“My dream was to have a loft conversion; my aunt had one when I was really young, and I loved it,” says Michelle Gayle, a 33 year-old pharmacist who lives in a terrace in East London.
Last year, she had some money to invest and initially thought about opting for a buy-to-let property. “I had quite a few properties surveyed, and they were all asking far too much for what they were,” she says. “It wasn’t looking like value for money, so I decided to invest in my own home instead.” Michelle had inherited her house from her mother, and it needed quite a lot of work anyway.
“I had been there for two years, it wasn’t really to my taste and I needed a bit more space. When I started looking for loft companies on the internet, I didn’t even know what my loft was like – I tried to put my head up there a few times, but it was hard to see, using a propped-up ladder, what state it was in.”
Michelle had several quotes, but was impressed by Landmark Lofts. “Other companies seemed worryingly keen to get started without full planning in place,” she says. “I liked the rep from Landmark, and I felt safe in their hands – I could tell they were professional and knew what they were doing and that they wouldn’t have a problem with me being involved with the design.”
In the end, Michelle opted for an L-shaped dormer loft conversion as well as an extension, building a second storey out over her kitchen. Landmark Lofts helped with the planning process: she required planning permission for the extension as well as permitted development for the loft.
“I was really impressed that they also liaised with my neighbours to keep them informed of what was happening, which definitely made the process smoother – it made it possible, actually,” she says.
The team was kept on to overhaul the kitchen and the ground floor bathroom.
“My loft’s quite complex, and the ceilings in the rooms below had to be lowered, but the whole extension and conversion took six months,” says Michelle. “There was a lot of monitoring at every stage of the building work – Landmark inspected all of the work before payment was made. You hear awful stories about cowboy builders, so I was really glad to have someone overseeing everything.
I didn’t feel that I needed to supervise anyone, and was very comfortable with the team coming and going – they felt like family by the end of it. The company’s customer service was great; they were quick to respond to calls, and kept me in the loop the whole way.”
“It was quite dusty for a bit, and it’s not easy when you’re living where the work’s being done, but I’m delighted with the result – the house feels considerably bigger, and I feel like I have made the right investment for the future,” says Michelle, who has now moved up to the loft, where she has a new bedroom and her own bathroom. “It used to be that more than one person in the kitchen was a squeeze – now it’s much more comfortable.”
Landmark Lofts is the only RICS-regulated and Chartered Building Company in London that specialises in loft conversions, which means that they are able to offer clients a full service experience that includes the acquisition of planning permission, innovative loft designs and professional project management.
For further information, please see: www.landmark-lofts.com