- January 29, 2013
Andrew Kay meets DMB Solutions and the young family who chose them to expand their Hangleton home
It was not the first time I had been to meet James Powell, the man behind DMB Solutions. He’s a pretty passionate guy, especially about the work that his firm does. And over the last few years that work has grown and grown. When we first spoke several years ago the main thrust of what they did was loft conversion. These days they pretty much tackle anything, from bathrooms, kitchens, extensions, loft conversions, of course, and the new trend of creating basements. When I wrote the headline ‘moving on up’ it should really say moving in any direction you choose.
The service DMB offers is pretty inclusive, from design and architecture through building regulations and planning permissions, the build and the management of the project, through to the finishing line. That said, they are pretty versatile, always willing to accept that there are areas of a project that a client might want to handle themselves. One such situation involved a quantity surveyor who handled the buying of all materials and in another case a family who were happy to take over when it came to painting and decorating – more from them later.
The main thrust of the DMB message though has always been that any job is improved by good design and that, whilst not demanding that you take advantage of it, they do offer a start to finish service.
Of course, any builder is going to claim that they offer the very best service, who wouldn’t? So James and I decided I should go and see a recent project and meet the clients to find out about their DMB solution.
Dominic and Juliet Miller, a young married couple with a two-year-old daughter and a second one on the way, had moved to Hangleton from central Hove when they realised they would need more space to bring up their family. Like so many bright young families they opted to maximise their budget by moving one step out of town, a decision they have not regretted. Both of them love the area, the size of the house and the easy local facilities, particularly young mum Juliet who has found lots of other mums locally with whom she can socialise.
The house is a classic 1930s suburban home, three bedrooms, two receptions, you know the kind, but it was dark and gloomily decorated. They both knew they would need to expand and their initial thought was an extension into the large rear garden.
It was here in the pages of Latest Homes that they saw an ad for a trade exhibition at the American Express Community Stadium. It was called ‘Move Or Improve’ and they decided to go along. It was here they met James Powell of DMB Solutions for the first time.
“Originally we had wanted the simple kitchen extension, but when the DMB team came to look they had lots of other ideas we would never have thought of. James suggested we expanded width ways across the rear of the property rather than a longer wing and it was James who suggested we should consider going up into the roof space,”
says Dominic. “We made it very clear that we were working to a very fixed, and not extravagant budget. He seemed fine with that and accepted that we would not be prepared to borrow extra money, just working with the capital that we had saved for the project.
“We didn’t just ask DMB for a quote, we had several done, but DMB fell in the middle and we liked the sound of the service they were offering. We also liked the approach James took and, to his credit, he was realistic and came up with excellent ideas. It was certainly sensible having all the building work done at once rather than having a second disruption for a loft conversion at a later date.
“Originally we wanted ground floor work done first but James also persuaded us to start at the top. If we had done it the other way round all the new work downstairs would have been made filthy when they opened up the loft. He was also right when he pointed out that our new loft bedroom with en-suite wetroom would be a comforting sanctuary when work started on the kitchen.
“Work started in January and finished in July, and towards the end we did impress on them a sense of urgency, and to their credit they put in some very long days to get the job finished – and the final product is great, we are really pleased.
“DMB handled all the planning permissions, although we had done some research so we more or less knew what was possible. But he certainly gave us a different perspective on how we could best utilise the available space. Before we committed to DMB James introduced us to a former client locally to see the loft conversion they had done for them.
“The money we have invested has certainly added value to our property but more importantly to our quality of life and we see ourselves living here for the foreseeable future. We like the area, we like the community and we love our home.”
Dominic and Juliet certainly seem happy that they chose the right firm to suit their needs and, having opted to decorate themselves, they are now putting the finishing touches to the projects. Their spacious bedroom is proof that loft rooms need not be cramped. The en-suite wet room is a stylish modern addition and they love the look of it and especially love the underfloor heating. Downstairs the clever use of space has created a warm and inviting family room with an open-plan kitchen dining area and plenty of space for their expanding family to play and relax together.
DMB Solutions can now be found in Borough Street just off Western Road by Norfolk Square where they have new offices and a shop front presence which has certainly improved their presence and visibility in the market, but to see the full extent of the services on offer take a look at their excellent website or call and make an appointment for a free site visit and estimate.
48 Borough Street,
Brighton, BN1 3BG