Tag Archives: construction

Tips for finding the perfect tradesman, part 2.

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On Monday we brought you the first part of our tips for finding the perfect tradesman. Today we’re going to conclude this topic with a few more important considerations.

Let’s take a look at what else you should do in your quest to find a reputable and reliable tradesman.


Get it in writing

It’s all well and good receiving a quote that you’re happy with for the work that is to be carried out. However, it is vital that before you agree for the work to begin, you are given a written quotation. This can then act like a contract and will ensure that you don’t get charged extra money somewhere down the line.

Any reputable tradesman will give you a detailed written quotation, but for your own peace of mind, make sure it includes information about the work, total cost, and when the work is expected to be completed by.

 

Only use an established firm

There’s an easy way to check if the person is who they say they are. In addition to asking for their business card, they should also be able to provide you with their office address and a landline telephone contact number. Firms that are only prepared to offer a mobile number should ring alarm bells.

 

Choose value for money over the cheapest offer
When it comes to major household work, the cheapest quote is not necessarily the best, particularly if you receive it from a cold caller or a dodgy sounding tradesman. Instead, you should compare the written quotations you are given to work out which tradesman is offering the best value for money. But make sure that you only compare quotes of pre-determined established and reputable firms.

Look out for:
– Project specification details
– What materials will be used
– The total cost of the work
– The payment process

 

What are your experiences of tradesmen?

 

Here at Econoloft, we have over 40 years’ experience in the loft conversion industry. Don’t just take our word for it though – have a read through our client testimonials to see what they have to say about us.

We tailor all of our designs to suit your specifications – take a look through our gallery of previous work for more design inspiration.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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05.12.2013 No Comments

Tips for finding the perfect tradesman, part 1.

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We’ve all heard stories of cowboy builders – they don’t exactly paint tradesmen in the best of lights, do they? Because of this, it can seem like an impossible task to find someone honest, reliable, and capable of doing the job properly. Not so fast though, as we’ve got some tips and tricks up our sleeves to help you find the perfect tradesman, every time. Here’s part one.

 

Say NO to cold callers

Whether a tradesman rings your home phone or turns up on your doorstep, remember to say no to whatever it is they’re offering. It may sound like a good deal, but can you trust that they are who they say they are?

Without doing research, you have no concrete proof of their qualifications or experience. By accepting, you run the risk of dodgy work, incomplete work, or overpayments.

If the person is putting pressure on you for an answer, ask to take their business card and let them know that you will think about it. Never sign or agree to work before doing background research, and never hand over any money until you are absolutely sure that they are reputable.

 

Ask your friends and relatives

The chances are that you know someone who has had work done on their house. If they’ve had a good all round experience, it may be worth asking for the details of the tradesman they used.

Ask to see the work that the tradesman completed for them and enquire about the cost of the work and whether they thought it was good value for money.

It’s still a good idea to shop around to compare the recommended tradesman with others local to your area. However, having a personal recommendation from someone you trust can go a long way to providing assurance and peace of mind.

 

Check the local reviews

We all have access to the internet nowadays at the touch of a button. This means that it has never been easier to find reviews on any subject, person or place. Take a look at some of the websites below – they compile reviews of local tradesmen in your area to ensure that you find someone reputable, reliable, and trustworthy.

Checkatrade.com
Myhammer.co.uk
Ratedpeople.com
Trustmark.org.uk

The tradesmen on these sites have to pay in order to get listed, so it may be worth also checking the likes of Yelp, Review Centre and Touch Local, all of which allow tradesmen to list their services for free.

If there are no reviews available for tradesmen in your area, it may help to take a look for customer testimonials on their websites.

 

Compare what’s out there

Enlisting the services of a tradesman can be costly. As such, it makes perfect sense to not always go with the first person you find. Instead, compare the prices and work completed of various local tradesmen. That way, you’ll ensure that you get the best value for money.

Generally speaking, having three quotes to compare should suffice. Make sure that each one explains the full cost and details exact work that will be carried out.

 

This concludes part one of our “tips for finding the perfect tradesman”. Later on this week, we’ll be bringing you the second part.

 

Econoloft has been in the loft conversion industry for over 40 years. Our wealth of experience makes us ideally qualified to carry out work on your loft.

But don’t just trust our judgement – take a look for yourself at some of the projects we have completed in our gallery. Our client testimonials show why we’re the best firm for the job.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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02.12.2013 No Comments

J is for… joists

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Every week we bring you the latest instalment of our A to Z of loft conversions, in which the technical elements become easier to understand. Today we’re on to letter ‘j’ and we’ll be talking about joists.

For those unfamiliar with the loft conversion process, it is one of the most effective solutions for creating extra space in a house, while adding the most in terms of your home’s monetary value.

But before you can give the go-ahead for a loft conversion, your existing loft will need to be inspected to ensure that it is structurally able to support a conversion. And that’s where the joist theme comes in.

There are two types of structures generally used for roof construction – traditional framed type and truss section type:

Traditional frame type
A common element of houses built pre-1960, the traditional frame consists of rafters and ceiling joists, along with supporting timbers, being cut to size before assembly. Giving the best structural support, this type of roof structure is often deemed the most suitable for loft conversions. By strengthening the rafters and adding in more support, it is relatively simple to open up the space and increase the size of the room.

Truss section type
Truss roofs have been used since the 1960s. The advantage of this roof structure is that it is very easy and fast to assemble as the majority of the work can be done in a day. There are of course a few setbacks – namely, the thinner, cheaper timbers used are not given any loadbearing structures underneath which means that it requires a lot more work to open up the space to be used as a room. If your house has this roof structure and you wish to convert the loft, it will be necessary to insert steel beams between the loadbearing walls. The new floor joists will then hand on to the beams to add further structural input. While it is possible to do this task before converting the loft in question, it is usual practice for it to cost more under this circumstance.

Do I need new joists?
Often, the existing ceiling joists will not be enough to support a conversion floor, which means that additional new joists will need to be installed in order to comply with Building regulations. A structural engineer will be able to specify the size and grade of the new joists to ensure that your home will be able to hold a conversion floor.

The new joists will be fitted between the loadbearing walls, alongside the existing joists. Where there is a window or door opening, thicker timbers will be used to reduce too much pressure being exerted on the opening lintel.

Once the work on the joists has been completed, the construction team will then be able to get on with the loft insulation (covered in last week’s post) and before you know it, your newly converted loft will be complete.

Here at Econoloft, we’ve been in the industry for over 40 years, making us something of an authority on the loft conversion process.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our gallery of previous client work.

For more information or to book your FREE estimate, contact Econoloft today on FREEPHONE 0800269765 or fill in a call back form and we will contact you when it’s convenient.

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24.06.2013 No Comments