Do You Need Planning Permission For A Home Extension?

If you want to get a home extension there are two things you will need. One is to find a skilled and experienced builder to do a great job. The other is to establish whether you need planning permission for this.

There are many misconceptions about what people can and cannot do, but it is always wise to find out first, as nothing can be worse than building something, realising you need permission, and then having to get it pulled down because you can’t get retrospective planning consent.

To begin with, in most homes, you can extend within certain parameters using permitted development rights, without having to apply for planning permission.

For example, this only enables the extension to cover up to half the ground space of the original house and it cannot be higher than the existing roof or eaves. The height cannot exceed three metres where the extension comes within two metres of the property boundary. You should also use similar materials to those in the existing property.

Within these parameters, your extension should be permissible. Planning permission will need to be sought if it exceeds these, or if you want to add features like a balcony, satellite dish, chimney, or alterations to the existing roof.

Further considerations will apply in three special instances that may impact your property.

The first concerns the property itself. If it is listed, there will be restrictions on what you can do. There are 370,000 listed structures in England, although most are not homes people live in. If your house is listed and you do want to make any alteration to it, you will need to seek listed buildings consent to do so and there is no guarantee it will be granted.

Other considerations are connected with location. If you live in a conservation area, the need to maintain its character may constrain your ability to make significant changes to your property. These are common in urban areas; for instance, Birmingham has 29.

Finally, those living in national parks are subject to very strict planning rules. The one affected part of the West Midlands is an area of Staffordshire in the Peak District.

Why Is Foundation Work So Important To Building Projects?

The success of any building project ultimately relies on its foundations, and whilst this is practically a truism to any reputable builder, there is one rather infamous example of what happens if foundation work is inappropriate or inadequate.

In the UK, there are extensive building regulations covering foundation work, given how unsafe inadequate foundations can be to anyone living or working in the building in question.

One of the most infamous and bizarre demonstrations of the importance of foundations took place on 27th June 2009 at the Lotus Riverside residential apartment project in Shanghai, China.

At the time, Block 7, a 13-floor apartment complex was under construction but suddenly fell over, tragically taking the life of a construction worker but only just avoiding striking a building behind it.

What made the story so unusual was that the building did not break apart but literally fell on its side like a domino, something that was immediately suspected to be the result of a serious foundation issue.

This was confirmed a few days later by Shanghai Daily in a story that made international news due to the brazen disregard for basic construction protocol that led to the building’s collapse.

According to the South China Morning Post, the main foundation pilings were made from prestressed, precast concrete, which whilst common in Chinese construction were not suited for high-rise buildings such as Block 7.

This foundation work was poorly done with inadequate surveying of the building, particularly the excavation work done for an underground garage.

The earth that was moved was dumped into a nearby landfill next to a river creek. The weight of the earth caused the river bank to collapse and water was allowed to flow under the building.

This weakened the earth underneath the foundations, causing them to fail and the building to collapse.

This should not have happened and six people received prison sentences for causing a criminal major accident.

Why You Should Book A Kitchen Renovation For The Summer

Having major work done on your house is both exciting and daunting in equal measure, which is why no homeowner is in a rush to book a renovation project, knowing how disruptive it is going to be to their lives. 

However, the best time to get a big refurbishment job is in the spring and summer, so now could be ideal to get in touch with kitchen fitters in your area if you want a new cooking space by autumn. 

The most obvious reason for the warmer months being better for renovation work is due to the fact that the weather is better. 

This means there are likely to be fewer disruptions to their work schedules due to snow, rain or wind. Bad weather can have a huge impact on projects, causing long delays and increased costs. 

It can also be very frustrating to miss deadlines, especially if you have to cook microwavable meals in your lounge and do the washing up in your bath for longer than you expected.

The warmer days also make it easier for work to get done outside, freeing up space in the house and meaning there is less dust and general mess to clean up afterwards. Dust, wood shavings, and other small debris can get into everything, so reducing this will mean you can enjoy your new kitchen fully sooner.

