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Any questions?

We list the most frequently asked questions below. You are more than welcome to leave us a message if you cannot find the answer you need here.

Bathrooms
How long will it take to remodel my bathroom?

A home improvement project’s timeline is one of the chief concerns of any homeowner. It’s difficult to estimate how long your new bathroom will take without knowing the specific details of the job. Factors such as the size of the bathroom, what work is being carried out and the materials used all have an influence on the completion time. To get an accurate estimate, it’s best to arrange for an Opun bathroom designer to visit you for a free consultation. They’ll be able to take measurements, discuss the project and offer helpful advice – as well as let you know how long it will take and what it will cost.

Bathrooms
What happens if I change my mind about something during the project?

One of the first steps in a bathroom renovation is to have some technical designs drawn up, showing what goes where. Once you’ve received this, you’ll be able to better visualise the end result and think about anything you might want to change – a different bathtub, perhaps, or moving the toilet to another position. Making changes before any work has started is much simpler than doing so further down the line. By working with one of our interior designers you’ll be able to ask any questions you have and see if your ideas will work in practice. This can help ensure that you’re happy with the end result.

Bathrooms
Is it worth installing underfloor heating?

Underfloor heating has moved from being relatively unheard of to one of the ‘must-have’ features in any modern bathroom. While it’s by no means a necessity, it sure does make a difference! Underfloor heating warms the entire room from the ground up – no longer will you have to worry about chilly bathroom tiles underfoot. Instead, you’ll be greeted by a floor that is subtly warm to the touch and a temperate, gently heated room. Whether it’s worth installing or not is down to personal preference – but it’s certainly becoming an increasingly common feature. So, if your bathroom improvement project is going to involve the installation of new flooring, then it’s definitely worth considering particularly if you’re thinking of selling.

Bathrooms
What type of flooring is suitable for a bathroom?

As bathrooms are humid environments, with floors that are subject to constant splashes and spills, plus the fact they are also one of the most high-traffic areas of the home, some types of flooring are just not suitable. Carpeted bathrooms are very unpopular. Bathroom floors need to be robust and moisture resistant, so this makes engineered hardwood (but not regular hardwood), stone, porcelain and ceramic tiles all good contenders. Other options include cement, rubber and vinyl. Bathrooms used by older people and children should have a floor with a non-slip surface to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Bathrooms
Will adding a new bathroom to my home increase its value?

Adding an extra bathroom to your home, particularly an en-suite, may increase the value of your home, according to several market surveys. This can be dependent on various factors, however, such as how many bathrooms your home already has and the particular area you live in.If increasing your home’s value is your chief motive behind your improvement work, then it’s a good idea to speak to a local estate agent and ask them what the most sought-after features in your area are.Refurbishing the kitchen, converting the loft and adding a conservatory are also popular home improvements homeowners make to increase their property’s market value.

Bathrooms
What’s the best way to find bathroom products?

Take a look around you to find some inspiration, use every resource available: magazines, catalogues, social media, even television sets. Make a mood board of including any bathroom fittings or products you like the look of. Do some research into the pricing of these products – are they on sale anywhere? It’s also important to bear in mind that those in the trade can get exclusive discounts, so we may be able to help with that.

https://blog.opun.co.uk/home/2018/1/30/design-your-dream-bathroom-like-a-pro

Bathrooms
What is the optimal layout for my bathroom?

There’s not really any one layout that is universally the best fit for a bathroom. Don’t be afraid to experiment in collaboration with your Opun bathroom expert and see what layout would help create the bathroom of your dreams. Don’t assume that the existing layout of your bathroom is the best fit, bathroom layout may not have been the original developer’s primary concern and any new features you might want to add could make the old layout unusable.
https://blog.opun.co.uk/home/2018/1/30/design-your-dream-bathroom-like-a-pro

Kitchen
How long do kitchen improvement projects typically take?

The amount of time it will take to complete a kitchen renovation is dependent on a variety of things. For example, pulling out and installing a new fitted kitchen is likely to take considerably less time than a kitchen extension. Other elements that can have an influence on the project time are the size of your kitchen and the materials used in your project.

When you contact Opun we’ll talk you through the process in detail and can arrange a free consultation with one of our expert kitchen designers at a time that suits you. Once we’ve has taken measurements and discussed the improvements or changes you would like to make to your kitchen we’ll be able to suggest a timeline and provide you with an accurate quote.

Kitchen
What if I change my mind about something during the project?

This is obviously a worry for anyone undertaking any kind of home-improvement project – and, of course, people do change their minds about things occasionally. However, the first phase of your project will be the design of the room. Once you have a technical drawing of what the finished kitchen will look like, take a little bit of time to consider it. If you change your mind about the floor material we should use, or if you want a larger cooker, we can always go back to the drawing board.

