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Category Archives: Loft Conversions


How To Save Money When Planning Your Building Project

Many people love the idea of transforming their home with a loft conversion, extension or even Loft Conversionbasement room, but are put off by the perceived cost. However there are a number of simple design choices that you can make which can significantly reduce the overall cost of your building project. Have a look at some of our top tips below.

Keep your loft conversion simple

Although it may be tempting to plan your loft conversion to include mansard roofs or a dormer conversion, bear in mind that these will cost significantly more than if you plan to just include a number of simple roof lights. Of course you will get less headroom and possibly limit your useable floor space, but if you can live with that then it will save you money. Other money-saving tips for loft extension include positioning any bathrooms directly above those on the floor below so that installing water and soil pipes is much simpler.

Consider sharing your side return

If you are going to extend out into the side return to increase the side of your kitchen then it might be worth seeing if your neighbour is also having the same thoughts. Being able to share a builder will save you money and also make any party wall issues much simpler and cheaper to resolve.

Think about drainage

If at all possible it is worth planning any project to keep draining as simple as possible. For example if your plan includes building over a manhole cover which will then need moving, this could add up to £2,000 to the cost of your build. Also, as with loft conversions, try and keep all water and drainage as close to existing supplies as possible, as having to extend or create new pipelines will add to your costs.

Buy off the peg

When designing your project it is worth trying to include as many simple shapes as possible which will mean that you will be able to take advantage of standard materials and off-the-shelf windows and doors.

Think second hand

Not only might you be able to save money by looking to eBay and other such avenues to source second hand (think ‘vintage’ or ‘retro’!) materials and items such as radiators, doors, sinks etc, but you can even make some money by selling the things that you will have to get rid of as part of your project. You can even sell your old kitchen units or even your old conservatory!

For more information about how you can achieve the home of your dreams on a budget, contact the friendly builders at Wisecraft Ltd for a no obligation chat.


Published Date: 1st January 2017
Category: General, Loft Conversions



How To Increase The Value Of Your Home

Whether you are planning to sell your home or not, increasing its value can only ever seem like a good idea, especially as for most of us our home is our most expensive asset. There is a certain amount that you can do with soft furnishings to make your home seem more attractive to potential buyers and thus potentially get a slightly better sale price, but when it comes to adding serious monetary value to your home you will need to look to bricks and mortar. So what should you be talking to your favourite local builder (Bolton builder’s called Wisecraft perhaps?!) about when looking to add value to your home?

Add a loft conversion

This is one of the easiest and least disruptive ways of adding serious square footage (and thus value) to your home. According to a survey of 110 estate agents, carried out by mortgage lender GE Money, adding a loft conversion will increase the value of your home by on average 12.5%. In some cases this means spend £20,000 on a loft conversion and increase your home’s value by £40,000 – a no brainer really.

Extend your living space

Increasing the actual amount of living space in your home is guaranteed to increase its value (unless you employ a terrible cowboy builder who does such a bad job that the only option is to knock it down and start again – avoid this by employing the lovely people at Wisecraft!). When planning your extension it is important to get the design right and make it really feel like part of the house, rather than an unloved bolt on. Simple tricks such as knocked through doorways and using the same flooring throughout will help your extension merge seamlessly into the rest of your home. On average an extension will increase the value of your home by 11%.

Concentrate on the kitchen

If you can afford to do only one room, then make it the kitchen. A fantastic new kitchen will add up to 5% to the value of your house, as these are now seen as the true heart of the home, not only do we cook in them but we also watch TV, entertain and just generally live in our modern spacious kitchen areas. Ensure that the work-surface is gorgeous and the design of the kitchen allows easy access between the cooker, sink and fridge and also try and include lots of seating areas.

For more information about how we could increase the value of your home, contact Wisecraft Ltd today.


