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Monthly Archives: April 2017


Conservatories vs Home Extensions

If you are looking to extend your living space there are a number of options open to you. Of building-imagescourse you could just up sticks and move into a bigger house, but what if you want to stay where you are and just make your current house work better for you? Getting the advice of your friendly local builder could be a great first option (if you live in Bolton then why not give Wisecraft a ring – we’ve got eons of experience and are happy to pop round and provide a free no obligation quote, or even just some initial advice), or you could employ the services of an architect.

For some people options such as loft conversions or garage conversions offer the most viable option as they can extend your living space without losing any of your current outdoor space. However these aren’t going to be right or practical for everyone. For many people the aim is to achieve that dream light and airy large kitchen-dining-living space and in many properties the only way to do this is to increase your ground floor space. But how should you do this? Should you go for a conservatory or a proper brick built home extension? Have a look at our thoughts about the pros and cons of each below to help you make up your mind.

Conservatory Pros

If your main aim is light then conservatory can be a great way of achieving this. By their very nature conservatories are nearly all glass and even have roofs that let light in too, so these can be a great way of creating a light and airy room. Due to the high proportion of glazing they can also form a fantastic transition zone between your house and garden. Also you can fill them full of plants (that will love all the light they are getting) and you can emphasise this feeling further. Also in most cases a conservatory will be a cheaper option than an extension.

Conservatory Cons

A conservatory cannot really be classed as an actual extra room as their method of construction does not comply with the building regulations that an extension would warrant. Also one of the main drawbacks (even with the improvements in glass manufacturing technology) is that a room made of glass is never going to have the same insulating properties as a masonry built room with full thickness insulation. In many cases a conservatory is liable to become too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. This may mean that you have to keep doors between your conservatory and the rest of the house which would negate the possibility for properly open plan living.

Home Extension Pros

Because an extension is built in the same way as the rest of your house it can offer much greater flexibility of use than a conservatory and also isn’t limited to just a single story. A properly built extension will do what it says on the tin and truly extend your house without any of the drawbacks of a conservatory. It will be fully insulated and so will regulate temperature and can easily be converted to a number of different uses. An extension will also add significantly more value to your house than a conservatory.

Home Extension Cons

Because an extension is a much more significant building project than a conservatory you should expect it to take longer, potentially cause more disruption during the building process and will ultimately cost more. Also unless it falls under the remit of permitted development then many extensions will require planning permission and will come under the responsibility of building regulations which can be both timely and costly.

To find out more about your options for extending your home contact the friendly Bolton builders of Wisecraft Ltd today.


Published Date: 27th April 2017
Category: General



How To Choose A Quote For Your Building Work

So you’ve got your plan in place, the architect has provided detailed drawings of the home of building-imagesyour dreams, you’ve sent these out to numerous builders and building firms and you’ve got at least 3 quotes back. Now how do you go about choosing which one to go for? It may be tempting to just opt for the cheapest price, but is this really always the right decision? Have a look at some of our top tips below for how to choose the right quote for your building work.

Check if it is a quote or an estimate?

A quote is a fixed price so that you know what you are getting for your money, whereas an estimate is basically a guess. A quote can change, but any changes will have to be agreed between you and your builder, whereas an estimate can change at any time and you could easily end up paying more that you originally thought. If you have only been provided with an estimate then it might be a good idea to go back and ask for a proper written quote.

Get professional advice

Once you have said yes to a quote then it is a binding agreement between you and the builder that the works will be completed and the agreed amount will be paid. So if you’re not sure what you’re doing then it might be worth getting some professional and independent advice. Your architect may be able to manage the quoting process for you, or you could commission a quantity surveyor to produce an independent cost assessment which you can use to judge quotes by and could also be useful if it comes to negotiation.

How detailed is the quote?

Check that each part of the building work has been fully itemised, if some parts have generic titles or provisional sums then it is likely that these may change. Also if the quote simply includes a final price then asking for a full breakdown of costs can let you see exactly where the money is being spent and can compare different builders prices for the same work. Also if the quote includes the price of installing tiles for example at £20 per square meter but then you fall in love with tiles that cost £50 per square meter then this could significantly affect the final price. It is also worth carefully checking exactly what is included and what is excluded in the price. If one quote is higher but includes more things then a direct cost comparison would be invalid.

To discuss your dream building project, contact Wisectaft Ltd Bolton today.


Published Date: 14th April 2017
Category: General, Handy Tips



The Pros and Cons of Thatched Roofs

For many people the thought of owning and living in a traditional thatched cottage is incredibly appealing. There are around 35,000 thatched properties in the UK, of which around 24,000 are listed. However there is an increasing trend for thatch to be used in many new build houses. But what are the pros and cons of using thatch rather than other roofing material such as tile or slate?

Pros of thatched roofs

Aesthetically appealing – Many people simply love the look of thatch and so chose to either buy or build a thatched property because of the emotional response that they get to it. Also due to the nature of thatch itself, it can be formed into many more interesting shapes that other more rigid roofing materials. Soft, undulating waves and curves are a feature of many thatched roofs and so it can make it an appealing choice for properties with less standard designs.

Insulation – Thatch is naturally incredibly insulating, much more so than a standard slate or tile roof, even with additional layers of insulation. A thatched roof will keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer and so could help to reduce energy bills.

Eco-friendly – Thatch is probably the most sustainable and eco-friendly roofing material available, especially in areas where local materials are used to create the thatch itself.

Lightweight – Even though it may not look it, thatch is actually much more lightweight that other roofing types, so it does not require the complex and heavy support structures that they do. This can help to reduce costs when either building or maintaining the structure of your property.

Cons of thatched roofs

Expensive – Installing thatched roofs is a very labour intensive process, often taking around 4 weeks to fully complete, which means that it is one of the more expensive roofing options. Also thatched roofs only have a lifespan of between 15-50 years and so there will be considerable ongoing costs associated with them.

Maintenance – To keep a thatched roof in good order and hopefully increase its lifespan it must undergo a yearly inspection to assess its state. Keeping up with running repairs, such as patching any holes, is also very important. Also it is recommended that thatched roofs are ‘brushed’ between every 5 and 8 years. This process removes the uppermost layer of thatch which removes any rotten areas and allows air to penetrate into the lower layers to allow them to dry out more effectively.

Safety precautions – Even though the fire risk to thatched properties isn’t necessarily any higher than that to houses with other roof types, you will still need to ensure that all flues are fully lined, chimneys are kept in excellent condition and additional fire proofing methods are employed such as installing fire boards etc. You may also need to undertake pest deterrent activities to ensure that your thatched roof does not become damaged by unwanted visitors.

Undertaking the maintenance and installation of thatched roofs is a job for a specialist Master Thatcher. However for all other aspects of roofing services and property maintenance contact the trusted and friendly experts at Wisecraft Ltd for all of your building needs.


Published Date: 3rd April 2017
Category: Roofing


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