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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:27 am 
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I am planning to build a new extension and wanted to check what fees I should expect to pay. I know about architect, planning permission and structural engineer. I also know about the cost of building the extension (somewhere in the region of £1200 - £1500 per square meter I've been told). What else is there? Is a building regulations inspector needed? How often do they visit and what should I expect to pay for them? Anything else I need to consider?

PS: The extension is a small one, only 10 square meters, one storey, lean-to roof. Will be built in breeze blocks both inside and outside layers and then rendered.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:09 pm 
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Some points to consider
1. Will your heating be sufficient to cope with extra rads?
2. Will your consumer unit have enough space for the extra power supply?
3. Will the exterior need to be paved etc to allow access?
4. Make sure the switches and sockets etc are a known make and not Chinese imports
5. Space to store building materials and space for rubbish/skips.

Mike

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If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:49 pm 
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We're just having an extension of similar size being built now.
Design and plans about £1200
No planning permission as permitted development,council fees about £90
Structural engineer £500
Building regs about £550
Cost of building work £27k inc bifold doors.
I expect us to be in at about the £40k area by the time the floor coverings been done, fitted a new kitchen and decorating.



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:35 pm 
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Go to your local authority website & download the 'Permitted Development' application. Fill it in and wait for the response, in this way you will get in writing from them that you have checked what you are doing and they are OK with it. This simple step avoids later potential grief.



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:09 pm 
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Thank you for the info so far guys.

Mike, the extension is at the front of the house. It will go out by 1.4m and wide 6.5m. Once it is built the existing ground floor external wall will be demolished and steels will be put in place. The extension will simply add more space to the lounge and hallway. It will also allow for the staircase to be a straight one rather than the existing L shape one and by doing this the box that stick out in the bedroom above the stairs will disappear. Considering the size of the extension I will not need to put any new radiators so no impact on heating. The only things that I will add will be a couple of sockets, a 3 way switch and underfloor heating.

May I ask, what should I check with the builder? Should I request that they show me Liability insurance and so on? Also should the builder give me invoices for payments I need to make along the way? The builder has asked for a deposit (3rd of the total cost) and then payments after each phase is completed. Is this the way it works? Should there not be a lumpsum left to be paid at the end as a safety measure for the customer?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:18 pm 
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If you have drains and/a sewer running across your land with in 3 meters (unmapped pre 1936) you will need a build over agreement from your water supplier

you don't say where you are maybe in the south looking at the costs, thermalite blocks and render is an old method of building unless you are going with inner and outer skins with a cavity



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:43 pm 
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mahoak wrote:
the extension is at the front of the house. It will go out by 1.4m and wide 6.5m.


In that case, the Permitted Development application is even more important. Does the extension bring your building in front of the building line (compared to adjoining properties), does it bring the structure nearer to the roadway, and as mentioned, does it involve building over sewers, other services, & does it affect free drainage of surface water.

Tell the LA your intentions and they will say yea or neh. Often difficult to actually speak to someone, get it in writing if the response says it's acceptable. This will count when you come to sell up and move on.



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:52 pm 
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flash22 wrote:
If you have drains and/a sewer running across your land with in 3 meters (unmapped pre 1936) you will need a build over agreement from your water supplier

you don't say where you are maybe in the south looking at the costs, thermalite blocks and render is an old method of building unless you are going with inner and outer skins with a cavity


I think I do have a drain which does run parallel to the house. Apparently the building regs inspectors that I am using cover "The quote covers the full building control service including submission of notices to council, assessment of plans and structural calculations, site inspections, site reports, advice to assist with compliance as required and provision of certificates" as well as Water and Fire Authority Consultations. So I think this is covered.

I live up north in Cheshire. The extension will have an inner and out skin with insulation in the middle. The builder said that, considering that it will be rendered, rather than using brick we can use concrete blocks. The ones for the outer skin will be denser apparently. And up to DPC he will use local stone.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:54 pm 
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arco_iris, sorry I forgot to mention that planning permission has already been granted.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:39 pm 
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mahoak wrote:
Apparently the building regs inspectors that I am using cover "The quote covers the full building control service including submission of notices to council, assessment of plans and structural calculations, site inspections, site reports, advice to assist with compliance as required and provision of certificates" as well as Water and Fire Authority Consultations. So I think this is covered.


I am not a qualified expert, only an interested bystander seeking to learn from others.

Planning Permission Granted is not the same as (LA) Building Regulations Approval which I take to be a submission to the LA and subsequently dealing with an employee/'officer' of the council over the finer details, which you & your builder can do yourselves. A decent builder will be on first name terms with the inspector for the area. Your above statement suggests that you are paying an agent, who will not be.

PP granted does not mean carte blanche to do as you like, it didn't consider the final details.



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:49 pm 
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arco_iris wrote:
mahoak wrote:
Apparently the building regs inspectors that I am using cover "The quote covers the full building control service including submission of notices to council, assessment of plans and structural calculations, site inspections, site reports, advice to assist with compliance as required and provision of certificates" as well as Water and Fire Authority Consultations. So I think this is covered.


I am not a qualified expert, only an interested bystander seeking to learn from others.

Planning Permission Granted is not the same as (LA) Building Regulations Approval which I take to be a submission to the LA and subsequently dealing with an employee/'officer' of the council over the finer details, which you & your builder can do yourselves. A decent builder will be on first name terms with the inspector for the area. Your above statement suggests that you are paying an agent, who will not be.

