay a premium price for a recently-renovated and well-presented kitchen. It will be well worth your while to renovate and re-decorate your kitchen, especially if it has become outdated or needs freshening up! This is also your chance to utilise space better – there’s nothing like starting from scratch.

Spruce up the garden

The garden is a massive selling point for most properties. Leaving the grass to grow into a tangled mess isn’t going to help when it comes to putting your home on the market. No-one wants a jungle so consider putting in some hours to sort out what lies just beyond your four walls. Bear in mind that you don’t have to go all-out with luxury landscaping to increase the value of your property. However, a neat, tidy and well laid-out garden is sure to attract a higher selling price. Keep on top of the weeding, feed the lawn well and add in some nice borders or beds with a splash of floral colour. If you’re really not into mowing (who is?), consider laying down artificial grass or decking to create a functional space that requires little maintenance. Your future buyer might appreciate that too.

Are you looking to add value to your property?

If you need a little extra to add value to your property, whether you’re planning on selling it soon or you’re just preparing for the future, we can help. We can recommend high-quality kitchen suppliers and garden landscapers, as well as offering plenty of great advice over on our blog! Join in the conversation with us over on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Smart Technology Products To Use Around The Home

Let’s get familiar with smart tech

If you’re not into smart technology yet, now’s the time to get clued up. This phenomenon is everywhere now – from our offices to our homes. In today’s blog post, we’re going to run through some of our favourite smart tech products that are going to make your life a whole lot easier. And don’t worry if technology scares you! This post explains how to get familiar with the world of smart technology and just how to use these little gadgets. Keep reading to discover the top smart tech buys available on the market right now.

Virtual assistants

Ever wished you could plan your route to work (missing out traffic) or dress for the weather without having to make a Google search on your laptop or phone? Well, intelligent hands-free devices are smarter than ever and with a virtual assistant, you’ll never need to open up an app again. The most popular products on the market also have their own smaller and cheaper version if you don’t want to commit straight away to a full-size model. Each product has its own built-in virtual assistant that can talk to you and listen back. These clever little things will answer your questions, as well as follow any commands. For example, when you wake up you can ask your assistant to play an album for you on Spotify (they have built-in speakers!). They’ll also tell you what the weather’s going to be like today and how the traffic’s looking. Your mornings just got a whole lot easier. And in the evenings, you can ask your assistant how to finish off a recipe you’re trying out or where the nearest place to pick up some milk is. Handy!

Smart thermostats

Are you a sucker for keeping your bills on track? Don’t like to waste energy or walk into a cold house? Whatever your penchant when it comes to the heating, a smart thermostat will give you much more control than you’ve ever had. Essentially, the device is like any other portable thermostat that you might have seen before. Except for this time, you can connect it up to your phone or tablet (or any other device). Here’s what you can do with one:

  • Turn your heating on or off whilst you’re away from home
  • Multi-room control
  • Turn your hot water on or off (dependant on your system)
  • Feedback on how you use your heating
  • Protect your pipes during holidays
  • Connect up to your virtual assistant!

Bear in mind that smart thermostats are different from smart meters, which simply outline how much energy you’re using.

Security cameras

For those of you who are protective of your home and belongings, there’s no shame in having a little extra security around the place. If it gives you peace of mind, it’s worth it. Granted, some of you may already have cameras in place. However, there are now smart versions that can ramp up your security even more! Basically, when you install new smart security cameras you’ll be able to hook them up to an app on your smartphone or tablet. This connection allows you to do a whole range of things from monitoring your alarms and motion sensors to checking up on the dogs while you’re at work. Some models also come with built-in path lights and fobs to enter your home.

Interested in equipping your home with smart technology?

There’s never been a better time to get going with smart tech. All the major electrical stores have great deals and bundles year-round, but this time of year is especially exciting. As Black Friday and Christmas approaches, you couldn’t choose a better time to invest in your first gadget. If security cameras, thermostats or virtual assistants don’t quite make the cut, look out for smart bulbs, speaker systems and dimmer switches to make your home ultra-modern and ready for the future. And if you are thinking of building a new home, all of this (and more!) could be yours. Please get in touch with us today if you have any enquiries about building your own home and how to incorporate smart technology into this.

