Once your plans are drawn up, work required will either be:
- Permitted development – meaning no planning permission is required. Most smaller, single-storey house extensions fall into this category), or
- Need planning permission – required for all new build properties and some additions to your home including most two-storey extensions and bigger developments.
Building Control approval is sought. This means that detailed plans and elevations, drainage and section drawings and Building Regulations details will be submitted to ensure that your new project will meet current Building Regulations (building construction, energy efficiency, accessibility etc.). The fees for this approval vary depending on varies factors including job complexity, number of visits required by the Inspector and sometimes cost of build.
All of the above expenses are included in our prices.
Often a structural engineer’s calculations are required to ensure the strength and stability of the proposed building if adequate. Other factors such as ensuring foundations are deep enough to compensate for the depth of the vegetation roots and the amount of water that it drinks (or has drunk, if the tree or hedge needs to be removed) are also important to consider.
Millhouses Design and Build does not include structural engineer’s calculations within its price as we believe that engaging an independent structural engineer is ultimately the most cost-effective way of going about things.
We can arrange a professional structural engineer to quote a fee based on the time necessary to consider all options. In our opinion it’s worth paying to ‘buy’ enough time for the engineer to carry out the additional calculations to determine the best possible solution to a structural issue. We will provide a quote for a structural engineer so our clients have no worries of additional costs for the structural calculations.
The cost savings achieved by a professional structural engineer in the long term are well worth it – a smaller, but perfectly designed, steel beam, for example, may well not need a crane whereas ‘cheaper’ (included with some plans’ providers’ fees) structural calculations may well over-design the steelwork for ease but then incur a substantial cost when construction commences in road closure licences, third-party lifting equipment etc.
A Standard Assessment Procedure calculation may be necessary, if for example, there is a lot of glazing in your new extension (like an orangery type conservatory, or a higher than usual number of windows).
Millhouses Building Services will give you an estimate for all the costs you will incur once we have had the opportunity to visit you and your premises and understand what you are looking for in your new project, with a written quotation for the building work.
We will also advise you of any ‘known unknowns’ and give you a ‘worst case scenario’ estimate if, for example, you have difficult ground conditions such as an underground stream running through your cellar or higher ground to be retained (held back) so that your extension can be built.
You may need to be aware of the Party Wall Act if your property shares party walls, boundary walls near neighbouring buildings. We will be able to advise you as to your responsibilities, and can recommend a suitable specialist if required to ensure compliancy.