Many of our clients come to us with a budget in mind or a very clear amount available. Either way, understanding how much of your budget will be spent prior to start the building works can be very helpful, and it’s often completely underestimated.
Professionals and consultants
If you are reading this, probably you have decided to take on a project and are looking for someone that can help you turn your ideas, wishes and aspirations into reality. You have probably already taken into account the cost of an architect, but you might need to engage other professionals depending on the type and size of your project.
The most common projects, like extensions and loft conversions, will require a Structural Engineer and potentially a Party Wall Surveyor.
For historic buildings or more complex planning applications, a Planning Consultant or Heritage Consultant may be needed. And if you are planning the installation of air conditioning units, you will be asked to produce an acoustic and noise report by a professional.
Many projects that involve alterations to the exterior of the property are likely to require planning permission. When Permitted Development rights apply, a Lawful Development Certificate can be obtained instead.
Other types of Planning Consent would apply for specific work like converting one property in multiple units, or works on a Listed Building.
These are the current Local Authority charges for the different applications
The law requires you to appoint a building inspector to check the works carried out by the contractor.
The purpose is to ensure compliance with the current Building Regulations and advise on Health and Safety, Fire strategy etc.
A Building Control application can be made via the Local Authority or a Private Company. In both cases the Local Authority will issue a Final Certificate at the end of the works.
Fixtures and Fittings
A project budget will always have to take into account a sum for the finishing items, and this is often a priority for many people.
The client will be expected to purchase directly many items such as all the floor and wall finishes, kitchen, bathroom fittings and fixtures, light fittings and often radiators.
The architect/designer can assist with the selection and purchase of these items and also offer trade discounts on some of them.
It is important to set a budget for this and work out your priorities, as prices can vary greatly. For many things, as usual, spending more up front will mean better quality and items that will perform better in the long run avoiding expensive repairs.
We always encourage our clients to plan as much as possible into detail before starting the works on site, to make sure things will run more smoothly during construction and the cost of everything has been taken into account. However, it is the reality that when working on existing buildings, the chances of incurring into extra work are there.