Houses in Worcestershire
Property in Worcester.
Articles:/ Areas in the city.
Areas in the city.
Anyone considering buying a property in Worcester has a varied choice ranging from Town Centre Apartments, Georgian Town Houses and Victorian Semi’s to large Detached houses and bungalows in select locations.
A very pleasant area near the City is Northwick, Bevere and Claines. Close enough to the river to enjoy the benefits, but well away from the floods, and within easy reach of the Town’s amenities and Motorway.
Bevere has mainly upmarket houses, situated near the Northern Link with easy Motorway access.
Claines has varied houses and bungalows, in a semi rural location. The Mug House pub at Claines, is uniquely positioned in a Churchyard.
Northwick is about a mile and a half from the city centre, there is a small Supermarket, and has easy access to Gheluvelt Park and Pitchcroft.
The Leisure Centre, Squash and golf Club are nearby at Perdiswell.
Bilford Road adjacent to Perdiswell brings you to Blackpole Shopping Park and Trading Estates. Here you can find main agents for Vauxhall, Ford and Toyota. There is also a Mercedes Benz dealer. Worcester Bosch, Mazaki, Misys, Cosworth and many other Engineering firms are based here.
Cotswold Way Blackpole, takes you to Warndon Villages; a large housing estate with private and rented accommodation. Traveling along Woodgreen Drive brings you to the recently built Worcestershire Royal Hospital at Newtown.
A short drive from here is Worcester Countryside Centre, Nunnery Wood Country Park, County Hall, and the Spetchley Road Estate.
Whittington Road and Crookbarrow Way, leads to St. Peters, a private housing estate, with a large Tesco’s Supermarket.
Traveling down the Bath Road, Barneshall and Cherry Orchard leads to Diglis.
On the West Side of the river is St. Johns district; there is a Church, Leisure Centre, Tennis Courts, and a Library. Also a Supermarket and a small Shopping Centre. Honda, VW. And Renault Dealers are in Bromyard Road.
Upmarket houses are to be found at Hanbury Park, close to Boughton Park Golf Course. There is a private housing estate at Lower Wick, with modern houses and bungalows. All with easy access to the Motorway.
Just off Bromwich Road at Weir Lane is a swimming pool and a golf range.
North of St. Johns, the University of Worcester is situated at Henwick Grove in Oldbury Road. Nearby is Comer Gardens, which leads to Fern Road.
Crossing Martley Road, Henwick Park has Detached, Semi Detached and Bungalows, conveniently situated for the town, also has a small Tesco convenience store, off licence and laundrette.
In Henwick Road, Period and Upmarket Modern houses overlook the Racecourse and the river.
In Hylton Road, pleasantly situated Bungalows and Houses are close to the Severn. There is a Fiat and Alfa Romeo dealer, also a Homebase and PC World store.
Nearby Hereford and Worcester Radio Station operates, next to the Evening News Building,
After the house purchase you may need double glazing.
Purchasing Replacement windows.
If you decide that you need replacement windows, remember there are many firms offering discounts and special offers, not many firms sell at full price.
When choosing suitable products, a good tip is to try and contact a local firm that has been in business for a few years and has a reputation to keep up.
Whoever you choose to measure, remember the salesman is working on commision, he will try his hardest to sell, offering fantastic deals if you purchase on the day.
Always get at least three quotes, choose the best value option which may not be the cheapest.
When making your choice, consider low E glass, this is a special glass with improved insulation qualities.
Most window companies fit multipoint espagnolette locking systems, but may also offer higher security locks at additional cost.
Replacing old and rotten windows with double glazed replacement windows, can be worthwhile, although new windows will not add much to the value of your home, they will make it more comfortable, lower your heating bill and can make your house easier to sell.
One of the cheapest and most popular double glazed window is UPVC. Basically a plastic material reinforced with metal, the best types are glazed from the inside to deter burglars. Usually made with a white finish but most other colours are available. Plastic is a good insulator; condensation should not be a problem.
Plastic frames will need no maintenance other than cleaning, but locks and fittings should be lightly oiled every six months
Windows can be supplied with hardwood frames or fitted straight into window aperture and screwed into the brickwork.
If hardwood frames are fitted, maintenance will be required.
One disadvantage, planners do not usually accept UPVC. Windows as replacements in listed buildings.
Aluminium is more expensive than plastic, but gives a more rigid feel to windows.
Another advantage with aluminium type, they can be made in slimmer sections making a better looking window, if you are concerned about how your property looks
Aluminium type can be made in different colours or just left plain, white powder coated could be the best option.
They can be supplied with hardwood frames or screwed straight into brickwork.
