FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, we work with alot of builders however in order to maintain a good relationship with all builders, we do not recommend or favourite any particular builder. We are perfectly happy to provide feedback if you have a list of builders to hand however we can not specifically choose a builder for you as we could be liable (if we have recommended a builder) if any of the build goes wrong. It is recommended you carry out a web search, talk to neighbours or visit properties that have had some work done near you.
Do not worry. Some builders will contact you because you have lodged either a planning application or a permitted development application to the council. The application submitted to the council is made public, therefore builders will be able to view your address and send a letter in the post to offer their services. This is a good opportunity to engage in conversation to see whether you are happy with them to progress with the project.
You are perfectly entitled to use the planning drawings for builders to gain initial costs for the works. However, we advise that you may not have permission for the works until the council has made a recommendation. The council could also require changes to gain planning permission, therefore you could be wasting the builders time if further changes to the drawings are made. You must also note that the drawings do not have any technical information regarding the construction or any dimensions and specification. This is because the drawings are produced for planning purposes only and the builder may not be able to provide an accurate quote because the level of technical information missing from the drawings. Our advice is to wait till planning permission is achieved and then develop the drawings in more detail in terms of construction and specification. Once these construction drawings are finalised, you are then in a better position to get accurate quotes from a builder.
Most builders will say this because there are no drawings or permissions in place or they will not work with a client who is indecisive, trying to get the cheapest price or is still thinking of changes, it will give a bad impression. The best builders will offer themselves if the project has planning permission, has clear construction drawings produced and has no delays that could hinder the build process.
The best time would be once the final drawings are produced for building regulations and construction purposes. That way the builder can quote all the information from the drawings and provide you with an accurate cost for the works. The builder can also determine their availability, how long the build will take (start and finish dates) and offer contract and payment terms based on the information to hand.
If you have pre-agreed a start date for the builder, you will need to bring this to our attention immediately so we can programme our workload accordingly. On average we need 4-5 weeks to produce building regulation and construction drawings however if the build is complex, or require a third party (such as a structural engineer), more time will be required. If the builder is starting on site with in the next couple of weeks, it may not be possible to produce construction drawings in time because a lack of notice.
If you are happy to proceed with the builder, they will explain the next stages involved and discuss their contract and payments terms. Once everything is agreed with the builder, you are in their hands and they will guide you through the build process upto completion of your project.
We do not make site visits duing the construction process because we feel there are many builders who are competant enough to carry out the works. However, if you require us to visit the site, then an additional fee will apply. If we are in the area, we will normally pop round to see how the works are progressing and there is no charge for this.
There are no further architectural services once the construction drawings are complete.
If you require any amendments to the drawings whilst construction is in progress, please feel free to contact. If the amendments effect any part of the structure, we may have to discuss the changes with a structural engineer which could incur additional time and fees to resolve the changes.
If you have agreed a start date with the builder, you need to let us know immediately however there are some issues which are completely out of our hands. A vast majority of issues are a result of delaying decisions, either with the design, the planning application or a third party. We do our utmost best to ensure we do not delay any project however there may be the odd case. To ensure project momentum, it is always best to communicate thoroughly by email, phone conversations, text message or even WhatsApp.