Garage Conversion Specialists - Are they a good alternative option for engaging your own
house extension designer or architect?
Yes, but only if you are willing to lose a little bit of the control. Most garage
conversion specialists need a firm commitment from you on price and engagement early on before spending too much
time with you on what is essentially a ‘speculative punt.’
Therefore, they and you will not be able to resolve all of the finer details of the design or what you are
getting for your money and what is, or is not included until a bit further down the line - perhaps even during the
build itself. Both parties usually need to take a degree of faith that their expectations generally match without
the time spent upfront formulation a set of design plans and specifications.
However, provided the homeowner asks the right questions and the garage conversion specialist is proactive and
helpful, then a lot of the potential ‘fall out’ issues can be mitigated.
Employing a garage conversion specialist who is local, well known, highly respected, with good customer care and
quality control will usually be a very safe bet for the homeowner. You may have to pay a higher price for employing
a garage conversion specialists of such high regard but the premium may be money well spent for a smoothly run
fully compliant project. There is a saying that for a client only having ‘one arse to kick’ is a great simplifier
for any potential dispute situation.
Personally speaking, the garage conversion specialists to avoid would be the National Operators. These usually
employ a series of ‘smooth talking’ sales agents simply to get the order where the scheme is then switched to an
area manager where another on site agent employs local trades or other known trades willing to travel long
This is usually a recipe for losing control of the job with little attention paid to the proper scheduling of
materials, plant and labour and never knowing what is to happen next. Not all companies will operate this way and I
am sure many are great at what they do but I do believe you cannot beat keeping things local and dealing direct
with the actual people involved on the job all the way through.