Quality Inspections and Home Improvements

We provide house and property inspections and home improvements, building and architect services  in Knoxville, Sevierville, Newport, Dandridge, Kodak, Jefferson City, Newport, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Morristown, Talbott, White Pine and surrounding areas.

We also provide consultancy and advise on property for investment, houses and homes to rent and all matters relating to home improvements and house repairs.

How a Loft Conversion can add value to your house

Sometimes the cost of a loft conversion can seem like a deterrent if you’re weighing up whether one would make a sound investment. Whilst it might seem appealing to transform your house, and provide a whole new room (or sometimes even more) whatever the size of the project, the large cost association might seem to eclipse any potential return as far as an increase in the value of your property is concerned. Typically however, an increase in value of around 20% can be expected to be added to the value of a house which has undergone such work.


The short answer then, is that if your conversion will cost less than 20% the estimated value of your house then it could well represent good value for money and a sound investment. Factor in other considerations. These might include any temporary accommodation which might need to be arranged during work along with any days you might need to take away from work, potential for work to overrun and any additional costs to decorate the space and add further furniture to really sell the space. You also might want to add to this list potential legal costs for planning permission. These, if required, will also need to count in the costs column when totting up your overall balance for the project. Get it right however, and you could find yourself with a transformed living space as well as a greater expectation of an asking price when it comes to selling. This is a useful blog to highlight some of the other practical considerations which might not immediately cross your mind in the excitement of planning out your new space.


As well as offering an appealing space, often with lots of natural light and good views which are prime determiners in selling houses, the conversion also extends the size of family or group which can live within a property. You’re essentially extending the potential market/audience for your product (the house). In these terms, you’ll have a higher price with more potential bidders and greater demand. The larger the pool of buyers for whom your house is suitable the higher the price you can expect for it. It’s simple economics.


The exact value of a loft conversion is a varied figure to try to calculate without the specifics of the space. Different properties will have different levels of potential, as dictated by the owners eye for design, the outlook of the property, the capacity of the house from a structural perspective (which is something which will need to be surveyed before design work begins) along with the shape of the space will all play a part in just how profitable and successful a conversion you can create. A spacious room with a good view and a feature window such as this conversion in Balham offers plenty of selling points above and beyond the additional living space/bedroom potential.


Be sure to do your research before hand, add up the less obvious costs as highlighted above, and use the 20% figure as a guide to calculate whether there really is profitability for your conversion plans. Failing that, a loft conversion can be a great way to add personal value to your home, and needn’t even be seen as an investment. Once you’re settled in a house and you know that you and your family will get the benefit from the addition, then the potential financial return of the work as an investment doesn’t take on the same importance.


If you’re looking at getting some work done to convert your loft, why not comment with your considerations, and let us know if there are any factors which you encounter which we haven’t covered above.

Landscaping for Cleaner Drains

roots 1553183 300x225 Landscaping for Cleaner Drains


Theres no doubting that mature trees add beauty and shade to landscapes, but their roots can cause extensive damage to sewer pipes. It’s only natural that roots from trees and shrubs grow toward sewer lines. The reason? – Quite simply, they like it there: the pipes are a bountiful source of the water, nutrients, and oxygen that roots crave. And if and when a root finds a leak, it will quickly grow into the pipe and inhibit the flow of waste, causing blockages, broken pipes and other serious headaches for homeowners.

Leeds based experienced contractors dsi-drainage.co.uk told us that “Tree roots growing inside pipes are one of the most expensive maintenance items experienced by homeowners and although the roots may originate on private property, they can damage the main utilities in the community.”

By law, each homeowner is responsible for maintaining their sewer laterals (the pipe that connects the sewer pipes in your house to the main sewer pipe, which is usually in the street). Because the pipes are buried and out of sight, homeowners usually don’t have any idea of the  potential problems in their laterals until it’s too late.

You can take some preventative measures to avoid costly repair bills by thinking about the planting on your property, especially new planting.

1 – Dial before you dig!

It’s always a good idea to know where cables, lines, and pipes are buried before doing any landscaping or planting.  Homeowners can call their local public works department to find the location of underground utilities.

2 – Create a Barrier Between Trees and Sewer Lines

There are various products available to create a barrier and discourage root growth into sewer lines.  Slow-release chemicals, such as copper sulphate and potassium hydroxide, are commonly used in residential settings to inhibit root growth.  Physical barriers are also available.

3 – Plant “Sewer-Safe” Trees and Shrubs

The best way to avoid problems from your planting is to think about your planting.  Make sure you know how large trees and shrubs will be once they are mature and how far the rootball will extend. Ideally trees should be located more than 10 feet from sewer lines to minimize root intrusion and you should choose small, slow-growing species with less aggressive root systems, and replace them before they get too large for their planting area.