What is the timeline for a loft conversion?

What is the timeline for a loft conversion?

What is the timeline for a loft conversion?

Many of our clients ask us about the timeline for a loft conversion. Following our last blog on what to think about when you convert a loft to a bedroom, we thought it would be a good time to cover the timeline of such a conversion. 

There is, of course, no one or simple answer to how long your loft conversion will take.  It will depend on many factors, but the process follows a series of stages.

 

Stages of a typical loft conversion

    1. The roof space is inspected for suitability.
      The main features being looked at will be height, pitch, access and obstacles such as a water tank or chimney stacks. This can be done fairly quickly and often at first inspection. 
    2. Suitability will be confirmed, plans drawn up, and budget costs advised.
      A Structural Engineer will also confirm whether the building can take the extra load of a conversion and suggest measures to take if it needs to be altered. Design options are then discussed before drawing up plans and arranging for a quote for the actual conversion cost. Again, timescale for this will depend on how busy your designer and surveyor are, but it’s typically a couple of weeks.
    3. If planning consent is required, an application is made by your architectural designer.
      In Scotland, you don’t need planning permission for any internal alterations unless they involve the addition of a dormer or the property is a listed building on in a conservation area.

      Dormer windows

      For a dormer, you’ll need permission if: your home is a flat or within a tenement or four-in-a-block building; your home is in a conservation area; the dormer will be on a roof slope forming part of the principal elevation or side elevation where that elevation faces onto a road; the dormer will be on a roof slope and within 10 metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the house which that roof slope faces onto; the dormer will be higher than the existing height of the house, excluding the chimney; the dormer will take up more than half the width of the roof; the dormer will be within 0.3 metres of any edge of the roof slope of the house or it will include a balcony, a wind turbine, a raised platform or terrace.

      Roof windows

      Simple roof windows don’t require planning permission if the window doesn’t project more than one metre from the roof, unless you live in a listed building or conservation area. This typically takes 8 weeks. This is the statutory period for local planning departments to determine a planning application.  Time and hassle can be saved by getting your architectural designer to liaise with your council on your behalf.

    4. Cost is agreed through a competitive tender process and likely schedule proposed.
      This typically takes around 4 weeks.
    5. Once the statutory approvals are in place, the loft is cleared and prepared.
      This will include removing the water tank and other necessary items. This typically takes a few days.
    6. Rewiring is assessed.
      Wiring and other services attached to joists and binders will have to be removed and rerouted as part of the conversion. This assessment can be done in a short visit.
    7. New floor joists are fitted, insulated and floorboards laid.
      The spaces between the joists are filled with insulation to a depth of 100mm (10cm). Depending on the age and conservation status of your home, you may need sign-off from your local authority’s Building Control department before laying the floorboards. This typically takes a few days.
    8. Rafters are reinforced.
      This is done in accordance with the structural requirements so the purlins, struts and collars can be safely removed to open up the area. This typically takes 10 days.
    9. Dormers installed
      Dormers installed, if you’ve chosen them. This typically takes 10 days per dormer, assuming easy access.
    10. Rooflights installed.
      This takes around 4-6 hours per window.
    11. Staircase fitted.
      This typically takes 2-3 days.
    12. Dormers (if any) are tiled and vents fitted.
      Ridge and soffit vents will also be fitted at this point. his typically take 5 days per dormer.
    13. Dormer windows fitted.
      This typically takes 2-3 hours per window.
    14. Roof insulated.
      Insulation is placed between the rafters, with a 50mm air gap between the roofing felt and the insulation - for ventilation. This typically takes between 5 and 10 days, depending on how big your loft is.
    15. Partition walls, if any, are installed.
      This typically takes between 3 and 5 days, depending on how many are to be installed.
    16. Wall plates, first fix electrics and any plumbing installed.
      Wall plates provide a secure fitting for things such as radiators and the boxes for electric sockets and switches. This usually takes between 3 and 5 days, depending on how big your loft is, how many radiators you need, how many sockets you want and the plumbing required to service a toilet and/or shower or bath.
    17. Electrics upgraded.
      It may be necessary to fit a new consumer unit, or extra one, if the existing one has no extra capacity. Again this will depend on how much us required. Typically this takes between 3 and 5 days.
    18. Access panels for water, electrics and eaves storage fitted and water and power connected.
      Access panels are a useful addition. This typically takes 2 days.
    19. Walls plaster boarded and skirting and door architrave installed.
      The plasterboard attached to the studs and rafters will provide the basis for the decorative plaster skim. Typically this takes between 3 and 5 days.
    20. Bathrooms (if any) clad and air extraction system fitted.
      Typically this takes between 2 and 5 days, depending on the specification.
    21. Second fix, heating and finishes installed.
      Once any bathroom wall and floor tiling is done, the shower room items can be positioned and fitted. Second fix electrics and plumbing is done when possible. Radiators are fitted and connected. This typically this takes between 5 and 10 days, depending on the specification.
    22. Decoration is done.
      Obviously, this will depend on size of the new bedroom and the scheme chosen, but for a standard-sized room it will take between 5 and 10 days.

