Our Sales Manager, Deepak, has been interviewed by Houzz.
“Go to a specialist, because it’s what they do every day and there’s no disconnect between the design and the actual physical build.”- Deepak says.
Does your company offer different levels of service?
“We have three options: architectural only, where we produce drawings ready for the client to hand to a contractor; build only, for a client who already has his or her own drawings and wants someone to build for them, and design and build, which is 90 per cent of our business. This option is an all-round service, from concept to completion.”
“A loft surveyor takes a design brief from the client and surveys the property internally and externally,” Deepak explains. “The second briefing takes into account any design opportunities and constraints that have been highlighted by the survey,” he continues. “We agree a broad specification with the client and then go off. Five working days later, we’ll have a fully written specification for the client.”
Deepak says that the Building Regulations that most impact on loft conversions are those concerning fire safety. “There’s so much to consider in this regard,” he says, “that it’s best to go to a specialist, who’ll be able to weigh up all the possible solutions.”
Deepak adds, “We hold a one-day technical design meeting with the homeowners to ‘deep dive’ into the drawings – right down to the tiny details. All those details are then added to the drawings”. “When the party wall agreement is cleared, we set a start date,” he says. “Once the local authority has checked the drawings and provided building control notice, we can start work.”
Eighty per cent of the time clients will be able to lead a normal, undisturbed life while the work is being carried out,” Deepak agrees.
Deepak adds, “A design must match the function of the space and be based on a full understanding of what the client wants – right from the beginning of the project.
“For example, if someone wants fitted wardrobes, we can adjust the steel girder positioning to allow for optimum storage space, but we need to know this from the start,” he says. “If that only becomes apparent halfway through the process, or homeowners change their minds, it can be very time consuming – and expensive – to change.”
How much is a loft conversion likely to cost?
“Costs can vary substantially depending on individual properties and homeowner specifications,” Deepak says. “There are other factors, too, such as local authority constraints and sometimes things homeowners would never expect, such as issues concerning wildlife. In the past, we’ve had to fit certain hollowed-out bricks that allow swifts to nest, which had a big impact on cost.
“Similarly, finding bats in your loft space is likely to cause delay and additional expense, and can, in some circumstances, mean a conversion might not be possible,” he says. If you do discover bats in your loft, it’s possible to have a ‘bat survey’ carried out in order to understand your options and how to proceed.