Posts Tagged ‘Cardiff’

How To Landscape A Garden To Add Value To Your Property

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

3 Tips On How To Landscape A Garden

Everyone would love to know how to landscape a garden to save money rather than employing a professional landscape gardener to do the work.  There is some thing special and inspiring about a well designed and landscaped garden.

Some people find a garden a tranquil place to ‘chill – out’ or a great place for the family to play and socialise or as a hobby.

How to landscape a garden to add value to your property

How To Landscape A Garden – Plan your garden design carefully

When you start to consider a garden makeover, it is better to sketch any proposed ideas that you may have, including shapes, colours and furniture, onto a sketch pad, ensuring to allow for the current outlay of your house and garden.

This will provide you with a better idea of whether your proposed ideas will work.

How To Landscape A Garden – Deciding on the right shapes to use

Many shapes work well within garden designs including circles, squares and rectangles.

Before deciding on the shape or shapes that you are going to use, you will need to take into consideration the size and location of your garden.

Using a variety of shapes can create a more interesting effect  overall but it if you are planning to use multiple shapes you will need to make sure that the shapes fit in neatly with each other especially if you are planning on using a combination of square or rectangle shape with a circle

Garden Builders Derwood Homes South Wales

Squares can be a particularly good shape to use as they can flow better. Alternating the squares with one lawn square followed by a flowered square can work really well.

Planting squares with pale colours can be particularly beneficial in making a small garden look larger.

You can even use square slate structures to raise the turf for a different effect.

Or the more ambitious among you could either create a Mediterranean feel by positioning an urn within a square box hedging or could change a square shape into a diamond by simply tilting the square around.

How To Landscape A Garden – Choose your plants wisely

Try to create as much variety of shrubs and plants as possible and allow for the various seasons. You will need to carefully plan your garden landscaping so that you have plants and flowers that will provide colour throughout the year.

For example you will not want to plant flowers that will only flower in the summer as during the winter your garden will look dull and lifeless.

You will also need to take care to choose the right trees and shrubs that only grow to a certain size in order that you do not have to spend time pruning them.  Reducing the size of your lawn and replacing it with low maintenance plants and flowers can also save you time.

How to landscape a garden to increase your property valueTry to plant in layers allowing the low growing plants to conceal the stems of the taller plants behind and select your colour carefully, ensuring that the colour reflects the location.

For example you would not want to use a bright, tropical colour within a more traditional setting. An old English garden type theme would be more appropriate.

It is worth taking into account that prices for garden landscaping items like plants, flowers and gardening equipment will be higher during the spring/summer seasons, therefore it is better to wait until the end of the growing season to purchase these items.

You can also save money by asking friends and families for cuttings of any of their plants or flowers that you could then plant in your own garden.

How To Landscape A Garden – Stand out from the rest

Having a well landscaped garden will without doubt help to make your home stand out from the rest and will add value too. However, it is wise to carry out thorough research, or to contact an expert, to ask advice on how to landscape a garden to create the best appeal.

Fancy someone else doing the hard work ? Contact Derwood Homes and discover How to Landscape a Garden

Designed and Built With YOU in Mind


South Wales Leading Orangery Specialists

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Fancy Adding an Orangery To Your Home?

As one of South Wales Leading Orangery Specialists the demand for Orangeries is growing. Whether it’s because the sun is shining or because our reputation is growing, enquiries for Orangeries has rocketed.

Vale Orangeries Builders and Specialists

We’re not complaining by any means but the question we are generally being asked is what the benefits Orangeries are over having a traditional house extension or conservatory built.

Building An Orangery… Designed and Built With You In Mind

So far enquires for us to design and build orangeries appear to be more popular that ever, so if you are considering having a new Modern Orangery added to your home take a look at the our website to read the free advice we offer.

There you will see the benefits an Orangery can have and how to go about getting one built… Building an Orangery is easier than you think.

The Benefits of Building An Orangery

In a nutshell Orangeries can add extra living space to any home that in turn can be used all year round.

They tend to be more expensive to build due to the glass roof or glass roof canopy and is installed and some of the modern more unique feature they tend to incorporate to give that extra special look and feel.

