Kitchen Design
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13th May 2018

Four Kitchen Design Ideas for 2018

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13th May 2018
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Although when designing the interior of your home, you don’t have to follow the latest trends blindly, it is important to keep your kitchen updated and functional. This is especially true if you are considering selling your home any time soon. And when building a new house, it is important to incorporate the latest trends in kitchen designs to improve both the productivity and convenience of your kitchen area.

While many home design consultants can help you choose features and materials that are specific to your tastes, they will also recommend following along with some of the latest trends will ensure that your kitchen stays modern looking and fresh longer.

Here are Four Kitchen Design Ideas for 2018:

  1. Bold colours: Neutral colours in the kitchen are still prevalent, but there’s a larger emphasis on bolder colour choices. If you have used neutral colours for too long, it is a good idea to experiment with using bold colours for the countertops, backsplash and other focal points of your kitchen. Lower cabinets can be highlighted with complementary shades to bring this look together making it more appealing to the eye.
  2. Streamlined designs: Homeowners often prefer streamlined designs and aesthetics. The kitchen is a busy area of the house, and it is important to make it as stress-free of an environment as possible. Complex kitchen designs could hamper workflow and reduce productivity, as more time and effort will be needed to complete each task.

Some non-essential aspects of your kitchen can be removed to make the area brighter and more spacious. The focus should be on using the countertops and stove more productively. It is important to know that by being streamlined, it doesn’t mean that your kitchen has to be boring. The kitchen can be livened up with quality materials and elegant textures and, for more industrial accents, metallics can be incorporated into the kitchen design.

  1. Quartz countertops: This is a continuation of the trend in 2017. Quartz countertops still reign supreme in high-end kitchen designs because quartz is a durable material that can last forever. It’s also anti-microbial and easy to maintain, and it is a good alternative to granite for elegant high-end kitchen designs.
  2. Composite sinks: composed of quartz dust and acrylic resins, composite sinks are close cousins to stone and granite sinks. You’ll find both pros and cons for including a composite granite sink in your kitchen’s design. But composite sinks will create an elegant and uniform look and maintenance, and cleaning tasks will be much easier to perform as well.

These are just some of the kitchen design trends you can create for your home to add beauty and value while creating a more functional space.

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House Extensions
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13th May 2018

House Extension Ideas for 2018

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13th May 2018
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With property prices increasing steadily, it is financially a good idea to extend your house, rather than purchasing a new, larger one. Families grow and children are getting bigger and, for many, a three-bedroom house will eventually become inadequate. Adding an extension to your home can help add important space that can be used as a bedroom, children’s play area, rec room, office or more. Plus, the additional space will add more value to your home which is important if you are considering selling.

If your home needs more space and you don’t know what you want or even how to make it happen, you should contact a professional architectural design team that can create a functional extension for your home that provides more space and adds value.

Here are some house extension ideas that will give your home the extra space it needs:

Push the kitchen further: Instead of making a new bedroom or home office area, some homeowners are looking to create a new kitchen area. The old kitchen can be transformed into a bedroom or other living space. Be sure to choose a space that can accommodate multiple windows as this will help keep your kitchen bright and help reduce smoke and odour from cooking.

Cantilever design: It is a good idea to implement cantilevering when adding new design features, such as mezzanines and balconies. When extending a home, we often find that new foundations are prohibited due to the presence of certain obstacles, such as utilities or plumbing. In this situation, a cantilevered ground floor slab is a good alternative.

Building using hardwood: Hardwoods can give instant character to any extension. It’s ideal for use in an additional bedroom, home office area or kitchen. An extension built entirely of hardwood is ideal for properties with rustic styles, such as farmhouses and cottages. A common practice is to combine principal roof structures such as tie beams, ridges and purlins made of hardwood, with rafters made from softwoods.

Maximize natural light sources: Any home extension should take advantage of as many natural light sources as possible. An extension can be constructed at the northern or southern parts of the house, so it will be always be exposed to sunlight throughout the day. Glazed doors and windows can be placed strategically to let sunlight enter the interior of the extension, but it is important not to overdo this. If too much sunlight enters the extension, the temperature inside will be too high and air conditioning unit will be needed. This will negate the energy-efficient benefits of having a naturally lit area.

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Architectural Design Consultation
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26th March 2018

Restaurant Design Trends You’ll See in 2018

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26th March 2018
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Restaurant design has changed drastically over the past few decades with bright, lively interior themes giving way to minimalistic designs and then rustic, woodsy designs reminiscent of a log cabin. These trends can be seen in everything from chain restaurants with their overtly corporate feel, to independent restaurants owned and operated by celebrity chefs.

