Archive for the ‘Loft Conversion Companies’ Category

Choosing a Company to Convert Your Loft

With there being so many loft conversions out there, how do you chose between them. I thought it be worthwhile to write a post on choosing a company to convert your loft – hope you find it useful.

When it comes to building extensions, a little bit of planning know-how goes a long way. The average loft conversion costs between £20,000 and £40,000 depending on the design and the type of house, and is anything but a simple process. To maximise the potential of a loft, you are going to need planning and building skills, as well as the ability to manage a budget accordingly, this is why those considering a conversion should always think about hiring a specialist company.

Loft Conversion Dining Room

 

An experience loft conversion company bring the experience and the skills needed to ensure your loft meets your expectations.

Gathering quotes

Loft conversions are very popular at the moment so you shouldn’t any problems finding a specialist company in the local area. When choosing a company, you do not want to rush out and hire the first firm that you see; instead you should shop around for quotes.

If you’ve ever seen television shows such as Rouge Traders and Cowboy Builders, you will know that not every building company are who they say they are, so it wise to find testimonials and examples of work before phoning or emailing for a quote. The internet is a good place to find feedback on a company, as is word of mouth from friends and family.

Once you have found four of five reputable companies in the local area, you can begin to gather quotes. When doing this, bear in mind that the lowest quote is not always the best.

Getting a consultation

Many companies will provide a consultation service whereby an employee of the company can visit your home to discuss your ideas and look at the possible conversion options. This will allow them to provide you with a more realistic quote, and you to see clear examples of their work.

Most companies will offer such consultations free of charge, and any company trying to charge for the service is probably best avoided. At the same time, just because a consultation is free, doesn’t mean you should feel like you owe the company something. Also, never let yourself feel pressured by any sales patter that company employees try to deliver.

A loft conversion is a massive investment and every decision made should be one that is right for you.

Convert Your Loft: DIY, Local Builder or Specialist Firm?

Loft Conversion - Decision MakingDeciding to convert your loft from a dark and empty space into a spacious living area can add an extra dimension to the home, giving you the extra real estate you need and adding significant value to the property.  When you make the decision to convert your loft – whatever the intended purpose of the extra space – you will have three options: do it yourself, have a local builder carry out the work, or call in a specialist firm. All three have benefits.

Do it Yourself

The DIY option is a very popular one and it is by far the cheapest in terms of outlay – largely because of the money saved on labour. However, while converting the loft into a home office or children’s play area can be pretty straight-forward, the job should still be carried out by someone that is a competent DIYer. If you intend to use the space to create a bathroom, the recommendation would be to hire someone more qualified. You should also be aware that a bad DIY job can cost more to put right than it would to hire a professional. Although, if are on a particularly strict budget, DIY is most likely the best choice.

Local Builder

A local builder should be able to carry out all the work required to convert a loft and they are often available at discounted rates. Hiring a builder will speed up the job considerably in comparison to the DIY option and will ensure the conversion is carried out correctly. However, you should always be aware of the “cowboy” builder. Unfortunately, there are a lot of rogue traders out there, a significant number of whom claim to specialise in loft conversions. Before hiring any builder, make sure to check their credentials. Word-of-mouth is always a good way to find a legitimate building firm. Also read previous customer reviews online.

Specialist Company

There are many companies in the UK that specialise solely in loft conversions, providing everything from the initial drafts right through to the clean-up. Specialist firms are experienced in various types of conversions and can generally provide a turn-around of 6-8 weeks. Of the three options, this one is likely to prove the most expensive and there is also the “cowboy” element to look out for, but if a complete, no-nonsense job from start to finish is what you require, a specialist loft conversion firm is the recommended choice.

Project Managing a Loft Conversion

It may not seem obvious but a loft conversion needs project managing. It should not come to you as a surprise but many loft conversion specialists, sub-contract part of the loft conversion build to specialist tradesmen i.e. plumber, plasterer, carpenter, architect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and shows that the loft conversion company overseeing your job is taking all aspects into consideration and using master craftsmen to apply their skilled trade. However, what is key that your loft conversion is a success is that the project is managed effectively. This point is particularly true so that you as a customer are not charged for wasted days and the right job is completed at the right charge in the right amount of time with the perfect finish.

I have seen many times that customers sometimes think they can manage a loft conversion on their own and hire individuals from recommendations they have gathered over the years. This is not as easy as it sounds… firstly, the group of  individuals need to work collectively as a team, they need to have good communication, rapport and be flexible at times as each loft conversion brings its own challenges. They need to be given clear direction and have pre-agreed budgets/time lines. A loft conversion built poorly will cost more in the long run as well as in the short term as other companies are hesitant in “picking up other peoples mess”

Tools which can be used to project manage a loft conversion inc. excel spreadsheets, a white board – first of all one must note down key milestones and the resources completing the job. If you are thinking of completing  a loft conversion on your own, think carefully – this will not only take a lot of skill, know how on planning/build reg process but also a lot of your time. It is only you who can decide whether you have the knowledge, appetite and skill to take on this enormous responsibility where ultimately you are building a room to spend much valued time.

