Category Archives: Blog

Finding the perfect location for a new home can be the biggest challenge of the project, especially if you want to create a unique residence, with great views. So, are barn conversions a good idea?

Home with a view

One of the main advantages of converting a barn into a home is a good choice of sites in appealing locations.

By their very nature, barns are in rural areas, offering the promise of a new home with excellent proximity to the countryside. For example, if you’re looking for a building contractor in Herefordshire for barn conversions, your choice of locations would be vast. 95% of the county is classified as rural!

Can barn conversions be expensive and problematic?

Building homes from the ground up can seem an easier way to create a unique property that matches your needs and expectations, especially as sympathetically restoring a barn’s core structure and adapting it into a well-insulated and aesthetically pleasing property can be a challenge.

The trick is to find a barn conversion specialist. Then, you can maximise all the things that make barn conversion a good idea, including their glorious sense of space, high ceilings, grand entrances, amplified open plan areas and large apertures for statement windows.

Specialist help can also ensure you meet modern living needs, including energy efficiency and good heating, without blowing your budget.

Planning and access considerations

Using an existing structure to build a new home can make planning approval easier, though there are local planning criteria for barn conversion approval. For example, maintaining the central bay height of period barns, and creating layouts synergic with the original structure.

However, it can still be more straightforward than getting permission to build homes on greenfield sites, or even some brownfield sites previously used for commercial buildings. Barn conversions can also provide project efficiencies due to existing access roads and even possibly utilities.

Resale potential

One of the main reasons to convert a farm structure into a stunning, individual residence is you can stamp your personality and preferences all over the project! However, keep in mind this does impact the resale potential of barn conversions.

However, barn conversions hold their value well. They are often popular with anyone down-sizing or moving out of cities, especially when the quality construction work is already done to create a beautiful home in a rural setting.

To explore the more information about barn conversions and their costs, schedule a meeting with us.

Finding the right builder takes thorough research. It can be tempting to go to friends or family for recommendations, though you should refrain from basing your decision entirely on word of mouth. While endorsements from the right person can be reassuring, opinions can be subjective and they might not hold true for everyone.

It is possible to find builders through trade directories and review sites, though once again, you will need to thoroughly examine a number of customer ratings and testimonials before you pick the right builder. Think carefully about how well you trust each person’s opinion and always make sure to interview the recommended builder before you hire them.

Interviewing your builder

We advise you to make a shortlist of your best options and to interview each one individually. Contact prospective builders directly and prepare a set of questions in advance so that you know exactly what you’re looking for.

The first thing you’ll want to ask for is a list of previous clients. This should give you a good idea of the builder’s experience and the kinds of projects they’ve worked on previously. You’ll be judging your new builder or building contractor on the quality of their completed work, but also how well they can handle a budget, how well they work to a deadline and how they manage the construction process.

A few questions you might want to ask as you search:
• Did the builder deliver on time?
• Did they deliver within the set budget?
• How good is the condition of their equipment?
• Do they keep their site tidy?
• What did they do to minimise any noise or disruption?

Any builder worth their salt will ask for specifications and scale drawings before providing a quote and all good builders will be able to demonstrate a knowledge of current building regulations.

Always use a contract

Once you think you’ve found the right builder, the last step is to draw up a decent contract. You’ll want a contract that specifies the scope of work, details any upfront costs and preferably schedules payments in phases. Don’t trust a builder that doesn’t use a contract and never pay in cash.

If you're looking for a building contractor you can rely on, contact Miles Construct Ltd today.


Before any building project begins, a construction professional called a groundwork contractor prepares the surface. Typically, this involves anything that will help get the foundations ready to be built upon.

The importance of groundworks

There are a variety of reasons why carrying out groundwork is essential to any construction project. Groundwork creates the layout and structure of the building foundations and provides the strength required to hold the building’s weight.

Prior to the project commencing, a groundworker must check the health of your groundwork. The ground serves as a foundation for the structure built upon it, and because the weight of the building relies on this, groundworkers do the relevant work to ensure a suitable surface is created. Within the construction industry, it’s known that groundwork is crucial for the overall process of any project.

What are foundations?

Only professional builders and groundworks contractors can build a solid foundation. It’s important to be aware to ask questions like, will this withstand strong winds or flooding? Laying the foundation of a building is a significant aspect that can prevent moisture intrusion from occurring in the future.

What is landscaping?

Outdoor spaces such as driveways, gardens and patios are virtual spaces that should be thought of simultaneously as the build so that everything is completed together. Prepping the landscape as early as possible will prevent you from costly redoes.

Miles Construct Ltd is a family run business that provides groundworks and other home improvement services to the regions of Ross-on-Wye and surrounding areas including Hereford, Monmouth and Forest of Dean. We have a wealth of knowledge and a can-do approach to efficiently work with our clients and understand their individual needs and expectations. Give us a call on 0800 292 2159 or email us at for a free, no-obligation quotation.

Do you want to elevate your driveway’s dull appearance and get away from tarmac and concrete or gravel’s subdued look? Treat your driveway with a resin bound surfacing instead and see how it would instantly give you that modern yet rustic look you are seeking for. To know more, read on to see why a resin bound surfacing could be your best choice.


Considered as a hard-wearing surface option, resin bound surfacing offers durability and a warm, gravelly appearance at the same time. Its creation involves a high-quality, clear, UV stable polyurethane resin mixed with a blend of natural aggregate. This mixture is then trowelled down to a smooth finish similar to a screed. When combined with an existing solid base such as asphalt or concrete, it gives the driveway strength and functionality whilst providing an attractive finish. Suffice to say, resin bound surfacing is formulated to the highest standard, making it perfect for both domestic and commercial projects.