Working with one of Opun’s skilled interior designers to help you design the room is a fantastic way to produce a stunning kitchen, as they will be more than happy to talk through any concerns you might have in order to create the perfect kitchen for you… which you won’t change your mind about!

Kitchen
What do I need to know about making an open-plan kitchen/living area?

Open-plan kitchen/living areas are a fantastic way to make the most of the space you have available, creating a bright and airy communal area within your home. The most important factor to consider is that load-bearing walls cannot be removed without further structural work.

Once you have technical drawings drafted of your proposed open-plan space, you can begin to think about how you will position furniture in the room. Remember that people reading or watching television in the living area may not want to be disturbed by the sound of a blender or coffee grinder, so you should think about positioning a seating area far away from noisy kitchen appliances.

Kitchen
What are the most important things to think about when planning a new kitchen?

The first thing to think about when planning out your kitchen is how you’ll use the space. This will give you a good idea about what kind of materials and appliances would be best, as well as the optimum room layout. You may, of course, need to make some compromises for this – if you’re refitting a kitchen, you may not be able to place the fridge or cooker in your first-choice spot, due to the position of a window, for example.

Kitchen
How can I be sure my kitchen will be practical?

The three key aspects that affect a kitchen’s practicality are its lighting, storage space and how much worktop space is available for food preparation. As long as you ensure you have plenty of each, you can be sure your kitchen will be practical.

Getting the balance right can be tricky, particularly with smaller kitchens. Happily, a wide range of clever storage solutions are available that will minimise the amount of work surface taken up by items and appliances, giving you plenty of space to wash, chop, knead and peel.

Kitchen designers generally recommend having at least two different circuits of lighting in the kitchen. First, there are your task lights, which are usually the intense overhead lights you’d want to use when you’re cooking or doing other work. Secondly, you’ll have ambient lights providing general illumination when you’re not preparing food but might be just sitting in the kitchen relaxing. Opun’s designers will help you create a plan that gets the most from your kitchen space.

Kitchen
What worktop materials are available?

Concrete: The ideal centrepiece in a trendy modern industrial kitchen, concrete countertops can be moulded into any shape or size and are very durable once sealed.

Cultured Marble: Available in a range of colours, this synthetic marble kitchen offers aesthetic beauty at a reasonable price.

Granite: A stunningly beautiful centre piece for your kitchen; it’s difficult to beat a granite countertop when it comes to ‘wow’ factor.

Laminates: A cheaper option that is easy to repair and replace if damaged. Laminate countertops are also extremely easy to clean.

Marble: For a truly luxurious and exclusive kitchen, marble will always be the way to go. Marble’s timeless looks means it perfectly complements many different design styles.

Solid Surface: This low-maintenance extremely durable material is perfect for busy family kitchens.

Steel: These highly heat and bacteria resistant countertops can be cut to any sizes and are perfect for cooking. A hallmark of restaurant and commercial kitchens, a steel countertop is the perfect opportunity to unleash your inner Gordon Ramsey.

Quartz: Available in a range of colours and tones, Quartz countertops are a beautiful low maintenance alternative to marble.

Wood: Offering a fashionable naturalistic look, wood countertops are an eco-friendly and renewable feature that create a gorgeous, warm and natural ambiance.

https://blog.opun.co.uk/home/2018/1/23/how-to-clean-your-kitchen-worktop

Kitchen
Will a new worktop be incredibly expensive?

There are plenty of different materials readily available to use as kitchen worktops. The cheapest of these is laminate, which is also incredibly easy to replace and repair if damaged. Solid surfaces are also a good bet for a reliably durable surface that won’t set you back an arm and a leg. Cultured marble is a good mid-range price option, it’s a lot more expensive than laminate but not in the same ballpark as traditional luxury counter materials such as marble or granite while still offering an impressive look.

Kitchen
Do I need to get rid of all my kitchen appliances?

No! Repurposing old appliances in a new kitchen is a great way to save money. However, if the old appliance is going to clash with look of your new kitchen it’s probably best to cut your losses. The same advice applies if an appliance looks a bit worn out or is unreliable.

https://blog.opun.co.uk/home/2017/11/10/should-it-stay-or-should-it-go-kitchen-appliances

Loft
Does a loft conversion require planning permission?

Many people assume that because loft conversions are major projects they require planning permission. This isn’t always the case. Subject to certain limitations and conditions – such as no extension being higher than the highest part of the roof, and that materials used are similar in appearance to the existing house, it may be considered a ‘permitted development’ and not require any planning permission applications at all.

