home refurbishments, home renovations, home extensions, loft building, building firm, kitchen renovations, plastering, bathroom renovations, home decorations, construction company to completion

Whether a kitchen, bathroom, full refurbishment, extension, loft or new build, our in-house dedicated team ensure a smooth process throughout.

from conception
home refurbishments, home renovations, home extensions, loft building, building firm, kitchen renovations, plastering, bathroom renovations, home decorations, construction company to completion Whether a kitchen, bathroom, full refurbishment, extension, loft or new build, our in-house dedicated team ensure a smooth process throughout. from conception home refurbishments, home renovations, home extensions, loft building, building firm, kitchen renovations, plastering, bathroom renovations, home decorations, construction company to completion Whether a kitchen, bathroom, full refurbishment, extension, loft or new build, our in-house dedicated team ensure a smooth process throughout. from conception home refurbishments, home renovations, home extensions, loft building, building firm, kitchen renovations, plastering, bathroom renovations, home decorations, construction company to completion Whether a kitchen, bathroom, full refurbishment, extension, loft or new build, our in-house dedicated team ensure a smooth process throughout. from conception home refurbishments, home renovations, home extensions, loft building, building firm, kitchen renovations, plastering, bathroom renovations, home decorations, construction company to completion Whether a kitchen, bathroom, full refurbishment, extension, loft or new build, our in-house dedicated team ensure a smooth process throughout. from conception home refurbishments, home renovations, home extensions, loft building, building firm, kitchen renovations, plastering, bathroom renovations, home decorations, construction company to completion Whether a kitchen, bathroom, full refurbishment, extension, loft or new build, our in-house dedicated team ensure a smooth process throughout. from conception home refurbishments, home renovations, home extensions, loft building, building firm, kitchen renovations, plastering, bathroom renovations, home decorations, construction company to completion Whether a kitchen, bathroom, full refurbishment, extension, loft or new build, our in-house dedicated team ensure a smooth process throughout. from conception

We were asked to get involved in this loft conversion project very early on. We were able to advise and recommend a local architect who in turn recommended a local structural engineer to design the required steel work.

A dormer loft extension (that is, where a ‘box’ is added to the rear section of the roof), does not usually require planning permission and falls within permitted development. Basically, that means as long a sit does not exceed the maximum volume (50 cubic metres), then it will only require a building notice. That is when the council, or independent building inspector, inspects and signs off the work. This really speeds up the process and is a lot cheaper than full planning.

The architect did draw up full working drawings, because as a builder we will always need these to be able to construct from. 

Loft Conversion Walton On Thames Surrey KT12(2)

The house in question was a fairly typical 3 bedroom semi-detached in the heart of Walton-On-Thames. The plans were for a 4th ensuite, master bedroom. This is usually the best option as it is often what most people want and therefore adds he most value to the property.

I believe it is important when making plans to extend, to ask yourself, “what would most people do with this house?” If your plans would be the consensus, then it is more likely to add the most value.

In this instance the clients chose to stay in the house while the work was carried out. We started in the spring hoping the weather would be on our side, but we still had a full scaffolding tin roof put up. It is quite expensive but an absolute must to ensure the weather stays outside!

A lot of the main structural work is carried out externally so does not intrude on the house. It is only when the stairs go in that we need to disrupt internally. Even that is not particularly intrusive, and once in, all of the work continues up in the loft. So of all the big building works we carry out, doing a dormer loft conversion is actually not that disruptive to the client.

What a lot of builders are not aware of is acoustically insulating the dormer “cheeks.” That is, the sides of the dormer. There house was on a main road and therefore quite noisy. When carrying out this sort of work, the local authority building control department is involved. They inspect certain aspects such as structural steel work and insulation. What they are not interested in, however, are the acoustic qualities of a building. In our experience this is as important so we go to great lengths to incorporate acoustic insulation as well as thermal insulation. It does require a different build method but isn’t much more expensive.

The architect’s design allowed for a dressing room and ensuite bathroom, so we reconfigured the stair case to split the design across the building, leaving the bedroom at the back of the house and the bathroom and dressing room at the front. Along with the acoustic design, this meant the bedroom was extremely quiet for a room on a main road.

Loft Conversion Walton On Thames Surrey KT12(3)

Another consideration is these steadily warming times, is air conditioning. With the room being at the top of the house, it would get very warm in the summer months. The fact it was south facing and had large glazed windows added to the heating problem. Most lofts these days factor in air conditioning.

When fitting a bathroom into a new loft extension, we recommend creating a luxury shower room. Provided the main family bathroom contains a bath, clients and any future potential owners generally like a luxury walk in shower. It always looks the part and you don’t need to have two baths in a property.

The dressing room was fitted out with bespoke wardrobes and storage. Building in the roof means you are losing all the loft storage space, so considering all your storage needs has to be carefully considered during the design and build process.

Another change that has recently been introduced by building control, are the fire regulations. Since the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, the fire regulation requirements have really been ramped up. As a minimum, all doors need to be fire safe. You can buy new fire doors but it also possible to have old doors fire proofed, so always speak to us about getting some quotes for that. On occasion they may also ask for a sprinkler system so that may have to be factored in to the budget.

There are a few different ways to finish the flat roof on a dormer extension. The most common is felt. This however will usually only last 10 years or so and bearing in mind the cost for scaffold alone is in the thousands, it is advisable to look into a longer lasting product. That generally leaves two options. The first, fibreglass (GRP) is long lasting but does have a tendency to “creak” like guttering when drying in the sun after rain. The best solution is often GPDM rubber membrane, It is relatively easy to fit and has a 25 year guarantee. It’s no more expensive than a felt system so is the method we always use.

Don’t forget when budgeting for a build of any sort, to understand what is and isn’t included. Generally builders will not be including the supply of a bathroom suite, glazing, floor coverings or fixtures and fittings. The cost of everything is surprisingly high now so make sure you get a clear breakdown of what is and isn’t included. In most cases the builder will be VAT registered, so do check whether that is included in the quote!

All in all, it was a fairly painless experience for the client I believe, and usually a lot less disruptive than they imagine it will be.

So pop up in the loft, and if you can easily stand up, the you probably will have the option to extend.