The VPR Blog

Good Bathroom Design: Tricks of the Trade

Rebecca bathroom showing shower bath and towel rails Next time you want an original Christmas game try handing out plans of a two meter by three meter room with a door and a window and a list of artefacts: 1700 x 700 bath, walk in shower and screen, pan and cistern, wash hand basin, towel radiator, fan and mirror. 

The game consists of organising the artefacts against the available wall space in such a way that you can: a) open the door, b) sit on the loo without burning your legs, c) get children in and out of the bath, d) reach the towels and take a shower and get dry easily. Bonus points are awarded for designs where: there is no visible pipework (though of course pipework should be accessible in case of leaks), the towel radiator can be reached from the shower tray, the mirror is lined up over the wash hand basin, you can turn the shower on and off without getting wet, and there is storage space for towels, toilet rolls and sundry other trappings of contemporary sanitary life. 

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Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Property Investments

Sholebroke Place

This is the first in a series of articles on converting an inner-city terrace house into a socially and environmentally sustainable buy-to-let investment.  

The aim is to demonstrate that it’s possible to set up a lucrative small buy-to-let investment that has a positive impact on the tenants, the environment and the surrounding neighbourhood.  

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Do Dormers Have to Look Ugly?

Cladded Dormer Window

Adding a roof dormer to a town house is often the best way of increasing internal floor space without encroaching on the garden. This article deals with the way dormers look and the trade-off homeowners face between increasing floor space and conserving an aesthetically pleasing roofline. A second article will deal with the practicalities of dormer construction and design. 

Despite the lure of large attic rooms with full head height, many of us are put off dormers by their intrinsic ugliness. Our first childhood drawings include square houses with pitched roofs meeting at a neat apex. Adding a large square appendage to one side shatters symmetry and displeases the eye.

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Property Restoration and Wall Insulation

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Building Regulations

New build housing is subject to part L building regulations. This makes life easy as house builders know what level of insulation is expected and building control are there to make sure they comply.

Extensions and conversions are also subject to modified building regulations but building control cannot ask that thermal insulation in the pre-existing part of a house be improved. This can lead to one part of a house (sometimes even one part of a room) being well insulated while other parts are not. Yet, having invested money to insulate the new part you’d be well advised to try and improve the energy efficiency of the remainder.

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