Seven Ways to Achieve Wow Fac­tor on a Bud­get

In­tro­duc­ing strik­ing ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures needn’t break the bank, ex­plains ar­chi­tect Al­lan Cor­field, who lists his seven top cost-ef­fec­tive ways of adding wow fac­tor

Homebuilding & Renovating - - CONTENTS -

Ar­chi­tect Alan Cor­field ex­plains how to make cost-ef­fec­tive ar­chi­tec­tural de­ci­sions that pack a big punch in your home

So you have de­cided to em­bark on a ren­o­va­tion project, or even opted to build your own dream home. Like the vast ma­jor­ity of self-builders and ren­o­va­tors in the UK, you will most likely be do­ing this as you want to have an in­put in the de­sign process. This is bril­liant as it leads to bet­ter-qual­ity spa­ces which are more per­sonal and tai­lored to your life­style, ul­ti­mately cre­at­ing bet­ter homes. As it’s your project and you are go­ing to be in­volved in the process, you have an un­prece­dented op­por­tu­nity to add char­ac­ter as well as an el­e­ment of wow fac­tor. Tra­di­tion­ally we think of these fea­tures as kitchens or bath­rooms, how­ever there are other strik­ing de­sign el­e­ments – a state­ment stair­case or win­dow seat, for in­stance – which can be built into your new ex­ten­sion or home. You’re prob­a­bly think­ing that you can’t af­ford these on your bud­get? For­tu­nately, self-builders are renowned for be­ing in­ven­tive and think­ing out­side of the box. If you do your re­search, use your bud­get wisely and hire the right de­sign­ers, it’s pos­si­ble to cre­ate wow fac­tor on even the tight­est of bud­gets. Turn over as I re­veal my top seven fea­tures.

The pri­mary rea­son for hav­ing a stair­case is to travel from one floor to an­other. But they can add so much more to your home — a stair­case can sep­a­rate two liv­ing spa­ces within an open plan room, be­come a piece of art in its own right, and can even bring an el­e­ment of fun to a home. Op­tions can range from a stan­dard off-the-shelf tim­ber unit cost­ing from £300, or (quite lit­er­ally) rise all the way to a cool £20k+ for a sculp­tural float­ing de­sign, for in­stance — so be very care­ful what you wish for!

Stair­cases can be made on site by a joiner, built and de­liv­ered to site by one of a grow­ing num­ber of on­line stair­case com­pa­nies, ready for your builder or car­pen­ter to as­sem­ble, or be de­signed and fit­ted by a spe­cial­ist com­pany. Your fi­nal de­ci­sion will prob­a­bly come down to two ar­eas: the com­plex­ity of the stair­case de­sign and what you can af­ford.

If you are opt­ing for a tra­di­tional stair­case then the chances are that your joiner will make this up on site, which gives you the chance to build in some stor­age — ei­ther a util­i­tar­ian cup­board with a door, or some­thing a lit­tle more cre­ative (with hid­den stor­age in the treads, for ex­am­ple).

How­ever, if you are go­ing for some­thing more con­tem­po­rary and can’t af­ford to go to a spe­cial­ist firm, then this is where you have to be a bit more cre­ative. This float­ing stair (pic­tured), for in­stance, with tim­ber treads and glass balustrade would have cost around £20,000 from a spe­cial­ist firm. How­ever, we went to a metal worker to fab­ri­cate the hid­den steel, a tim­ber floor com­pany for the oak treads and a glass sup­plier for the balustrades; we split the work into pack­ages and then brought it to­gether on site. This meant that the client was pay­ing stan­dard rates for the parts, rather than higher rates from a spe­cial­ist. The re­sults paid off and this stair and balustrade came in at un­der £9k; it still looks amaz­ing but cost a frac­tion of the price a spe­cial­ist in­staller would have charged.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.