Author Archive

Heritage Building Restoration: Balancing Modern Needs with Historical Integrity

June 17th, 2024 | London Building Contractors

Recognising Heritage Buildings

Definition

Heritage buildings are structures recognised for their historical and architectural significance. Listed on the National Heritage List for England (NHLE), these buildings are protected by law to ensure their preservation.

Criteria for Listing

Buildings gain designation based on their historical significance, architectural merit, age, rarity, or contribution to a wider ensemble. The listing requirements are stringent to protect the nation’s legacy.

Upholding historical integrity

Legal regulations govern alterations, renovations, and demolitions. These laws aim to protect the value of heritage structures. As stewards of these buildings, we must respect their significance and ensure that any renovations are carried out with care and respect for the law.

Balancing tradition and innovation

In the modern world, we must adhere to safety standards. Ensuring accessibility for those who are physically challenged and achieving energy efficiency are modern-day needs. However, addressing these needs should not compromise the integrity of heritage buildings. Sensitivity and comprehensive planning are crucial in balancing tradition and innovation.

London Building Contractors: Your Expert Partner in Heritage Restoration

Renovating, restoring, and maintaining heritage buildings can be challenging. At London Building Contractors, we specialise in these tasks. We have a deep understanding of historical preservation and modern construction techniques. Our team is dedicated to preserving the authenticity and charm of these architectural treasures.

We also prioritise sustainability in our projects. Using eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient systems ensures that heritage buildings retain their historical integrity while contributing to a greener future.

Heritage building restoration and renovation in the UK require collaboration, foresight, and a deep appreciation for history. By safeguarding these architectural treasures, we honour our past and invest in a more vibrant and resilient future. Our heritage buildings are not relics of a bygone era but living embodiments of our cultural legacy, deserving of our utmost care and reverence.

 

Call us at: +44 20 8935 5159

WhatsApp: +44 77 9113 9936

Website : https://www.londonbuildingcontractors.co.uk/

 

The Benefits of Summer Renovations: Why Now is the Best Time to Start

June 10th, 2024 | London Building Contractors

At London Building Contractors, we recognise the significance of timing in the realm of home renovations. As an architecture, interior design, and construction company based in London, we are experts in offering comprehensive turnkey solutions that encompass all facets of your project. Summer stands out as the opportune season to commence your renovation projects, and here’s why initiating them during this time is beneficial.

  • Minimal Disruption to Daily Life

With longer daylight hours and pleasant weather, summer renovations can proceed smoothly, minimising disruptions to your daily routine. You can continue to enjoy your home while the transformation takes place.

 

​​2. Better Ventilation and Air Quality

Indoor renovations can release dust, fumes, and other pollutants into your home. During the summer, you can keep windows and doors open, ensuring better ventilation and reducing the health risks associated with poor indoor air quality. This is especially important for projects involving paint, varnish, or other chemicals.

 

  1. Outdoor Projects are Easier

Many renovation projects are best tackled when the weather is warm. From landscaping to building a new patio or installing a fence, summer provides the optimal conditions for outdoor work. These projects not only enhance your enjoyment of your home during the summer months but also boost your property’s curb appeal and value.

 

For stress-free summer renovations, London Building Contractors is your trusted partner. Our comprehensive turnkey solutions cover every aspect of your project, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience. From minimising disruptions to maximising air quality and enhancing outdoor spaces, we’re committed to exceeding your expectations.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards transforming your home. Let’s work together to make your renovation dreams a reality. Don’t wait any longer to create the home you’ve always wanted. Choose London Building Contractors, and let’s make it happen together!

 Image taken from : Photo by Jens Aber on Unsplash

Understanding Planning Application/Permission vs. Consistent Application

June 3rd, 2024 | London Building Contractors

Are you planning on renovating your place?  Before you begin, it’s essential to understand the differences between planning application and consistent planning. These concepts are crucial for ensuring your development project runs smoothly and meets all necessary regulations.

What is Planning Application/Permission?

Planning permission is the formal approval from your local council required for building something new, extending your property, or changing the use of land or buildings. This process helps ensure that developments are appropriate and align with local planning policies and community needs.

Planning regulations are designed to prevent unwanted modifications and ensure that any changes to properties are harmonious with their surroundings. For example:

  • Extensions: Extensions should complement the character of the existing house rather than dominate or overshadow it.
    • Side Extensions: These should be visible from the street and typically must be lower than the current ridge height.
    • Rear Extensions: These offer more flexibility, but they should blend with or complement the existing infrastructure.

