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Outdoor Bars 


Staying at home with family and friends is more popular than ever and if you enjoy entertaining a well-stocked bar in your garden will be a welcome addition and sure to get a lot of use come rain or shine. Turning this space into a beer garden during the summer months and make the most of the sunshine, while serving your family and friends from your very own bar. This garden addition creates a fantastic feature offering the escape of your local with all the comforts of home. Garden bars come in all shapes and sizes to suit a wide range of needs and budgets. Whether you have a large garden or small backyard an outdoor bar is possible, we are able to create an area to BBQ and an area to serve drinks from. Creating an outdoor bar that blends into your home is pretty simple, we think about the type of bar you need. Do you need a large bar to entertain family and friends or do you prefer something that is smaller to enable you to enjoy a cool beer or glass of wine after a long day at work?


Permanent or Pop Up Bar?


Would you prefer to build a permanent fixture or opt for a simple pop up we can advise and design both options we are able to produce 3d Sketchup models. 

Just imagine converting part of your garden into an entertainment space by building a bar, customise it into something which fits in with your existing style or a total contrast. The majority of outside bars are made from wood. Old wooden boards, recycled pallets, an old wooden door which you can hang shelves on, ideal for glasses and drinks.

Entertain in style - it’s like having your own pub! or lets go modern. How good does our modern bar look?


If you enjoy DIY and have elements to use in the design we can use them to construct or create a bar from something you already have in your home. A bar serving area, seating area and shelves for your favourite bar snacks, spirits, glasses and maybe a fridge or bottle cooler. Choose ingredients for your favourite cocktails and create your very own cocktail bar. What could be better than serving and enjoying an ice cold beer and cocktails on a warm summer evening from your very own bar without having to leave the house.


If you are short of space or are reluctant to put a permanent fixture in your garden, a fold-away Murphy bar made from cedar which is ideal for outdoor furniture is easy to build and adds additional seating and a prep station. Mount the bar on an exterior wall and add some barstools to create a perfect bar area. If you prefer something with a little more substance you could opt for a sheltered beach style bar or a bar that can be used all year round.


Maybe a ‘shed pub’ will be the answer, sheds have become multi-purpose they can be simple or elaborate, small or large, store-bought or a DIY project. Make a shed into a new space with interior and exterior paint. If the shed is distant from the house you can choose its own colour scheme, otherwise, try to match your house colour scheme so they don’t clash. Maintain a stylish look by using mainly natural materials such as cedar cladding and maybe a slate tile bar. Add lighting that changes colour, wow your friends with a fully equipped bar and sit back and relax with a drink even if it is raining outside, and for when the outdoors beckons install bi-folding doors which open out to the front of your bar and add an overhang to the exterior to create a shaded area to sit. Buy a pre-built shed and have fun fitting the bar yourself to create the social hub of your garden and create an area just for grown-ups.


If you have a small garden or backyard it is still possible to create an outdoor bar with a small table with the addition of a large container fitted around the base of the table, filled with ice. Ideal for keeping your drinks to hand and chilled ready for an enjoyable evening.


If you don’t have space for a permanent outdoor bar take the party wherever you want it to go with a portable Tiki bar which comprises of a small wooden foldable bar area, bar stools which fold for easy transport and a wheeled storage bag, a tiki umbrella and removable ice bucket. The tiki umbrella creates a wonderful holiday bar feel. If you enjoy DIY create your bar from recycled wooden pallets, easy and cheap to make, and look good.. Take eight pallets and some patio pavers to create the bar, or for a smaller bar two pallets with the addition of two shelves will create an ideal space. A pallet bar is a simple but sturdy construction and equipped with shelves makes it a perfect bar to store bottles, glasses and bar tools. Create a tika-take on a standard pallet bar by adding thatch to cover the spaces in the pallets to give it a tropical vibe. Accessorize and add beverages of your choice, and let the fun commence.

A wooden picnic-style table with built-in ice boxes perfect for keeping drinks cool is another simple solution to creating an inexpensive outdoor bar, all you need to enjoy socialising and relaxing on a summers evening. A ‘bucket tree’ is another simple idea that can be added to any area of your garden or backyard. 3 / 4 galvanised pails supported on galvanised pipes, suitable for holding ice, drinks, mixers, and accessories such as straws and napkins.


