Fao The Builder - Or Anyone Else Who Can Give Reliable Information

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Bazile | 18:52 Mon 14th Sep 2020 | Home & Garden
24 Answers
We are looking to build a 3M single storey extension across the full rear width of a standard semi detached house.

We have the following quote for the drawings and other associated costs

Do these costs seem reasonable ?

is there anything on there that we don't need ?

Would appreciate your thoughts

Further to our meeting last week we have pleasure in confirming our fee quotation for
providing architectural services base on the following brief: -
• Proposed Single Storey Rear Extension up to 3m deep to replace existing conservatory
As discussed, if the proposed is 3m or less then the work will be classed as permitted
development and a Lawful Development Certificate could be applied for if you wish.
Our fees in relation to the above are as follows: -
1. Measured survey of the existing ground floor area house including preparation of Existing
floor plans & elevations £150.00
2. Prepare Sketch design plans and elevations for discussion & client approval £250.00
3. Prepare and submit a Lawful Development Certificate Application Birmingham CC £included
(Excluding Application Fee of £128.00)
4. Working Drawings & Submission for Building Regulations Approval £250.00 (Excluding
Application Fees)
Total fees for the above = £650.00
(excluding local authority and structural engineers fees)

Please note the following additional fees and additional consultancy services which will also be payable

a. Ordnance Survey Location Plan Fee £25.00
b. Lawful Development application fee Payable to Birmingham CC £128.00
c. Building Regulations Plan Checking Fees Payable to Birmingham CC £150.00 inc vat
d. Building Regulations Inspection Fees Payable to Birmingham CC £390.00 inc vat
e. Structural Engineers Fees for steel beam design & calculations - Budget £150.00 TBC
Subject to Design
f. Any other specialist report or legal documentation that may become necessary or
specifically requested by the local authority or sewerage undertaker, i.e., CCTV drain
survey, Building Over Sewer Agreement or letter of consent from Severn Trent Water Ltd.
NOT INCLUDED. If the property was constructed prior to 11th October 1937 the existing
underground drainage may be classed as Public and if the proposals are to build over or
within 3m of a public drain then an application has to be made to Severn Trent. At this
time the cost is £169.50 + CCTV inspection of the affected drain if required3


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Thanks for the call, Baz. I'm sorry I wasn't on when you posted it.

Well it looks like you've found the right people for the job. That's very detailed, and obviously from someone who knows what's entailed.
On the face of it, that's a very professional quote. Obviously a lot of thought has gone into it.
The pricing is not too low, which might arouse suspicion. I think that pricing is spot on.
Be aware though, that anything involving Planning is never as simple as the "length of a piece of string." It would be quite normal for variations to crop up during the process. I wouldn't expect anything onerous though. It is, after all, a simple routine process.

I don't know whether it does involve building over, or within 3m of, a drain/sewer. If it does, then a chat with Severn Trent at this stage would be well worth the effort.
Building over drains is usually possible, but likely costs need to be factored in.
Good quote. I would certainly go for it.
Good luck to you :o)
Question Author
Thank you for looking at and responding to the post , TB

'I think that pricing is spot on'

Do you mean just the firm's £650 fee or the £650 plus the other costs as well ?
A very fair quote. The 'Additional Fees' are out of the control of the Company -those are set fees payable to the various agencies
No Baz, all of it.
The costs (including the suggested costs) in the second half of the post all look about right too.

I see that they've included the Building Regs inspection fees. They are on a sliding scale, so I guess they've already worked out a rough cost of the build?
The only thing I might consider leaving out is the Certificate of Lawfulness.
It's a moot point. If the designers are confident that the work comes under Permitted Development, then that's all that is needed.

The Certificate really has to be just an "earner" for the Planners. If it's permitted, than that's all you need to know.
If it's for you, and you intend to stay there, then it really isn't necessary.
However, that's just me. You may prefer the written reassurance.
As an ex-planner I would strongly recommend that you get the LPA to agree that express planning permission is not required. If it all goes wrong, it's no use saying "well the builder said it was OK." I've seen old couples left over christmas with flapping tarpaulins between them and the weather because they trusted a builder and didn't ask the people in charge. It's the LPA who will make it be demolished if all goes wrong.
Fair comment, Atheist... except, in this case it's not the builder. It's the architectural designer who has suggested Permitted Development.

I wouldn't trust a builder to decide either ;o)))
But, Builder; it's the LPA who make the decision. Architects may be good, but they aren't the final arbiters. Why accept the word of the oily rag when the engineer is there to tell you the truth? I'm being very cautious in my advice, but I've seen what can happen.
Question Author
//I see that they've included the Building Regs inspection fees. They are on a sliding scale, so I guess they've already worked out a rough cost of the build?//

I don't know .

We told the Chap what we were looking to have -including seperate toilet and shower room and laundry room , where. the existing kitchen is , currently
Atheist is quite right to be cautious.
I'm only pointing out a possible saving.
Baz... it remains your decision entirely. It may well be that the designer might insist upon a Certificate before going ahead.
After all, it's not a huge additional cost here.
I don't think we have had a figure for the actual building costs. It's good that Baz is trying to sort out the preliminaries first, without just relying on a builder to knock up something he probably does all the time without drawings or any LPA involvement.
Question Author
Thanks again TB

Now all we need is a good reliable builder

Fancy the job ?

Thanks also to you Atheist and APG , for your input
What area Bazile? (although we are booking now for April next year.)
Question Author
Sorry Bazile too far away. All I can suggest is the usual three quotes and don't necessarily go for the cheapest. Also avoid builders who can 'start next week as we've had a cancellation', and those that want paying up front for materials -most reputable builders have accounts with builders merchants so don't need to pay for materials before they start a job. A few builders will ask for two or three payments when certain parts of the project are complete. I would be wary of this as we know of jobs where the foundations have been put in, payment received then the builders never return to finish the job. Word of mouth and going to see a finished project is always the safest way.
I paid an architect £750 to design a large/wide single storey at the back of my detached house and provide plans/elevations to support a planning application. Building Regs and Structural Engineer fees (and anything else) were on top of this, so I think your quote is quote reasonable.
Question Author

//A few builders will ask for two or three payments when certain parts of the project are complete .

I would be wary of this as we know of jobs where the foundations have been put in, payment received then the builders never return to finish the job//

Are you saying , don't make ANY payments to the builder untill the whole job is completed ?

That would certainly be unusual - if you deliberately stem their cashflow they'll not be able to return anyway.

I would say pay particular attention to their payment terms and ensure you are happy with the timing and process. You may even want to keep your architect on hand to periodically check the works and confirm payment levels (make sure they have appropriate PII)
An "official" method, used by many architects, is to use a JTC (Joint Contracts Tribunal) standard form of contract.
Nothing for anyone to be afraid of. It can be tailor-made to suit almost any conditions regarding stage payments.
Google it, since it's quite comprehensive.
One advantage is that it weeds out the duff builders who tend to run a mile from anything written down and dictated.

I've worked with JCTs many times. Usually with an architect I know, but with clients that I have no previous with.

Most of the time though , I've come to an arrangement with the customer, without a JCT. I just write this out before the job starts.
My golden rule has always been that, at any point in the job, the client is "in front", that means I work to one stage so the client owes me, then he pays, and I do the next stage.
I'm just echoing what Auntie has already said. Definitely no payments up front as well.
Question Author
Thanks for that TB

For the build i'm having done - what would you consider to be the appropriate stages ?

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