Deciding on a Loft Conversion Company can be a minefield. There a smattering of dedicated companies, who only do Loft Conversions, as well as a host of carpenters and general builders who have the skill to build a Top Quality Loft Room. So, how do you choose? Here is our checklist....
1. Professional Survey
A member of staff, or ideally the owner of the company, will attend your property to carry out a survey. He should go in the loft and measure the height, he should talk about stair location, timescales, build queue, costings & any mess involved. This is the ideal time to ask questions. For 6 weeks, you will have to work with this individual & his company, on a major structural alteration to your home.
2. The Formal Quotation
Following the survey, you should receive a formal document outlining the price & the specification. It should be detailed and quite technical. What insulation, the manufacturer of the roof windows, how many sockets, what kind of lighting, fire regulations, building control legislation & planning etc etc It should also, with loft work, be a fixed price contract. This is because with a LOft Conversion there are no real "grey" areas like other forms of building works. Anyone offering an estimate should be dismissed, as should any ridiculously low prices.
3. Who's building mine?
My favourite question, who is "building mine". As in who is here on site every day from 8 till 5? Many "other" companies have a constant turnover of staff and as such could be advertising for staff at the time they are quoting for yours. The fitters who are onsite daily are the real crux of the whole operation. They will have the keys and daily access to your home. They will liaise with other trades, keep the site tidy & make the build stress free (if you get the right ones). Ask the question of the loft company, if they are constantly changing tradesmen they wont be able to answer! They should be trained Joiners or Loft Fitters, they should be smart, have a sign written van & all the related tools to do the job. Its amazing how many arent or havent ......
Accidents happen, things go wrong etc This is your biggest asset. There are builders operating all over the country without liabilty insurance. Get at copy, check its valid. Better safe then sorry. Loft Conversions mean big structural additions to your home. Insurance covers the whole process for peace of mind.
5. View a Completed Loft
Probably the most important one. Once you have decided, go and see a loft. I would see a Loft Conversion that is finished and I would ask for a current ongoing loft also. Have a look at something similar to your planned build. Check the quality of the finish & speak to the customers about how the Loft Conversion went. Then have a word with someone who is going through the same process right now. If you follow this handy guide you wont go far wrong.......
Happy Loft Building!