house extension

This is a recent project that we worked on involving a 2 storey extension to an end of terrace family home in Letchworth. Extensions like this are very popular and can have a massive effect on the size and enjoyment of a home.

For this family, investing in this extension has resulted in a larger kitchen diner with utility room, and upstairs, an extra bedroom with an en-suite shower room. The bedroom is accessed by the existing landing and it has French doors that open into the bedroom with a Juliet balcony.

If we are quoting for a job where a new bathroom or shower room will be required, then as standard, our quotes include the cost of a basic bathroom suite, but often people will choose and supply their own. On this occasion, our client opted to supply their own bathroom suite, which comprised of a white shower, basin and toilet. This was complimented with grey floor tiles and pale grey wall tiles.

As part of this job we also demolished an outhouse, and in the utility room we plumbed in the dishwasher and installed a cupboard and shelves.

Many people are still opting to extend their homes rather than the more expensive option of moving house. It’s an almost guaranteed way to increase the value of your home, and done well will make it stand out from other houses nearby.
As always, it’s really important to employ a professional builder such as K.J. Hill in Bedford. If you get this selection right, you will find the whole process much less disruptive and difficult. Please get in touch if you’d like advice on where to start, or if you’re ready to get started on your own home improvement project.


Financing home improvementsToo many times I see people embarking on a home improvement project without thinking it through. The first thing I would suggest you do is to get your finances sorted. An architect is likely to cost you £600 – £1,000, which is money wasted if you then can’t raise the money to fund it.

How about approaching it this way instead?

  • Check your savings and contact your lender to find out what you can borrow that’s affordable for you to pay back.
  • Once you have a budget in place, then it’s time to speak to a reputable builder, such as K.J. Hill in Bedford. Call them in and tell them what you would like them to do and ask for a ball park figure.
  • If this ball park figure is within your budget, and you’re happy with the builder, ask them to recommend an architect.
  • If this ball park figure is over your budget, explain this to your builder and you can then start a discussion that will show you what they can do within your budget. It’s about finding a compromise that will give you what you need, at a price you can afford and your builder is able to work with.

If you’d like to start these talks with us, then please give us a call on 01234 765050


Invest in your home with K.J. Hill Builders in BedfordInvesting in property is one of the best ways to protect yourself financially, and has become a way of life for many families in the UK. Throughout the economic turmoil of recent years property has remained a sound investment, all be it a long term one. But you don’t need a limitless pile of cash to buy up every property in the area; by carefully adapting your existing property you can ensure that you’re increasing its future saleability and/or value.

There are many different ways to invest in your property, from smaller updates such as improving insulation, which can have a significant impact on your energy bills, or larger alterations such as a house extension, loft or garage conversion, a granny annexe or even a complete new house if you have the land for it! Look at what you have available and what opportunities present themselves for you to increase the value of your home – either in terms of comfort or monetary value.

Outbuilding Conversions
Starting outside, do you have any outbuildings that could be put to good use? Depending on the size and location, existing outbuildings can be converted into office space, a studio or workshop, a granny annexe or even a new home. Having extra usable space is a real asset for a property and is likely to increase the value of your home. It could also generate you a regular income if you’re able to convert an outbuilding into a work space that you can use or hire out, or a living area that you can rent out either long term or as a holiday let.

Loft and Garage Conversions
Before you look at house extensions, do you have unused garage or loft space? Loft conversions and loft extensions provide a unique space to use as a master bedroom, office, gym or play room. Converting a dark, unused space into a light and airy feature for your home will add value and provide you with much more space for your needs. Your loft may be full, and yes you will need to find space to store some of your things, but I’m willing to bet that a lot of it you will never use again. Why not have a clear out and donate to your local charity shop or sell your unloved items to someone who will make use of them? Car boot sales, eBay and Facebook are all good ways to do this.

Converting a garage will also make a great difference to the available space in your home. Whilst garages often appear high up on people’s priority lists when they’re looking for a new home, they’re very rarely used to keep a car in, especially if the house comes with sufficient driveway space. A more useful asset would be a room with lots of neat storage space. This means you can store the important things, but you’re not so tempted to hold onto something “just in case”. Just in case what exactly?

