Monday, October 21, 2019

How to Renovate a Building into a Restaurant or Café

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Many investors dream of opening a restaurant or café, and if you’ve bought a property that’s a fixer-upper, you may be considering turning it into a dining establishment. While you will no doubt have some ideas about what you want the finished product to look like, it can be a challenge to put these ideas into practice and create a space that’s both practical and stylish. Here are some tips to get you started:
Come up with a concept
It’s not enough to say “I want to open a restaurant” or “I’m going to open a café”; you need to ensure you stand out from the other places in your town or city, without alienating your core customers. While the statistic about 90% of restaurants failing in their first year is false, the failure rate is about 17%, which is still a gamble for investors. A lot of the time it’s because not enough research has been done, so they’ve either opened in an overcrowded local market, opened something inappropriate for the local area, or simply not offered good value for money.
Think about the space available
Restaurant space really needs to have a flow, the foyer needs to be open and welcoming, the dining room should be easy for servers to get around, and there needs to be easy access between the kitchen and the dining area. Take a look at how the building is laid out and think about the practicalities of turning it into a restaurant. Look at some examples of restaurant floor plans to see what other people have done and whether this might work for you. 
Think about the décor
Once you have the concept for your restaurant and an idea about how you’ll use the space, ideas for the décor should come naturally. You want something that’ll be appropriate for the sort of restaurant in terms of style, so think about your cuisine, average customer, and how formal or casual your restaurant will be. You might want to start looking for restaurant tables and other furniture and pick these out first, then from there, start planning colors, decoration and the finishing touches. It’s worth working with an interior designer, as although this can be expensive, they can help you achieve an up-to-date look and a unique style.
Consult with your chef and staff
When you’re renovating the kitchen area, it’s worth working closely with your chef, especially in the lead up to opening. An experienced chef will have worked in many different kitchens over the years, so will no doubt have lots of thoughts about what works and what doesn’t. If this is your first restaurant or café opening, it’s important to take feedback on board from those who’ve done it before. 
Many people think they can open a restaurant, but it is a tough renovation project and requires a lot of vision. It’s important to have a realistic budget in mind and to hire professionals to take you through the project, so you have the best possible chance of getting it right first time.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Getting Your Home Ready for the Market: A Guide

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It can be very difficult to detach yourself from a beloved home and force yourself to have the objective and analytical mind needed to prepare a property for the market. However, if you want your home to sell, there are certain steps you must take in order to improve your chances in a competitive market. 
Make Sure to Declutter 
Moving home is the perfect time to prioritize your belongings, not only because it allows for a much tidier atmosphere for when potential buyers are viewing, but because it also means less items for you to have to transport over to your new home. Eliminating clutter from your home can give the impression of a property having more space, as well as it having a more clean and inviting feel. 
Invest in Improved Windows 
Upgraded windows can really add significant value to your property, as well as improving the overall look of your home and reducing issues such as visible condensation. Installing double glazed windows is a beneficial investment, as you should make your money back when your home comes to sell. Potential buyers may be deterred by any home which only has single glazing and which they need to upgrade themselves; a task many buyers may not be prepared to do. 
Try a Fresh Coat of Paint
A new coat of paint can make your home look fresh and ready. Especially in lighter shades such as white or cream, a fresh paint job can provide a light and airy feel, and really open up a space to allow it to feel a lot bigger. Buyers may also prefer the option of a fresh canvas in order to put their own stamp on the property, rather than having to deal with the previous homeowner’s bold and eccentric wallpaper choices.
Store Away Personal Items 
A potential buyer will like to envisage themselves in your property in order to see whether they are best suited for it. It’s difficult for a buyer to do this if your home is overrun and abundant with personal items such as family photographs and ornaments. Although you still want the property to feel like your home while you’re still living in it, it’s a good idea to store away your more treasured, personal items while viewings are taking place. You can always display them again once the viewing has finished.
Update the Front Door 
The exterior of a property can sometimes be neglected when it comes to home improvements. Yet the exterior is the first thing a buyer will see when they arrive for a property viewing, and often it’s this first impression which can affect their decision. Having an attractive and welcoming front door can actually make all the difference. A solid and upgraded door not only gives the buyer a sense of security, but it can also add a cleaner and more stylish look to your property’s exterior, especially if the previous door was in a shabby condition.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

How To Get Your House Ready For Winter

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The nights are getting longer, the temperatures are falling and the leaves are changing colour: it’s definitely that time of year when we leave summer behind and get into autumn. Before you know it, there’ll be ice on the car and snow on the ground.

These first few weeks of cooler weather usually prompt us to dig out the big, cosy sweaters and boots as the seasons change. Some of us start putting the heating on in the evenings and - would you believe it? - you’re still feeling a bit chilly.

If you feel the cold even after putting on the heating and adding several layers, you may wish to see where all that heat is going and how you can warm up your home. Here are some hints and tips to help you out.

Look at insulation
Most of the heat generated from your home’s boiler is lost through your roof (25%) and walls (35%) so, if you have a chilly house, have a look at these and see what you can do. It may be that you need to improve what insulation you’ve already got, or add any that’s not been installed at all.

Try putting in roof insulation first, as this will be relatively easy and cheap to do. There are many different options for you to choose from, so see what best suits your situation.

How you insulate your walls depends on the age of your property: if it was built before the 1920s it will probably have solid walls, and anything before will usually have cavity ones. Cavity walls can be injected with an insulating material; solid walls need insulating either internally or externally.

