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Ecas property services provide complete building solutions which include : Property maintenance , Home improvements ,Renovations , Restorations , Extensions , New builds , Kitchens , Bathrooms , Roofing , Plastering and rendering , Painting and decorating , Landscaping and ground works , Structural alterations and building works repairs.

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Reviews (5)

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TimR-22

1 February 2017

I have a small music school and we needed all our wall heaters replacing (six). It was all done promptly with the minimum of fuss and everything done exactly as discussed (rather than slightly differently, which is usually what seems to happy with electricians!)

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DavidB-546

28 October 2016

I cannot recommend ECAS enough, from the quote through to the finished job it was a pleasure dealing with the company. They where punctual tidy and the standard of workmanship was first class. The job involved several trades and each was carried out by the correct skilled person, not an electrician trying to be a carpenter or plasterer trying to be a builder. They will certainly be doing more work for me in the new year. First class job More...

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smeade1

1 October 2015

We hired Ecas Property Services to complete a full bathroom renovation. From the initial meeting with Shaun all the way through to completion, the workforce was very professional, always arrived on time, very polite and always cleaned up following their work day. It has been a very stress free experience and cannot thank Shaun and his team enough! The work completed is of a VERY high standard paying great attention to detail! Nothing was too much for Shaun or his team to do, when asked to change minor things. I would highly recommend Ecas Property Services for any building needs. Will defiantly be using Ecas again in the near future! More...

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sarj11

1 October 2015

Ecas came to fit new worktops in our kitchen for us and we were extremely pleased with their work. The two boys who came out were punctual, well mannered and cleaned up any mess they made. Thank you Ecas

J

Jecho

17 September 2015

ECAS have recently completed a kitchen project for me and I couldnt be happier. They listened to my ideas on what I was looking for, made suggestions that would work better for me to consider, and were very respectful. Their price was more reasonable than i was anticipating, and the work was completed within the timescales they agreed, and to a high standard. The workmen were polite and respectful. I wouldnt hesitate to use ECAS again for future work. Thank you. More...

Q&A

Before you go ahead with your garage conversion, you need to know all the legal issues involved. There are three main things that you need to check first - if you go ahead without permission you could be forced to return everything to its original condition, at your own cost.

Restrictive clauses in your lease - You need to check your property deeds for any restrictive covenants. Some developers place a restriction on any building work that will affect the external appearance of the house. If there is such a clause, contact them, as it can often be circumvented for a fee. Your other option is to convert the inside of the garage without changing its external appearance. This is often achieved by keeping a front portion of the garage for storage space and converting the rest. Of course, the suitability of this option depends on your intentions for the garage.
Planning permission - You usually only need to apply for planning permission to convert a garage when you intend to extend the actual size of the garage. However, check with your local authority as the precise rules do differ.
Building Regulations - If you plan to convert any part of your house into a room to be used as habitable space, you will need to comply with government building regulations. A building control officer will probably need to check your conversion a number of times during construction. More information can be found on the relevant section of the government's website. Again, rules differ so you need to check with your local council. There are some instances where permission to convert your garage may be denied such as:
You live in a listed building or neighbourhood - It is very likely in this case that the external appearance of the house must be maintained as it is.
Your garage conversion would affect drainage - If you plan on concreting over your garden or anything similar, thus putting extra pressure on the existing drainage in place, you may need to invest in a solution to allay the potential for flooding or blocked drains.
Additional insulation is needed - Some councils will allow you to simply add the extra fill to the existing construction, others demand that you dig up the floor and insulate it as if building from scratch. This will affect your budget, so always check first.
Parking restrictions - In some cities where there is a particular shortage of parking spaces such as London, councils can refuse permission to convert your garage from a place where a car is kept.
What kind of garage do you own and is it suitable for conversion?
Single garage - A single garage will add around 150 square feet of floor space to your home.
Double garage - You may either convert the whole area, or just the nearest side to your house. If you convert it all, you can expect to add around 300 square feet of floor space to your home.
Tandem garage - As before, converting only the back will leave you with the best of both worlds.
Standalone garage - Careful, as you may need to make an application for permission to change its use.

