Builders FAQ  

 

Do you carry Insurance?

We carry full Public Liability Insurance and this can be viewed on request.

What if I am not happy with the work when it is completed?

We aim to maintain customer satisfaction throughout the work and have a very high satisfaction rate. Where a customer is not happy with the work, we aim to put it right as soon as possible. In rare cases, where a matter cannot be resolved the customer has recourse to the Trade Associations.

Do I need planning permission?

You will need planning permission for extensions, garages, new builds and proposed windows. You will also need building regulations for converting a garage and for building a porch over 3sq. metres. if in doubt, speak to your Local Planning Office.

Do you install under floor heating?

Yes we do. Under floor heating compliments the wet room and contemporary bathroom design beautifully. Not only will you experience the luxury that under floor heating offers, but it also helps to dry wet areas in a wet room environment more quickly.

What is the difference between a Cold Roof and a Warm Roof?

Warm roofs - This type of roof has the insulation above the roof deck, so keeps the deck ‘warm’. It’s suitable for most types of domestic property as it avoids the need for ventilation of the roof structure.

How does rain run off a flat roof?

Flat roofs are generally built with a slight incline so that rain water can drain away into the gutters. Basically flat roofs aren’t always absolutely flat.

I live in a semi-detached house do I require a Party Wall agreement?

The letter of the Law states that if you have adjoining neighbours you require a Party Wall agreement, but if you inform your neighbours that you intend to carry out these works via a friendly conversation receiving their permission is normally good enough. That said you should approach this subject well before you intend the work to start just in case you need to invoke a Party Wall Agreement which can take 28 days.

If the roof comes off, if it rains, will my stuff get wet?

No. The roof will be done in sections. at the end of the day, there will be a weatherproof barrier covering the section we have done for that day.

Can we choose what tiles we want?

Yes. If you decide you would like a different type of a tile, then you can.

How long will it take to get planning permission?

The whole process usually takes 2 - 3 months. The design process will typically take around 2 weeks, planning permission can take 6 - 8 weeks, following that building regulations approval will take a further 2 weeks to complete.

What is permitted development?

Certain types of home improvement can be carried out without applying for planning permission. Examples are a porch up to 3m², certain conservatories and in some cases a single storey home extension. We recommend that you submit drawings to the Local Planning Authority for written confirmation of your rights and in most cases a Building Regulations application will also be required.

What is the Party Wall Act?

If you are planning to carry out work within 3 metres of a neighbour’s property you need to inform them of your intentions and obtain agreement from them. Example letters are available.

Do I need planning permission for my loft conversion?

Under regulations which came into effect on 1 October 2008, most loft conversions now don’t require planning permission. They are considered to be permitted development, subject to the following:

 

-A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced housing

-A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached housing

-No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the main elevation that fronts the highway

-No extension, including the dormer, to be made higher than the highest part of the roof

-All materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house

-No balconies, verandas or raised platforms

-Dormers not to be on the front elevation facing the road or invading your neighbour’s privacy

-Any side-facing windows should be obscure-glazed with any opening to be 1.7m (approx. 5.5ft) above the floor

-Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, should be set back to at least 20cm from the edge of the room

-Your house should not have already been extended to the permitted development limit of 15% of its original size

Do any building regulations apply to loft conversions?

Yes. Building Regulations are different to planning permission, as they set the standard for the design, construction and health and safety aspects for a building project. We will ensure all plans are submitted on your behalf and you will be issued with a certificate on completion of work. Further details can be found on the governments Planning Portal website.

How much is the architects/building regulations fee?

For a loft conversion you are looking at a fee of approximately £1300 + VAT. This is taking into account architect and building regulations fees including any structuralcal culations.

Can I have a power shower?

If you have a combination boiler you will not be able to have a power shower. You will have to have a systems boiler with a cylinder of hot water for the pump to draw from. Your pressure may be increased if you are still connected to your loft water tank by disconnecting your tank and connecting your taps boiler toilet to mains water pressure. This process normally only takes 2 hours.

Why do a power flush?

As when you replace an engine in a vehicle, you would never use the old engine oil, you would drain the oil, and replace it with new oil. Same when you install a new boiler. All the sediment in the radiators will flow into the new boiler and begin clogging it up. Power flushing also helps an older system by clearing it through. Once the radiators are internally clean, the hot water flows more easily and the silt does not act as an insulator preventing the hot water from warming actual radiator properly.

How often should I have my gas boiler serviced?

Any gas boiler should have an annual service/safety check as per all manufacturers recommendations.