Another reason why summer is the best time to have a kitchen refitted is due to the longer daylight hours

By late June when it is the longest day of the year, the sun typically sets as late as 10pm, which means builders who want to get the work done quickly can stay much later than they would in the winter. 

Conversely, it can get dark around 4pm in December and January, which means they have to start packing their gear away in the mid-afternoon.

Revealing The Amazing Benefits Of Rubber Roofing

If your home or business is ready for a new roof, you may be confused by all the options available. 

When choosing a roof type, there are many considerations to make, including cost, longevity and durability, among others. 

One type that’s proven to be enduringly popular over the years is rubber roofing, with many people going for this option over alternatives such as asphalt, metal and slate.

Here, we’ll be going over the main reasons why rubber is a great material for roofs, to help you decide whether it’s suitable for your property.

What Is Rubber Roofing?

Rubber roofing, or ethylene propylene diene monomer roofing, to give it its proper name, is a type of roofing material made from synthetic rubber. 

It is manufactured using a combination of ethylene and propylene derived from natural gas and oil. 

These components are polymerised with diene, a compound that contains two double bonds, to create a durable and flexible rubber membrane. This membrane is then typically reinforced with polyester or fibreglass to enhance its strength and stability.

Its attractive attributes (which we’ll get into below) make it particularly well suited for various applications and you’re likely to find rubber roofing being used in a variety of places, mostly in commercial and industrial settings, as well as in residential flat or low-slope roofs.

Why Rubber Roofs Are So Popular

Here are the main advantages that rubber roofs offer:

Strong & Durable 

It doesn’t matter what type of roof is being made, it needs to be able to withstand all that the elements can throw at it. Thankfully, rubber roofing is exceptionally sturdy and resilient, enduring harsh weather conditions and heavy foot traffic without deterioration. 

Its robust construction guarantees long-lasting protection for your property, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements, which can be costly and leave your home vulnerable.

Resistant To Extreme Weather

A roof will need to withstand UV rays, hail, and high winds to offer protection to your property. This is especially the case at times of unpredictable weather, which we’re now seeing more of here in the UK.

Rubber roofing helps to safeguard your property year-round and its resistance to damage from extreme elements minimises the risk of leaks and structural damage, ensuring peace of mind.

Adapts To Temperature Fluctuations 

Rubber roofing’s flexibility and thermal stability mean it’s able to expand and contract with temperature changes, preventing cracks and leaks. 

This adaptability ensures rubber roofing is able to perform in diverse climates, mitigating the risk of damage caused by thermal stress on traditional roofing materials.

Easy Installation 

Rubber roofing isn’t just advantageous for the customer but it’s also easy to install for the fitter too.

Lightweight and flexible, rubber roofing is straightforward to install, which not only speeds up the process but should also lead to reduced labour costs. 

Its ease of handling and installation makes it a cost-effective choice for both new construction projects and roof replacements, saving time and money without compromising quality.

Versatility & Low Maintenance 

Suitable for roofs with complex shapes and angles, rubber roofing offers versatility in design and installation. 

Additionally, its minimal maintenance requirements mean that upkeep costs are kept low, making it an economical and practical roofing solution for numerous reasons.

Disadvantages Of Rubber

Despite many benefits we’ve covered, like all materials, rubber roofing does have some potential drawbacks to consider.

For instance, while it is durable, it can be susceptible to punctures from sharp objects and may require occasional repairs if it’s forced to endure plenty of footfall or impact. 

Additionally, rubber roofing can be more expensive upfront compared to some traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles. However, its longevity and low maintenance requirements will usually offset these initial costs over time, but it’s something to consider at least. 

Moreover, proper installation by experienced professionals can help minimise these issues, ensuring that rubber roofing continues to provide reliable protection for your property.

If you’re looking for an experienced company to fit your rubber roofing in Wolverhampton then get in touch as we’d be happy to help. We have extensive experience and, depending on the size of the job, can usually have your roof sorted within a day.

Who Invented Fitted Kitchens?

