Short Stories

LIVE DSC00808We could not resolve the design of our house. After several architects and builders we lost faith and put the house on the market having lived in it for 32 years. Then we met LKE who with their in-house architect ‘got’ what we wanted, helped design, get planning and then built it – including a major extension; while we continued to live in the house.
The result is the house of our dreams; we had worked out how it should be – as an unspoilt derivation of an elegant late Victorian residence. It is now divided on the ground floor into a drawing room (smart) media/tv room (casual evening) and a day room (kitchen, dining, garden) opening on to our best feature; a garden that is not overlooked by anyone. Challenges included completely reworking the upstairs bathroom waste, re-positioning the downstairs loo, which required moving the cellar access, installing fluid underfloor heating and new electronics, bifold doors and terrace. The extension is now our ‘USP’ but we no longer wish to sell – it all works, we love it. As a bonus, we have planning consent for a full basement; this consent will apparently not expire and this will add value to the property whenever we decide to sell. I would recommend LKE to others because they have experience, a wide set of skills, responsive and flexible management and a ‘can do’ approach to project conception from plan to finish.

We contacted LKE on spec and were impressed with their ‘can do’ practical attitude. We were given several references and invited to visit a couple of recent sites/projects. LKE assemble ad hoc teams specifically for the project at hand; in our case we needed everything from foundation work, to brick wall construction, RSJ work, 5 large glass bifold doors, underfloor heating, redesign and construction of waste to the existing drain system.
Planning consent took about a month longer than expected, but this did not seem to bother them, and they got on site as soon as allowed. A temporary kitchen was set up adjacent to the works and temporary walls etc and we survived the winter of 2015/6 with non-stop action the other side of the ‘screen’ in all weathers. Every problem we encountered was dealt with; the foreman was outstanding and we had regular (quarterly) update meetings with the foreman and company management to discuss progress which went directly to plan. Any change we requested was met with understanding and helpful advice. Our old boilers both broke down, one on Christmas Eve, and both were repaired in moments – something I doubt would have been possible under ourown efforts. Further calls on their time, such as a new fuse board (Consumer Unit) LED lighting etc were all taken on without drama; it was all so much less dramatic than we thought it would be.
Thank you LKE!

David and Jenny SW12

IMGP8085The London Kitchen Extensions Company and Roman were a pleasure to deal with from start to finish, and were always professional and courteous, making our dream home a reality. Our relationship with our builder was excellent and having Roman on the end of the phone and/or emails at any point during the project made it an easy project to work through (having been anxious before as this was our first building project). As an addition to the kitchen extension, we asked Roman whether his team could do additional work to the house, including updating the electrics, replacing the boiler, stripping out and replacing a bathroom and repainting the entire house. Roman immediately asked his contacts to assist with this and it was a one-stop shop where we liaised directly with LKEC and had infrequent contact with others so as not to over complicate the project.

The best part of the overall project was seeing the finished product and Roman offering the quality service we would have expected from him and his team post-project, where he kindly offered to come back 3, 6 and 12 months after completion of the kitchen to deal with any post-snagging issues. Roman was always on call during the project whenever we had a question for him and would always return our phone calls if he could not answer immediately. Also being very thoroughly and detailed, Roman initially arrived at our property for the Request To Tender meeting having reviewed the proposal prior to the meeting and having a list of sensible questions for us (something other builders failed to achieve!). Another strong point was  offering us weekly meetings at the site to update us on the current work and what was to be expected over the next few weeks, including reminders of what we, as the clients, needed to do, e.g. pick specific kitchen tiles etc.

