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Loft Conversions

Loft Conversions

Building Services

Fences, Brickwalls, House Extensions

Details about House Extensions

house extensions

With the current economic recession the country is now facing, people are deciding to stay put in their homes rather than move and either extend up, out or into the loft.  Each one serves a purpose.  You also have garage and basement conversions.

At John’s Brickwork Ltd. (“JBL”), we undertake all of these projects with ease and in line with the work of your architect and plans and an on site building inspector.  The first rudimentary stage of the build would be to make contact with the customer and make a convenient appointment to pop over and see them, explain what the company can do, have a look at their plans and then go away and give the customer a full, detailed estimate which consists of a 12 page report that the customer can then look at and see where their money would be spent at each stage of the building works from the foundations, on the roof and all the way through to the last screw put into the piece of timber, skirting board or architrave.   


This process usually takes JBL approximately seven working days to supply this to the customer from the point of meeting them depending on the type of builder they require and the plans and details and how intricate these are obviously relates to the amount of time it takes us to draw up the estimate and make sure everything is correct.  We then submit them with their full estimate.  This is done on Easy Price Pro estimating software.  Once compiled, the estimate is put into a double high gloss folder with a nice envelope and complimentary slip and sent by First Class post.
In the estimate supplied by us will be included a site set up, foundations, ground floor, walls, scaffolding, windows and doors, glazing, lintels, upper floors, roof structure, tiling, flat roof construction, flat roof coverings, guttering, first fixed carpentry, first fixed plumbing, first fixed electrics, authorisations, plastering, second fixed carpentry, second fixed plumbing and second fixed electrics.  It will also include the finishes, drainage, pathways, driveways, landscapes, kitchens, decorative, surfaces, lying of surfaces, professional surfaces and other PC sums.  Included in the estimate will be a full breakdown of the pricing and job details, work schedules, summary, retention's, bill of quantities, quotations, material order sheet, payment sheet, tech grafts and a client summary of holidays and client reports.


The Foundations

There are two major considerations to take into account on any foundation.  You have a pile foundation and a stripped foundation.  With a genuine pile foundation, you would have a raft on the top and the piles would be done on all four corners and at intermediate sections thereafter.  The piles would normally descend in the any region between 10 m and 25m and are approximately about 300mm from outside edge to outside edge.  In between the piles you would then have your trench foundation section.  Normally, due to the amount of specialised work involved, we would bring in specialised outside contractors to do this and supply a full engineers report subject to full survey and cost to the customer.  On the set out, we also price mistakes, profiles, line for shoring out and line marking.

When we price for excavation and disposal of soils we price for manual excavation and excavating with an excavator, shoring of foundations with the use of a dumper truck and disposal of soil depending on whether it be by local skip or haulage company.  Obviously to try and keep the price down we can use a 3 yard skip at £70 or for a large job we use a medium tipper lorry at £350.  Moving on to the trench foundation, there is also trench reinforcement as well.  We can either manually dig it or use an excavator.  We use level stake lines, clay board, slip memory, sub basing fill and a compactor to help with the raft foundations as well.  This will be ready once the footings have been exposed and we call your local authority inspector/building inspector who will come out and check the dimensions and soil conditions to make sure prior to pouring in the concrete that he is satisfied.  Once he is satisfied, then we would generally call the concrete company in to pour in the concrete and level it off by tapping it.  Once the concrete has been tapped and leveled, it is usually left for 24-48 hours to settle and curl.  Once it has hardened the bricklayers will return and then set the building out according to the plan and therefore be built up to DPC which is the house damp proof membrane course.  Everything is set at DPC.  Once it is set at DPC then we can do the over site which is usually about 100mm concrete inside the actual area and then you have your floor insulation of approximately 100mm and about 70 mm of screed which is your finished floor.  Once the finished floor is done, the outside brickwork can then continue with any inside block work.  Normally the bricklayers would turn up keen to gage the property and once it starts going up you rake your corners up, pull your lines in to any appendages, doorways or windows as shown on the plan. 

