Q. What experience do Absolute Lofts have?
A. Absolute Lofts has over 25 years of experience within this field. Our speciality is building high standard loft conversions and we are proud to have acquired a fine reputation from doing so these past decades. Our teams are made up of the finest tradesmen within their profession ranging from; Master Builders, architects, plumbers and electricians. Absolute Lofts values its team’s loyalty and many of our colleagues have been with the company since its very early days.
Absolute Lofts also runs a work experience programme which provides many aspiring young workers training in specific fields of work. We also attempt to train the youth of communities in which we serve professionally.
Q. Are you FMB registered?
A. Absolute Lofts is proudly registered with the Federation of Master Builders. Other notable affiliations with our Company are; BBS, Fairtrades and TrustMark.
Q. Are your architects RIBA qualified?
A. All of our architects are associated with and members of the Royal Institute of British Architects. We ensure that all of our architects are the best and are able to provide an excellent standard of work.
Q. How long will planning take?
A. In most cases, planning can take approximately 8 weeks in order to certify all aspects of the proposed job are accurate and correct.
Q. What about Planning Permission and Building Regulations?
A. Some loft conversions require Planning Permission and all have to adhere to Building Regulations. The quote you receive will include the preparation and submission of Plans to your local authority. We serve the appropriate notices and liaise with the authorities on your behalf.
Q. Are you able to work with our own approved architect’s plans?
A. Yes, although some clients plans may need to be adapted or annotated with the relevant building control information required. You will also need to have structural calculations prepared (either by ourselves or through your own architect).
Q. Apart from your loft conversion construction costs, what else do we need to budget for?
A. The Building Control fee is £650 + VAT and is paid by the client directly to the nominated Building Control company.
If your loft conversion requires planning permission, then the planning fee is £206 and is paid directly to the local authority.
If you decide to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness, then the fee payable to the local authority is £103.
You will need to purchase a new bathroom suite for the loft. The fitting costs for this will be covered as part of our package price. There will also be costs for buying the wall/floor tiles for the new loft bathroom and paying the labour costs to have them fitted. As well as this, costs for decorating and fitting new flooring in the loft room(s) need to be taken into consideration. You may also want to have bespoke cupboards/wardrobes fitted in the new loft room(s) which we can give you estimates for on site.
Additionally, if your neighbour decides to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor, you will be liable for their fees.
Read more about the extra costs to budget for with a loft conversion.
Q. Why do you recommend a Certificate of Lawfulness?
A. A Certificate of Lawfulness is neither mandatory or a legal requirement. However, Certificates of Lawful Use or Development can be particularly beneficial when buying or selling a house. Solicitors representing purchasers will typically require documentary evidence that the loft extension is lawful. Therefore this evidence may assist with the sale of the property.
Certificates of Lawful Use or Development also provide the necessary evidence that any work that has been undertaken is lawful, especially if for example a neighbour were to make an enquiry or complaint about the work.
Click here to read more.
Q.Can we start work before the Certificate of Lawfulness has been approved?
A. We would always advise that you wait for the Certificate to be issued. Once registered by the local authority they take approximately 6-8 weeks to be approved.
Q. Can my neighbours stop us doing the work if they don’t want to sign a Party Wall letter?
A. They cannot stop you from undertaking the work, but they are within their rights to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor to look after their interests. If they choose to appoint a Surveyor then you will be liable for the Surveyors fees and you will have to appoint a Surveyor for your side of the wall too.
Q. Do we have to provide parking permits for your builders?
A. Yes, if there are parking restrictions in the vicinity then we would expect you to provide permits for 2 or more vehicles per day, for up to 8 weeks.
Q. Will we need a ‘tin-hat’ on the scaffold for the loft conversion?
A. Construction of a ‘tin-hat’ scaffold ensures continuity of work through periods of inclement weather. The client is given the choice whether they want a ‘tin-hat’ or not. The costs for construction will be charged as an extra on site.
Q. Can you build during the winter months?
A. Yes, we are able to build loft conversions throughout the entire year. Only once the structure to the loft conversion is complete and insulated do we begin work on building the staircase down into your home.
Q. Can we change our mind about the loft conversion floor plan when you start work on site?
A. It is quite common to have a ‘re-think’ once the shell of the new loft conversion is constructed. Certain partition walls can be built to the new requirements, or bathrooms can be made slightly bigger to accommodate larger shower units, etc.