Whilst it is not advisable to choose this type of surfacing for industrial driveways, resin bound surfacing has fairly diverse potential locations such as residential developments, swimming pool walkways, footpaths and domestic driveways.


Using a 110V drill and paddle mixer, the resin and hardener are combined together and mixed with the chosen aggregate blend, including the necessary fines and sand. It is then emptied into a wheelbarrow and trowelled down flat onto the prepared surface.

Resin bound surfacing can offer you an almost immediate use of your new driveway as it can be laid quickly and efficiently, needing only 1-2 days to complete an average sized driveway.


Apart from strength and durability, resin bound surfacing is fully UV stable which means it will not create a yellowing and patchy effect on shaded areas within weeks of being installed. Moreover, this type of surfacing only needs rainwater and a light pressure wash to remove any build up of algae or dirt contamination and keep it clean. Resin bound surfacing is also an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional surfacing solutions because of its porous nature. Lastly, its gravelly texture offers high slip resistance making it perfect for swimming pool walkways and wheelchair ramps.

Based in Ross on Wye, Miles Construct Ltd is a family run business offering groundworks, new builds, loft conversions, garage conversions, house extensions, property maintenance and other home improvement services to the regions of Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, Monmouth and Forest of Dean. We have a wealth of knowledge and a can-do approach to efficiently work with our clients and understand their individual needs and expectations. Ready to find out more? Give us a call on 0800 292 2159 or email us at for a free, no-obligation quotation.

If you are planning on redoing your home’s exterior, you might want to consider opting for insulated render systems as these will not only provide you practical benefits but could also give your property an aesthetic appeal.

What is an insulated render system?

Insulated render systems provide a smooth plastered finish that protects brickwork against the elements. They are applied in a home’s exterior which serves as an effective means to insulate walls and minimise issues such as thermal bridges and disruption to occupants. Insulated render systems do not only save energy but also look aesthetically pleasing, offering a variety of colours and are traditionally built up in two or three coats which makes it less likely for surface cracks to develop.


• Mineral
Mineral render is very durable and breathable. It is a high impact resistant and also has a quick drying time. Although it can be a bit more expensive, it is more hardwearing compared with acrylic.
• Acrylic
Acrylic is the most inexpensive option that comes in a variety of long-lasting colours making it ideal for both new builds and refurbishment projects.
• Silicone or silicone silicate
Although considered as the most expensive rendering option, a silicone render system is the most flexible system which means that it is less likely to crack over its lifetime, highly durable and breathable just as mineral render, is self-cleaning and the easiest system to apply. However, it requires mild temperatures to be able to dry which means that it takes a while to dry in colder conditions.


• Insulated render systems are good options for older properties with solid walls as they offer an extra line of defence against penetrating damp.
• High-quality render can serve as a defence against graffiti.
• A painted brickwork tends to lose its ‘new look’ very quickly, thus, external rendering is considered a better-looking alternative.
• Rendering your home is also the perfect time to consider full external insulation to maximise your property’s thermal performance, saving you more time and being economical.

Apart from silicone & mineral renders, Miles Construct Ltd also offers a wide range of other insulated render systems such as brick slips, brick effect renders and polymer cement renders. We have been in the rendering industry for many years, presenting a team of experienced professionals as well as providing services and products that consist of fully BBA & DIBT certified systems.

If you are within the regions of Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, Monmouth and Forest of Dean, give us a call on 0800 2922159 for a free no obligation quotation or to discuss your project with us.

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase space is through loft conversion as it requires minimal disruption. Even with the project going on, you can still do your regular chores. Additionally, a loft conversion can increase your property’s value by up to 20%. Most homeowners choose to have their loft area converted instead of opting for moving into another home.

If you’re planning to have a loft conversion, these are some of the questions you have to ask first to ensure a seamless operation of the conversion project.

1. Is my loft usable?

There are three things to check before having your loft converted. First, measure the internal height as it needs to be 2,500mm to suitably convert. Second, know the pitch angle of the roof as it determines how high the central head height ought to be. Third, consider the footprint of your loft space as internal walls should be 5,500mm side to side and 7,500mm front to back to be suitable for conversion.

2. What type of roof do you have?

There are different types of roofs and you have to first consider if your roof is suitable for a conversion or extension. Here are the most popular roofs for a loft conversion:

• Spacious Pitched Roof
• Restricted Pitched Roof
• Hipped Roof
• Butterfly/Valley Roof

3. Is a planning permission required for a loft conversion?

Getting a planning permission when doing a loft conversion is not required. However, it is advisable to examine first with your local planning department to know what are the guidelines and to discern what you are allowed to do.

4. Do I need to get a building regulations approval?

According to the law, you are required to get a regulations approval. Without this approval, the authorities can force you to re-do your renovation. Aside from this, you might also get fines for not getting the required approval.

These are just some of the things that you have to consider asking before jumping into a project like a loft conversion. Miles Construct Ltd can help you achieve the loft conversion of your dreams and provide you with the added space that you need.

Miles Construct Ltd is a family run business with a wealth of experience and knowledge, spanning over three generations of builders. Based in  Ross on Wye, Herefordshire, we serve the regions of Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, Monmouth and Forest of Dean providing a high quality of workmanship and a smooth process. If you need help with your loft conversion, don’t hesitate to contact us at 0800 292 2159 or email us at for a free, no-obligation quotation.