When building or refurbishing a house, the two rooms that need the most work and feature the most complexities are the kitchen and the bathroom, not only because there are much more technical complexities when it comes to wiring and plumbing, but also to ensure that they look consistent and fit the homeowner’s vision.

Choosing contractors who can also provide kitchen fitting services is a good way to get around this, as they do not need to outsource the kitchen fitting to anyone else and can ensure perfect, consistent results.

They can choose the right fitted kitchen for the needs of everyone using it, but where did the concept of an effective, robust, space-saving kitchen come from?

From New York To Frankfurt

The first widely produced and sold fitted kitchen is nearly a century old, but that design was inspired by one made three years before it, which in turn was inspired by several writers and designers who literally shaped the modern kitchen.

Whilst kitchen areas have existed since the discovery of fire, the first person to seriously consider the needs of the people using the kitchen was Catherine Beecher in her 1843 book A Treatise on Domestic Economy.

Mrs Beecher, a pioneering educator who advocated for preschool education, physical education and the power of schooling to shape the development of children in general, was inspired by the steamship’s galley.

It featured a lot of elements that are seen in modern fitted kitchens, including a lot of shelving space, separated preparation areas and various storage stations for different food items.

Its biggest success and influence came when it was re-released in 1869 as part of The American Woman’s Home alongside additional chapters by her sister, author and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, where it started to shape the perception of what the kitchen could and should be.

The next major step would come in 1913 with the pioneering work of Christine Frederick and the pioneering book The New Household.

Inspired by the industrial management systems of Fred Taylor, Christine Frederick advocated strongly for kitchens to be efficiently designed for the tasks that need to be done, with specific stations for prepping, cleaning dishes and cooking, nearly sorted and arranged in order of their use.

Her work was particularly influential in Europe and would go on to inspire a new wave of architects and interior designers.

The most important one was Benita Otte, who was a member of the Bauhaus around the time that the influential art and design school worked on their showpiece Haus am Horn.

Inside it is a fitted kitchen, and whilst to modern homeowners and contractors it will look terribly normal, it was, in fact, the very first fitted kitchen ever built.

What turned it from an interesting exercise in efficient design to the future of kitchens was the influence it had on Margarete Schutte-Lihotzky, one of the first-ever prominent female architects in Europe.

She was a firm believer in functionalism, where a building is designed around its purpose, and with that in mind, she worked with Ernst May on the New Frankfurt affordable housing project.

The centrepiece, and by far her biggest contribution to architecture during her 102 years of life was the Frankfurt Kitchen, the first fitted kitchen based around a universal concept that, whilst narrow, maximised efficiency and minimised wasted effort.

Top Tips For Finding A Competent Bathroom Fitter

If you’ve decided to have your bathroom renovated, these are no doubt exciting times. Bathrooms tend to take a lot of punishment, so they can start to look tired and worn out after a few years. However, all that’s about to change thanks to your shiny new refurb!

If you’ve decided on the bathroom you want, all that’s left is to find yourself a fitter and you can have a nice relaxing soak in your new bathroom in next to no time!

But before you jump straight in, you’ll need to find the right person for the job. While there are countless companies out there making big claims about their skills, sadly not all of them are up to the task.

So to help you find the right team for the job, here are some rules to follow when searching for bathroom fitters.

Research, Research, Research

Chances are, you’ve spent hours drawing up your perfect bathroom – the specs, the colour scheme, even the accessories you’ll be using to put the finishing touches on it.

So why spoil it all by failing to pout as much research into the company that’s going to fit it? 

The best way to research a company is to check reviews or testimonials to see what level of service they’ve provided in the past. While customers tend to only leave feedback when they’re angry, if it’s bad review after bad review then there’s a good chance you might experience the same.

So make sure you do your due diligence before you agree to any work being started as failure to do so could be a huge mistake.

Ask For Examples

Another common mistake you should avoid is hiring a bathroom fitter without first asking for some examples of similar projects. While checking feedback for the company is always a good place to start, you’ll want  to know that the fitter is experienced in completing projects like yours.

