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A new kitchen, an extension and a new bathroom all top a list of last year’s most popular home improvements – http://www.homeadviceguide.com/home-improvement-categories/. But if you’re building a home from scratch, you have the opportunity to add more than value – you can add features and spaces that make your property truly unique. All it takes is a little imagination and, more often than not, a talented residential project manager to oversee the work (and develop contingency plans, just in case).
1. A green roof
Everyone plans for a nice garden, but few people are bold enough to add an extra lawn space on top of your house. And opting for a green roof is not only attractive, it also creates a supremely eco-friendly property.
Essentially, they are created by planting vegetation (usually grass, but you can get creative) on top of a waterproof membrane on your roof; with additional layers for roots and drainage. It’s this layer of soil and vegetation that absorbs water and insulates your home incredibly effectively. What’s more, the roof will be much cheaper to maintain than a traditional tile or asphalt option.
2. A garden office
If you work from home, or spend your quiet time reading in a study, then this is the home improvement for you. Office pods are essentially fancy sheds, with all the benefits of the usual man cave, like being completely separate from the house, but with added comforts, like electricity, heating and big windows.
Because they are a separate building, and often assembled from pre-fabricated materials, your residential project manager may even be able to have it commissioned and installed independently of the main building work.
3. Bespoke wine cellars
These classic additions have been part of high-class homes for centuries, but increasingly elegant and integrated wine cellar solutions are making the dusty old basement a thing of the past.
A great example of a modern take on the wine cellar are Spiral Cellars. These flexible additions take the form of cylindrical storage cupboards centred around a spiral staircase, meaning that they not only create a unique design feature, but they leave plenty of space for more mod cons.
4. An underground wetroom
Once the wine is sorted, you’ll need a new use for your cellar: and a wetroom is a much more exciting use than simple storage space. A couple in Warwick recently made exactly that decision, tiling over their basement and earmarking one end of the room for an enormous shower space. Their experience, which involved laying a whole new cement floor on what was just builders’ rubble, shows the need to develop contingency plans, but creating a luxury wetroom space is worth the trouble. It also freed up room upstairs for more bedrooms, or extra living space. Although if it sounds too tricky, you could just install an extra bathroom under the stairs instead.
5. A sunroom playroom
If you have young children, you’ll know how difficult it is to get them to play outdoors. To our mind, the best solution is to build a dedicated sunroom playroom. The extra light they get will help their circadian rhythms, so they’ll sleep better, and so will you. Plus, it’s a dedicated place for all of the children’s toys and clutter, so you can get the rest of the house just as you want it. Another great home improvement to consider.
6. An integrated smart home system
It pays to think of your electrical setup from day one. As homes get more smart, and more integrated, building in plugs, brackets and spaces for all of your communication tools is as vital as finding the latest innovative technology to make your life easier. If you find a good electrician, you’ll be able to arrange your home in such a way that you can control the environment in its entirety, from temperature to soundtrack, via a single remote control, computer, or tablet.
So there you have it, 6 quirky home improvement ideas to spark your imagination!