Get Inspired By These Incredible Self-Build Homes

As we spoke about in an earlier blog post, self-build is an umbrella term for thinking up, designing and building a home entirely from scratch. In the literal sense, it refers to an individual building their home without the use of a company or external resources. However, in this day and age, self-build often refers to an individual using a dedicated ‘self-build’ company to help them in making their creative ideas a reality. Property developers tend to build houses in similar styles and layouts across estates. But if you’re looking for something a little more unique and tailored to you, a self-build company may be able to help.

So, now you know what self-build is and think you might like to consider it, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite projects to date. At CB Homes, we specialise in developing self-build properties using our ultimate ‘turn-key’ service – this means our customers don’t have to lift a finger. Here are just a few examples of what we can do:

Get inspired by these self-build homes

Fourways Stud

This beautiful agricultural home is located in the heart of open Cheshire countryside. Sympathetically designed to fit into surrounding buildings and geography, this wonderful project was built to strict planning and building regulations. Both CB Homes and the customer were incredibly pleased with the results of this property – it perfectly fits into its rural surroundings with a solid wood door and window frames.

Hill Top Farm

Our clients knew exactly what they wanted from their self-build. We had a few issues to contend with. These being that the plot was close to ancient woodland and access was difficult for delivery vehicles. However, we were all incredibly pleased with the finished result. Some of the incredible features include the traditionally jointed oak frame, solid oak staircase and large glazed areas. These optimise the natural light throughout the house.

Woodlands

The Woodlands was always going to be an energy-efficient, contemporary home. Our clients were set on their ideas from the start. We built in an air source heat pump for underfloor heating to both floors, used a through-colour render for the exterior walls and installed triple glazed windows. If eco-friendliness and mod-cons are your cup of tea, you’ll love this beautiful home. So do our clients!

Gwynfa

Our clients could see great potential when they first laid eyes on this unique hill plot. Working tightly alongside them, our team came up with a few solutions to work around the landscape. They also had to utilise the incredible views across the Cheshire Greenbelt, of course! There are some really lovely features to this self-build. The luxurious balcony, the bridge to the rear garden and underfloor heating throughout are just a few.

Oakhouse

Interestingly, this self-build was a downsizing project for our clients. Their existing home was a beautiful Edwardian property built on a one-acre plot within a conservation area, with connecting double garage outbuildings. We replaced said outbuildings with a sympathetically designed coach house-style property consisting of four bedrooms and a private outlook.

Like the look of our self-build homes?

Is this something you’d be interested in? Don’t hesitate. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help fulfil your self-build dreams. In the meantime, why not follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for even more inspiration and sneak peeks!

Make Each Room of Your Home Stand Out with the Right Accessories

How to decorate your home with the right accessories

When you take pride in how your home looks, you want to get every little bit just right. This can be a frustrating process, especially if you’re not clued up on interior design. You might see your perfect kitchen on Pinterest but how do you achieve it? How do you get that gorgeous, photograph-worthy look if you’re not a professional stylist?

The answer lies in the detail. It’s all about the accessories you choose to work in harmony with the main features and colours of the room. In this blog post, we run through each main room of the house and discuss how best to accessorise it. The result? A well put-together house that could be mistaken for a showhome.

The living room

Let’s start with one of the most important rooms in the house: the living room. It may well be the first room guests enter when they first arrive at your house. So how do we make a good impression? First things first, don’t be afraid to add a personal touch. After all, the living room is a very personal room and it’s probably where you spend a lot of time as a family. Photographs in frames, trinkets you’ve collected and a vase of your favourite flowers are all great ways to make it feel homely and well thought-out.

