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The Kids are All Right!

What features will we be including in the houses we build in the future? Ones with swimming pools, good hiding places and potential for tree houses, if the nation’s children have anything to do with it!

London estate agency Chestertons surveyed 3,000 house hunting parents with children aged between 5 and 10. They asked the parents and the children which were the top five items their new house must have. The results were … surprising!

Adult Top Five Wants:

1. Good location near good schools – 47%
2. Spacious living room – 35%
3. Original features eg fireplaces – 22%
4. Off road parking – 18%
5. Garage – 15%

Kids Top Five Wants:

1. Tree house or potential to build one – 51%
2. Swimming pool – 43%
3. At least three good hiding places – 28%
4. Rooms for pets – 24%
5. Large bedrooms – 16%

That’s right – at least three good hiding places.

The children were also asked some other property related questions which produced these answers:

• At what age do you expect to buy your first home? The average answer estimated 19 (whoops).
• How much do you think a three bedroomed house will cost? The average reply was £3,000 (double whoops!).
• What are ‘house deeds’? 70% thought they were household chores such as DIY.
• What is the ‘property ladder’? A ladder for reaching high places around the home, thought 86%
• What is a property ‘investment’? 54% were convinced it meant you had to wear a vest at home.

Construction is not, perhaps fortunately, child’s play.

Contact Regency Contracting, one of Gloucestershire’s most experienced builders, on 01452 372229 to discuss your construction requirements or explore our website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk

Self-Build – the Answer to Britain’s Property Problems?

We need more housing in this country – everyone says so.

It is estimated that we should be building 200,000 to 250,000 new houses a year to meet demand. At the moment, some 11,000 self-build homes are completed each year. Is self-build a viable answer?

The major problem with any housebuilding project is finding the land to build it on. Obviously the larger the site the more houses can be built and economies of scale come into play. It is cheaper per house to connect a hundred houses on one site to mains drainage than it is to connect one hundred individual plots, for example.

However, if you can find an individual plot, self-build can make good financial sense. A self-built house can be worth 25% more than the cost of building and land once completed, obviously dependent on location and keeping a tight rein on the budget.

It also gives the owner the chance to design a home for their own specific requirements and avoid looking like every other new house currently being constructed.

But it is not easy. There are numerous considerations and permissions that need to be considered, not least planning consent, architect drawn plans and complying with Building Regulations.

Regency Contracting, however, is one of Gloucestershire’s most experienced and trustworthy builders. We have years of experience of working with architects and local planning authorities and can also provide expert advice and guidance. In fact, we can take on the complete project and carry out the building for you as well.

Contact us on 01452 372229 to discuss your requirements or explore our website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk

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march-blog-2016Remember the days when people used their garage to keep their car in? It seems few are used for that purpose anymore. Instead many are converted to provide extra living space, a study/office or even a personal gym.

Notwithstanding any planning permissions or building control consents, there are a number of practical considerations to be taken into account:

Replacing the door – the door will need to be replaced with a wall or window. This could require new foundations, although a lintel may suffice.

Suitability of the roof – almost certainly this will need to be replaced or at least upgraded. It may be possible to replace a flat roof with a pitched one which could incorporate skylights.

Walls – external garage walls are usually just a single course of brickwork. Building regulations require a second layer to meet moisture and insulation levels. This can be achieved by an interior insulated stud wall.

New windows – these will need to be energy efficient and double glazed. Fire regulations may also require that they need to open fully.

Ventilation – if your plans include a shower room or kitchen then extractor fans will be needed.

Insulation – building regulations have stated requirements for floor, roof, wall and window insulation levels.

Heating – it may be possible to run an extra radiator off your existing central heating system. Otherwise electric underfloor heating or freestanding heating units could be considered.

Electrics and plumbing – all these works need to be signed off by your local council’s building control department.

Regency Contracting is one of Gloucestershire’s most experienced and trustworthy builders. We have been carrying out garage conversions for many years and can also deal with the planning and building control requirements for you.
Contact us on 01452 372229 to discuss your requirements or explore our website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk


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Regency Contracting – a Company You Can Trust!