Loft Conversion Cost

Loft Conversion Cost by our resident expert Mark Smith.

The cost of a loft conversion will depend on a number of factors :

– The scope of the loft conversion – en suite, 2 bedrooms, roof space
– The type of loft conversion
– The quality of the material used
– The profit margin of your loft conversion specialist

You may have seen as you browse the web – loft conversion companies advertising your loft converted from £15,000. This I can say in the MAJORITY of cases is not achievable realistically a loft conversion will cost approx. £24,000. In London – £29,000 (purely on the basis of supply/demand) as well as Londoners earning much more on average nationally. This fact is true in Feb 2012 from my experience.

When choosing a company to convert your loft – you should always get 3 quotations as a minimum. DO NOT choose the cheapest as the DEFAULT otherwise you may be burdened with hidden extras. Always look to build the TOTAL COST – ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a contract and payment schedule in place.

Its not always a case of the old adage “you get what you pay for” – make sure you research your loft conversion company and at least visit a site in person. DO NOT take photos of previous work as granted – ask to speak to a customer and try make sure you are not hoodwinked into speaking to a family member or close associate. You ideally want someone independent. Contact the FMB and ask if there have been any complaints filled against the conversion company

Finally, a loft conversion will cost you a significant sum of money and it never hurts to ask the loft conversion company for a last price or a loan (this may work out alot cheaper then taking a loan from a bank) At the end of the day – the company wants your business and will do their very best to give you a cracking deal. Its surprising, how few people ask for a last price… it could save you money and make you money through this wise investment in your home.

Did you know…. The cost of your loft conversion could vary by as much as 15% if completed in winter. It is feasible to complete a loft conversion in Winter as long as you are willing to put up with the cold weather.

Why Convert Loft?

The most obvious reason to convert your loft is to have an additional room.  Generally, the loft is an unused space in the house which for most house owners serves no purpose then a bit of storage space.

Do you feel you have out grown your current house?  Is your family expanding?  Or would you like the extra space for when visitors come?  The list really is endless on why to have a loft conversion.  A loft conversion will give you no doubt additional usable space.

Modern Loft Conversion

Loft conversion adds value.

Not only will a loft conversion provide you and your family valuable living space, be it a study, bedroom or bathroom.  A loft conversion will also increase the value of your property, generally, it will add roughly 20% to your house value.  This could be a far better solution then having to go through the hassle moving homes.

Methods of Loft Conversions

The most popular types of conversions are:

Whichever method you decide converting your loft is becoming more and more popular option for home owners in the UK. So why convert loft? Its because it makes sense (money and space wise)

 

Choosing a Company to Convert your Loft | Loft Conversion

Loft Conversion - Home Cinema

Loft conversions are not as simple a building process; they require expert planning knowledge and expert building skills. To have your loft converted right, you actually need a loft conversion specialist with experience in loft conversions.

An experienced loft conversion company will have years of experience and will be able to provide you with detailed information on the various designs available, if your empty space is right for a loft conversion, if there are any building requirements, the cost, and the amount of time it will take to complete the loft conversion.

Not every roof and empty space in a home can be converted. If you do not have the correct height in your empty space, you cannot have a loft conversion. On the other hand, the majority of lofts can be converted without any problem.

An expert loft conversion specialist will be able to show you the different types of loft conversions that will work in your loft area and from here you will be able to design your loft and create the type of room you desire with that empty space.

The most common type’s lofts you can choose from with a Loft conversion specialist are rooflight, dormer, en-suite, and Mansard. To learn which is perfect for your home and give you the extra space you need, contact a Loft conversion specialist.

Trying to do a loft conversion on your own is certainly not a great idea and using a builder that has never done a loft conversion or the occasional one, is not a wonderful idea. In order to build the conversion properly and to meet any building requirements, you will need a specialist with experience.

By using an experienced loft conversion company you can feel assured that you are in good hands. The reason is a professional loft conversion company has been doing this for years and knows the entire process, which allows them to complete the project in a timely manner.

Not only can a professional create a beautiful room with your loft conversion, but they will also be able to provide you with information regarding if the area is suitable for a bathroom or even a couple of windows. The best part of all is that you will have a professional help you design the loft conversion you desire instead of just using a blue print, making it unique and personal. If you do not use a professional, you may be missing these extras that might just help make the room more functional as well as comfortable.

With a loft conversion, you may be able to have that spare bedroom, game room, or office space with its own bathroom and window or skylight. Just by contacting a loft conversion expert, you will be able to design and receive expert advice to create a loft conversion of your dreams.