Are your engineers Gas Safe Registered?

If they are carrying out any gas related work then they will be Gas Safe registered. They will all be more than happy to show their identification where required.

What is Part P and how does it affect me?

From January 1st 2005 the design, installation, inspection and testing of electrical installations will be controlled under the Building Regulations. When the time comes to sell your property, your purchaser's surveyors will ask for evidence that "notifiable" domestic electrical work, installed after 1st January 2005 complies with the new Building Regulations. Part P covers all works on fixed wiring systems but certain work classed as "minor" does not necessitate notification to Building Control. The replacement of accessories such as socket outlets, switches and ceiling roses in any location (including bathrooms) is classed as minor work. However, some electrical works carried out in bathrooms are classified as notifiable. Where notifiable works are proposed we will recommend a competent person to carry out these works in accordance with Part P.

Do you use subcontractors?

It depends on the installation. We do all plumbing, tiling and tanking work ourselves. When specialist subcontractors are required we will use only professionals known to us.

How long will it take to install my bathroom?

It depends on the installation. Most bathrooms are complete in two weeks. We prefer to take a little longer to install your bathroom enabling us to give attention to detail and maintain our high standard of installation. We do not work on more than one installation at a time, when we start your installation we will be on site until completion.

Can my bathroom layout be rearranged?

Yes, usually the layout of a bathroom can be rearranged. Rearranging a bathroom usually adds to the amount of work involved resulting in an increase in time and cost.

What's the difference between ceramic tiles and a porcelain tiles?

Typical uses for ceramic tile are showers, backsplashes, bathroom and kitchen walls and floors. Requiring a stronger material than ceramic, porcelain tile is developed by composing finer bisques, finishes and firing methods.

What are porcelain tiles?

Porcelain Tiles are known for their durability and zero-maintenance qualities which make them a favourite for use in areas that are exposed to heavy wear and tear. Especially when there is an opportunity to use a heavy duty material without having to compromise on aesthetic appeal.

Can I use Porcelain or ceramic Tiles outside?

Unfortunately not, ceramic tiles are only designed to be used indoors due to the tiles not being frost proof. On the other hand you can use porcelain tiles as they have the right ingredients to with stand the frost. If you are laying porcelain tiles outside you will need to use acrylic primer on the floor before hand, once that has dried (leave for about minimum of 12 hours), use flexible rapid (never use ready mix adhesive, always use powdered)

Why are porcelain tiles more expensive than ceramic tiles?

Because you are getting a superior product. Porcelain tile requires the finest natural ingredients and a rigidly controlled manufacturing process that utilizes the most advanced processes and technology.

Can I tile on to a wooden floor?

The wooden floor where the floor tiles are going on to must be sound with no flexing. Firstly we would recommend overlaying the floor with 9mm minimum plywood, screwed at 200mm centres. Then you should apply one coat of primer to the wood and allow to dry (it will depend on the adhesive you are using as to whether this is necessary). Then we would recommend solid bed fixing the tiles with cement based flexible adhesive. The floor must be dry fully before grouting (minimum of 24 hours). Then we would recommend using a cement based wide joint grout with added flexibility.

What does 'Blown Plaster' mean ?

This is the plaster that doesn't have contact with the brick wall anymore and is just managing to 'hang' on the wall. It can be recognised by knocking with your fingers.

You will hear a louder/hollower sound on the blown plaster than in the healthy plaster.

Blown plaster should be knocked out and patched up to bring it level with other wall before skimming.

I am planning a new kitchen/bathroom/fitted bedroom etc. When should I have the plastering carried out?

It is crucial that we programme the plastering around your installation. The existing fittings (if any) should be removed and the plaster work carried out while the room is empty. This ensures the best possible finish and eliminates the possibility of damage to your new installation. If you haven't finalised a contractor for your installation works please contact us and we can arrange this through our network of suppliers.

Once my plastering has been completed, when can I paint it?

This depends on a variety of factors - ambient temperature, air flow, ventilation etc. Skim coats generally dry within days. Backing coats and renovating plasters take much longer, some of which may appear dry on the surface but are still wet underneath. Please contact us for best advice.

Can you plaster around my central heating radiators?

Although it is possible to do this it is not best practice. Radiators should be removed prior to work commencing, thus ensuring a better finish and if the radiator is relocated at a later date then no further plastering will be required, saving you money in the process. We can also arrange to have your radiators removed and re-installed. Please contact us for details.

What is a Back-To-Wall toilet?