Orangery, House Extension or Conservatory?

In my view…. forget installing a conservatory.. Adding a new house extension or building an Orangery to create that much needed extra living space for you and your family will add far more value, light and a WOW factor.

For Further Free Advice on How to add an Orangery to your home take a look at our website HERE

For Your Free Quote… CONTACT  US  TODAY  or call 0845 519 4707

Warm 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



How Much Do Loft Conversions Cost

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Want To Know How Much Loft Conversions Cost?

Ask any expert how much do Loft conversions cost and they should advise you that it varies from project to project and generally depends on a number important aspects.
It’s a question I get asked time and time again, so hopefully the following tips and advice should help to explain what costs are involved and what to expect when considering having a new loft conversion.

Before you commence with any major home improvement project such as having a new loft extension it is advisable to find a company that specialises in loft conversions to discuss your needs and reasons for wanting to convert your loft.

Is it true that the cost to convert a loft has been reduced?
Unfortunately not. Although some of the planning laws for loft conversions have been amended, the cost of building materials has increased.  The easiest way to get the best advice on what it would cost to convert your loft is to find a good builder / loft conversion specialist. Determining how much loft conversions cost also depends on the type of materials that have to be used to create a new loft extension and the technical implications to do so.

Is planning permission for a loft conversion still needed?
The Department for Communities and Local Government set out in its Planning Portal that the Government should remove planning permission for certain types of loft conversions. This was implemented although it doesn’t mean that all types of loft / attic conversions do not require planning permission.  Determining how much loft conversions cost also depends on whether you need to apply for planning permission or not as this in itself is an expense.

What types of loft conversions don’t require planning permission?
Generally speaking the rule of thumb is that any loft conversion that doesn’t exceed 40 cubic metres in volume within a terraced house or 50 cubic meters in a detached / semi detached house does not require planning permission on condition that:

  1. No part of a  loft conversion is higher than the highest part of the roof i.e. the existing ridge height.
  2. The materials used are similar in appearance to the existing house
  3. There are no verandas, balconies or railed platforms involved in the loft conversion
  4. There is no extension or protrusion beyond the roof pitch / elevation that fronts onto the public high way. So in other words you cannot construct a dormer on the front of the house but you can install roof windows ( velux type windows). However a dormer can be constructed on the rear or side elevation under further restrictions).

Are there any other planning restrictions for attic conversions?
Yes, if your property is a listed property or is in a conservation area then planning permission may still be required. Also any side facing dormer windows that overlook a neighbour’s property will have to be fitted with obscured glass . If in doubt always seek advice.

What savings are made by not having to apply for planning permission?
A planning application may cost as much as £1,200 to design, prepare and submit to the local authority. It also takes about eight weeks so the changes that have now been implemented have helped to reduce the cost to convert your loft and save a lot of time.

Do loft conversions still have to comply with Building Regulations?
Yes, all loft conversions must comply with current Building Regulations. If not then you could find yourself in serious trouble when you come to sell your home or with your house insurance company.

Do I need to tell my insurance company if I want a loft conversion?
Yes, whenever you carry out any major work on your home make sure that you inform your insurance company so that you are covered for any eventualities and that the extra living space that you have created is covered in the event of a fire or other problem.

Are there any height restrictions to consider when considering a loft conversion?
The steeper the pitch / slope of your roof the better. Houses built before the 1960’s were usually constructed from what is referred to as individual rafters. From the 1960’s onwards most roofs were built using ‘trussed rafters’ which are factory built triangular type   trusses that have a lot more timbers struts incorporated to support the roof. Converting an attic space constructed after the 1960’s is very often a much more complicated and costly process.

The point of access into a loft generally has to be approx. 2.3 m high. This will then allow the existing roof trusses and floor timbers to be increased in depth to make a loft conversion possible. New and most recent changes to the regulations also mean that more insulation has to be installed at the same time.

Most existing joists in properties were designed to hold up a ceiling, rather than support a floor, so it means having to install new floor joists and steel supports which in turn raises the floor height, thus reducing the amount of head height within the attic space.

