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
Whatever construction job you start, be sure that no one guarantees that everything will go smoothly. There are easier or more difficult self-builds, but regardless of your detailed and careful planning, there will always be many small issues and questions that you will have doubts about. Of course, any solution will be a small win for you, but there is a difference between solving these common problems and solving serious mistakes that can add time and expense to your business by delaying progress.
Here are the 10 most common potential mistakes you should pay attention to:
1. No soil survey was done
You will never know the true cost of self-construction until the foundations are fully explored.
Standard strip foundations are considered in the cost estimation of most projects, but more complex engineering solutions can cost significantly more, which will bring you unexpected costs. The only way to prevent additional costs around more robust foundations is to do soil research at the outset.
Start by calling a local building control officer who probably already had experience exploring the soil near you. They are likely to seek confirmation of their assumption by digging a hole 1m deep near where the footings will line up. This is also the cheapest way, given that this is usually done for free.
2. Not eliminating legal issues
The crucial thing about the sustainability of a project is to remove all legal obstacles in advance. You will need to hire a lawyer you trust or recommended one, which will certainly increase your costs. However, you will be insured from the legal side.
On a virgin plot of land, things like easements and wayleaves for services/access must be established. Plus, the possibility of covenants and ransoms or ancient rights of way should be addressed. If you neglect the possibility of a legal obstacle and subsequently determine that you need to deal with it, it can be a nightmare, so pre-empt the problem and ask your lawyer about each step you take because, believe it, it will turn out to be well-invested money.
3. Neglect of planning conditions
When you finally get planning permission, read all of the above conditions. There are provisions regarding the obvious things that will make you able to 'fly over’ the license, but there are some that are precise and must be obeyed.
4. Community infrastructure levy (CIL)
If you have obtained a self-build exemption to the CIL charge, be sure to follow the memo rules and guidelines. Even administrative errors such as using the wrong form and technical violations can make CIL fully liable. This can result in tens of thousands of pounds being accounted for without compensation.
5. Small budget
Perhaps the most common mistake - starting a self-build project with insufficient funds for what you plan to build.
6. Assuming services are available
The existence of an electrical outlet does not imply that you can be connected to the electrical outlet immediately. During the evaluation of your parcel, the availability and cost of connecting to all the services you need should be determined. You can do this by contacting a new supplier liaison department in your area.
7. Misunderstanding of VAT refund request
When purchasing materials (or hiring the trades to undertake your self-build project), you must keep all original invoices, purchase the supplies you intend to seek before issuing a certificate of completion and make sure to file your claim within three months of issuance.
There is no VAT on the workforce, even if the company is registered.
8. Buying the Wrong Things
If you are buying the material yourself, plan it carefully. Calculate how long it takes for the right amounts of the right materials to arrive on site.
If your trades turn up and are unable to proceed, they will charge you 'standby time' and move to another location. When they return to work, you will have to pay them again, which is just a waste of time and money.
9. Hiring an overloaded builder
The good references for every builder are that he has had many projects, that he is wanted and engaged, but do not go to the other extreme - do not choose a builder who is too busy.
If you find that construction workers are constantly frustrating you and shops do not show up when they say they will, it usually means that they are overburdened and have to keep their obligations to their previous customers at the expense of your construction.
Any delay will have an impact on your budget, and let's not talk about the time you would lose. Use a small contract like the one offered by the Joint Court of Contracts (JCT) or the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), and specify a completion date in the contract so you both know what is expected.
10. Change of mind in the midst of the construction
If you're ever going to change your mind, it's time for plans to be nothing more than an idea on your computer screen. Changing a scheme when work is already underway is expensive and time-consuming, so take the time at this initial stage and figure out what you want to achieve.