A basic kitchen cart makes a wonderful garden bar, paint it a vibrant colour. The cart has storage for bottles, glasses and an ice container. Even space to hang a glass cloth on the side of the cart, and can be wheeled to any area of the garden wherever it is needed. If DIY is not your thing, purchase a ready-made bar table complete with six bar stools with armrests that are stackable when not in use. The large table can be used for dining, together with a tilt and wind-up parasol to shade you from the sun. The bar set has a unique drinks cooler set in the centre of the table, great for when you want a cold drink on hand. Create an impressive stone structure by combining a bar counter and chairs and a BBQ area, where everyone can enjoy a cool drink while waiting for the food to cook.


Pay particular attention to where you locate it in relation to your house as you don’t want smoke from the BBQ to get into the house. Maybe tuck the bar into the corner of the patio, which can be accessed from inside through french doors. When the weather is good this becomes an extension of the living space. For a small outdoor space build a concrete bar from a kit, where all of the concrete is pre-cut.


A barrel with ice always looks good in any situation. A stylish bar which you can make individual by accessorising in your own style. A further backyard idea is a wine barrel for the base of the bar and a piece of reclaimed wood for the bar countertop. Using reclaimed materials is a good way to create a unique outdoor bar. For extreme luxury create an outdoor wet bar. As a wet bar is equipped with a sink it very often comes with the rest of the kitchen as well.


A sink and running water allows you to keep everything neat and clean ready for when your guests arrive and the cocktails start to flow. A wet bar usually contains a fridge or wine cooler and your choice of wines and spirits. Once you have installed you garden bar, the final step is to choose your accessories. Firstly decide which alcohol and soft drinks you wish to stock. The style of glassware you wish to use, maybe an ice bucket and tongs. Garnishes - lemon. Limes,olives and for the cocktail connoisseur sugar cubes or fine white sugar, basil and mint, and of course the basics, soda syphon, jigger to measure your cocktail ingredients and a cocktail shaker.


If you have enough space in your garden bar a bottle cooler, mini bar chiller or even a wine cooler would be a welcome addition. Complete you bar area with your very own bar stools, classic or modern styles or Funky and Retro depending on whether you wish to create an elegant bar area or create a fun area. Everyone can set up an outdoor bar but it is the attention to detail and the selection of drinks which will make yours and ‘outstanding’ garden bar.


Call Us and Lets having some G n T's in the garden.


EXTRA SPACE for families you can now add two storeys to your home WITHOUT full planning permission under new laws being introduced today.

Instead, homeowners keen to build upwards on their properties will be offered a speedier approval process.


The new rules are being laid out in parliament today and will come into effect by September.  The measures are part of an overhaul of "outdated and bureaucratic" planning permission laws first revealed by The Sun last year. It means homeowners of detached properties can expand their current living space upwards rather than having to fork out huge costs moving. Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said he hoped people would use the powers to add space for elderly relatives or additional bedrooms for growing families.


Things you can do without planning permission

HERE are a few other things you can do to your home without getting planning permission.

  • All of them are subject to a few restrictions and building regulations. You can find the full list on the Planning Portal.
  • Add single storey extensions of up to 4m by 6m,
  • Moving windows and doors, as long as you're not looking directly into neighbouring properties,
  • Move interioir walls, as long as the total footprint of the house stays the same,
  • Loft conversions of up to 50 cubic metres for detached and semi-detached properties, or 40 cubic metres for terraced houses

  • Single-storey conservatories of up to 4m by 6m,
  • Outbuildings that double up as office space
  • A porch of up to 3m tall
  • Garden decking as long as it's more than 30cm above ground,
  • A Swimming pool as long as it's no bigger than 50 per cent of the size of the garden.

Planning laws currently prevent homeowners from extending houses above a certain height, depending on the size and type of property.

For example, owners of detached and terraced houses with two storeys or more can build up to two extra storeys, up to a height of 18 metres.

While single storey homes will be able to add one additional storey.

But those who build single storey extensions and loft conversions can do so without getting planning permission, as long as the extensions are smaller than the measurements listed above.

Although, they are still subject to a few restrictions and building regulations.

The Sun has asked the Ministry of Housing whether the maximum height will still apply by September, and we'll update this article once we hear back.


How the rules for additional storeys are changing


HOMEOWNERS planning to add up to two storeys to their homes currently need to seek full planning permission to do it. But from September this year, families will be offered a speedier approval process.Planning permission can take up to 16 weeks to get hold of, but the new rules means you'll have a decision within eight weeks. Local planning authorities will still be required to consult with neighbours regarding the plans, although the powers to block extensions will be reduced.The reforms don't apply to protected areas such as conservation areas or national parks, meaning homeowners in such areas still need to apply for full planning permission. 