Designing a new loft conversion to establish what loft conversions cost to build should be based around the easiest and the most practical cost effective option rather than an over engineered design. This is why careful consideration should be given from the outset and to appoint a good loft conversion contractor or company to give you the best advice possible.

Where can I get quotes from for a loft conversion?
Recommendation is always the best way but you can always search online for a reputable loft conversion specialist. Most good builders should be fully equipped and up to date with current regulations but it is very important to carefully compare all quotes. Check what is and isn’t included in the quote… such as bathroom fittings, planning and building control applications, engineers fees, laminate or carpeted flooring, tiling and decoration etc all of which add to the cost of completing your loft conversion.

How much do loft conversions cost?
The cost generally depends on the type and size of your property. The average cost for a loft conversion in a three or four bedroom house costs between £20,000 – £40,000. This however really does depend on the design, the condition of the existing roof and the finishing touches and layout that you are seeking. The bigger the property the more a loft conversion will cost. Having roof windows as opposed to dormers is also a much cheaper option. Again, it is worth discussing all of these options with your builder at the outset.

Using a builder or a company that can design and construct your new loft conversion for you is generally cheaper than having to find your own architect, designer, engineer and then a builder and is very often a much quicker process. Derwood Loft Conversion Specialists would be pleased to help you.

How long does it take to convert a loft?
This does depend on the size and type of property. However, the main construction work should take about 4 to 5 weeks and then all of the internal finishing works a few more weeks as long as the conversion is straightforward.

Will a Loft Conversion add value to my house?
A loft extension can increase the value of a property by £25,000 to £50,000, but it does depend on the size of the house and the size of the new loft conversion. Sometimes it could add a lot more value providing it creates extra sleeping space such as a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom.

Estate agents claim that by adding another bedroom is the single most valuable asset to add to a family home. Loft conversions are generally easier to construct than building an extension. Leading mortgage lenders also claim that a loft conversion is the most cost effective way of increasing a property’s value. In fact the Nationwide building society has stated that converting 300 square feet of loft space in to an additional bedroom with an en-suite could add more than 20% to the asking price of your property when you come to sell whereas the Federation of Master Builders claim it is 15%.

Loft conversions should never look or feel like an add-on to the property because if they do it could de-value your home. One of the main features for any loft conversion is the staircase.  Stair cases can vary in design and cost that in turn can have a major impact on loft conversion costs. Loft or attic staircases should be designed and built to look as though they are part of the original staircase rather than a cheap looking ‘add on’ . If the entrance to any loft extension looks unprofessional or  poorly constructed then it will de-value your home.

How much of the loft conversion work can I do myself to save money?
Things have changed over the years for the DIY’er in particular when it comes to complying with the strict building regulations and the policies that are now in place especially when it concerns structural alterations such as installing new roof trusses, joists and a staircase. Really speaking this type of work should be left to the experts.

There are other types of work that you may wish to do yourself which could save you a lot of money if you fancy having a go, such as installing the roof windows, insulating and plaster boarding the walls and ceilings for example, but just be warned that if any work is not in compliance with building regulations not only are you at risk of having to pay someone else to redo the work properly but your house insurance may also be void.

As with any large home improvement project, carrying out the work yourself does mean that the disruption you will encounter by doing the work yourself will last much longer. If you are thinking about taking time off work to do the work yourself then you just need to weigh up the time and cost should you have to use up your holidays or lose any pay as opposed to getting a professional in to do the work for you. Then of course there is the stress and strain you might put yourself under to consider.  If you are capable and willing to do some of the work yourself then it does have an impact on how much loft conversions cost, so food for thought!

What is the cheapest form of access for a loft conversion?
There are a whole variety of loft ladders and pre-made stairs that can be purchased to use as access into your loft. However, most of these will look like add-on’s rather than part of the house. They are cheap but can certainly help to keep the construction costs down. It really does depend on what your budget is and whether you want a loft conversion that looks and feels as though it is part of the house or not.