A garage conversion can have many different uses, from extending an existing room such as a kitchen or living room, to providing a whole new room for work or play. You’ll wonder what you ever did without it!

If you live in a desirable area then extending your property so you have more space, and differentiating it from every other house in the street, is a great way to potentially add value.  You don’t need to extend a property by much to make a big difference to the feel of the home, especially if you extend more than one storey. A garage conversion and first floor extension over it will create valuable space in a family home, and could add to its value.

If your extension is designed and built to a high standard, and doesn’t negatively affect the proportions of your home, then you can see a good return on your investment. Designed and built poorly, with no thought to how it fits with the overall house could leave you out of pocket with a house that suits nobody.

Smaller Investments
If your budget doesn’t run to major investment, but you’d like to make some improvements we would recommend improving your insulation, there are a number of ways this can be done, but Monocouche render is one you may not have considered. Of course, good double glazing and doors will also keep you nice and snug over the winter, and should also result in reduced energy bills.

There are many ways to invest in your property to create a better family home or to increase the sale price. If you’re not planning on moving, then we would usually recommend you consider what changes will add value to your way of life, rather than what will improve the value of your home. If they are one and the same, and you have the budget to support it, then it almost becomes a no-brainer.

Like any investment it’s important to get professional advice, and when it comes to the building side then experienced local builders can smooth the way with professional consultants such as architects and surveyors. A feasibility consultation and detailed proposal can then move the build forward with confidence through to completion, and unlike many builders we are happy to do the lot, leaving you with a finished extended and decorated new home – until you want to sell and realise your investment.



Loft conversion of a houseConversion of unused loft space may appear a daunting challenge but, in the hands of experts, can be a relatively straightforward project. Loft conversions can be fairly quick and easy, with most of the work taking place in an enclosed environment, with little disturbance to downstairs living until the breakthrough stage is encountered and stairs or services need installation.

Loft conversions can be a great way to increase the value of your home, but most people consider them for the benefits it will bring them now, and measure the return on investment in terms of comfort and convenience on a daily basis.

If you were to convert your loft, what would you use it for?

  • Spare bedroom
  • In conjunction with a garage conversion, create a granny annexe or teenagers flat
  • Studio
  • Hobby room
  • Teenagers “flat”
  • Luxury bathroom
  • Study
  • Change a bungalow to a 2 storey house

Laying loft insulationMaybe you already have your own ideas? Maybe now is a good time to turn that dream into reality? We can liaise with your architect, local planners, building control officers and stair builders. If you have the dream, we can help make it come to fruition. Watch as your truss filled loft is turned into a beautiful open space, with electrics, maybe a bathroom and then completed with plasterboard, skimming and decorating to your taste. So much more useful than a place to stash stuff that you’ll probably never use again!

Experienced builders like K.J. Hill in Bedford can make the difference between a simple conversion and a very difficult one; our experience with all trades and professions in the building industry ensures that we can support our clients throughout, so why not pick up the phone and ask us how we can help you – 01234 765050


Building extensions


House extension in Green End, RenholdIn the present climate of once again rising house prices, a building extension may well prove a financial and practical proposition. With this in mind many home owners find that after taking appropriate advice from a financial adviser, they can capitalise on the increased value of their property to fund an extension, which both extends its capacity as a family dwelling and could perform a valuable role as a financial investment, maybe as part of a retirement plan.

Once a home owner has decided this may be a viable prospect then a builder such as K.J. Hill in Bedford can help with feasibility studies and hand holding as project managers from concept through design to construction and decoration/ finishing.

We worked on a job recently where a 3 bedroom detached house with 1 bathroom was being extended to include 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. In effect this would double its footprint and turn it into a property that suited the current situation of the owners without the need to move.

House extension in Green End, RenholdThe outside of the house changed quite dramatically. The existing flat roof extension was re-worked into a pitched roof which not only looks more in keeping with the original house, but is far more durable. We managed to locally source a batch of reclaimed tiles which meant that the new roof section didn’t look new but blended beautifully with the original structure. The outside was completed by rendering the front and partially rendering the back. Even I was surprised at what a difference the rendering made to the look of the house!