If you are opening a new restaurant, or you are just interested in the latest restaurant design trends for 2018, keep reading as Lewis Visuals is going to show you some of the latest trends in restaurant interior design that you will be seeing in restaurants throughout the UK and around the world.

Restaurant Design Trends For 2018

Custom Lighting

Every interior designer is looking at custom lighting for their clients and restaurants are not excluded. Restaurants are the perfect place for designers to show off innovative lighting concepts since they are trying to set the mood and create an ambience that will entice diners visit often. Using a wide range of automated apps, coloured lighting effects and more, designers can create a wide range of environments that can change with the mood of theme of the evening. Another popular lighting trend that we will be seeing in 2018 is custom art-inspired fixtures. Designers are working with artists more than ever today to create one-of-a-kind pieces for their clients that can’t be replicated.

Retro Finishes

Copper and brass are the popular finish in the recent years and made a comeback in on-trend restaurant interiors. From soffits and banquets, to bar surrounds, railing and more, copper and brass finishes are becoming more popular with upscale restaurants.

Going Green

Plants have always been a fixture in restaurant interior design but they were usually just an afterthought rather than a showpiece. Now, plants and other greenery are becoming a focal point in many restaurants as they can add a fresh from nature effect that relate to the new farm-to-table philosophy seen in modern restaurants.

Social Media Enabled

We see it on social media every day. Someone we know dined out last night and they just had to take a picture of their food as soon as it reached the table. This growing social media trend is being embraced by modern design teams and they are creating innovative social media zones where diners can take photos and post them directly on the restaurant’s social media pages as well as their own.

Minimalism

Minimalism is still a thing in today’s restaurants as leading interior designers are creating minimalistic looks that give the restaurant a more upscale look while avoiding over the top wall treatments, oversaturated corners and bold colour schemes.

Although these are just some of the latest trends in restaurant interior design, there are many more that a professional interior design team can show you. They will work closely with you to ensure your needs and the needs of your restaurant are being met.

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Architectural Design Consultation
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26th March 2018

Office Design Trends to Increase Productivity

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26th March 2018
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Employees spend a lot of time at the office and there is a delicate balance between making the comfortable and keeping them productive. Some workplace interiors are modeled after an open lounge giving employees the ability to work wherever they like without being confined to their desk. Certainly, this may be ideal for comfort and possibly even creativity, but it doesn’t make your employees any more productive. Then we have offices that are simply a row of cubicles with everyone working away, popping their heads up every now and then to see if their coworkers are even still there. This can be productive, but it might lead to unhappy employees. Being able to create a workplace interior design that is conducive to both employee happiness and productivity can be done with the help of an experienced architectural design firm.

Our Office Design Trends to Increase Productivity

If you are considering an office remodel or are building a new office for your small business, keep reading for some of the latest office design trends that will increase employee productivity and keep your employees happier as well.

  1. Flexible and Dynamic Spaces

More and more companies are integrating flexible spaces in their workplaces which enable employees to work wherever they are comfortable while still increasing their productivity by creating more dynamic spaces within the office environment. In this type of office set-up, furniture can be moved or rearranged easily and workstations are a part of the furniture.

  1. Technology Integration

Technology is the driving force that makes us more productive employees and it is what enables us to work smarter and faster. With a technologically enabled office setup, your employees should be able to address potential issues related to collaboration, communication, project management, and other critical business areas.

  1. Collaborative Meeting Spaces

Collaborative meeting spaces are a relatively new office design trend driven by millennial employees who have a tendency to move away from their desks and converge in communal areas for less formal meetings.

  1. Privacy-Friendly Workstations

While open spaces and flexible layouts are becoming the new trend, employees still want their privacy to be able to work without interruption and focus on the tasks at hand. While cubicles are generally frowned upon, enclosing some portions of the workspace using traditional dividers or booths to create semi-enclosed settings will give your employees the privacy they want and increase their productivity as well.

Although these are just some of the latest trends in office interior design, there are many more that a professional interior design team can show you. They will work closely with you to ensure your needs and the needs of your business are met while creating an office space that breathes productivity.

For ALL YOUR OFFICE DESIGN NEEDS CONTACT US TODAY – 01252 714 985

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Architectural Design Consultation
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28th February 2018

On The 1st Of March Lewis Visuals and John Wratten are Merging!

