Monthly Archives: March 2017

Put Off Buying a House Near Fracking Sites

In a new survey commissioned by House-Extension.co.uk, and conducted by OnePoll, it has been revealed that up to 64% of homeowners would be less likely to buy a house, if it was situated near a fracking site. This is perhaps not that surprising, as proximity to infrastructure developments such as power stations have always been a consideration for house buyers. With news this week that the government has overturned Lancashire County Councils rejection of an application by Cuadrilla to setup a fracking operation, it looks as though Fracking could well be here to stay, with more applications underway for new sites across the country.

In the survey conducted by OnePoll, on behalf of this website, 1,000 respondents across the UK were asked if they would ever consider buying a house near a fracking site, and whether they were for or against fracking if it reduced their energy bills.

Over 64% of respondents said that they would be reluctant to buy a home near a fracking site. In response to the question, 21% said that they were somewhat unlikely to consider buying a home near a fracking site, and 43% stated that they were very unlikely to do so.

When looking into the ages of the respondents, 45 to 54 year olds were most unlikely to buy a home near a fracking site (68%) compared to 59% of 18 to 34 year olds. There was also a higher number of women (63%) who stated that they were unlikely to buy a home near a fracking site compared to 54% of men.

Conversely, when respondents were asked if they were for or against fracking if it reduced their energy bills, 32% said that they were in favour of fracking. This sentiment was almost matched however by 31% of respondents who stated that they were against fracking even if it resulted in lower energy bills.

Wall insulation be causing damp problems

In recent years, due to government campaigns and free offers, more and more homeowners have been having wall cavity insulation added to their homes. In most cases this is a welcome addition that can save a homeowner as much as £275 per year according to the Energy Saving Trust. But in some cases, it has been shown to cause damp and mould problems and it may even need to be removed.

What is cavity wall insulation?
Most homes are constructed with exterior walls that have a gap between the outer brick and the inner block. This air gap can promote heat loss from the inside and wall cavity insulation is designed to fill this space. Usually an insulation material is pumped into the space – a job that should be done by experts to ensure that it no gaps are left and that your home is suitable.

Does wall cavity insulation cause damp problems?
Not always, but if it has been incorrectly fitted or your home is not suitable, it can lead to problems. The consumer company Which? carried out an investigation into wall cavity insulation problems a few years ago and they discovered that some homes are not suitable, but that some installers were not aware of the problem. If your home is affected by the following this may not be suitable for you:

Your outside walls are affected by driven rain or regular rainfall – this applies to certain parts of the UK where wall cavity insulation should not be fitted at all.
Your home is in an unsheltered position and not protected by other houses or tree cover.
Your brickwork is in poor condition with cracks or blown grouting or render.

If these issues affect you, water could penetrate the outside walls of your home and literally soak the insulation. This is then transferred to the inner walls of your home causing damp and mould. The only solution at this stage is to have the insulation completely removed, the outer walls repaired and the insulation re-installed – a lengthy but effective solution.

Loft conversions

Deciding to create more space in your loft is almost always a great idea. It is relatively inexpensive, it can create plenty of space and it uses space that would otherwise be empty. But many people are put off going through the process because they have preconceived ideas about loft conversions. We are here to break some of these myths and help you to realise that a loft conversion could be exactly what are looking for in a house extension

Planning permission is too hard
It is true that getting planning permission can be a long process. But it is not hard at all. In fact, if your loft conversion comes within permitted development (which the vast majority do) you may not even need to get planning permission at all. However if you find that planning is required all you need are some architects drawings and to fill the required forms. Within 3 months your planning should be in place. Your builder will be able to take over the entire process for you, so it needn’t be a concern.

I will lose value on my home
If you spend £20,000 on a loft conversion, you want to be sure that you will get £20,000 or more on the value of your home. While you need to ensure that your loft conversion meets all the regulations and requirements of your local authority and that it is well constructed, the chances of it costing you more than the return on the investment are low. It makes sense to talk to an estate agent before you go ahead to find out the improved value and you should bear in mind that moving to a larger home may cost you much more.

Loft conversions are disruptive
All building work requires you to be a little understanding of dust, mess and disruption, but actually, loft conversions are probably the least disruptive of all. The majority of the work is carried out on a part of the house you are not currently using and so you won’t be losing a room. The construction of the stairs will be the hardest part, but this is usually a relatively quick part of the process.

My roof height is too low
There are definitely restrictions on loft conversions based on roof height, but there are still ways around it. You could consider lowering the ceilings of the downstairs rooms, lifting your roof line (this will usually require planning) or installing a dormer to get the required height at the top of the stairs. It is rare that a loft is too small or so restricted in head height that nothing can be done.