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Q & A's

Questions & Answers


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Can I have a Loft Conversion or an Extension?

In most cases, Yes. A survey will need to be carried out to asses exactly what you can have and we can also determine a potential layout of your new space.

How much do loft conversions and extensions cost and how long can they take?

The answer, as you may have guessed, is not that simple. Cost depends on the type of property you own and the final design. Time scales also depend on the same factors. A rough guide is as follows

Loft Conversions:

A simple velux window loft conversion, (the widows which lay flat on your roof line and pivot open) can start from around £16,000. This type will usually provide one extra room.

A full dormer conversion, (changing the roof line from a regular sloping roof to a square section, usually to the rear and/or side of your property) can cost from £25,000 upwards. This type could include two bedrooms and a bathroom but of course, we would need to carry out a proper survey.

Extensions:

A simple 3 sided brick built extension with a felt roof can cost from around £13,000

A more complex extension with a pitched(sloped) tiled roof incorporating a further dividing wall taken out from inside to create a larger, more open plan feel to the property and a new kitchen could cost from around £25k upwards.

Time scales can be around 6-10 weeks for completion, again, depending on the complexity of the project.

Once we have surveyed the property and discussed what you want from your new space we can provide you with an estimate and timescale tailored to your specific requirements.

Will I need architects plans for my building work?

In most cases, yes. This can be arranged by us, but if you have an architect that you would like to use that is absolutely fine.

Do I need planning permission from my local authority?

This depends on your individual circumstances and at our first meeting we can discuss your specific situation. However a rough guide for this is as follows: You do not need planning permission if you answer no to all of the following:

a) Are you in a conservation area?
b) Do you need to build your roof line higher? (This normally is the case if you have a very low roof and need to obtain extra head height for a loft conversion.)
c) Do you want a dormer on the front of your property? (The side is usually acceptable, even if seen from the front)
d) Have you already altered the property by adding space to it?

You will, however, need building regulations approval. This is done by submitting architects plans to your local authority. In short, this means that your local building control will check that the work done to your property is carried out so that the new structure is safe and secure and conforms to the latest regulations which include fire safety and environmental issues.

How quickly can you start my project?

This depends on how busy we are at the time but it could anything from 3-4 weeks upwards. Most importantly, we do not take on too much at any one time so at busy periods, the wait might be a little longer. At our initial meeting, we try and get an idea of when you would like works to commence.

Do you have public liability insurance?

Yes. We are insured with AXA and our sum insured is £2,000,000. This figure is adequate for most building projects however if you specifically require a higher sum for a larger project, this can be catered for.

As a company, how experienced are you?

I have been in the construction industry for over sixteen years and all our trades people have carried out time served apprenticeships. I personally have been involved in a wide range of projects, including working on the Brighton Pavilion, restoring a 17th Century Farmhouse, working on a huge amount of loft conversions and extensions and also building new homes.

After having managed larger projects for several builders and building a good reputation, it was decided that I would set up ACS Building Services which has been trading successfully for 11 years now, specialising in high quality loft conversions, extensions and general alterations.

Do you employ your trades people on a full time basis or do you use sub-contractors?

All carpentry works, which accounts for about 70% of an average loft conversion, are carried out either by myself, the proprietor of ACS, or my tried and tested carpentry colleagues. All other trades are sub-contractors, which is a far greater benefit than employing the separate trades on a full time basis. The reason?

Firstly, we do not take on too much work at any one time so there is not enough continuity to, say, keep an electrician busy on a full time basis. Using sub-contractors actually helps keep our costs down.

Secondly, all the best tradespeople tend to work for themselves, and we insist that all people working under the ACS banner are able to carry out their work to an extremely high standard.

Do you just do lofts and extensions or can you undertake other types of work?

We are able to carry out a wide variety of works.

When we are appointed a contract, it is quite common to be asked if we carry out other works.
As well as loft conversions and extensions we also undertake other alterations like taking out walls to create a more open plan living space, creating extra rooms for example en-suite bathrooms within bedrooms or building separate utility rooms. If you have an idea, just ask !! If we can, we will...

On the lighter side we build custom made furniture to go in your newly completed loft conversion or extension and general refurbishment i.e. laminate flooring, kitchen fitting and bathroom refurbishment. We also offer a painting and decorating service.

At ACS we are quickly building an excellent reputation for being a home improvement specialist rather than only being able to do one type of thing.
Perfect when have got lots to do and you only want to deal with one builder.

Do I need to move out while works are being carried out?

No. If it's a loft conversion, about three quarters of the work can carry on without us even having to enter your front door. Access throughout all of the works can be done via a scaffolding tower which will be erected on most sides of your property (where relevant).

If it's an extension and we can't access through the side or rear of your property then we will need to enter through the front but there is no need for the upheaval of moving out. We do our best to ensure that we cause as least disruption to your living as possible. It is your home and we never forget that!!!

I've made up my mind and I think we're going to go for it. What do we do next?

Contact us on either 01273 730093 or via the contact page on this website to arrange a time to come around and have a chat to see what you would like to achieve with your new space. You will need to get plans drawn up for planning permission purposes and/or building regulations so if you don't have an architect that you would like to use then we can arrange this for you and sort out all the necessary paperwork with the local council on your behalf. We can talk about all these fine details at our first meeting.

Any other questions?

If there is anything else you wanted to know, but the answer is not listed here, please feel free to get in touch by either calling 01273 730093 or via the contact page on this website. I will be happy to help.