Things to Consider When Building

  1. Compliance with Policies
    • Local Council and National Policies: Ensure your building plans comply with both local council regulations and national planning policies.
  2. Environmental Impact
    • Environmental Impact Assessments: Conduct relevant assessments to ensure your project does not negatively impact the environment.
  3. Impact on Neighbours
    • Light and View: The extension should not cause a significant loss of light or view for neighbours.
    • Privacy: Consider the potential loss of privacy from overlooking windows or gardens.
  4. Community Engagement
    • Engage with Neighbours: Discuss your plans with neighbours to address any concerns and seek their support before making an application.

What is Consistent Application?

Consistent planning refers to the uniform enforcement and application of planning regulations and policies across all development projects. It ensures fairness, transparency, and integrity in the planning process, promoting trust and confidence among all stakeholders.

The Importance of Consistent Planning

  1. Fairness and Transparency
    • Equal Treatment: Consistent planning ensures that all applicants are treated equally, preventing favouritism or bias.
    • Clear Expectations: Provides clear guidelines and expectations for developers and the community, promoting trust in the planning process.
  2. Quality and Reliability
    • High Standards: Ensures that all developments meet high standards of design, safety, and sustainability.
    • Predictable Outcomes: This leads to predictable and reliable outcomes, making it easier for developers to plan and invest.
  3. Legal and Ethical Compliance
    • Avoids Legal Issues: It helps avoid legal challenges by ensuring all decisions comply with relevant laws and regulations.
    • Ethical Integrity: Upholds ethical standards, building public confidence in the integrity of the planning process.
  4. Community Confidence and Engagement
    • Public Trust: Builds trust within the community by demonstrating that planning decisions are made fairly and consistently.
    • Active Participation: Encourages community participation and feedback, leading to better-informed and more accepted planning outcomes.

Understanding the differences between planning application/permission and consistent planning is crucial for effective development. Planning application/permission focuses on evaluating and approving specific projects, ensuring each meets local and national regulations. It involves detailed, site-specific assessments and direct stakeholder engagement.

Consistent planning ensures uniform application of policies across all projects, maintaining fairness and transparency through standardised procedures and clear guidelines. This broader approach builds trust and ensures equitable decision-making.

At London Building Contractors, we can assist you with every step of your planning permission process. Whether you need help with detailed assessments, navigating regulations, or engaging with stakeholders, our expert team is here to ensure your project meets all necessary requirements. Contact us today to get started on your successful development journey.

Call us at: +44 20 8935 5159

WhatsApp: +44 77 9113 9936

Website : https://www.londonbuildingcontractors.co.uk/

 

The Edwardian Architectural Styles

May 20th, 2024 | London Building Contractors

Although the Edwardian period lasted only 10 years, the stretch of its architecture continued for more 10 years after King Edward’s death. In embracing less formality on buildings, the dark, stuffy cluttered interiors of the Victorian architecture was modified in this era to add more lighting, space and air into homes. This then is the Edwardian Architecture.

Currently, Edwardian houses are mainly located in Muswell Hill, Hampstead Heath, Dulwich, Blackheath, Ealing, Richmond and Putney still having a reputation for being well designed and constructed using high-quality materials.

  1. EDWARDIAN SUBURDIA 

This was mainly residential architecture characterized by small terraced, semi-detached and detached two-storey buildings. These Edwardian country houses were so close to railway stations for an easy commute to the city and therefore dominate many suburban areas and commuter villages.

Domestic improvements were continuously made possible due to the availability and easy access of the advanced building materials like glass used on the large windows, glossy paint which replaced wall papers. Furthermore, electric lightings and gas appliances were later introduced towards the late Edwardian period.

Identifying an Edwardian suburbia home

  • Externally, these homes are characterized by steep-pitched roofs.
  • The roofs have chimneys often located part-way down the roof, directly above the fireplaces in the rooms below.
  • Dormer windows with pointed barge-boards and the loft-space has being used for accommodation.
  • Larger but fewer rooms as compared to the Victorian buildings
  • Fewer, larger rooms, double-aspect living spaces and large hallways.
  • Front gardens (many of which have since been converted to driveways) and generous back gardens.

