The Five Step Approach to Successful Projects
Step 1 - Measured Survey and Sketch Schemes
If you don't accurately measure what is already there, there is no way that you can be absolutely sure that the extension will fit! At PBSC we always undertake an in-house measured survey : this cost is included in our fee.
Sketch Schemes are designed to show you what can be achieved, there might be any number of different configurations - we will work with you to ensure that we achieve the best scheme for you - we'll normally draw-up two or three options to discuss with you, but this can be more if needed. The scheme you choose will set out the procedures for all the following steps. Remember this is an important step, so allow sufficient time to talk through and discuss what you really want to achieve - the further you go through the process then the more expensive it becomes to change your mind.
Step 2 - Planning Application
At PBSC we will prepare all the necessary drawings, complete all of the forms, and submit the Planning Application for you. We will send you copies of all the information so that you are fully aware of what stage the Application is at. We now make most Planning Applications on-line through the National 'Planning Portal' system - all applications can be tracked and monitored on-line.
Step 3 - Building Regulation Application
At PBSC we will prepare all the necessary drawings, complete all of the forms, and submit the Building Regulation Application (Full Plans) for you. We normally submit to the Local Authority Building Control department for this. Building Control will consider the technical implications of the design. We will send you copies of all the information so that you are fully aware of what stage the Application is at.
Step 4 - Specification, Schedule of Works, Tender Prices
This stage is where we set out a 'shopping list' of everything you want to go into your extension. Its length and detail obviously depends on the complexity of the building work, but without it, even for a simple scheme, there is no way of comparing one builder's price with another. This written document is the real key to the quality of workmanship and materials that will be achieved.
Then we obtain quotations on your behalf for the Building Works, normally approaching three builders. The important thing here is that all the builders must be quoting off the same detailed drawings & schedule of work and they must not be marked as 'estimate' when they are returned. Initially we may receive back the 'total' price from a builder but before proceeding further we always insist on a line by line account of the total's breakdown.
Step 5 - On Site
We offer administration of the contract ensuring that the relationship between you as the 'employer' and the builder is fair. In the crudest terms this is to ensure that the builder builds what is expected. For an average size project we would normally inspect every 5-10 site days, varying the intervals depending on the stage the works are at. We inspect how much work has been completed and how much is due to be paid - it is imperative to get the balance right between making fair and regular payments against not overpaying or paying ahead of schedule.