The Home And Finances – How Can You Improve The Value Of Your Property?

When it comes to your home, it’s already worth a large amount of money on the property market. However, there’s a catch. There is a lot of the home that you can’t influence and change. For example, you can’t alter the location of the property, you can’t change your neighbours, and you can’t change how close you are to shops or a motorway. However, what you can change is the way that you improve the financial value of your own home, and we’re going to be taking a look at that here and now. Loft conversions and home extensions are big projects and we understand the financial implications of large scale home renovations and we always get asked the different options in financing these projects. We talk through some ways below.

Homeowners Loan – The Way Forward?

One definitive way to improve the value of your property is to get a homeowners loan. This kind of loan is something which is granted to people who own their property and can begin to make modifications and alterations to it. This may seem like something which may not be a financially beneficial situation for all parties, but it’s worth considering in another way. If you choose to get a loan for your property, and then that property has a new kitchen or a conservatory installed, then you’re going to get a return on your property, because the total value of your property is going to go up. Each new thing that you take the time to install and set up in the home will add to the value of the property, which will, in turn, mean that you can sell it for more and make more back overall.

Homeowners loans are often useful for people moving house because it grants them a whole new space to advertise when it comes to selling up and moving on. If you had a loft which was older and not used, and you got a homeowners loan, then you could use it to improve upon that space and make it a usable place on your property. If you’re going to sell your home and move to a new location, then it does make sense to try and make the property you currently have the most attractive and valuable it can be.

Other Financial Options For The Home Improvement

One thing you could consider is a loan from a third party. While these can be potentially difficult to navigate, it may well be worth considering it as an option. What you would need to do, in that situation, is compare the amount you’re going to pay back overall against the amount you’d make in the long term. So for example, if you borrowed money to get a new modern kitchen, you’d need to weigh up the amount you’d have to pay back in interest and such against the total value your property would increase by when it came to selling and moving house.

The same logic can be applied to a loft conversion or any other home improvement. It’s all about comparing the options available to you. By looking carefully at the amount, you’ll spend against the total amount your property will increase by will help you to make the best possible decision when it comes to deciding if you’re going to spend any amount of money.

You can sometimes get grants for home improvements, although this depends upon the home you live in. Sometimes local authorities or the government will aid you in making improvements to your home because it’s in their interests to do so as well. This might well often be the case when it comes to properties owned by a local council, as they’ll want to make sure that the property is worth more so that they gain more in the long term. The problem with a grant, however, is that there’s a lot of different criteria for getting one, and you have to have a very specific set of circumstances to get approved for a grant, so this option isn’t quite worth relying on as much.

Alternatively, you can just save up the funding required for the home improvements yourself. Obviously, this is recommended for people who don’t want to find themselves in debt to anyone or can’t afford to accumulate more debt in their lives. In this case, it’s wise to get multiple quotes for the kitchen renovation, loft conversion or other home improvement, and then select the least expensive one, or the one who strikes you as being the best for your situation. You don’t want to make a mistake when it comes to finances, as you might find yourself paying for two sets of work; the initial job completed at a lower quality, and then another to put right any mistakes made by the first team.

Overall, there are several finance options available to you if you decide to invest in home improvements. A loan is your best bet for people who do not want to raise funds themselves, with a homeowners loan often being the wisest course of action. The issue which you may encounter with a third party loan is that you’re sometimes at the mercy of a companies policies about loans and their interest rates, however high they may be. Grants can be quite circumstantial, but that’s not to devalue their potential worth. It is sometimes best for you to take the donation if you can get it, and then you don’t have to worry about navigating loans or funding the project yourself. Obviously, the option you decide to go with will be based entirely on personal preferences and your situation. Making home improvements is nearly always a wise choice, as it will raise the value of your property in the long term and ensure that you have more money left for yourself when the property is sold. However, financing these kinds of endeavours is often what people struggle with, and it is down to you to pick the best way to go about financing them. However, choosing to make a home improvement will be worth it in the long run, and is something you should consider if possible.

If you want to talk about your options for your next home build project in Herts or North London why not get in touch with us today

What’s Trending For London Homes in 2018

2017 was a great year for homeowners in London and Hertfordshire and we have seen a upsurge in new and innovative ways to open up your space in your home. More and more homeowners looked for loft conversions and kitchen extensions in 2017 and this trend doesn’t look like it is going to falter going in to 2018.

So we thought we would check out what is going to be hot in 2018 and what homeowners may want to look out for that will help increase the value of properties and ensure that your home is still desirable should you ever want to sell in the future.

