A new year often brings with it promises of self-improvement, with common resolutions, such as regular gym attendance or going alcohol-free, often petering out by the time we come to February 1st. Instead, the second month of the year is the perfect opportunity for those looking for ways of making more maintainable changes to start taking a look at their homes. After all, why should improvements end with yourself? We may be a little early for spring cleaning, but that doesn’t mean many homeowners aren’t already focusing on improvements they can make to their properties that will pay dividends in the future.
Having decided that 2017 could be the year they invest in their homes, many may consider taking the advice from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, which reported last year that adding an extension such as a conservatory or an orangery to a property could raise its value by up to 5%. And according to property experts such as Channel 4’s Phil Spencer that figure could actually be as high as 7%. In any case, a new conservatory or orangery is almost guaranteed to more than pay for itself – representing the home improvement project which typically has the highest return on investment.
CEO and co-founder of peer-to-peer platform Zopa, Giles Andrews, says: “With the latest housing market reports showing the market to be slowing down, home owners could add significant value by looking at ways to improve their current homes, rather than move. With record low rates on borrowing, home improvements can be a cost-effective way to add value to a property for the long-term.”
Of course, if homeowners are looking to add value and extend their property there are a number of options available. So, what has made conservatories and orangeries such popular choices for an estimated 18% of British homeowners? Well, one undoubted plus is that, unlike an extension, they can be built without the need for planning permission, as long as they cover no more than half the area of the land of the original house. They are also exempt from rules on structure and fire safety, known as building regulations, if at least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is either glazed or translucent material and if the extension is separated from the house by external doors.
And for those worried about investing in a conservatory or orangery only for it to look, in the words of Property Secrets editor Daniel Peacock, like ‘a glorified greenhouse lazily bolted on to the side of the house’, they really shouldn’t be. Because while an ill thought out extension can be a liability to the seller rather than an asset, including a feature such as internal glazed bifold doors, which can be easily folded away, can help to make the extension feel like it flows effortlessly into the next room.
For those inspired to think of calling the builders, Amanda Kaye of LK Interiors offers the following advice: “The most important thing to remember is fading. You don’t want to spend a lot of money decorating your conservatory or orangery to find that in six months’ time, your carefully chosen colour scheme has faded away to nothing.”
One of the best ways of ensuring your extension is fade-proof is to consider the use of integral blinds throughout. At Morley, our Uni-Blinds® integral blinds are assembled and permanently sealed within the double-glazing cavity, meaning they require no cleaning, always appear new and are protected from damage. And, unlike external blind systems, Uni-Blinds® also provide greatly enhanced sun shading features and also enhance the insulation of your finished conservatory.
Alongside internal blinds, the right choice of glass can also be key. Considerations such a heat reflection, thermal insulation, self-cleaning, glare reduction and the elimination of condensation are all important factors that can be addressed with the right choice of glass product. You can read more about your options when it comes to glass here.
At Morley we advise, train and provide back-up for all Uni-Blinds® installers, providing total peace of mind and confidence in the quality of the completed installation. As the only integral blind manufacturer in the UK with dedicated nationwide service engineering support, our customers are never more than a phone call away from all the support needed to deliver the perfect window and door blind installation. And in the unlikely event of a customer encountering any technical issues with a Uni-Blind product, we’ll guide you to the solution to make sure your reputation and service is enhanced, wherever you are in the UK.
If your customers have decided 2017 is the year of not just self-improvement but home-improvement as well, why not get in touch with Morley Glass to find out how we can help.