Birmingham Basement Conversion
In the Birmingham area, Birmingham Builders & Construction often carry out basement conversions for our customers who are looking to add extra space within their homes without having to extend upwards or outwards. Since there is only so much space that is available from extending, eventually it would either be too costly to extend or you would run out of possible living space. That is why a basement conversion becomes both a viable and very efficient option for customers. Since they can create additional living space without having to encounter possible conflicts regarding neighbour’s property boundaries, it becomes a somewhat stress-free option as well. A basement conversion also allows for a living space that is fit for housing prized possessions and objects, as they will be kept out of sight from most people who will visit the home. This would help keep those said objects safe somewhat.
Basement conversions in the Birmingham area can be somewhat pricey depending on the project that you would like completed and the overall scope of the project itself. We have completed a few projects within the Birmingham area and have been able to take advantage of both our skills and our experience within the industry to gather an average price range for basement conversions in Birmingham, and the average time scale of the basement conversion. Roughly, it comes down to a few key factors for both the cost and the timescale of each project. Depending on the size of the project, it would naturally take longer to complete but it would also mean a higher cost in both labour and raw materials, increasing the total costs of each basement conversion depending on each projects specifications and design parameters. That is why we can only give general averages.
How long does it take to convert a basement in Birmingham?
The average timescale for a basement conversion in Birmingham is usually consistent, depending on the services which need to be completed. Since there are a few different basement conversions that can be completed, we will go through some of the basement conversion types to give you a grasp on how long each would take to complete within the Birmingham area. The first such basement conversion is a straightforward conversion, which within Birmingham should take on average 6 – 10 weeks, with the average completed within 8. The second such basement conversion involved the lowering of the floor level and underpinning, which would take anywhere between 8 – 14 weeks within the Birmingham area, and the average taking 10 weeks to complete. Finally, the last such basement conversion is the construction and additional conversion of basement space, which takes anywhere between 12 – 24 weeks depending on the size and scope of the project, but usually taking 16 weeks in Birmingham from previous projects completed.
How much does a basement conversion cost in Birmingham?
We here at Birmingham Builders & Construction also know that some customers would like to know the average cost of basement conversions in Birmingham. The average cost of a basement conversion in the city of Birmingham for an existing basement can cost anywhere from £800 - £1300 per square meter of the space inside the basement itself. The reason it can very so largely between costs is if the basement itself needs additional work aside from the conversion such as plumbing, electrical works, underpinning of the basement itself and much more. The average cost would be within the £1,000 range in conclusion to the projects which we have completed in the past. If you are looking for a conversion that covers the same work but requires both the lowering of the floor levels along with the underpinning, then the average cost can range anywhere between £1,500 - £2,000 per square metre in Birmingham, with £1,700 being the average we have managed to calculate. This is natural because of the additional construction that must take place to ensure project completion. Finally, if you are looking to create and then convert a basement space, the average cost should be in between £2,000 - £3,000 per square metre in Birmingham, with the average cost from our own calculations being £2,600. Once again, this is dependent on both labour costs and raw material costs.
One of the least touched upon subjects by those inside and outside of the industry are builders in general. Many who are not in the profession are unaware of the building industry’s ins and outs. This includes small things such as how many builders there actually are within the Birmingham area and the United Kingdom in general, how much training and experience goes into becoming a specialised tradesman and more. The building industry is full of experienced and knowledgeable craftsmen who are specialised in different talents, each which complement the others. In today’s post, we will be briefly looking at what goes into the industry behind the scenes.
How many builders are in Birmingham?
Within the Birmingham area, there are over 50 general building companies. I say general because this does not go into specialized services or the workers themselves. Within those 50, it is safe to say that each company hires 3 to 5 specific employees. These employees may not necessarily be tradesmen, and could be anything from a secretary to an accountant. What you should note however, is how many contractors will be working on average within the Birmingham area at any given time. The average contractor (any specialization) on each building site would be 350 in Birmingham city alone. This is a very low estimate, not taking into account new builds within commercial or residential areas.
Within those 350 builders would be a variety of different specializations and services. For the main construction projects, at any given time in Birmingham would be at least 100. These include heavy machinery operators, welders, scaffolders and foundation layers. These are just some of the specializations that are specific to construction projects such as commercial or residential new builds. Others such as a general foreman are the trade’s that are specifically responsible for the creation and construction of any building project from scratch. They can also be just some of the trades that are working on smaller construction projects such as property renovations or office stripping’s. You would likely see these same tradesmen on building knockdowns.