So, in 2018 what should you be looking at in terms of house building trends?

The Hygge Trend

Hygge is the Danish word for well being and over the last 12 months we have seen this trend become more and more popular. London homes are adopting this well being feeling into the build of the homes and this achieved by using simple and more neutral materials to create the contemporary feel with the use of time defying features such as bare brick walls with the log burning stoves and creating the warm features such as exposed RSJ’s when appropriate with contemporary furniture.

Scandinavian techniques are always popular, but we are not talking IKEA, we are looking in to more artisan designs such as stripped parquet flooring and more clean plastering.

London homes have been adopting this method now for a year and we feel that in 2018 our customers are going to be looking more into this as well being and build work closer together to help define modern day building techniques in North London and Herts.

Open Plan Living – But A Splash of Privacy

We all know that North London homes can be on the small side if budget doesn’t allow for the bigger houses in the area, but we know that opening up your space in the build is always a build factor and open plan living gives you the space to entertain and dine and bring the wow factor to any home. However, you may want open plan living but you will also want a room in the home that has privacy which could be a reception room at the front or even a snug area in your home where you can truly get away and relax. This is perfect if you have kids too, as the oldies always need a space to unwind and relax. Snugs can be built in with partition walls off the main area and are pretty cost effective.

Crittall Doors

Are you looking for timeless elegance? Then look no further than crittall doors, this is the creme de la creme of aluminium windows and doors and those in the know, know that nothing is better than Crittall. The designs are stunning and with the new and improved advances in glazing we are seeing more and more and people choose them for kitchen extensions and home extensions rather than choosing bifolding doors. You have the cross over of contemporary with the feel of traditional which is a winning formula going in to 2018.

If you are thinking of extending your property in 2018 then crittall windows and doors should be on your list.


When you think of Barnet, Herts and London there are certain types of property that come to mind. For places like Muswell Hill you can find lovely Edwardian Terraces with stunning sash sliding windows that are architecturally different to the homes say of the Victorian era. Victorian homes are more common in the North London areas and harp back to the gothic times. So, preserving the feel of your home period property is important so you need to keep working on small cosmetic changes such as maybe aluminium windows to the rear but keep the front face of the building true to the street.

Also, it is about using materials from the local area too, this is also important in keeping the aesthetics of the home to the London area and also help the local economy which is always nice to buy local.

Where Home Office Meets Home

With the rise of technology we are seeing more and more homeowners working from home and there needs to be a balance in the home where you can separate the work environment from the main part of the house. When some homes lack space, new and innovative ways of creating space where you can concentrate away from the kids and distractions that home offices can bring. You’ll need to be creative, but this is where a good home builder comes in to play.

  • You will need to be in a great wifi area or close to ethernet points or the router in the home.
  • You want as much light as possible as this is where you will spend most of your waking day.
  • Try to sound proof the partition walls around the room.

5 Characteristics Of London Homes

Whether it is a nod to the past or a hopeful gaze to the future, trends continue to come and go, influencing the choices of many people all at once. You can tell you are in London just by looking at the buildings around you with grand Edwardian and Victorian buildings being converted tastefully with a nod to the past. When you’re looking for ideas of a  London property to bring to your own design, you want to make sure that whatever you do choose is up to date and trending. To try and ensure that you can choose the best possible trends for your London home, we’re compiling some of them here for you to look at. As the premier builders Barnet North London, we have a team of professional tradesmen as well as interior design ideas and concepts that will help you make a decision in your London home.

Bay windows – Make Them A Feature

bay window north London home

One trend which will look great is the addition of bay windows to your London home. The bay window has been in use since the Middle Ages but was most popular during the Victorian Era. The design itself uses some small and sometimes narrow windows which are all connected, which sometimes jut out from the wall they’ve been installed into. The bay window can be a desirable choice for a London property as the design carries an air of elegance and timelessness, and is equally at home in a more modern build as it would have been during the Victorian Era. 

Bricks and Brass – Open The Brickwork

This is a style which takes its roots from the Edwardian Era, but would still be perfect for your London property. The focus is primarily on exposing the core elements of the household, and not hiding from the foundations. This took shape in the form of exposed rustic brickwork, as well as brass knockers on the doors, and was a very traditional look, which was in keeping with the Edwardian style of mixing older ideas with what was new concepts at the time to create the best of both worlds. This design trend would look right at home in your London home, combining the best of modern architecture with an old fashioned traditional design.