House extension in Green End, RenholdInternally there was a lot of remodelling and consequent steelwork as we completely opened up the rear of the house and blended it with the new extension to create a lovely space where we fitted a beautiful kitchen diner. New bathrooms were also needed, which we were happy to fit, along with new windows and internal and external doors throughout. We completed the job with the necessary plastering and decorating to turn this extensively remodelled house into a beautiful home.

Whether you’re designing a new-build, planning a house extension or having a loft or garage conversion it’s essential that you take advice on what is possible. Give us a call today to discuss your requirements 01234 765050



Interior designThe internet and social media is really accelerating the rate of change in interior design trends. Now beautiful ideas can be spread across the world in a matter of moments and researching different ideas has never been easier. A steady increase in DIY and home renovation TV shows over the past years has meant that people aren’t afraid to try out a new colour on the walls to see if it will work, or to paint existing furniture for a whole new look; upcycling allows us to feel good by doing our bit for the environment whilst giving a new look to our homes.

When I was growing up, we were very happy living in small rooms that were set out for a particular purpose, but in more recent times we’ve embraced open-plan living, with multipurpose rooms giving the feeling of space whilst fostering the feeling of togetherness. The good news is that with the help of a good builder, plasterer and decorator either is possible.

2014 is seeing some notable changes in interior design trends. The minimalist look is leaving us behind as people are starting to experiment with new and old styles. Designers are reintroducing timeless bold patterns into our homes and are adding splashes of colours on walls that were previously our favourite shade of beige.

People are starting to crave a more homely feel again. You’ll find a modern take on timeless patterns appearing throughout homes across the country. Back in are elegant floral patterns that can add a softness and a touch of class to your home or if you want to be reminded of far-away places you’ll find an abundance of ethnic patterns to add a tropical touch. Why not be bold with your choice of patterns and have an array of mismatched but complementary patterns on your soft furnishings. A good place to start is with a mood board. This will allow you to see if everything works together, before you invest a lot of time and money.

Blues are a popular choice for this season. A myriad of different shades of blue create a beautiful backdrop throughout the home. Darker blues compliment lighter blues, with turquoise creating a bright and bold statement. Navy is huge this season, in homes and on the cat walks. It really is the new beige; it’s safe, calming and neutral – but go easy with it as even the brightest of rooms will struggle if you use too much of it!

Black and white is still with us, but these colours have changed and evolved. We’re not seeing the clinical, highly contrasting black and white that features in minimalist homes, but much softer shades from the spectrum that can be found in chic Parisienne apartments.

If blue, black and white isn’t your thing then that really doesn’t matter. You can accent your home with a palette of complimentary colours that add a touch of playfulness and happiness to your life. It’s a chance for you to express yourself and create your own haven. Rule book? What rule book!

Textures are also becoming bolder in 2014. You‘ll find everything from cowhide to velvet. Corduroy is a huge hit this season, with the soft, durable fabric being used on a whole range of furnishings. Don’t be afraid of piling on different textures for an extra-cosy effect.

Natural materials are still very popular with the honey and caramel of oak and cherry coming to the fore. These woods not only look fantastic, but are very durable; this trend has been gradually building and it looks like it’s here to stay for a while.

The economic recession has really boosted the second hand market, and unique, vintage items of furniture add a real talking point to your home. If you keep your eyes open in second hand shops and antique markets you may be lucky enough to come across something beautiful that you can guarantee no one else will have. That perfect vintage piece of furniture will reflect your style and the character of your home, but will also bring your home bang up to date.

Re-decorating is something that householders often do themselves, but if you want a really professional finish, or you can’t bear the thought of an extended period of living with dustsheets everywhere, then consider employing a professional such as KJ Hill,  who can also take care of any re-plastering that may be needed in order to create your perfect canvas.

If you’re lucky enough to be planning more extensive re-modelling such as a house extension, loft conversion, garage conversion or maybe even a complete new build then contact us to discuss your requirements, needs and dreams! We can look after all your general building requirements.