How much do builders in Birmingham cost?
The average cost of these tradesmen can vary wildly depending on the company they would be working with and the project that is required to complete. While there is a national standard for each trade, this is usually the average and it would not be uncommon to see some contractors paid much more if the project itself is more demanding. Across the trades that are less specialised, it would not be uncommon to see an average of £12 per hour. This includes the tradesmen such as labourers, painters and decorators, plasterers and other trades. What you would see is the more realistic average of £13.50 - £17.50 per hour if the job is more demanding and requires a few more safety risks. This would include having to perform their jobs from somewhat dangerous heights.
There are some builder trades that would get paid higher than that on average per project. When negotiating with some tradesmen, dependent on the size and safety concerns of the project you could pay anywhere from £20.00-£30.00 per hour. These are the more specialised jobs such as heavy machine operators, site managers and other trades that take a long time to learn and perform efficiently. Some contractors are also paid more on average if you have a trustful relationship with them. When you have worked with a specific contractor for a significant amount of time, they become one of your main contractors. This makes them an automatic go-to when hiring contractors and for their loyalty, it is only natural to pay them more.
I hope you enjoyed today's post about the prices of some builders, as well as how many workers there are at any given time. This is an average, and does not necessarily mean it is what you should expect. If you enjoyed today's blog post, please check out some of our older posts. Also, make sure to check out some of our ones in the future too!
Birmingham Loft Conversions
Recently we completed a relatively large loft conversion within the city of Birmingham. Here at Birmingham Builders, we have completed many loft conversion projects in recent times. With loft conversions, there are usually three different choices in how you would like to convert your loft. This depends both on the amount of size you would like to increase within your loft and the property that you own itself. Depending on how your property is shaped, the building itself may or may not be suitable for that specific conversion. One example is that of a hip to gable loft conversion, which is more suitable for your home if you have a slanted wall where the roof connects to the wall. If the wall is not slanted, then a hip to gable loft conversion may not be possible for your property. The three different loft conversions are hip to gable, dormer and mansard, with each conversion increasing the overall size of your loft conversion respectively.
Should I get a loft conversion in Birmingham?
Loft conversions in general are becoming more and more popular within the Birmingham area in recent times as it is a cost-effective way to create living space within your home without having to invest too much financially. It is also good for those who have already underwent home extensions towards the sides of their home and no longer have space within the boundaries of their property. Another additional benefit of loft conversions are the customisation options that it can bring within your home. Like home extensions, loft conversions are not restrictive in terms of the rooms you can create with them, and at times can give you a bit more leniency. One such example is the possibility to add a balcony within the top of your property. You can also add luxury rooms such as steam rooms and saunas, or even an entertainment room such as a home theatre. The options are relatively endless, if you have both the financial budget and the space within the conversion.
Ad this is a relatively quickly growing trend within the city of Birmingham, we have had the pleasure of completing all loft conversion types. The most popular seems to be the mansard conversion because of the large amount of space, but it is also the costliest. The labour and raw materials costs for a mansard are higher than any other option, but with the investment comes more options and space for your room. Recently, we completed a mansard conversion which involved the creation of a home entertainment room. It was a home cinema and gaming room combination, using the same projector and screen for both the Blu-ray console and video game consoles. With the addition of furniture such as couches, side chairs and a sleek glass desk under the screen to discreetly tuck away the electronics needed, we could create the perfect room with both sound and light treatment.
What loft conversions are available in Birmingham
Another loft conversion we recently completed was a hip to gable conversion, with the creation of a bedroom and bathroom combination. However, we were also able to install a Velux window and balcony onto the side of the conversion itself, allowing for the home owner or member of household who resides inside the bedroom to safely and freely use. There are many options when it comes to balconies within your loft, as you could also create a relatively large balcony space from both a dormer and mansard conversion. You could also construct a Juliet balcony within the loft itself for a smaller but just as safe option. With additional boarding and insulation however, the Velux window and balcony are both safe to use and do not allow outside temperatures to affect your bedroom too much, especially in the winter time where it would be a larger concern.
Since loft conversions are a rapidly growing trend, it is important for builders in Birmingham to be both knowledgeable and experienced in the conversion process. We have builders Birmingham inhabitants can rely on for their loft conversion needs. So, if you are looking for a loft conversion within the Birmingham area, come to Birmingham Builders & Construction today! Otherwise, please read some of our previous blog posts today!