Georgian Doors – Perfect For Period Properties

Looking now into the Georgian era of design, this is more of a focus on the door which serves as the main entrance into the property. The basic premise here is that the door was one of the first things that guests and the owner would see as they came closer to the property, so there was a large emphasis on making them look as regal as possible, in keeping with the elegant style which was present in a lot of Georgian design. The door would have been surrounded by columns and entablature, which was reminiscent of Roman architecture and added to the very over the top style, but a choice which worked very well. Regardless of where your property is in London, this trend would be right at home, combining two very elaborate yet sophisticated eras with your existing design work. 

Edwardian Feature Windows – Sash Windows Shine

Another type of trend which would work well for you is the feature windows which gained popularity in the Edwardian era. Taking an example from the Edwardian tradition of blending old and new concepts together, the feature window was something that was immensely popular and were often smaller in design, which helped to contribute to the quite picturesque feeling of the housing. They were often contrasted with the big extravagant windows of the Georgian era, which makes for a design which blends together better than you’d expect. This would be a great addition to your London property, helping to recapture some of the old-timey elegance and wonder that was prevalent in so much of the older building designs. 

Victorian Stucco – Central London Styling

Our final trend which would look stunning in a London home takes its conception from the Victorian era, which was the period that came before the colourful Edwardian time. While the bright colours and aesthetics of it’s successor were well received, they were in sharp contrast to the somewhat muted and darker look of the Victorian Era. The notion behind this one was to apply a substance called stucco, which was a plaster type material, over the brickwork on the housing to create something which resembled stone. The overall look and feel of the building reminds of an old fashioned church and castle and also pays homage to the churches and castles which were more commonly in use during that time.

Coming straight from the end of the industrial revolution, the design was part of a shift back towards traditional builds which came from the Tudor era of the country. As a nod to the past, while working with the future, this design trend would look very good within your London property, as a way of combining the very old designs with a new build of a house to bridge the gap between the eras.

Overall, these are the five design trends which would look good for your London home, while borrowing from older eras to create a vintage look. In what is considered a very modern era, with all the technological advancements that are happening every day, a return to older and more simplistic eras, such as the case of the Edwardian or Victorian times, could be seen as a stand against modernity and an attempt to preserve history. Alternatively, the extravagance and over the top nature of the Georgian design trends would fit in very well against a backdrop of modern technology, blending a new age touch with a nod to the past, united with the common aim of elegance and sophistication. The windows, which come from various eras, would all fit into London properties with ease, and depending on what you’re after can really change the look and feel of a property. The ornate and impressive looking door designs which were so popular with the Georgian era are similar to the type of work seen on government buildings and suggest class and sophistication. Alternatively, in a throwback to the traditional Tudor designs, the emulation of stone onto the walls of your properties could make for an extremely old fashioned, yet very popular design which has been present for hundreds of years and thus is considered timeless.

Here at Foster & Co we understand that each home is different, some homes we refurbish are done tastefully to a period property and other properties are completely modern and contemporary and we also have clients that fuse the two so we have the stunning exo skeleton of a Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian home fused with the modern interior and loft conversion to create extra space in the home. To thrive in the building market in London, you have to know London and the different property characteristics, this is where we come in, if you are looking to refurbish your home, add a loft or make any structural changes then why not speak to a member of our team today for a free consultation.

Traditional Architect V Design & Build

As a building contractor there is that age old debate about the advantages and disadvantages of using an architect for build or going down the design and build route. As an new age company we personally feel that design and build is now trumping the traditional architect route and here we explain why design and build works so well for North London homes.


One entity is accountable for everything including how the end result looks, how much it costs and the timeline of completion. When the same group that designs the project also builds the project, there tends to be much more attention given to pricing and scheduling in the design phase. The cost of everything is taken into account early on in the process; all fees, construction costs, utilities, landscaping allowances – everything. Conversely, it is not unusual to hear from people that “their remodel cost twice as much as the architect said it would” – such a scenario creates deep customer distrust and cannot occur in the design & build priced model. Design & build focuses on results, not procedures.

Everyone in the same boat

When your designers and builders are on the same team there is less chance of disagreements and conflict ensuring that the build process will be much smoother and in the end probably cheaper. Less blame culture and more about working cohesively to make the project work.

Good line of communication

When you are working on the same team and your projects are in full flow, we always meet issues, hurdles and problems that need to be overcome. Working directly in line with the designer and build team means that because the communication is so concise, the work flow works better and therefore the overall project is more efficient as a result.