Aluminium although making a stronger window does have a problem; the metal can transmit cold to the inside through the frames, causing problem with condensation. To help alleviate this a thermal break of insulating material is used between inner and outer frames during manufacture.
Some types have insulating cladding incorparated, this can be just as effective.
Aluminium windows are used in commercial premises, where strength is required.
Wooden windows are the cheapest options, can be manufactured in a variety of styles.
Hardwood types with double glazed units are probaly the best, although cheaper softwood is available, will have a shorter life even if regularly painted.
Advantages of wooden windows: Wood is a good insulator and condensation should never be a problem. Wooden windows can be made in any style to suit property.
Disadvantages: although hardwood will have a long life it will still need to be treated on a regular basis to preserve.
If you live in a listed building you may have sash windows, when replacing the planners will insist that a similar type is installed, a specialist joinery firm will be able to supply and fit. When in good condition sash windows are excellent, but will need maintenance.
Your local builder will be able to supply and fit wooden windows.
Moving in to your new property.
Before or even after moving in a lot of things will need attention, the surveyor will have made recommendations in his report, such as damprofing rewiring or he may have found a structural fault or even trouble with the roof.
All of these things are easily put right by your local builder, but you will have to get your chequebook out, make sure you have budgeted correctly.
1. Later on you may want the kitchen replaced or the central heating upgraded, once you have had central heating it is very difficult to live in your house without it.
Another item well worth having done, that is if it hasnï¿½t been done already is insulation, at least 150 mm in the roof space and cavity wall insulation is cost effective.
Good insulation will reduce your heating bills considerably and will add value to your home.
2. You may also want to have the interior decorated and flooring replaced, all this is easier when the property is empty, but an empty house is a magnet for thieves, and you may have to compromise.
If you are purchasing a property to refurbish, to sell again at a profit certain items will add value, others may not.
3. Increase the value most with an extension (extra bedroom or living space) or updating the kitchen or bathroom, or even adding a garage, if you have the space will increase
Budget around 10 to 20 thousand pounds for extra items to get your new house in fine fettle.
4. Newly built houses tend to make the most profit, we made over 50 thousand on our last house but it is now worth three times that. The housing market tend to rise and fall we are in a rising market at the moment, but if interest rates rise, this will have an effect on house prices. One last point if you sell a house or property that is not your main residence, that is you haven’t lived in it for at least 12 months, capital gains tax will be payable by you, (your main residence is exempt)
Avoiding the rip-off.
Cowboys can present an image of cheerfulness, compentacy and confidence all are masters in relieving you of your money.
Never allow yourself to be conned into having unnecessary roof repairs carried out by persons who knock on your door to tell you about a loose tile.
Another caller to watch out for is person who calls to tell you that due to overestimating tarmac quantity for local roadwork, he is able to replace your drive cheaply. Do not be taken in by this, you will find a large bill and possibly threats if you refuse to pay on completion for a poor job.
No tradesman worth his salt will knock on your door asking for work. Skilled workers are always in demand; they will get their work by personal recommendation.
Remember when you want a job done, ask a busy person.
Most people have been contacted by telephone salespersons, particularly double glazing companies, offering stupendous offers, while they are working in the area. Donï¿½t be taken in by this, if you require double-glazing, ask friends or neighbours for their experiences.
Always choose a local company if one is available, as they will be close at hand to handle your complaints.
Choosing a builder can be more difficult, A good place to start would be to ask the Architect for his builder recommendation, ask to see previous work that builder has completed. Check with the house owners to see if they are satisfied with the job.
Always get at least three estimates; the lowest may not always be the best, and highest may not be the worst.
Some builders overprice difficult jobs they do not want; sometimes they will underprice job because they have spare time on a contract nearby.
The fitted kitchen
One essential item in your newly purchased property is a fitted kitchen, but a new kitchen can be a very expensive item,
Sometimes you can minimise the cost, if youï¿½re old kitchen can be upgraded, by replacing the doors and fittings, this can be your cheapest option.
If you require extra units or you want to re organise your kitchen, you could consider purchasing a complete kitchen from the local d.i.y. Sometimes they sell demonstration kitchens off cheaply, but remember to measure carefully to see if it will fit.
When measuring allow for extra units such as washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher, fridge, freezer, also make sure there are power points adjacent to where you want the machines to be, also donï¿½t forget plumbing to the washing machine, hot and cold water and a drain nearby.
Always get a skilled tradesman to do the plumbing and electrical, even if you can do the rest yourself .
Another alternative you could call a kitchen company to send in a rep, and he will measure and give a computerised drawing showing all elevations, this part is free but you will have to pay for the kitchen, expect to pay three to seven thousand for the average made to measure kitchen, depending on quality. But make sure you get a reliable company to do the job.