How to convert your garage
If you intend to convert your garage, we would recommend contacting a specialist garage conversion company to ensure that the job is done professionally. A bad garage conversion can reduce the value of your home and, if it does not comply with building regulations or the specifics of your leasehold, you may be forced to return it to its original condition. Before committing to a builder or any other professional, remember to check that they are registered with a reputable trade organisation, such as the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

In this section, we will take a step-by-step look in-depth at the various stages involved in converting a garage, and roughly what must be done in each to satisfy the Building Regulations stipends.

In-fill Garage Door
A traditional garage door designed for the easy access of automobiles is unlikely to be suitable for your garage conversion. It is neither practical in terms of insulation and light, nor aesthetically pleasing. To this end the old garage door will have to be filled in with a new wall to house a new door and possibly a window. The original foundation of the garage will most likely be a shallow slab and thus insufficient to support the new wall, in which case a deeper foundation needs to be dug. Soil type, adjacent buildings, nearby trees and the resulting drainage conditions need to be assessed in order to estimate what depth and type of foundations are necessary, especially if your house was built on a landfill site.

Walls below Ground Level
Depending on what foundations are deemed necessary for your particular conversion, a greater or lesser amount of wall construction needs to be undertaken. Walls underneath the ground (substructure) must support the construction above (superstructure) and, to be effective, these sub-walls must be made from brick that is resistant to ground frost and sulphates present in the soil.

New External Walls
It is likely that at least one completely new external wall will be needed for your garage conversion, such as in the case of the in-fill garage door. External walls constructed of timber and/ or masonry come in two types:

Solid wall - Just a single wall. Due to present day thermal insulation requirements, it is unlikely that such a wall will be suitable.
Cavity Wall - Two walls separated by an internal space, usually filled with thermal insulation.
Any external wall must be constructed in such a way as to repel and divert moisture coming from the ground (damp proofing) and stand up to the outside elements (weather resistance). Thermal resistance is the term given to how much heat the wall will retain and this is naturally affected by your construction materials. Fire resistance is crucial to stop the spread of fire in any eventuality, this is ascertained via minimum standards and affected by the proximity of any neighbouring structures. Lastly, the wall will have to bear its own weight, that of the other walls, the roof and any openings (doorways) as required.

Existing Garage Walls
It is most likely that your existing garage walls are of the solid wall (single) variety as detailed above. As such, they will probably fall short of Building Regulation minimums across a variety of categories such as Fire Resistance, Insulation, Weather Resistance and Damp Proofing. Furthermore, they may not be able to safely support any new roof you have planned. Therefore, they will need to be upgraded with a new internal skin and carefully assessed in terms of Damp-Proofing.

Flooring
The existing garage floor is unlikely to be suitable for regular domestic use. The solid concrete floor can either be upgraded in terms of strength, damp-proofing and thermal insulation or, alternatively, a new suspended timber floor can be built on top of the existing concrete one. The process of making your garage fit for habitation differs according to which floor you wish to install:

Solid Floor - This will need to be upgraded with a Damp Proof Membrane (DPM), which comes in solid and liquid form. Liquid DPM is often best suited for garage conversions. If required, thermal insulation should be placed on top of the membrane and a separation layer may be needed in between to see that the two layers do not react with each other. Finally, the floor is finished with what is known as a floating floor, a layer of wood or screed - depending on the insulation below. If screed is used, it should be around 75mm thick and safeguarded against cracking with a wire mesh.
Suspended Timber Floor - Unlike your garage, the floor of your house may be constructed fairly high above the ground and, if you wish, you can install a suspended timber floor in your garage conversion to match this. Timber joists are laid from wall to wall with a minimum gap of 150mm maintained between the original concrete floor and the new timber one. A Damp Proof Course (DPC) should be laid underneath the timber floor and an intermediate wall may be necessary for further ventilation.
Garage Roof
Unless there is a room above it already, the existing garage roof - originally designed to keep the rain off your car - is most likely going to need to be upgraded in any garage conversion. Which type corresponds to your garage roof?

