Archive for the ‘Attic Conversion Companies’ Category

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




Planning Permission – The Basic Requirements

Friday, October 14th, 2011

How To Get Planning Permission

There Are Some Very Basic Things To Consider Prior To Applying For Planning PermissionFor A New House, A Loft Conversion, or a House Extension.

Over the last 12 months planning rules have changed and in particular so have Building Regulations. The process towards obtaining Planning Permission, in our opinion hasn’t become easier as the government promised. In fact, if truth be known, we could seriously question what if anything the government have done to help the building industry, in particular the so call small builder and developer, let alone people who simply no longer can afford to move house and instead want to carry out refurbishment works.  3d_architecture_concept

Before I get carried away with myself let’s consider what you can do to ensure that whatever planning application you are considering, you can at least help make your application process flow smoothly hence avoiding any long delays.

Here are 10 hots tips for you to consider towards putting together a planning application that in turn will definately help you to save time and money and prevent you from tearing your hair out.

  • Think carefully what it is you would like to achieve and why. In other words, a bigger kitchen, extra loft space for a play room, a bigger lounge or even a garage.
  • It is worth while doing a Google street view search of your property to try and visualize the impact it might have on the street view and your neightbours. This will give you an insight as to whether your expections will over effect your neighbours.
  • Have a chat with your neighbours to see what their thoughts would be and to establish if they would have any objections. It is always best ot have them on your side rather than the other way around.
  • Local planners always consider the impact a house extension, loft conversion, or a garage conversion would have on the street scene and how it would look in comparasion to adjourning properties, so bear this in mind when considering the size and style of what you are considering . It is no good asking for planning permission to build a black house in the middle of a white house, because it would stick out like a sore thumb !
  • The fees that local authorities charge for applying for planning or building regulations have all increased. Some authorities now even charge to consult them for advice. So long gone are the days of being able to pop in to see the planning officer for Free Advice.. Typcial!
    However, their advice could still be worth paying for . That said, just because a local planning officer may not agree with an application whether it be a loft conversion or large extension, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get permission granted. More and more planning appeals are being won than ever before because of the way some local authorities previously ran their departments.Planning Application, Loft Conversion, Garage Conversion, House Extension
  • It is worth while appointing a good builder, architect or engineer who can help you. Someone who is experienced in planning rules and if at all possible can offer who a complete design and build package.
  • Sadly for some reason the local authorities create a lot of unnecessary stress, delays and costs for ordinary people because of the way they operate their services. This can also be very demoralising and extremely stressful for people which has led them to give up trying, Having someone who can offer you a complete package and take away all of the stresses and strains is worth it’s weight in gold.
  • Set yourself a budget and have your project designed around such a budget rather than the other way around.
  • Alway, always, always take into consideration that you may spend more than you anticipated on design and engineering costs towards applying for planning permission and building regulations.
  • It is well worth asking what the design costs, application fees and engineering and building regulation fees will be, prior to kick starting your application.

With new Planning and Building legislation now in place it is a sad fact that costs are rising all the time. So be prepared for how quickly the design and planning fees can all add up to before you even start to dig a hole !

Yours Truly



Why People Love Our Loft Conversions

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Quality, Service, Professionlism And A Loft Conversion To be Proud of.

As well as providing some much needed extra space and increasing the value of your property, having a loft conversion can be a relatively pain-free process, but only if you get the right people on board.  At Derwood Homes, we’re passionate about the loft conversions we do, but don’t take our word for it; here are 12 reasons why our customers say they love our loft conversions:

  1. We get you the result you want, the result you deserve, on time and on budget.  It’s that simple.  We’re close to and 100% committed to our customers.  Everything we do, we do with our customers in mind.
  2. We know what we’re doing.  We have more than 10 years experience realising top quality loft conversion projects for our happy clients in Cardiff, Bridgend, Barry and throughout South Wales, so we know what’s what and who’s who when it comes to realising your loft conversion project.
  3. We’re a one-stop-shop, which means you won’t be spending your time trying to manage your project, trying to take it from one stage to the next.  Our job is to take your project from start to finish.
  4. Everyone who works with us and for us is hard working, committed, considerate and tidy with a good sense of humour!  This matters.  This matters because it makes for a happy team as well as happy customers. iStock_000010856590XSmall
  5. We get your loft conversion completed with minimal disruption.  Of course any major home improvement project contains a hassle factor, but we do our utmost to minimise disruption to your day to day life while your loft is being converted.
  6. We have our finger on the pulse when it comes to planning and rules and regulations which means you can rest assured that your project is being done properly and will benefit from all the necessary documentation and certification.
  7. We work all hours.  In the unlikely event that your loft conversion is running behind schedule, we’ll pull out all the stops to get it back on track.  We’ve been known to work weekends in snow and rain to get our customers projects finished on time.
  8. We listen to our clients and make it our job to really understand what they’re hoping to achieve.  This is important, because it’s your project, not ours: we’re only there to realise your dreams.
  9. We have ideas.  Because we’ve been converting lofts “man and boy”, we have seen most ideas put into action.  We can bring ideas, big and small to the table to help make your project even more successful.
  10. The “Boss” is available, visible, accessible and involved.  Our customers appreciate that they have direct access at all times to me, Roy Derrick, who heads up Derwood Homes.  I mightn’t always have an immediate answer to your question, but I’ll certainly know where to find it!
  11. We are recommended by our clients.  The fact that our clients recommend us makes us very proud of what we do.  It makes it all worthwhile.
  12. We offer FREE quotes which means you can find out if your loft conversion project is feasible and affordable at no cost to you and without obligation.

All in all a simple loft conversion can provide answers to numerous scenarios and can also add value as well as extra space to your existing property. However, if you ever consider having a loft conversion, remember to choose an established, reliable builder who can provide testimonials of their work. This will help to ensure that the project runs smoothly to help you realise your dreams in a relatively stress free way.

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