Back-To-Wall describes a toilet that is fixed rigidly to the surface of a supportive wall. The cistern is attached directly to the wall allowing for the waste pipes to be hidden.

What is a Closed-Couple toilet?

Most of the toilets you see are closed-couple, this means that the cistern is attached directly to the toilet pan.

What is a Corner Fitted toilet?

This a great space saver toilet. As the name suggests, this toilet fits into the corner of the bathroom or cloakroom.

What is a Wall Hung toilet?

A wall-hung toilet is attached to wall, this allows the toilet to be elevated off the floor. These toilets can be attached to load bearing walls but can also be installed and supported by a steel framework, which means that they can be fixed to any wall within the bathroom.

What is a Walk-In Shower Cubicle?

A Walk-in Shower Cubicle refers to an shower enclosure that doesn’t have doors or any form of framework.

What is an Inset Shower Tray?

Inset Shower Trays and Floor Standing Tray is a low tray suitable for a wet room. The thin tray will sit directly to the floor and therefore needs to be installed where access to plumbing is available.

What kind of countertop surface should I go with?

There are a number of different countertop surfaces available. Today's countertop manufacturers do a great job at making durable products at all price points. Countertops can be made in granite, quartz, solid surface, and laminate. The choice you make for your countertop material will depend on your intended use and your budget. Granite is a natural stone. Granite countertops are unmatchable in their beauty. Granite countertops are durable and they are resistant to heat, a common element in kitchen cooking areas. You can choose from hundreds of variations in granite which opens up visual design. Quartz is a granite blend that features a very hard surface with a granite like feel. Quartz countertops do not provide as much colour variation as granite and are more expensive, but are extremely low maintenance and durable. Solid surface countertops are usually acrylic. They are very durable and able to withstand daily use. There are nearly limitless colour choices with these countertops. These countertops can scratch but are easy to repair. Laminate is the most popular of all countertop materials because it is so affordable. It offers thousands of colour choices and a number of finishes as well. One downside is that damage is virtually non repairable.

How long does a kitchen remodelling project take to complete?

The amount of time needed to finish a kitchen remodelling job depends on the complexity and size of the job. Another factor is the delivery schedule of the cabinets, countertops, and appliances and flooring you include in the design. Custom cabinets, for example, will take much longer to arrive than will stock cabinets. After delivery, an average remodel may take between one to three weeks to finish. But this time line can greatly vary according to the complexity of the project and the manpower dedicated to the job. Expected job completion time from delivery to finish is one of the questions you should ask every contractor you get quotes from on your kitchen remodelling project.

What is the difference between a flat, high gloss, satin, and eggshell finish?

These terms indicate the sheen or gloss level, or degree or light reflectance, of the paint. Basically, these are terms that are used to describe paint's shininess.

FINISH?

Where to Use: Kitchen and bathroom walls, kitchen cabinets, banisters and railings, trim, furniture, door jambs and window sills Comments: More durable, stain-resistant and easier to wash. However, the higher the gloss, the more likely surface imperfections will be noticed.

SEMI-GLOSS?

Where to use: Kitchen and bathroom walls, hallways, children's rooms, playrooms, doors, woodwork and trim. Comments: More stain-resistant and easier to clean than flat paints. Better than flat for high-traffic areas.

SATIN OR SILK ?

(Range overlapping eggshell and semi-gloss) Where to use: Similar characteristics to semi-gloss and eggshell. Comments: Similar characteristics to semi-gloss and eggshell.

EGGSHELL?

Where to use: Can be used in place of flat paints on wall surfaces especially in halls, bathrooms and playrooms. Can be used in place of semi-gloss paints on trim for a less shiny appearance. Comments: It resists stains better than flat paint and gives a more lustrous appearance.

FLAT?

What to use: For general use on walls and ceilings. Hides surface imperfections. Comments: Stain removal can be difficult. Use for uniform, non-reflecting appearance. Best suited for low-traffic areas.

MATTE?

Same characteristics as flat.

Fairwaydev London Builders operates in the following areas: Central London, Hampstead, Highgate, West Hampstead, Kensington, Westminster, Holland Park, Maida Vale, Chelsea, Fulham, Queensway, Shepherd’s Bush, Barnes, Richmond, Hammersmith, Wandsworth, Islington, Finchley, East Finchley, Golders Green, Putney, Clapham and Kilburn, Haringey, Enfield, Ilford, Romford, Havering, Epping, Cheshunt, Winchmore Hill, Southgate, Barnet, Palmers Green, Muswell Hill, North London

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