Planning permission can take between eight and 16 weeks to get hold of and gives neighbours the opportunity to formally object to plans.

But under the reforms, homeowners will be able to apply to extend their properties through a "fast-track approval service" and then get a response within eight weeks. But the reforms limit the powers for local communities to block extensions, which could spark rows over unsightly developments.


The Ministry of Housing insists developers will still have to comply with building regulations, and consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension. It said the changes - which will also allow empty commercial properties in town centres to be converted into homes - will reduce pressure to build on greenfield sites.


Councils will, however, be able to block extensions for a limited number of reasons including traffic congestion, flood risk and noise pollution.


Mr Jenrick said: "We are reforming the planning system and cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy to give small business owners the freedom they need to adapt and evolve, and to renew our town centres with new enterprises and more housing.


"These changes will help transform boarded up, unused buildings safely into high quality homes at the heart of their communities.


"It will mean that families can add up to two storeys to their home, providing much needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows."


But Daniel Slade, from the Town and Country Planning Association, said the reforms would lead to a boom in "thousands of tiny, poor quality "homes" in unacceptable locations such as industrial estates".


And Mark Challis, planning and environment partner at law firm BDB Pitmans, added: "Although relaxing planning controls will strike a positive note with many, particularly in view of the economic and social effects of covid-19, there is a price to be paid in the quality of development that can come forward with limited scrutiny by planning authorities.


"Moreover planning is a public process and this proposed expansion of permitted development rights will leave some people affected by development feeling frustrated that they have not had a proper chance to have their say about it."


The changes come less than a month after Boris Johnson promised "the most radical reforms of our planning system since the end of the Second World War".


Homeowners can add £62,000 to the value of their home by adding a loft conversion - and you can do it without getting planning permission.


Another thing you can do without permission is converting your garage into an extra room if you don't plan to make any changes to the exterior of the house.

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Chancellor to unveil £3 billion retrofit funding

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is committing £3 billion to retrofitting schools, hospitals, and privately owned homes to make them more energy-efficient

In a speech scheduled for tomorrow (8 July) on his plans to boost the UK economy following the coronavirus pandemic, Sunak will say homeowners in England can claim vouchers of up to £5,000 to be spent on energy-saving improvements.


Under the scheme the government will pay at least two-thirds of the cost of any energy-saving retrofit work, including installation of insulation and double-glazed windows.


The £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme is expected to run for one year, with homeowners claiming the vouchers once they have a quote for the work and the work has been approved.


Sunak will also set out plans to spend £1 billion improving energy efficiency in public buildings such as schools and hospitals, as well as introduce a £50 million pilot scheme for innovative approaches to large-scale retrofitting of social housing.


The funding is less than the £9.2 billion the Conservative Party promised to spend on improving energy efficiency in homes, school and hospitals in its manifesto but comes only seven months into the party’s five-year term.

The announcement follows the government’s response to the AJ’s RetroFirst campaign, which calls for changes to VAT, planning and procurement rules to promote retrofitting and bring down the UK’s carbon emissions through greater energy efficiency and reduced use of new and carbon-intensive materials.

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said improving the energy efficiency of buildings is crucial for reducing emissions and described the new government funding as a ‘welcome first step’.

But she said: ‘This funding needs to be part of a comprehensive plan to improve the whole of the UK’s building stock, creating tens of thousands of jobs for the long term, not here today, gone tomorrow.


‘That will only happen if policies are put in place that will build business confidence, upskill tradespeople and grow capacity in the retrofit market.’

She added: ‘Government must also set about creating long-term consumer demand for green home upgrades, bringing forward a range of attractive financing options and incentives such as variable stamp duty to make greener homes cheaper to buy.’


Alan Jones, president of the RIBA, said it was ‘good to see the government bring forward a significant proportion of the £9.2 billion pledged for energy efficiency’, adding: ‘We will continue to emphasise to policymakers the leading role chartered architects have in designing, co-ordinating and delivering a sustainable built environment.’


Ed Miliband, the shadow business secretary, agreed with Hirigoyen that the government’s announcement was ‘not a comprehensive plan’.


He said: ‘It appears there is almost nothing for the people who rent the 8.5 million homes in the social rented sector and private rented sector, which has the worst energy efficiency standards. That means one third of people are left out.’

