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5 Tips from Architects to Help Your 2022 Renovation Plans

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This article was written by Resi, the UK’s leading architectural practice

Whether you’re extending your kitchen or renovating your loft, if you’re taking on a project in 2022 then you’re going to want to get your head in the game before you begin.

At Resi, we have over a hundred in-house experts, including some of the brightest architects in the UK. We sat down with them to pick their brains and get their top tips for 2022. 

Don’t put off the planning stage

The demands on planning departments have been steadily increasing over the last few years. Starting with the 2020 pandemic and then building up month on month. 

There’s two reasons for this demand. One, a lot of people have experienced a change in lifestyle, such as working from home more, and want their homes to adapt to this new routine. Alongside this, many planning departments have been suffering from staff shortages and are undergoing a new digitisation of their departments.

High demand and disruption can not only lead to delays but can also make securing planning a little trickier than normal. But don’t despair! It’s not all doom and gloom out there. Rather than stick your head in the sand, our architects recommend you dive into the process as soon as possible. 

“We’re seeing a lot of people who are looking for the ‘perfect moment’ to start their project,” says Nick, Resi’s Design Director. “But there’s never going to be a perfect time to start anything, life doesn’t work like that. Instead, I always advise customers to get started and secure approval sooner, rather than later. Planning permission lasts three years, so once it’s in hand you’re free to be flexible with construction, where timings are much more important.”

Materials cost more, so be smart 

You may have seen a number of news stories talking about the rising costs of construction materials. Part of this price increase has come from shipping and supply issues still reverberating from the pandemic. However, the UK’s departure from the EU has also had a knock on effect and up’ed many price tags. 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like many of these issues are going to resolve themselves anytime soon, so it’s worth taking some time to think about how you can smartly approach these issues. 

“Knowing where to invest and where to pull back is one of the best ways to approach materials,” advises Nick. “For instance, when it comes to the structure of your build, it’s better to invest. Opt for long-wearing aluminum frames for your glazing, rather than uPVC, and go for the best quality of installation. Your fittings are where you can save a lot of money, without having to sacrifice on quality. Upcycled countertops or ex-display model kitchen cabinets, there are plenty of ways to pinch the pennies while still adding value to your home.” 

Insulation is king 

Speaking of insulation, is it high on your shopping list? Because it should be. In 2022 (and beyond) making homes as energy efficient as possible is going to be high on everyone’s list, especially as the government is trying to phase out gas boilers. 

On average, the top offenders for heat loss are…

  • Walls (35%)
  • Roof (25%)
  • Windows and doors (25%)
  • Floors (15%)

When it comes to your renovation project, make sure you’re investing in the best heat-loss solutions as possible. High-quality glazing, cavity wall insulation, and packing your roofs with the best insulation possible can all help keep heat trapped in and cold kept out. Not only will this help save you money on your household bills, but for anyone considering switching to a heat pump once the 2020 grant comes into place, then it’ll also help you get the most out of your new system. 

Open-plan is still reigning supreme 

Open plan has been on the scene for a while and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon. What makes this such an enduring trend?

“Open plan remains popular because of the benefits it brings. Rather than losing space to dead hallway space, you can maximise the square footage of your home and it allows families to stay connected with one another through the day,” says Nick.

But the real benefit of going for an open plan layout is adaptability. These large spaces can move with you, providing room for entertaining, tucked away home offices, playtime, yoga, downtime, and much more. They can also be broken up as your family dynamics change, either through shelving or half walls. 

Our Happy Homes research shows that when we look at the aspects of our homes that matter most to us, the ability to alter the layouts as our needs change is more important than the size of our biggest or smallest bedrooms.

Open plan kitchen

Bring the outside in

Another key finding from our Happy Homes report was the importance of connecting with nature in the home. Our study found that the better the views from our windows, the more satisfied we feel within our space. In fact, what you see on the horizon has a bigger effect on your mood than how much natural light you get. 

So if you’re looking to create your own happy place in 2022, then it is time to reassess your glazing. Could your project help maximise the views of your garden? Could your loft provide you with a new balcony? 

“There’s plenty of ways to connect with the great outdoors,” Nick says. “Skylights, bi-fold doors, juliet balconies, we’ve even helped one customer create a rock garden between their kitchen and living room. There’s so many options out there, it’s a real chance for your architect to flex their creative muscles.”

Discover the potential in your home by booking a FREE consultation with Resi’s experts. 

Our all-in-one home improvement platform allows anyone to extend, renovate and create with ease. Powered by over 100 in-house experts, we cover architectural design, project finance, and can even introduce you to local contractors and specialists. Get your own quick quote here. 

Last Updated: November 17th, 2021