In terms of creating that showhome look, make sure you select accessories in textures and shades that complement each other. Don’t choose completely matching features as this will make the room look washed out. However, tonal shades are brilliant for tying your living room together and creating a polished finish. Natural colours are particularly useful to think about: beige, tan, stone, brown – all of these work well together across a variety of textures. Comfort is key in the living room, so think about that too! Don’t clutter the surfaces with accessories and decor. Choose a few pieces that really show off your style and your personality.

The kitchen

In the kitchen, it’s important not to get too caught up in accessorising. Practicality must come first in the kitchen, then think about the detail. However, that’s not to say we don’t appreciate a lovely-looking kitchen! Choose a colour that you’d like to go for and then stick to it when it comes to buying accessories, small appliances and utensils. For example, in our photograph below you can see a mixing bowl, a salt grinder and some mini containers all in a beautiful dark grey colour. This coordination brings a kitchen together and makes it feel much more homely. You don’t have to worry about getting the decor perfect in a kitchen, as long as the environment is clean, tidy and pleasant to cook in. Sometimes, the best accessory is the smell of freshly baked cupcakes!

The bedroom

Let’s take things into the bedroom now. Presumably, this is where you spend the majority of your time, even if it is only for sleeping. The bedroom is probably the most personal room of the house and it’s also probably where you keep most of your stuff. Therefore, it’s important to get the big things like storage and decent furniture sorted before you even think about accessorising. There’s no point in buying hundreds of candles and trinkets if you haven’t even got anywhere to store your clothes!

However, it can be really fun to think about interior design in the bedroom. Your bedding is a good place to start. As the bed is usually the centrepiece of a bedroom, the bed sheets, throws and cushions you choose can have a massive impact on how the entire room looks. Go for a colour scheme that you like and also one that will match the rest of the room’s decor. Try to get a balance between personality and style. We like neutral colours in the bedroom, particularly grey, to achieve that showhome look. That’s not for everyone though! If you want to go for grey, perhaps throw in a few brighter cushions to show off your personality. Overall, the main points to remember are these:

  • Don’t over-accessorize, your bedroom is a place to relax and unwind
  • Choose colours which you like, not ones which are ‘fashionable’
  • Go for a combination of subtle and brighter accessories so the room doesn’t feel either too washed out or too ‘in your face’
  • Candles are your best friend!

The kids’ bedroom

And finally, the kid’s bedroom. If you’ve got little ones at home, you’ll probably know the trials and tribulations of sorting the bedroom out. Toys all over the floor sounds familiar, right? Well, if you create a space that both you and your child can be proud of, you’re much less likely to feel dread when you enter their room! This is where we can really start to have fun with decor. After all, you want it to be fun and playful or it won’t feel like a kid’s room at all. Don’t mimic the rest of your home, no matter how lovely and neutral it may be.

Try to choose decor and accessories that will give your little one a reason to get into bed at night! Get inventive with storage solutions like personalised pegs or hangers. We’ve added a beautiful feature wall to our showhome kid’s room, along with some subtle but matching accessories. It’s fun, it’s playful, yet it still looks like part of a well-planned home without losing any personality or style. Favourite cartoons are a great place to start. Alternatively, go down the route of ‘stars and space’ or ‘flowers and fairies’ if they can’t choose – having a theme always works well in children’s bedrooms.

4 Reasons That a Quality Kitchen is Important for Your Home

Here at CB Homes, quality is the core value in everything we do. Our builds, our drawings, our architects, our customer service – every little part of our business places massive importance on quality. But let’s not forget about the part after the build, the rooms in your house! Of course, it’s entirely up to you how you decorate your home and what type of interior design route you decide to go down. However, one thing’s for certain: it’s important to keep things high quality. You’ll thank yourself later down the line. Today, we’ve decided to discuss the importance of a quality kitchen in your home.
Here are just a few reasons that we think you should invest in a decent and long-lasting kitchen design.

Why is it so important for your kitchen to be of high quality?

1. The kitchen is the heart of the family home

First things first, the kitchen is the hub of the home. It’s the heart of your family time, the best place to enjoy cooking and a great space to entertain guests. Considering you use the kitchen for so many important purposes, it’s easy to see why you should invest time and money into it. However, don’t just focus on creating an aesthetically-pleasing room.

