waving goodbye to cold, damp and mouldy roomsThis particular house was built in the mid 1950’s and despite being well looked after, there was a damp and mouldy smell in both rooms at the front of the house. The paint was peeling off in one room and the wallpaper was coming away from the wall in the other. The front of the house was quite exposed and the rooms were difficult to keep warm.

It was determined that the insulation needed to be upgraded, but as the house didn’t have cavity walls, that wasn’t an option. This meant that insulation needed to be added to either the outside of the walls, or the inside. The property owners decided that they’d prefer to have it added on the inside, and as they were fairly large rooms, it wouldn’t be a problem in terms of space.

When the fitted furniture was moved it revealed walls that had been blackened with mould, so the first thing to do was remove the mould and apply a mould inhibitor. Once this was finished and had dried completely, a 100mm thick sheet of insulation was fixed to the walls that had originally had mould on them. They also happened to be the most exposed walls. After this came the plaster board and a skim of plaster. Already the room was feeling warmer and the damp smell had disappeared.

The clients opted for a pale colour on 3 walls, with a bright accent colour as a feature wall. The job was completed within a few days and has made an enormous difference to the feel of the house.

If you have experienced this problem in your house, please call us and we will be happy to find a solution that works for you.


This is a recent project that we worked on involving a 2 storey extension to an end of terrace family home in Letchworth. Extensions like this are very popular and can have a massive effect on the size and enjoyment of a home.

For this family, investing in this extension has resulted in a larger kitchen diner with utility room, and upstairs, an extra bedroom with an en-suite shower room. The bedroom is accessed by the existing landing and it has French doors that open into the bedroom with a Juliet balcony.

If we are quoting for a job where a new bathroom or shower room will be required, then as standard, our quotes include the cost of a basic bathroom suite, but often people will choose and supply their own. On this occasion, our client opted to supply their own bathroom suite, which comprised of a white shower, basin and toilet. This was complimented with grey floor tiles and pale grey wall tiles.

As part of this job we also demolished an outhouse, and in the utility room we plumbed in the dishwasher and installed a cupboard and shelves.

Many people are still opting to extend their homes rather than the more expensive option of moving house. It’s an almost guaranteed way to increase the value of your home, and done well will make it stand out from other houses nearby.
As always, it’s really important to employ a professional builder such as K.J. Hill in Bedford. If you get this selection right, you will find the whole process much less disruptive and difficult. Please get in touch if you’d like advice on where to start, or if you’re ready to get started on your own home improvement project.


Loft conversion of a houseConversion of unused loft space may appear a daunting challenge but, in the hands of experts, can be a relatively straightforward project. Loft conversions can be fairly quick and easy, with most of the work taking place in an enclosed environment, with little disturbance to downstairs living until the breakthrough stage is encountered and stairs or services need installation.

Loft conversions can be a great way to increase the value of your home, but most people consider them for the benefits it will bring them now, and measure the return on investment in terms of comfort and convenience on a daily basis.

If you were to convert your loft, what would you use it for?

  • Spare bedroom
  • In conjunction with a garage conversion, create a granny annexe or teenagers flat
  • Studio
  • Hobby room
  • Teenagers “flat”
  • Luxury bathroom
  • Study
  • Change a bungalow to a 2 storey house

Laying loft insulationMaybe you already have your own ideas? Maybe now is a good time to turn that dream into reality? We can liaise with your architect, local planners, building control officers and stair builders. If you have the dream, we can help make it come to fruition. Watch as your truss filled loft is turned into a beautiful open space, with electrics, maybe a bathroom and then completed with plasterboard, skimming and decorating to your taste. So much more useful than a place to stash stuff that you’ll probably never use again!

Experienced builders like K.J. Hill in Bedford can make the difference between a simple conversion and a very difficult one; our experience with all trades and professions in the building industry ensures that we can support our clients throughout, so why not pick up the phone and ask us how we can help you – 01234 765050


Building extensions


House extension in Green End, RenholdIn the present climate of once again rising house prices, a building extension may well prove a financial and practical proposition. With this in mind many home owners find that after taking appropriate advice from a financial adviser, they can capitalise on the increased value of their property to fund an extension, which both extends its capacity as a family dwelling and could perform a valuable role as a financial investment, maybe as part of a retirement plan.

Once a home owner has decided this may be a viable prospect then a builder such as K.J. Hill in Bedford can help with feasibility studies and hand holding as project managers from concept through design to construction and decoration/ finishing.

We worked on a job recently where a 3 bedroom detached house with 1 bathroom was being extended to include 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. In effect this would double its footprint and turn it into a property that suited the current situation of the owners without the need to move.