Birmingham Home Extension
One of the more common services that are requested by builders in Birmingham is a home extension. The extension itself is broad, meaning that any part of the home itself can be extended such as the kitchen, living room, bathroom or bedroom. Unlike an addition, an extension is simply the enlarging of pre-existing space within the home. This is something we at Birmingham Builders perform all the time, since many of the homes built pre-1960 have smaller kitchens and bedrooms and do not house enough space for the home owners. A home extension itself is enjoyable for builders to complete since the project is relatively simple but also challenging to complete.
A large home extension
One specific home extension we performed was a multi-room extension within the city of Birmingham that required us to extend the kitchen, living room and dining room of the left-hand side of the home simultaneously. The kitchen itself was very small, to the point that only one person could comfortable manoeuvre around the room. The living room and dining room were also very small, at most being able to house 3 people comfortably before the size restrictions become both immediate and frustrating. Since the home was a two-story detached property, we decided that for the sake of the budget the homeowner had, we wouldn’t also extend the second storey with the first. The additional costs of the extension would increase by roughly half of the total budget that was required if we were to also extend the second floor. That is why we instead built roofing within the space of the second story to create a mini-roof.
The kitchen extension itself was effective by moving the side of the kitchen which housed the appliances (the outer wall) further back by 5 times the size of the previous kitchen space. The home owner wanted enough space to not only allow 3 people to help with food preparation and cooking simultaneously, but also to fit a small kitchen island too. The floor space itself is where we targeted the extension, since the homeowner didn’t need any additional space for the appliances itself. By only extending the outer wall backwards on one side rather than two, we could save a decent amount of costs. We also managed to create enough floor space that our builders managed to fit a kitchen island that could seat four different people at once while still not compromising on cooking or food preparation space, which was a primary concern of the home owner.
Other details of the home extension
For the dining room, we used the same basic principle of moving the left wall outwards to increase floor space. The connecting side walls meant that we couldn’t increase the overall length of the dining room, but that was not necessary since our builders were able to come up with a suitable compromise during the extension. By pulling the outer dining room wall to create a wider space rather than a longer space, we managed to increase the overall floor space to fit a wider and larger table into the dining room that could seat an additional two people on the smaller sides. This allowed the dining room to seat additional people which was the main aim of the homeowner, and we managed to extend the dining room by almost an additional half.
Finally, the living room extension was different to the previous two rooms. Since the living room was quite small to being with, we decided to increase the overall space by having our builders extend both the outer wall and the wall closest to the street. This not only kept in place with the other extensions allowing the entire side to match size, but also create a much larger space towards the street. It did however mean we had to create almost spherical wall corners for aesthetics, but it looked much better than any alternatives that would have been possible otherwise. Overall, the home extension was a complete success, managing to hit the targets our homeowners needed.
If you enjoyed this blog post, please check out our previous post and stay tuned for the next one! We have the best builders Birmingham offer, and we love telling our stories! If you haven't managed to yet, please read our post about property renovations in Birmingham!
Birmingham Home Renovation
Recently, we completed a relatively large property renovation in the city of Birmingham. The actual renovation itself was not difficult in terms of the project specifications and the requirements necessary, but because the property totalled 3 floors, the actual workload was larger than usual. When performing a renovation on a larger property such as this, it is normal to expect both the project to take longer than the average, and for the labour and raw material cost to also be larger than usual. Since this specific property is larger than the average property around the United Kingdom and goes towards the higher square foot per home, this was a project we also had to contract for.
The Home Renovation
The property renovation itself was relatively straightforward in terms of the work required. The issue was the amount of rooms we had to work on while keeping to the deadline. Since we started the project in February and we had a deadline of July, it gave us 5 months to complete which is more than enough time. During the renovation however, designs and specifications for rooms would often change. This is normal during a renovation process, but rarely would you have 8 or 9 different rooms which designs have been edited or changed in the last minute. This means that any surplus in budget is quickly undercut, and we went over the original planned budget for the renovation itself. The deadline also went from “highly achievable” to “realistic” very quickly because of these changes.
We understand that when customers make large investments within their home such as the scope and scale of a property renovation they will want to make sure everything is perfect. This is completely understandable and it is also something we encourage to ensure customer satisfaction and usability. The issue is when the bathroom or kitchen specifications are changed 5 times within the property renovation project, since the work itself is being second guessed. Birmingham is an area which has a high density of average to larger sized homes, and the average home in Birmingham is of a smaller scale than this property was. So, fitting in the last-minute edits while still renovating five other rooms simultaneously can be both difficult and confusing for contractors.