More importantly, your beautiful kitchen should be a practical space to use, with all the appliances and utensils that your family will need. It’ll make each moment you spend there much more pleasurable and memorable! And if the heart of your home doesn’t deserve to be invested in, what does?

2. You’re more likely to cook from scratch

We all know the benefits of cooking from scratch and homemade meals. Roast dinner made by mum, cakes baked by grandma or your uncle’s winning pie: all of these are amazing memories and parts of our childhood. But not only that, home cooking is nourishing for your body! So, why wouldn’t you want to create a high-quality space where you’ll actually enjoy cooking and baking? It’s a no-brainer if you ask us.

3. You can add more value to your house

If you take the time to make it right from the start, you’ll add value to your house later down the line. When you come to sell your home, estate agents and potential buyers will see a high-quality, stylish kitchen as a massive value booster. This is mainly because a kitchen renovation is such a big project. It’s easier to spruce up a living room or a bedroom with a lick of paint. However, a beautifully designed and practically fitted kitchen is much more valuable and impressive.

4. It’s crucial for a healthy, happy life

Now, this may sound dramatic. However, our kitchens are the one room of the house that we simply can’t go a day without visiting – aside from the bathroom, of course. We prepare our food here, get our daily water intake here and store our groceries here. If your kitchen is poor quality, you’ll definitely notice a decrease in your life quality. For example, a badly designed kitchen with hard-to-reach cupboards may prevent you from
cooking exactly what you want, or even worse, result in injury. Not only that, but an old, run-down kitchen may mean more germs, which is exactly the opposite of what you want in a food-prep area! It’s so important to invest in a practical layout, stylish cabinets that you’ll keep clean and adequate space to store and prepare groceries.

Fancy a new kitchen like the ones above?

All the room images we used in this blog post are from our kitchen supplier Puddled Duck. For more information on the company and to see some more fabulous kitchens, you can visit their website here.

Frequently Asked Questions From Potential Self-Builders

As you’re all probably well-aware by now (or if not, hello!), here at CB Homes we specialise in self-build services. We’ve written a few blog posts about our expertise in this area, including choosing a brick and getting planning permission. However, we understand that sometimes, we need to take things back to basics. Often, we’ll get asked the same questions from our prospective self-builders, as the process can sometimes seem daunting and confusing. We thought it would make sense to compile those frequently asked questions into one blog post – think of it as your one-stop-shop for all those self-build queries!

How do I know how much it’s going to cost me?

We work within a wide range of budgets at CB Homes, so there really isn’t a set figure for self-build. However, once we’re aware of your budget, we’ll make sure the design is suitable and doable within the price range. Most importantly, we always provide a fixed price quote from the start – this is what you can expect to pay for your house from concept to delivery, as long as you don’t change any elements of the specification along the way.

What factors affect the cost of self-build?

This is something we reiterate to clients from the beginning. Generally, there are three factors that can affect the overall cost of the project: house design, location and size. Ultimately, the more elaborate the house design is, the more expensive it is. You must also be aware of planning permission throughout the process, which is something we will check for you here at CB Homes. We’ll never approve a design that isn’t going to get planning permission, saving you money in the long run. When it comes to location, you’ll pay more for a plot of land in a more popular area. It’s as simple as that!

It’s worth noting that due to an abundance of protected areas in the UK, building plots are relatively scarce. This can, of course, affect plot price. Now, size is also a pretty simple rule when it comes to self-build: the larger the floor area, the higher the total cost. Building costs are usually measured in pounds per square metre of floor area.

Where can I find land for sale?

There are a number of ways to find land for sale from estate agents to Rightmove to Plotfinder to our own website! To make life easier, we recommend self-builders register their interest with us to maximise the chances of finding the perfect plot. And it’s important to remember, we are happy to advise you on plot suitability and potential, even if you didn’t find it through us.

Do I need to find a plot with planning permission?

