Home Extensions

Do you need an architect? Or a builder?

You’re thinking about building an extension on your home. You’re excited but you’re not sure where to start.

If you don’t have detailed architectural plans of your extension based on a detailed survey of your property and with all of the necessary permissions, you need to speak to an architect.

I’ve seen a place on the internet where I can get plans done and they don’t even need to visit my property. Not a good idea and here’s why.

How we can help you get the extension that you want?

Extension-small-minWe will help you plan your extension and get it right the first time. Your first meeting with us is free and without obligation. We will meet at your property and talk with you about your plans and your ideas. We’ll use our experience and knowledge to point out any potential problems and help you overcome hurdles you may not even have spotted yet.

After that first meeting, if you want us to, we will write out everything we discussed. You will know, down to the last penny, exactly how much our service is going to cost. If there are any potential additional fees, we’ll make them clear and won’t hide them in small print or in complex legal jargon that only a barrister could unravel.

And, if you decide you want to go ahead and work with us, here’s what we’ll do. This is what you pay for.

1.Briefing, Survey and Sketches

We meet again to discuss your project in more detail. We will also carry out what’s called a “dimensional survey” of your existing property. What this basically means is that we will take measurements and photographs so that we can prepare accurate scale drawings of your building.

From here, we will then prepare several sketch designs and go through each of these with you and supply approximate cost estimates. You might now need to consult with the planners. Don’t worry. We’ll guide you on this and sometimes you might not even need planning permission.

2. Design and Planning

What happens next? Your chosen design will be converted into full planning drawings that shows how your new extension will look and describes how you will enjoy using it. Your new drawings will form part of your planning application that will be placed with your local authority by us acting as your agent. Or if planning permission is not needed we will ensure that you have a letter from the planner confirming this.

3. Building Regulations

As soon as planning permission has been given all of your new extension’s technical information will be added to the drawings. Which will describe how your new extension will be built so that it complies with building regulations including details about the structure, insulation, drainage and ventilation.

Your updated drawings will form part of your building regulations application that will be placed on your behalf by us acting as your agent.

4. Specification and Tender

Why do I need a project specification?

To help get the best price for your new building extension project and to ensure that it runs smoothly a project specification is created for you. It will describe the contract details (ensuring that the project runs smoothly on site), the quality standards and the all important list of all the work that is required.

The specification, technical drawings and other important tender documents are sent to recommended builders who have worked on similar projects previously achieving excellent results.

Of course by working with our recommended builders they can be compared with each other on the same basis and you will benefit from getting the best possible price for your building project. This way of working also reduces the chances of finding out about unexpected costs later on in your project and substantial savings can be made.

It’s not unusual for there to be a significant difference in the tender prices: there could be up to £5,000 or more on a project worth £35,000. When all the tenders have been returned we will help you choose the best builder for your extension project.

5. Site/Contract Supervision

What happens after the builder has been chosen?

A simple standard contract will be drawn up that protects both parties from anything going wrong. Then the work on your new building extension project will start. Regular checks will be made by us to ensure that your project meets the specification to a strict programme of work, that it runs smoothly and on time.

Your project will be valued regularly (usually every 4 weeks) and payment will be authorised by certificate. This means that you will benefit from not paying any more than the current value of the onsite work.

Retaining a percentage of the certified amount until the work on your project is deemed satisfactory six months after it’s completion, will ensure that money is available if building defects appear. Monies will then be available to make good any building defects that the project builder either cannot or will not make good.

When all the work has been completed and approved your project is finished and you will be able to enjoy your new building extension.

What are the key benefits for you?

  • Choice of sketch design solutions
  • Cost checks
  • Control of the building process