Many of these operations will be carried out with two or more contractors on site at any one time and therefore there will most likely be time overlap.

 

Typical total times

The average length of time for the most common loft conversions is:

      • Velux/rooflight – 6 – 8 weeks.
      • Dormer – 10-12 weeks.

 

Identifying issues early helps

Identifying planning issues early can help to streamline the project. All Design has an excellent record in securing planning approvals, and we offer realistic advice based on our experience with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray and Angus Councils. Having good relationships with them helps to identify and address any planning issues at an early stage and effectively and efficiently deal with them.

Contact us to arrange a chat about your options and preferences, to get a realistic estimate for time and cost based on our experience of working on similar homes in your council area.

 

Get in touch

All Design is a dedicated, friendly team of architectural designers who work alongside external associates and consultants to help people across Scotland find property solutions through carefully-considered designs which respond to their needs, the site, budget and planning policy. 

We have more than 30 years of experience in the industry and thrive on using a creative yet practical approach to design to improve space for people.

Our values are: People; Honesty, Delivery; Creativity and Friendly.

Contact us for a FREE quotation.

What to consider in a loft to bedroom conversion

Before and after - bedroom loft conversion Aberdeenshire
Loft conversion
bedroom conversion in progress with velux window

What to consider in a loft to bedroom conversion?

A loft to bedroom conversion can be a smart way to extend the living space in your home without using up valuable garden space and changing your home’s footprint. It will also add value to your home and is more cost effective than adding an extension. But before you start imagining that new dreamy bedroom in your loft, you need to consider the following factors first.

 

Does your loft have enough free space to become a bedroom?

The main considerations are: available head height, roof pitch, roof structure and obstacles - such as water tanks or chimney stacks.

Ideally, you should have at least 2.2 metres of usable vertical space measuring from the bottom of the ridge timber in the centre of the loft to the top of the ceiling joist. If you have less than that, you can opt for a mansard roof, replace the entire roof structure or restructure the vertical space to take some from bedrooms below as long as you leave them with a minimum of 2.2 metres of floor-to-ceiling height.

The higher the angle of the roof pitch, the higher the central head height is likely to be. If dormers are used or the roof is redesigned, the floor area and its potential for comfortable headroom, can be increased.

Traditional framed-type roof structures are usually the simplest to convert. Rafters on traditional roofs run along its edges, leaving a good amount of free space. The rafters may need to be strengthened or additional supports added.

Trussed roofs - with W-shaped rafters - are harder to convert, but the rafters can be replaced with an A-shape structure which creates a hollow space.

The heating and hot water system may have to be replaced with a sealed system if you need to move a water tank and any plumbing. You’ll have to find space and budget for them.

Does your loft conversion require planning permission?

In Scotland, you don’t need planning permission for any internal alterations unless they involve the addition of a dormer or roof window.

For a dormer, you’ll need permission if: your home is a flat or within a tenement or four-in-a-block building; your home is in a conservation area; the dormer will be on a roof slope forming part of the principal elevation or side elevation where that elevation faces onto a road; the dormer will be on a roof slope and within 10 metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the house which that roof slope faces onto; the dormer will be higher than the existing height of the house, excluding the chimney; the dormer will take up more than half the width of the roof; the dormer will be within 0.3 metres of any edge of the roof slope of the house or it will include a balcony, a wind turbine, a raised platform or terrace.

