House extensions: Cambridge & South Cambs
An extension requires Building Regulations approval. It may require Planning Permission. We almost always obtain approval.
Besides Argyle Design, you might require a structural engineer & possibly a mechanical or electrical consultant. We know the appropriate local professionals, planners & building regulation inspectors.
The key to a successful extension is to understand "why you want the extension". Normally there is a reason. It is not just about extending the size of your house.
We invest time in understanding your reasons, needs and home life. Our extensions meet your initial needs. We also ensure your house will function smoothly. This saves the costs of reworking our plans later on.
Whether you require Planning permission depends on the location, size or height of your extension. We usually answer that question during our first meeting. We know the planners and processes at Cambridge and South Cambs councils. These Planning Portals can also give you a good idea as to what is possible :
Your extension requires Building Control approval. You can obtain approval by either a Building Notice or submit an application. Professional practices, e.g. Argyle Design, usually prepare the Building Regulation application. However:
Small domestic works
Small domestic works just require a building notice. To obtain this, just complete and submit a form to the relevant Building Control authority. The authority approves the work as it proceeds.
However, without proper design documents, builders may not offer accurate prices. Especially if ground work is involved, or when cladding is removed, unforeseen problems often emerge. The result is escalating costs beyond the original agreed price.
In addition, the builder may incorrectly install items. The result is delays and additional costs for redoing the work.
For simple projects, using competent builders, then you can obtain accurate, comparable quotes from Building Regulation drawings and supplementary information. You also gain Building Regulation approval before building work commences.
However, quotes for larger projects require a detailed tender package, supplemented with additional drawings and specifications.
Often we work with other consultants, and we can usually tell you if they are required during our first meeting. Beams, foundations or roof designs might require a structural engineer with the appropriate experience and liability insurance. Heat calculations or boiler designs might require mechanical or electrical consultants.
House Extensions & Party Wall Act
If your extension is close to a boundary you may have to comply with the Party Wall Act. If the extension is with 1 metre of the boundary you must:
- Notify your neighbour(s);
- Agree your proposed works prior to commencement.
Sometime you can come to agreement with your neighbours yourself. Otherwise, you and your neighbour must employ party wall surveyors that represent you and your neighbour. You pay for both your and your neighbours party wall surveyor.