Letchworth Garden City is the world’s first Garden City and was established in 1903. Houses have been especially built to blend and harmonise with each other and the architecture designed to add visual interest and variety. This makes it is a desirable place to live but if, like Jill and Steve Phypers you are looking to build a loft conversion, it also makes the process very complicated.
“We live in a three-bedroom detached bungalow on a horseshoe-shaped road featuring lots of other bungalows,” said Steve. “We love the area, the house, the garden and our neighbours but we decided that we wanted more space. A loft conversion seemed the obvious solution and so we looked for a suitable company to carry out the work.”
Jill did her research and the couple saw three local builders and national loft conversion company Econoloft. “I can’t say enough about the Econoloft sales rep,” said Steve. “It was clear he knew his stuff and was so helpful and friendly – we didn’t want to let him go!”
Not only did Econoloft prove its expertise but the quote provided was £15,000 cheaper than the others were. Econoloft was set to work on planning the bungalow loft conversion and as a company that has worked in conservation areas many times, it was aware of the issues that needed to be considered.
While the extension designs easily went through the North Hertfordshire Council planning process, it was not such a simple task to get the plans passed by Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, who under special Covenants also have to give their consent.
“It took around six months and several reworking of the plans to finally get the heritage foundation to agree to the work,” said Steve. “During this time Econoloft was very patient and happy to re-draw the plans as often as was necessary.”
Once the heritage foundation has given its approval, the work, which comprised two bedrooms and a bathroom using a dormer loft conversion, was completed in around six weeks. The couple could not wait to move into their new master bedroom which has two Velux windows offering lovely views across the area.
Steve said: “What Econoloft achieved in such a short time was remarkable. Our loft conversion is beautiful and even the work on the smaller elements such as the details on the stairs is quite impressive.
“We have not had the property valued but I am confident we have at least covered our costs of £35,000 and we can now boast a gorgeous detached house in a highly desirable location. We just love it and thanks to Econoloft we have not in any way detracted from the attractiveness of Letchworth Garden City.”