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House Extensions
Loft Conversions
Renewable Energy

House Extensions

What's first?
Wherever you live, the following points may help you get started with a beautiful new home or house extension. The following are things to consider:

What kind of room/rooms do you want to create?
Do you want to create an entirely new room? Maybe a dining room, spare lounge, home office, gymnasium or an extra bedroom. Do you want to increase the size of an existing room? A bigger kitchen or dining room? Or do you want to increase the overall size of your house and redesign the whole internal layout? Any could create an entirely different starting point...

                    

Consider the external
Do you want the extension on the side or the rear elevations? It is possible to extend your home on the front elevation, as long as you have sufficient land, however, please consider more stringent planning rules - a representative from Sterling would be more than happy to help you with a free site visit.

“Double the size - don’t double the costs”
Consider whether a single storey or double storey extension will better suit your requirements. A large proportion of costs associated to home extensions are connected with the ground works, and external drainage, so increasing a proposal from single storey to double storey would not double the costs.

Blend with the existing
A good home extension should look as if it was always there! The architecture should match as close as possible to the existing building; windows, doors and any other openings within the structure should be sized and designed with this in mind. There are other planning and building regulations to also consider here.

          

Example A
Requirement: You live in a typical three bed semi detached house with a standard roof structure. The approximate dimensions of the house are, width = 5M (16feet) and depth = 7.5M (24 feet). You would like a separate dining room from the present diner/kitchen, and a fourth bedroom possibly with en-suite.

Solution: A double storey side elevation with adjoining roof structure (see above diagrams) the roof structure is probably the most important factor when trying to blend the proposal. An example size (land permitting) could be 5.0M of the whole depth from 7.5M by 3.0M thus increasing your property by over 50%

If you would like more detailed information about a house extension available to you or a detailed quotation, contact us on the below details, and we will take you through the solutions most suited to your property.

Contact us today to discuss your project ideas by calling us on 01963 363002 or email office@regencyrenovations.co.uk

Loft Conversions [back to top]

Can I convert my loft
It is possible to upgrade any loft space from its present condition into a useable clean storage area. However to convert your loft into a real extension to your home you need to make sure that there is plenty of head height. Which then could become a bedroom(s), playroom, or home office (with or without plumbing for a bathroom/shower room) there are many regulations set out by all the local building control departments.

                    

Loft Conversion Prices
The bottom line when planning any building project is ‘How much will it cost’. Loft conversion prices vary. No two conversions are likely to be the same.
But, we can use ballpark figures and rule-of-thumb. The first, and arguably the most important, is that by building a loft conversion you should immediately add at least the amount you spend onto the value of your house.
Figures released in June 2010 show that a loft conversion which incorporates a bedroom and en-suite bathroom can add up to 20% to the value of your home.
Throughout the UK the average price of a loft conversion seems to be around the £25,000 – £55,000 mark. Much of course depends on the type of conversion. For example, a basic storage solution can often be done in just a small amount of time and there are some specialist loft conversions for around £2000-£5000, install joists, a floor, a new hatch, lighting and a loft ladder.

But, for a full scale, and well-built loft conversion, prices are usually cost somewhere between, £23,000-£50,000.

                    

Loft Conversion Planning
We are up to date with the building control departments in Dorset and Somerset. We familiar with the requirements all of these authorities make when considering a Loft Conversion, with or without Dormer window extensions in their localities, so you can be assured that there will be no hidden extras along the way. These "Regulations" are in place to ensure that any project undertaken is built to a standard that is not only safe and environmentally friendly but is also practical and easily usable. To try to help you determine whether or not your loft will comply with these, we have shown a few very simple drawings to explain some of the initial requirements.

What's first?

This is a typical example of a cross section through a house. Note Dimension A, this is the first thing a surveyor will need to check.
We must have at least 2.15M (7ft 2 inches). If you have this dimension or more, then yes you can convert your loft in the knowledge that it will meet building regulation approval. If you do not have this minimum dimension, then there is a possibility of lowering existing bedroom ceilings or raising the roof.