You don’t have to take our word for it, either.  Here are some of the accreditations Regency Contracting has and some of the organisations it works alongside:

•    NHBC – the National House Building Council (NHBC) is the UK’s leading body setting standards of house building and providing warranties and insurance for new homes.
•    Trust Mark – awarded to 12,500 tradesmen nationwide, this is supported by  TrustMark, a not for profit organisation licensed by the government and supported by consumer protection groups.
•    Exor – part of the Alcumus Group, the market leader for provision of technology-enabled compliance risk management, certification and verification services.
•    Safecontractor – the fastest growing health and safety accreditation scheme in the UK, now nearing 25,000 contractor members.
•    Constructionline – the UK’s leading procurement and supply chain management service.  It’s aim is to provide efficiency savings for both the private and public sector buyers and the construction industry.
•    Build Assure Insurance – providers of practical, flexible and cost-effective building insurance.

Regency Contracting is one of Gloucestershire’s most experienced and trustworthy builders.  We can supply a host of testimonials and have accreditations from government bodies and private construction auditors.

Contact us on 01452 372229 to discuss your requirements or explore our website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk

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2015 Finishes on a High for the Construction Industry!

Construction firms defied the usual seasonal depression to see a distinct recovery in housebuilding throughout December.

The Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement of a £12bn boost for the industry over the next five years provided plenty of encouragement for optimism.  Housebuilders are keen to invest in plots for new housing projects.  They have been spurred on by the government’s apparent enthusiasm for increased housebuilding on green and brown field sites.

Commercial construction also showed an increase compared with the figures for November.  Whilst civil engineering provided the weakest showing in the industry, it is expected to do better in 2016 and will benefit from increased commitment to spending on flood relief, for example.

Whilst nobody amongst the experts is brave enough to predict a boom in 2016, the construction sector in general is expected to continue to show a degree of healthy growth.

Regency Contracting is one of Gloucestershire’s most experienced and trustworthy builders.  They can supply a host of testimonials and have accreditations from government bodies and private construction auditors.

Contact them on 01452 372229 to discuss your requirements or explore their website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk

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Five Home Improvements That Add Most Value!

Before splashing out on a new kitchen or a loft conversion, you would do well to consider how much such improvements are adding to the value of your home.  

Surveys by the National Association of Estate Agents amongst its members and by property consultancy MoveWithUs with people who have sold properties through their agency have come up with some interesting statistics.  Here is what they found:

•    Extension – extensions can vary dramatically form a single added room to a full blown two storey extension that doubles the size of the existing property.  Because they can be so different it is not possible to put a cost or value on them.  A well done extension will always add value to your property, however.
•    Loft Conversion – both surveys found that adding an extra bedroom to your home can add 9-10% to its value, especially if it is a loft extension.  Depending on its size you can expect to pay at least £15,000 for a good loft conversion.
•    Extra Bathroom – an extra bathroom, particularly an en-suite, can be a useful selling point.  MoveWithUs estimated it added around 6% to a property’s value.  You can expect to pay anything from £2,500 to £6,000, according to the TradeAdvisor website.
•    New Kitchen – another common improvement is the installation of a new kitchen.  It is also something that is very personal so getting the design right could be especially attractive to some buyers. Consumer watchdog Which? estimate the average cost of a new kitchen at around £8,000 which MoveWithUs predict will add some 6% to the value.
•    Conservatory – here you are effectively adding a room to your house at the expense of some garden space at a cost of between £4,000 and £10,000.  MoveWithUs estimates it adds some 5% to the value of your home.  

If you are considering making a substantial improvement to your home then with Regency Contracting you’ll be in the hands of one of Gloucestershire’s most experienced and trustworthy builders.  They can supply a host of testimonials and have accreditations from government bodies and private construction auditors.

Contact us on 01452 372229 to discuss your requirements or explore our website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk

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Regency Ready to Repair the Damage!

Fire, water or wind damage to your home can cause utter chaos and disruption. Your insurance company will want to help you get the property repaired as soon as possible but they will usually require you to obtain three competitive quotations from builders.

Regency Contracting has dealt with numerous such insurance claims over the years. We know exactly what the insurance company will require. We will supply you with a detailed quote, fully broken down to satisfy the needs of your insurer.

If we are fortunate enough to be given the job we will endeavour to carry out the work as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are well aware of the pressure on house owners at this stressful time. In addition we will liaise directly with the insurer or loss adjustor throughout the restoration project to ensure the works are completed to everyone’s satisfaction.

Our first task will probably be to remove any dangerous structures and make the area safe. This will involve carrying out checks to make sure the building is safe and structurally sound. We can then proceed to carry out a full restoration to get you back safely in your home as soon as feasibly possible.

You’ll be pleased to know that if you choose Regency Contracting then you’ll be safe in the hands of one of Gloucestershire’s most trustworthy builders. We can supply a host of testimonials and have accreditations from government bodies and private construction auditors.

