OUR PROCESS & COSTS
After you have made an appointment for us to visit you, we will need about one hour of your time to go over the details. This includes examining your existing property and the area the extension will be built over, discussion of planning and building control issues, and advice on the design. We will also provide a sketch drawing of the extension at this stage.
Once we know your requirements, we will give you our quote for providing plans during our first meeting, and the council fees required to submit the proposals.
Our fees include full working drawings for planning and building control approval, submitting to the local authority, and any amendments required by the council building control department.
We charge a feasibility study fee of £95 + vat for our visit to cover our travelling time and the hour or so spent with you discussing your proposal and providing a sketch.
If you are happy to proceed with the plans, we will then fully survey the property during our visit, and in this case the Feasibility Study fee would NOT apply. This will take an additional one to two hours. If you have a partner, we recommend that both of you are present during our visit so you can both make an input to the design.
Our fees for providing plans are based on £3.25 per sq ft. Please see approximate costs below for differing plans. Please note that our minimum fee if £615.00 + VAT
A typical ground-floor rear extension of approx. 3m x 7m (225 sq ft) would cost £731.25 + VAT.
A similar size two storey extension would cost £1,462.50 + VAT.
Loft conversions vary between £1,445 and £2,080 + VAT, depending on size and complication.
The council planning fee is usually £206.00 and the council building control fee is similar.
Payment of our fees and the council fees is required once the drawings are completed to your satisfaction.
How long does it take to get the plans drawn?
Once instructed to go ahead with the plans, they are drawn in order of instruction and will take 2-3 weeks after our visit. Timings may vary due to workload, but we will advise you of this during our visit.
Planning Permission & Building Control
With regard to the council approvals, most extensions require both planning permission and building control approval.
The planning permission covers what your property will look like once the extension has been built, for example, is it in keeping with the rest of the street; how it impacts on your neighbours; etc.
The building control approval covers the technical details indicating how it is built. These are separate departments and require separate applications.
Good news! There are some exceptions. Some small extensions are exempt from planning approval and some are exempt from building control approval, but we will advise on this during our visit.
Internal alterations do not usually require planning permission and will only need building control approval if you are removing a load bearing wall or changing the drainage. Our fees for internal alterations will depend on the amount of work we consider will be required and we can only establish this once we have seen the property and discussed the detail with you. Typically we will charge our standard rate of £3.25 per square foot for internal remodelling of rooms.
How long does the planning process take?
Once submitted to the council, the planning process usually takes about eight weeks and building control approval about four weeks. These two processes run together, so you should receive full approval to start work within eight weeks from submitting the drawings.
If your extension requires structural calculations (e.g. for steel beams) the building control department will need to see these calculations. We use a local structural engineer to provide these. His fees are approximately £60.00 + VAT for each beam calculation. We send him a copy of our drawing and from this he will send you a written quote for his fees. Some extensions do not require these calculations and some require several. Again, we can advise you of this during our visit.
Possible contentious planning
If we consider the proposal may be slightly contentious planning-wise, and the planning department may require changes to the design, we then suggest applying for planning permission only as a first stage. We can then easily make small changes to comply with the planning requirements before undertaking the technical details and calculations for building control approval. This will extend the whole process, as we have to wait for planning permission before going onto the building control stage, but it may save you money if we have to amend the drawings for the planners. We would refer to this as ‘split applications’.
We advise approximately one in four of our clients to do a split application, and again we would advise you of this during our visit.
We have a number of excellent builders that we can recommend for your project if required. This assumes that you were not recommended to us by one of these.
We will administer the application(s) when submitted to the Council and our Customer Services Manager, Trish Stokes, will check on progress and keep you informed at each stage.
We hope this covers all the questions you may have, but if you require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact us on 01582 476404.