"We need a bigger house but can't afford to move."
"We Love our house, if only it were bigger"
"Where we live has everything, moving would sacrifice so much just for a bigger home"
These are the most common statements we hear when the topic of 'moving up' is discussed.
Most people don't appreciate how simple a loft conversion or home extension can be, if done correctly.
Often planning permission is not needed, but even if it is, this isn't necessarily a deterrent to undertake such projects. The key on all aspects of home improvements of this nature is to get correct, factual and professional advice.
We can offer a few suggestions to ensure you take the correct path for lofts conversions or home extensions so you can base the need to improve against the physical ability of your home to 'withstand' the work /design, any legislative requirements and ultimately the cost. Once armed with this information, you are best able to make an informed decision.
Do I need planning permission (PP)?
Your Local Authority will advise whether PP is required for your project or if you are able to undertake the works under your Permitted Rights to Develop (PD).
What about Building Regulations?
All improvement of this nature will require BR approval regardless of whether planning permission is required. This is key as unless you receive a completion certificate from the Building Inspector, the improvements won't be legally recognised, essential when trying to re sell your property.
How much will it cost?
Until plans are drawn and Building Control (that is the materials content/component) are agreed, any figure quoted will not be rigid and may give you a false understanding of the actual costs involved.
We only ever give formal quotes, which translate into a contractual price if the client proceeds once we have plans and building control approval. We cannot stress enough that this is the only way to avoid paying 'extras' that are not derived from your change of mind.
Do I need an architect?
No, there is no formal or legal requirement to use an architect and there are several options available to you.
If your project is a standard build, whether a dormer roof conversion or home extension, often the most cost effective route will be to engage a technical planner. Their fees can be over £1000.00 less than architects but still afford the client all necessary skills and experience to provide Planning and or Building Control plans and Building Control constructions notes.
How long will it take?
Most domestic loft conversion takes between 6 and 10 weeks, but will depend on the style, size and location (access) of your home. Extensions can be between 6 and 15 weeks depending if they are single storey or two.
Will there be any extra costs?
No, not unless you wish to add to the agreed specification. If we price your project from plans and building control approved construction notes, there will be no deviation in cost.
Will there be any mess?
Yes, unfortunately works of this nature will always create dust and debris. We protect any internal areas of your home requiring access as best as we possibly can.
The site will be cleaned through at the end of each working day.
*Do I have to liaise with the Council?
You are welcome to, but we always include this within our project management, whether it be the planning department or local building inspector. We will liaise through each stage of the build to ensure the appropriate certificates are issued upon completion.
Do I have to pay VAT?
Unless the works are solely for a registered disabled person then yes, VAT will be added to the value of works to form a final contract price.
Can you start next week?
No. Any competent, experienced and professional developer will have a lead time of at least 4 - 8 weeks.
Can we get any references?
Definitely, our past and current clients are our best means of advertising.