He added: ‘It also needs to be part of a much broader and bigger-scale strategy for getting back on track for net zero which includes a zero-carbon army of young people getting back to work, investment in nature conservation, driving forward renewable energy, helping our manufacturers be part of the green transition and a plan for our transport network.’


Planning Permission by Itsarchitecture365 – Home Improvements and Residential Extensions

It is with some apprehension that I will now do my best now to throw some light on the tricky topic of planning permissions. Truly we are embarking together along a path where angels fear to tread – but here goes.


Provided you don’t want to extend your property by more than three metres beyond the rear wall of the house for terraced and semi-detached houses, and four metres for detached properties, and provided the extension doesn’t take up more than half of the unbuilt land around the property, you may not need to get planning permission because of what are called “permitted development rights”.


You can see the exceptions / restrictions in more detail in the Permitted development rights for householders: technical guidance notes which are produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Thanks to some temporary increases to the size limits for single-story extensions it can be six metres for terraced and semi-detached houses, and eight metres for detached properties and you could get a much bigger extension without planning permission provided it is completed by 30 May 2019.You must be aware however that whether planning permission is required or not, any and all works will have to fully comply with building regulations.


Adding a conservatory to your house is considered to be permitted development and there is usually no need to make a planning application, but again and as always, this is subject to certain limits and conditions. Sometimes, although you may not need formal planning permission, you may need to send a “notification of a proposed larger home extension” to the planning authorities and also consult with your neighbours. It’s worth noting that local planning authorities have been known to remove permitted development rights in some areas, so you must look into this before starting woks or putting in an offer to purchase a new home. 


Some of the main restrictions are:

  • No more than half the area of land around the “original house” can be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • No extension allowed forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof..
  • A loft conversion for your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to limits and conditions:

Some of the main restrictions are :

  • A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses
  • A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses*
  • No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof

Basements – and do we need planning permission? – Not necessarily thanks to our old friend – permitted development rights, but all in fact depends on where you live and what exactly you want to build. If you want to convert an existing cellar or basement into a living space, this will probably not require planning permission — unless you plan to materially alter the external appearance of your home, for example by adding a light well. Excavating the ground under your home to create a basement is a different matter. If it involves major works you may well require planning permission. There are of course rules about the size and location of your basement. For a start, there are limits to how deep you can dig and how far you can extend. When you buy a house, you also generally buy the land underneath it, so it won’t come as a big surprise to hear that you can’t dig a basement that extends beyond your property to land owned by someone else. You also can’t dig a basement that extends more than 3 metres beyond the back wall of your house. Depending on the size of your garden, you might not even get that far, because you must leave at least seven metres between the end of your basement and the boundary of any opposite neighbour.


Doing your sums.


It is all very well thinking about extending / improving your home and all the planning issues / complications but you must always “ keep the big picture in mind “ in respect of costs and the actual added saleability / and the added value to your property.


Broadly speaking and provided there is adequate headroom, turning an existing cellar into extra living space costs around the same as for a simple loft conversion, at around £1,000–1,350 / m². However if you have to lower the floor level to increase headroom, and dig out the ground beneath the house and underpin the foundations, then the work is expensive and more like £2,000- £4,000/m².


In contrast converting a garage into extra living space does not usually involve major structural work and is relatively speaking not expensive.


Our best advice is this… give us a call to discuss for property for free.

If you are thinking of improvements / extensions at your home then talk to us first on a free / no obligation basis. We are happy to do a current market appraisal / valuation and provide an estimation of the new market value with the works “all done “. In addition after 15 years in the architectural design and planning business we come highly recommend by various builders / tradesmen who are well regarded in Harrogate, Leeds, York and Manchester.


What we cannot offer free planning advice.


If you wish to discuss the above or are interested in using our architecture services in Harrogate, Leeds, York and Manchester. Then please come along and see us and enjoy a free no obligation chat about the services we provide.


Planning Application from Itsarchitecture365

15 years experience in the preparation, planning and submission of Planning Applications with the following Authorities.


Our Planning Application Service is designed to offer a competitive and easy way for you to obtain approval for your application.


Based in Manchester we operate throughout the North East of England, from Leeds, York, and Harrogate.


