Top tips for when extending or altering your house from local specialists, ARC Building Design Ltd in Walsall:
1. Always check whether the work you are thinking about carrying out requires Planning or Building Regulations consent, if your property is listed or you live in a Conservation Area, separate applications may also be required. A good place to start would be The Planning Portal or The Submit-A-Plan web-sites. You may be required to notify your neighbour of the work you are proposing if it falls within the requirements of The Party Wall Act.
2. Your Local Authority will charge for each of the required applications & site inspections, you can check on their web-site for their scale of fees.
3. Make sure that you allow plenty of time to get the necessary Local Authority consents before you plan to start work, depending on the type of application, this can take around three months, even if everything goes smoothly first time, if your Planning Approval is refused or the council ask for changes, this time may be extended.
4. Use a reputable Architect / Structural Engineer to act as your agent, prepare the necessary drawings, calculations & submit your applications, they will be familiar with what documentation will be required for your application & hopefully the process will run smoothly for you.
5. Get at least three building quotes from recommended reputable builders, get references, speak to previous customers & look at examples of their work, quotes can vary & the lowest price may not turn out to be the best choice. Your agent is usually a good place to get recommendations as he will have seen the standard of work of many contractors.
6. Make sure you know exactly what work will be carried out within the builder’s price & get rates for extra work which may not be covered in the approved plans, i.e. additional depth of foundations or drainage. A builder may allow for installation of the plumbing, electrics for a kitchen or bathroom, not necessarily the units or appliances.
7. Agree with the builder at what stages payments will be required; do not pay for work which has not been completed.
8. Agree a date when the work will be completed, there may be reasons for which this may be extended, i.e. adverse weather, but you do not want your property to be exposed for lengthy periods if your builder leaves your job to work elsewhere.
9. Building Control at the council will usually supervise the work for you, & upon satisfactory completion, a certificate will be issued, agree with your builder that a part of your fee will be withheld until this is issued.
10. If your builder arranges the electrical / gas contracts, make sure that all work is done by properly qualified engineers & obtain the necessary certificates upon completion.
ARC Building Design in Walsall specialise in structural engineering and building design, providing practical building solutions on time and within budget.
To find out more about ARC Building Design click here or call Alex on 01922 430824.
Member since: 10th July 2012
My name is Alex Murray. I am passionate about what goes on in and around Walsall. I hope you find my blog to be interesting and thought provoking. Please feel free to give me your feedback.