24 May 2023
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United Kingdom
Good evening everyone,

After discussing with few builders regarding a single integrated garage conversion to a bedroom ensuite. House built 1965.

I have found a builder that I think will do a good job based not only on some reviews but discussing the job with him.

1st query, the quote emailed though itemised for a number of the works has the following statement :
'can't price for wall installation until specified by building inspector'

I called the builder seeking clarification and he insisted that's standard as he has to wait for the Building Inspector to advise what will be required to satisy building reg once the garage door is removed before pricing any extras. I am nervous that these 'unknown costs' will escalate outside my budget as I can't budget what I don't know.

Also (2nd query) The quote does not mention electricals/lightings. Just states Install shower room . Should switches/lightings/electricals not be specified in the quote?

Not sure if because I am a single mum don't have a clue about building works or that's just standard in quotes?

Please kindly advise. What factual information should I ask the builder if at all? Thanks
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Ok you need building regulations. So the walls, ceiling, and floor needs insulated to current regs. Competent builders should be aware of the regs in the Approved Documents. If they don't, keep clear of those ones.

Your plan should indicate how many and where electrical sockets etc.. and the contents and layout of the shower room. Then a price can be worked off plan. The builder should check where drains are in order to determine the waste outlet for the shower room shower, sink, toilet. So you would expect the quote the have that all done to plaster level, you could include decoration to be included in the price. So decide on colours and on what type of paint.
Thank you so much.

So, the 1st query regarding wall installation once garage door is removed, the builder should know and include the works required as part of the quote per the Approved documents without waiting for the building inspector?

2nd query, spot on. I will seek clarification. Thanks.
The problem with the door removal/filling in is it depends what your current house has in the way of a foundation under the door and what the building inspector wants.

Not all garages have a full depth foundation across the front where a garage door would be, it can be quite shallow in some cases which means it wouldn't be able to support brickwork without the foundations being improved.

The other option is to use a timber frame structure to fill the door opening but again the building inspector will decide what is acceptable so it is hard for the builder to guess what will be there/what will be required but I'd expect most builders to be able to give you a rough figure to budget for based on similar jobs before.

Depending what's in front of your current garage you could dig a test hole to see what depth the front foundation goes to
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Thank you very much. I did ask if he could provide an estimate and he wouldn't. Another builder said he uses 1m foundation as an estimate for jobs. Is this a reasonable assumption and if it is what is the cost a builder would add for this work?
I'd be surprised if it added more than a grand to the job personally.

The concretewould be no more than a couple hundred quid and a decent labourer should be able to dig the trench out in a day so again shouldn't be more than another couple hundred quid for the labour , then the builder will no doubt stick a bit on top so I'd expect a grand to be about right, maybe allow £1500 if you want to be really conservative.

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