Cost of the Home Renovation and other information
Although we touched on it briefly, the budget of the renovation quickly rose beyond the planned budget because of the changes made. When planning budget most home owners always ensure to add a 10% surplus in case any issues arise during the construction process. When you go beyond the 10% surplus, the issue becomes much larger. While I never presume customers finances, the home owner had made it clear during the renovation process that any budgetary issues will be rectified on their end, and they were more than happy to cover costs based on their changes. While this obviously alleviated some worries on my side, there was disappointment it had happened to begin with. This is an issue that arises with last minute changes, since you can’t account for budget that either shouldn’t have been spent, or could not have been planned to spend.
The renovation was smooth altogether. Beside the last-minute changes, the actual renovation came together quickly in most of the rooms within the home. A renovation can be a very enjoyable experience for builders since it is a process of stripping the home clean and technically rebuilding it from within. Another way to explain it would be as if you are wiping a canvass blank and now have a canvass for you to draw and be creative with. Builders often get the chance to break things down and/or create something, but rarely do we get to do it on a specific home of this size with such creative designs and colours in some cases. Luckily, despite the hiccups, the project still was completed and as builders, we were proud of what we achieved.
At Birmingham Builders and Construction, we love to work in Birmingham. It is our city, and as builders we ensure that everywhere we work we treat it as home.
Just want to add that if you haven't had the chance to see our first blog post about our New Home Build in Birmingham, then please head over there now!
One of the recent jobs we completed at Birmingham Builders & Construction was a new home build construction in the east of Birmingham city. I don’t like revealing details that might identify the customer or the new build home in question, so I will be very subtle about certain details such as location and names. However, if I keep the general specifics vague then I should be okay to discuss the new build itself. Our builders are incredibly experienced and work all around the Birmingham area, so it’s nice to know that whatever the location or whatever the project – from home extensions and property renovations to new build homes – my builders will be there to do the best job possible for our customers.
The New Build in Birmingham
The new build home design itself was a large design. It was a two and a half storey home with a total of three double bedrooms, a fourth smaller bedroom and two bathrooms. The loft was the 4th single bedroom, and the bathroom was adjacent on the bottom floor. For builders in Birmingham especially, the project itself isn’t one of the largest you get today. Often builders are taking on 10-20 homes at a time within one project because it’s easier to manage, especially if they are within the same location. You can divert most of your resources within the same area and you don’t have to think of the logistics too much, whereas if you were building 20 different new home builds in 20 different locations, the logistically nightmare of resource sharing is almost too stressful to think of as a business owner!
This is exactly why it’s beneficial to have trustworthy employees however. I can leave my builders to the project at hand on different locations knowing that they would be doing anywhere from 90-100% of their optimal performance. The builders are talented and very dedicated towards their craft, becoming known within Birmingham as the best builders in the location. We have also made a point to force myself and all builders to undergo customer service training for a multitude of reasons. I don’t know if my builders will eventually decide to start their own firm, but the benefit of knowing how to professionally deal with customers means that if they ever do decide to open their own builders firm in Birmingham they can tackle any customer problems that may arise.
How long the New Build took?
The new build itself took a total of 5 months because we were under a multitude of delays and having to divert resources to other more important projects. The main reason for the diversion was another project being picked up at the same time in a property renovating. Since the raw materials and most of our labour force was at the new build project location, the balancing act between both projects was tight and difficult. We made sure to keep swapping the plasterers, joiners and fixers every other day to make sure both jobs stuck to deadline. The new build had a deadline of 6 months so we were still a month under the required deadline which was lucky. The diversion of different resources and builders around the city of Birmingham also required careful planning since we were aware of going beyond budget and time. Luckily, the day-to-day hands on management of my builders smoothly transitioned into a rotational cycle that meant every day to day task was completed.
It also taught me a valuable lesson once I completed the new home build job. I need to hire more trustworthy, hardworking and dedicated builders to cover how much busier we are becoming. Ever since the growth of Google the builder’s industry has completed changed since you can now search up whatever you would like. This has also made some builders like us incredibly busy over the past few years. For me, this year and the last have begun to get hectic, but I would rather have builders in Birmingham doing work than no builders and no more projects! If you need a home extension in Birmingham, we are the most professional and reliable builders Birmingham have!