As with all things in life, when improving your property for rental, you get out what you put in. Developing a property that exudes quality from the bottom to the top will command a higher rental value PCM; it’s that simple. Whether you achieve this through bringing in all the mod cons and fully furnishing the property, or updating the overall decor, giving the property a finishing flourish can easily add a little value to the monthly rent.
So what can you do to increase the rental value of your property?
A Loft Conversion
If you have the money for it, a loft conversion can work in more ways than one! Adding an additional room to a property will obviously add value, but that becomes a significant amount of value when you turn that space into a bedroom! In cities like London where any space comes at a huge premium, the loft conversion is a great option for an extra renter, or a family looking for a child’s room. Depending on the size of the loft conversion you could double your rental value!
Create Off Street Parking By Paving the Front Garden
In the inner city where space is at the highest premium of anywhere around, turning those old flower beds and that unnecessary wall into a private, off street parking area will give those city dwellers with a set of wheels a safe place to keep their automobile!
One of the oldest tricks in the book - a set of well hung mirrors seem to magically transform space into more space. Even though the tenants will know the trick, it will still make the place look larger and means that they don’t have to bring in their own!
One of the cheaper bells and whistles, but a bell that will chime with the younger generation - installing fiber optic broadband for your tenants removes the stress of getting a new line and service provider put in.
Well, it simply wouldn’t be a list by oak windows if it didn’t include our beloved oak windows! Rich, illustrious and oozing class, the look of the property both outside and in is a key factor for renters. By installing oak windows you are giving your tenants a property that they will be happy to show off!
In fact, installing noise reduction windows will add further value to a rental property, especially for those on busy streets or under flight paths. A sure fire way of making those tenants sign on the dotted line!
Do you have any other suggestions about increasing a property’s rental value? Leave them in the comment section below!
Image by Wendy North
From the hallowed old halls of old to the parlours of palaces, there’s a reason that oak has been used throughout the ages in places of grandeur. It is a rich, long lasting and effortlessly classy wood that simply exudes a highly desirable exuberance.
For one, it just simply looks good. Any piece of oak furniture, door, window or fitting looks handsome. The natural beauty of the product lends its organic marbling to whatever function it’s turned, imbuing all oak products with an innate and timeless look. Whether finished with natural stains, or simply varnished, it’s a canvas that stands alone.
However, it is the natural strength and durability that makes oak a cut above the rest. Still seen, resplendent as ever, in the aforementioned palatial suites, if well treated, oak can last for hundred of years. It is a quality assured product.
So How Can Oak Windows Add Value To A Property?
The answer is fairly simple. Aside from the fact that they’re beautiful and would enhance any home, they’re a real sales point!
Because when a new tenant walks around a home and sees the beautiful oak windows installed, they know that they will never have any problems with them, and will never have to replace their windows in the whole time they occupy the property. They are a future investment that will, with proper maintenance, last for generations.
That aside, they’re a great sales point, especially if you have upgraded to oak noise reduction windows, which estate agents will be more than happy to talk up. And although oak windows may be a fairly expensive purchase, the amount of value that they will add on to the property will be considerably more. This is because the value added on for future generations, and the fact that they won’t have to do any work for it, is worth so much more than the windows themselves.
It’s a win-win situation. So to speak to us about what oak windows can do for the resale value of your house get in touch, our dedicated team are always keen to help however they can.
Image by William Warby
England boasts a vast amount of listed buildings; properties that are protected against development that might harm their historical importance or aesthetic. With over 450,000 of these properties in the country, they are evidence of a rich history and show the development of society and architecture throughout the ages.
What Makes a Property a Listed Building
There are a few specifics that mean a building will gain listed status. For instance any property built before the 1700’s, and which still remains close to its original form and in good condition pretty much automatically qualifies.
Those erected post 1700, and pre-1840 fall into a similar category, though they are more closely scrutinised for their historical and cultural contribution and significance. Falling during the Georgian era, these properties were constructed by notable architects such as James Paine and Robert Taylor.
Buildings following this period, which fall into the Victorian era are far more common, with good examples of Victorian listed buildings being found in Greater Manchester which saw a boom in property development during this time.
Buildings after this period are a lot more closely regarded before they can become listed. They need to demonstrate a rarity, be it an example of a unique style of construction; a notable public place; demonstrable of a sensitivity to a streetscape.
All these factors must be considered by a the Secretary of State for Culture as advised by the English Heritage.
So what does this all mean?
Basically that you are bound by law to keep the aesthetic and architecture of the property as is. You cannot make drastic changes to the property and if you are to make any changes they need to be passed through your Local Planning Authority
Restoring A Listed Building’s Oak Windows
A great deal of listed buildings have oak windows which, over the ages, have become broken or damaged. Old architects didn’t have the modern technology or know-how to create oak windows which won’t swell or develop draughts and you will want to ensure that you aren’t suffering at the hands of time’s wrath.
In order to restore these windows to their former glory, you can make repairs, however this will still need to be passed by the LPA. This is a time consuming and expensive process and is best avoided in lieu of...
Replacing A Listed Building’s Oak Windows
This is the best option if those windows become bothersome or non-functional. Whilst oak windows will age well, the centuries can take their toll, especially if the craftsman who made them originally didn’t have the best tools or materials available.
With current technology and design, safeguarding against future decay has become a science, adding value to the property and ensuring a long-lasting protection. This isn’t, however, as straightforward as installing new frames.
In listed buildings you will have to create like for like replacement oak windows which copy the originals down to the type of timber used, the finish and their dimensions. This will need to all go through the LPA before any work can even begin. A long and often arduous process, we’ve gone through it a great deal and can advise our clients the best way to approach getting planning permission for replacing oak windows in their listed properties.
So if you’ve wound up on this blog because you’re looking for a solution or some advice on oak window restoration in period buildings, then get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to talk to you about your options!
Image by: Sam22
Oak. It’s the best there is. Why? Because it’s beautiful! But much more than that, it’s a solid solution to your interior door needs. Let me tell you why.
Interior doors are needed for three basic functions. To stop draughts, to stop unwanted noise and for privacy.
The latter is a simple one. If you want privacy then getting solid oak doors will mean absolute privacy! Guaranteed! Though, if privacy isn’t the issue then oak internal french doors are an excellent addition allowing light to pass through and creating a greater sense of space.
However, it’s in the other two categories that interior oak doors excel. As a hardwood, oak is particularly difficult to work with because of how strong it is when dry. However, being an incredibly strong timber, it is heavy duty and long lasting - perfect for interior doors which are slammed and hit all the time.
Draught Proof Oak Doors
It also means that when they are manufactured they are fit flush into their frame. Because they are resistant to damage over time, they won’t at any point no longer fit into their frames thereby ensuring that they are no unwanted cold draughts sneaking into your living room!
Unlike cheap wooden doors, which will chip easily and often warp with changes of moisture in the air, internal oak doors will keep their shape, never warp or get stuck meaning that you will never get cold feet on the sofa!
This will not only keep you warm but keep the bills down too.
Noise Proof Internal Oak Doors
The title kind of gives it away already… But oak being a solid hardwood makes it an excellent choice when you want a door that will keep the noise from one room out of the other. Perfect if you’ve got a children’s den attached to your living room or to keep the study quiet.
Internal oak doors bring a sense of style inside - they are reassuringly sturdy, handsome doors which compliment any design aesthetic. That’s as well as the additional benefits of noise reduction and thermal insulation.
image by: Nacho
Have you ever wondered what makes one type of timber more expensive than the other? Or more specifically why oak has consistently been one of the more expensive hardwoods for generations? Well it comes down to a few fairly simple factors beginning from the seed. Hardwoods grow a lot slower than their softwood counterparts, which means that they require more production time, man hours, etc.. Now, of course this isn’t the sole reason that hardwoods like oak tend to be more expensive.
Because oak is a slow growing deciduous tree it utilises a system of vessels which transport water around the tree, this is opposed to softwoods which contain elongated cells called ‘tracheids’. It is the structure of these vessels which makes oak such a dense and strong wood, and also the structure of these vessels which gives oak its unique ringed look.
So Oak Is Denser And Slower But I Don’t Know Why It’s More Expensive
Well, aside from the time the tree has to occupy the lot (think car park fares), the fact that oak is a denser wood than most means that working with it is a lot harder. You have to have better, sharper tools and use them more diligently, as it is far easier to irreparably damage the wood when working with it. It being more difficult to work with means you need better craftsmen spending more time on it too, in order to make the best products on the market.
What Else About Oak Makes It So Expensive?
