Phone: 01524 853 388 | Mobile: 07711 320 972 | robertozolsltd@yahoo.com

FAQ

See below to find answers to Frequently asked questions about our business and our different building services.

For ease of understanding the FAQ are broken down into service types.

Renovations / Repairs

Are there any legal requirement needed to fulfil renovation or repair works?

Dependent on what works are required and time span, the works could be subject to a number of legal requirements and notifications such as: Building Control approval; 1996 Party Wall Act; Construction Design Management (CDM) and Listed Building Consent (LBC). Robert Ozols Limited will help navigate through the process to ensure long term peace of mind.

How do I know your building company can be trusted?

All works are undertaken by qualified tradesmen and inspected to ensure standards are maintained. A line of communication is upheld with customers to maintain dialogue and confidence

What types of property are best for renovating?

There is no real ‘best property’ to renovate. Properties pre-1930s were built without any regulations and tend to be more expensive and take longer to renovate. 1930s, 1950s and properties built since 1980 tend to be easier to renovate as construction is similar from property to property. 1970s properties can be trickier to renovate as they weren’t always built with good materials and many renovation jobs may require work being undone before renovation can be started.

Are there any restrictions for renovating a Listed Property?

Robert Ozols limited has experience of working on Listed Properties. Listed buildings are important heritage sites which come with lots of restrictions for renovations, such as materials used and what you must retain. Dependant on the works, it is important to establish if the materials are still available or if a suitable alternative if available. These details must be confirmed as acceptable prior to commencing the work detail with the designated local authority officer.

When looking at renovating a Listed Property, if you are not represented by an architect, you would be advised to discuss your plans with your local planning office even before you apply for planning. It is as important to discuss your ideas with the local conservation officer as well. A meeting can be arranged with specific personnel by contacting your local authority

When is the best time to plan Improvements to the home?

This can be less obvious than at first thought. Homeowners can be put off by having external works done in the winter period, but in recent years the summer months have been extremely wet, hindering progression of building works. It can be costly to the homeowner to wait to have the repair works done. Good examples of this is would be: if the property is not maintained watertight i.e. a roofing issue, or; that the condition is allowed to deteriorate such as a fungal/insecticidal infestation. Home improvement and repairs continue to be carried out throughout the year to ensure your home is warm, safe and secure. Some of this money is spent on replacing things like kitchens, bathrooms, windows and doors and some is spent on less obvious improvements like re-pointing brickwork or replacing soffits at rooflines. Whatever the issue call Robert Ozols on 01524 853388 or complete our online contact form to arrange for a thorough property survey.

Damp Proofing

How serious is a little damp in my house?

It can be very serious to leave a damp problem unattended. As highlighted on our damp proofing page, there are four main contributors to damp in a property. It is important to establish the source of damp in order to determine the problem. The damp may, however, be a result of more than one source. In these cases, the treatment may be carried out as a process of elimination. It is important to establish an action plan to prevent increased and further costs and escalating problems.

Does damp cause or contribute to any health issues?

Damp buildings can contribute to respiratory infections, allergies or asthmas for instance. Correct diagnosis and treatment can make a great deal of difference. Previous customers have testified to a remarkable difference in their quality of life and well-being.

Can damp cause other problems to the building?

Dampness if left untreated can cause fungal decay, woodworm infestation and deterioration of decoration, and if left unattended can lead to expensive repairs.

Another company has installed a damp-proof course in my property which has failed. Would you be prepared to carry out a survey?

If the company is still in business, then you should request that they return to carry out an inspection under the terms of their guarantee. However, if the company is no longer trading, Robert Ozols Limited would be pleased to carry out a damp survey at your request. Simply contact us today to arrange an appointment.

What is included in a damp report?

Our reports include: general information, survey details, external survey, internal survey, customer Instructions, quotation, long term guarantees as required. You should expect this sort of information from any builder.

