STEP ONE – OUR DESIGN SERVICE PROCESS
If you just need our help to obtain planning and building regulation approvals.
Alternatively want are help to design your extension we are here to help.
We find that clients who use our Step One -Design Process fall into two categories.
Twenty percent know exactly what they want to built and how they want it to look. They just want to use our 2D drawings service to obtain planning and building regulation approval. They keep it as simple as that.
The remaining Eighty percent of our clients are about to invest tens of thousands improving their property and increasing the property’s value. They say they need to see design options of how they can unlock the property’s full potential. They choose the 3D design process first, which we have been told is a very enjoyable and satisfying experience.
You decide the best route for you and we are here to help.
Throughout our website we have various videos explaining our services, we recommend watching them as they can help understanding of all areas of the Design and Build process without all the technical jargon.
A full explanation about:
Step One – Our Design Process
OUR DESIGN PROCESS
First Things First!
We will initially arrange a virtual meeting to discuss your ideas and reasons for the proposed build.
After our meeting we will send you a personalised quotation for the services you are interested in.
We then leave this for you to discuss and consider.
Surveying Your Home
If you wish to proceed we will arrange a survey of your property.
We use state of the art technology, only using a tripod and 3D camera to photograph, scan and measure your property.
We place the camera and capture a 3D scan of each room. We then do the same externally.
A typical house takes us around 60 minutes to capture the information we need.
Getting Your Brief & Budget Right
Now that we have scanned your property we can see all the rooms in you home, and can discuss each room and external areas to agree your final brief, what you want to build and why you require the extra space.
We can also discuss your budget – how much you want to invest in improving your home.
Once we approve this with you we can get on with our job of making your dreams a reality.
The Best Route to Obtaining Permission to
Build, Convert or Modify Your Property
Because we now have a full understanding of what you want to build we can explain the options available to you, and explain the best way to move forward.
It may be an application that needs PLANNING PERMISSION, alternatively we may be able to use your PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS, or your project may be able to be built using THE NEIGHBOUR CONSULTATION SCHEME, or as it is sometimes referred to as the LARGER EXTENSION SCHEME.
Most of our designs will need Building Regulation Approval to ensure your build complies with building regulations.
Your Personal Portfolio
To make things easier to follow we produce an online personal portfolio which you can access online at any time.
This will follow your journey with Bricks and Pieces:
From the initial meeting and creation of your brief
all the way through to the completion of your build.
our 2d design Process
As previously stated, 20% of our clients instruct us to prepare 2D plans and drawings for planning and building regulation approval.
Simply, they know exactly what they want to build and how it should look.
Alternatively, if you are looking of details of our 3D design service we explain this later down this page.
Our Initial Advice When Improving Your Property
Think how the proposed build will affect the neighbouring properties!
During the planning approval process the neighbouring properties will be consulted.
Many of our clients share our 3D visualisations* with their neighbours to show them the proposed build,
before we have even submitted the planning application on your behalf.
It is better to discuss all aspects of your proposed build with your neighbours.
By getting them on board with your proposed build at this early stage, it could help to avoid any surprise objections further down the line.
* See Our Optional 3D Design Process.
Is Your Property Freehold or Leasehold?
You Need To Know. It Matters!
This is when you own the building, and the land its built on, outright. Basically you’re responsible for maintaining the property and land.
Most houses are freehold but some might be leasehold – usually through shared-ownership schemes.
This is where you own the property until the lease agreement period* has expired. When the lease ends, ownership returns to the freeholder, unless they allow you to extend or purchase the lease.
If your property is leasehold, and the lease is current, you will need to obtain the permission of the leasehold owner in order to legally carry out any building works**.
The easiest way to find out if your property is Freehold or Leasehold is by contacting and asking the solicitor who dealt with your purchase.
*Most modern lease holds are 99 years, leaseholds and for older properties are normally 999 years.
**Often leaseholders will charge a small admission fee (£50-£100) to give their written consent to build on their land.
There are many factors which affect a planning application:
– If it is in a Conservation Area
– The Neighbouring Properties
– If it is a Listed Building
– If there are any Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) in place
– Where the highway is situated & the proposed access to the highway
– If it is Situated in a Flood Plain
– If there are Protected Species in the area
To ensure the success of your planning application, Bricks and Pieces have to take all of these factors into consideration.
