Learn the programme of your project
The length of time it takes from identifying a site to being handed the keys can often be only guessed at. In a process which involves the legal system, the planning system and an overworked construction industry, delays are almost inevitable. However, the sequence is always largely the same.
Step 1 - Buying The Land
Do research on the land and make sure you know details of the site you intend to buy. For peace of mind you may wish to consult with a building professional, such as a chartered surveyor, prior to purchase. When you're ready to proceed appoint a solicitor who will put in a conditional offer on your behalf. Once applicable consents and legalities are dealt with, the land is yours.
Step 2 - Choosing The Design
Think about the which design would best suite your site and your needs. Look at different options, discuss with us and with any other building professionals who you have involved. This will ensure that you choose the house that matches your brief with your budget.
Step 3 - Appoint A Professional
Having a local architect, surveyor or other professional experienced in the construction industry can be invaluable when building a house. They will act as your agent and be able to give guidance through the whole process based on an in-depth knowledge of the procedures to follow and pitfalls to avoid. They may also be required to provide stage valuations for your mortgage company once the project is on site.
Step 4- Apply For Detailed Planning Consent
This should be done by your agent on your behalf. We will provide drawings of your chosen design for inclusion in the submission to Planning. Your agent can also assist you in obtaining the site-specific drawings you will require. Once the application is lodged it should take 8 weeks for a decision to be reached, although often it takes longer. Your agent will also deal with other agencies that may become involved.
Step 5 - Detailed Design
You will be supplied with detailed construction drawings for inclusion in the submission by you or your agent to your local Building Control office for Building Warrant. We will also supply you with a copy of the NHBC Technical Standards on CDROM. Your agent will assist you in obtaining the site-specific drawings you will require. It is recommended that you involve a structural engineer at this stage to advise on foundations required for your particular site. Finalise the choice of your bathroom suites and kitchen and ask your agent to tender the drawings and specification to reputable local builders.
Step 6 - Finance In Place
Ensure that if you are intending to use a bridging loan or mortgage, that the one you have in place is suitable for the project ahead. Builders usually expect to be paid monthly, so having a badly planned payment release schedule can cause unnecessary difficulties at a later date.
Step 7 - Appoint A Builder
The normal process is for your agent to put your house out to tender to three reputable contractors, ideally NHBC registered. Your agent will ensure that you sign a contract with the builder who has returned the most suitable tender. The tender with the earlier completion date may be preferred to a cheaper price. Your agent will ensure that both the builder and yourself understand the contract and it's obligations.
Step 8 - Work On Site
This is the exciting part. With detailed drawings, professional guidance and a good builder, it should be an enjoyable process watching your house being built. First there is the site clearance and the building of the substructure. Then the arrival of the SIP panels and their erection by certified installers. Electrical and plumbing roughing work can then go on inside as the outer skin is completed externally. And when the finishes are in place and the kitchen fitted, the paintwork will bring the house to life.
Step 9 - Moving In
Once the house has been granted a completion certificate by the council and approved by your agent, it's time to relax. Lie back on your carefully chosen sofa and contemplate your wonderful new home.