Simple roof windows don’t need planning permission if the window doesn’t project more than one metre from the roof, but you will if you live in a conservation area and listed building consent if you live in a listed building.

 

You’ll need a Building Warrant

A Building Warrant is needed for loft conversions unless you only plan to simply floor the roof space for light domestic storage with access via a ladder. A warrant and conformity with Scottish Building Standards will be required for the changes you make, including adding a staircase, insulation and fire safety.

 

Can your home’s foundations take the extra weight?

A loft conversion can put extra stress on the foundations of your home, so they should be checked first. If they’re not considered deep enough to support the extra weight, we can get a structural engineer to suggest structural interventions to spread the load.

 

What style of loft conversion will be best for you?

There are several types of loft conversion to consider:

Rooflight (Velux): one of the simplest and cheapest as the existing loft space is retained and rooflights added. The existing floor may need to be reinforced, stairs added and electrics and plumbing altered as insulation added. This is ideal for smaller spaces where only one bedroom is being added.

Dormer: these project out vertically from the slope of the roof and use standard windows. This is good where the roof pitch angle is high and the useful floor area can be increased. They can be single, double or full-width, flat-roofed or gabled.

Hip-to-gable: the hipped, slanted section at the side of your roof is extended and becomes a vertical wall (gable end) which is built up to the same height as the ridge. This is then given a standard pitched roof that creates a space internally with full headroom. The vertical wall also allows for standard windows. This is ideal for semi-detached homes.

Mansard: this adds an extra storey to your home by replacing the sloping roof with an almost-vertical wall and a flat roof. Most run the full width of the house. A mansard conversion can solve the problem of low head height at the eaves or a lack of space and can be added at either the front or rear of a house, or have a double-mansard roof at the front and rear.

Modular: also known as pre-fab loft conversions, they come readymade, constructed off-site and once the roof has been removed, the modular loft conversion is craned into position. It’s possible to specify one complete with windows, doors, electrics and bathrooms.

L-shaped: the perfect solution for homes previously extended at the back, it consists of an L-shaped dormer, the larger end of which extends out from the main roof. Ideal if you want to have a separate bathroom and include good storage space.

Bungalow: there are many different designs to consider but the simplest and cheapest option is to add rooflights and floor reinforcement to a large existing loft space. Dormers will increase the useable space. Some people remove the whole roof to add a second storey.

 

Where will you put the staircase?

The ideal place is in line with the roof ridge to make best use of the height above the staircase. Your best position will depend upon the layout of the floor below and what height can be achieved using a dormer or adding a rooflight above the staircase o converting a hip roof end to a gable.

 

How will you introduce natural light?

The two main options for bringing in natural light are rooflights and dormers.

Rooflights are the most straightforward, economic, and most likely to be allowed without planning permission.

Dormer windows add space as well as light and are particularly effective where the pitch angle is high, as the useful floor area can be increased.

 

How will you ventilate your new bedroom?

For maximum energy efficiency, the roof space should be made as airtight as possible, so it’s essential to introduce controlled ventilation to prevent condensation and maintain good air quality. This means including background ventilation (airbricks and trickle vents) plus rapid ventilation (windows).

 

How will you heat your new bedroom?

A boiler upgrade may be necessary as the heat load requirement of the house will increase. If you do, it’s a good idea to switch to an unvented system which uses mains pressure (as long as it’s at least 1.5bar) instead of header tanks – to give you more space to use. Options for outputting the heat include radiators, underfloor heating, or both.

 

Will you soundproof your new bedroom?

Adding soundproofing should be considered and it can be easily included when insulating floors and any party walls.

As you can see, there are lots of issues, to consider, so contact us to arrange a chat about your best options.

 

Get in touch

All Design is a dedicated, friendly team of architectural designers who work alongside external associates and consultants to help people across Scotland find property solutions through carefully-considered designs which respond to their needs, the site, budget and planning policy.  We have more than 30 years of experience of helping homeowners create beautiful, yet practical, space in their homes.

