Are you an Architect?
No, but this is a good thing! Often (not always)! Architects are more concerned with the design of large care homes, out of town shopping centres and cinemas & they tend to defer the residential works they deem too small for them to Architectural Technicians and/or a CAD draft person. It isn’t just Architects that do this, often, a company that comes with great recommendations will outsource their work to people such as ourselves. How do we know this? Because we do lots of work for other reputable companies, and simply put their logo on it.
How many projects have you handled?
Professionally, throughout my career working for myself and other companies, I have personally measured, surveyed, drawn the existing plans of, completed the proposal design for, handled the planning process for, made amendments to planners comments & completed the building regulation drawings & applications for over 100 residential extensions and loft conversions.
Do we need a Party Wall Surveyor for our project?
The likelihood of you potentially requiring a ‘Party Wall Surveyor’ for your extension or loft conversion if you have an adjoined property, is a highly likely one. Your neighbour will be the one to govern whether or not they wish for one to be instructed, and if needed, you will require an impartial party (i.e. not your architectural technicians) to do this for you. We will, of course, be glad to assist with this process.
Do we need planning permission?
Depending on what you want to do, you might not require planning permission. It may be the case that the works you do undertake fall under the permitted development criteria, and as such are not subject to local authority approval. If you do not require planning permission, we would advise in all cases that a submission of the local authority for a certificate of lawful development, be made such that they can confirm that what you intend to do falls under the permitted development criteria, which means that there will be no nasty surprises along the way. A lawful development submission will cost approximately £85 (this will be charged by the local authority – in addition to our fees).
What is the approximate building cost per square metre?
For single story extension without a kitchen or bathroom, expect to pay in the region of £1400 to £2000 per square metre. For a two story extension building costs can be slightly reduced per square metre of added floor space, so expect to pay between £1200 – £2000 per square metre. (All building costs shall be as specified by the building company you have requested quotations from. Prices we have mentioned are to be treated indicatively and as such in using any figures quoted by us in your considerations, you understand that we accept no liability for building costs quoted by builders, being in excess of the guideline figures we have offered).
Can we have any external finish we like?
Under the permitted development criteria, one requirement is that any materials used as an external finish shall match the existing house. In the event you would like, for example, to have a white render extension to the rear elevation of a brick walled house, this will automatically mean that you cannot make a submission under permitted development and as such, shall have to make a planning permission submission to the local authority so that they can grant permission for the new external finish.
Can we have a dormer window on the front of our house?
A dormer on the front of your house cannot be obtained through permitted development. You can apply through your local authority for planning permission to have one built, however, unless your road/street already have houses with this addition (probably installed back when planning was not so strict), the likelihood is that it will be more difficult to obtain. You can, however, have one to the rear of your property under permitted development.