House extension in Green End, RenholdThe outside of the house changed quite dramatically. The existing flat roof extension was re-worked into a pitched roof which not only looks more in keeping with the original house, but is far more durable. We managed to locally source a batch of reclaimed tiles which meant that the new roof section didn’t look new but blended beautifully with the original structure. The outside was completed by rendering the front and partially rendering the back. Even I was surprised at what a difference the rendering made to the look of the house!

House extension in Green End, RenholdInternally there was a lot of remodelling and consequent steelwork as we completely opened up the rear of the house and blended it with the new extension to create a lovely space where we fitted a beautiful kitchen diner. New bathrooms were also needed, which we were happy to fit, along with new windows and internal and external doors throughout. We completed the job with the necessary plastering and decorating to turn this extensively remodelled house into a beautiful home.

Whether you’re designing a new-build, planning a house extension or having a loft or garage conversion it’s essential that you take advice on what is possible. Give us a call today to discuss your requirements 01234 765050


self build timeline stage 4

You can now take the scaffolding down and behold your beautiful new self-build home – from the outside…

The first fix

Now it’s time to call in your tradesmen and move inside for the first fix. Sort out the electrics, the plumbing, the carpentry and any underfloor heating etc. so your home is serviceable.

Walls, floors and ceilings

Now you can continue with the aesthetics of the inside of your property. Your team can now apply the floor screeding, ready for the flooring to be fitted. When you put in the main flooring will depend on your choice of material and whether you can do it before or after decorating. You will need to choose between dry lining and plastering to finish the walls; your choice of insulation may affect your decision.

Finish the services and carpentry

With the floors, walls and ceilings ready for the final decorations you’ll need to connect up all the mains services and complete the wiring and plumbing so your house is fully serviceable, complete with a functioning kitchen and bathroom.


Now you’re getting very close to completion and you can decorate and furnish your house to turn it into your perfect home. There are lots of things to consider here… lighting, which curtains / blinds to choose, how to design your perfect bedroom and what flooring  will suit your needs. Getting the interior design right is so important for your future enjoyment of your new home.

Back outside

With the inside now beautiful and ready for you to move in you can complete the outside. Put in the driveway and landscape the surrounding gardens so you can start to create an outside space to match the inside. You may need to put in patios or decking. It’s likely that you will have a fair amount of clearing up to do to repair damage caused by machinery and lorries.

The final inspection

Once you’re happy you can arrange for your house to be signed off by the building regulators. They will check that it conforms to regulations and the original planning permission.

Moving in

The only thing left to do now is to move in! The house is now your home. Don’t forget to put the building process behind you and just enjoy it as it is for a couple of years before making any further changes… unless of course you’ve been bitten by the “self-build bug”, in which case go back to the beginning, learn from any mistakes you made and do it all over again!


plastering wallWe work on a wide range of projects at KJ Hill, some may be just a few hours’ work and others could take months. Whilst we offer a project management service, we are also happy to work as part of a larger team and offer specific services that dove tail into the overall development.

For example we were contracted by Lindum Sturgeon (a subsidiary of Lindum Construction) to work on 29 new flats as well as two city centre listed buildings and two new builds in Priest Gate, Peterborough.

We started on this project in June 2013 and completed it in December 2013. At any one time we had somewhere between 3 and 15 people working on site. As we were taking care of the dry lining, plastering and floor screeding we needed to be flexible and adapt our workforce according to the needs of the project and the timescales that our fellow contractors were working to.

All jobs have their own particular challenges and on this occasion we were working on a mixed development of old and new properties, added to that two of the buildings were listed, which quite often brings associated delays and issues for us to overcome.


construction worker silhouette at work vector illustration
One of our recent projects was taking care of the plastering, floor screeding and dry lining for a small development of six properties; two semi-detached houses and four flats, however the houses and flats were a mile apart! These were new builds and on this occasion we were appointed as sub-contractors to Parrott Builders in Wheathampstead in Herts.

Work such as this means that we have to maintain a flexible approach as we need to be on site at just the right time. Also, as final stage suppliers we’re sometimes asked to complete our part of the job quicker than was initially required, so having extra people on hand to speed up the job is a benefit that we’re pleased we can provide.

We had around six people on site at any one time and although the developments were only a mile apart, it was an added complication that we were able to manage on a daily basis.


Welcome to our blog


Welcome to our new blog where we propose to discuss the many aspects of plastering, drylining and building in both the residential and commercial sectors of our industry. We look forward to showing information on domestic conversations, extensions and new builds, as well as renovation of care homes and offices.

For your convenience we have provided a tag cloud in the right hand column which should bring up related posts as we add them to the site.