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28th February 2018
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To better serve our clients and provide more services, Lewis Visuals & John Wratten are merging to become an even greater force in the residential home design industry. You read that right, an award winning architectural firm and a sought-after house design team are merging to form a new company that will remain committed to the needs of their clients while providing a better home design experience.

Transforming Lives Through Design

The merger is great news for both existing and new clients of John Wratten and will offer clients of Lewis Visuals a new take on their already famous home design portfolio. Experience meets advanced architectural technologies, wisdom meets trendsetting design, whatever you call it, the merger of these architectural minds will mean better service for their clients.

Genevieve Wells, the director of Lewis Visuals stated ‘this is an exciting time for both Lewis Visuals and John Wratten. John will bring his years of experience and knowledge to our enthusiastic and trendy, practice.’

Lewis Visuals Award-Winning Designs

Founded in 2009 in Farnham, Surrey, Lewis Visuals is an independently owned and operated architectural firm known for their many award-winning designs and commitment to exceeding the needs of their clients with every project they complete. Lewis Visuals includes a team of 8 talented individuals and has won many national and international architectural design awards.

About the merger, John Wratten stated that ‘the merger will allow me to focus on what I do best which is the love of designing homes.’ His company will still be located near Yeovil where he and his team has served his clients throughout the Somerset, Devon and Dorset regions.

Bringing these two firms together proves that while great designers often think alike, their ideas can also be complementing, and they can create a bond that becomes much bigger than sum of its parts. Welcome to the future of architectural design, welcome to the new John Wratten & Lewis Visuals Architectural Design.

If you are considering building a new home, start with a beautiful home design from John Wratten & Lewis Visuals Architectural Design and have a home you can be proud of.

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Interior Design
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18th February 2018

Using Skylights to Add More Light in Your Home

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18th February 2018
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Skylights are one of the most effective, least expensive and easiest ways to make over both the exterior and interior appearance of your home. For many homeowners, skylights are immensely popular, because they impart roominess to the interior and add a beautiful view of the sky above into the house. To get the maximum impact from this design element, it is important to understand the size, position and design of skylights. Many people tend to choose the biggest skylight possible, but it’s ideal to keep the size to no more than 5 percent of the floor space if the room already has good sized windows. In rooms with no or small windows, skylights can be up to 15 percent of the floor space.

Skylight Variations

Most common skylights are rectangular, however, there are many variations of colours, shapes and sizes available. The shape, of course, should have an impact on the look and design style of the room. The type of material you choose for your skylight has a direct impact on the efficiency and the look of it.

Popular glazing materials for the skylights include plastic and glass. Plastic doesn’t break easily and it’s cheap; however, it may eventually show scratches and become discoloured. Glass doesn’t fade and resistant to scratch, but glass skylights are more expensive and they can shatter easily when subjected to hard impacts.

Skylight Location

Location is essential if you want to get the benefits of solar heating and natural lighting from skylights. Expect to get consistent lighting when your skylight faces north and maximum illumination and solar in the morning when facing east and in the afternoon when it faces west.

Fixed or Ventilated Skylights

There are a wide range of skylight styles to choose from. Fixed skylights are perfect for family rooms and attics as they provide extra light and are available in many different varieties of shapes. You could also choose ventilated skylights that you can open and close to allow the smooth passage of air. They are more appropriate for kitchens and bathrooms, and can be controlled by motorized cranks, a wall switch, remote control or automatically by temperature sensor. The newest style is tubular skylight, which is small and can be placed in a spot where a normal full-sized skylight won’t fit. For the most affordable option, you could also choose a domed acrylic skylight.

Skylights are a decorative and functional design element that can be added to the design of your new home, or as an addition to your current one. When choosing to add a skylight to your home, consult with an architect who can answer your home design questions.

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Uncategorised
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18th February 2018

Modern Architectural Design Trends

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18th February 2018
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As we are already entering the early months of 2018, the architecture industry needs to focus on what’s applicable today. New changes in architectural designs are looming and technologies are affecting the way houses and buildings are being both designed and built. Modern architects need to be well prepared for these trends and integrate them into their designs if they are going to remain relevant and successful.

For many builders, today’s architectural trends are being driven by materials and innovative construction methods. As architectural design makes use of more modern, eco-friendly materials, those will be seen in the final construction as well.

