“We had confidence in John and that he understood what we wanted..”

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Before we decided to go ahead with our loft conversion we did have a few concerns. We work at home and having people in our house for a long time doing messy noisy work could be very disruptive. I was particularly worried that people were going to come in and make a big mess of our beautiful house. Also a bit worried that thing would spiral out of control cost wise.

Also we were worried about some of the horror stories you hear about peoples building work that goes really badly wrong. I think there’s always that in the back of your mind. We know we’re spending a huge amount of money and you think ‘Oh god, I hope that doesn’t happen to us’.

We knew we needed to have a positive relationship with whoever did the loft. It’s a big chunk of time that you are going to have to spend with someone in your house, and it’s a bit like any relationship really, you don’t expect to always get on with that person and things could go wrong and all of that could be tricky.

Things changed when we actually met with John. I think we both felt fairly confident from that moment on that we were going to be ok. I think we knew that we’d get on with John and that we’d be able to talk to him, but also that he was somebody who would be quite consultative and communicate any issues as we went through, which he did do, that definitely did happen.

We had quite a good dialogue all the way through about the work, and sorted out any issues that arose.

We had confidence in John and that he understood what we wanted, I think that was the key. Straight away he clicked into the house that we had and what it had to look like when it was finished and he was the only builder who did that, who communicated that to us. So from that point on, I guess we felt fairly sure that it was going to be ok.

Obviously when he came and did the work it was fine, all of our worries were managed because he was very thoughtful about us working at home and tried his best to keep the mess down in the house. I mean obviously, the singing was a problem…that was a problem (laughing)!.

I do think that a big part of it is about the relationship that you have with someone. From our point of view it was a much easier relationship than we ever thought that we’d have with a builder. It just worked.

John was very respectful of people’s space and that helped us as well, that he wasn’t one of these people that came and put mud all up the stairs and left the toilet seat up all the time (laughing).

It’s that confidence in John I think. It was managed very quickly because we were confident in him.

It was a communication thing and the one thing for me was that he understood what we wanted. There was sensitivity to the style of our house, and attention to detail; because our house is unique and so it needed a unique loft conversion.

The work john did was of really high quality. We got the quality we wanted.

Our loft conversion really has given us a new lease of life in this house and it’s so much more cost effective than moving house. It really has been just a brilliant thing for us to have done, full stop.

I think if we’d have realised how painless it would be we would have done it sooner, in fact our only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner, like ten or fifteen years earlier.

We said to ourselves and to other people that we didn’t realise how easy it would be, but we also know that if we’d had the wrong builder in, it could have been a very different experience. We recognise that it was a lot to do with Johns approach, and the job that he did.

Of course we would recommend John absolutely. We would thoroughly recommend Clarendon Carpentry and John, for a quality job.

Helen Webb and Rachel Lopata, Western Park, Leicester

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