When the bricklayers are laying their bricks and the mortar gets to a certain consistency, we then iron up the brickwork which leaves you with a smooth, half round finished joint so it looks nice and neat and presentable.  On the other side of that you have your block work which is 215 mm x 100 mm x 420 mm and is made out of a light dense breeze block.  In the cavity you will have your cavity insulation which is generally set at 100 mm.  As the brickwork goes up in conjunction with the block work it then supports one another and the important factor is you have stainless steel wall ties that go in that tie the external block work to the external brickwork, thus giving it extra strength as well.  Once we get to the openings on any projects, we then have to make allowance for the windows. Then the window reveals will be set and obviously we will work around that.  Once the window gets to the top height, we place the lintel.  There are many different types of lintels. 

They are generally made out of galvanised steel due to the English climate so that they do not rot being of this material.  We attach the brickwork to the existing house by crocodile clips.  A crocodile clip is a stainless steel strap that is bolted on to the house with 10 mm bolts about every 300 mm and then you insert the crocodile tongue which then goes on to the frog of the brick which then attaches it to the house.  This allows the house and the joint to move so it becomes like a slip joint so as the British weather changes, as our climate often does, it can be cold one minute and hot the next and this allows for expansion and contraction of the actual raw material.


BC Certificate

As all the external and the internal block work is completed to the outer shell, the scaffolding is obviously going up.  As the scaffolding goes up, all our soil contractors will put our blue scaff tag on the scaffolding.  This shows our local building inspector that we are using qualified scaffolders.  Any gaps left between the openings have to be backfilled to close off the area and this is called thermabate.  This stops any damp creeping in beside the window and it is called a cavity closer.  Once the outer shell is complete and we are now up to roof plate, a 4x2m piece of timber will then go on top of bedding to the internal block work.  Once the plate has been set and dried, then the manufactured roof trusses can then be fitted by the local carpenter employed by us.  The local carpenter can then stagger the roof trusses at 600 mm apart.  Once the roof trusses are fixed properly, they are then gang nailed down on to the wall plates giving it extra stability.  The trusses will be set out to the engineer’s report which is supplied by the roof company and at this stage we will then call the building inspector out for him to check this.  Once he has turned up and passed it he will then sign it off and we can move on to the next stage.


Additional Works

The next stage of the build will be the installation of the roof.  Here at Johns Brickwork we try to match in as far as possible with existing roof dimensions and tiles used so it is all matching and just a follow on and it looks as if the property has been designed properly.  Sometimes this can incorporate all different valleys, hips and rafter joists as well.  Once this is done, the soffits and fascias are then installed.  Soffits and facia material can be made out of PVC for maintenance free or if the customer prefers to keep the original style of the building, the traditional methods can be done in timber and then soffit ventilation installed every 300 mm along there.  All external rain guttering will be installed and made to fall with the house to the nearest drain pipe.  All down pipes are securely attached to the building all the way down to the gully.  Once the rainwater goes off into the gully the rainwater, which we call surface water, will travel along under the ground for a minimum of 5 metres to a soak away.  The soak away is basically a storage tank for the water to drain into.  By rule of thumb, it is generally 1 x1x1 m (so we dig one meter down, one meter across and 1 meter back making one cubed meter).  This is then backfilled with special crates.  The crates then go back into the actual soak bay to the connecting pipe which is running from the house. 


Once the connecting pipe is done we then contact the local authority who come out and the local inspector will then pass it off and we cover it back over with a membrane closh, lino flooring and soil and then relay the actual grass over it so that no-one would ever know that there was a soak away there.  The soak away generally takes all of the water from the house or the extension if being built.  Any other foul or sewer connections for your new toilet to be installed will be installed but to the actual foul connection manhole which would have to be located somewhere around the boundaries of the property.  Once this stage of the build is all passed off we can then get on with the first fixed electrics and running the ring main.   Providing the existing ring main is secure in the house we run our own ring main on a separate unit to a residual circuit breaker.  We would then run the ring main for the electrical sockets as shown on the plan and all work will be carried out by a competent part piece 17th edition electrician.  The electrician would then supply the company with his certification which is then shown to the building inspector and passed on to the client.  At this particular time as well whilst the first fixing of the electric is going in, the installation of any gas or central heating pipe work will be done alongside it prior to any new floorboards being installed.  Once the building inspector is happy with this, we will then proceed with the actual case of starting to plaster the inside of the property.  Once the plastering is completed the carpenter will return and do the first fixings for the doorways, the hanging of the doors and the furnishers for the doors.