There’s no real harm in looking at plots without planning permission. However, we don’t recommend putting any money down before you’ve got that all-important permission! If you buy a plot of land without it, there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever be able to build there. Please contact us for advice before securing a plot of land, especially without planning permission.

What size of plot do I need to build a property?

Of course, this generally depends on the size of property you’re looking to build. As a rough guide, we recommend using the depth of the house, adding 15-20 metres for the plot depth and 2-5 metres to the width of the build. A frequent misconception is that you need to have at least 1 acre of land to build a home. Naturally, many self-builders prefer to have a property with plenty of space, a bigger garden and a better outlook. Here are some guide examples of scale based on an 1800 square foot house on various plot sizes:

As you can see, an 1/8th of an acre is perfectly adequate for a good-sized family home!

What if the plot only has limited services i.e. mains water but no electricity or gas?

There are many plots of land which do not have any services at all. But it doesn’t mean that self-builders can’t build there – we’ll be able to advise accordingly here at CB Homes.

How do I get planning permission? Can you help?

Yes, we can take care of this for you! When you have found a plot of land you like, simply get in touch with us and we can advise on the likelihood of obtaining planning permission. If there is a possibility of permission being granted, we will take care of the process for you.

Do I need to find an architect?

CB Homes works with experienced architects and we will put you in touch with one who will be best suited to your design ideas.

How much can self-builders be involved?

As much or as little as you like – it is your home after all! We’ll look after everything involved in the build and will guide you through the process to make building your home an enjoyable experience.

What is the position on stamp duty?

One of the benefits of self-build is that it is better value for money than buying a completed property. One area where you get better value is in stamp duty – you only pay this based on the purchase price of the plot and not on the value of the completed house.

What we do here at CB Homes

And finally, we get asked quite a lot about the services we offer. Here’s a quick-fire list of what you can expect from us:

  • Self-build package with Turn Key service offers ultimate peace of mind.
  • We can assist with plot finding, the design of your home, architects’ drawing, planning and the complete build of your house.
  • We work within a wide range of budgets always providing a high-quality service and product.
  • When it comes to the cost of your project; we will give you a fixed price quote so you know exactly where you stand.
  • If you have planning permission already, we’re equally happy to hear from you.

Get in touch today for more expert advice and assistance during the self-build process. We’re looking forward to meeting more prospective self-builders!

How to Let More Light into Your Home

As the scorching weather starts to tail off into an orange-hued autumn, we’re guaranteed to start noticing a dimmer natural light – both out in the open and inside our homes. The clouds prefer to cover the sky during the end of summer and we’ll probably even see a few more downpours, too. Unless this strange heatwave decides to stick around for another few months, the darker, colder months are hot on our tails. So, it’s about time we get prepared: how can we let more light into our homes? And what features will brighten up a dark room?

First, assess your home

Start by taking a walk around your home. Really try to get a sense for the atmosphere of each room – how does it make you feel? Is it opened-up or closed-off? Often, you’ll find that areas with more natural light feel more welcoming and enticing. However, sometimes there’s nothing nicer than a cosier, candle-lit room. But to fight off those winter blues, we need to make the most of natural light as much as we can! Make a note of anywhere that benefits from a good amount of light and any rooms that are problem areas.

Create an illusion using accessories

Shiny surfaces are your best friend when you want to open up a space. Placing mirrors opposite windows can help to reflect natural light around the room. But that’s not all… we’re talking about anything shiny, from chandeliers and gold doorknobs to metallic appliances and silver candlesticks. We especially love brass lettering decor that can add a touch of style but also brighten the place up. All of these things contribute to more impressive light reflection, and ultimately a brighter room.

Glass furniture gives you an advantage

The more solid furniture you’ve got, the more light will be sucked in. This is especially true if you have a lot of dark-coloured furniture and accessories. So, it’s a no-brainer that glass furniture like coffee tables and cabinets can really help to brighten a space up and continue that reflection illusion we spoke about earlier! If you can afford to invest in a glass coffee table or something similar, you’ll definitely notice the difference.

