Loft conversions are a fantastic way of extending your home to create another multipurpose room without the hassle of moving. With the options that a conversion presents, it’s no surprise more and more homeowners are converting their roof space.
With much of the work taking place from the outside, loft conversions are one of the least intrusive building projects to take on. Once the ‘big day’ comes and you have break through from your existing ceiling and stairs installed into the bright new airy space, you’ll be surprised by how natural it feels to have the extra floor.
Finding the right builders to design and construct your extension is a crucial part of making sure the project is as successful as possible. But, as with any significant investment, it can be a scary and somewhat overwhelming process to find the right building contractor for the job. There’s a lot of money at stake so you need to find the right partner.
With many building contractors offering loft conversion services, it can be hard to know where to start to find the perfect partner. So, if you’re ready to commit to a loft conversion, how do you know what to look for in a reputable loft conversion company? These are our five tips to help ensure that your investment is well protected.
- Value for money: Make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for by comparing quotes from 2-3 companies. Compare what’s included and what isn’t on a like-for-like basis. Check what materials and services they include and whether VAT is to be added on too. The cheapest quote is never necessarily the best option to go for. They may be cutting corners on the type of materials they’re using, outsourcing to lesser experienced tradesmen or have many hidden costs which you haven’t budgeted for. Note that finishings such as tiling and bathroom furniture are rarely included in a quote to allow for the customer to choose materials and items which suit their personal tastes.
- Check references: It sounds obvious but if you’re supplied with references, check them out. You’d be surprised by how infrequently genuine referees are called upon by potential customers. A reputable builder will have several previous clients who will be happy to act as referees. You may even be invited (or ask!) to go an inspect their work in person. The type of questions you might want to ask are: how were they to work with? Any surprises? How would they rate the workmanship? Whether any of the work sub contracted?
- Accreditations: Membership of any trade associations or accreditation schemes is also a good indication that a tradesman is competent and works to specific standards. Some of these associations are The Federation of Master Builders, British Woodworking Federation, Fair Trades Association and Guild of Master Craftsmen. Although it is advisable that they belong to a certain body, note that there is no obligation to sign up.
- Meet the team: Your chosen contractor will be working in your home for several weeks. Make sure that you meet and feel comfortable with whoever will oversee your build. Issue may arise which will need to be addressed so it’s important to have confidence in the team and are able to openly address any questions you may have. Similarly, if your contractor tends to outsource some of the work, understand what is outsourced and seek assurances on how the company will ensure the quality of their work is completed to a high standard.
- Ensure you and your home is protected: Hopefully there won’t be any issues, but if there are, you want to make sure that the company you select has appropriate cover in place to guarantee their work after completion. Ask to see a copy, or at least check that they have suitable insurances in place such as Contractors’ All Risk Insurance. In doing so, you can make sure your home is covered for any damage which may occur to your property as well as covering any injuries sustained by those working on the build.
Empire Building Solutions has over 25 years’ experience specialising in loft extensions, home extensions and refurbishments as well as carrying out all aspects of general building and renovations.
Covering all parts of London and Surrey, our highly skilled and professional team can provide every aspect of the building process from initial conception and design through to building and finishing. Contact us today for your free consultation.