What is the best type of loft conversion to have?
A master bedroom with an en-suite is the definitely the most popular and one that will add the most value to your home. They are more expensive to construct because of the extra costs for the plumbing and the bathroom fixtures and fittings. Studios, studies, home offices are also big favorites as well as children’s playrooms.

Choosing a loft conversion and establishing how much a loft conversion costs, really does depend on what you need, whether your family is growing, whether you need to work from home or whether you simply want to create and add something extra living space to your home.
Plan well and seek as much advice as possible before you start any project and the end result should be exactly what you were hoping for.

If you would like to find out more on how much loft conversions cost then feel free to contact South Wales Leading Loft Conversion Company Derwood Homes

Kind Regards


Top Tips To Consider When Having A loft Conversion

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Having A loft Conversion

Having a loft conversion does require careful planning well in advance. Appointing a reputable loft conversion builder or specialist is usually a safe way of ensuring that you comply with all of the new building and fire regulations whilst doing so. Planning a loft conversion

Below are some tips to consider when having your loft or attic converted

1.  Is Your Loft Suitable To Be Converted Into Extra Living Space

Before getting too excited over the thought of having a loft conversion there are some basic things you can check to see if converting your attic doesn’t require raising the height of your existing roof, because this will save you a considerable amount of money, as well as the fact that some planning authorities will not permit it. For example, if the height between the existing floor joists / timbers in your loft and the underside of the roof ridge is approximately 2.4m then it is a good possibility that your loft can be converted without the need to raise the height of your existing roof.

Loft conversion experts such as Derwood Homes and Developments would carry out these checks for you but another major consideration is whether your house was built before 1960. The reason is simply because older roof structures tend to require more structural work to convert them rather the newer type attic trussed roof structure use more commonly today.   Good reputable loft conversion companies will carry out the basic checks for free.

2.  Call in the Professionals Converting an old loft or attic

Most loft conversions require substantial structural work to be carried out. This type of work is not really suitable for the average DIY householder to carry out. Attic conversions generally need steel beams to be installed, the existing floor and roof timbers to be upgraded and adequate fire and insulation materials to be installed. Building regulations must be adhered too at all times. The stair case and internal doors generally need to be upgraded or replaced as well as the central heating boiler if any existing tanks have to be removed from the existing attic space. Health and safety in the home is now more important than ever before and should it be ignored resulting in an accident or even death then the household can be held liable. So Don’t Take Risks !

3. Complying With Building Regulations

If you don’t comply with current building regulations then your house insurance will be void and should you later decide to sell your home then you may be faced with a situation where you can’t.  So you see, it is a wise to call in an expect.

Not all loft conversions require planning permission, but they all definitely have to comply with building regulations. As the works get under way each stage will have to be inspconverting a loft using steel beamsected and at the end certified by a fully qualified person.  A certificate is then issued stating that the work was carried out in compliance with current regulations which is also registered with your local authority building control department. It is this department that solicitors now have to liaise with when to check that any work carried out on a property has been correctly inspected and registered when buying or selling a property. So there is no escaping the importance of complying with current building regulations.

4.  Appointing An Architect

An architect, Engineer or surveyor will be required in order to determine the extra loads that having a loft conversion and creating extra living space will place on your home and of course to make sure that your property is still structurally sounds to sustain such a property improvement.  My advice is to appoint a builder, loft conversion specialist or an engineer who can provide a complete service so that you don’t have to appoint different people to carry out different aspects of the work. Keeping it all under the responsibility of one company avoids communication issues and who is responsible for what and when. This in itself is a major factor why so many people in South Wales, Cardiff, Bridgend and the surrounding area appoint Derwood Homes and Developments to convert their lofts as they offer a complete no fuss package.

5.  How Much Will A Loft, Attic Conversion Cost

There is no point of dreaming of a loft conversion if you haven’t even considered or established how much it is likely to cost.  Loft and attic conversions will add value to your property, but they can sometimes cost more to construct than the extra value they will add so this is something you may wish to consider if you are likely to sell your property within a few years after your loft has been converted into extra living space.  When budgeting for your loft conversion don’t forget the costs for items such as the planning or building regulation fees and inspections, architect fees, carpets, light fittings, bathroom suites, tiling ( if you are also adding an ensuite ) etc. All these items can add up to thousands!