Whatever the issue call Robert Ozols on 01524 853388 or complete our online contact form to arrange for a thorough property survey.

Timber Treatments

What is the difference between Wet and Dry Rot?

Wet Rot

Is one of the most common forms of timber decay. Wet rot is a wood-destroying fungus that forms from very damp timber, for example in timber windows or fence posts. Wet rot requires high moisture content to grow continuously. Thriving in moisture content between 30% – 60%, wet rot can cause serve structural damage if not adequately treated. Unlike dry rot, an attack of wet rot will not spread through the building. The fungal attack will only be sustained locally. This is not to say that it may not have severe consequences, for example: if the fungal attack was to a structural timber which was to fail. Woodworm is also attracted by damp or wet timbers.

Dry Rot

Dry rot is a form of timber decay that can cause severe weakening to timbers such as in floorboards and joists. A wood-destroying fungus, dry rot thrives on moisture found in timber as a result of excess water, although the moisture content is less than found in situations where wet rot my flourish. Dry rot fungus will germinate in moisture-laden timbers, grow and eventually release spores into the air. This allows the fungus to spread around your property requiring immediate treatment to eradicate the fungal attack.

Is Dry Rot serious?

It can be very serious not to treat a dry rot attack. Dry rot (Serpula lacrymans) can spread quickly through a building, and if left unattended can be very expensive to eradicate. The extent or outbreak must be determined and treated effectively. It can cause structural collapse. Early treatment is recommended to prevent growth and on-going costs.

How do I fix/repair a damaged wooden floor?

Unless the problems have been properly diagnosed, for example, a wet rot/ dry rot or insecticidal infestation, then timber replacement in itself, will not rectify the situation, delivering a short rest-bite whilst the underlying cause will lead to further attack. A timber survey will establish the cause, extent and treatment plan, avoiding repeated and disruptive repair works.

What treatment should I use for Woodworm?

Woodworm is associated with the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum). However, there are other beetles that attack timber, such as the Powder Post Beetle (Lyctus spp) and Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum) for example. Dependent on the beetle infestation, would determine the treatment plan. Unless the beetle attack is diagnosed correctly, the treatment may be ineffective and financially wasteful. For example: The Bark Borer (Ernobius Mollis) only infests the bark and immediately underlying sapwood of softwoods. It will not infest other timber areas, or cause significant structural damage. No treatment is necessary except the stripping of the bark.

Get peace of mind, seek a professional assessment to ensure the right treatment is instigated. Contact us today If you believe you have either a fungal attack or insecticidal infestation, on 01524 853388 or complete our online contact form to arrange for a thorough property survey.

Are bats a protected species, and would this prevent timber treatments being carried out?

It is illegal to damage, destroy or disturb any bats or their roosts, however the law does not prevent pest control occurring in within a property where a bat roost is present.

All bats and their roosts are protected by law, under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended).

Bats should be considered during pest control activities, as it is illegal to damage, destroy or disturb any bats or their roosts without having taken the necessary precautions. In this context ‘damage’ could include such operations as treatment with chemicals found in wood preservatives.

You must take great care when seeking to identify a potential bat roost and it is very important not to disturb any bats. There are a few simple signs to look for like such as: Bat droppings; which are similar in appearance to rodent droppings, bat droppings will be very dry and will crumble to dust under very little pressure. If you notice droppings, a quick crumble test (with gloves or a tissue) is a good way to get an indication of bat presence.

To avoid an offence from being committed, if bats are known to be or have been present, or bats or their droppings are discovered at any stage (including after operations have started), work must not commence or must stop immediately and advice be taken from the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (SNCO).

Extensions

Do you provide support for building extensions?

The benefits of having an extension is that the project is designed to fit the customer’s own and particular needs. The process can be daunting and complicated, to ensure that all requirements are fulfilled. Dependent on the client’s instruction Robert Ozols Limited can be employed as a contractor or project manager. Call Robert Ozols to discuss your specific requirements, to turn your dream into a reality.

