Residential Extension Advice

Residential extension postWe recently undertook design, specification and project management of a residential extension, in Winslow, Buckinghamshire.

Our client required a kitchen and partial re-design of the ground floor bathroom. The property had a lean-to timber addition, which was in a dilapidated condition.

The extension we provided was a single storey kitchen extension with attached shower room, bathroom and utility room. We re-designed the ground floor layout to make better use of the floor space and enhance the new kitchen extension.

We provided a design and specification which we successfully took through the planning process, as the property is located in a conservation area, and also through the building regulations building control application process. We took the specification through the competitive tendering process and identified a contractor capable of undertaking the project. We also dealt with Party Wall matters, under a separate instruction, and dealt with any on-site queries the contractor had.

The project budget was approximately £60,000 and the contract period was approximately 3 months.

If you would like advice regarding a residential extension, please contact us on 01635 579208 or complete the form and we’ll get back to you.

 

Project Managers for Repairs

Project Management. Repair & Redec Block of FlatsRMA Surveyors Ltd acted as project managers for an external maintenance and repairs programme to a block of flats in Cockfosters, London.

The contract included roof repairs; including repairs to parapet walls and the repair of roof coverings, maintenance to external doors and windows; including repairs and redecoration, providing insulation to tank rooms located on the roof, internal plaster repairs to common areas and redecoration and masonry repairs; including crack stitching and repointing repairs to arches and lintels above openings.

The contract value was for £70,000; we provided specification, tendered the works and oversaw the works in two phases. Unfortunately the initial contractor went into liquidation between phases, so we were required to re-tender the works and oversee phase two using a different contractor.

We saw the work through to completion, awarded final certification and ensured the work was undertaken to a satisfactory standard.

If you require a project manager for any similar repairs, redecoration or refurbishment contracts, please contact us using the form below or call us on 01635 579208.

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How do you know if the Party Wall Act etc 1996 applies to works?

New structure adjoining older structureIf you are planning on undertaking building works the Party Wall etc Act 1996 may apply. If you do not know of a requirement to serve or respond to notices you are not alone and we can help.

Many people are unaware of their obligations and rights that the Party Wall Act provides. Building works that proceed without complying with the Act can lead to significant difficulties, legal action, and a breakdown in neighbourly relations. Iit is not just building works directly affecting a party wall or boundary wall that may require action under the Act.

A Building Owner may decide to build a permanent structure on his own land within 6 meters of a neighboring party structure, build near or on a boundary or cut into or otherwise alter an existing party wall. In all these cases the Party Wall Act can apply. The Act allows for a Building owner to progress with works whilst protecting the an Adjoining Owners’ interests.

Where an Adjoining owner has concerns regarding a neighbors’ proposals they can appoint an independent party wall surveyor to provide help and explain the implications and procedures of the Act.

The requirements of the act stipulate that where there is a disagreement, a Party wall surveyor can step in to guide the process according to a defined protocol. Anyone can act as a Party Wall Surveyor. However a surveyor should ideally be experienced in construction,  have read, understood and be able to operate within the Act, interpret technical details, drawings and ultimately work diplomatically to provide swift resolution.

No Flood Insurance Deal May Leave Thousands at Risk

A flooded townThe current flood agreement between the Government and the Association of British Insurers comes to an end at the end of June 2013. Negotiations to continue providing affordable premiums to those most vulnerable to flooding are seemingly at a grinding halt.

Under the present agreement, insurers are committed to offering existing consumers universal flood insurance at affordable rates, providing that the Government invests in flood defenses. However, government spending on flood defenses is reported to have reduced. The Guardian reported last July that 294 flood defense projects have not received funding.

Talks between DEFRA and the ABI over a new deal have been ongoing for months. As many as 200,000 households could find it difficult to source reasonable premiums on flood insurance if no agreement is reached.

Green Deal – Planning Laws Relaxed

External insulationThe Government’s Green Deal‘s cashback initiative has been launched this week. There is no cap on what householders can claim.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has made available £125 million funding for the scheme.

To qualify for the cashback initiative, homeowners need to have a Green Deal property assessment undertaken on their property. However, this assessment is not always free, as many assessment companies are charging consumers for this service. The assessment is designed to inform homeowners what measures will make the best improvements to their property’s thermal performance. Improvements may include cavity or solid wall insulation, replacement boilers and loft insulation.

The cashback initiative follows an announcement by Climate change minister Greg Barker last week that planning laws have been relaxed to make it easier for external solid wall insulation to be installed. The classification of solid wall insulation for planning purposes is set to change for property owners across the country, with this type of project now seen as a “permitted development” – meaning property owners will no longer require specific planning consent to carry such an improvement.

The climate change minister stated: “There used to be a time that if you applied external solid wall insulation you would make the house look like something out of Erich Honecker’s East Germany. But actually lots of the solid wall insulation products now enhance the look and feel of a home.”

Greg Barker stated the Department for Communities and Local Government had “relaxed” planning laws so that the insulation measures are categorized as home improvements, rather than enlargement or extension, meaning the solid wall insulation will not require planning permission for most homes. Listed Buildings and properties in Conservation areas will still require permission.