Learn the questions you need to ask to ensure a successful installation, with surveyor Andy Butchers’ insider advice.
Whether your taste is for a cosy inglenook with an open fire or an eye-catching modern stove, the right solid fuel heater can add style and panache not just to the room it’s in, but to the entire house. For many self builders and renovators, however, it’s not simply about aesthetics. Combined with other technologies, these can be genuine heat sources that form an important part of the overall energy performance strategy for your home.
As with most elements of a major project, it’s crucial you do your research before finalising the spec. What sort of fire do you want, and will it be used as a primary or secondary heat source? Do you want a formal fireplace and chimney or just a flue, and does the type of structure you’re proposing cater for the installation requirements? Check back with your local authority, too, as some restrict the use of open fires and the fuel types you can burn. Read more ›
Every year, over 13,000 people build their own house. These intrepid home makers come from all walks of life: young couples keen to get onto the housing ladder; families hankering for more space; retirees wanting to downsize; DIYers looking for a project to sink their teeth into – the list goes on.
Whatever your motivation for self-building, the great news is that it’s a wonderfully accessible route to a new home – whether you’re a total novice or someone with plenty of experience in the construction sector. So just what makes self-build such a great idea?
Choice & control
We’re all familiar with the characterless new-build estates up and down the UK, populated with ever-smaller houses replete with average-quality finishes – but how many of us are actually happy living in such spaces?
“Developer-built houses are not necessarily poor products – they have to meet Building Regulations and clearly people are buying them, but they’re often disappointing places to live,” says Mike Hardwick, a project manager and self-build expert for the National Self Build & Renovation Centre. Working to a design you’ve commissioned for your own plot means you can steer clear of the commercial pressures that often blight big developments. Read more ›
If your pipe bursts and causes damage to a neighbour’s house, your policy might not pay out if you have bought home rather than contents cover.
How would you feel if you received a scary letter from an insurance company accusing you of “negligence” and saying you were legally responsible for paying for repairs to your neighbour’s house?
That’s what happened to 82-year-old Sabata Picone after water leaked from her property into the house next door. The letter she received said that “you have failed in your common-law duty” to prevent damage to someone else’s property and wanted to know how she intended to pay the bill, which could potentially run into hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
The letter was from her neighbour’s insurer, Direct Line. Picone has insurance with Aviva and assumed she would be OK. After all, isn’t a bit of water damage from a burst pipe precisely the sort of thing that home insurance is supposed to cover? However, Aviva refused to help with the claim for the neighbour’s damage, saying that because Picone had buildings cover only, and not contents insurance, she wasn’t covered for “third party liability”. Read more ›
A luxury home on an exclusive road near Wimbledon collapsed in the middle of the night, leaving windows shattered and debris littering the site.
The millionaires’ row home, next to Richmond Park, had been undergoing renovations and reportedly collapsed after work in the basement was not properly supported.
Council plans show the owner was seeking to remove a swimming pool and build a two-storey side extension.
Councillor David Cunningham said the owners had only applied for building regulation permission two days ago and ‘therefore carried out works without our guidance and approval.’
Councillor David Cunningham, who has responsibility for regeneration in Kingston, said: ‘The owners of this building submitted a building regulations application just two days ago and have therefore carried out works without our guidance and approval. Read more ›
Self-Build Zone will be exhibiting at the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show in Birmingham this month. Make sure you come over to the NEC from the 23rd till the 26th of March to attend the go-to exhibition for self-builders and renovators.
Self-build specialists, renovation experts and leading brands are all under one roof at the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show this month. Self-Build Zone Insurance are pleased to announce that they will be exhibiting once again, sharing their knowledge and expertise on insurance for your project.
Whether you are mid-way through a project or don’t know where to start, the Homebuilding & Renovating Show is brimming with bright ideas. This show will ensure that you can get face-to-face consultations, specialist Masterclasses and hundreds of products – all under one roof.
Building or creating a home, either from scratch or as a conversion or renovation project can be one of the most rewarding challenges of your life. The type of project you are embarking on will invariably involve a significant amount of investment, so ensuring you have the correct level of cover in place is essential. Read more ›