6.  Work Out All Of The Costs Before You Start

Make sure that you obtain a written and itemised breakdown of what work is included from your chosen loft conversion company. There have been many instances whereby we as a company have how to convert a lofttaken over projects because a previous loft conversion company has won a contract on price alone only for the customer to find that the price they were given didn’t include insulation, fire doors, a stair case etc. hence the relationship they had with the company broke down. Ask questions to ensure you get it right !

7.  Loft conversion benefits

Most heat in our homes is lost through the existing loft and roof. Having your loft convert will eliminate this. In fact you should find that the rest of your home will become warmer once your loft has been converted due to the savings made from preventing heat from going through the roof. Attic and loft conversions tend to create extremely comfortable rooms. The heat loss is very small indeed due to new building regulations coming into force that in turn increased the amount of insulation that now has to be installed. Statistics have shown have fuel bills are reduced after a loft has been property converted into extra living space.

8.  Know what to expect throughout the work

Any type of building work that you have done within your home can be disruptive and for some people a little stressful no matter how good your builders are. There is bound to be some noise and of course dust but one good tip is to try and establish how the work will be carried out and how long it will take. A fair proportion of the work can be done from the outside in thus eliminating the need for your builders to enter your home from the start. A good loft conversion builder will try his or her utmost to carry out as much work with minimum disruption to you. Nine times out of ten we ourselves enter the property from the scaffolding we erect into the loft rather than through the house to carry out most of the necessary structural work that is required. Only when we have to cut into the ceiling to install the new stair case do we then have to start entering the property to complete the project. However, it is worth remembering that no two projects are the same.

9.  Establish How long the work will take

To enable you to plan ahead try to establish from your chosen loft conversion specialist how long the work will take once it has started.  Generally it takes anything from six weeks onwards depending on the size and technical aspect of the project. It is always a good idea to let your neighbours know that you are having work done so they to can be prepared for the extra vehicles, skips and deliveries that will be in the street. A good builder will always do his best to keep his customer happy and put in a good days works each and every day.  Don’t put up with a builder turning up as and when he feels like,

types of loft conversions10.  And Finally

There are times when unforeseen circumstances can arise. These may be linked to bad weather conditions, existing poor workmanship that the builder may come across as he is carrying out his work that in turn may need to be repaired or even sickness. A good builder will always do his best to keep his customer happy. Having a loft conversion can certainally add value to your home and create a nice little getaway or snug for your and your family to enjoy.

Everyone deserves a first class service and  professional workmanship.

For Free Advice or A Free Quote Contact Derwood Homes and Developments  HERE TODAY




Loft Conversions And The Extra Living Space They Create

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

I just love loft conversions

2013 is well and truly upon us and people are already calling us about converting their loft into some extra living space. With the cost of moving house being so expensive loft conversions offer a great alternative towards creating that much needed living space you and your family if room in the garden is limited to enable you build a new house extension.

Loft conversions are one of my favorite rooms because they are often the most unusual and most exciting room of any house if done properly.

Our home is what we make of it, the way it feels, its function and the amount of space it has depends on how it is designed and laid out.  Think about it… most rooms in our homes are generally boxed like, whereas when you enter into a loft conversion it can have some exciting and unusual roof angles and slopes all of which create character.

A loft conversion can have as many roof lights or dormer windows as you like with views overlooking the surrounding roof tops and spectacular scenery all the reason why it makes them so unique.

I don’t know about you, but being up there in sky being able to look out at the sun and stars feels special, like a little hideaway or refuge away from the rest of the house or the screaming kids.

Loft conversions are a great way to add more space, bring more light into your house and if you can afford to do so give you a new roof that will last for many years to come.

If you are thinking about creating some extra living space in 2013 for your home, don’t rule the idea of having a loft conversion as you may well be pleasantly surprised at what can be created in the dark old, creeping looking attic space.

There are quite a few regulations that need to be complied with but don’t worry about those because a good builder will be able to take care of them for you. You can find some of the important do’s and don’t for loft conversions here.

