What happens at your first meeting with a loft installer?

So you’ve made the big decision to convert your loft, and you’ve found a conversion specialist to quote for the job. But what happens when you meet for the first time?

To help you know what to expect we asked Daniel Moore of DJ Moore Lofts, loft conversion specialists and VELUX certified installer based in Milton Keynes, to share the process he goes through with his clients.

Ticking off the basics

“Before I meet with a client in person, we make sure that a loft conversion is doable,” says Moore. “I have a checklist of items to consider. The most important one is making sure you have the minimum 2.3 metres of head height required. There are options to raise the height in some cases, but for a standard loft at least 2.3 metres is needed.

“We then gather some basic details about the property, including what type of conversion they’re after and if there are any plumbing requirements. I also check if the project falls under permitted development as most conversions do, or whether planning permission is needed. We also check if there’s good access to the site and enough space to work and store materials.”

Moore usually gathers this information via his website enquiry form. “At this point we know if what the client requires is achievable, and 90% of the time it is”.

What’s your dream?

“Once the basics are sorted we’ll meet at the property for a survey. The first question I ask when I walk through the door is, ‘What is the dream?’.

“This lets us dive straight into what you really want out of the conversion. Sometimes a client just wants a couple of extra bedrooms for the kids, or they’re looking for the wow factor and want to create a master bedroom. I can then take a good look at the property knowing exactly what they’re after.”

Discovering what’s possible

“I’ll then talk the client through different ideas and concepts of what is possible for their space. I’ll show them a portfolio of case studies from previous work we’ve completed. This shows the different types of conversion available and I can show them a finished project similar to what they’re looking for, which really helps visualise the end result.”

Digging into details for an estimate

The next step is to get more details about what you require so your prospective builder can create an estimate.

“I run through a survey sheet with lots of specific questions,” says Moore. “This ranges from how many sockets you might need in your bedroom to how many VELUX windows you’d like. At this stage it is open ended and generic, but it helps give an idea of project costs. Sometimes clients can really over or underestimate the cost, so it’s important to know the ballpark range so they can budget.”

Moving towards a formal quote… or two, or three!

You can then decide whether you’d like to move on to a formal quotation. But Moore says even if you really like what the builder is suggesting, it’s good to seek multiple quotes.

“I say, the more quotes the merrier. Builders tend to have their favoured styles and ways of doing things, so getting a range options can be a great for new ideas and perspectives, Some builders may reiterate what the first company just said, but equally, they may come up with a slightly different design layout or a unique spin. Then you can almost pick and choose and incorporate your favourite ideas into one project.

“People can be surprised that I encourage them do their research and talk to other builders,” says Moore, “But at the day, you want to be happy with your house. More quotes and ideas equals more informed decision making.”

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