North Yorkshire loft firm Moduloft has announced plans to expand its operations following the success of its patented invention for modular pre-built roof lifts and loft extensions.
The business was set up three years ago by joiner Tim Benson, who founded nationwide loft conversion company Trussloft in 1996.
Benson said 2015 looked set to be a record year, with turnover expected to hit £8m.
Moduloft originally operated from a corner of a borrowed unit but now occupies an 80,000 sq ft manufacturing facility and employs 80 people, with worker numbers increasing to 120 at peak times. It expects to complete 50 Modulofts this year compared to 36 last year and 12 in its first year of production.
Benson said the site allows substantial capacity to grow in the future.
He purchased the factory premises at Brompton on Swale in March, a move that he says will secure the future of the business and allow him to invest in the next stage of the company’s growth.
Expansion plans include the development of a new venture, Moduroom, which uses the same principles to create factory built extensions to plan. Approval has also been given for a new storage yard and offices, which will include a customer showroom.
Mr Benson said the expansion would ultimately create more roles in admin, marketing and customer service in addition to extra jobs and apprenticeships in the factory.
“Moduloft was originally developed as a way of beating the British weather, allowing us to build a complete loft conversion in controlled factory conditions with no downtime,” he said.
“After more than 20 years in the loft conversion industry I knew customers would be attracted by the fact that they don’t have to have builders on site for months on end.”
Mr Benson’s concept is the first of its kind in the UK. The finished Moduloft is delivered in sections with a fully tiled roof and all interior plumbing, electrics and plastering complete.
“It typically takes a couple of days to put the new roof in place and up to two weeks to finish off, which is a fraction of the time taken to build a traditional loft conversion on site, ” said Benson.
The concept has won plaudits from customers and has appeared twice on the Channel 4 programme Double Your House for Half the Money.
Moduloft’s biggest market is in the South of England and Channel Islands with one of its key projects of the summer being a two-storey duplex apartment which will be fully built in Yorkshire before being lifted onto the top of a four storey property in Marylebone in July.
“Each project is unique and the Marylebone building is a perfect example of that,” said Tim.
“It is so different to anything we’ve done before and presented us with a lot of challenges – I had a few eureka moments to figure out how we could make it work structurally but the solution is our most innovative to date and it’s going to be an incredible living space.”
The commercial arm of the business, Moduroof, is headed up by Alan Gulliver. Moduroof works with house builders including Barratts and Redrow to create complete, fully tiled roof structures for houses, apartment blocks and rows of townhouses.
Moduroof also work with a number of other clients on nationwide commercial projects for schools, universities and hospitals where the use of Moduroof substantially reduces build programmes and offers clients a safe and fast method of roof construction.
“Most house builders now set targets so that a percentage of their construction work is completed off site, and as a result everybody expects that the share of offsite construction will substantially increase in coming years particularly as the construction industry is already suffering shortages of qualified tradesmen which Moduroof will benefit from.” explained Mr Gulliver.
“By using our own teams, trained in house and working on site, we can keep a tight control on quality, consistency and efficiency and minimise on-site construction time.”