There are many specialist building companies around that offer all inclusive deals and these can offer great value for money for homeowners looking to convert the loft.
Different builders offer different deals but they usually include initial survey, preparation of plans, applying for building regulations and/or planning approval, structural work as well as electrical and plumbing work. Some builders will also include basic decorating in their package.
Although these can of deals look very attractive to the homeowner, especially having just one point of contact instead of dealing with many different contractors, there are a few things to consider before signing a contract.
So, let’s look at the pros and cons of loft conversion package deals.
As mentioned above the biggest advantage in having one company do it all is that the homeowner can take a back seat when it comes to project management. There is only one person (the foreman) to deal with and that person, or company, will do everything from start to finish.
This makes the whole project much more convenient and means the property owner doesn’t have to deal with numerous different contractors chasing up missing materials and having to make sure everyone is doing their job.
Dealing with just one builder can bring the cost down and money isn’t wasted if someone doesn’t turn up or materials aren’t delivered on time.
Having just company doing everything means it is much easier to budget and to keep control of the costs. Of course there are disadvantages.
Ironically, when it comes to loft conversion package deals the biggest weakness is its main strength. Having just one company doing everything means they have to be the best. And the best at everything.
From drawing the plans to construction, the builders must at the top of their field. The danger here is that whilst being a very good builder the company neglects the paperwork or takes short cuts with the building regulations.
There is also the risk that specialist builders will just do the same loft conversion time after time ignoring the individual design nuances that most homeowners would like.
From what we’ve discussed so far it is clear that the whilst loft conversion package deals are the most convenient route to go down the property owner must keep control of the project and ensure that everything will be done right. Here are our top tips for making sure that happens.
Make sure you can trust the builder
This is absolutely imperative and is something we emphasise throughout this website. Please make sure you do your due diligence and that you feel as confident as possible that the builder you choose can be trusted to do a great job.
You can find advice on choosing a builder here but, in a nutshell, make sure that you see references and talk to previous clients. Ask to see completed projects as well as the builders public liability insurance.
What is included in the price of loft conversion package deals?
This is just as important as picking the right builder. The contract that the builder draws up must be studied very carefully. In particular pay very close attention to building regulations and planning permission.
It must be specified in the contract that all work must comply with the current building regulations and that should planning permission be required the builder should ensure that this is done.
Ensure that the builder is responsible for all paperwork being submitted and approved and that the cost of applying for building regulations is included in your quote and will be paid directly by the builder.
If applicable the builder should also be responsible for notifying the neighbours and complying with the Party Wall Act.
Away from the paperwork, ensure that the contract states that you, the homeowner, has the final say on design, no matter how many revisions this takes.
Another area to look at is the schedule of payment. Never pay large sums up front and make sure that payments are staggered in accordance with the work completed. Never, never pay in full before the builder hands over the final completion certificate.
That certificate is the most important piece of paperwork you have and is confirmation that all the work has been carried out correctly and in accordance with the building regulations. You can read more about the final completion certificate here.
For more info see the related pages below
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations
What is the difference between planning permission and building regulations approval for loft conversions ?
Using And Fitting Loose Fill Insulation In Your Loft