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How To Prepare For a Successful Building Project

 

Great News! You now have your planning permission, but there are still several important stages to complete before you actually begin your build.

 

Finding the Right Contractor

If you have not undertaken a construction/self-build project before it is essential that you find the right contractor for the job. Ensure that references are followed up before you engage the builder, check their financial standing and if possible visit previous sites to see examples of completed work and talk to previous clients.

Contractors asking for a large cash deposit in advance could be a sign that they are struggling, but similarly the contractor needs to know that you have the money to settle your account once the work is done. There are companies you can register with who offer secure transaction and payment facilities which protect both the contractor and client.

Alternatively, breaking the project down into stages (or monthly payments agreed between contractor and project manager) is a good way for both parties to keep control of the finances. Remember the process of securing a contractor, receiving quotations and following up on references can take several months to complete.

 

Planning Conditions

Every planning permission will have Planning Conditions that need to be discharged prior to starting building. These will require an application to the planning department, taking up to 8 weeks, so allow plenty of time leading into the project.

 

Project Managing the Build

Once you have your contractor in place you need to consider who will project manage the build. A project manager handles the planning conditions, building regulation coordination and execution of a construction project to ensure the work is completed on budget, on time and in accordance with Building Regulations.

If you take on this role yourself you must be prepared to commit a considerable amount of time (and stress) to the project but it will help reduce costs. Alternatively the contractor, or another professional such as a surveyor, can be employed to manage the project for you. This will reduce the stress, but increase the cost by up to 20%. Crucially, a project manager is responsible for ensuring all planning permissions, site insurances and warranties are in place before building commences.

 

Building Warranty

You will need to put a 10 year structural warranty/latent defects policy in place at the beginning of the process. A mortgage lender will insist on this and Granite Building Warranties will provide a number of New Build Warranty options depending if you are a self-builder or developer builder for onward sale.

 

Building Regulation Drawings

You will need your architect or architectural technician to prepare drawings for Building Regulation submission. These are far more detailed than planning drawings (effectively construction drawings) and will need to be checked and approved by your appointed Building Regulation Surveyor prior to starting on site.

 

Building Regulations and Building Control

A Building Regulations inspector will ensure that all building regulations are complied with both before and during the build. Building regulations are minimum standards for design, construction and alterations and apply to almost every building project.

The regulations are developed by the UK government to ensure minimum technical standards are met. Building control operates in 2 stages – first, the plans stage whereby the applicant must submit detailed plans for approval and then the inspection stage, where a series of visits are made to the site to check that work is proceeding in accordance with the plan and regulations.

Completions certificates are issued upon completion of the build. No sale can take place until they are issued.

 

Site Insurance

If you are undertaking a self-build in addition to a building warranty you will need site insurance. This can be arranged in conjunction with the warranty and cover you against theft of tools or plant, damage or fire to the building and third party liability.

 

The Way Forward

Here at Granite Building Warranties we are happy to help you source building control either through your local authority or through an approved inspector. We can also help to arrange any Building Warranties or Insurance Cover you may require.

 

For further information please contact Ed or Kelly on Tel: 01284 365345 or email ed@granitebw.co.uk kelly@granitebw.co.uk

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