Archive for February, 2013

Top 10 Loft Conversion Tips

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Top Loft Conversion Tips To Help You Convert Your Loft Space

Loft conversions are a great way to add extra living space to your home so here are some great Loft Conversion Tips to help you make the right decisions on how to go about it.

 Attic conversions are not always as straight forward as you may think.

loft conversion tips

Why? Well, for starters it might mean having to obtain planning permission, or the staircase that you have to install could take up two much of the room you already hve or because altering the roof structure may not be ‘in-keeping’ with your neighbours house and result in planning permission being refused.

As you can see it is important for you to make the right decisions when it comes to deciding why you need a loft conversion and whether the cost for an attic conversion is something that is going to give and add real value to your home.

A loft conversion can be a lot less stressful than building a brand new extension in order to add value and space to your property, but nevertheless you still need to be prepared for some disruption.

Below are ten top loft conversion tips for you to sleep on !

Loft Conversion Tip # 1

When Considering any type of loft conversion there are bound to be some implications and of course you will need to consider the impact they could have on your daily life.

Simple little things like extra noise above the existing bedrooms, whether adding another bathroom in to the loft will help ease the morning rush or whether creating a home office in the loft would help create a nice and quiet environment would be a good idea. Be realistic at what you are trying to achieve and you will find your loft conversion will be a smooth and very pleasant experience that will add real value to your home!

Loft Conversion Tip #2

Although you may have your own ideas of how you would like your loft conversion to look, make sure that you seek some real professional advice when it comes to designing your new loft conversion. It’s always great to see people having their own ideas, but there are a lot of structural and planning regulations that have to be complied with when designing a loft conversion and in particular to help keep costs down.

That is why it is a good idea to find a loft conversion specialist or ideally a company that specialises in loft conversions rather than a landscape gardener or a friend who has done a DIY attic conversion of his own!

Loft Conversion Tip # 3

When looking for a reputable loft conversion expert or reputable loft conversion company, make an effort to view some of the their previous loft conversion projects that they have carried out or by calling some of their previous customers to get their views on the service and quality of workmanship that they gave or read their testimonials.

Reputable attic conversion companies love to show off their work. So take advantage of this opportunity and go and see their work. By doing so will also help you develop a comfortable working relationship with them. 

top loft conversion tips

Loft Conversion Tip # 4

Another tip is to find a loft conversion company that will carry out a thorough structural survey of your property. Ideally the person should be a qualified structural engineer because loft conversions add a considerable amount of weight to a house so the design and conversion process needs to be in accordance with current structural and building regulations.

This is another reason why so many DIY loft conversions are being condemned when it comes to selling properties.

A good survey of your loft space will also determine whether your own plans and ideas can be implemented safely and in a way that will get you the results you want.

Loft Conversion Tip # 5

Before we mention any more attic conversion tips this one relates to your house insurance. If you don’t carry out building works on your home that comply with building and fire regulations your house insurance will be VOID. So beware!

There are even some horror stories whereby people have been killed when sleeping in a DIY loft conversion because no fire precautions were installed leading to man slaughter charges  ! So you see safety must come first.

tips for converting yor loft

Loft Conversion Tip # 6

It can be attempting to appoint the cheapest loft conversion company that you find, but trust us when we say ‘be careful’. The oldest trick in the book is for a company to offer you a cheap price for an attic conversion just so that they can get their foot in the door.

Then … boom, bang, whollop they start adding extra costs which before you know it add up to them being more expensive than all of the other loft conversion companies that you initially spoke at the outset. Estabilshing how much a loft conversion will cost before you commence with any work is very will prevent any shocks during the conversion process that you might not have considered.

As with any building work, building regulations and policies have and will continue to change so finding a good, reputable and experienced loft conversion company should be your number one goal. If you can’t afford it then save up until you can. It will be worth it in the long run.

Loft Conversion Tip # 7

Careful budgeting is always a good idea so ensure that you know exactly what the total cost will be to convert your attic and whether it falls within your budget. We all want the best and to have everything included in the price but the reality is it’s not always possible within your budget.  A good loft conversion company will ask you what your budget is and try to design a scheme that is achievable within that budget.

Don’t be afraid to tell them what your budget is in the same way you tell a car sales man or an Estate Agent what your budget is when your looking a buy a car or a house. Remember, sticking within a budget will get you a loft conversion that you can afford but there are limits.

Loft Conversion Tip # 8

Don’t expect any loft conversion company to be able to convert your loft and provide you with everything you want if you can’t afford it. It’s no good being disappointed it you can’t afford a Ferrari but have to make do with a Mini !

There are a lot of other cost implications to consider when converting a loft. For example, if you would like a dormer window constructed this costs a lot more than having velux windows. Your central heating and hot water boiler may also need to be upgrade if you want to install some extra radiators or an ensuite bathroom into your loft conversion… So you see the cost can soon increase. It’s no good blaming a company for being too expensive if your expectations are in real terms to high

Loft Conversion Tip # 9

Some loft conversions make need you to enter into a ‘party wall agreement’. This is something that is very often overlooked and could result in your loft conversion dream being shattered.

 But don’t panic, ‘a party wall’ agreement is relatively easy to sort out and something any good attic conversion company can do for you. So be sure to ask them the question.