  1. EDWARDIAN BAROQUE

The Edwardian Baroque architecture dominated most commercial buildings this being termed ‘the Grand Style’ between 1910s and 1920s. This style was designed by a major exponent in the times, Sir Edwin Lutyens. The Baroque style was mainly adapted from the architecture of France(18th century) and the architecture of Sir Christopher Wren in England (17th century).

Identifying an Edwardian Baroque home

  • Extensive rustication, especially at ground level, running the voussoirs of arched openings
  • Domed corner rooftop pavilions
  • Exaggerated keystones, segmental arched pediments,
  • Columns with engaged blocks;
  • Colonnades of (sometimes paired) columns in a Ionic order)
  • Domed towers modelled closely

 

For all your building concerns, Contact London Building Contractors

A Complete-Turnkey-Solution-For-You

Types of Wood Used for Fencing

May 14th, 2024 | London Building Contractors

Picture of Wood Fencing

According to the research paper “Characteristics and Availability of Commercially Important Woods” developed by ‘Michael C. Wiemann’ to achieve a satisfactory service life of a wooden fence, the following types of woods can be used:

Cedar Wood

Cedar wood is softer rather than lighter in weight and has lesser strength and limited shock resistance. It gets slightly compressed when it is set for drying. You can work on it smoothly, it holds colour well, and is exceptionally resistant to heartwood decay. Due to its high durability, it is used for making poles, posts, cabin logs, railroad crusts, lumber, shingles, decorative fencing, and boats.

Fir Wood

Fir Wood is also known locally as red-fir wood, Douglas-spruce, and yellow-fir wood. Fir Wood is used mostly for building and construction purposes in the form of lumber, piles, plywood, and engineered wood composites. These woods are costly but when used in fence the durability of the wood is taken into the count. This type of wood is reliable for holding screw and they are highly split-proof.

Red Oak Wood

Red oak wood is dense and it shrinks during drying. The red oaks are primarily cut into lumber, railroad crossties, fence posts, veneer, etc. Generally, timber fence posts by red oak wood require preservative treatment for satisfactory service.

Teak Wood

Teak wood is versatile, strong, durable, weather and warp-resistant, also does not decay easily. Teakwood being strong and having a long life is also very costly. It therefore is used only for erecting posts and maybe for making rails. Apart from fencing, it can be used for cabinet making, interior and exterior joinery, flooring and fine furniture, carving, panelling, turnery, veneers, and poles. Poles made from teak wood are used for scaffolding, fence posts and telecommunications lines.

If you are planning to make a wooden fence, you should look at the advantages and disadvantages of a wooden fence beforehand.

Advantages of Wood Fencing

Timber fencing is stylish

One of the significant advantages you can get from a wood fencing is that it adds aesthetic value to a premise. It can enhance the look of your home, and set it apart from the neighbouring homes. Well, this can be achieved by using painting, carving or staining. You can paint your fence in regular water-resistant paint to enhance their appearance and to extend their service life.

A sustainable friendly option

Timber fencing is an eco-friendly option. Wood is a natural substance that can be taken from a tree at any time. Old wooden fence pieces can also be disposed of without damaging the surroundings. Therefore, wood fencing is always one of the safest methods to consider.

Affordable

Most fencing options like stone or brick wall fencing, steel fencing, metal fencing are expensive, but the option to buy and install a wooden fence is mostly affordable, provided wood is available in plenty from your localities.

Easy to install

Wooden fences can be customized according to the owner’s needs and shape while keeping everything on a budget.

Disadvantages of Wood Fencing

Shorter lifespan

Wooden fences may have a shorter lifespan than some other fencing materials like aluminium, steel, bricks, etc.

Requires a lot of maintenance

The wooden fences can last a long time only if maintained regularly and properly. If the wood fences are not maintained or if the area where the fence is fixed experiences a lot of rain and snow, then the wooden fence’s life will be naturally reduced.

Highly flammable

The main disadvantage of using wood in fence is that it is flammable as it catches fire quickly.

Susceptible to rot and insect attack

It also gets attacked by termites and insects easily and you have to maintain it regularly to keep them protected and in good shape.

Conclusion:

Although these kinds of fences require some attention, you can preserve your fence throughout the year by taking preventive measures and fixing any damage as soon as it occurs.

If you are interested in having bespoke wooden fence installed on your property, why don’t you get in touch with our team on either 020 8935 5159 or 07791139936, or fill in our online contact form to request a free survey and/or quote?