"Roofline" loft conversions

With this type of loft conversion, we would create a room/rooms within the existing shape of the roof using Velux windows for light and ventilation. With this type of loft conversion, we would not extend or alter the existing shape of the roof at present.
Normally, planning permission is not required for this type of loft conversion. However, a full set of Architect's plans would be necessary along with the designs of a Structural Engineer and subsequent calculations to verify designs. This will be necessary to justify all current building regulations. However, if your property is in a conservation area, there may be restrictions on the design and shape of the Velux windows to be installed

"Dormer" loft conversions
Dormer's have been referred to in many different ways, Dormer windows, Dormer extensions, roof extensions, attic extensions - a brief description of a Dormer would be an extension of an existing roof shape. Consider a most typical terraced property/town house where the roof would start at the gutters at the front of the house rising to the Apex, (the ridge) in the centre of the house, then falling again down to the gutters at the back of the house. This most typical roof shape does not usually produce a substantial habitable room, unless the house is unusually large. So with this type of roof structure, it would be advisable to extend the roof and create a Dormer (usually to the rear of the property.)
The size, shape and general design of this or any other Dormer can vary greatly. This type of loft conversion may also not require planning permission. Householders have what is known as a permitted development allowance, usually measured in cubic metres. The amount allowed (cubic metres) varies from property to property. Generally, the allowance is between 50 and 70 cubic metres or 20% of the overall volume of the property.

Please note, there are further guidelines whilst trying to identify if your project would be allowed under permitted development rights. These are; (i) no part of the new structure must rise any higher than the existing highest part of the roof at present (usually the ridge line), (ii) looking down on a plan, no part of this new structure must exceed the current floor plan boundary and (iii) the property must not be in a conservation area. Again, as per roof line conversions, even if planning permission is not required, Architect's plans along with Structural Engineers calculations will be necessary to conform and to comply with the current building regulations.

If you are in any doubt whether your proposed project would require planning permission please do not hesitate to contact one of the Surveyors at Regency. Either call us on 01963 363002 or email us at office@regencyrenovations.co.uk.

Renewable Energy [back to top]

With the large fluctuations in fuel prices and the government committed to reducing its carbon emissions, it has never been more important to discover how you can cut your energy use and costs. This will not only help you to achieve reduced heating costs, but also provide a sustainable solution – to benefit future generations.

Regency Renovations can supply and install ground-source and air-source heat pumps, as well as solar and biomass heating systems; these will led to significant energy- and cost-savings for our clients.

How does renewable energy work?

Ground-source heat pumps
At one meter depth, the average soil temperature in the UK remains consistently at 10–13°C. The ‘ground loop’ is a pipe buried in the soil, at this depth, and filled with a mixture of water and food-friendly glycol. The mixture is at a low temperature and is gently warmed by the surrounding soil, as it is pumped through the pipe.

The heat pump requires an increase of just a few degrees in the temperature of the water mix. It is then put through a process which involves a series of heat-exchangers and a compressor, where the heat is concentrated, so that temperatures up to 65°C are achieved. This then feeds the central-heating radiators, under-floor heating pipes and the domestic hot water tank.

                    

Air-source heat pumps
These heat pumps do not have a ground loop, but instead absorb heat from the air. The advantage is that they require no digging. However, they are less efficient and must be sited sensitively, owing to a small amount of noise from the external fan.
We are supplied by Ice Energy, the leading heat pump specialist, offering us three options:
• Greenline C ground-source heat pump, with internal direct hot water storage
• Greenline E ground-source heat pump, with external direct hot water storage
• Ecodan air-source heat pump, with flow temperature controller

Heat pump running costs
An average central heating system requiring input of 100Kwh
oil boiler (5 years old, running at 75% efficiency) v heat pump
12.5 litres of oil at 50p/litre v 25Kwh of electricity at 10p/Kwh
heating cost £6.25 v heating cost £2.50

Wood burner and biomass

Not all, but a lot, of our clients have access to a good supply of logs; therefore, as a heating option, it is worth considering wood-burning. Provided that the logs or pellets are from a regrowth supply, the carbon emissions will be neutral, because the carbon released from burning equals the carbon absorbed by the trees during growth. The options to consider are wood-burning stoves and biomass pellet boilers, all of which we can supply and install.

Solar energy
Solar water-heating systems use the sun’s energy to heat water and can supply around 50% of a home’s annual hot water. Solar panels can be positioned on the roof or ground, absorbing heat from the sunlight and transferring it, by pump or gravity, to a water cylinder for use. In summer, solar energy can provide up to 90% of the hot water demand and 60% annually (seasonally adjusted). Solar panels are well suited to south-facing roofs, although we can design systems to suit all locations.
If you would like more detailed information about the sustainable options available to you or a detailed quotation, contact us on the below details, and we will take you through the renewable energy solutions most suited to your property.

Contact us today to discuss your project ideas by calling us on 01963 363002 or by emailing office@regencyrenovation.co.uk
     
 
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