 

Contact us to discuss your requirements or for a free quotation.

We are growing! Architectural Technologist

All Design Aberdeen - We are growing

 

We are very excited be recruiting and growing our 'family' once again at All Design.  Please spread the word and if you're interested, please get in touch.  Here's the details:

Full-Time or Part-Time Architectural Technologist

All Design is a well-established architectural company providing design solutions to both domestic and commercial clients.

We are looking for an experienced Architectural Technologist to join our expanding team on either a full-time or part-time basis (minimum of 25 hours per week).  Applicants should have a minimum of 3 years post qualification experience in a similar role and be able to demonstrate a full range of skills from feasibility designs to detailed planning and building warrant drawings.

Working as part of a cohesive team, you will have the opportunity to work on various residential and small commercial projects.

Candidates should have experience in the following:

  • Carrying out measured surveys
  • Preparing initial sketch and 3D designs, drawings for planning and building warrant applications, including sections, elevations and necessary detailing
  • Understanding and applying Scottish Planning and Building Regulations
  • Identifying and managing risk through coordination of design information in line with project programs
  • Investigating and selecting best materials and processes for projects
  • Communicating both written and verbally with clients, design teams, external consultants and the local authority.
  • Conducting site inspections
  • Arranging 3rd party site investigations, utility checks etc.
  • Assisting junior staff with queries and providing advice and guidance as necessary

A minimum of 3 years of experience in a similar role is essential as is significant experience of AutoCAD LT, Revit, Photoshop and MS Office.

A competitive salary along with company pension is offered.

If you are interested in the role, please forward your CV and portfolio to Audrey Walber at audrey@all-design.co.uk or contact Audrey direct on 07786198490 or 01224 701576.  Please indicate whether you’re applying for a full-time or part-time position and detail your salary expectations.

What to consider when adding a glass extension to your home

Glass Extension
Glass extension, Bridge of Don

What to consider when adding a glass extension to your home

Thinking of adding a glass extension to your home?  We’ve put together this blog to help you get it right…

While you’re spending more time indoors over the Winter months, the idea of adding more space and light to your home, as well as improving its value, may become more appealing. Although adding a conservatory has been a popular choice for some time, unless it includes extra heating and cooling it can be cold in Winter and too hot in Summer. A glass extension offers a more attractive and temperature-controlled alternative.

 

What is a glass extension?

Glass extensions usually comprise a ‘box’ made up of two glass sides and a glass roof or ceiling, but there a range of styles you can go choose between, depending on the style of the property it’s being added on to. More of that later.

They can be installed quickly and easily by specialist or local contractors. The glass panels are held together with a specialist adhesive resin known as structural silicon.

Most glass extensions now use high-quality double glazing made with a thin coating of metal oxide on its outside (also known as Low-E glass) - to allow heat and light to easily enter, while preventing around 80% of the heat from escaping. This way they can be cosy in the winter and comfortable in the Summer.

 

Why get a glass extension?

First and foremost, a glass extension is a great way to offer a seamless view of your garden and accentuate the connection with the outdoors while remaining warm and dry indoors.

A glass extension also adds a Wow-factor and more glamour to your home. That will also add to its value beyond what a simple footprint extension would bring.

Another purpose is to use a glass extension to connect two or more areas of your home.

Period properties often have smaller windows which constrain how much natural light can enter. Adding a glass extension can add a lot of natural light, open up space and add a modern touch to a period home.

 

Style options

While a simple glass box is always the first design option, there are others to discuss with your architectural designer to help the extension blend in well with the rest of your home.

If you don’t fancy a 100% glass design, you can balance the extension with steel or timber frames.

When there's not a lot of room outside, a lean-to extension is a good option as it will still open up the space and bring in extra natural light. Rather than adding a side return extension with rooflights, you can maximize the light by going for a glass roof, made up of either a single piece of glass or glass panels.

You can bring the outdoors even closer, weather permitting, with an ‘open-aspect’ glass extension – in which the outside glass ‘walls’ are glazed bi-fold doors. Two sets can allow the entire extension to be opened up.

