GARAGE CONVERSION AUDIT
STRUCTURAL LOFT CONVERSION AUDIT
PRE-PURCHASE FEASABILITY CONSULTATION
STEEL WORK CONNECTIONS
INTERIOR MINOR ALTERATIONS
CDM & ASSOCIATED REPORTS
HEALTH & SAFETY REPORTS
3D MODELLING (from)
SOIL INVESTIGATION REPORTS
AIR PRESSURE TESTING
BUILDING CONTROL APPLICATIONS
AIR TIGHTNESS TESTING
SOUND INSULATION TESTING
PART F VENTILATION TESTING
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVICE & INSTALL
THERMOGRAPHIC SURVEYS & TESTING
CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE HOMES
PART G WATER CALCS
DOMESTIC EPC’S FOR LANDLORDS & HOMEOWNERS
Now that most of us are working from home, we are choosing to create an office space that promotes productivity and concentration. Having a designated area means that you can actually go to work and keep separate from the family. At the beginning of lockdown people up and down the country were ‘making do’ with being at the kitchen table, propped up on the sofa or sitting cross legged on the floor. It now seems that living with a pandemic and staying at home is what’s needed to not only protect ourselves and our loved ones, but also to protect the economy. Working from home just got real.
But there is good news...
As a nation we have started to organise and declutter. We have started to think about our homes completely differently. During lockdown, or for those on furlough, our lives were so restricted that we, as a nation, became very proactive. We have started to realise the potential in our homes, or in some cases, the need for more space. Moving is not looking as appealing as it once did - despite the benefits currently being offered. We've had enough change, enough upheaval, and what many people are opting for these days is adding an extension to their home or converting an underused space. This is where the good news comes in. The customer is very much in charge and that has meant prices have become even more competitive. Low build costs are a symptom of our current situation - and that’s fantastic news!
Recent updates to UK Government legislation rules allows us to apply for planning approval for an extension without attending the site, this means you can do everything remotely. Finding the perfect professional to collaborate with has become much easier. The added advantage to this new way of working is, of course, time. Anyone doing your architectural drawings, structural calculations and building regulations should be able to complete this stage of the process more quickly. The councils across the country however, still have a backlog. Since the whole planning process is generally a lengthy one and could take 2-3 months, you will have time to obtain planning and take advantage of the lower cost of the build. But don’t be disheartened. You will now have more time to design and plan your extension or even build your dream home from scratch.
As we all know, the cost of building a house or it’s add-ons is a task that has a variety of different factors. So many things to consider. There is the question of land price, the level of competition for tenders, moving on to building and design and of course specifications. Then you have to add on the cost of materials. With labour accounting for around 40-45% of the total cost. With lower build costs being shown this year it seems what once was a distant dream for many has now become a realistic possibility. Dreaming IS possible and creating your forever home or adding to the home you have to make it perfect for you and your family is now, financially, within reach. So, COVID-19 put the whole nation in lockdown but it also brought on the lowest build rates we’ve seen for a very long time. At the beginning of March 2020, the average 30 year mortgage rate was 3.29%. We’ve not had rates like that since 2012.
There is more good news when it comes to planning: The Government announced that from September 2020 planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings. Residential, commercial and retail properties can now be quickly repurposed to help revive our high streets and town centres. So, if you are planning such a project, you’ll be able to adapt it quickly to achieve your ultimate dreams and goals. This governmental decision now makes it much easier to build an additional 2 storeys to your home or create and build new homes. This is an exciting time for all of us.
When it comes to the quality of construction, never be guided by the lowest prices of materials and services. Remember: cheaper is ultimately more expensive. You don't want to hire the cheapest company and soon have to pay double for repairs.
So, even though 2020 almost managed to bring the world to a complete standstill...there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Trust the professionals to guide you in the right direction. Get proper advice from people you can trust. We are just as excited as everyone else!