Loft conversions have become amazingly popular among homeowners who aim to expand the size of their properties. Naturally, not all properties provide families with the opportunity to transform their attics into additional rooms, as some projects require special planning permissions.
Nevertheless, considering the costliness of such projects, it’s paramount to place your trust into the right builders. There is a multitude of construction companies that specialize in loft conversions in Essex, providing homeowners with sophisticated attic solutions.
When looking for the right professionals, the experience is the crucial factor to take into account. Anyhow, these contractors are supposed to be experienced in projects that match your requirements.
The following tips will help you make the best choice.
Prior to commencing your search for the right company, you are expected to work on the project plan. Planning ahead will help you realize whether a loft conversion is feasible in your case, as not all attic places can be converted into additional rooms. In fact, most of the attics fail to abide by the construction regulations, thus leaving you with three loft conversion styles that match the government requirements.
For instance, dormer loft conversions are considered to be the most preferred style by homeowners, as these represent a roof extension that expands both headspace and floor space. Hip to gable conversions, on the other hand, are a suitable alternative for homeowners dwelling in detached or semi-detached houses with hipping roofs. Such projects involve replacing the hipping roof with a gable, which refers to a vertical wall.
Moreover, mansard roof conversions are believed to cause the biggest changes to roof structure. This style provides homeowners with spaciousness at the cost of altering their property appearance. Anyhow, your project plans will mainly be determined by the type of property, the budget that you are willing to invest, as well as the obtained permissions. Have a consultation with an architect to help you with the drawings but don’t forget to consult an engineer in terms of project viability.
Look for similar projects
When searching for the right company to work on your project, it’s essential for the contractors to have worked on similar attic conversions before. Apart from inspecting companies’ portfolios, you are advised to ask for references from previous clients that you can contact in order to arrange a visit. Reputable builders won’t hesitate to provide you with a list of contact information of former clients who’d be willing to show you around their lofts.
Furthermore, some contractors even provide potential clients with the opportunity to witness work in progress. As a result, you will get familiar with the construction work that eventually leads to attic conversions, which is extremely helpful in making an ultimate decision. Since these projects tend to be painstaking, it’s vital to hire builders that you feel comfortable with.
Check experience and accreditation
Experience is of essential importance when hiring a loft conversion company, as it proves that candidates have worked on numerous projects in the past. During the initial interviews, make sure you gather relevant information regarding their record of experience and qualifications.
Additionally, inquire about their membership in trade associations like the Federation of Master Builders, the Guild of Master Craftsmen, the National Federation of Builders, and the Guild of Builders and Contractors. Although builders aren’t obliged to be members of such associations, membership of at least one association would be considered as a sign of competence. Read more about the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
In order to make a proper comparison between candidates, you are expected to get estimates from a minimum of three contractors. These quotes are supposed to include all project costs, such as construction materials, labor, subcontractors, decoration, VAT, and all the other potential expenses along with the project.
Comparing estimates will help you spot the companies that offer either overly high or incredibly low quotations, thus raising suspicion. Additionally, beware of contractors who don’t provide clients with payment plans or ask for a large deposit.
Transforming your attic into an extra room is a convenient but costly solution.
Make sure you hire the right professionals for the job!