If you would like to learn more about loft conversions and how they could add value and extra living space to your home you might find this article helpful.

Learn more about loft conversions here

Kind Regards


Building A New House Extension

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Building A House Extension.. Getting It Right !

We truly love building new house extensions…

Regardless of whether we build a house extension in Cardiff, Bridgend, Barry or any where in South Wales, receiving a testimonial such as this one below really does make us feel proud.

Customer Testimonials

“Hi Roy

We’re really enjoying the space and relaxing in the kitchen with friends.  Our friend Andrew, who we picked up yesterday from the airport, can’t stop raving about how lovely the house is. Your team have been fantastic and we cannot sing their praises enough. Days when we were around and saw them working away in the rain (Andrew the bricky and Geoff spring to mind) and days when we weren’t here, when Andrew and Rhys wheeled all the soil from the back through the house and then wheeled all hardcore back through the house without leaving any mess. Some nights the only way we knew they’d been here (apart from the difference in the garden) was the old glass bottles that had been dug up and left on the side for us. And finally Ray and James’s work in installing the kitchen and Jason’s perseverance at the end to get things finished to a high standard.  

Our thanks again to everyone and if you need anyone to recommend Derwood in the future we’d be happy to do that”  Mark..  New House Extension in Cardiff

All to often people find it difficult to praise someone, a service or A company when they perform well and yet we are all guilty of quickly moaning and groaning when things don’t go to plan. Thankfully our team at Derwood Homes are privileged to receive lots of thanks and praises from our customers for the building work we do and it is these moments that make it all worth while, despite upon times having to work in miserable conditions.

We built this particular house extension for a customer in Cardiff. The only real challange for us was that we had to carry everything through the house itself simply because there was no rear access. Despite this the end results was a lovely new house extension that had some large bi-fold doors that completely opened out into the garden, a lot of electric velux roof windows and a partial glass floor to allow light into the base.

Making dreams come true is what it is all about, whether we build a new house extension, a new house, a loft conversion, basement conversion or any type of project regardless of how challanging it may be we thoroughly enjoy it!

If you fancy learning more about building a new house extension, or any other type of building project why not give us a call or contact us via email

Kind Regards



How To Convert Your Basement Or Cellar Into Extra Living Space

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

So why Are Basement and Cellar Conversions Becoming So Popular?

With home improvements more popular than ever, basement conversions are one part of a home that people are now converting in to that much sort after extra living space.Basement conversions South Wales

With Garden space becoming more valuable for families with children and loft conversions some times impractical, converting your cellar or basement in to some extra living space is definitely worth considering.

With our expertise, here at Derwood Homes and Developments we help home owners who would like to convert their basement into some extra special living space to carefully plan and consider all of the costs implications before they start the project.

What to Look Out For When Converting A Basement

Basement conversions are very often prone to damp and require careful planning to ensure that all of the engineering works needed to convert a basement are carefully considered to determine what impact overcoming such problems may have on the conversion costs. That said it is not as complicated as it may sound.

Employing the right company to carry out a basement conversion is highly recommended as they will carry out a thorough survey and address all of structural and damp challenges that your basement converting a cellar using basement wall tankingconverison may need.

Some basement and cellar conversions need what is known as ‘under pinning’ works to be carried out and is something you shouldn’t attempt to do yourself as this involves excavating under the house foundations to be able to dig down into the ground to stabilise the house structure whilst at the same time to increase the head height of the inside of the basement .

Dealing with any damp or water ingress within the basement is tackled by installing a special cavity wall membrane to the basement walls that drains the damp or water down into drainage channels that are installed around the perimeter of the internal walls.

This system is then connected to a unique underground sump that is fitted with a submersible pump that pumps of any such water out of the basement to the outside house drainage system to ensure that your basement conversion is kept dry providing a pleasurable cellar conversion for you and your family to enjoy.basement conversion drainage systems

The same principle is applied to the basement floor which is then connected to the newly installed wall drainage system and sealed to create a type of self contained envelope throughout the whole cellar converison. Once this tanking procedure is completed timber frame studding is then constructed in front of all of the walls, insulated and lined with plaster boards and plastered ready for decorating. For the expert it is an excellent way towards converting your basement into some extra living space.