What are the latest architectural design trends for 2018? Let’s take a look:

High-tech materials: There have been some implementations of complex and intelligent designs using Nano-materials that react with the constructive systems and the environment. Although this technology is still largely at the experimental stage, architects should be on the lookout for practical usages in 2018. Durable, high-tech materials are useful for many architectural applications to make buildings easier to construct, eco-friendlier and more durable.

Unusual Constructive Methods: It is becoming more common to use unusual mediums, beyond timber, masonry, steel and concrete. We have seen structures made of high-strength plastic and living materials. Combining nature and modern architecture styles may represent some challenges, but they are often applicable to modern design.

Community-Driven Design: Community-driven designs ensure good interactions between people, structures and the surrounding environments. It is a concept that is being implemented by many newly built houses and offices. They have sustainable features that vastly improve the quality of life in the community through bigger considerations and respect of the environment. It is also essential that the design interacts well with nature, not just people.

Smart Buildings: Technology integrates well with architectural designs and it allows new things to make their way into our daily lives. Smart buildings and homes are no longer science fiction. Architects may come up with new designs that allow proper use of smart illumination, wireless sound systems, remote heating systems, smart appliances and more.

Repurposed Materials: Integrating repurposed materials into modern architectural design is the right move. Not only environmentally friendly, but repurposed materials could also become cheap and quick solutions. Glass, recycled plastic, metal and usable wooden elements can be repurposed. Reusing and turning them into new objects will save energy and effort, compared to exploiting remaining resources in the nature.

Modern design elements are becoming modern homes, offices and other workspaces. When combined with innovative architectural designs, modern buildings will move away from boring and turn into something exciting and beautiful to see.

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Interior Design
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18th February 2018

Luxury Swimming Pool Ideas

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18th February 2018
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Today’s high-end homes wouldn’t be complete without luxurious swimming pools. Homeowners can really go over the top with luxurious pool designs and they can add many new design features that most can only dream of. Due to the more flexible budgets and available options, it is much easier for the designer to adopt new ideas that embody the luxe lifestyle.

Mediterranean Oasis

Mediterranean style pools look great with large white tiles and deep blue Mediterranean tiles as this design element captures the idea of high coastal cliffs and the blue sea often found in the region. But designers can take that look one step further by adding more ornate tiles that tell a story as family and guests lounge poolside. Many homeowners are opting for outside kitchens to complete the luxe look and let them prepare authentic Mediterranean dishes for outdoor parties.

Tropical Elements

For oceanfront luxury pools, designers are turning them into luxurious tropical retreats. By adding a beach entry pool with gentle downward slope and combining an infinity edge to play artfully with the imagination, homeowners have a pool they may never want to get out of. Teak lounge chairs may add to the overall feeling of serenity and provide seating for guests. Instead of the normal rectangular shape, luxury swimming pools can have modified L-shape with an artful combination of teal and blue glass tile to create a perfect peaceful retreat.

Combination Indoor/Outdoor Area

You may even choose to bring the outside in and create dramatic views of your pool by using floor-to-ceiling windows on the facing walls of your home. The patio can be decorated with an aqua and teal glass tiled border, which contrast beautifully with a more neutral flagstone decking. Pools with irregular shapes may look like a natural pond with the natural stone tiles as the border. To make the design looks more appealing; an elevated Jacuzzi area with water that flows out into the primary pool can be added.

Mountain Regions

For luxury swimming pools that overlook the mountains, designers can focus on simplicity with regular rectangular shapes combined with different cuts of stone pavers. The usual infinity pool design can be placed on the side that allows for unobstructed view of the mountains and surrounding towns. This is a good design that can be combined with modern houses. To make the pool blend better with the environment, rock-colored tiles similar to the surrounding natural stones can be implemented.

A wide range of materials can be used to turn and ordinary pool into something extraordinary. Whether you want a luxurious outdoor oasis to relax in, or you want a more subdued pool design for your home, choosing the right architectural design firm can make it happen.

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Interior Design
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18th February 2018

Green Home Design Checklist

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18th February 2018
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There is a lot of thought and consideration that goes into the design and building of an eco-friendly home. From the home site and how the land is used, to the appliances and fixtures used in the final build, architectural design firms put a lot of effort into every green home design.

Let’s take a look at a typical checklist that many leading architects use to ensure they design an eco-friendly home that meets their client’s needs.