Basically, if converting your attic means having to carry out work on a ‘party wall’ in other words the wall that separates you and your neighbours property you have to obtain your neighbours permission. The same applies if you have to go onto your neighbours roof to enable you to carry out work on your own roof.

You have to obtain their permission. Addressing these issues at the beginning will make your loft conversion a smooth and happy experience rather than upsetting anyone.

loft conversion tips and advice

Loft Conversion Tip #10

Ok so you are now ready to convert you loft. The next tip is to be prepare so that your chosen loft conversion specialist can get started. Very often our lofts are crammed with the things that we have accumulated over the years. Have you any idea where you are going to put everything?

Don’t expect your builder to move things for you without being charged. Make sure that you clear the whole area so that the loft conversion company have a clear and safe environment to work in. You may want to consider hiring some short-term storage space. Don’t be afraid to discuss this with your contractors, they’ll be glad to help and give you as much advice as possible.

Top 10 Loft conversions Tips

Finding and creating a good open and honest working relationship with a reputable loft conversion specialist is the key towards designing and converting your loft within a specified budget whilst at the same time bearing in mind the above loft conversion tips.

The end result will be that you create the extra living space you want at a price you can afford.

I hope the above is useful and will help you plan you loft conversion smoothly and efficiently.

Please feel free to contact us at any time for further advice

Kind Regards



How To Find A Good Reputable Builder

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Are You Looking for a Good Reputable builder?

Have you ever been in the situation where you have struggled to find a good reputable builder or has anyone ever asked you if  ‘ you know a good builder?’

How to find a good reputable builderFinding a good reputable builder is not always easy because people are very often skeptical due to the bad press and TV Programmes that portray some builders as being rouge builders, but don’t let that put you off… It’s not as bad is it all sounds.

If you’re looking for a good reputable builder to build a new house extension say for example in Cardiff, Bridgend or South Wales, then word of mouth is always a good starting point. Another way is by looking on the Internet to search for a recommended and reputable builder within your area

A Good Reputable Builder – Find one ‘Online’

One of the easiest way to find what you’re looking for is to go ‘online’ and type in ‘I am looking for a good reputable builder’ in Bridgend ‘ Cardiff,  Porthcawl , Caerphilly, Barry or South Wales for example. Naming the town where you live will help narrow down the search so that you can find a good reputable builder near you. Internet Search engines such as Google will then highlight a few options for you to consider.

Arrange a free no obligation meeting with a few of the builders that look reputable to you. This will give you the opportunity to meet them in person and see whether they are someone who you feel comfortable in developing a working relationship with.

A Good Reputable Builder – Should You Trust him?

Building a rapport with a good reputable builder before committing to any type of contract is definitely a good idea. Believe it or not there are lots of people that have and continue to deliberately deceived builders in the same way some builders have deceived their customers, which is why both parties may be nervous about one another other to begin with.  Communication and ensuring that every aspect of a project is discussed is extremely important before it even starts.

How to Avoid cowboy buildersMost good reputable builders have an open, friendly and honest approach about them and are usually very trust worthy towards their customers being able and in a postion to them paying for their services.

There has to be trust between both parties, but at the same time it is still wise to draw up a contract that you are both comfortable with and include stage payments for the work that is being carried out. This will help nurture the relationship between you and provide you a written schedule of the work that is included in your quote.

Despite there being some ‘rouge builders’ there are also some very dishonest and ‘rouge’ customers out there too.

A Good Reputable Builder – Deserves Some Credit

Builders are generally hard working individuals who love what they do. They are skilled mutli-tradesmen and women who take pride in the service their offer and know all to well that the best way for them to advertise is through word of mouth. Just like any other service or business, they have to pay for building materials supplies, wages and other overheads.So be sure to pay them on time and don’t expect them to be your bank.

Although there are a lot of builders who don’t operate their business in full compliance with tax and other legal obligations good reputable builders do. It is for this reason their services may well be more expensive than your so call ‘bob the builder’ who loves working for cash. If a builder offers his services for cash only, walk away !

With building regulations, planning laws all changing only a good reputable will be able to offer you the expertise and advice you deserve.

A Good Reputable Builder – Derwood Homes

Derwood Homes and Developments for example, understand how important it is to offer a first class service to it’s customers and create confidence. They also appreciate that construction terminology and building schedules may not be looked upon or understood by their customer’s in the same way as themselves.

Good reuptable builders This is why it is so important for both parties to communicate openly as possible to ensure that the working relationship develops into a good one from the outset… just like in any marriage!

If you’re looking for a good reputable builder, what very often stands out is a builder that turns up every day to carry out a good hard days work, is clean, efficient, professional and very helpful in talking through each stage with their customer.

Regardless how good and reputable a builder may be, having construction works done in and around your home can be stressful. Again, don’t let this put you off having building works done on your property.  Discuss any concerns you have especially if it is going to disruption to your day-to-day activities and what can be done to minimize the effect on you and your family.

Most builders are keen to help and please their customers so don’t be afraid to sit down and have a cup of coffee with them to discuss progress.

Derwood homes believes that developing a good working relationship will keep everyone happy and make a good job worthwhile. That is why finding a good reputable builder is so important.

Remember… not all builders are bad..!

Feel Free to Contact Us At Any Time