Apex lofts Testimonial
We bought our 1920s cottage in 2010, the estate agent particulars stated that the loft space was suitable for conversion following the appropriate permissions. However following a second viewing it was clear that the pitch was far too low – at 5’7” I could only just stand up. However in most other ways the house was ideal for our growing family;offering 3 double bedrooms and an attached studio flat (required for 6 monthly visits from an elderly parent). Subsequently our family then grew from 2 to 3 children and with the two youngest sharing a room we were struggling at night with one waking the other and we were bed-hopping in order to avoid this which was affecting the whole family. It became clear that we really needed the extra bedroom and knowing that the roof would therefore need lifting I started trawling the internet for companies able to raise the roof – there weren’t many. My favourite website was Woody’s - clear and informative with pictures and videos to watch and testimonials to read. Having contacted him, acquired an estimate for the work and an idea of what we could achieve based on the dimensions of the house, compared to the other companies he seemed the best. His was clearly a morepersonal approach and he had a wealth of previous experience and knowledge and an obvious enthusiasm and energy. Another loft company suggested that we would only be able to achieve the height required at the top of the stairs by taking a chunk out of the middle double bedroom, making it a single, but Woody insisted that we should try to put them above the current ones and see if the architect could increase the eaves height. We weren’t very confident that we would achieve the height we really needed – 1.6 meters higher than our original roof apex but the architect said we could try it and then come down which would have meant possibly having to compromise the stairs. Luckily the houses on the street have varying styles and roof heights so we got it. A neighbour that was worried about overlooking meant that we had to increase the sill height of the Velux windows to 1700mm off the floor, but in hind sight this was good as we now only have views of sky and rooftops rather than walls and windows. Unfortunately Woody wasn’t able to use as many of the large scale windows that are his usual show-stopper design feature due to the planners feeling that these would be too overpowering on the roof. So we had to move a couple of windows around, reduce the sizes of most and remove a couple and once again, although initially we were disappointed to have to compromise with the planners we had asked for more windows than we wanted (to allow for this) and the style of the house works really well with the normal sized veluxs in the bedrooms, giving a cottage feel rather than a much more modern aesthetic. We managed to retain the large square window in the bathroom which is a real feature over the free-standing bath and because it was high enough not to be overlooking the next door neighbour it was able to remain clear glazed and opening. So the build commenced…
Another reason for going with Woody was the speed of the build. Most people dismiss the idea of a ‘raise the roof’project due to the mess and disruption. Well let me put your mind at rest – this was minimal on both counts. The first day saw the whole roof removed (by 10am) and all the new trusses craned on by 4pm and felted by the end of day one to avoid any water penetration overnight. By the end of day 2 the tiles and Veluxs were all in place and this pace continued throughout the build until after 3 weeks the rooms were plastered, 2nd fix complete and ready for me to get the bathroom underfloor heating and tiling done, the decorating completed and the rendering on the outside completed. Once this was done Woody returned to plumb in the bathroom suite which I had ordered separately, so all in all about 4 weeks from start to finish and even the breakthrough from the loft to the first floor when the staircase arrived was not at all the dusty event that I expected it to be. Throughout the job Woody and I worked together to get everything as I had originally visualised it – he even sourced local oak for the roof detailing and wonderful porch which he built after the rendering was complete. Everything is exactly as I saw it in my head before the work had even begun. I would thoroughly recommend Apexloft to anyone wanting to expand their living space without having to move (at an average cost of 40k by the way) and achieve a beautiful end product which will add instant value to most homes. We have gone from a 3 double bedroom house to a 5 double bedroom house (though we are enjoying the luxury of a large walk in wardrobe, bathroom (Jack and Jill) and bedroom suite with super-king bed!) and the children each have a large bedroom to themselves which has made our nights peaceful at last. Having subsequently had the house revalued, the increase in its worth is more than double the investment. Thanks Woody for a great job,completed at eye-watering speed; with the patience to understand and implement the vision in my head into realitywith such attention to detail (among others - bespoke balustrades and newel posts to match our original stairs; a newoak porch and facade detailing) which makes the roof look like it has always been there and has given character back to a house which had suffered various unsympathetic modernisations over the years.
29 April, 2016