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Business News: Stairway to heaven


Once again, Soundhouse have delivered a superb loft conversion that has left a whole family with smiles on their faces

Here at Latest Homes we always regard a trip to see a Soundhouse project with excitement. Soundhouse have been featuring the work that they do in Latest Homes for almost ten years now, and over those years we have visited some amazing projects and met a great many very happy customers. In fact you could sum up the response to Soundhouse as very happy indeed.

We have seen building projects on every scale; large scale extensions, small scale adaptations, and when you start talking loft conversions – well the sky is quite simply the limit.

The word has spread too. You can almost link up their jobs like a dot to dot game – friends and neighbours, having seen the work they do, book them. They are indeed very popular and there is an inevitable waiting list. But don’t let that put you off. It may be up to five months, but in that period they press ahead with the design elements of the project and seek those appropriate planning permissions and building consents, all vital to ensuring that the final build will go to plan.

Common complaints about home conversions are that they run over schedule, over budget and create chaos in your home. Funnily enough those are three points that all of the Soundhouse clients we have interviewed over the years have stressed as being things that have particularly not happened with Soundhouse.

This time we went along to a smart Edwardian Villa in Edburton Road, where home owner Tanya Taylor lives with her husband and four children. It’s a classic house of the period in one of the city’s most popular residential areas. Families love the area because of the great local schools, parks and easy access both in and out of the city. Tanya, Brighton born and bred, is passionate about it, and when they realized that their much loved home was becoming rather cramped as their four children grew up, she was reluctant to move away.

A friend had already had a Soundhouse loft conversion that had impressed them, so they got in touch and sought their advice. Much of Five Ways is a conservation area and although in the past people had been allowed to build dorma extensions in their roof spaces, this was no longer allowed. It was going to make any conversion trickier; every available inch of space would have to be cleverly utilized if it were to offer them the solution that they wanted.

“From the start we had decided that we wanted the loft to be our grown up en-suite room, and although all of the children really wanted it be their space, we stuck to our plans. Now it has been completed we are delighted. Nick and the team have come up with great ideas to maximize the usable space. Our bed is built into a cosy cocoon-like space that goes under the eaves of the roof, and we love it. The electrician was careful in the planning, so there are switches exactly where we need them and lights and clever niches at our bedside for books and a radio. The bathroom makes similar use of the space to the other side of the loft and we love it, it really is ours, and the children respect that and hardly ever come up here and disturb us. By using the eaves it actually leaves the main area very free, which is ideal as I have plenty of storage for clothes and really it looks more like a dressing room than a bedroom. Despite not being able to have a conventional window, the Velux roof-lights are great, providing loads of natural light from both sides and there are built-in blinds too. Not that we have drawn them yet – it really is very private and not overlooked at all.

“Every stage of the build has been great, Nick has been brilliant at keeping us up to date and making the adjustments that were needed as the process evolved. It became obvious that the staircase would be better if we stole a little space from the existing front bedroom and the design that they came up with is brilliant, you hardly notice the lost space and it has given us a lovely light and spacious first floor landing. The stairs are great too, we knew that they prided themselves on matching things, but really, this is seamless. Everything matches perfectly.

“It has come in on budget too, which somehow you never expect a builder to do.

Any increases were in the fixtures and fittings that we were responsible for sourcing and buying. It was completed on schedule too; again, you never expect that.

“Our friends had told us to expect a very high standard but they really do deliver what they promise. And they are such nice guys, clean, tidy, friendly and very considerate. To be honest, when they left I was rather sad, they had become a very welcome part of the day. I even thought that I would be very happy if my own children grew up to be as nice and as well mannered as the Soundhouse team.”

It happens every time; honest praise from a Soundhouse customer. Let’s sum up with Tanya’s final words: “We put our trust in Soundhouse and that trust has really paid off. We could not be more delighted.”

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