Posts by express

Loft Conversion types and ideas of 2021 – An extra bedroom vs an Office Space during Covid-19 Era

Loft Conversions are great additions to add space and value to your houses. Whether, your family is growing and you need an extra space or would like to sell your property and add value or stay home and would like to work from home because of Covid-19. We will explain you the best possible type of loft conversion for your house and you decide the function of the space.

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From Conception To Completion: Journey of a Succesfull Extension Project with Express Planning

Every construction project starts its journey with a concept. Whether extending your home to bring more light or adding more space, in long-term even a small extension can add value to your house and provide the space you always dreamed of. Here’s what you need to know about the process from conception to the completion.

Basically, there will be 5 stages for you to start and complete your project.

STAGE 1 | FEASIBILITY STUDY (Free of Charge | 1-3 days) 

Express Planning starts any project with a feasibility study. Our feasibility studies will give you a clear indication of the direction you should follow, what is achievable with your projects and the risks you may encounter before embarking on your journey with your project.

At this stage, Express Planning will examine your current neighbourhood, whether your property is located in a conservation area or a listed building, previous similar applications in the vicinity, what is achievable with your project and the best possible route for the planning process.

STAGE 2 | PREPARATION OF THE CONCEPT DESIGN  –  SUBMISSION OF PLANNING PERMISSION DRAWINGS/LAWFUL DEVELOPMENT DRAWINGS (PD)/PRIOR APPROVAL DRAWINGS (Professional Fees (Starts from £1300 (5-10 business days)  + Council Fees (6-8 weeks))

For any extension, you will need to produce concept design drawings. Whether you are making a structural change or alteration to the current layout of your home, it would be good for you to appoint a professional who has the knowledge about the full process. EP offers a varied range of services for a different type of extensions. Our fees for extension projects starts from £1300.

a) Full Planning Planning Application| Householder Planning Application (£206)

If your property is located in a Conservation Area or a Listed Building, it is mandatory for you to apply for planning permission for any type of extensions. You will need to apply for full planning permission or householder planning permission.

EP will monitor your application and liaise with the Council on your behalf. If the Council requires any additional information or drawings EP will prepare them free of charge for planning applications.

b) Lawful Development Certificate Application (£103)

If your property is not in a conservation area nor a listed building and you would like to exercise Permitted Development Rights, we would always recommend submitting a Lawful Development Certificate application.

Although you can build your extension within the Permitted Development Rights (compliance with legislation is mandatory) without seeking approval from the Local Authority, you will be required to obtain Building Control Approval from your Local Building Control Authority or a private Building Control company. In order to obtain necessary approval, you will be required to submit the necessary drawings. Also, most likely you will need drawings for your builders/contractors to quote you for the job. If you are preparing the drawings and seeking professionals help, why not obtain the Lawful Development Certificate approval from your Local Planning Authority too.

In addition, when you want to sell your house a Lawful Development Certificate will add value to your house because the extension you built is a lawful development and important consents have been obtained.

EP will monitor your application and liaise with the Council on your behalf. If the Council requires any additional information or drawings EP will prepare them free of charge for Lawful Development Certificate applications.

c) Prior Approval Householder Application (£96)

If your property is not in a conservation area nor a listed building and you would like to extend your house more than 3 meters ( less than 6 m for terraced and semi-detached – less than 8 m for detached) you will be required to submit a prior approval application to your Local Planning Authority. Prior Approval applications are subject to 21 days of neighbouring consultation. The Council will inform your immediate neighbours and seek their opinions on your proposal. If they have any valid planning objection, they will be able to make a comment on your proposal.

EP will monitor your application and liaise with the Council on your behalf. If the Council requires any additional information or drawings EP will prepare them free of charge for prior approval applications.

STAGE 3 | BUILDING REGULATION DRAWINGS – APPOINTING STRUCTURAL ENGINEER FOR CALCULATION AND STRUCTURAL DRAWINGS 

After obtaining necessary Planning/Lawful development/Prior Approval consent, you will be liable to submit your Building Regulation drawings either to your Local Planning Authority or a private building Control Body. Building Regulations are the standards which you have to follow for safe, secure and accessible buildings.

Keep in mind if you have any condition attached to your planning consent, you may need to submit additional discharge of conditions application. You will have to read and analyse your decision notice after obtaining planning permission.

Express Planning will guide the process and will work with your structural engineer to produce necessary building regulation drawings/documents/details. We will receive quotes from trusted structural engineers for you to appoint and work alongside us. The structural engineer will prepare the necessary structural calculations and structural drawings. EP will prepare other necessary drawings;- Demolition Layouts- Proposed Layouts- Measurement Layouts- Fire Safety Layouts- Drainage Layouts- Electrical Layouts- Window and Door Schedules

a) Party Wall Agreement

At this stage, you will have a duty to serve a Party Structure Notice on any adjoining owner under Party Wall Act 19996. Party Wall Agreement is the document you will liable to complete; if you are building any foundation within 3 m of your boundary or working on the Party Wall. It would mandatory to appoint the Party Wall Surveyor after receiving your consent for the planning/lawful development/prior approval.  

b) Build-over application

If there is a manhole in the place you would like to build your extension, you will have to remove the location of the manhole to another location. You cannot build your extension on the existing manhole, thus you may be required to submit a build-over application depending on your manhole pipe size. In London, many households have 160 mm (diameter) pipes and changing the location can be done under the self-certification scheme free of charge on Thames Water Website. It would be good to check the existing manhole before starting the construction. If the manhole pipes are bigger than 160 mm

STAGE 4 | SUBMISSION OF YOUR BUILDING REGULATION DRAWINGS AND APPOINTING A BUILDING CONTROL BODY

Upon the completion of Building Regulation drawings, you can either submit them to your Local Planning Authority or a private building Control Body. After their assessment, your builder can inform them of the start of the construction. Building Control will make a time schedule to visit your site at important stages and check your builders/contractors work and give advice if needed.

STAGE 5 | TENDER PROCESS AND CONSTRUCTION MONITORING

All of the previous stages will be mandatory for you to start your project and manage your own construction, however, Express Planning can help you throughout the construction process as well as planning and building regulation process.

Under our Tender Drawings and Construction Monitoring Service, we can help you with interior design, selection of materials/fixtures/products, obtain quotes from the builders and most importantly administrate your contract and monitor your construction to make sure everything is being completed as we have decided at Tender Stage

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