So ask for some examples of similar work and assess the quality of the work. Don’t be afraid to back out if you feel the workmanship isn’t to the standard you’re looking for.

Check Final Quote

When you come to get a quote for the work, make sure the final price covers everything. That includes the labour and any materials or subcontracting that may be required.

It’s not uncommon for some people to agree on a price, only to realise there are additional costs further down the line. So to avoid this, make sure your quote is all-inclusive before proceeding.

Here at Meyrick Builders & Roofers, we’re fully transparent with our pricing. We also have countless happy customers who are pleased with the work we’ve provided for them, so to get your dream bathroom fitted, speak to us today.

Five Ways To Make Your Roof More Eco-Friendly

With sustainability a hot topic, the quest to make our homes more environmentally friendly is on everyone’s minds. Yet, despite offering a prime opportunity for eco-friendly improvements, one area that’s often overlooked is the roof.

When contemplating a roof replacement, thankfully there are several ways you can make your home more eco-friendly, saving money on your bills and helping preserve the planet. In this blog post, we’ll go over five ways to do just that.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are all the rage these days, and for good reason, which makes this one a real no-brainer. By installing a few of these on your roof, you’ll be generating your own electricity while soaking up those glorious rays. 

Sure, solar panels might set you back a few quid upfront but think of it as an investment in both your home and the environment. 

Choose Your Roofing Material Wisely

When it comes to roofing materials, there’s more to consider than just looks and durability. Opt for sustainable options like metal, clay or slate shingles, all of which can be made from recycled materials. 

Not only will you be doing your bit for the planet, but you’ll also end up with a roof that’s both tough as nails and easy on the eye.

Wind Turbines

While solar energy often steals the spotlight, let’s not forget about the power of the wind. Wind turbines can be a nifty addition to your roof, especially if you live in a breezy locale. 

They’ll help keep your home cool and your energy bills in check – not to mention they’ll show your neighbours how you’re willing to go that extra yard to help the environment!!

Install An Overhang

Looking for a simple yet effective way to keep your cool during those scorching summer months? Then consider adding an overhang to your roof. 

Not only will it provide much-needed shade, but it’ll also help slash your air conditioning costs during the warmer weather. 

Just remember to chat with your local roofing company about the installation as adding an overhang to an existing building can be a bit tricky if you’re not a professional.

Go Green With A Roofing System

Last but not least, why not turn your roof into a lush green oasis? Roof gardens are all the rage these days – and for good reason. 

Not only do they improve insulation and attract wildlife, but they also help reduce your carbon footprint. Sure, it’ll require a bit of extra TLC, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

So these are five ways to make your roof more eco-friendly. If you’re keen to have any of the installations mentioned above fitted, speak to us and we’d be happy to assist. We deal with all types of roof repairs with thousands of happy previous customers.

Common Signs That Your Roof May Be In Need Of Repair

Your roof is the first line of defence against the elements. It helps to protect your house from the weather and keeps you dry, safe and warm. Maintaining your roof is important in ensuring it functions as it should and no damage occurs.

If damage does occur, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent it from worsening. There are several common signs your roof may be in need of repair which you can look out for easily.

The first is missing tiles of shingles. These can be easily spotted on slanted roofs from the front or back of your house usually, however it can be useful to check the roof for missing tiles every so often to ensure you haven’t left any unnoticed.

The shingles on your roof help to protect the underneath of the roof from the elements and missing tiles can lead to moisture seeping in. If you notice any missing, it is important to have them replaced as soon as possible.

Following on from this, if you notice any leaks or water staining inside the house, it can indicate a cracked or missing tile which you haven’t noticed which needs to be repaired.

This shows the water has already managed to penetrate the roof and therefore more extensive repair work may be necessary, which should be conducted as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

If you notice an extensive growth of moss or build-up of debris on your roof in certain areas it could show the roof is sagging slightly and therefore moisture and debris is accumulating in the dip.

This could indicate a structural issue which should be addressed immediately as it can be extremely dangerous and even cause the roof to collapse, therefore having this solved as soon as you can is vital in preventing this.