Can you source all required materials and project manage our required works?

Yes. The vast majority of our jobs include us sourcing all materials, handling all personnel and ensuring the project is completed to the highest standard. This is inclusive in our service. Our experience has shown that customers who attempt to project manage multiple tradesmen and sourcing materials themselves which is a false economy with no savings and increased overall costs. You will have a much better experience contracting a company to complete your project from start to finish.

How long should it take for work to start on my extension?

This depends on your requirements. It is best to contact us for an accurate answer.

What can I expect from my contractor who is overseeing my extension?

All pre-contract processes will be fulfilled and works then monitored throughout the contract period. Robert Ozols manages all projects and will be your point of contact throughout the process.

Is it worthwhile to contact a local builder with small extension project?

Robert Ozols will happily take the time to review your project. We take on a wide range of projects from complicated double storey extensions to simple loft conversions so we are always happy to help.

Contact us today, on 01524 853388 or complete our online contact form to arrange for an informal meeting to discuss your project requirements.

New Builds

Although the capital has been allocated, what is the process in having a house built?

There are many processes and considerations to be determined, Robert Ozols Limited can develop the initial concept into a reality. Call Robert to arrange a meeting to discuss your ideas, where the initial concept can be developed to the next stage.

Is it important to confirm the builder at the design stage?

By adopting a “team approach” involving members from the client, design team and contractor from the beginning gives the following advantages to the build process.

The process requires the inclusion of three key parties.

  1. The homeowner, who provide clear direction based on the required needs, wants, priorities, and preference.
  2. The architect or designer, who develops an initial “informed design” based on function and aesthetics.
  3. The builder brings expertise on construction process.

 

This collaboration is best when the team is formed from the beginning.

  1. Architects/designers are well qualified to interpret your vision and needs into an acceptable design.
  2. An experienced builder can provide ongoing cost analysis, suggest possible alternatives,
  3. A builder’s experience working with local planning and building control can also save time, money, and headaches from planning application through final inspections and sign off.
  4. But most important, there is no “handoff” when the actual construction begins. Instead, the builder will be well informed and working from an understanding of the project rather than just a set of plans.
  5. This understanding of priorities and the intelligence behind various design decisions can dramatically improve communication, reduce misunderstandings, and ultimately, result in a better finished product.
How do I pick the right builder?

This might be one of the most important decisions you make in the home building process. Whichever builder you choose, you’re going to be working with them for many months. It’s important to get the choice right at the outset to head off problems down the road. Many situations can be offset through analysis of the project. Firstly, in the pre-contract stage by understanding the contract and determining contract requirements. Once the works commence: ensure correct procedures are adopted in relation to the project. Communication is paramount throughout to ensure problems are not allowed to grow or that changes are addressed. These represent just a very few of the factors, but will aid a successful and timely completion of the works.  Robert Ozols has been trading since 1991 and is uniquely qualified in the Country, operating as a small building contractor. Contact Robert to discuss your new build project and get the project off to a good start.       .

What are the benefits of new build homes?

There can be many benefits to new build customers which may differ to individual needs, however a selection is listed below, although these factors are not exhaustive, they should be considered?

  • Many people like the fact that they will be the first to live in the property.
  • Repairs and redecoration costs should be minimal for the first few years.
  • Buyers can often select fixtures and fittings to tailor the property interior to their taste.
  • With increased insulation and current technological products, homeowners can enjoy lower running costs and energy bills.
Should my new build home design take my lifestyle into account?

The design of your home should incorporate all aspects of home life that are important to you and your family. Think carefully about how you envisage your family living and your lifestyle. Make sure your architect has a good understanding of this to, so that the design of the home will flow naturally into your lifestyle patterns. Make use of natural sources i.e. where the house is built in relation to sunlight. This will not only assist with natural lighting and heating costs, but will extend comfort and enjoyment into outdoor areas.