If you are aware of any issues that you feel we should know about, to assist with your application,
it’s always worth pointing these out and discussing them with us at this early stage.
We prepare your Existing Plan drawings at a
Based on the agreed brief we prepare your Proposed Plan Drawings at a 1:100 scale
We then purchase your Ordinance and Survey Plan and Block Plan, which we put in as part of the Planning Application.
We work out the indicative building cost for your proposed build,
the type of price a builder is likely to charge for your design.
This is a FREE service we offer our clients.
This is to ensure that the design we submit is in alinement with your budget.
We do not charge extra for this service it is something that our clients find very helpful,
and as ex-builders we are happy to help.
Once you have approved your Scheme and Drawings, we register as your Planning Agent and submit your planning application via the Electronic Planning Portal
How Long Does Planning Approval Take?
Planning Applications normally take around 6-8 weeks* to complete.
Here at Bricks and Pieces we have a 96% approval rate. If your Planning Application falls into the other 4%, and the application is declined, we would advise you on the appeal process available.
*However in the current climate and due to the pandemic, we are finding applications are taking around 8-10 weeks.
Do I Always Have To Submit A Planning Application For My Proposed Works?
In short… No you do not!
You could use one of the following instead (subject to criteria).
Your Permitted Development Rights
These are a national grant of Planning Permission which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a Planning Application. They are subject to conditions and limitations in order to control impacts and to protect the local amenities.
In layman’s terms: you can do certain alteration to your property under your Permitted Development Rights.
Most homeowners can usually use their Permitted Development Rights and apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness instead of submitting a Planning Application.
Applying for a Certificate of Lawfulness and exercising your Permitted Development Rights is similar to submitting a householders Planning Application, but your neighbours are not consulted and do not need to give their approval. Often you can build a larger single story rear extension, subject to certain criteria. Bricks and Pieces will be happy to explain Your Permitted Development Rights, the options for your proposed build and the best way to procced.
Either: Permitted Development route or the house holders Planning Application route.
Another advantage of building using Your Permitted Development Rights, is that the local authorities application fee is usually 50% of their normal Planning Application fee (currently averaging £126 – Oct 2020)
Larger Home Extension Scheme OFTEN REFERED TO AS THE NEIGHBOUR CONSULTATION SCHEME
This scheme allows you to build certain extensions (like a single storey rear extension), as the name suggests, to a size increase of up to 50% more than what is allowed when you use your Permitted Development Rights.
Yes, that’s right, you can build 50% larger buildings than if you were to use your Permitted Development Rights.
The government originally gave a time limit on the scheme, which was due to run out at the end of May 2019, but we are pleased to inform you it has now been made permanent.
The Neighbour Consultation Scheme is, as it suggests, a scheme where your neighbours will be consulted about your proposed build. The Neighbour Consultation Scheme, also known as Prior Notification Application, requires a prior application to the local authority. Your neighbours are then given a 21 day period where they have the right to object, with valid reasoning as why, to the proposed extension being built. After this period the local authority have a further 21 days to issue the go ahead for the proposed build.
There is no fee for a Prior Notification Application. However, once the statutory 42 day period is over, a fee will be payable for a Certificate of Lawfulness to be issued. It usually takes around 8 weeks to receive th
Don’t worry we will advise you at the initial meeting which scheme we feel will be best for you to achieve a successful Application.
fees to others
– They will contact you directly, usually within a week of us submitting the Planning Application on your behalf.
– The invoice will be sent directly to yourself for their fees (currently averaging at £231 – Oct 2020)
Last year 87% of our clients not only saved what they paid us in fees, they also went on to save £1000’s more off the cost of their projects.
Contact us now and see how we can do the same for you!
Our Typical Fees for our 2D drawing service
for a property as detailed above is
ONLY £695 + VAT
Producing Your Building Regulation Drawings
We produce your Technical Building Regulation Drawings for approval from the local authority and/or an approved inspector.
