Unless you’re a person of many talents, few builds would be possible without a team. You have your immediate team of builders on the job, but there are many more people who might support and inspire you in the run up to, during and after the build. From the pre-planning consultations, the planning application, neighbourly negotiations, finessing the design, the multitude of decisions, the build, all the way to the final decorating touches; you realise just how many people help you on your build journey.
I’d like to take this opportunity, for my final blog entry on my loft conversion, to pay a very special thanks to…
Mum and Dad
To Dad for his expert carpentry talents on the front door (see before and after pic), the built-in cupboards in the lounge, the under stairs storage, bespoke floating kitchen shelving and the bath panelling. For painting the first floor of the flat which took about four weeks – I think he bemoans the endless different colours on the first floor — sorry Dad. Dad has also been incredibly helpful with all the snagging jobs that are inevitable at the end of a build.
Mum for helping mull over endless kitchen designs and for help with the bathroom painting.
Alex, my supportive boyfriend, for being an excellent sounding board and for being unfailingly patient as I mulled over layouts, kitchen designs and paint colours, even shades of white! Wevet, Strong White or Wimbourne White perhaps? To sourcing hardwood decking from a developer friend’s project who would have otherwise chucked it out and for helping to paint the bi-fold doors and the decking (note to self: buy pre-treated external doors in future).
John, Geri, Martin and other trades – John for drawing up the loft conversion plans for planning approval and his team for building my design and helping me realise my vision. For being accommodating with changes to the kitchen design, reordering the schedule of works whilst I looked into AOV windows and sprinkler systems to negate the need for a fire wall at the top of the stairs in the loft space. He’s done a great job.
Architecture consultancy – Will and Neil from Sketch London architects for reviewing my plans and for suggesting I revise my design to remove the wall and door at the top of the stairs.
Colour advice – Elisa Pettigrew from Studio Pettigrew – all paint colours are thanks to Elisa’s expert style and colour consultancy.
The reverse living concept was given to me by my wonderful friends Clare and Harry who inspired me with their own forward thinking development. Clare was often on the other end of the phone for advice, suggesting I drill down on the quote making it really specific so there would be minimal variations and therefore smaller changes to the overall budget. Clare also provided me with her Design and Access statement so I could save money by drafting my own.
My experienced quantity surveyor friend Jason who helped draft JCT contract with me so I could formalise the build programme with John. He also made sure I had all the right insurance in place.
My neighbours for agreeing to let me do the build; as the flat is share of freehold, I needed freehold agreement to have the loft space in my demise and my neighbours’ consent to do the works. I’ll always be grateful for this support; though a special thank you goes to Cat and Jamie who moved in in May, still allowing the building works to start in June and were incredibly understanding whilst they lived beneath a building site for four months.
Kitchen design – Paul and Zac from Howdens, Wandsworth.
David Goodwin from Goodwin & Co Solicitors — David is a very experienced conveyancing solicitor, and when we were losing confidence with the conveyancing firm we’d employed to draft our new leases, I turned to David’s expertise. He spotted some inaccuracies and also recommended that if I wanted to do a mansard loft extension (which I did) I would not only need the loft space in the demise, but also airspace. Make sure you get a good property lawyer if you embark on a similar project.
Martin for the recycled hardwood decking on the roof terrace.
Michaela at BEW Electrical Distributors Ltd – I had read that LED lights were more energy efficient than halogen spots, but didn’t know much more than that. Michaela at BEW provided endlessly helpful advice on the LED lights in the loft space.