Contact us on 01452 372229 to discuss your requirements or explore our website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk


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Smoke Signals That Give Away Cowboys!

Smoke Signals That Give Away Cowboys!

You might that think that with all the adverse coverage they receive on television and in the newspapers that cowboy builders are a thing of the past. Sadly, that’s far from the case as many of them are still operating across the country.

The Citizens Advice Bureau has highlighted some of the give-away signs that might indicate your builder is not all he seems:


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Booming August for the Construction Industry!

Britain’s construction industry showed healthy growth throughout August, increasing hopes of a strong third quarter for the sector.

The monthly purchasing manager’s index, produced by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, went up from 57.1 to 57.3, well above the 50 mark that signals expansion.
The housebuilding sector provided the fastest growing area, but the outlook for commercial properties is also good.

Construction output collapsed dramatically during the deep recession instigated in 2008. The industry is seen as a good indicator of Britain’s economic status so signs of a recovery are welcomed.
Stefan Friedhoff is the Global Corporates’ managing director for construction at Lloyds Bank Commercial Bank. He said that “there is an increasingly positive feeling in the sector as firms continue to get a clearer handle on inflationary pressures, a tight labour market and growing demand. That sentiment is reflected in (this) data.”

If the official figures bear out the positive news from this survey, construction could be set to make a stronger contribution to economic growth in the third quarter of 2015, after expanding by a modest 0.2% from April to June. That can only be good news for business and employment figures.

Regency Contracting has been building residential and commercial properties in the Gloucester area for many years. Contact them on 01452 372229 to discuss your requirements or explore their website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk and make that conservatory a reality.


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Top Ten Uses for Conservatories!

If you are considering adding a conservatory to your home, you may need some help in deciding what to use it for. Here are some excellent ideas.

1. Grow plants. The original function of a conservatory in the UK was to utilise their windows to focus the sun’s rays to aid plant growth. It is still an important consideration today so fill your conservatory with plants.
2. Sun Room. Following on from that, a conservatory is the ideal place to relax and soak up the sun during our summer months.
3. Dining Room. Conservatories, with their views of your garden, are excellent places to hold dinner parties and family get-togethers.
4. Office space. More and more people are setting up as self-employed. A conservatory can be an ideal space for a much-needed office in a relaxing environment.
5. Play area. A conservatory can be a perfect place to let the children play. It keeps them away from the main living area and surfaces are easily cleaned.
6. Hobby or craft room. If you have a hobby or craft this can be the ideal space to store and use your equipment, tools or materials.
7. Pet area. Why not make this a base room for your family pets?
8. Home gym. With more of us looking to get fit, a conservatory can be a great area to put your gym equipment. Perhaps even a hot tub.
9. Games room. Need somewhere to put your pool table, darts board or air hockey table? Try the conservatory.
10. Utility room. We all need somewhere to keep the hoover, dry the washing and store a variety of household things. Why not make use of the conservatory?

Regency Contracting have been designing and building conservatories in the Gloucester area for many years. They will happily discuss your ideas and make their own constructive suggestions based on their vast experience.

Why not contact them now on 01452 372229 or visit their website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk and make that conservatory a reality.


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Creating New Homes from Old Buildings

What could be more exciting than creating a new home from a building originally designed for a completely different use!

Converting an old industrial building, church or barn can be a complicated project but the often unique new homes that are ultimately created are usually worth the time, money and effort. The key to a successful conversion is to work with the existing building in terms of design and materials, rather than aim for something completely new. After all, the object is surely to maintain the character of the original structure.

Here are a few introductory suggestions:

  • Barn conversions – these are one of the most popular types of development and as such there are strict planning guidelines to be followed, especially relating to the exterior of the property. Original materials should be used wherever possible. For example, you will usually not be able to alter the roofline and openings, such as doorways and windows, need to be kept in line with the originals. Interiors can be stunning however, incorporating glass ceilings, steel and timber.
  • Industrial buildings – converted factories or warehouses might not present the most attractive of options but they do provide a way of creating substantial living accommodation in an urban environment. Attractive interiors incorporating existing beams and pillars can once again be the key. Residential use is encouraged on brownfield sites so planning consent may be easier than in other cases.
  • Churches – the Victorians were notorious for building churches which were not even full during the 1800s. Decommissioned buildings offer an opportunity for designing a unique home, although some features such as existing windows and doors may be required to be preserved.
  • Other opportunities – redundant schools are another option, or perhaps a lighthouse and who could forget the converted windmill in the Jonathan Creek series? 

