- Architectural Design and Project Management
Build Design Ltd - Architectural Design and Project Management in Lincoln

FAQ's

  1. What can you do for me?
  2. When is Planning Permission needed?
  3. What is Building Regulation Approval?
  4. Why are your fees considerably less than others?
  5. Do you charge for an initial consultation?
  6. Do your fees include the Council Planning and Building Regulations submission charges?
  7. Can you tell me exactly how much my Project is going to cost?
  8. Will I require Planning Permission?
  9. Will Building Regulations approval be needed (even if Planning is not)?
  10. How long does it take to get all the approvals and when can I start building?
  11. How detailed are your drawings?
  12. What if Structural Engineer's calculations are required?
  13. Can I start building works before obtaining the approvals?
  14. What if the planning permission is likely to be refused?
  15. If the application is refused will you take it to Appeal, if this is what I want?
  16. Can you help me with interior design and colour schemes?
  17. What are the advantages of employing a project manager?

 

1 – What can you do for me?

Our main skill is designing a home or extension that achieves your aims, is within your budget, adds value and that you will love to live in.

A Builder's principle skill is obviously building but he needs an agreed design to work to if disappointment is to be avoided.
We will endeavour to realise you home's full potential by listening to your wishes and considering any other design opportunities.
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2 – When is Planning Permission needed?

Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent and Building Regulations Approval are statutory consents that are required from your local council in order to legally carry out the changes you wish to make to your property or land.

Planning Authorities seek to guide the way our towns and countryside develop. This includes the use of land & buildings, the appearance of buildings, landscaping considerations, highway access and environmental impact. The granting of Planning Permission cannot be guaranteed since it depends upon many factors, some of which can’t be controlled.
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Planning should not be confused with the building regulations that are entirely separate – see below.

3 - What is Building Regulation Approval

Building Regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings to protect the safety and health of people in or about those buildings. They cover many areas such as structure, fire escape, drainage, ventilation, conservation of fuel & power and facilities for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings.

Permission is a legal requirement for all but the most basic types of building work.
The regulations are complex and can often seem unreasonable, but they are all there for good reason. Building regulation matters are handled by building control officers; there is no committee so you should not have to endure a long wait for approval.

A typical submission will include the application form and council fee, Location Plan, Site and/or Block Plan, Existing and Proposed Plans, Existing and Proposed Elevations, Sections, Specification, particular Details (e.g. foundations, roof etc) but may also include Structural &/or Thermal calculations, technical literature etc.
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4 - Why are your fees considerably less than others?

An Architect will typically charge over twice as much on an hourly basis, which is fine if you can afford it, or you propose to build a ‘Grand Design’. Traditional Architects charge usually charge 10% – 15% of the cost of building works. We normally charge a fixed fee at the start of any domestic project so this will not increase simply because your construction costs increase.
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5 – Do you charge for an initial consultation?

Yes, but please note that our consultations are not the typical 20-minute visit to hard sell our services. They usually last a couple of hours and include detailed discussion on the various design options available, advice on planning matters, building costs and construction in general. We normally charge £75 for this, which includes our travel costs, but it will mean you have all the information you need to make an informed decision on how to proceed.

We feel that our fee for this service represents excellent value for money and means you don’t have to commit yourself until you are ready. It is refunded if you decide, at the initial meeting, to accept our quotation so that we can carry out the survey whilst we are there.
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6 - Do your fees include the Council Planning and Building Regulations submission charges?

No: the charges made by the Local Authority are paid by the applicant. We will advise you of the charges prior to making the applications on your behalf. Planning usually costs £172.00 for an extension with Building Regulation charges typically being between £260 - £500.
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7 - Can you tell me exactly how much my Project is going to cost?

We can give you a rule of thumb guide that will be suitable for small works or, for a small fee, we can produce a realistic build-cost estimate, and advise an appropriate level of contingency, to give you a robust budget for larger projects. The final spend depends on many variables both in terms of how much profit your Builder chooses to charge and the quality of finishes that you decide to include.
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8 - Will I require Planning Permission?

In certain circumstances, development is permitted without planning permission but each project needs to be individually assessed. We can advise after making the initial site visit.
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9 – Will Building Regulations approval be needed (even if Planning is not)

Almost inevitably yes, but we can advise.
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10 - How long does it take to get all the approval and when can I start building?

Planning applications normally take eight weeks to be processed, from the date of validation, if everything runs smoothly. It can, however, take an Authority up to 4 weeks to validate an application depending upon their workload. We are unable to speed up the process once the application has been submitted but we endeavour to avoid delays if they are under our control. We have managed to secure both approvals within 9 weeks but, being realistic, you should allow at least 4 months for the production of drawings and to obtain both sets of approvals; this is obviously dependant upon your response times.

We will, however, work to your timetable in so far as is possible and always with a sense of urgency.
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11 - How detailed are your drawings?

Generally speaking, any competent Builder will be able to undertake the construction work from our Building Regulations drawings. Typically, these will include existing & proposed plans and elevations, cross sections of the proposed works and specific details for foundations and roofs, as necessary.  All our drawings are annotated and include a full set of specification notes detailing the method of construction and types of materials to be used.

Our drawings are often more detailed than required for building regulations approval. You should, however, go through the drawings with your Builder before work starts to make sure that you share an understanding of exactly what is included (e.g. scope of all work - right down to electrical socket positions). If it transpires that there is a design element that is particular or unusual to him, it may be sensible to ask us to prepare a further drawing.
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12 – What if Structural Engineer’s calculations are required?

We can obtain a competitive quotation, at the appropriate time, from an Indemified Structural Engineer and incorporate his design into our drawings for a small additional fee. In this way we can ensure that you receive the same high level of service.

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13 - Can I start building works before obtaining all the approvals?

It is against the law to start building works without planning permission; if you do start work before approval is granted you may be forced to put the building back to it's original state entirely at your own cost. It is extremely risky to start works prior to obtaining all approvals.
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14 – What if planning permission is likely to be refused?

We will discuss ghis with you and try to amend the application so that will be acceptable to the Planners. This usually does not hold up progress but occassionally will involve withdrawing the application, revising it and resubmitting it under the same application fee. 

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15 - If the application is refused will you take it to Appeal, if this is what I want?

We do not handle appeals, primarily because they are so time consuming and expensive. We can direct you to specialists that are able to handle your case, sometimes on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis.
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16 - Can you help me with the interior design and colour schemes?

We can certainly help with sourcing suitable fittings, appliances, finishes, furniture, paint colours or whatever else you need.

We can instruct, coordinate and supervise the associated trades, if this is what you want.
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17 - What are the advantages of employing a Project Manager?

An experienced Project Manager will organise and manage the whole construction process in as smooth and orderly a fashion as possible (given that life in general, and construction in particular, is full of uncertainties). We use our skills to see that your project stays on budget and within programme and will alert you to issues in time to make decisions. We are able to foresee the vast majority of problems before they occur, thus avoiding costly mistakes (and delays) that others would unwittingly make.


We consider that, overall, we will save you more money than our P.M. fee with the added bonus that you don't have the associated stress and hassle, meaning your time is your own.
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