7 Considerations To Make When Buying A Kitchen

The kitchen is the heartbeat of the home. Think about it, it’s where we cook, socialise and eat our food, making it a vital part of the household.

If you’re thinking of getting a new one fitted, these are no doubt exciting times. However, before you jump straight in, there are lots of considerations to make to ensure you get the kitchen you want.

Whether it’s down to excitement or naivety, some individuals fail to do their research before getting their kitchen designed and fitted. In some cases, this hastiness can lead to somewhat disappointing results.

To help you avoid making the same mistake, here we’ll go over some of the most important considerations to make when getting a new kitchen. We’ll also give you some priceless tips that should help you get your dream kitchen.

Design

When it comes to the design of your kitchen, there are lots of considerations to make. Everything from the type of kitchen doors you choose to the gadgets and layout of your new kitchen will need to be mulled over, and if you’re not careful this can soon start to get overwhelming.

This is why you should always seek some advice from the experts. Whether you’re buying your kitchen as a package from one of the leading kitchen providers or you’re going it alone by picking up the pieces separately, you should always consult an expert to help you with its design.

These professionals can work out your dimensions and get a good idea of what you need. They’ll also advise on different specifications and go through your options on your appliances, which will be invaluable.

Appliances

Speaking of appliances, this is another area to consider if you want your new kitchen to be a beacon of functionality! There are many appliances you can add to your kitchen and depending on what you choose, this could make all the difference.

For instance, if you hate washing plates and cutlery then don’t forget to add a dishwasher. Likewise, anyone who fancies themselves as an amateur chef should pay special attention to the oven they select.

In all honesty, there are many types of appliances and the list is growing all the time. Just a few short years ago, nobody knew what an air fryer was – these days they’re everywhere! So give some serious thought to your appliances and be ready to upgrade them. 

Natural Light

Nothing improves the mood and ambiance of a space quite like natural light. As well as lifting the mood in your kitchen, natural light is also known to provide mental benefits, while you’ll also save on your energy bills as you won’t need to switch on the lights as much!

Hopefully, you’ll already have nice, big windows to allow as much light as possible inside. To boost natural light in your kitchen, opt for light-coloured curtains or blinds, use mirrors to reflect sunlight and remember to keep windows clean to maximise brightness, creating a brighter and more inviting space.

Budget

Establishing a sufficient and affordable budget for your new kitchen is paramount. As well as being practical, your budget can help steer your project. Consider not just the cost of materials but also how much professional design consultations and a skilled installation team will cost.

A well-defined budget ensures responsibility, guiding you towards options that not only enhance your kitchen aesthetically and functionally but also align comfortably with your financial constraints. 

Clever budgeting can ensure your new kitchen is a roaring success, preventing overspending and allowing you to make informed decisions throughout the process.

Walkways And Workspace

If you want a functional kitchen then you’ll need spacious walkways where you can move freely and thoughtfully arranged workspaces to allow easy cooking. 

Clear and uncluttered paths prevent congestion and potential accidents during cooking, making your kitchen a safe and enjoyable place to knock up your culinary delights. 

The strategic placement of countertops and storage ensures a seamless and efficient cooking process, where functionality meets visual appeal. It’s not just about making the kitchen look good; it’s about crafting an environment where practicality and aesthetics work together, turning every cooking venture into a smooth and delightful experience.

Decoration

Decorating your kitchen will put the finishing touches on your dream space. Whether you prefer bright and cheerful or calm and soothing, you’re free to get creative so add some colours that make you feel happy.

Pick durable and easy-to-clean materials for countertops and floors because, let’s face it, spills happen. Think about smart storage solutions, so everything has its place, making your kitchen tidy and efficient. Add a splash of your personality with accessories like funky towels or a quirky clock.

Remember, your dream kitchen is all about making you feel good and comfortable, so trust your taste and have fun bringing it to life!

