The Process

How we work…

Unless you regularly have building work done in your home, it can be difficult to know what to expect from the process and from your builders.

We have put together a guide to the whole process – from start to finish – based on more than 20 years’ experience. We hope you find it useful, if you want to talk about any of the stages in more detail, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Stage 1 – Providing a quotation

Most projects start by drawing up a detailed specification and drawings. We’re happy to work with you and our architect on these drawings and specification or you might prefer to arrange your own.

Using the drawings and specification, and after visiting the property or site, we will provide you with an accurate quotation. This will include sensible provisional sums, especially for finishes on bathrooms, kitchens, flooring, etc. These can vary hugely depending on the type of finish you choose. The more expensive the finish, the higher the quotation!

Our promise…

We will never provide a cheap quotation just to win work. We pride ourselves on our honest and transparent approach and will only give you realistic prices. When comparing quotes, make sure you look at like-for-like costs. Some quotations appear cheaper but will invariably add hidden costs or ‘unforeseen extras’ down the line. We believe in straightforward pricing and good communication. It’s why our clients like and trust us.

Stage 2 – Agreeing a start date

Once you give us the go-ahead and all planning permission has been granted, we will agree a start date with you and give you a schedule of the work.

Our promise…

Before we start any work, we’ll write to your neighbours to let them know what we’re doing, how long we’ll be there and if we expect any (minor) disruption to the street or area.

We encourage you to do the same. In our experience, a friendly word or note through your neighbours’ door before work starts makes the process a lot smoother! It’s also worth mentioning that our vans will need to park outside or near your house. It’s probably the most common complaint we get.

Stage 3 – The build itself

Unless we find anything unexpected (and weather-permitting) the ground work and shell of the building tends to be completed quickly.

When the building is sealed (ie, the roof is on and the windows have been installed), we’ll start work inside. If you’re having an extension, this will be when we’ll knock through to the existing house.

A word of warning…

If you’re living in the property while the works is carried out, this is the time it gets noisy and dusty. But as long as you have agreed the finishes you want in advance, it doesn’t last for long. As soon as the walls are plastered and painted and the flooring is down, you’ll forget about any upheaval and will love your new space!

Stage 4 – After the build

All building work needs to ‘run in’ after it’s finished. The means allowing time for the bricks, blocks, timber, plaster and other materials that have absorbed water during the building stage to dry out. This will happen over time as the room or building is heated and lived in.

Don’t worry, you probably won’t notice any moisture when you move in and it certainly won’t do you any harm.

As it dries out, the plaster and timber may shrink causing small cracks or gaps. This is totally normal and doesn’t affect the structure of the building. Any signs of shrinkage can be filled in or covered in the normal process of redecoration.

A word of advice…

We’ll do our best to minimise the effects of the ‘run in’ but some shrinkage is inevitable and won’t be considered a defect.

There are a few things you can do too:
  • Let the room or building warm up gradually. Don’t blast it with heat in an attempt to speed up the drying process.
  • Make sure the room or building is well ventilated to avoid condensation. Where possible, leave windows and internal doors open (including the doors of any new cupboards). Try and keep kitchen and bathroom doors shut to stop water vapour spreading.
  • Keep an eye on new sanitary ware (kitchen sink, bath, shower, basin, loo etc). The sealant used to stop water spreading can be affected by shrinkage from the ‘run in’ and you might notice some small gaps. These should be re-sealed as soon as possible.