When it comes to choosing a frame style, the thinner they are the more stylish your glass extension will look.

The exterior and interior appearance of your glass extension can also be customised with different glazing finishes. Powder-coated aluminium is a good option, but we can show you other ones.

Whether the glazed panels are fixed, bi-fold or slide open can also make a big difference to the style of your glass extension. We can show you examples of each.

Finally, a solid roof or a brise-soleil (sun shield) can be added to prevent too much sun from entering the extension. Or blinds can be used to control the light and heat, as well as add privacy when required.

Ultimately, the options are vast, so chat to your designer about what you’re looking for, so they can suggest appropriate options to choose from.

 

Ventilation

Your glass extension can be designed to use natural methods, mechanical ventilation or air conditioning for ventilation.

Trickle ventilators can be built into the frames of the glazing and a small, outward-opening window at high level can allow more ventilation without opening a door.

 

Heat control

Thinking about heat control in your glass extension starts with how not to lose heat via the glazing.

The higher the performance of the glazing, the less heat will be lost and the better the acoustics in your extension will be. So it’s worth paying more for a high-performance system with minimal frames and a low U-value (rate of heat loss). Low E (emissivity) glass should be specified as standard to minimise heat loss.

Once you’ve minimised what will be lost, underfloor heating is a good option, but you should think carefully about the position of the thermostat. Perimeter trench heating can also work in conjunction with underfloor heating, depending on the size of the extension.

Including shading via an overhanging roof, brise-soleil or canopy allows solar gain in the Winter when the angle of the sun is lower and prevents it in Summer when the sun’s higher.

 

Planning permission

In Scotland, you don't need to apply for planning permission if your extension meets the rules covered by 'permitted development'. They depend on how many storeys your extension will have.

If your glass extension will have only one storey, you don't need planning permission as long as:

  • It's located at the back of the house
  • It doesn't go back further than 3 metres if it's a terraced house, or 4 metres if it isn't
  • The height of the eaves (where the wall meets the roof) is no higher than 3 metres
  • It's not higher than 4 metres, including sloping roofs
  • It doesn't cover more ground area than your house does
  • It doesn't take up half the 'curtilage' – the grounds behind your home
  • It isn't within a conservation area

For the details relating to your home, get in touch for a chat as we have extensive experience in working with the Planning departments in several local authorities and can advise accordingly.

 

Cost

Glass extensions for homes are a lot cheaper than they might sound. The cost is dictated by the design you choose and subsequent engineering and testing of the glass you might need shaped for your extension.

As a rule of thumb, you should budget for a minimum of £3,000 per square metre. We can give you a better idea of what yours would cost

There’s more information about home extensions here.

Contact us to arrange a chat if you want to find out more.

 

Get in touch

All Design is a dedicated, friendly team of architectural designers who work alongside external associates and consultants to help people across Scotland find property solutions through carefully-considered designs which respond to their needs, the site, budget and planning policy.

We have more than 30 years of experience in the industry and thrive on using a creative yet practical approach to design to improve space for people.

Our values are: People; Honesty, Delivery; Creativity and Friendly.

Contact us for a FREE quotation.

How to make your new home extension sustainable

How to make your new home extension sustainable

Environmental sustainability is in the news almost every day now, and not just because of the COP26 global climate conference.

Latest reports from the scientific experts say we all need to do more and urgently to limit the rise in global warming to avoid an unstoppable chain reaction and climate disaster in a matter of a few decades.

 

Save money

You don’t have to be Greta Thunberg to want to do what you can to ensure we all have a future on this planet.

Anyone planning a home extension or conversion can and should look into the ways it can be sustainable, partly because by reducing its carbon footprint at all stages of its life you will also ensure you save money on your heating bills.

Here are some of the things you should think about and discuss which your designer.

 

Wood

The material you build your extension or conversion with will, obviously, be heavily influenced by what the existing house is made from.

While it will need to complement what you already have, and comply with any planning restrictions in your area or relating to your property, you should consider what else might make your finished home more sustainable as a whole.