Green Siting & Land Use

  • Build within already developed areas. This helps to avoid urban sprawl and the depletion of wildlife and wetland areas. It also increases the density in neighborhoods so homeowners can rely less on transportation to get to shops.
  • Locate buildings to provide access to public transportation, bicycle paths, and walking access to basic services. This further helps to minimize automobile use.
  • Locate buildings to minimize environmental impact. By clustering buildings together, it can also help preserve wetlands and other areas close by for wildlife.
  • Situate buildings to benefit from vegetation. Trees on the east and west sides of a building can reduce cooling loads while dense shrubbery can block cold winter winds.

Green Building Design

  • Smaller is better. Making better use of interior space through good design can decrease the amount of natural resources used to build the home.
  • Design an energy-efficient building. High levels of insulation, less thermal bridging, high-performance windows tuned to the sun (heat reflective in east & west), and tightly sealed construction all work to make a home more energy efficient and eco-friendly.
  • Get free energy. Designing buildings with solar water heating and photovoltaic (PV) panels and sloping roofs towards the south for optimal solar energy will give the homeowner free or low-cost energy.
  • Make it easy for occupants to recycle. Making recycling easier to do will ensure that homeowners are more apt to recycle since containers will be handy.
  • Use rooftop water catchment systems for collecting rainwater. This is an easy way to get free water for landscape irrigation.
  • Look into the feasibility of using gray water. Used water from sinks, showers, or clothes washers have many purposes on today’s green homes.

Green Materials

  • Avoid ozone-depleting chemicals in mechanical equipment and insulation.
  • Use locally produced building materials.
  • Use salvaged building products or products made from recycled material.
  • Choose responsible wood supplies.

Green Appliances

  • Use high-efficiency appliances and lights. Using Energy Star rated appliances and LED lighting will help reduce energy usage and costs.
  • Use water-efficient toilets, fixtures, water heaters and other elements. Water-conserving toilets, showerheads, and faucet aerators reduce water use and they reduce the demand on septic systems or sewage treatment plants. Centrally locating fixtures reduces hot water cost.

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Architectural Design Consultation
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12th February 2018

What’s the Average Cost of Cladding a House?

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12th February 2018
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Cladding your home can add beauty and value and give you a sense of pride in ownership that is incomparable to any other home improvement or renovation project you undertake. Whichever cladding material you choose, the biggest factor in deciding to clad your home is cost. The average cost of cladding has gone up in the past decade and many homeowners want to know just how much it will cost before they make the decision to add new cladding to their home.

Average Cost of Cladding a House Factors

The average cost of cladding depends largely on the material you choose and the size of your home in square metre’s. Brick is the most common choice for many homeowners, with render, timber boarding, stone and tile hanging as the other alternatives. Stone is usually considered the most expensive option and required in the stone-belt areas of the UK.

Let’s Look at The Average Cost of Cladding a House

The factors that go into creating an average cost of cladding a house can vary, just as the materials can. Other factors include labour, additional materials and any decorative treatments. But what are the real differences in costs? Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Bricks: £56/m2

Bricks come in a wide range of stock and that can make the price of brick cladding change dramatically. Prices can range from £350 per 1,000 bricks, to £800/1,000 with the average cost around £450/1,000. There are 60 bricks per square metre. Factor in labour and the costs will look like this:

  • Bricks @ £450/1,000 £27.00
  • Mortar per m² £2.50
  • Labour @ £450/1,000 £27.00
  • Average cost per m² £56.50

Rendered Blockwork: £59/m2

Rendered blockwork is a less expensive alternative that many homeowners choose. What they don’t realise is that there are hidden costs that factor in making rendered blockwork more expensive than brick. This can include the addition of a waterproofing agent, pebble or stone dashing or decoration of a smooth rendered wall. There are 10 blocks per square metre. Factor in labour and the costs will look like this:

  • Blocks (aircrete 450x215x100mm) £8
  • Mortar £1.00
  • Labour @ £12.50/m² £12.50
  • Labour and materials for two coats render £25.00
  • Decoration — labour and materials £12.50
  • Average cost per m² £59.30

Tile Hanging: £66-£80/m2

Tiles are much more expensive and are usually hung on an external blockwork skin. This shares much of the costs of a blockwork and rendered wall bringing average cost to £21.80/m2. Average tile hanging costs can range from £66.80 up to £101.80.

Timber Cladding: £50/m2

Timber cladding features softwood featheredge boarding that can add £15.74/m2 to the cost of the blockwork. This has to be decorated which will add even more bringing the total cost to an average of £49.54/m2. More expensive Siberian larch and western red cedar are popular and don’t require additional decoration as they will weather to a silver tone. With an average labour and materials cost of around £27.89, combined with the blockwork costs becomes £49.69/m2.

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