Published Date: 20th August 2016
Category: General, Handy Tips, Loft Conversions



Dormer Loft Conversions: What You Need To Know

Amongst some of our many specialisms (even if we do say so ourselves!) is creating amazing new living spaces from some of the unloved, and maybe even unlovable, parts of your home. One of the most popular ways of extending houses is through loft conversions, although there can be issues with the amount of actually useable living space that is currently present in many standard lofts. You might be able to stand up right in the centre, but take more than a step either way and you’re hitting your head on the eaves. So what can you do?

One answer is to install a dormer loft conversion. These take the form of a structural extension which projects vertically from the plane of a sloping roof which significantly increases the amount of useable spaces, whilst also bringing in lots of natural light from windows on the vertical sides.

Types of dormer conversions

The most popular type of dormer conversion features a flat roof. This is both the often the cheapest type of dormer to build and offers the most headroom and so is understandably a popular choice. However other types of dormers include; shed dormers – which feature a flat planed roof that is angled slightly downwards, gable-fronted dormers – which are built onto gable ends and hipped roof dormers – which have three planed roofs converging at the ridge of the dormer.

Pros of dormer conversions

  • Offers more space (especially flat roofed dormers) than any other type of loft conversion.
  • Allows the maximum amount of light into what otherwise can be a dark space.
  • Suitable for almost all property types.

Cons of dormer conversions

  • Flat roofed dormers can sometimes be seen as unsightly.
  • More attractive types of dormers, such as gable-fronted and hipped roof dormers are more expensive to install.

Will I need planning permission for a dormer loft conversion?

In many cases the addition of a dormer loft conversion comes under the rules of permitted development, in which case you will not need to gain specific planning permission for it. However there are a number of cases in which you would need to gain approval for a dormer loft conversion, for example if your house is listed, sits on designated land or the volume of the new addition exceeds the limits of permitted development. For more information we would recommend contacting your local planning office who will be able to advise you further.

For more information about installing a dormer loft conversion to your property, contact the experts at Wisecraft Ltd. today.


Published Date: 6th June 2016
Category: Loft Conversions



Has your loft conversion left you all in a clutter?

Let’s face it, a loft conversion can be a fantastic way to get extra space in your house, without loft-convlosing any of your precious outdoor space – and our amazing skills in that area (even if we do say so ourselves!) are one of the reasons why we are one of the premier builders for loft conversions in Bolton. However for many of us one of the unexpected downsides of having our loft beautifully converted into a stunning master bedroom suite, spacious playroom for all of the kids’ toys or a dedicated man cave, is that suddenly we lose all of that storage space. But fear not! Here at Wisecraft we have lots of nifty hints and tips to help you regain lost storage space from places you never even knew existed (or, at least, you knew they were there but had never thought about using them for storage!).

Keep some storage space in the loft

This may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but even with the most spacious loft conversion you can still keep a surprising amount of storage space. For example there is often an amount of loft space that is difficult to reasonably use as living space, such as into the very corners of the eaves, which can be boxed off and can still provide extremely useful storage whilst not really losing very much floor space from your new room.

Utilise that awkward space under the stairs

Obstinate places that don’t make great living space can in fact make fantastic storage space with just a little vision. The sloping, slanted space under the stairs is rarely going to make a perfect dining area but can either be boxed off to provide a large cupboard for household appliances and other large items, or fitted with made to measure shelving to create organised storage for smaller items or even turned into a home office to which you only need to wheel up a chair.

Try going up, up, up!

In many houses there is a wealth of unused storage space, just look upwards! By simply extending shelving and cupboards etc right up to the ceiling you can create a surprising amount of extra storage. And yes, it may be a little more difficult to reach, but surely you would only be storing things up there that were previously in your loft?

For more information about gaining a new living space in your loft without losing too much of your valuable storage, contact the loft conversion experts at Wisecraft today. We are more than happy to come round and provide free, no obligation advice and quotes – all we ask for is a cup of tea….with 3 sugars!


Published Date: 22nd January 2016
Category: General, Loft Conversions


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