 

 

External links:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/37430 

https://co2timber.co.uk/pdf/timber-fencing.pdf

https://gharpedia.com/blog/wood-fencing-for-house-boundary/

https://www.wood-finishes-direct.com/blog/all-about-wooden-garden-fence-maintenance/?agent=pmax&custref=PerformanceMax&gclid=Cj0KCQjwjbyYBhCdARIsAArC6LKu-U8VkETUAz5LPO9vreTusN1Z-JhBDs3M7cGrA4m2AtCJ7BFK1yYaAivmEALw_wcB

https://www.contemporarygarden.co.uk/blogs/news/pros-and-cons-of-timber-fencing

https://www.felixwood.com/wood-fencing/elegant-charmant-hardwood-fences/

How to Assess the Potential of a Renovation Project

May 9th, 2024 | London Building Contractors

Get in here, best friends. Do you remember I told you we would talk about the renovation process and walk through every corner? Yes, I’m happy to share with you what we found out.

A lady thinking if should do some renovations on her house
A woman thinking about renovating.

“Renovating not only restores the house but restores the story of the home and neighborhood.”.~Unknown

Before you begin to assess the design potential and structural condition of a property, there are a few basic questions to ask yourself:

Is it in a good location? This could mean that it is in an area known for its good schools or transport links, away from any main roads or next to land that is likely to be bought up by a developer.

The old saying goes that you should look for the worst house on the best street, and it is great advice for anyone looking for a renovation bargain. No matter how amazing you make the property, it can only be as good as the area it is in, so check local amenities, schools, and provision of green space. A Google Street View stroll down the street will give you a feel for the place and highlight anything untoward.

  • Is there scope for off-road parking where there isn’t any?

If the house is not big enough for your needs, consider how you could change it to rectify that.

  • Have neighboring properties recently been extended?

Will your planned changes be in keeping with the rest of the street? Have they made improvements to their homes that would work on yours? Finally, are the homes well maintained, showing that everyone takes pride in their properties?

Work Out the Cost of your House Renovation

When planning to renovate your home, it is imperative to consider the cost of renovations.

Projects differ. Some can be more costly than others. So it would be best if you considered various factors to estimate the costs. Below are tips to assess your home remodeling costs

  1. Determine Your Needs and Goals
  2. Analyse the Remodel Cost
  3. Check Your Budget
  4. Prioritise Your Renovation Needs
  5. Ask for Bids from London construction

Check For Renovation Restrictions Before You Start

It must have been made obvious to you at the point of sale if your home is listed, but if you are unsure, you must check, as it is a criminal offense to carry out unauthorized work without a proper check. Many buildings built around 1840 or earlier are likely to be listed – and over half a million in the UK are. You can check if your home is listed at British Listed Buildings .

Apply for Planning Consent

Revamping an older or newer property, it is significant to recognize which features of your planned work require legal approval.

There are 2 main types of applications – applications for full planning permission and applications for outline planning permission.

What is an application for full planning permission?

An application for full planning permission results in a decision on the detailed proposals of how a site can be developed. If planning permission is granted, and subject to compliance with any planning conditions that are imposed, no further engagement with the local planning authority is required to proceed with the development granted permission, although other consents may be required.

What is an outline planning application?

An application for outline planning permission allows for a decision on the general principles of how a site can be developed. Outline planning permission is granted subject to conditions requiring the subsequent approval of one or more ‘reserved matters.

Conduct a BAT Survey

If you are renovating, converting, or modifying an old building, you may need to conduct a bat survey. A bat survey will be required to check for the presence of bats within the building and should be undertaken if there is a ‘reasonable likelihood’ that bats are present. And yes It is a criminal offense to harm bats or disturb them when roosting.

This survey is expensive but the fines imposed for not taking precautions and disturbing bats are higher

THE BEST CONTRACTORS FOR YOUR RENOVATION

Just immediately after you have decided on the property, an valuation of the fundamental condition of the house is imperative not only in order to work out how much work is going to be required or whether it is even a worthwhile project, but also to give an idea of whether the asking price is a fair one.

Therefore, if you are considering buying an old house, London Building Contractors is an experienced renovator and is always here to serve you with the needed quotation and evaluation for your renovation projects and help you spot many structural defects. We will assist you in knowing what order you renovate in, and the sequence of house renovation works and will give you the best possible results.

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