Wood sourced from sustainably-managed forests is a popular and environmentally friendly choice, partly also because of its ability to be blended into a variety of home styles.

 

Reclaimed materials

Reclaiming existing building materials is a great way to plan sustainability into your project.

If you prefer or are limited to bricks, reclaimed bricks of the right colour and age will allow you to do your bit for the ‘circular economy’ – keeping materials in use - while blending into your existing home’s style.

Your design team can advise on reclaiming and reusing timber floorboards and beams, glass panels and windows, whole doorsets as well as steel, slates and granite. All of these can be sourced by you or your builder from specialists and local demolition companies as well as using any salvaged materials from your project..

 

Windows

Windows account for 50% or more of energy lost in your home, so installing high-performance units in your extension or conversion will retain heat, save money and help the planet. 

Ask your designer about options including triple-glazing, special coatings, nonconductive framing materials and airtight construction. 

The frames need to be well-insulated with a good U-value - the rate of heat flow through it (lower is better). Triple-glazed windows with a vacuum between the panes can further decrease heat loss.

 

Insulation

Ensuring you have a continuous layer of insulation across the walls, floor and roof will allow you to keep draughts out and minimise spend on heating. 

‘Green’ options include:

  • Sheep’s wool
  • Loose-fill cellulose made from 85% recycled newspapers and 15% fire resistant material - which has the most amount of recycled content of any insulation product
  • Recycled jeans - denim is an excellent insulator, thought more expensive than traditional options

If your extension or conversion will have a hot water supply, don’t forget to insulate the pipework as this will ensure your water stays hot.

 

Heating Options

Underfloor heating is not only trendy, but its’ also an energy-efficient choice for heating your extension or conversion because the heat is in all areas and rises, rather than the pockets of warm air radiators create. It operates at a lower temperature too, which means it can save your money.

Wood-burning stoves have been a popular choice for some time and, apart from looking nice, they’re typically cheaper to run than an electric fire and good on sustainability if the fuel wood has good eco-credentials.

 

Lighting

Skylights not only enable natural light to flood into your home, reducing your electricity bills, but they’re a source of passive solar heating. 

Don’t forget to include blinds - to control the temperature and stop heat building up in Summer and escaping in Winter. When triple-glazed, a skylight can achieve good thermal values. 

Another natural lighting option that could save on your power bill is bi-fold or sliding doors. See our blog here for considerations when choosing between them.

Where letting lots of natural light in isn’t an option, opt for LED lighting – which can cut your lighting costs by up to 90%. Less power used also means more sustainable!

 

Appliances

Everything inside your extension or conversion which uses power will also contribute to its sustainability, so look carefully at the energy consumption ratings for any new fridges, dishwashers, cookers, tumble dryers or water heaters you plan to install as part of the project.

 

Decoration

Once your extension is built and ready to decorate, you can still add to its sustainability score by choosing paints which have been manufactured in more eco-friendly ways and don’t pollute the air you and your family are breathing indoors.

 

As you see, there are a lot of ways to make your home extension or home conversion as sustainable as possible. Contact us to arrange a chat about the full range of things to think about.

 

Get in touch

All Design is a dedicated, friendly team of architectural designers who work alongside external associates and consultants to help people across Scotland find property solutions through carefully-considered designs which respond to their needs, the site, budget and planning policy.

We have more than 30 years of experience in the industry and thrive on using a creative yet practical approach to design to improve space for people.

Our values are: People; Honesty, Delivery; Creativity and Friendly.

Contact us for a FREE quotation.

Designing an extension: open plan or broken plan?

Designing your extension: open plan or broken plan?

Designing your extension: open plan or broken plan?

When it comes to briefing an architect or architectural designer on your desired extension, there’s a major design choice you should make before you speak to them – whether you want it to be ‘open plan’ or ‘broken plan’.

Open plan

Open plan in residential architecture refers to an open living space in which two or more spaces for different uses are joined to make a much bigger one by not having the partition walls that would normally divide them. Open plan has become a very popular architectural trend over the years – most of the homes on Grand Designs use it. Structurally, it uses heavy-duty beams to bear the weight of any floors above instead of interior pillars and walls. But open plan isn’t for everyone.

