Some useful tips to consider when extending your home
- Insist upon your builder using your Local Authority Building Control to check the work, instead of a private inspection company, since your Local Authority will most likely provide better independent checking than an inspector chosen by your builder.
- 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 detailed Building Reg.'s drawings; and instead try to use planning drawings to build from. This saves money on architectural fees, but it does come with risks. Builders are sometimes inexperienced 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 which you thought were included in the builder's quote.