David and Michelle, SW17

LIVE BRORC1As a recently widowed Mum and having previously had a disastrous experience with a loft building company I was nervous about undergoing building works and extremely untrusting of all builders. Most of my family and friends thought I was crazy to consider another major house project but The London Kitchen Extension Company (LKEC) came highly recommended by friends. My reasons for undertaking this project were: (1) Healing – my late husband and I had always planned to extend and I needed to follow that dream through (2) Our future – my growing three year old son would benefit from more open plan living space (3) For myself – being an interiors enthusiast, I wanted to have fun re-creating our home. We discussed my ‘vision’ and I felt confident in choosing LKEC to start construction. The project ran to schedule throughout (with a slight delay due to unforeseen flooring and underfloor heating works). We had weekly site meetings and communicated regularly about all aspects of the build. Each evening I could always see progress had been made and the detailed and confident attributes of the builder’s way of working meant that a successful end to the project was always in sight. This project was not ‘just’ a standard kitchen extension, I see it as a major feat that I have accomplished on a personal level and none of it would have been possible without LKEC. I am delighted with the achieved outcome and I thoroughly endorse LKEC.Once I had finally decided that I would follow my kitchen extension project ‘dream’(!) I didn’t want to waste any time. LKEC managed to accommodate starting my project exactly when I requested. From breaking ground onwards I knew I was in good hands.

It was by no means easy living on-site with my three year old son and our cat in the depths of winter. I chose to proceed with limited cooking and washing capabilities and that ‘plan’ wore thin quite quickly – even more so when late one evening our elderly boiler decided to go on the blink spurting boiling water. My Heavenly Builder talked me through dealing with the immediate problem and came back to the house that night to ensure the boiler was safely switched off. Aside from the fact that LKEC’s abilities filled me with confidence, my Heavenly Builder was also happy to oblige with my additional requests that meant so much… Carefully protecting certain special plants in the garden, planted by my late husband, from the building materials and works; being cooperative with my requests and ideas – even when faced with an annoying stream of Pinterest images and additional home design requests!; keeping my elderly neighbours happy and even ensuring that the cat was never allowed to venture out the front door(!)

Johanna, SW18

Side-return, rear extension and internal re-configuration of the refurbishment. The London Kitchen Company (“LKC”) were recommended to us and we were extremely happy with their service, professionalism and most importantly the finished product. We lived on site for the duration of the build (3 months) and the builders were punctual, tidy and extremely helpful. We had a site manager who was engaged and on site most days. In addition, once a week we had a scheduled meeting with the site manager and the owner of LKC, where we had the opportunity to raise concerns, discuss progress etc.We went from a rather dark and dingy kitchen / diner with an integrated washer / dryer to a light and spacious kitchen, a separate laundry and to the delight of our two small boys a separate playroom. Being in a terraced house we were keen to keep the neighbours happy during and after the build which is not always easy, but the LKC team managed this. Challenges were overcome : Helped us move the manhole / liaise Thames Water to build over existing drains. Engaged fully with neighbours over potential issues including with the Party Wall award. Despite our neighbours’ initial concerns around positioning of certain walls, our builders managed to address all concerns that were raised.Our (separately engaged) bathroom designer got the measurements wrong and the bath did not fit, the LKC team removed tiles from one wall, used water proof paint and the bath now is in place, where we wanted it, They also built out a small wall to accommodate a shower, that had also been mis-measured giving us family bathroom.

We have previously had a loft extension and small side extension & knock-through built by different firms and LKC and the service they delivered by were “heavenly” in comparison. Exceptional service includes out of hours service on more than one occasion where we had problems during the build e.g. our boiler didn’t work, when we had a leak though our upstairs bathroom (our fault) to the new kitchen. The end result was exactly as planned and envisaged, with no surprise alterations as we had previously encountered.
The LKC were very solution-based in their approach, always looking for ways to resolve issues rather than just telling us the issues and waiting for us to think of work-arounds or insisting on changing plans. Equally, the finish is excellent throughout. To evidence how considerate and professional the LKC were in their approach to the build, they received Xmas gifts from our neighbours for their efforts in minimising the impact of our build!
Finally, I think it is telling that on completion of the project the LKC team identified their own items to be added to the snag list i.e. snag items not picked by us. They have been happy to deal with these and a few other minor issues as they have arisen since completion (always in a timely manner).