One of the most nerve-wracking things about deciding to go ahead with a loft conversion is choosing a specialist company to carry out the work. Everyone’s heard horror stories about bad contractors and no one wants it to happen to them.
So how can you ensure you’re hiring a great loft conversion company? Loft conversion specialists, Simply Loft, has put together a useful guide to the things you should be checking before signing any contracts to make sure you don’t make an expensive mistake.
1. Who are your neighbours hiring?
The best way to check this is go for a walk around your neighbourhood and see who is working on your neighbours’ properties. If one company is cropping up again and again, it usually means people have liked the work they’ve carried out on neighbouring houses. Simply Loft, for instance, has now converted eight lofts on Kings Road in Long Ditton thanks to neighbour referrals. If you’re friendly with your neighbours, it’s a great idea to ask them if you can take a look around their loft conversion to give you an idea of the quality of the build, as well as what’s possible in a space similar to your own. It also gives you a chance to ask your neighbours what they thought of the company.
2. Check at least two or three references
Any reputable firm will give you references to check. These should usually be recent clients and this gives you opportunity to ask them about the quality of the work, value for money, timekeeping, attitude and if they’d hire the company again. If previous clients aren’t happy to endorse the company then you know there’s a problem.
3. Ensure they have guarantees and appropriate insurance
You want any loft conversion company you hire to guarantee their work after the job is completed. This means that if there are any faults due to poor workmanship within a set number of years, the company you hire will fix it with no additional cost to you. You also want to make sure your loft conversion company has valid Contractors’ All Risk Insurance which covers any damage to your property caused by the contractors – as well as covering their equipment against loss or damage, and themselves against injury.
4. What is the company structure?
What you want to know here is if they subcontract their work. It’s better if they have in-house trades or trusted partners, rather than subcontracting as this can both bring the cost down and speed the project up.
5. Do they have a project manager?
Ideally, you want one point of contact throughout the project that can organise and arrange everything on your behalf. This is much less complicated than having to deal with each trade and supplier individually, and so you ideally want to look for a company that will appoint a project manager to handle all aspects of your loft conversion and ensure everything runs smoothly.
6. Make sure the quote is clear
A good loft conversion company will go through their quote with you, and break everything down so you know exactly what is and isn’t included. Make sure you know, as well, if your quote is a fixed price or if it has the potential to fluctuate. A good company will always be open and honest about costs and will be able to advise you with regard contingency costs if necessary.
Only when you’re happy with the outcome of all of these checks should you hire a loft conversion company, but you’ll be able to rest assured you’ve made a good decision.
This article was supplied by Simply Loft, who specialises in loft conversions in London. If you’re planning to convert the loft of your London home, contact them today to discuss your ideas.