Some useful tips to consider when extending your home.
Extending your home can be hugely rewarding. Here are a few tips that may help.
- Architects prepare two types of drawings:
- Planning Drawings - these are used for gaining planning permission.
- Building Regulations Drawings - these specify the fabric of the building and they are issued to Building Control for approval prior to construction, so that you know: (a) what you are paying for, and (b) so Building Control can approve the design before construction starts, and (c) so that you can go to tender with a number of builders, all of whom will be pricing the same thing.
- A common pitfall is to not employ your architect to prepare building reg.'s drawings; and instead, to use planning drawings to build from. This saves money on architectural fees, but it does come with risks. Builders are not always competent and not defining the fabric of your house can cause quality problems, as well as disputes regarding what is included in the price.
- The fees charged by architects vary significantly, as does the level of information provided on their drawings. The best architects specify everything down to the position of the light fittings on Building Reg.s drawings. This enables builders to include all of these items on their quotes. Budget architects often leave these items out, so you can end up facing unexpected costs for items such as extractor fans etc at the end of the build.
- A good architect can help you find the right builder and can provide advice on what is achievable within your budget.
- Going for the lowest price on the structural design can lead to problems, since designing efficient steelwork frames which are aesthetically pleasing is often time consuming. Budget designs can be expensive to build.
- If you wish beams to be hidden in the floor (recommended for aesthetics), you may need to specify this in writing with your Builder.
- Consider carefully before paying the balance to your builder until the completion certificate is issued by your Local Authority.
- Insist upon your builder using your Local Authority Building Control to check the work, instead of a private Building Inspector, since your Local Authority will most likely provide better independent checking than a freelance inspector chosen by your builder.
Architects we have worked with include:-
Romsey Structural have worked on numerous successful projects with, amongst others, the following architects: