Transform your property's exterior with a facelift and make it more appealing, efficient and valuable.
LA Hally Architects (01962 843 500; lahally.com)
Weathering can take its toll on your property exterior over the years and have a visibly damaging effect on the exterior of your property, making it look dated and unloved. Also, the materials that were chosen at the time of construction can often fall out of fashion and no longer hold any appeal. Whether updating the facade of your home requires repointing the mortar of the brickwork, or covering up pebbledash, you might actually be able to kill two birds with one stone.
Consider increasing the thermal values of the property at the same time by adding external insulation and re-cladding or rendering the house. This will not only add the wow factor, but will also put pounds in your pocket in savings, as well as upping the value of your home.
Your roof might not require a complete overhaul – perhaps just the replacement of cracked tiles and cleaning using a pressure washer will instantly improve its appearance. However, if you’re considering extending upwards and wish to change the entire set-up then consider solar panel arrays, which come in the form of solar tiles that can blend in with traditional slate tiles, or even whole roof systems.
‘You could consider a building-integrated photovoltaic system (BIPV), such as Sunstation. The system fits into the roof itself and is less visible because it does not protrude, but integrates with the existing roof structure,’ says Susannah Wood, chief marketing officer at Solarcentury (020 7549 1000; solarcentury.com). Remember that if you do decide to replace the entire roof you will need to bring it up to the latest Building Regulations standard.
Eric Parry Architects (020 7608 9600; ericparryarchitects.co.uk)
Broken downpipes and gutters filled with debris are an eyesore and can cause significant damage to the property exterior as water, instead of draining away, finds its way into the bricks and mortar. Replacing old guttering could not only stop further damage to your property exterior, but also add visual appeal with different shapes and materials, from gleaming aluminium and galvanised steel, to heritage copper.
As the autumn leaves start to fall, the future build-up of debris is inevitable. Consider installing products such as gutter brushes (01558 610 512; hedgehog-gutterbrush.co.uk), which keeps debris out while allowing rainwater to drain away.
Windows and doors
Updating your windows will have a big impact on the appearance of your property. ‘There are various ways you can alter or improve, depending on the style of your house, the planning restrictions of the local area and the size of your windows,’ says Rebecca Clayton at IQ Glass (01494 722 880; iqglassuk.com). You could, for instance, trade in ageing timber or dated PVCu frames for new aluminium versions that will allow you to install larger panes.
‘This can increase the feeling of light and space within the home, and aluminium frames also offer a cleaner, smoother finish, which can instantly update the external appearance of a home,’ says Clayton.
New windows will also give you the chance to fit versions with a very high insulation value, such as units with full thermal breaks, double or triple glazing, a gas filling and low-e coating. This will not only add kerb appeal, but will increase the thermal efficiency of your home.
Richard Murphy Architects (0131 220 6125; richardmurphyarchitects.com)
‘Lighting can be viewed as purely functional,’ says Sanjit Bahra at Design Plus (020 8762 9585; designpluslight.com). ‘However, the right lighting can completely transform the look and feel of an entire home.’
Make your external lighting practical and stylish by installing floor-mounted recessed solar lighting or a system that switches on when it detects movement. You can illuminate your external walls with soft, warm lighting to make your home look welcoming at night. All of this can be automated and easily retrofitted into a space with very little disruption. There are wireless lighting systems that require minimal rewiring, designed especially for refurbishments and heritage buildings.
A simple tidy up can do wonders for an overgrown garden; sweep up fallen leaves, move brimming bins out of sight and replace broken paving slabs. Sometimes that’s all it takes. You may, however, wish to work with landscapers to help you design something that’s truly inspiring, yet manageable, too. If you decide on hard landscaping, add colour with potted plants, which will soften the scene and can be easier to maintain than a lawn.
Words: Ifeoluwa Adedeji, Photography: Tim Crocker; Nick Kane; Joel Knight; Derek Swalwell