Depending on your project and site you may require additional consultants.
All building work requires Building Regulations approval. This is a service we provide, however, the Building Regulations package needs submitting to either the Local Authority Building Control, or an approved inspector. The route you choose can also depend on your chosen contractor, however the submission requires a fee to be paid directly to Building Control.
A Structural Engineer is required for the Building Regulations phase
You will require a structural engineer during the Building Regulations phase for structural calculations, drainage layouts and foundation design. If you are converting a building, you will require a structural report to accompany the planning submission that confirms the existing condition of the building is suitable for conversion.
If your site contains a number of trees which are to be retained, you will require an Arboricultural Impact Assessment (tree survey) to accompany the planning submission. The tree survey will show the location of the Root Protection Area, and provide guidance to protect the existing trees. If the site is located within a conservation area or if the trees are subject to a TPO (Tree Protection Order) you will need permission to undertake work to the trees or to remove.
Unless you are only gaining planning approval for a scheme, then you will require a builder / contractor to complete the construction phase. Once initial scheme design drawings have been completed, a builder can provide you with an initial quotation. It is advised that you gain an estimated quote prior to submitting the planning application, this will ensure the design meets your budget and will avoid requiring amendments to the scheme after the planning approval is obtained. Once the Building Regulations package has been completed your contractor will be able to produce a detailed final quotation.
It is important that you have a contract between yourself and your builder which explains the scope of work, the cost for the works, and the timescale. On larger projects you will require a contract admininstrator or employer’s agent who will monitor the construction phase and implement the contract if required. This task can be undertaken by either the architect, or a quantity surveyor.
If your site includes a pond, hedge, trees, a building which is to be demolished, or is a greenbelt site, you may require an ecology report. Ecology reports will identify if certain habitats are present such as bats, newts, badgers and mitigation measures such as when the construction phase can take place, if any new habitats will be created etc.
It is important that any utilities are identified on the site including underground electricity cables, sewers, united utilities, gas pipes including any easements which are the ‘no-build zones’. Relocating utilities is a costly process and it would be advised to obtain quotations at the design phase to calculate the viability of a development.
A land surveyor is required to complete a topographical survey which accurately identifies the ground levels, surrounding building heights, tree location and boundaries. Smaller projects such as extensions do not require a topographical survey, however new builds on sloping sites and multiple unit sites would require a survey to ensure accuracy during the design and construction phase.
When you are purchasing an existing building, you should appoint a building surveyor to assess the condition of the property. This is usually in the form of a buyer’s survey. Building surveyors are also required for Party Wall agreements. If your extension is along a boundary wall, fence or floor, you will need to inform your neighbour of your proposed work.
If you require an eco-home, or wish to install a ground source heat pump, or want to create or adapt a property to reduce the energy usage, you may require advice from an eco-consultant, this can also be the role of a surveyor. Building Control may require an SAP calculation, EPC or an eco-strategy, providing advice on which solutions would be most appropriate for the project.
If you have previously been refused planning permission, or if you have received a negative pre-application response, have a site in greenbelt or AONB, you may require additional assistance from a planning consultant who can produce an additional supporting planning statement which references planning policy in support of the development.
On larger sites, and sensitive sites, it is important that you submit as much supporting evidence as possible. Proposed landscaping is a key element to any larger development and a landscape proposal or landscape Impact Assessment should accompany the planning submission. This will be produced by a Landscape Architect or consultant.
Following our initial visit to the site or property, we produce a detailed fee proposal for the client which will identify all of the required surveys and consultants specific to the scheme. We regularly work with all of the above consultants and can quickly gain a quotation, so the client can have a full picture of the costs associated with the project.