At Cavendish we have considerable and varied experience in this sector having built many extensions whilst using different and varied styles of construction. From the more traditional masonry walls and tiled roof extensions to timber frame constructions as well as more proprietary systems incorporating energy efficient innovations. The diversity and style of materials available today offers an enormous range of choice to you the property owner. As well as the more traditional materials having a wider range of choice, now there is equal variety of choice when considering eco- sustainability and low and zero carbon technology. With energy efficiency spearheading the built environment at the moment we are well placed to help you realise your dream home, extension, conversion or alteration.
• We take pride in constructing our Clients visions for them, creating the space and ambience that they desire.
• We work closely with our Clients or their Architects to achieve the desired end product.
• We can provide a design and planning service to our Clients.
• We offer the full service from conception to completion and are happy to be Client led when it comes to design choices.
Important considerations when considering your contractor are :
• Timescales & Programme times
• Ask to see a written programme, we always supply one and too many contracts are started without any proof of timing.
• The communication offered by the contractor and how any extra works that may come to light will be dealt with and costed.
• Quality of work is paramount, you need to check references, look at previous contracts, speak to past Clients and see whether the builder is registered with an accredited body or similar organisation like check a trade with a good reputation.
• how detailed is the quotation and do you understand exactly what is included and what is not or is it just one line agreeing to work to the drawings
It is easy to be misled by cowboy builders and we have in the past been asked to put their work right. We strive to offer the best quality at a competitive price and our estimates are detailed enough for our Clients to understand what is included and what is not. As they say there is no such thing as a free lunch and whilst there are differences in labour rates charged this normally reflects the quality of that labour as it does with materials poor quality timber is cheaper than good quality timber. Quality control is paramount if we are building to last. All of our chosen tradesmen are trained in their chosen disciplines; our bricklayers are experienced as are our carpenters and all of our tradesmen. We use experienced and reputable sub contractors where necessary, people we have used for years, people we have known for tens of years, people with pride in their work, people you can rely on. It is important that the contractor is able to:
• Provide correct insurances.
• Read Structural Engineers drawings and understand how steel work is put together and why its bearing has to be stable and why pinning has to be correctly carried out
• Understand why and where damp proof protection should be placed.
• Can read and understand specialist suppliers instructions.
• Keep cavity walls clean to avoid later damp problems
• Knows correct strengths for concrete and mortar
• Provide you with confidence that where materials are to match the existing that they will do their best to source these.
• Understands when and where expansion joints are required.
• Employs Heating Engineers for heating and plumbers for plumbing
• Employs regulated and qualified Electricians.
• Understand the Building Regulations enforced in England
Things worth considering before you start down the road of extending your property
Design options vs size With the release 2 years ago of the option to develop residential extensions to up to 6 metres from the rear building line of an existing property there has been an abundance of hurriedly sourced materials as well as blandly designed rear and side extensions which achieve the property owners desire for more space but are not necessarily as aesthetically pleasing to the eye. With our experience of the available materials and design options we are able to offer not only the space (subject of course to Planning Consent) but better looking extensions.
Ambient light The depth of an extension particularly where windows in the side elevations are not possible or desirable can adversely effect the natural light that is available to the space. A cave like feel can be created in those rooms which have been extended. Whilst the addition of extra areas of glazing, such as the introduction of roof lights, can overcome this problem this remedy will generally result in the need to include higher levels of insulation to other areas of the works. We have an in house Energy Assessor and are able to provide energy calculations and SAP calculations to ensure the property remains energy efficient and most importantly remains comfortable. The introduction of LED lighting is also a possible remedy to dark areas and again we can provide recommendations in this respect.
Energy Saving All homes must adhere to the code for sustainable homes, but existing housing stock in England is still not required to comply and at present does not have to upgrade to the higher insulation levels set out. This is likely to change when the 2016 Building Regulations are released and subsequently enforced. The new requirements for insulation to existing housing stock is likely to be far higher than current levels in an effort to comply with the governments undertaking to achieve a zero carbon building sector by 2050 Wales has already implemented this in their 2013 Building Regulations Homes will be required to meet a guideline rating on the Energy Performance Certificate scale of measurement before they will be allowed to be sold or rented. In fact this is already the case within the commercial sector. So why wait for 2016 when these regulations come into force the cost of a simple single storey kitchen or lounge extension will escalate disproportionately to their base costs. After all it will be your whole house that will have to be upgraded. It may be of course that you are considering a large rear and side extension so why not use the opportunity to comply in advance as the cost in this scenario will have a far smaller impact than when it comes to selling your property or indeed renting it out, your property will already be compliant with the works having been done as the new works proceeded.
With the release of the new building regulations for Part L “Conservation of fuel & Power” in october 2013, the industry is now up to speed and ready to implement these new levels of insulation and heat which came into power on the 6th of April 2014.
The new regs only apply to new construction work and at present do not need the property owner to upgrade their existing property in line with any new addition.