Adding a conservatory is one of the most popular forms of home improvements in New Zealand. Not only will a conservatory improve the aesthetics of your NZ home, it will also increase its value, so that should you ever decide to sell, your house will not spend too long in the market, and will also attract a high price.
Whether you are adding a conservatory because you want to just create a restful space in your home, or to add value to your property, it is important that you go about it the right way. So here are our top 10 tips for adding a conservatory to your New Zealand home.
- Get the necessary planning permission
Depending on where in New Zealand your property is, you may be required to apply for and receive planning permission before carrying out modifications on your property. Known as planning permission or approval, this is typically needed for external modifications and home improvement projects that will affect the original structure of your house.
Not every home improvement work will require planning permission, so it is important you confirm first before proceeding. If you are working with a reliable conservatory company, they can tell you if your location requires permission and help you do the necessary paperwork.
- Find out the value of your investment
If the main objective of your conservatory is to add value to your property, you should consider first finding out just how much value you can expect to add before investing in such a huge financial undertaking.
The best way to do this is to consult with local property agents on the estimated prices of houses with conservatories in your area. Research suggests that you should expect between 5 to 15% increase in value but it never hurts to be sure. Property estates have a wealth of information in this area as they will likely have sold houses with conservatories in the past.
- Get quotes from multiple companies
Whenever you need any work done, it pays to get quotes from multiple companies. The same thing applies to when you want to build a conservatory. When you get quotes from multiple companies, you stand a better chance of getting a better deal as you will have different companies to compare against each other.
Of course, price alone should not be your deciding factor, as the best price does not necessarily mean the best company, instead, also request to see a portfolio of their past jobs, as well as reviews and recommendations from past customers.
- Don’t be cheap
The truth of the matter is that building a conservatory is an expensive home improvement project. If you insist on searching out the cheapest company to build your conservatory, it may end up making your property worth less instead of more. In fact, a cheap project will probably be characterised by shoddy workmanship and low grade materials, which will result in wear and tear in very little time.
- Build something the complements your house
A conservatory is meant to blend in with the rest of the property and complement your house. In fact, it should look like part of the original design rather than like an afterthought. If it is too big, it can dwarf your house, too small, and you may not have as much usable space as you require.
Also, it is important that the materials match the ones on your windows and doors. If you currently have aluminium windows, then it makes sense that your conservatory should be aluminium also. This way, you can avoid bad contrast that could throw off potential buyers.
- Pay attention to orientation
Conservatories are meant to provide direct natural light and uninterrupted view for the people inside. This is why it is one of the warmest and most energy efficient parts of the house. To enjoy this level of energy efficiency, you have to get the orientation of your conservatory just right.
For example, a south-facing conservatory will attract more natural light, making it the ideal place for the cold months.
- Consider energy efficiency
That your conservatory is facing the right way is not enough to guarantee energy efficiency throughout the season. You should also take practical steps to retain heat during the cold months. For example, you can also invest in quality blinds and thick carpets. This will make your conservatory warm and friendly, so much so that people will want to spend lots of time there.
Apart from the economic advantage of adding a conservatory to your house, this home improvement project is also meant to be more aesthetic than practical. In fact, they are designed to be spaces where family and friends can hang out on a free day. Therefore, when planning for your conservatory, the most important consideration is that it must be a place where people will enjoy hanging out, whether there are house plants there or not.
What Are the Benefits of Helping Others?
When you can help others in any way (and there are many ways it can be done, from volunteering your time, donating your money, teaching others how to do something, and more), you will benefit from it. We know that helping others can make you feel good, but there is more to it than that. In fact, there are some scientifically backed reasons why helping others can help you just as much, or even more. Read on to find out more.
You Might Live Longer
Helping others has been shown to increase your lifespan. Research has actually shown that by helping out in somewhere like a soup kitchen, or coaching a local baseball team, or even learning about public safety at Wilfrid Laurier Online and then putting those new skills into action can help you to live longer.
When studied, it was shown that people who volunteer regularly were able to improve their immune systems and therefore were not so prone to getting diseases and conditions that might otherwise have killed them. Some of the reasons considered for this include the fact that volunteering prevents loneliness (and loneliness can make the immune system weaker, plus it can cause depression), and that you can make new friends (which is proven to be a healthy thing to do).
You Help More People Than You Realize
Another benefit of helping others is that you will usually be helping many more people than those you are in direct contact with. They say that altruism – the act of selflessly helping other people – is an act that causes ripple to spread out far and wide, and that does make sense. The person or people you are helping will be able to go on to help others, imparting the knowledge they learned from you to ensure other people have more productive, successful lives.
Also, you could be helping the people who may not know they need help themselves but who are dealing with those who are clearly in need of help, the ones you are keen to deal with. These are people who live with those who need help, for example, such as children and partners. If you are giving someone the support they need, those people will benefit too.
You’ll Feel Happy
One of the most straightforwardand most important benefits of helping others is that it will make you feel happy. Happiness should not be underrated, and it may surprise you when you stop to think about the last time you were truly happy. It might be a lot longer ago than you thought.
When you are happy, your hormones are in balance, and you feel more confident, more productive, and your mental health benefits too. You are more likely to exercise when you are happy and to seek out new things to do. All in all, happiness is something we should all strive for every day, but in a busy world where work always seems to be so important, satisfaction is difficult to attain.
Unless that is, you can help others. Even if no one else knows what you did, your memory of the act and your pleasure at being able to assist someone, no matter how small the assistance might have been, will make you happy. This heightened sense of wellbeing will help you to cope with anything negative that might come your way and make you more resilient should you need to deal with emergencies and problems.
Your Chronic Pain May Be Relieved
If you are suffering from chronic – long term – pain, it might seem as though there is nothing that can be done other than trying to reduce that pain as much as possible with medication or perhaps exercise. The truth is that there are several ways that chronic pain can be somewhat soothed, and some research will help you determine which of these methods will help you the most – speaking to your doctor is also a good idea if you are thinking of trying any of them.
One of the ideas that might appeal to you when it comes to alleviating chronic pain is helping others. According to one study, people who are often able to help other people, either through their work or through volunteering in some way, found that their chronic pain was reduced. Although we still don’t know what causes this, it is likely to be to do with the different chemical levels in your body.
Your Blood Pressure Will Lower
Having high blood pressure continually is bad for you. It can lead to heart problems and other health concerns, including putting you at risk of a stroke. Most of the time, you will be told what you can’t do and what you should give up to help your blood pressure lower, but did you know that helping others – actively doing something rather than doing nothing – can help to reduce your blood pressure too?
Research states that helping others (and ideally volunteering for at least 200 hours a year) has lowered the blood pressure of many previously at-risk patients. In fact, their high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) was reduced by as much as 40 percent. The reasons for this might be that they are not feeling stressed, that they are not feeling lonely and that they can feel true happiness.
You’ll Have A Sense of Purpose
If you’ve ever felt that there is more to life than what you are currently doing, and you think you lack a sense of purpose, deciding to go out and help other people can change everything for you in a positive way. When you are helping others, perhaps in a job that deals with public safety or in a volunteer capacity, you will feel a much higher sense of self-worth and purpose.
Feeling a sense of purpose in life can change everything. You will look for new opportunities to enhance this new feeling, for example, and you might think about going back to school so that you can change your current life for the better. It all starts when you look for ways to help others.