Broken plan

A broken plan, by contrast, is a floor plan in which the living space is divided into different rooms by walls, glass partitions, changes to floor level, a change in materials, or other methods.
It’s a mixture of traditional home design and modern open plan layout but with the aim of retaining an element of privacy and a specific use for each space. The separation element of broken plan is currently proving popular for home-working families, especially where there’s more than one person in the household having to find space to work at home. It’s likely to continue in popularity, as more and more firms look at a blended home-working/office model.

See below the pros and cons of each design type, to help you choose which best suits your desired extension.

 

Open plan - pros

Here are some of benefits of open plan living spaces:

  • An open plan design provides more opportunities for the people living in the home to interact – because all the spaces are connected.
  • Open plan living allows you to cook in your kitchen and entertain your guests in the ‘dining room’ and/or ‘living room’ space at the same time.
  • It brings lots of natural light into your living space, making your home feel larger, brighter and lighter.
  • It creates a more fluid flow between the various living spaces.
  • It is generally less expensive to build than broken plan.

Open plan - cons

Open plan design comes with some drawbacks:

  •  Tied with the ability to interact easier, comes the issue of lack of privacy. Open plan living, therefore, is not recommended for large families, or if you entertain guests frequently.
  •  Open plan living is also susceptible to noise – both from outside and whatever’s happening elsewhere inside. Reducing the intrusion of exterior noise can be taken into account in the design.
  •  More ventilation in the extension means odours will travel further. So the smell of food from the kitchen will feature in your nearby ‘living room’ spaces.
  •  All the extra natural light and space in an open plan extension can make it more difficult to heat, and of course add to heating bill costs in those cold winter months.
  •  Open plan designs can be tricky to furnish and feel ‘empty’ and ‘cold’ if you have too much void space.

Broken floor - pros

A broken floor plan comes with several advantages:

  • Broken plan living enables privacy for each person using the extension. Being able to work in a room and then leave that room when you’re finished for the day will most definitely help work/life balance.
  • Dividing a room by adding a design feature e.g. an internal glass door, partitions or glass balustrades can provide this separation.
  • It allows you to decorate the living space in multiple styles by adding temporary or semi permanent partitions or half walls.
  • It helps you hide those things you don’t want visitors to see e.g. dirty dishes on a kitchen counter.
  • Like open plan, broken plan design brings more light and ventilation into your extension, making it feel bigger. Rooflights and glass screens can really help to encourage the flow of light.
  • With the likelihood of continued home-working, a broken floor extension is likely to appeal to buyers, if and when you decide to sell your home.

Broken floor - cons

The main disadvantages of a broken plan style are:

  • Constructing a broken plan extension may cost you more than an open plan one – because it will require the installation of partitions such as low walls, levels, steps, screens, and bookshelves. There’s also the cost of different furnishings to consider, which may be used to make it feel more like a broken plan than an open one.
  •  The partial divides in a broken plan can make finding the right balance in the interior design tricky - so you feel neither too enclosed or too open. Both run counter to the concept of broken plan living.

 

Partially-broken

Fortunately, you don’t have to choose open or broken entirely to the exclusion of the other – you can have a partially-broken design.
So you can use a partial wall to create a snug area or still have an open plan kitchen and living room next to one another, but use glass balustrades between them to reduce sound intrusion and create a more relaxing feel.

For these and other considerations, get in touch with this for a free chat about each option.

 

Get in touch

All Design is a dedicated, friendly team of architectural designers who help people across Scotland find property solutions through carefully considered designs which respond to their needs, the site, budget and planning policy.  We have more than 30 years of experience in the industry and thrive on using a creative yet practical approach to design to improve space for people.

Contact us for a FREE quotation.

We’re Hiring

We are hiring! All Design Scotland

Part-Time Architectural Technologist/Technician

We are a busy and well-established architectural firm providing design solutions to both domestic and commercial clients.