With Building Regulations and House Insurances tightening their policies and procedures, it is wise to ensure that any building work that is carried out on your home is done so in full compliance and inspected and certified by a qualified engineer.

For a Free Quote and Further Advice Contact Us Here

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How To Choose A Reputable Builder In South Wales

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Finding A Reliable And Reputable Builder in Bridgend, Cardiff And South Wales

We all hear stories like the plumber that charged an elderly man £2,880 an hour and the family that scammed pensioners out of £1million – it can be nightmare to find a trustworthy and reputable builder when you need building work done at your home.

In fact, Brits fork out over a staggering £737 million to rectify botched jobs by cowboy builders each year, so it is crucial to choose your builder with care. Around 6.2 million (13%) of people in the UK have fallen foul of cowboy builders in the past five years, according to research from Sainsbury’s home insurance, and have had to fork out nearly £3.7bn to rectify botched buildng jobs during this time. Analysis shows plumbers have caused the most damage, with 1.4m homeowners suffering from their poor quality work since 2006. Most homes are now having new extensions built as well as loft conversions, landscaping work and garage conversions constructed rather than move home.

Reputable Builders South Wales

Reputable Builders South Wales

Of those of us that have fallen victim to a cowboy bulder, an average £2,077 was paid for the work they carried out. On top of this amount homeowners had to pay nearly £600 to either repair the damage or complete the unfinished job. While over 150,000 people are estimated to have paid over £5000 to rectify a botched job. Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance comments: “We’re concerned that so many homeowners have to rectify poor workmanship carried out by builders they’ve employed in good faith to work in their homes“.

It’s completely unacceptable that building remedial costs are exceeding £700 million. Of course the burden isn’t just financial; there can be a great deal of personal stress attached to these difficult situations including the clean up and often confrontation. On the other side of the coin, there are people who deliberately appoint builders with the intention of never paying for the excellent work they carry out, which then causes huge problems, very often leading towards the builders reputation being tarnished.

Cost over quality
Coming from a family of reputable building and construction porfessionals, I’m aware that the dodgy guys often undercut reasonable quotes in order to secure the work. Yet accepting suspiciously low quotes can be the start of costly mistakes, that sees quality sacrificed in favour of saving money and homeowners being faced with footing an even higher bill to put botched building works right. Ok, we may well blow our own trumpet and claim that Derwood Homes and Developments are excellent repuatable builders, but like everyone else we can make mistakes, but the main thing to look out for is a builder who is keen to please their customers and even admit and rectify any silly mistakes they may make without trying to charge you for doing so.

Tyte addes: “In these challenging economic times, it’s understandable that people want to cut back on costs but where work to the home is concerned it’s just not worth the risk. It’s simply false economy, especially if you’ve invalidated your home insurance by not taking due care. It’s imperative you hire a quality builder, and make sure that the work is done properly.”

Sainsbury’s home insurance warns that in extreme cases, if a homeowner is proven not to have taken reasonable care of their property, they could also risk invalidating their home insurance.

Professional Builders

Professional Builders

So how should you choose a reputable builder?

  • Spend time researching – ask for friends, family or neighbours for recommendations.
  • Follow up references – contact the names the builder gives you and ask to view the work. Happy customers should always be happy to talk and show you the building work they have had done
  • Always check for relevant qualifications and accreditations, from associations such as FMB and the NHBC
  • Always seek at least three quotes and don’t automatically opt for the cheapest. You may well regret it !
  • Get everything in writing, including a breakdown of costs and a completion date for the project.
  • Check your home insurance to ensure you are covered for the work and if a 24-hour home emergency advice service is available should things go wrong.

It is advisable to appoint a builder who has all of the skills and tradesmen within his own team of men. This will ensure that the complete project is carried out efficiently and to the same standards everyone expects. It even means that the builder is in complete control of the project and responsible for everyone working in your home.

Yes, there are nightmare builders out there, but there are also some excellent ones as well.

Looking to find a reliable and reputable builder ?