All customers are given stage payment request forms.  This usually indicates a deposit prior to any start of works and as we go through the stages, interim payments will be released on completion and satisfactory completion from the building inspector, thus giving the customer total reassurance that the job has been carried out correctly and actually passed by the building inspector.  We also supply the customer with a timely construction schedule from start to finish.  Obviously this would be affected by a lot of things such as the weather which can put us back.  Lengthy delays can sometimes occur with deliveries and special orders as well.  All the windows and doors are installed by JBL and meet all the necessary BSI, ISO9002/4 and British Standards 57 ISO kite marked.  They are all made out of PVC (polyvinyl chloride unplasticised).  They are all 28 mm glass units (that is 4 mm for one pane of glass, 20 mm and another 4 mm for the glass thus giving you 28 mm).  We always use the highest quality PVC that the customer’s budget can accommodate thus giving them total security.  All the windows comply for the necessary fire regulations so they obviously open up to allow for fire exit and they have fire hinges as well. 


They also have stage openings where the window can open slightly but still be locked.  They all have Shaffer bead edgings and they are all internally glazed therefore giving a high security feel deterrent from any burglars.  All the windows have neuropane gaskets as well which stop any shrinkages occurring.  Neuropane is used on Rolls Royce windscreens so you can obviously understand it is of high quality.  All the windows come with Saracen shoot bolt locking which is one of the highest forms of security you can get.  If it is a new build then obviously all windows will have triple ventilations installed.  All the handles are ergonomically designed.  All the windows have stainless steel friction hinges which are self lubricating with a small minute graft one block which you turn the actual grub screw on it and that actually lubricates the hinges and obviously being stainless steel they are never going to rot and we use stainless steel or Sheradie screws so obviously they will never rot in the English weather.  All the windows have drainage points installed at all stages so that any moisture built up on the window can be released and then drain off and go down on to the sill.  All windows used are 70 mm German profile, slender and sleek in design giving affordability, security and peace of mind.

The PVC doors that we install are of a high security and they have hook bolt locking and can come with either a lever pad handle or a lever lever.  A lever pad handle is generally used as a front door so that when exiting the building you can just shut the front door and the door will lock automatically and then enter the key and turn the thumb key and this locks the actual mortise lock.  All doors come with a 10 point locking so it gives you maximum security with anti lift hinges.  After the anti lift hinges you actually have a 28 mm unit which is in toughened glass giving you assurance that it will withstand a certain amount of knocks and damage and impacts from foreign objects.  All the windows and doors are a bright, white but you can also have oak, wood grain, pine and magnolia finish should it stipulate it on any plans or drawings so we can accommodate that.  All windows and doors come with a 150 mm seal.  This seal is then part of the window the door sits on for water drainage and they come with end caps supplied and fitted.  Should the customer request anything like French doors, we can accommodate patio doors and of course the new bifolding doors which have just been released on the market.  We can supply internal finishings tiling the floor, walls, ceiling, kitchen, bathroom, kitchen and bathroom fittings, toilets, hand basins, pedestals and bidets.  All work is carried out to a professional finish.  Our prices are very reasonable and not unaffordable.  We also do painting and decorating up to the last coat of paint on a door.  We can supply a variety of internal doors from a cheap range right up to a very expensive oak range depending on the budget of the customer.  We can accommodate most budgets.  Most construction of extensions these days is brick built but now and again obviously some customers prefer a rendered finish which is not a problem and we can finish off the rendering to a superb high finish.  The first coat going on is called the scratch coat setting out the beads and then obviously once the scratch coat has finished and gone hard generally the next day we would apply the finished coat which would give the actual smooth textured finish that you see on most new buildings done today.  The second coat it is mixed in with a water retardant.  This stops any moisture or rain seeping in and being exalted to the building.


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