PP granted does not mean carte blanche to do as you like, it didn't consider the final details.


To be honest my knowledge in this area is very minimal too (as you've probably already guessed :-) ). As far as I am aware the building regs inspector that I am hiring deals with all that side of things and covers all areas. So I assume the agent deals with the council and all other interested parties. The agent should also have all the knowledge on the finer points which they will pass on to the builder so there shouldnt be any problems in the respect (hopefully).


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:48 pm 
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3 questions if I may please:

Should I expect my builder to have liability insurance and ask them to show me the document?

Should I expect to be invoiced for every payment requested?

Is 35% of the total extension cost too high for a deposit?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:46 pm 
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mahoak wrote:
3 questions if I may please:

Should I expect my builder to have liability insurance and ask them to show me the document?

Should I expect to be invoiced for every payment requested?

Is 35% of the total extension cost too high for a deposit?


Yes ask them if they have liability insurance -they should have and so should any bone fide tradesmen they use.

Check to see if your builder has contractors all risk cover (many dont). If he doesnt then you will need to obtain cover with your own insurer. In any case you need to let your house insurer know the house is being extended. Whilst your house insurance covers the existing house, the extension may not be covered whilst it is being built.

Your builder should give you an invoice for payment at each stage. IE he gives you an invoice, you pay it, then he should issue a receipt. Each invoice has to be submitted for VAT including the deposit, so for tax reasons an invoice is necesssary at each stage.

35% is not unreasonable for a deposit. Payment terms may vary depending on the type of building work. We often have 5 or 6 stage payments. Its a case of being as fair as possible to both parties. Some builders may agree to a small percentage retention at the end for 6 months to allow for any snagging that is needed. There is a element of 2 way trust at the end of a job, one the one hand dont pay the final bill if the job is not complete or some serious snags are still outstanding, on the other hand, dont hold back a large amount of money just because of some trivial details.

Im sure your builders quote will allow for standard 1 metre deep foundations. Has he explained that the depth of footing will be decided by the building inspector on his first visit and that any additional depth required will cost more?



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:03 pm 
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Notch1 wrote:
Yes ask them if they have liability insurance -they should have and so should any bone fide tradesmen they use.

Check to see if your builder has contractors all risk cover (many dont). If he doesnt then you will need to obtain cover with your own insurer. In any case you need to let your house insurer know the house is being extended. Whilst your house insurance covers the existing house, the extension may not be covered whilst it is being built.

Your builder should give you an invoice for payment at each stage. IE he gives you an invoice, you pay it, then he should issue a receipt. Each invoice has to be submitted for VAT including the deposit, so for tax reasons an invoice is necesssary at each stage.

35% is not unreasonable for a deposit. Payment terms may vary depending on the type of building work. We often have 5 or 6 stage payments. Its a case of being as fair as possible to both parties. Some builders may agree to a small percentage retention at the end for 6 months to allow for any snagging that is needed. There is a element of 2 way trust at the end of a job, one the one hand dont pay the final bill if the job is not complete or some serious snags are still outstanding, on the other hand, dont hold back a large amount of money just because of some trivial details.

Im sure your builders quote will allow for standard 1 metre deep foundations. Has he explained that the depth of footing will be decided by the building inspector on his first visit and that any additional depth required will cost more?


Notch, thank you for the advice. I certainly wasnt aware that I needed to let the home insurance know. I'll make sure to give them a call tomorrow.

The main reason why I ask for the builder's cover is because after the extension is built the builder will knock down the ground floor front wall accross the whole width of the house and will put steel beams in place.

The builder has said that after I have paid the deposit he will require interim payments after completing each step of the job:
* AT FLOOR SLAB
* WHEN BLOCK WORK STRUCTURE IS BUILT
* ROOF STRUCTURE COMPLETE
* STEELWORK IN SITUE & KNOCK THROUGH
* EXTERNAL RENDERING COMPLETE.

He has said that the foundations will be the standard 3 foot ones but has not mentioned anything about extra costs involved if he needs to dig deeper. I will have to check with him on this point. Basically I will ask him if the total cost he has given me is definitely fixed or whether it is likely to change. Although the way he has been talking about it so far is that it is a definite (but you never know).

I have to say though that this chap is someone local in my village and they were born and bred here and they come highly recommended. But not having done any extension before I just want to make sure and check that everything is done properly. As my father always says "where there's money involved, there's always a potential for arguments, so best check from the start".


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:50 pm 
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Builders are often lax about unknown extra costs for foundations.

Its fairly standard practice to quote for good ground conditions, in which a 1m metre deep trench foundation is dug. The concrete is usually around 600mm or so.

However where the ground is shrinkable clay soil and / or trees or hedges within the zone of influence (in the case of willow or oak, that could be up to 25 metres), then deeper footings are required. Leylandii or hawthorn hedges are also problems.

Deeper foundation mean more concrete and more skips and a little more labour.

Also made up ground needs deeper footings and can mean suspended floor instead of a slab.

Its certainly worth checking the trees / hedges -if you have any then look on the NHBC site which has a tree foundation calculator.

If you or your neighbours have had extensions, then the foundation depth that was required is a good indication of ground type.

The first visit from the building inspector will be when you know for sure.

Of course if you have drains nearby, you will need foundations to be 150mm deeper than invert.

Im sure you will be on good ground and no issues, but best to have the conversation now before you start.



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