Its strength and durability are really up there with the best. For wood that is easily grown in many climates it has an incredible lifespan when finished properly. It’s also extremely high in tannin which makes it very resistant to pest and fungal infections.
When buying oak, ensuring you treat the finished product properly, you are guaranteed for that the products will last you a lifetime. The same goes for products which are kept outdoors or face outside like oak window frames. Ensuring that the craftsmanship was top notch, you will have no problems with the material.
Over the generations it’s also become a symbol of luxury and quality. Notoriously durable and expensive, the distinctive markings of oak wood are a fundamental part of why it retains such value. When quartersawn, you can see the veins running through the timber, unique to each and every piece of wood, meaning that every single product made from oak comes with its own natural, individual design.
Image by Graham
We love oak. You know that by now. It’s a luxurious material that adds real character to your property and will do so for years to come – that is providing you look after it properly! Like all timbers, oak is prone to rot and other environmental damage, which can affect not only its aesthetic appeal, but its functionality too.
Of course, we ensure our oak windows and doors are properly treated to safeguard again this being an issue, but additional after care is always recommended down the line to keep your frames looking as best they can! And if you have oak furniture at your home you may want to follow these steps to preserve their beauty for future generations!
Caring For Indoor Oak Furnishings
New oak products ought to be regularly waxed with natural beeswax throughout the first few years of use. Do this by rubbing the beeswax along the direction of the grain, and then gently removing the residue left behind after it has dried.
Cleaning of your oak table, windows, doors or whatever you own ought to be undertaken solely with oil-based cleansers containing no unnatural chemicals or perfumes.
Don’t clean it with water! This will do nothing other than push water into the grain which can cause swelling.
With windows you may not have much of a say in the matter, but all other oak furniture should be kept away from radiators or other heat sources, as it can cause cracking over the years.
Looking After Outdoor Oak Products
Of course, these will mostly be pre-prepared for their life outside, but there are simple steps you can take to ensure their longevity is increased. Staining your oak with an oil-based stain will protect it from all weather conditions whilst also preventing discolouration from prolonged exposure to UV rays. Look for one specifically for use on outdoor furniture and make sure to follow the instructions carefully!
Steeping the legs of your oak tables and chairs for around 6 hours in wood preservative will also help protect these vulnerable areas against water damage.
One piece of advice that ought to be heeded is that you should not use linseed oil to clean your outdoor oak furniture or fittings. If not properly dried, this can cause mildew. Use of products like lemon oil will safeguard against this!
Image by ActiveSteve
We love oak. To us it is an example of nature at its best, a pure and incredible material which has been used, and continues to be used throughout the centuries. It is our love affair with the material which lead us to start out our business of manufacturing bespoke oak windows and doors, and which still inspires us to this very day.
But what is so great about oak? I hear you ask. Well, our fondness isn't mere whimsy. It is one of, if not the best material for manufacturing windows, doors and so much more.
Strength and Hardness of Oak
With a density of around 0.75 g/cm3, oak wood is very strong, though not so hard that it makes cutting or manipulating it an arduous task. It has a medium bending strength, which means that shaping it is a fairly simple process when unseasoned, though when dry it becomes extremely hard and durable. This combined with its high crushing strength make it great for use in building supports and window and door frames where it will be put under considerable pressure and stress.
Resistance to Infection and Insects
Whilst a lot of woods may require a great deal of treatment to prevent, or at least put off fungus and insects, oak's high tannin content means that it is naturally resistant to such attacks. This makes it ideal for things like external doors and windows where it will come into contact with a lot of moisture and wildlife.
Oak has an inherent natural beauty. The way in which the oak tree grows, produces a long grain with occasional swirls and burs which give each individual cut its own personality. Its intricate and individual style give whatever it constructs a real sense of uniqueness in design. That's not to mention all the kinds of beautiful types available, like Red and White Oak, which have their own quirks.
External wooden units face the issue of movement and cracking due to water absorption, which causes the grains to swell and can cause windows and doors to no longer fit within their frames. Whilst oak can also suffer from the same issue, its tight porous structure means that it will not take on as much water compared to many other woods. Combined with our triple layered hardwood designs and finishing treatments, the problem of movement along the grain is practically negligible in our oak windows.
All of these factors, along with the fact that oak is a sustainable, green product, mean that is ideal for use in construction and design. Along with its rich and lustrous characteristics, it's perfect for outer facing units which will give your property an individual and classic look.