In most situations, building work will require a Building Control Submission to the local authority. The Building Control department is in place to ensure that the Building Act 1984 is adhered to all on all properties. This includes most aspects of building, including structure, thermal efficiency, fire, electrics, drainage, etc.
There is guidance to assist for Building Control called the Approved Documents. These provide options over how to meet the requirements.
There are generally two options for submitting a Building Control application, which are:
Building Notice –
Generally used for simple projects such as removal of an internal wall or removing a chimney breast.
Full Plans Submission –
This is used for most projects, including conversions, extensions and loft conversions.
We can advise over what route is best to follow and provide the relevant documentation for the submission to the local authority. Once the application is submitted, there is a requirement for the contractor to then liaise with the Building Control department through the building process in order to then obtain the Building Control completion certificate.
A specification is a contractual document that itemises the building work and cross references it against the proposed drawings and any other documents that form part of the project. This document can then be used to price the proposed works and if priced correctly by contractors, will itemise the costings.
A specification provides a level of control over the project, which includes, how things are carried out, choice of materials and costs.
The specification can also be used to specify specific materials and equipment that may want to be used in a project. This can help to hone the clients thoughts over what they may require and we can assist in providing websites and show rooms that may be useful for the client to visit.
Once a specification is written, we can also assist with obtaining competitive estimates for the building works. We have a list of contractors that we have worked with in the past, which will provide costings for the work. Once we have received the estimates, we will then prepare a tender report with recommendations for the client.
Some clients are quite happy to manage the project themselves. However, on occasion, we are asked to assist with the running of the project, due to a number of reasons.
A Contract Administrator is usually appointed to manage the contract between the client and contractor and can be a less stressful option for a client. This ensures that both parties to the contract meet the obligations. Primarily this is more a responsibility for the contractor, which includes meeting standard of workmanship, choice of material, code of conduct, behaviour on-site and cost variations. As part of our role, we carry out the following duties:
- Carrying out periodic site visits
- Managing the work on behalf of the client
- Assessing payment valuations from the contractor
- Assessing contract variations
- Preparing a final snagging list of the work
- Signing the work off
- Negotiating the final account
Certain building projects are affected by the Party Wall etc Act 1996. This Act provides responsibilities for the Building Owner in situations when the proposed work may have an impact on a neighbour. Party wall work can include constructing a wall on a boundary line, through to fitting a beam on to the party wall of a terrace house.
We have experienced Chartered Surveyors in our office who can assist with the submission of Notices and can be appointed as the Building Owner or Adjoining Owner of a project. If you require assistance or are in any doubt whether this may be an issue, please contact us and we can provide some assistance.
If you are proposing any substantial work to your property, we would always advise that a scale set of plans are prepared of the building/site.
In order to have a set of scale plans, we would need to carry out a measured survey. Generally, this will consist of one of your Surveyors or Technologists spending time at the property to take accurate measurements of the whole property or areas required. This information can then be transferred to paper, which provides information to the builder and other professionals involved, such as designer, structural engineer and client, which can then be worked from.
As part of a measured survey, we can identify key aspects of a property, which we can then transfer on to paper. If we required we can show the following information:
- Measured plans
- Indicate site boundaries
- Prepare existing elevations
- Prepare elevations indicating neighbouring properties.
- Prepare sections through the property
- Indicate drainage runs
- Show key parts of existing services