We started out with some confidence about the overall job because we’d seen what John had done with our neighbour’s loft. There were some concerns early on as we wondered whether we would get planning permission but that was resolved as John talked with us about what our options were and the implications, so we started to feel we were more in control of what we were deciding to do.
One aspect that we particularly appreciated was the relationship that John built up. He said that he tried to work closely with people and develop the ideas during the course of the project, and whilst a lot of people might say that, we both felt that he actually did it. There were a lot of things that we needed to talk through at the start and it felt like it was always a productive conversation.
Something that was important for us is that John is a specialist, if people choose Clarendon Carpentry then they’ve got someone who is possibly more experienced than just about anybody else in the area, in terms of loft conversions. We felt that a loft conversion was something that would benefit from the sort of expertise that john has and this was very reassuring.
We were also very impressed by the high quality work from the rest of the team. Johns approach to the finished product, how it looks, how it fits in to the existing building in terms of the structure itself but also in terms of the style and the character, is very good. That was important to us, and I’m sure it’s important to a lot of people. It was clear at the start and throughout that he takes great pride in what it looks like, so he’s not just doing it to a reasonable standard, but he’s actually trying to squeeze the best out of each aspect.
John has that ability to work with people to develop ideas. Our loft conversion now is not what it was in the first plan or the second one, for various reasons, and we probably drove John mad with all our ideas and things that we tried to add on, but actually it was clear that he really cared about the detail and that showed through in a lot of things that we developed together. The final version of our loft is different to our original plan but thanks to John it’s fulfilled all of the things that we were looking for.
John is very easy to chat to as well. He’s very approachable and not everybody is.
As a loft conversion is probably the biggest project that most people will ever do on their house, there is no way that at the start of a project that takes 2 ½ months you can actually think it all out down to the last detail. If you get a builder who thinks it all out at the start and then just wants to get on with building it in 2 ½ months without really discussing the sometimes annoying variations, the customer is not going to feel like they’ve got a great product at the end. We feel we have got a great product and a lot of that is down to the fact that John has been ready to chat things through just about every step of the way.
It was a very straight forward process from the point of getting the first quote and then moving into the build and then through to today. John was very clear about what it was going to cost, what might put the price up a bit and what might not, giving us a choice a various points. Like the Velux windows; it was clear there was a choice on that (various finishes and colours) but he didn’t try and steer us in a particular direction he just made sure we knew what the options were and talked it through, which was again, helpful. It ensures that when it comes to the end there are no surprises.
Would we recommend John? Very definitely! Because I think that he believes so much in what he does, that I don’t think there would be a project he would take on where he wouldn’t do a good job. He’s got pride in what Clarendon Carpentry produces, so I think he would be consistent. Over the years I have recommended certain things to certain people but sometimes you recommend something that was good for you, but then the company is inconsistent. I am certain in my own mind that John has a high standard and that he would always go for that. It’s very good for me if I’m recommending him, to know that’s the case.
Barry and Gill Thompson, Woodhouse Eaves, Leicester