Any such conversions will require planning consents, need to comply with building regulations and also have to have detailed plans drawn up. Regency Contracting is one of the most experienced conversion companies in the Gloucester area and, in conjunction with local architects, can provide a superb one-stop service. They will be happy to discuss your plans and make constructive suggestions. Contact them on 01452 372229 or visit their website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk


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Don’t Make Kitchen Layout Mistakes!

A recent Home Improvement Report carried out on behalf of Barclays found that the by far the most desirable home improvement was a designer kitchen. If you are considering a new fitted kitchen, here are some things you need to avoid:

1. Don’t obstruct the kitchen triangle. This is the area between the sink, stove and fridge and, as it is where most traffic occurs, it pays to keep access as clear as possible.
2. Don’t waste storage space. Storage in a kitchen is vital and good planning is essential to make the most of your cupboards and units.
3. Don’t skimp on worktops. One of the biggest complaints about kitchens is the lack of worktop space so don’t be caught out.
4. Avoid poor lighting. Good lighting is essential for food preparation if only to avoid cutting off fingers with super sharp knives.
5. Make sure you have a back splash. This is often left out for budgetary considerations but that really is a false economy. Even better, ensure it is included not only at the sink but above worktops too. It is far easier to wipe clean than paint or paper.
6. Don’t forget good ventilation. A good quality ventilation system will remove last night’s cooking smells and also improve the quality of the air in the room.
7. Don’t forget recycling. These days we all need to manage our rubbish so make sure you have space for your various sorting bins.
8. Don’t ignore the professionals. Trying to manage and carry out the work yourself may seem a way of saving costs but in the long run could prove disastrous and expensive. For such a major project it pays to use the up to date knowledge and expertise of a specialist kitchen designer.

In the Gloucester area one of the best kitchen design companies is Regency Contracting. They will be happy to discuss your plans and outline the best way of bringing them to fruition. They can be contacted on 01452 372229 or visit their website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk

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So What Are Civil Works?

Civil works is the name given to a variety of construction projects, running from road building, construction of bridges, water supply and distribution to laying airport runways and dock workings.

It also covers more minor projects, including the groundworks of domestic and industrial buildings. Regency Contracting are experienced in undertaking civil works on numerous projects both large and small.

Just a few examples of their extensive range of services include:

• Drainage
• Concreting
• Structural concreting
• Foundations
• Hard landscaping

Regency Contracting pride themselves on being able to tackle any project, no matter how large or small. They will be happy to discuss your requirements without obligation on your part. Why not take a look at their website to see some of the major projects they have successfully completed in the Gloucester area. They can be contacted on 01452 372229 or visit their website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk

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Every Man Loves a Shed

Single storey steel buildings make up by far the largest sector of the UK structural steelwork market, comprising some 60% in total. These buildings are incredibly versatile and have a variety of uses, including workshops, factories, industrial and distribution warehouses and artists’ studios, as well as many types of retail and leisure uses.

Commonly known as sheds, because of the sparse internal finishing, these buildings vary in size from small workshops of a few hundred square metres to incredible distribution warehouses of one hundred thousand square metres or more.

One of the qualities of these steel framed buildings is the speed with which they can be constructed. Often the structural steel components are pre-fabricated off site and any protective coatings required can also be added at this stage. The framework can then be quickly and easily assembled on site and, as the building is made weather tight so quickly, other trades such as electricians and plumbers can begin carrying out their own jobs straight away.

In our modern age of sustainability it is good to know that these single storey steel structures are environmentally friendly. They are constructed to factory standards and conditions, which means there is minimal waste, with any off cuts recycled as scrap. On site the main task is assembly, so again there is minimal waste.

If required, these buildings are easily dismantled. This allows the frame to be utilised at another site or the steel can be recycled in other projects or as scrap.

Regency Contracting in Gloucester is happy to discuss any plans you may have for constructing single story steel framed buildings. Contact them on 01452 372229 or visit their website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk

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Meeting Your Lofty Ambitions

If you want to extend the living space in your house, but not at the expense of your garden, then you could always consider a loft conversion. Not only is it one of the most cost effective ways of providing your home with more living space, but new rooms within your roof space could provide valuable added sunlight or access to attractive views.

Amongst the many uses of such additional space could be as a new master bedroom, home office or study or a hobby or playroom. The only real drawback might be the space needed to install a new staircase.