Also check for gaps around external doors, for example. If you find any - and this will include items such as letter openings on doors, or chimneys - draught-proof them so you don’t lose heat from these areas.

Boost your heating
First, have a look at your boiler. If it’s an old, inefficient unit, you may want to think about replacing it for something newer and more cost-effective.

Also, check out your radiators. If they take a while to warm up, it may be because there’s trapped air in them, valves are open or shut when they shouldn’t be, or the radiators themselves need to be flushed.

If you have any large rooms in your house, you may want to add another heating unit to help make this area a little warmer for those cooler times. One option you could consider is a balanced flue gas stove: it has the good looks and cosy nature of a wood-burning stove, but the convenience and control of gas heating. This would be great in a living room where you spend time with your friends and family.

Check your windows
About 10% of your home’s heat will escape through your windows. This will be through small gaps that may be the result of age or the windows being badly installed, and radiation through the glazing.

The way your windows open may also affect how efficient they are at keeping heat in. Sash windows are usually less efficient than other types.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Guide to Updating an Old Property

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While you might have fallen deeply in love with a historic property’s architectural design and features, it might require an injection of modernity to bring it up to the standards of 21st-century living.

If you want to make important tweaks and changes to your home without losing its charm and character, read this informative guide to updating an old property.

Install Spray Foam Insulation
Older buildings are often a little draftier compared to modern properties, as they won’t feature the same level of insulation. If you want to keep the bitter cold out of your home, you should install spray foam insulation to make your property warmer and more energy efficient. It is one of the most effective solutions for preventing air infiltration via your property’s joints, seams, and cracks. Contact a spray foam insulation contractor at

Sand and Re-stain Your Flooring
If you are lucky enough to have bought a home with natural wood flooring, you should consider hiring a specialist firm to refurbish them for you. For example, they can effectively sand and re-stain the flooring, which will make them look as good as new without losing their charm. If, however, you need to install new flooring, opt for either new or refurbished wood that can complement period properties.

Highlight Decorative Focal Points
If an older property features decorative focal points that are filled with character, you should aim to highlight them to create an impressive home you’ll proudly show off to your loved ones.

For example, you should spruce up stained glass, an antique fireplace or period moldings, which will ensure your home exudes tradition and charm. Regularly cleaning the decorative features will also prevent them from looking tired and outdated, which could detract from your interior design.

Mix Period Items with Modern Features
Complement an older property’s history and architecture by incorporating period items into your home. For example, you could install a Victorian fireplace into your dining room or an Art Deco armchair into your living room. It will add a touch of sophistication and timeless style into your home, which can mix perfectly with modern upgrades, such as a TV or smart home device.

Stick with Traditional Designs
It doesn’t matter if you’re installing a light fitting, radiator or cabinet, you should invest in traditional designs that can create an elegant home. There are also many modern pieces on the market that can accurately emulate an era, such as Gothic Influence, Georgian or Art Deco, and investing in the replica furniture and furnishings will not break the bank.

Expose the Beautiful Brickwork

The older your home, the more beautiful the brickwork underneath will be. Rather than hiding your walls away, you could uncover your property’s bricks to create an industrial, rustic interior design. While many people are stocking up on brick wallpaper, you could embrace the real thing that won’t look out of place in your period property. So, consider stripping an entire wall or chimney breast back to its original state, which will undoubtedly draw your guests’ eye.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

4 New Ways To Enjoy Your Garden

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If you’re going to go to the effort to put in and maintain a garden, then you may as well enjoy it. You don’t want all of your hard work to go to waste and not make any time for this beautiful investment once it’s in place. Don’t worry if you’re new to the activity and need a little help getting it to look nice.  

Be glad to know that there are a few new ways for how you can use your garden and that you may want to consider doing in the future. What’s most important is that you get a lot of use out of it and feel that installing a garden was worth your time and energy at the end of the day. Most importantly, have some fun putting it together and take pleasure in up keeping and preserving it. 

1. For Your Health & Well-being
One new way to enjoy your garden is to use it as a way to boost your mental and physical health. Gardening is a great way to relax and is also a mindful activity that is worth working into your routine. You’ll be burning a few calories in the process of maintaining it and can use it as a way to escape from all your other household responsibilities and tasks. A few hours in your garden and you’ll soon forget about your stress and any worries you have.

2. The View
In addition, you can enjoy your garden more by stepping back and taking in the view every once in a while. Head to and consider upgrading your garden by adding a beautiful and soothing pond and some mood lighting. Once the look is complete, consider taking in your new view while you meditate and clear your mind once in a while. Think about building your garden in a place where you can easily see it from your kitchen windows while you wash dishes or have a meal as well.

3. Dinner Party
Another new way to enjoy your garden is to use it as a place to entertain your guests or visitors. For example, host a dinner party and set up your seating in and around the garden to create a unique and classy environment. It’ll feel like you’re outdoors at a restaurant without even having to leave your home. Your guests will appreciate the rare chance to eat a meal in an attractive and lush garden area. 

4. Furniture & Fire Pit
Finally, you should think about adding furniture and a fire pit in your garden space. This way you can enjoy your garden with friends and family in your free time. You’ll have places for people to sit and relax and will be able to keep warm on cool, fall nights in your garden. You’ll love having all of the gorgeous plants, flowers, and herbs that will be surrounding your get together. The fire pit will set the mood, and before you know it, you’ll all be resting around the fireside engaged in good conversation.
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