Category Archives:Selling

Climb the Stairs to Higher Profits

Staircases are often seen as one of the most functional parts of a house, used to pass between levels.  But there’s nothing that says staircases need to be simply functional and can instead be decorative, unusual or even offer extra benefits.  And with these innovative styles of staircase, you can increase the value of your property, make it more appealing to buyers or even to potential tenants.

Choosing a style of staircase

When you plan to spend money on renovating or changing the staircase in your property, then there are a few things to consider.  The steepness of the stairs is something that can be a big problem for some potential buyers or tenants, especially if they have children or older family members.  A flowing, gentle staircase may be more attractive for these people.

In other homes, the look of the staircase is crucial.  Open plan living is a big trend and this often means that the staircase is in the living room.  Therefore, people are often drawn to styles that look great, allow plenty of light to flow from upstairs and is an attractive feature in the room.

Finally, always consider the safety aspect of any staircase and have it designed by experts.  You need to be certain that it fits within building regulations and offers the safety features you are required to include for rented properties.  Even if you don’t plan to sell the house, you still want to reduce the risk of an accident on the stairs as much as possible by using the right safety elements at all times.  A good staircase designer will flawlessly incorporate these into the design to make them harmonious and equally attractive.

Helical staircases

Helical staircases are often used in apartments, hotels and entrance areas to create a feature of the staircase while using less room than a traditional straight style.  Helical staircases don’t need a newel and there are handrails on both sides.  As well as being circular in shape, they can also be elliptical or oval in shape and the design means you can even have two different designs of helical staircase in the same space.  Experts in making these staircases often offer custom built styles to ensure they exactly match your space.

Metal staircases

Steel & metal staircases have often been associated with functional, exterior styles but the modern variations are also great for indoor areas of the home too.  There are a number of different designs that work in this material including straight, quarter landing and half landing styles and a single area of stairs can be up to 16 in number so can cover a range of spaces.  These materials can result in bespoke staircases that are very modern in appearance and also very strong.

Glass staircases

Cantilever glass staircases are at the very cutting edge of modern looks and offer that almost-invisible style that looks great in modern or recently renovated properties.  These ultra-sleek looking staircases use special glass that is tempered, laminated and chemically treated to make it strong enough for the job and can be combined with steel and metal elements to create the look you want.

 

Your Property’s Garden: Asset or Liability?

When renting a property, the look of the place still places a big part in the decision about whether to rent or not. While not as important as when buying a property, many tenants look at the house and its gardens to help them make a choice. But does this make the garden an asset or a liability?

Smart Appearances

A good, well maintained garden can help ‘sell’ the house to a lot of tenants. For example, older couples may enjoy gardening and the gentle activity is good for their health. Couples with kids will view a well maintained lawn area as a place for a spot of football or for the kids to pitch their tents. A decked or patio area can provide a perfect setting for outdoor entertaining or simply somewhere nice to sit and relax on a sunny evening.

A garden can work against you when it goes to two extremes – ultra fussy or poorly kept. A garden that takes serious hours to maintain may put off a lot of tenants unless they too are garden fanatics. Therefore, keeping things relatively simple is ideal. However, a shabby garden that is overgrown and full of weeds will put off even non-gardeners because it looks a mess and makes them think they will need to sort it all out.

Trees & Tree Surgeons

Another important area to take into consideration with your property are any trees on or surrounding it. Trees create a beautiful backdrop to a garden but can also be a hazard. Therefore, getting in a professional tree surgeon to assess the trees on the property before putting it up to rent is a good idea.

For starters, some insurance companies can be funny about trees. Too big or too close to the house and they can invalidate insurance policies. This is due to the danger of them falling into the house in a storm or their roots causing subsidence. Therefore, regular maintenance of the trees is a good idea and this is where an experience tree surgeon will come in.

A visit from such a specialist will help you know if the trees need minor or serious work, how often and if they present any real problems. Plus, it keeps the trees looking smart – out of control trees can block the light from the garden and even from the house. Overgrown trees can even cause issues with neighbours if the tree is blocking their garden or house and lead to disputes.

Whose Job?

Once the tenant is in place, does it then become their job to maintain the garden? This is an area that should be covered in the tenancy agreement to avoid disputes. Some landlords employ a good gardener and part of the cost of this is included in the price of the rent. Some tenants enjoy a spot of gardening and agree to keep everything neat and tidy. However, a landlord can’t hold a tenant responsible if plants die or the lawn doesn’t thrive so if the garden is such a big thing to the landlord, ensure you get a fellow gardening fanatic in as a tenant!