Flat Roof - This will need to be ventilated with a 50mm gap between the underside of the roof and any insulation as standard.
Pitch Roofs - Extra insulation can be placed between the ceiling and the roof, just as in a normal loft.
Ventilation
Any room in a house must have adequate ventilation and the level of ventilation required depends on the room type - bathrooms and kitchens obviously require more than bedrooms or studies. An opening window must be installed which equals one-twentieth the rooms total floor-area. Additional ventilation comes in the form of trickle ventilators and alternative means of ventilation may be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the Building Control Body. New kitchens, toilets, bathrooms, shower rooms and utility rooms must be fitted with a mechanical extractor fan with performance levels measured in litres per second.

Electrics
Any electrical work needs to be carried out in accordance with the British Safety Standards 7671, you can find out more at the website of the British Standards Institution (BSI).

Can my loft be converted?
Before you do anything else, you need to work out whether your loft space is actually suitable for a conversion.

Most houses will come with an allowance for permitted development, which means that you can go ahead with your conversion without planning permission. However, if you live in a conservation area, or if, for example, your roof space isn't tall enough, it may be more complicated.

You can ask a builder, architect or surveyor to visit your home and check this out for you, but there are also a couple of checks that you can carry out yourself prior to this.

Look for other conversions on your street
An easy way to get an idea of whether your loft can be converted is to see whether any similar houses on your street have had loft conversions. If you do spot examples, it's more likely to be a possibility. If you can, it's also worth going one step further and asking to take a look at the loft of anyone in your street that has had it done.

Measure the head height
The minimum height you need for a loft conversion is 2.2m, and you can easily measure this yourself. Take a tape measure and run it from the floor to the ceiling at the tallest part of the room. If it's 2.2m or more, your loft should be tall enough to convert. Victorian houses tend to be lower than those built from 1930 onwards, so may not have sufficient head height.

Head height in your loft conversion needs to be 2.2m or more

Check what type of roof you have
Depending on when it was built, your house will either have roof trusses or rafters. By looking through your loft hatch, you should be able to tell straight away what type of roof you have.

Rafters run along the edge of the roof and will leave most of the triangular space below hollow. Trusses are supports that run through the cross-section of the loft. Converting a loft with trusses is possible, but extra structural support is needed to replace the trusses, and it's likely to be more costly.

Consider the floor below
Many people neglect to factor in changes to the floor below the loft when planning a conversion. It's worth having a think about where the staircase is likely to go and how much room it might take up. Even a well-designed space-saving staircase could take up a sizeable chunk of a room, so make sure you have space you're happy to lose.
Which type of loft conversion should I go for?
There are four main types of loft conversion: roof light, dormer, hip-to-gable and mansard. The one you choose is likely to be determined by a number of factors, including the type and age of house you live in, and your budget.

1. The roof space is inspected for suitability
An inspection of the inside of the roof space will provide information as to its suitability for conversion. The main features to initially consider include height, access and obstacles. Here, a water storage tank and chimney stacks formed the main obstacles, but the height and pitch suggested that conversion was possible.


2. An architect or surveyor will confirm suitability and create plans
An architect or surveyor will confirm the loft’s suitability for conversion. It is also necessary to take into account whether the building will be adequate to take the added load of a conversion. Following this, plans are drawn which also provide a basis for cost analysis, and what tasks can be done on a DIY basis.

3. The loft is cleared and prepped
With Building Control approval, work can be started by clearing the loft space.

4. Rewiring is assessed
The electrical wiring and other services that are attached to joists and binders must be removed and rerouted. It provides a good opportunity to replace and improve the original wiring. This requirement is likely to mean that some services may not be available until the new wiring and any pipework can be replaced.

5. New floor joists fitted
The new floor joists can now be fitted. The actual sizes will depend upon the spans, but might typically be 50mm x 220mm C24 or C16 timbers spaced at 400mm intervals. Where there is a window or door opening below this is bridged by doubled-up timber suspended between doubled-up joists. The intermediate joists are attached to the window bridge using joist hangers. New wiring and any required pipework can now be installed.

new floor joists fitted in loft conversion
6. Floors are insulated
The spaces between the joists are filled with insulation to a depth of 100mm. Following Building Control inspection, the joists can be covered with floorboards. The roofing struts and hangers are temporary but securely reinstalled until suitable replacement arrangements are in place.