Fitters

Last but by no means least, hiring the right kitchen fitters is absolutely crucial. In fact, this may well be the most important part of the whole process as you can opt for the best units, a beautiful worktop and state-of-the-art appliances, but if your fitters botch the installation then the end result will be disappointing!

So when you come to get the work done, be sure to hire a reputable company with many years of experience which specialises in kitchen installation. Failure to do so could lead to tragic results! 

When looking for a company to fit your kitchen, be sure to check reviews as these can tell you a lot about past performance and the level of service you can expect. 

While it’s not always wise to take every review as gospel as customers are more likely to leave bad reviews than good, if there’s a common theme emerging then you can get an idea of what to expect.

So those are the main considerations to make. Stick to these and you can’t go far wrong!

6 Common Problems With Roofing

Few parts of a building are more important than its roof. After all, the roof stands between your home and the outside world, protecting your property from rain, wind and extreme temperatures.

So when your roof starts to develop issues, it’s time to act fast to prevent the problem from exacerbating. Failure to do so could result in damage to your belongings and a very uncomfortable situation for you and your family.

In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the most common problems with roofs here in the UK. By going over the issues you can expect with your roof, you can remain vigilant, spotting any damage early to prevent it from getting worse, which should save you money in the long run. 

Structural Damage

Let’s start with the biggie: structural damage. Put simply, if your roof has structural damage then you’ll need to get it fixed sharpish!

A structurally sound roof is crucial to maintaining a safe home. If your roof is subsiding or showing signs or deterioration then this poses a massive safety risk for you and your family.

A collapsed roof could cause catastrophic damage to your home and anything sitting beneath it, so if you’ve noticed your roof is lagging on one side then get this addressed by a professional immediately.

Leaks

One of the most common problems with roofs is leaks, which are clearly never ideal! From attic and ceiling damage to mould to structural problems, water leaks can cause a wealth of problems.

So if you’ve noticed any wet patches on your ceiling then you’ll need to act swiftly. Failure to do so could see your problems multiply, especially if there’s a lot of rain, which you can pretty much bank on here in the UK!

Clogged-Up Gutters

Leaves, branches and other debris commonly get trapped in your gutters, and over time they can start to accumulate. 

While clogged gutters may not seem like such a serious issue, they can eventually lead to significant damage to your property if they’re not cleared. That’s because this debris can block your downpipe, meaning water collects in your gutters as it’s unable to drain properly.

Once this happens, it can put a lot of strain on your gutters, which may break under the increased weight. You may also experience leaks and other issues, so what was once a small issue can develop into a big one!

Loose Tiles Or Shingles

If you’ve got a tiled or shingled roof, these can commonly become damaged or loose.

While shingles don’t tend to weigh much, some slate tiles can weigh a few pounds each. So you don’t need us to explain why a loose tile can pose a serious safety hazard to anyone walking below!

Damaged tiles are less common due to their hardy, durable nature, although shingles can show signs of wear and tear after a few years. 

If you spot any damaged or loose tiles or shingles then have these replaced immediately. You should also get your roof inspected on a regular basis to detect any issues early.

Flashing

If you’ve ever seen those thin metal strips or sheets installed around joints, intersections, or transitions on your roof, this is called flashing. Its purpose is to ensure a watertight seal and protect the vulnerable areas of your roof from potential leaks.

If this starts to peel or become damaged, it can lead to moisture and eventually water seeping into your roof, creating all the risks we mentioned in the section on leaks.

Inspect your flashing regularly to ensure it’s fit for purpose and make any repairs where necessary.

Poor Ventilation

If your attic has poor ventilation then this can be the cause of a number of problems for your home. When air isn’t allowed to flow, with changing weather, isn’t heat and moisture accumulate in the attic, accelerating the ageing process of roofing materials. Over time this can shorten their lifespan. 

Moreover, in summer trapped heat can also raise the temperature in your home, forcing your cooling system to work harder to maintain a low temperature, which can drive up energy costs.

Regular checks by a professional and improvements where necessary should help you avoid these ventilation problems.

So those are the most common roof problems. For all your roof repairs in Wolverhampton, speak to us today.