However, your loft conversion would require planning permission if you wanted to add a balcony, there are architectural restrictions in your area or if it’s a listed building. If this is the case, Opun’s loft conversion service can take care of all the relevant planning applications for you, so you don’t need to worry about them.

Loft
How long does a loft conversion take?

The time frame for a loft conversion varies from project to project due to a wide range of factors such as the size of your loft, whether planning permission is required, the materials used and what type of rooms the conversion will contain. Once you make an enquiry with Opun one of our customer consultants will arrange a meeting for you with an expert loft designer. When they visit your home, at a time that suits you, they’ll be able to advise you on what the time frame would be for your proposed project, as well as take measurements and offer a quote for the work to be done.

Loft
How do I know if my loft is suitable for conversion?

Generally, the useable part of the roof needs to offer at least 2.2 metres of head height. The pitch angle of the roof and type of roof structure will also affect how easily your loft can be converted. The best way to find out if your loft is suitable for conversion is to make an enquiry with Opun. We’ll organise a free consultation with a loft conversion expert to assess the suitability of your loft, and give you alternatives if it’s not easily convertible.

Loft
How disruptive is a loft conversion?

Although you may think that making such a large change to your home’s interior would be extremely disruptive, this is often not the case. In fact, some people believe that adding a traditional extension to your home’s exterior can be more disruptive.

If you’re raising the roof considerably or lowering the ceilings of the floor below, this will be considerably more disruptive than loft conversions that don’t feature such work. Perhaps the noisiest part of the project is when the new stairwell portal is added to your existing landing’s ceiling. You might want to go out that day to avoid the noise and disturbance. An Opun loft conversion expert will be able to advise you on the amount of disruption your particular project will generate.

Loft
Are loft conversions good improvements to add property value?

In short, yes.

Available living space is one of the most important factors that increases the market value of a property, a loft conversion could increase floor space by up to 30%. Surveys have suggested that a good loft conversion can increase the value of a house by as much as 22 per cent*, making it one of the best home improvements you can carry out to boost your home’s sale price. Conversions offer an excellent return on investment.

Also consider what rooms you convert your loft into – as this may affect how much it improves the value of the building. For example, a master bedroom with an en-suite may be more desirable to prospective buyers than other types of room, but this can be dependent on your particular area. If adding value is the key reason behind you wanting to improve your home, it may be wise to consult a local estate agent who can advise you on what the most sought-after features are in your area.

*Source: Nationwide Building Society study March 2016

Loft
Do I need to commission technical drawings for a loft conversion?

When you choose Opun for your loft conversion, we’ll take care of the architectural work and technical drawings for you. With full architectural service in-house, we’ll get your plans back to you quickly We even help most of our customers with their planning permission for their loft, which we handle on their behalf.

Extension
Do all extensions need planning permission?

No. Many extensions fall into the category of ‘permitted development’, for which there is no need to apply for planning permission. Whether an extension will come under the cusp of permitted development, or if it will need planning permission, is subject to numerous regulations affecting the size and positioning of the extension, as well as the materials used in its construction.

Although deciding if a project will need planning permission can sometimes be complex, you don’t need to worry about any of this. As part of the Opun extension service, we can assess if your extension would require planning permission during your free consultation with one of our professionals, and can even take care of any applications for you. It’s worth noting that, even if your particular project doesn’t need planning permission, it can still be a good idea to obtain a Lawful Development Certificate to prove to potential buyers or their legal representatives down the line that the building works completed are lawful.

Extension
Are you allowed to extend a listed building?

Many owners of properties on the Listed Buildings Register assume that they can’t make any changes to their home. But this is not always the case. As Historic England states on its website: “Listed buildings are to be enjoyed and used, like any other building. Listed buildings can be altered, extended and sometimes even demolished within government planning guidance.”

Your local council will employ a Conservation Officer who is in charge of approving or withholding Listed Building Consent, which is an additional form of planning permission that needs to be applied for before making alterations or extensions to a listed building. It’s vital, however, that you obtain this approval before making any changes to your listed property.

Extension
Will carrying out an extension increase my council tax?

Under current laws, any changes or extensions a homeowner makes to their property will not change the valuation band until the property has been sold. This means that your council tax will not change if you build an extension.

The rule applies unless you are planning on constructing a granny flat or other form of extension that can be used as separate dwelling. Under current legislation, a separate council tax band can be applied to extensions that are ‘constructed or adapted for use as separate living accommodation’. In order for an extension to qualify as such, it must have separate access, facilities for sleeping, preparing food and washing, and its own bathroom.

Extension
Can I add an extension on/near a 'party wall'?