7. Floorboards laid
The tongue-and-groove chipboard floorboards are held in place with screws. A water-resistant grade is a good choice, and essential in the bath or shower room.

8. Rafters reinforced
Work can now be started in rafter reinforcement in accordance with the structural requirements, so that the purlins, struts and collars can be safely removed. This will open up the area.

9. Dormers installed (if applicable)
Dormers can now be installed. This will involve opening up the roof, so dry weather is desirable to avoid the risk of water damage. The Building Control officer will inspect to ensure that the roof structure reinforcements are as specified.

Two end dormers were fitted, and a mid dormer that is destined to be the shower room.

bungalow with loft conversion and pitched roof dormer
10. Rooflights installed
Roof windows are an effective way of letting in natural light. In this project a roof window was fitted above the stairwell. These require the surrounding timbers to be reinforced but are easier to fit than dormers.

11. Staircase fitted
The point at which the staircase is fitted will depend upon individual circumstances, but when in place will give easier access to the loft area. In this example the hallway was widened by knocking down a non-loadbearing front room to the hallway wall and rebuilding the wall 450mm into the front room.

12. Dormers tiled and vents fitted
The dormers are tiled and clad to fully weatherproof them. The end dormers in this example have tiled roofs and tile cladding, whereas the shower room has a felted flat roof and tile cladding. Scaffolding will be required for safe working. Ridge and soffit vents are fitted at a convenient stage.

13. Windows fitted in dormers
The windows are fitted in the dormer openings previously accurately measured. PVCu Class ‘A’ windows were fitted here with an egress hinge on the side-opening sash to provide a good fire exit.

14. The roof is insulated
Insulation is placed between the rafters, with a 50mm air gap between the roofing felt and the insulation, for ventilation purposes. Over this is further insulation giving a total of 100mm. In the roof space above there is 300mm of mineral wool insulation. Building Control inspection is required before the rafters and insulation are covered.

rafters insulated in a loft conversion
15. Partition walls erected
The partition walls are erected. These use 47mm x 100mm timber studs at 400mm centres, with additional noggins. A quilt is placed within the spaces between the studs as the plasterboard is attached.

16. Wall plates and first fix
Wall plates fitted between studs will provide a secure fitting to items like radiators; they can also be used to secure the boxes required for electric sockets and switches. This is an ideal time to do the first fix electrics and plumbing.

finished loft conversion for decorating
17. Electrics upgraded
The new electrics must conform to Part ‘P’ of the Building Regulations and the 17th Edition Electrical Regulations. It may be necessary to fit a new consumer unit, or additional unit if the existing one has no extra capacity.

18. Access panels for water, electrics and eaves storage
Access panels are a useful addition. Here, water supplies and central heating feeds can be connected to the loft conversion. All metal pipework is earth-bonded together.

19. Walls are plasterboarded and architrave/skirting fitted
Plasterboard attached to the studs and rafters with drywall screws will provide the basis for the decorative plaster skim. Following this, the area is painted as required, and door architrave, skirting etc. fitted and painted.

20. Bathrooms clad and extraction fitted ( if part of conversion)
The shower room walls are best clad with a cement-based aquaboard, first ensuring that all the required wall plates are fitted, and that all the required services are accessible. The shower room also requires an extractor fan.

21. Second fix, heating and finishes
With wall and floor tiling complete, the shower room items can be positioned and fitted. Second fix electrics and plumbing is progressed at a suitable time. The radiators are fitted in place, and connected to the central heating system. This picture also shows cupboard doors fitted to make use of the area behind for storage. Finally its time to decorate.

22. Decorating
The space is now ready for decoration.

Ecas have been in the construction industry 25 years initially and M&E contractors and then around 15 years ago moved in to the building and construction sector encompassing both companies to provide a one stop company or all our clients requirements.

All works are covered for 12 months post snagging and certified by accredited tradesmen.

The best thing about my job is meeting all the wonderful people and providing them with quality workmanship which we can all be proud of.

My Daughter..
As I wanted to create a company that not only will support us but also provide us a good standard of living.