GETTING A QUOTE
At the initial visit, our project surveyor will discuss your brief and get an understanding of what you hope to achieve from the proposed project.
If you have architects drawings’, we will use them to develop a quote for you. If you do not have any architectural drawings, our experienced project surveyors are still able to advise on what is achievable and provide a quote based on our vast project database.
Once you have reviewed the initial quote, we will invite you to see some of our recent work and meet some of our existing customers. This will give you an opportunity to see what’s possible and also see the quality of workmanship as well as meet someone that’s been through the experience first hand.
Your local planning authority is responsible for deciding whether a development (anything from an extension on a house to a new shopping centre) should go ahead.
An architects will advise on the best way to approach the planning application as certain classifications of extensions and loft conversions can avoid going into a Full Planning Application.
They will manage the application process on your behalf and liaise with the Planning Department to ensure that any queries are dealt with immediately to ensure that the application is approved.
PARTY WALL AGREEMENT
With applications for a loft or an extension, your attention is drawn to the requirements of the Party Wall Act 1996 which may affect your proposals. You must notify all affected neighbours and obtain their consent if the work you are intending to carry out falls within the Act. This may include:
Work on an existing wall shared with another property
Building on the boundary with a neighbouring property
Excavating near a neighbouring property
The requirements of the Party Wall. Act shall be observed at all times in respect of all works to be carried out to the party wall.
Our surveyors will advise on the best route forward when trying to gain your neighbour’s consent for the project. They can, for example, provide you with documentation that can help avoid the additional cost of employing a party wall surveyor.
If your proposal involves building over or near to public sewers or any new connections, the agreement of Thames Water Utilities Ltd. must be sought before work is undertaken. Where a formal agreement or a CCTV Survey are requested, a fee is payable.
Thames Water is responsible for maintaining 80,000 kilometres of kanały public sewers, which are sometimes located within the boundaries of residential properties. Any building works over the top or within three metres of a public sewer require a prior agreement with Thames Water to ensure that no damage is caused to it or restrictions made to the use / maintenance of the sewer.
With the submission of a Full Plans Application the responsibility lies with your local authority to consult Thames Water when building over or near to a public sewer might occur. If a sewer has already been identified by your architect or engineer you can apply for an agreement personally and this can speed up the process of your Full Plans Application.
The Design Phase
Steps and timescales
If you’re happy to proceed based on our quotation for the build and you require drawings, We will arrange for a suitable architect to visit you to measure up the property and generate the planning drawings. Once you have approved these drawings, the architect will apply for planning permission on your behalf to gain local council approval. This process takes between six to eight weeks.
Our project surveyor will work with you during the council planning approval time to fine tune the details in your specification and ensure all aspects of the project are covered.
Once planning approval has been granted, we will then start preparing all the required documentation for the build, begin the preparation of materials and allocate the foreman to your project.
The Build Phase
The average loft conversion from start to completion usually takes between eight to ten weeks. The construction of a new room within the existing loft space is relatively straightforward. The key tasks that we undertake when constructing a loft, these tasks work in three phases.
Preparation and steel work
The scaffolding will be erected and the team will install the steel beams to ensure that the building is secure and that we can convert the loft into a habitable space. We will then install the new floor structure.
Roof and frame construction
We then create the box structure known as a dormer. Once the frame is constructed, we then weatherproof the sides and roof of the dormer and surroundings. Once this is complete, we will have secured, insulated and weather proofed the loft area.
Once the exterior structure is weather proofed, the internal work begins with installing the internal walls, arranging drainage, plumbing and electrical points. We also break through to the existing house to arrange the stairs. This process takes about two days and can be a little dusty. Finally the walls are skimmed, the carpentry is completed and we paint the walls, ceilings and woodwork.
Throughout this process, you would have regular team meetings with the foreman to go through the project plan. Your project surveyor will be available throughout the process.
The Build Phase
The average single story rear extension to completion takes between 10-12 weeks. The key tasks when constructing a standard extension that are split into six phases.
The first aim would be to clear space and dig the foundations. These are dug to a depth stipulated by the architect but approved by the building inspector. Once the depth has been approved, we then pour the concrete foundations and install any steels that are required to support the structure.
Once the concrete has dried we begin the brickwork. At an early stage of the brickwork, the building control officer will approve the damp proofing and once approved we continue the brickwork to the highest point, which we call the roof plate level
Demolition and Structural
We now have to knock through to the existing kitchen, remove the exterior wall and install the final steel beams to ensure the house is structurally sound. We will at this point move your kitchen into another part of the house and seal off the back area so it’s secure and does not leave you open to risk.
The key focus is to now weather proof the house and construct the roof. Finally we install the tiles or felt depending on if you choose a pitched or flat roof extension. Once this is complete the new floor will be installed into the new area.
Once the concrete floor is dry, the team will commence with the internal work, which includes installing the internal walls, arranging drainage, plumbing and electrical points. The walls will be skimmed and the finishing touches will be completed on the ‘shell’ of the extension.
Now we install the kitchen and install all of the skirting’s and doors. We also now install any floor finishing, such as tiling or wooden flooring, and finally decorate the room so it’s ready to use.
This is optional