Harrogate Borough Council, (Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon)

Hambleton District Council (Thirsk, Northallerton)

Richmonshire District Council

City of York Council

Leeds City Council

Scarborough Borough Council (Scarborough, Whitby, Filey)

East Riding of Yorkshire Council (Bridlington)

Durham City Council (Durham, Barnard Castle)

Darlington District Council

Stockton on Tees Borough Council

Manchester City Council 

Double-height extension brings light to Harrogate's Glass House

Double-height extension brings light to Harrogates Glass House

Architecture practice itsarchitecture365.co.uk has added a double-height gabled extension to a 19th-century house in Harrogate, illuminating its formerly light-starved living spaces.


Originally built in 1876, Glass House formerly had a dark and poky interior that meant its owners – a young couple with three children and a dog – were longing for a home with an open-plan layout.

"Our clients wanted to live, cook, gather, lounge, read and socialise in one sunny, externally connected space," said itsarchitecture365, which was tasked with expanding the home.


After demolishing the existing extension, the practice created a contemporary double-height addition that's clad entirely in white steel beams.


It has a glass-fronted rectilinear base and a gabled upper volume wrapped with expansive windows that cast stripes of light into the interior. They can also be seen glowing from street level as night falls.

"The extension has been designed to play with light, it allows the space to bathe in it and controls it," explained the practice.

The luminous quality of the new extension is what lent the project its name of Glass House.


It's also meant to be a subtle reference to Japanese tōrō's – traditional lanterns made from stone, wood or metal that would be used to illuminate the pathways of Buddhist temples.


"Our client's husband is Japanese and the garden landscape has stepping stones that create a path from the courtyard to the house, and back out to the rear yard and pool – so it seemed fitting," the practice's director, Rob Hirst told Dezeen.


Designed to have a calming, "unfussy" ambience, the inside of the extension has been decked out with an array of neutral hues and materials.


The ground-level kitchen suite is crafted from Tasmanian oak wood and has a soft-gold extractor hood above the stove.

A touch of colour is provided by the stone splashback and countertop, which has murky green and dark-blue veins running through it.

Adjacently lies a timber dining table, and a couple of cream-coloured lounge chairs.


Flecked concrete has been applied to the floors, while pale bricks have been used to form a short partition wall – it's punctuated with a large niche that accommodates a double-sided fireplace.


Part of the timber-lined ceiling has been cut away to create a soaring void that offers views of the extension's roof and mezzanine level, which contains two bedrooms and an additional bathroom.


The void was also an attempt by the studio to create an indoor feature that matches the grandiose nature of the home's front facade, which is covered by ornate ironwork.


Itsarchitecture365 is based in Manchester, an inner suburb of Greater Manchester. 


Itsarchitecture365 designs a large number of striking home extensions


Tips and Ideas For Converting Your Loft

A loft conversion is an idea strongly worth considering if you are looking to make extra space in your home. However, it is essential to make sure you have planned all the details, the designs, and especially your budget before any work is started.


Planning the configuration of the fitting and furnishings, the windows, and the energy efficiency of the loft will pay dividends when it comes to processing with the work. Leeds Loft conversion specialists have some superb ideas on how to maximise and make best use.


There are many reasons to invest in a loft conversion, whether it’s to gain more space for a growing family, creating a home office, a spare room, a hang out space for the kids, or to add value to your home.


The first thing you need to work out is if your attic space is big enough to convert. A minimum headroom of 2.3m would usually be seen as fit to convert, but keep in mind such obstacles as water tanks and chimneys, and the pitch of the roof, all of which could affect your plans.


If your loft is a little on the smaller side, or perhaps you are considering going for a couple of small rooms instead of one larger one, then take advantage of the cosy nature of smaller spaces. Choosing a light colour scheme will have the effect of making a room feel larger and lighter, and furnish with warm woods and soft furnishings so it doesn’t feel to sterile.


Planning the layout of your conversion is essential way before any other work has started. Draw up plans of where furniture and storage is going to be placed, and be aware of the head room required for any fittings like an en suite shower.

There are two options when it comes to designing your loft. Firstly, employ the services of a designer such as an architect to produce professional drawings which can then be sent to builders to get quotes and tenders.


The second option is to hire the services of a design and build contractor, who can project manage the entire conversion, who will have the designers, engineers, and builders already part of the team, although you will have less control over the final designs.


Lofts make great kids' bedrooms, playrooms or extra space for kids and teenagers, but it’s important to keep them cosy so they’ll get plenty of use. It’s advise keeping the scheme simple and injecting personality through the use of soft furnishings and other accessories, this way changes can be made easily as their interests change.


