These may take the form of single or multi-storey side or rear extension, the conversion of loft space or garages into living accommodation, or the addition of a rear conservatory or a front porch.
When we receive an enquiry for any of the above works, we visit the property to meet the Client to learn of their requirements. We inspect the property to see if what they require is feasible and explain to them the full procedure and our involvement to completion.
Having mutually agreed on the feasibility of the brief, we produce a fees schedule for our work up to final completion. On acceptance, we produce a Contract Letter for signature.
The next operation is for us to produce a measured survey of the property and to prepare drawings as existing.
We then prepare scheme drawings of the Clients brief, for their approval. These will show if the scheme will be acceptable for Permitted Development Approval or will require a Full Planning Application. If there appears to be something controversial, we recommend a Pre-Planning Application, where we meet the Planning Officer to discuss and obtain their views. The scheme drawings are then submitted for Planning Approval with the Officers views noted.
Whilst the Planning Application is being considered which usually takes eight weeks, we offer for our in house Quantity Surveyor to produce a Budget Building Cost based on his experience. This will be broken down into the various elements, allowing the Client to make changes, should they so wish.
When Planning permission has been received the project can be taken to the next stage. Our Architect starts working up the Planning Stage drawings to Construction Stage, whilst our Structural Engineer produces design, drawings and specification. The whole are brought together to form the Construction Stage package.
The drawings and calculations can then be submitted to the Local Authority Building Control for Building Regulation Approval.
Our next job is to prepare the Tender Documentation, which includes a Schedule of works which all the tenderers price. We invite Tenders from a number of Building Contractors, a minimum of three. These will be names put forward by the Client and/or known to ourselves.
We assess the tenders when received and take up references on the selected Builder and if possible visit some of his past jobs. We inspect the selected tenderers insurances and request a Time Line programme for the works. We prepare the Building Contract for
signature by the client and builder. lithe works are substantial, we use a standard JCT Contact, otherwise we produce a Contract Letter.
We check that all the CDM Regulations procedures have been put in place.
If the proposed works come within The Party Wall etc Act 1996, we offer to act as the Clients Party Wall Surveyor. Once appointed we put in motion all the requirements of the Act.
During the construction period, we make periodic site visits to inspect the works. We lease with the Local Authority Building Inspectors to see the works are to their approval.
There are usually some Client selected and/or purchased items such as bathroom equipment and tiles. We check that delivery meets the Contractors programme.
We agree with the Builder on the payment stages. On receipt of his claims we check the valuation, then recommend to the client payment.
At the completion of the building works, we agree the Final Account and recommend the Client makes payment with 5% retention for a 3 months defects liability period.
We check that the Builder has given to the Client all guarantees and operating manuals.
At the end of the defects liability periodic we arrange for the Builder to carry out any remedial work necessary.
If you like any further elaboration of these procedures, I would be pleased to assist. Barry Russoff C.Eng, F.l.Struct. E.
07710 526 086 / 020 8954 2352