When managing even a small scale project such as a kitchen extension, loft conversion right up to full home refurbishments it needs to be micromanaged to ensure that all the different trades coming in are coordinated in situ with each other. Where projects can really slip up is the communication as to when the first fix team finishes from groundworks to planning on when the plasterers, plumbers, glazers all need to be in to complete their tasks. Working directly with the designer ongoing allows for the build team to be better coordinated and therefore better results all round.

Mutual Interests

When you both have the same interests and goals, you will always find that you work better as a team. An architect may draw up plans, but not always around when the build is going through. Ensuring your designer is with you every step of the way means that you will get a more productive output.

In short here at Foster & Co, we can work with architects but we are finding as we move on in the 21st century that design and build done by experienced builders works better all round for everyone involved from the designer, builders, tradespeople to the client. Essentially saving you money, headaches and longer turnarounds on projects. Having been a professional building company in North London and Hertfordshire for many years now, we have organically leaned towards the working with designers ongoing and working closely with the clients to achieve the desired results.

Fifty Shades of Grey – The Foster and Co Group looks at the Trend of the Twenty Tens!!


How the colour Grey is donminating the world!


The Foster and Co Group are always on the lookout for new trends and exciting designs that will inspire our work. An article in the Daily Mail published on 15th January 2016 shows the 2016 Houzz Awards. For those who do not know about Houzz, it is a fantastic site that not only allows users to not only make ‘idea boards’ very much like the Pinterest website but also can match users to local professionals based on their inspirations and their location. The Awards represent the images that have featured on the most ‘Idea Boards’



The Foster and Co Group are just getting started with Houzz and to view our new Houzz Page, click on the link featured. We invite you all to join us as we build our Profile and hope very much to see ourselves in these awards this time next year!



In the meantime, let’s talk about one of the trends featured in the Best of Houzz 2016 Awards. The first reoccurring trend that has been steadily growing since the beginning of the Twenty Tens and seems its popularity is still on the rise. It is none other, that the colour Grey and it is still predicted to be seen in the majority of projects throughout 2016. This trend is not just apparent in Home design, it is flourishing through fashion, electrical gadgets, make up and even Hair Colour!





The definition of grey is said to be is an “intermediate colour between black and white. It is a neutral or achromatic colour, meaning literally that it is a colour “without colour” It was always thought to be a boring, plain colour in the past, often associated with introverts and dowdiness. However, a massive fascination in the last few years have seen this colour propel to the heights of sophistication and Chicness. It is the colour of the moment, even the colour of the decade as described in an article from April 2014 in the Guardian. This article states some hard facts of the colours popularity including a rise of 4.1% since 2012 on grey paint according to Dulux and also 20 of the 132 colours of the Farrow and Ball shades classified as Grey, a 10% increase!




The images shown in the Daily Mail Best of Houzz 2016 Awards feature a strong ‘grey’ presence and in one particular image posted by Janey Butler even describe this to be a ‘calming colour scheme throughout’


Whether the colour Grey means trendy and chic or calming and peaceful, The Foster and Co Group are sure we will continue to see this across our stunning builds throughout this year!

To keep up to date with the Trends of 2016, keep following our blogs and to discuss your own projects, get in touch with the Foster and Co Group Office, Click on the link below!

The Foster and Co Group – The Construction Specialists.


A Beautiful House To Give Inspiration On Your North London Construction Project!


At Foster and Co, we believe in beautiful design and stunning Construction. Although of course, we set our standards high, it is always inspirational for us to see amazing homes across the country. Whilst researching current news on Construction in the UK, I came across a great property in Hyde Heath, Buckinghamshire with an outstanding feature that even the most mature of us would appreciate!

At the bottom of a fantastically big garden sites a true feat of brilliant construction and most importantly, fun design.   The fully functional Tree House is described in the article as supported by four Douglas firs and a cypress… double-glazing, a wood-burning stove, an electricity supply, hot and cold running water, a television and a coffee-maker. It has 160 sq ft. of indoor floor space and 120 sq ft. of outdoor decking, and can sleep up to five people in its ‘loft beds’, reached by ladders.

Foster and Co love imaginative construction. Whether this is inside a property or in the garden, it is always great to see such inventive ideas which can make a building a home.

Obviously there were extensive construction works in the house as well at creating the tree house. The work is described as the house being completely gutted and taken back to brick. A basement was added as was a full Loft conversion. The finished house is made up of three stories with six bedrooms and two bathrooms.