Loft conversions are considered permitted development, which means planning consent is not generally required. There are some restrictions, however, notably that you cannot add more than 40 cubic metres to a terraced house or 50 cubic metres to a semi-detached or detached property. Building regulations will have to be complied with if creating a living space, however.

One thing you will need to keep an eye out for are bats. They are considered a protected species and if you find any in your loft space you will have to comply with strict licensing procedures.

If you are considering a loft conversion in the Gloucester area then Regency Contracting will be happy to be of assistance. They are experts at making the most of the available space and can guide you through any planning problems and the building regulation requirements.

Call the professionals – Regency Contracting – on 01452 372229 or visit their website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk

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Will Baby Wipes Remove Asbestos Fibres?

The answer to that question is a resounding no! Recently a Suffolk contractor was fined a total of £10,000 plus over £3,500 legal costs for dangerous practices, including providing baby wipes for his workers to do just that, at a farm in Essex.

The contractor did not have the licence required for removing asbestos, despite telling the farm’s owners that he did, and his employees had no training in working with the material. All such work requires a thorough three stage decontamination procedure. Instead the workers were endangered by just being given access to baby wipes and the farm’s cold water hose.

In addition, they were still wearing possibly contaminated overalls when they ate their lunch and wore those same overalls when they left at night, possibly leading to contamination of their homes. It was also found that workers were at risk of falling four metres due to inadequate safety netting and harnessing.

Fortunately, rogue contractors such as this are the exception, rather than the rule in the construction industry. In Gloucester, for example, you can feel safe in the hands of Regency Contracting, a firm local to you who have been carrying out commercial and industrial conversion and building work for many years. They are fully accredited by a number of government bodies and private construction auditors.

Call the professionals – Regency Contracting – on 01452 372229 or visit their website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk

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Need More Space? Don’t Move!

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors have reported that people are now moving on average once every fourteen years or so, a considerable drop compared with previous surveys. It is also true that, although housing stock is increasing, fewer houses are being bought and sold. So what is happening?

Rather than have the expense of moving to a larger property, many families, especially those with children, are taking the opportunity to extend their existing property instead. There are a number of advantages to doing this:

•   Avoiding stamp duty and fees for estate agents, surveyors and solicitors.
•   You can stay in a neighbourhood you already know and like
•   Children will not have to change schools
•   You are adding value to your existing property

In addition, under the 2013 Permitted Development rules many extensions do not now require planning consent from the local authority.

So, whether you are considering a loft conversion or a kitchen extension, adding a conservatory or a two storey side extension, you are well advised to contact an experienced local building contractor.

You can get a free quotation from Regency Contracting of Gloucester for whatever your requirements are, and they will be happy to advise regarding technical matters such as Permitted Development.
Call the professionals – Regency Contracting – on 01452 372229 or visit the website: www.regencycontracting.co.uk

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Christmas Tidings from Regency Contracting

With Christmas in just a few days and the new year approaching, we'd thought we would use this Christmas time blog simply to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Regency Contracting, Gloucester.

Here's a reminder of some of our services you may need in 2015 ....

> Kitchens
> Extensions
> Loft Conversions
> New Builds
> Conservatories

Commercial & Industrial:
> Office Partitioning
> Suspended Ceilings
> Steel Cladding
> Drain installation
> Structural Steelworks
> Civil Engineering
> General Building Works & More!

Avoid cowboy builders and use a professional, accredited company

10 reasons why you should use Regency Contracting in Gloucester and avoid the pitfalls of hiring a builder or building company that isn't accredited.

1. Is your chosen builder screened for identity, reputation and creditworthiness?
Who is your builder or building company? Does he/them actually exist? What assets do they have and is there any records of previous trading? What is their credit rating or financial status? Is the builder insolvent or at risk of insolvency? Do you need a personal written guarantee or contract from the director, proprietor or company owner?

2. Has an effective detailed contract been drawn up or considered before you start?
Has the costs, timescale to complete the work, design and plans been done and fully defined? Is the contact suitable to cover the project? Have essential terms been incorporated to keep you in control of the project


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Insurance Repairs in Gloucester

Flood, Fire or Wind damage causes havoc with your home. 

You'll realise that when you contact your insurance company, they will want to collate 3 quotes before going ahead with any repairs.  At Regency Contracting in Gloucester, we can supply a fully broken down quote so you know what exactly we will do to repair the damage and fully restore your property to its former glory.

We can remove debris after the initial damage, then we will make safe, ensuring there is no danger of collapse and check for structural weakness, then we will oversee full restoration of your property to the highest standard.