Change up your colour scheme

If a dark room is really becoming a problem for you, consider the colours in there. Are the walls painted navy or red? Is the furniture heavy, clunky and dark? Remember, dark colours don’t help a dark room. And to make matters worse, whilst absorbing any natural light, they also make a room appear smaller and more cramped. To open up a space and lighten things up, try changing the wall colours to a more neutral shade like cream, white or beige. Light greys and pastel colours work well too, if that’s your thing. Lighter coloured woods like beech, maple and pine instead of mahogany and walnut can add extra brightness to your home.

How do you like to add more light to a room?

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic! Join in the conversation over on our social media – you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Alternatively, find yourself lost in interior inspiration via our Pinterest feed!

How to Choose Your Brick When Building a House

Planning a house build can be stressful but it’s also extremely exciting. After all, how often do you get the chance to create your home in exactly the perfect way for you? In today’s blog post, we’re going to be focusing on an element of the self-build process that is often overlooked and rarely talked about outside the industry. However, we think it’s important to discuss this topic, so you feel as informed as possible. Yep, that’s right, we’re talking about the brick choice.

More specifically, we’re going to give you all our top tips for choosing the correct brick in the planning stages of your build. After all, you’ll be living with this decision for many years to come. So, it’s more important than anything else to get this selection right. You can change up a kitchen or replace your curtains… but you can’t replace your brick. What’s more, you might end up selling this house on at some point so bear this in mind when choosing anything ‘out-there’.

Our top tips for choosing a brick

Start your planning early

It’s always better to prepare early on when you’re building a house. But this is especially true for choosing a brick. This is simply because your build cannot begin without a brick in place! Decisions like the colour of your kitchen or the flooring you’ll have can come much later. It is also worth considering the local area where you’re building. Are you required to use a particular type of stone? Some places, like Bath, are strict on requirements.

Get inspiration

You can find inspiration absolutely anywhere. From driving around to looking on Pinterest, you’re sure to find a few examples of brick that you love. Make a moodboard, either digitally or physically, to get an idea of the kind of styles you like. It’ll be much easier to pick when you’ve already seen lots of choices in the flesh.

Consider all angles

Use your architectural drawings as your reference when thinking about how your brick is going to look. Make sure you consider all the angles of your new home – how do you want each wall to look? Using your drawings as a starting point will ensure you don’t get carried away and forget about the real project at hand.

Decide on a colour

There are so many colours to choose from when deciding on a brick. From red to grey, brown to white, yellow tones to a mixture of everything, the world really is your oyster. You might already have a natural preference, which is fine. But make sure you base your final decision on research and evidence – from photographs you’ve seen to your new home’s surrounding area.

What kind of look are you going for?

Here, you must ask some important questions. This is all about getting the style right. Do you want a distressed look or a polished look? Old-world style or contemporary crisp look? There are many things to think about here. You should also consider mortar style – dark, light, thick, thin, the choices are endless! Ultimately, you need to ensure that your vision ties together nicely and will give your home the look you desire.

The finishing touches and accents

Carefully select finishing touches like stone and exterior trim. Of course, you must make sure your choices highlight and accents the brick you have chosen. Do you want the stone to stand out or blend in with the brick? Remember, you have to live with this decision for (hopefully) a long time! Don’t just choose something based on how pretty the sample looks, try to see the brick in situ, along with any accents you like. And of course, don’t forget about your window frames! They must match your brick as they can be difficult and costly to change in the future.

Have multiple options!

You should definitely consider another option or two, as a back-up. You’ll have to have your brick approved as part of your planning permission. If your first choice doesn’t pass, you might end up disappointed

Prices can vary

It’s important to understand that brick prices can vary a lot depending on the style and manufacturer. If you are on a budget, you may wish to shop around for the best value – but don’t skimp on quality or style as you may come to regret the decision further down the line. You should fully understand the costs of your choices and the implications they may have.

If you feel like you need some more information on this topic, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We offer free, impartial advice on any part of the self-build process and would be happy to assist you.