A bespoke dressing room can make clever use of the space in the eaves with built in storage that works with the sloping roof, instead of fighting against the limitations. A large skylight will flood the space with natural light, and placing floorboards so they run the length of the room will give the appearance of a longer space.


If you’re looking for loft conversion experts in Leeds, then get in contact today.


Market Town Houses 12% More Expensive

Homeowners with properties in market towns can expect to command an extra 12 per cent of the value of their house, due to the popularity of their area. 


According to the latest figures from Lloyds Bank, properties are typically £33,000 more if they are located within a market town in England, despite the premium having dropped by three per cent in the last year. 


Yorkshire is full of beautiful historic market towns, from Knaresborough and Thirsk to Northallerton and Masham. They stand out to homebuyers because of their quaint, picturesque appearance, and interesting past. 


Lloyds Bank’s mortgage director Andrew Mason said: “Market towns have a long-standing reputation for being packed with typical English charm – with cobbled stresses, bustling market stalls and historic buildings all contributing to the appeal for many people looking to set up home.”


He went on to say this, therefore, means there is a property premium with houses in market towns. 


“Those considering making a market town their home should consider how it compares with the relative value for money that alternative areas have to offer,” Mr Mason stated.


The research showed nine out of ten of the market towns with the highest premium to county house price ratio are all in the south-east, which is good news for those looking to buy in Yorkshire at least. 


Beaconsfield properties command a premium of 162 per cent, with the average house price here being £1,098,060 compared with the county average of £418,483.


While Guisborough in North Yorkshire and Goole in East Riding both appeared on the least expensive market towns list last year, some areas of Yorkshire have been performing particularly well.

Skipton, for instance, saw property values increase by 14 per cent between 2018 and 2019, with homebuyers keen on paying more for a property in the beautiful market area. 


All market towns have performed well over the last decade, however, increasing by 37 per cent on average between 2009 and 2019. 


This is good news for homeowners who have a property in a market town, as they can expect to earn more for their asset. However, it also means they would have to pay the same premium if they wanted to stay in the area, negating the benefit. 


Those looking for a bigger home but are not able to afford the cost of moving could consider a residential extension instead. 


By increasing the size of your property, you are able to add bedrooms to the home, install a study or playroom, or create your dream open-plan kitchen-diner, at the fraction of the expense of buying a new house. 


According to Barclays, the cost of moving is typically £8,885 for stamp duty, valuations, surveys, legal fees, estate agent fees, insurance, removal services, storage, redirecting mail, and cleaning your house. However, this does not include the extra tens of thousands you will have to spend on a bigger property. What’s more, the greater the cost of your home, the more you will have to pay on stamp duty as well. 


For second-movers, this is two per cent on a property between £125,000 and £250,000; five per cent between £250,001 and £925,000; ten per cent on houses worth between £925,001 and £1.5 million; and 12 per cent for residences over £1.5 million. 


UK Property Values Treble Over 20 Years

March 15, 2020

Property owners will be pleased to hear that UK house values have increased significantly over the last 20 years, trebling since the turn of the century.


Recent figures from Halifax have shown the average price of a home in 1999 was £91,199. However, this increased to £279,997 by the end of November, which is more than three times the value two decades before.


The findings revealed every region in the country has seen house values at least double over the period, with Northern Ireland exhibiting the lowest property increase of 139 per cent, while Newham in London saw house prices soar by as much as 429 per cent.


Unsurprisingly, the capital on average has experienced substantial property value growth of 239 per cent. In 1999, a typical property in Greater London would have cost £157,453, whereas it would now be £375,983 more expensive.

This has meant the house price to earnings ratio has dramatically increased in the region, rising from 5.4 at the turn of the millennium to 10.8 by the end of last year.


Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “The rise in house prices in London since the turn of the century is well documented, and a sharp decrease in affordability just shows how quickly the market has moved.”


This is despite property value change in the capital having slowed down over the last few years, due to uncertainty with Brexit. The latest UK House Price Index from Land Registry showed the lowest annual growth between October 2018 and 2019 was in London. Here, prices dropped by 1.6 per cent over the 12-month period, while they also declined by 1.7 per cent from September to October last year.


This fall represents a regular drop in values, which suggests the price disparity between 2000 and 2020 would have been even greater without this slowdown in growth of the last few years.


