Forget peace and goodwill to all; during the festive period, the need for a bigger living space can become all encompassing. Getting hot and bothered in a cramped kitchen; listening to your relatives snoring on the pull-out bed; eating your Christmas dinner on your lap; the kids’ new sing-along karaoke machine... All can make you resolve that 2018 will be the year you finally build that extension to your home.
What’s more, the cold winter months are a great time to begin, but what with securing funding, appointing an architect, finding a builder and obtaining planning permission, there’s no time to waste. Particularly as there’s a logical order in which renovation works should be undertaken. And whilst all of this is taking place it’s a great time to do some research into which products you want to use in your renovation project.
Think ‘fabric first’
Choosing a ‘fabric first’ approach to your renovation involves maximising the performance of the materials that make up the extension itself. Don’t be tempted to build a larger extension, but downgrade the materials to save money or have more to spend on luxury finishes such as a high-spec kitchen, this is a false economy.
The decision to specify and use basic grade building materials in your renovation or extension is one you’ll have to live with for the life of the building – whereas the fixtures and fittings can always, and in most cases easily be upgraded at a later stage.
Get involved, take control and chat to your builder and discuss your options. After all it is your home, so why leave the quality and specification to someone else?
Innovative building materials
While many renovations use standard plasterboard, this can result in flimsy walls that don’t meet the demands of modern day living. However, there are superior specification options available to improve the durability and strength of the walls in your home without sending build costs through the roof.
Gyproc Habito plasterboard has a reinforced core, making it five times stronger than regular plasterboard so that heavier items such as TVs, bookcases, and large mirrors can be screwed directly into the wall without specialist fixings, making your DIY jobs easier – just use a screwdriver and a screw.
With everyday knocks and scrapes soon taking their toll, it’s worth taking another look at your choice of plaster, too. Thistle DuraFinish is 60% tougher than standard plaster, and is far more resistant to everyday wear and tear, which helps reduce impact damage and will keep your home looking good for longer. This makes it perfect for use in high traffic areas such as halls, stairways and kitchens.
A little extra thought about the building materials at the beginning of a renovation project gives you the freedom to play around with the design without any fuss later. Using innovative products like these also means you can create a truly flexible home.
Applied to new or existing walls at the start of a project, Thistle Magnetic Plaster, for example, can turn your wall into an interactive Magnetic Wall. It can be painted with whiteboard or blackboard paint and used as a noticeboard or blackboard, or covered with wallpaper meaning you can change your room’s look as and when you feel like it.
Dampen noise at the design stage
A common mistake when planning a renovation is not appreciating how the noise from one activity can impact the people occupying the adjacent space. If you’re going to be working from home while the kids are playing in the next room, or you’re a night owl while your partner prefers an early night, it’s vital you consider acoustic performance at the start of your renovation. This way, you can incorporate the best acoustic products into the specification process.
Silent Wall and Silent Floor are enhanced wall and floor solutions that can be fitted as part of a renovation project to both the new walls and retro fitted to existing walls too. They exceed the minimum Building Regulation requirements by up to 15dB, significantly improving your home’s acoustics as part of the process.
Meeting the demands of modern living now – and in the future
While a ‘fabric first’ approach to your home renovation does involve planning ahead and maximising the performance of the components and materials that make up the building itself, it’s likely to add value in the long run. It’s also the best route to achieving a comfortable, durable home that will continue to work for you and your family for many years to come.
Download copies of our useful How To guides to help you make the most of our products for your next big renovation project.