Yes, subject to a Party Wall Agreement. The term ‘party wall’ usually refers to the shared walls between terraced or semi-detached houses. Party walls can also consist of garden walls along a boundary and excavations close to your neighbour’s property.

Before building work can begin, the homeowner needs a written Party Wall Agreement from all of the affected neighbours. With the Opun extension service, however, we can arrange for a surveyor to prepare a Party Wall Award on your behalf.

Extension
How long will it take to construct an extension?

The completion time for an extension, from initial plans to those last few touches that make it perfect, can vary tremendously depending on the exact nature of the project. Factors that will influence the time frame of an extension can include things such as the exact type of extension (for example external or basement); the size of the extension; and the materials used.

To find out how long an extension to your home will take, make an enquiry with Opun. We’ll set up a free consultation with one of our home extension experts, who will visit your home at a time that suits you. During the consultation, we’ll be able to discuss exactly what you want, take measurements and provide you with advice regarding the project’s timeframe. This will be followed up with an extensive quote for the project.

Extension
Is there a difference between a sun lounge and a conservatory?

Yes. Although both are room types that contain lots of windows in order to allow in as much sun as possible, there are some technical differences that can affect building regulations on the property.

A sunroom or sun lounge is similar to a traditional extension on a home, and is often made from a similar material; the only difference is that it contains many windows and possibly a glass atrium roof. Conservatories, on the other hand, are usually constructed almost entirely of glass, usually held together with a frame made out of aluminium, wood or UPVC. Both types of extension may or may not need planning permission subject to permitted development regulations. However, conservatories which are less than 30 square metres in floor area and which are not separated from the building by any external doors, windows or walls and which do not have their own independent heating system, are exempt from building regulations.

Renovation
Will my renovation need planning permission?

Not all renovation projects require planning permission. Many will fall into the category of ‘permitted development’, for which there is no need to apply for planning permission. Whether your renovation is considered permitted development will depend on numerous regulations affecting the size and positioning of any extensions included in the project, as well as the materials used in their construction.

Although deciding if a project will need planning permission can sometimes be complex, you don’t need to worry about any of this. As part of the Opun extension service, we can assess whether or not your renovation requires planning permission during your free consultation with one of our professionals. If it does, will take care of the application process for you. It’s worth noting that, even if your particular project doesn’t need planning permission, it can still be a good idea to obtain a Lawful Development Certificate to prove to potential buyers or their legal representatives down the line that the building works completed are lawful.

Renovation
Are you allowed to renovate a listed building?

Yes. Listed buildings are regularly renovated, restored and sometimes updated in accordance with their conservation status. As Historic England states on its website: “Listed buildings are to be enjoyed and used, like any other building. Listed buildings can be altered, extended and sometimes even demolished within government planning guidance.”

Your local council will employ a Conservation Officer who is in charge of approving or withholding Listed Building Consent, which is an additional form of planning permission that needs to be applied for before making alterations or extensions to a listed building. It’s vital, however, that you obtain this approval before making any changes to your listed property.

Renovation
Will renovating my house increase my council tax?

Under current laws, any changes or extensions a homeowner makes to their property will not change the valuation band until the property has been sold. This means that your council tax will not change if you renovate or extend your home.

The rule applies unless you are planning to build a granny flat or other form of extension that can be used as separate dwelling. Under current legislation, a separate council tax band can be applied to extensions that are ‘constructed or adapted for use as separate living accommodation’. To qualify as such it must have separate access, facilities for sleeping, preparing food and washing, and its own bathroom.

Renovation
Can I renovate or alter a party wall?

Yes, subject to a Party Wall Agreement. The term ‘party wall’ usually refers to the shared walls between terraced or semi-detached houses. Party walls can also consist of garden walls along a boundary and excavations close to your neighbour’s property.

Before building work can begin, the homeowner needs a written Party Wall Agreement from all of the affected neighbours. With the Opun renovation service, however, we can arrange for a surveyor to prepare a Party Wall Award on your behalf.

Renovation
How long will it take to renovate my house?

The completion time for a renovation, from initial plans to those last few touches that make it perfect, can vary tremendously depending on the exact nature of the project. Factors that will influence the time frame can include things such as the number of rooms you are renovating, the number and size of any extensions; whether or not a loft conversion is included in the renovation, whether or not you’re converting the garage, and the materials used.

To find out how long your renovation project will take, make an enquiry with Opun. We’ll set up a free consultation with one of our renovation experts, who will visit your home at a time that suits you. During the consultation, we’ll be able to discuss exactly what you want, take measurements and provide you with advice regarding the project’s timeframe. This will be followed up with an extensive quote for the project.

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