Q. Can you give me an idea of the finished headroom?
A. The minimum headroom requirement for Building Control is 2 metres. Finished headroom in the loft will be advised by our design consultants during their initial visit with you. Read more about lowering ceilings to achieve a loft conversion.
Q. What happens if we want more socket outlets or lights than you have originally quoted for?
A. We have a standard price list for any additional items such as lights, socket outlets and radiators. These can be added quite easily before the insulation and plasterboard have been fitted.
Q. Where will the new stairs be fitted?
A. Depending on the structural layout of your property the location of the new staircase can differ. However, in most cases, we aim to always place the new staircase directly above the pre-existing stairs to create a more seamless flow from level to level.
Q. Will the new loft staircase match the existing staircase?
A. Yes, we will endeavour to match all existing staircase components as near as possible.
Q. If we have a wooden floor fitted in the loft, will it be very noisy?
A. The new loft floor is a suspended floor, with insulation fitted between the new floor joists, so it should not be any noisier than having a carpet fitted.
Q. Will I need a new fuse box?
A. This depends on the condition of your current fuse box. Electrical Regulations have changed more recently and therefore your property’s electrics must comply with these regulations. If your fuse box does comply with these, and can also cope with the electrical demands of a newly built loft conversion, then no. However if your fuse box fails to meet the regulation’s demands, or will struggle to effectively power your house and loft conversion, then you will need to install a new fuse box.
Q. Will I need a new boiler?
A. This will depend on the adequacy of your current boiler. If your boiler will be able to manage the additional output of heat and hot water, then you should not need to install a new boiler. However, if you have an aged boiler and or it will struggle with it’s new demands, then a new boiler may have to be installed.
Q. Are you able to decorate the loft conversion for us?
A. Yes, we have teams of decorators who are able to provide a full service. Costs will always be confirmed on site once the specification is agreed.
Q. Are you able to carry out any additional refurbishment works whilst you are on site?
A. Yes, we will be able to provide quotes for any additional building and refurbishment work of your property. This also applies to installing new boilers.
Q. What puts the customer service team at Absolute Lofts ahead of the competition?
A. We are the only firm of building contractors in London to offer a personalised online customer service centre where our existing clients may log in to download useful information such as their team’s contact details, find out the current status of their works and establish how works shall be progressing over the next few weeks. No other building contractor offers this level of dedication to keeping customers informed and up to date.
Q. Do you provide project management?
A. Yes, we provide management. Throughout the course of the loft conversion process, the contract manager will visit the site at least once or twice a week. This will ensure all work is progressing appropriately and will give you a chance to discuss any and all queries you may have.
Q. Do all your builders work directly for you?
A. All of our building teams work exclusively with Absolute Lofts. They are viewed as ‘sub-contractors’ due to the fact that they are self-employed. This is standard practice within the construction industry in the UK.
Q. What payment plan do you have in place?
A. Once the deposit (10% of contract price) is paid, there are a further 9 payments made on site as, and when, we reach certain milestones in the construction of your loft.
Q. How long will the loft conversion take when you are on site?
A. This depends upon the type and size of your conversion and the interior works you choose to have done. However, we endeavour to complete building work within 6-12 weeks.
Q. What sort of disruption will a loft conversion cause?
A. The ‘messiest’ part of the project is when the new loft staircase is installed, which normally happens around halfway through the construction period, and takes between 1-2 days. Read more about the disruption of a loft conversion.
Q. Will we have to move out while the loft conversion takes place?
A. You would only need to move out if the ceilings on the first floor need to be lowered to get the necessary headroom.
Q. What steps do you take to safeguard the environment?
A. We only use timber from one company who are a member of Forests Forever, which is the environmental division of the Timber Trade Federation. The TTF are working to safeguard the world’s forests and Britain’s future timber supplies. Forests Forever encourage forest owners to improve management practices, members to source timber responsibly, and promotes the environmental benefits of wood as our only naturally renewable building material. www.ttf.co.uk
Q. What guarantees do you give?
A. Absolute Lofts offer a 10 Year Guarantee on their work. This guarantee is supplemented with a 10 year insurance backed independent warranty through IWA. This guarantee protects in the event that Absolute Lofts cease to trade within the guarantee period.
Q. Do you have the relevant insurance?
A. Absolute Lofts is fully covered and in association with the Independent Warranty Association (IWA) so that all our customers can rest easy throughout the entire process.