Currently, we are looking for someone to join our small, successful and expanding team on a part-time basis of around 18 hours per week. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a full range of skills from feasibility and detailed planning to technical capability and project management with job running experience. You will have the opportunity to work on various domestic and small commercial projects and should have proven experience in the following:

  • Carrying out surveys.
  • Assisting with concept designs.
  • Preparing technical and construction drawings, details and specifications for accompanying applications for planning and building warrant approvals in line with project budgets and timeframe.
  • Identifying and managing risk through coordination of design information in line with project programs.
  • Investigating and selecting best materials and processes for projects.
  • Liaising with clients and design teams.
  • Preparing and analysing tender documentation.
  • A minimum of 3 years’ experience in a similar role is essential as is significant experience of AutoCAD, Revit, Photoshop and MS Office.
  • A competitive salary along with company pension is offered.

If you are interested in the role please forward your CV and portfolio to Audrey Walber at audrey@all-design.co.uk or contact Audrey direct on 07786198490 or 01224 701576.

Closing date: 31 March 2021

Regent Quay project set to transform old pub to contemporary cafe

Former Canary Warf building
The Key - All Design Scotland

Refurbishing old and run-down buildings and turning them into vibrant, modern spaces is a rewarding task.  Our latest project will see the former Cutters Warf on Regent Quay transformed to a contemporary cafe, serving healthy food in the heart of Aberdeen.  The Cutters Warf was previously run as a pub, which has been closed for some time.

The new contemporary building will comprise a kitchen, health & well-being rooms, a smoothie bar and a contemporary cafe.

Paul Walber of All Design comments: "it's always great to have the opportunity to bring a new lease of life to a building and with this one, the contrast is stark.  It will be great to see the end result."

All Design hopes to see the plans approved over the next month for work to start imminently.

For more information click here.

Glass balustrades add character and warmth to the home

Glass balustrades add character and warmth to the home

Balustrades come in many shapes and sizes, but glass balustrades add a particularly contemporary feel to the home and can work well with traditional homes as well as modern abodes.

We particularly like balustrades with natural oak newels & handrails with glass panels, like the one below, which we completed as part of a loft conversion project recently. It has added character and warmth to this home in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen. The balustrade has become an elegant feature in the hallway and has added significant light and brightness to a previously unnoticed stairway.

Glass balustrade staircase
Staircase Loft conversion

Structural Balustrades

Structural glass can be used without handrails to support the treads of a stairwell. Their beauty is seamless and timeless but of course, all importantly, they provide functionality. An example of structural glass balustrades is seen below in a refurbishment design project that All Design completed on a home converted from an old listed mill in Aberdeenshire. A structural glass floor was also used on the base of the staircase to expose some of the original watermill cogs.

 

Structural Glass staircase
Structural glass staircase, Aberdeenshire

Outdoor Glass Balustrades

Glass balustrades can also be used outdoors and can look stylish and almost invisible on a balcony or veranda. The glass balustrade below was a feature developed as part of a garage re-design project that All Design completed on a house in Aberdeenshire. It is supported by aluminium posts and glass panels. It makes good use of space and adds to the panoramic views of the beautiful countryside surrounding the property.

Glass balustrade balcony over garage
balustrade balcony garage design

Providing essential safety

Using a glass balustrade on an external balcony provides essential safety, but with a view. Below, is a recently completed design by All Design that includes a chrome and glass balustrade system used as a balcony feature for an extension project in Aberdeenshire.

steading extension

For more information on glass balustrades, please contact us directly.

Planning permission secured for Steading Extension

steading extension design

Planning permission secured for this stylish steading extension

Planning permission secured for this stylish steading extension

Planning permission has now been secured for this styling steading extension in Aberdeenshire, which will add both character and style to this already tasteful property.

The brief was to extend the one bedroom property to provide more living space and two new bedrooms.

Our proposed new East facing, 1.5 storey extension, more than doubles the footprint of the original house. It provides lots of additional light on both floors, a new master bedroom with en-suite and the landing area opens out onto a large glass framed balcony with a fabulous countryside view. There are two new double bedrooms on the first floor and at ground floor level, there’s a new large open plan kitchen/dining/family/games room, which will open out onto a new decked/patio area.

 

Current steading
Proposed design for steading extension