Regardless of this, first-time buyers have been hit particularly hard due to the soaring prices of the past two decades. The cost of buying a first property in 1999 was a mere £63,640. However, it has since increased by 264 per cent to £231,442.


Mr Galley stated: “New buyers are hugely important to the overall health of the UK housing market. Despite a shortage of homes and the on-going challenge of raising deposits, we know that the number of first-time buyers is moving in the right direction. Key to this is continued low mortgage rates and a wealth of options available to first-time buyers, helping to support even more step foot on the ladder.”


At the end of last year, Halifax released its Housing Market Outlook for 2020, which forecast house price inflation to remain between one and three per cent over the next 12 months.


This follows a similar pattern of the last year. However, falling mortgage rates and fewer houses for sale have meant that house prices have been supported and have not plummeted during this period of uncertainty.


Indeed, homeowners have been deterred from putting their house on the market, as they do not want to make a loss on the sale, while also having to spend more to purchase a larger property.


Instead, many have opted to remain in their current residence, and embark on residential extensions to create more space, as opposed to finding a larger home. 

The Benefits Of Creating A Home Office for 2020

February 14, 2020

As technology continues to advance, the idea of being able to work from home becomes more appealing. It might be able to work in comfy clothes, or to avoid that commute on a cold winter’s morning. But should you be considering a residential extension or loft conversion, the benefits of a home office are plenty.


There are ample reasons why you could be thinking about an extension to your home, maybe more room for a growing family, perhaps to add value to your home, but creating a dedicated, vibrant and designer space for working from home has become increasingly popular.


Remote work can lead to a vast increase in productivity. A Stanford University study on 500 employees working equally at home and in the office showed those working from the comfort of their own homes had an increase in productivity equal to a full day’s work each week. The same study showed that employers had a 50 per cent increase in employee retention with remote workers.


There is a decrease in sick days and time off. It might seem obvious that employees are not going to call in sick if they’re already at home anyway, but avoiding all those office bound viruses and germs, especially at this time of year, means that workers are generally healthier.


The relief from the stress of the daily commute also adds to a worker’s wellbeing. Having greater control over your work environment and schedule helps workers feel much less stressed about their jobs, which in turn promotes further productivity and employee satisfaction. A reduction in stress means workers have better diets, find time for more exercise, increased morale, and a much better outlook on life.


Working from home can help cut costs on travel, clothing, childcare, and food. Your employer can save money too, cutting costs on general operating services, and the need for larger offices and properties.


As our society lives longer, older workers can find their careers prolonged. It has a positive effect on older workers who keep their skills relevant and up to date with evolving technologies and remote working. Younger workers, millennial and Gen-Z are seeking more work flexibility also, and it will benefit employers to meet the remote working model.


Home workers have improved relationships with families and loved ones. Being able to organise your own schedule means more time to be spent with those who matter to you, rather than squeezing in that precious personal time around your job.


For employers it has shown that remote work creates more diversity within the workforce. Being able to offer positions for remote work globally means that the talent pool available is vastly increased, with opportunities to find workers of varying gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, and geographic location.


Should you be tempted by remote working, and would like to talk to one of our professional experts about extending your home, converting your loft, or any other architectural services in Yorkshire, get in touch with our team today.

Our Architectural Style Guide: Arts & Crafts

January 15, 2020

When it comes to property styles and aesthetics, it always pays to do some research so you can work out what you like and what you don’t before you get in touch with architectural services in Leeds. But where to begin your search?


We thought we’d publish a regular guide to the different styles out there to help you make some difficult decisions, starting off the series with the Arts and Crafts movement, which first came to the fore back in the late 19th century - pioneered by designer/poet William Morris, who you may well have heard of.


The idea behind the movement was to bring back to life the skills of craftsmanship, an answer to the rise in industrialisation and mass production, which became popular to the detriment of natural creativity.


Morris himself was a huge supporter of using natural materials and traditional methods of construction, as well as making sure that function, as well as style, informed design. Traditional building techniques also helped to reform architecture - look at the likes of Charles Voysey, Richard Lethaby and Philip Webb for excellent examples of buildings from this period.


When considering the characteristics of the Arts and Crafts movement, look out for utility, simplicity and beauty, as well as nature as a serious source of inspiration. These are all concepts that could easily be incorporated into any kind of interior project, whether you’re renovating an entire property or simply updating a few rooms over the next couple of months.


Find out all about William Morris on The William Morris Society website.