...It’s been a really busy time for us. To make sure that we’re able to provide the best possible experience, there is currently a delay of 3-4 weeks to start a project. We are still providing free project advice.
A interactive process guide from start to finish
There are a range of different routes that you can take. These include requesting that your architect produces detailed drawings, a scope of works and specifications, through to working directly with a contractor, who can provide you with the relevant information to ensure compliance and enable construction.
Projects will almost certainly require the involvement of other professionals. These include structural engineers, party wall surveyors, drainage surveyors and more.
You architect will advise on this during the design process, when they have a clearer understanding of your needs.
Decide whether you want to create a detailed design package. These are different to planning drawings, and are a good idea if you want to be sure that your plans are locked in place.
You can usually start building a bit faster under a ‘building notice’ application, but it’s essential that you appoint a competent contractor, as the responsibility will be entirely on them to follow the requirements of the regulations.
You should always ensure that you have considered the legal implications of your project. These typically fall under building regulations, party wall matters, freeholder consent, agreements relating to services and in some cases, planning conditions.
It’s time to decide on the fixings and finishes that you would like. These dictate the feel of the finished project, so are worth spending time on.
You may want to consider working with an interior designer.
With a wide range of products and materials available throughout the UK, you/your architect should now start approaching companies that can provide you with the items that you would like to insert.
These can include kitchens, bathrooms, tiles, and exterior products such as glazing, cladding and other finishes.
Decide who is supplying and installing everything. For example, you may decide to shop around for glazing, doors, kitchen, floor finishes and ask your own contractor to install these. This is defined as ‘client to supply’.
Make sure to consider elements such as warranties. For example, if a contractor installs your new bi-fold doors, the supplier may state that this invalidates the warranty.
Invite a number of contractors to bid for your project. Meeting 3-4 teams ensures competitive pricing and should help you to get the ‘best’ deal.
Always go with a team that you feel you can trust, rather than the cheapest option.
Once you are happy, and at least two weeks prior to works starting, you/your architect should prepare and submit everything to your approved inspector or the local authority. They can then assess and advise on building regulations.
It’s time to check in again on the finances. With lots of decisions made, products sourced and more detail included within the design package, along with the tender process being completed, you should now have a very clear understanding of the overall cost.
Always budget for a 10% contingency to be on the safe side, and be aware that you may also need to ‘de-scope’ to bring the project costs in line with what you can afford.
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