Something else you could consider is using paint to spruce up your old doors and tiles, the tiles need a special undercoat but otherwise the job is quite straightforward and can be very effective, remember the flooring will probably need replacing and will need to be cordinated with the colour scheme.
Refurbishing a Bathroom.
A new bathroom can increase the value of your home.
The easiest option is to get the experts in to design and estimate cost of work they will see to the complete job, including electrics and tiling, but this can be expensive.
If you have some DIY. Capability, you could do some of the work yourself, employing a plumber and electrician for some of the technical tasks.
First decide how much you can afford, if you only have a low budget, perhaps purchase a bathroom suite at a bargain price, from your local DIY. Store.
Find a local plumber who will be willing to fit, although finding a plumber may be a problem.
If you want a shower, an electrician will be another essential tradesman in short supply.
If you are going to replace the old suite with identical size, there shouldnï¿½t be any problems. The position of drain and tap’s location, should be in same position, this will be just a matter of removing the old and fitting new. This may alleviate having to employ an expensive plumber.
However care should be taken when making connections as a leak will give aggravation.
If you intend to replace tiles begin by removing old, there is a tool designed for this purpose; try not to damage the surface, small patches of damaged plaster should be repaired with filler before fitting tiles.
Before starting to fix tiles, carefully set out how tiles will look, there should be symmetry around wall edges, tiles will need cutting. Electric cutters are available to make the job easy. The aim should be to get an equal margin around area, with border of equal sized tiles.
Fix a horizontal batten and begin by laying a course of tiles along.
Sometimes walls are not perfectly vertical; if this is the case a batten should be fixed perfectly vertical using this to align tiles.
When tiling around a window, try to centralise tiles on sill and in opening, leaving equal border at each side.
Finish the job by filling in gaps between tiles with grout, forcing it in with plastic scraper, removing excess grout as work progresses. Do not allow grout to set on glaze, as it can be difficult to remove.
Decorating Hints and Tips
Most people are forced to decorate their house at some time, although this can be made easier with a little forethought, careful preparation and a few quid.
The first thing to consider, does your room really need decorating. If on a previous occasion, someone has wallpapered, with a really hideous pattern and is certainly not to your taste, consider if it would be possible to paint over.
If the paper is deeply embossed, then there will be no alternative than to strip it off.
Sometimes wallpaper will have been used that has a flat surface; this is ideal to cover up with a couple of coats of emulsion paint.
When making a colour choice, a neutral colour throughout is sometimes preferable, as you only need to keep one tin of paint for touch up always buy enough paint, of the same make at the same time, different makes of paint may have a slightly different shade. Also if you intend to sell at a later time, a neutral finish can be a good selling point.
If the wallcovering is generally in good condition, there is no reason why you shouldn’t simply paper over with your choice of wallpaper.
Wallpaper called lining paper, is sometimes used to make good old plaster; a simple test, with an ordinary wall, is to gently tap all over , with your knuckles, if a hollow sound is heard you can bet that the plaster is becoming detached from the wall. This means when stripping, you may find some expensive replastering is necessary. Some room dividing walls upstairs can be lathe and plaster and this trick does not apply.
Lath and plaster was used for walls and ceilings, up until the sixties. This method uses thin lathes attached to the studs and then plastered over. Walls and ceilings plastered in this way, do not have such a good surface to decorate, and are best papered.
Wallpapering a ceiling is a quite difficult job, only do this if there are no alternatives.
If your lathe and plaster ceilings were badly cracked, it would be cost efficient to replace with modern plasterboard. This comes in large sheets and is reasonably cheap. If you decide to replace the ceilings, it is a simple matter to remove the old lathe and plaster, but this is a really filthy job, and a job for the local builder.
He will come along take down ceilings, and remove all the debris, clean up and replace using plasterboard, this should be fixed to the beams using special screws, sometimes nails are used but this method does not make as good a job as screws.
Afterwards the builder will apply a skim of plaster to finish the ceiling, ready for easy decoration.
When renovating an old house first inspect all rooms, if any walls make a dull thud when rapped with the knuckles, then remove old wallpaper to expose the wall and examine the plasterwork. In all probability a huge chunk of plaster will fall off the wall.
Inspect all ceilings, if there is any doubt, get the builder or plasterer to refinish all the walls and replace the ceilings in one fell swoop.
If any electrical work is required get the electrician in before the plasterer, he will find it much easier to replace or add to the wiring when ceilings are down and walls are easily repaired.
If having an extension get the same builders to carry out or organise the plasterwork.
My brother Clive restored Norgrove Court from dereliction,including a lake and water mill, previous owners kept their cattle in it and used it as an abortoir. There is a public footpath up his drive and to the surrounding woods. He had a full sized organ at the end of the lounge Max