If you are looking at starting a home renovation project or are currently in the middle of one, you might well have noticed that the price of materials has skyrocketed. The latest figures show that a new build house project costs have increased from an average of £1000 per square metre to £2500 per square metre, that is a huge jump. To put this into context, a decent sized 100 square metre property will now cost you £500k to build. Not only have costs risen in raw materials and skilled labour, also the range of products available to buy in the UK has dropped, especially for natural materials, like slate.
We found this great company based in Devon that supplies natural slate materials for a renovation project. Slate is a completely natural material and has a really low level of water absorption so it is really useful in the house anywhere where there is water spillage like in bathrooms, wet rooms and the kitchen. We naturally think of slate as the best material for roof tiles but it is also really good inside and outside the home. As it is hard wearing, you can also use it in the garden, slate makes a great material for garden paths, slate garden flagstones for example have been used for centuries to create a defined path in gardens and outdoor spaces. We often think of flagstones as a traditional garden path material but slate now can be cut in so many different shapes and patterns with sharp edges to make the finished result look very modern and perfect for designer homes.
Slate is also great inside the home as well and designer homes now use slate as a preferred material for a range of surfaces, notably for fire hearths and worktops. Slate has been used for centuries as a base in fire hearths. If you have been in an old quirky cottage with a big inglenook fireplace, you will almost certainly see the hearth made in slate.
Nowadays, the wood burner has become commonplace in both modern and traditional homes and you can get some amazing, modern wood burners that really fit in with modern designs. The reason is that burning wood is considered to be carbon neutral a cost effective if you can get a good source. You can find ultra-modern hanging wood burners or stack built wood burners of just a traditional wood burner that slots in an old fireplace. The hearths have changed as well with custom cut, made to measure slate hearths now commonplace and they are actually great value for money as well, even if they are custom cut, they do not cost the earth, have a look at some of these made to measure slate fireplace hearths. Each fireplace in the majority of homes is pretty much different in design, sometimes you can put in a standard rectangular piece that fits great but if you need a specific shape cutting, they are actually quite easy to source and affordable!
If you are looking at creating a kitchen with a different look then the ranges on offer are great. Worktops for example have changed significantly over the last 20 or so years with a much bigger range of kitchen work surfaces available. Gone are the days of cheap chipboard worktops with a dull plastic coating, you can have everything now from glittery and sparkly kitchen worktops or natural materials such quartz, granite, limestone, silestone, marble and slate kitchen worktops. Some of these finishes are truly stunning and there is something for everyone in terms of textures and colours. As these are all natural materials, you get the feel and natural patterns that really turn your kitchen area into a stylish space with a modern feel and look that really makes it stand out!
Whatever renovations you are planning in and around your home, you should consider natural materials as an alternative to man made materials and you may well be surprised at how cost effective they have become. The prices of man made materials for diy and renovation projects has increased hugely as the cost of making them has increased, just think of the energy costs for example. Natural products have not risen by as much and are now comparatively quite cheap, they also look better and are far more sustainable for the future!
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post