Contact us today, on 01524 853388 or complete our online contact form to arrange for an informal meeting to discuss your project requirements.

Commercial

As a business property owner, why should I use a professional contractor to maintain my commercial business building?

If you own a commercial business property, maintaining the premises is a significant factor. We spend a large part of our lives away from our homes at work, and so commercial buildings suffer from continued wear and tear.

There are numerous areas that need to be taken care of such as internal/external repairs, electrics, plumbing, drainage, landscaping, as well as health and safety regulations. It soon becomes clear that the choice of a maintenance professional such as Robert Ozols, with an extensive and broad skill set is required to handle the multitude of jobs.

What is Construction Design Management (CDM) and how does this affect me as a commercial property owner?

Introduction

Under CDM 2015 the roles of clients, principal designers and principal contractors have changed. The HSE website should be viewed for a more detailed explanation.

Regulation 6 – Notification

(1) A project is notifiable if the construction work on a construction site is scheduled to (a) last longer than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project; or (b) exceed 500-person days.

Roles and responsibilities

CDM 2015 places client duties on commercial clients in full.

There are three stakeholders which are identified in the CDM 2015 regulations and are: the client; the principal contractor and the principal designer.

Robert Ozols is qualified to be commissioned either as Principal Contractor or Principal Designer for commercial works, but these roles should be adopted by different organisations on the same commercial project, to ensure integrity and independence is maintained.

Robert Ozols Limited (Principal Contractor): roles and responsibilities

Following appointment Robert Ozols Limited would adopt an important role as principal contractor in managing health and safety risks during the construction phase.

Robert Ozols (Principal designers): roles and responsibilities

Robert Ozols has qualified as a registered member of the Association for Project Safety (IMaPS) for CDM (2015) as a principal designer.

What does this mean: A principal designer is a designer who is an organisation or individual (on smaller projects) appointed by the client to take control of the pre-construction phase of any project involving a principal contractor.

Principal designers have an important role in influencing how risks to health and safety are managed throughout a project. Design decisions made during the pre-construction phase have a significant influence in ensuring the project is delivered in a way that secures the health and safety of everyone affected by the work.

Why choose Robert Ozols Limited for your commercial enterprise/maintenance schedule?

Choosing a commercial, general contractor is a significant decision for the well-being and maintenance of the commercial property.

The combination of the contractor and a well-designed building often determines the success of your venture. Emphasis is placed on the importance of communication, and to foster a good working relationship. Ideally, this will become a long-term relationship for future business and building needs. 

Robert will endeavour to manage your project from inception to completion by selecting qualified trades, supplying the right materials, guiding your design decisions with trade experience and performance, and staying mindful of your budget.

Who is responsible for repairing and maintaining a leasehold property?

The responsibilities depend on the lease.

For a short-term rental such as serviced offices, you may only be responsible for internal decoration, with other maintenance and repairs being the landlord’s responsibility.

A typical commercial property lease can be much more onerous. A ‘full repairing and insuring’ lease, may obligate you to be generally responsible for internal, external and structural repairs and maintenance. Alternatively, you may only be responsible for internal repairs and maintenance, while the landlord maintains the structure. Should you be responsible for the repairs and maintenance then contact Robert Ozols to discuss any issues at hand.

What work needs to be maintained on my commercial/business property?

Maintenance works largely comes under two categories: planned works and; reactive works.

Planned works

This category can be managed in two ways either by (i) structured/specific surveys to identify and monitor elements that form the property structure i.e. roofs; electrics; heating; lifts etc. or (ii) changes to the property function: for example, extensions to accommodate expansion etc.

Reactive or retrospective works

This is where emergency works are required i.e. adverse weather conditions effecting roofs, fencing or issues with air conditioning etc.

Whatever the situation, Robert Ozols can be contacted to discuss your requirements.

Contact us today, on 01524 853388 or complete our online contact form to arrange for an informal meeting to discuss your project requirements.

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