If you are considering you own Construction Project in North London or Hertfordshire then please contact the Foster and Co Group now where our helpful office team will be more than happy to assist you as best they can. You can also click on the Foster and Co gallery Link for more inspiration


Great Design Can Make A House A Home – Your Build in North London and Hertfordshire

Why Your Build In North London And Hertfordshire Needs A Great Design!

The Foster and Co Group are avid followers of great design. Your Build in North London or Hertfordshire should not only comply with planning regulations but also be designed in a beautiful and functional way. A great design for domestic development can turn your existing property in to something incredible, either using intelligent use of space to provide storage or brilliant features which can boost the financial value of your home. Whatever your reason is for taking on a Build in North London or Hertfordshire, good design should be a high priority.

An Article published in Luxury Homes and Property on 23rd September 2015 discusses a Notting Hill typical terraced property which has now doubled in value due to a brilliant Extension. This is mainly due to a great design which has accentuated every crevice and corner of the existing building and extended cleverly in the unused space. The extension uses double height where it can which give the illusion it is much bigger than it is. Double height ceilings also allow for clever glazing ideas to let in as much light as possible.

The Foster and Co Group are Construction Company that are able to work with our client in order to achieve the absolute most out of their build. Not only do we offer a budget matching service where we can submit design ideas which incorporate all your key features but within your budget but also we can assist on recommendations as the project evolves.

It is common knowledge in the building Industry that projects are subject to change whilst the building progresses. This is because drawings do not give the three dimension building full credit and often when a build begins to take shape, certain areas may need to be changed due to client preference or simple design aesthetics.

The Foster and Co Team are extremely experienced in completing a high quality Build in North London and Hertfordshire. We have perfected our talent at producing beautiful structures that have truly changed the home owner’s lives and we hope you too are inspired by our Projects.

Contact The Foster and Co Group to start your Building Journey.




North London and Hertfordshire Builders are a success!

The construction industry shows off its fantastic career prospects for North London and Hertfordshire Builders

There has been much media attention to how successful a career can be for North London and Hertfordshire Builders and in fact Builders across the whole of the UK. New CITB figures show that are described in an article from the Liverpool Echo show that construction industry outstrips average wage rates which would make you think that young people leaving school today would be jumping at the thought of getting in to the construction industry.

However, despite these new figures, the Industry is still suffering from a shortage of tradesmen. It seems that the preconceptions of heavy lifting and filthy work sites are still strong and the thought of working in a trade does not bring to mind intelligence, success and authority.

Foster and Co’s North London and Hertfordshire Builders are a great example of how wrong these preconceptions are. Our teams are made up of extremely skilled people who have not only perfected their abilities in beautiful builds but also have used their creativity and intellect to problem solve and move past challenges that we have faced on some of our projects. Our North London and Hertfordshire  builders are talented individuals who work together to create some stunning developments. From the mathematics in the structural calculations, to the client relations and the creative responses to evolving buildings, Our Foster and Co North London and Hertfordshire builders can be replied on to transform your property in to something beautiful.

Unfortunately, it is true that these brilliant North London and Hertfordshire builders are hard to find and in the words of an article published by Sourceable industry news and analysis; “a shortage of tradespeople and apprentices is threatening future productivity”

the article in the Liverpool echo goes on to describe an initiative where school leavers are urged to consider a career in the construction industry. Foster and Co whole heatedly support this and hope that more young people find out more about the fantastic opportunity for successful careers in our  Industry!


For more information on these articles click our Links and if you are interested in Foster and Co as a client or to start your career, contact our office now on 0208 441 3144.






The Perfect Build in North London

Foster and Co are feeling honoured today after a thank you card from a lovely client in Cockfosters, this really was the most perfect build in North London.

Not only did this project have great design ideas and a lovely finish but the clients were truly a pleasure to work with and we are so grateful that we can form relationships like this during our Builds.

We believe this card is a sign of how we work and strengthens our claims that we are different from you standard stereo typical builder. At Foster and Co we believe that ideal build is a combination of a client who we can work together with in order to create something that is perfect for their family and also has that signature Foster and Co finish…. high quality, professional and beautiful!  The Foster and Co team worked so hard to build our clients dream home and listened carefully to their needs, the result? This has changed the lives of our clients and we feel incredibly proud that our work can have such an amazing effect on peoples lives!

If you are looking for your perfect Build in North London and you want a company that will listen and prioritise your needs, then call the Foster and Co office now, we would love to start you on your journey!

Office: 0208 441 3144