We understand that commissioning building work on your home can be a daunting prospect. Below you’ll find answers to some of the questions we’re most commonly asked before and during the process.

We’ve tried to cover everything from planning permission to finding a builder, but if there’s something you want to ask that you can’t see below, just give us a ring on 01457 871 202.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

PLANNING AND BUILDING REGULATIONS – WHAT’S INVOLVED?

PLANNING

Planners develop and manager land and buildings to preserve our heritage and to help improve infrastructure on the locality. Failure to comply with Local Authority Planning Legislation will result in the owner being liable for either demolition, restoration of the new or existing building amended or built without relevant planning permission sought.

BUILDING CONTROL

Building Inspectors are responsible for most aspects of construction so that alterations to existing buildings, extensions to existing buildings or new buildings are constructed in-line with today’s building standards using the correct building practices and are inclusive to all people, including people with disabilities.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IF I WANT AN EXTENSION OR LOFT CONVERSION?

PLANNING

The exact size and location of your proposed extension will determine whether or not you require planning permission or whether you can do the building works under permitted development.

WHAT SERVICE WILL WILLIAM McCALL PROVIDE FOR ME?

We provide a free initial consultation, which involves a site visit.

We discuss your proposal and confirm whether what you want is feasible.

We provide you there and then with a hand written quotation, which includes local authority fee’s, engineers fee’s and any other fee’s that are likely to be involved in the service we provide. This is followed-up with a formal quotation either by email or posted to you.

WE ARE HAPPY WITH YOUR QUOTATION – WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

If you are happy with the quotation we will begin stage one. We survey your property, which involves us taking all measurements of your property, check drainage and land around the property so that we can draw accurate scale plans, sections and elevations.

YOU HAVE SURVEYED OUR PROPERTY – WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

We produce existing and proposed plans and elevations, which detail what is there now and exactly what we are proposing. We then post or email the drawings back to you for you to confirm that you’re happy with the proposal.

HOW LONG DO WE HAVE TO WAIT BEFORE WE RECEIVE OUR DRAWINGS?

We pride ourselves on returning the drawings within one week of survey.

WE ARE NOT 100% HAPPY WITH THE PROPOSAL AND WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE CERTAIN THINGS – WHAT DO WE DO NEXT?

Either call us to discuss or simply mark on the drawings the changes you wish to make and return back to us by post or email. We will amend and reissue the drawings for you to approve.

IS THERE AN ADDITIONAL COST FOR THIS?

No, there are no additional costs involved at this stage for minor alterations like internal walls or door/window positions. We simply amend the drawings to suit your desired layout.

OK, WE ARE NOW DELIGHTED WITH THE LAYOUT – WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

At this point Stage 1 is complete and an invoice from William McCall will be sent to you for the agreed fees and a request for a cheque made payable to the Local Authority for your Planning Fee (if planning is required) or Building Regulations fee.

IF WE NEED PLANNING PERMSSION, HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE?

Planning Permission will take between 6 and 8 weeks from submission. As soon as we receive your cheque we will submit the relevant drawings and documentation to the local authority.

WHAT HAPPENS WHILE OUR PLANS ARE IN THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT?

We generally don’t start the building regulations drawings until we have received planning permission. This is because our fee is divided into two stages. Stage 1 is existing and proposed plans, elevations suitable to obtain planning permission if required. Stage 2 is the stage 1 drawings combined with relevant sections, specifications and details suitable for building regulation approval and for preparation of contractors’ quotations.

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T NEED PLANNING APPROVAL?

If planning permission is not required then we will invoice you for stage 1 and 2 at once. We will issue stage one drawings once payment is received we will proceed with your building regulation drawings straight away.

HOW LONG WILL THE PREPARATION OF BUILDING REGULATION DRAWINGS TAKE?

Again we pride ourselves on a speedy service and we aim to have the drawings completed and ready to submit within one to two weeks after receiving your consent to begin with stage 2. Obviously this depends on the complexity of the individual project. A two storey extension takes much longer than a single storey extension which is reflected in our pricing.

ONCE YOU HAVE COMPLETED OUR BUILDING REGULATION DRAWINGS – WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

We submit the drawings and relevant documentation to the Local Authority Building Control for approval.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HAVE THE PLANS APPROVED?

Because William McCall is LABC (partnering the local authority) the process is much quicker and allows us to have the plans approved within 2 – 4 weeks instead of 6 – 8 weeks.

WHAT IF THE PLANS DON’T GET APPROVED BY BUILDING CONTROL?


The plans will be approved by building control but may have to be amended to suit current Building Regulation legislation.

ONCE WE HAVE APPROVAL WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

We issue all relevant certificates and 3 sets of drawings, which are included in your quotation. Any additional copies are £6.00 per copy as our drawings are A1 and full colour. Once you receive your drawings you can issue them for tender to your builders.

HOW DO WE CHOOSE OUR BUILDER?

You may wish to use a builder already recommended to you, or that you have seen advertised. You may also select one from an approved list of contractors we have worked with for many years, but the choice of builder will always be at your discretion. We recommend obtaining quotes from at least 3 separate builders.


View our list of approved builders here
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AFTER WE RECEIVE BUILDER’S QUOTES, DO WE JUST ACCEPT THE LOWEST PRICE?

Not necessarily. We recommend that you obtain a breakdown of the two cheapest quotes so that you can see exactly what the builders have or have not priced for.

WILL THE BUILDERS HAVE QUOTED ACCURATELY FOR THE DRAWINGS YOU PROVIDED?

Unless you have specifically requested a Schedule of Work for the project, which we can readily provide for an additional fee, the builder may not have priced exactly what is on the drawings. For example, the drawings don’t identify what boiler you are having or the number of light fittings, floor finishes etc.

WHAT IS A SCHEDULE OF WORKS (SoW)?

A Schedule of Works is a complete shopping list of everything that is included in the project. It also includes detailed instructions for the builder to follow to achieve the finished design. Within the SoW we will specify exactly the types of finishes you require, which cuts out the grey areas in the builder’s pricing. It also allows you to change specification or omit certain elements from the scheme, which can help to bring your project in on budget or keep costs down. However, even with a SoW there will always be some unforeseen items whether dealing with extensions or a new builder.

WE HAVE NOW FINALISED THE QUOTATIONS AND DECIDED ON A BUILDER – WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

You should ensure that your insurance cover on your property covers you for building works and if not upgrade it so it does for the duration of the build. Also check that the builder has all his insurances in place prior to commencing on site. It is also good practice for the builder to send out a letter to your neighbours explaining what he is about to do, when he is starting the work, and the planned duration of the build. This letter should also contain contact details for both you and your builder.

SHOULD WE HAVE A CONTRACT?

For small projects a letter of intent should be sufficient. This should state the amount tendered for starting and finishing dates. For larger projects contracts such as a JCT minor works of other off-the-shelf contracts can be used for safeguarding your project.