You don’t need to move to find your perfect home – you simply have to find the right builders.
Finding a dream home can be a long and laborious task, often with no one property fulfilling all of those dream demands. Creating your dream house, however, is another matter entirely – one in which the outcome is frequently in your own hands.
When photographer Claire Lloyd Davies and her partner, researcher Richard Stockley, moved into their three-bedroomed house in Falcon Road, Hampton three years ago, they knew that it could be the home they both wanted. “We used to live in Old Isleworth and were looking for a family home,” explains Claire. “We bought the house through probate. It needed a lot of work, as it had clearly been somewhat neglected. But we had it blitzed and rewired and had all the floors pulled up.”
It was then that Claire and Richard decided on a ground-floor extension to their kitchen and living space to accommodate their needs as a family with two young daughters. They longed for a light, airy kitchen/dining space, a utility area and a second reception room that could also double as a play room.
Armed with architects’ plans, the couple set about finding a building firm. After securing five quotes, they enlisted Cube Lofts to project manage the work. “We’d talked to lots of companies and had already engaged one builder, but he had let us down,” explains Claire. “I didn’t have a recommendation for Cube, but I’d seen the ads in The Richmond Magazine and immediately liked the team when they came to visit us. They were very easy to talk to and gave us so much confidence. No matter what we asked, they were able to provide an answer. Some builders come round and you just don’t click with them, or you don’t understand each other and they start telling you to change your plans. But Cube understood exactly what we wanted.”
Moreover, Cube’s quote for the work was competitive. “It was really good,” confirms Claire. “And another plus was the fact that they could start quickly. Within three weeks of our agreeing the contract, the team was on site.”
Work on the extension took place between September and December 2012. Before a brick was torn down, however, the parties agreed a contract and a building plan towards which both Cube and the couple could work. “The building plan and payment schedule worked very well. You feel that you’re in control, as you only pay for something when it’s completed and you’re satisfied. So, for example, once the roof is completed and signed off, you pay for it. Then it’s the same with the walls, and so on. It was a reassuring way of paying.”
On site, Claire was most impressed with the efficiency and friendliness of the team. “I felt very happy with them. We continued to live in the house and I never felt that they were invading our space; they were really polite and just got on with their job. The team was the same throughout the project and they cleaned the place so nicely afterwards.”
The couple were also delighted with the builders’ reliability and punctuality. “They were always on time,” recalls Claire. “I never had to call them – they just turned up when they said they would.” Throughout the project, Cube offered the couple a point of contact with whom to chat about progress or problems. “I loved the fact that, if there was ever an issue, they were round the next day with a full team to sort it out.”
The work was completed by Christmas 2012, enabling the family to enjoy their new living space in true festive spirit: parents, children and dog all unscathed by their building experience. “I absolutely love what Cube has done. We use this part of the house all the time. It’s brilliant with young children. They can play and I can keep an eye on them while I’m cooking. It’s a much more sociable space now, and when people come round for parties or dinners, we can all fit in. It’s made such a difference to how we live.”
Falcon Road is now the dream family home it was always meant to be.