Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Renovating or extending your home

Those people working in the construction trade will recognise the question ‘will it be done by Christmas?’  Christmas is perhaps the universal deadline for all building work to be finished, or parts of the work completed by.  In the run up to Christmas there seems to be two types of jobs – must be finished by Christmas or start straight after Christmas.  Even if a customer calls asking for a new kitchen in the first week of December!

If you fall into the second category you may have taken down the decorations your house is need of more than just spring cleaning, perhaps a deep renovation project or extending the house.  The dark nights of Winter are at their longest and you may be thinking of getting extra natural light into the darkest of rooms or creating a new family space streaming with sunlight, well perhaps not all the time in Leek.

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(kitchen renovation by Rob Nichols Building Services)

Not all projects require planning permission, it depends on the size and location of the development and also the type of work.  Most renovation projects involving structural work or works to the drains will need building control approval and you are better to seek advice before starting works to clarify what permissions are necessary saving time and money in the long run.  If you are lucky and manage to complete an ‘unlawful’ development without the planning enforcement officer intervening and issuing stop notices, you may find it impossible to sell the property at a later date without gaining retrospective permissions for both planning and building regulations.

It isn’t always necessary to employ expert advice but the benefits of a good architectural service goes beyond just supplying the drawings, you may have been planning something in your minds for months or even years, that in reality may not work or perhaps look awful from a certain perspective – quite possibly from the neighbouring property.  There is many a time I have pointed out a particular feature on a property which will affect the design and clients have said ‘we hadn’t really noticed that’ or hadn’t thought about that.  Your home is personal and sometimes you can concentrate on something particular and not really consider anything else, and a fresh pair of eyes looking from a neutral perspective will often find a solution to a problem nagging at you for ages.

Choosing the right person to draw up the plans is as important as choosing the right builder, a badly drawn plan can be confusing and misleading and a bad presentation may lead to rejection of the planning application.  It is always daunting to embark on a construction project for the first time and employing good architectural services back with sound experience and knowledge will ensure your project is organised and managed properly.   If there is something you do not understand about the process, or design do not be afraid to ask.  It is far easier and less costly to make a change to a drawing or specification than it would be to make a change once something is built and doesn’t meet your expectations.

If you have any questions about a specific building project or would like more information about a renovation project, or a planning or building issue, please get in touch

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