To apply for building regulation approval we need to prepare the Building Regulation drawings. We may need to obtain a quotation from a Structural Engineer for their design and calculations if required for your build. We will then complete the relevant Building Regulation submission application to the Local Authority or approved inspector. We send you the quotes from both the local authority and the approved inspectors so you can advise us which you would like to appoint. Building Regulation approval from the Local Authority usually takes up to around five weeks, whereas approved inspectors usually take up to around two weeks.
What's the difference between - Planning Drawings and Building Regulation Drawings?
Planning Drawings are to help you obtain Permission Approval for the proposed build.
Building Regulation Drawings are to help you to obtain Building Regulation Approval.
Remember: Builders will use the Building Regulation Drawings to help work out a price for your project. The more detailed and accurate your building regulation drawings are, the more accurately priced the builders price will be. Builders ALWAYS blame poor drawings and often try to claim missed items from the drawings as extras. The professional quality prepared drawings that we produce will save you money in the long run.
Below are Samples of Our Building Regulation Drawings.
You will note these are different from planning drawings as they include all the technical details ie. notes/sections, which aren’t included in the planning drawings. These are the drawings which your builder will require in order to give accurate costings for the build.
Why do you need professionally prepared technical building regulation drawings?
HOW CAN THEY COULD SAVE YOU £1000’S WHEN IMPROVING YOUR HOME?
Some plan drawers produce very poor-quality building regulation drawings, and many homeowners are unaware of the difference between the two sets of drawings. You can always identify a professional builder as if you give them a poor standard set of building regulation drawings they will tell you they are not fit for purpose and tell you to get a proper set drawn up and then they will price for your project. However, a less scrupulous builder will price the works often at a low price to win the contract. Only to then once the contracts have been signed and the builder has started on site will use these drawings against you.
He will tell you time and time again that what you thought was included in his price is not. They will tell you time and time again that this or that was not shown on your poorly prepared building regulation drawing and the item is an extra.
This then becomes the norm, and you will soon be paying £1000’s more in builders extras.
Our advice is saved yourself a lot of time stress and money and always have professional technical building regulation drawings prepared as it will save you a lot of time, stress, and money.
Included within our quoted fee we offer full technical support
on our drawings.
So if your builder raises a question with you which you don’t understand, ask them
to contact us and we will be happy to answer on your behalf.
fees to others
Click here - to see the fees to others
Bricks and Pieces will advise you of the cost to the local authorities for the building controls fees, this is for approving the drawings and ensuring they meet the current building regulation standards. They will also charge a fee to carryout the site inspections. These are usually at the following building stages:
1 – After the excavation of the foundations.
2 – Once the brick work reaches damp-proof level
(usually 150mm above finished floor level).
3 – Once the floor is prepared; prior to the concrete floor being
poured (assuming concrete floor).
4 – Once the brickwork reaches the roof plate (the roof height).
5 – At pre-plaster stage; this is to ensure the inspector can sign off
the works prior to plaster boarding and plastering.
6 – Upon final completion of the works.
The building inspector, when fully satisfied – that the works are compliant to the local building regulation standards, will issue a final completion certificate of works for your records.
Do you have to use the local authority building control or
can you use an approved independent building inspector?
Upon request Bricks and Pieces will go out to Approved Building Inspectors for comparable quotes on your behalf.
It is then up to you who you wish to use – Local Authority or Approved Building Inspector.
For the Building Regulations to be approved by either the Local Authority or the Approved Building Inspector it usually takes around 3-5 weeks.
bricks and pieces warning!
If you do commence building without approval, this is at your own risk. The Building Inspector may ask for modifications to be made to the drawings, so always give yourself enough time to have the drawing approved BEFORE allowing the buildings to start on site.
other things to consider
structual engineer design and calculations
Most of our designs require structural changes to the property. Before these changes are physically made to the building and prior to building control approving our drawings, a Structural Engineer will be required to produce designs and calculations to ensure the buildings structural integrity is undamaged.
Bricks and Pieces will, on your behalf, go to Structural Engineers whom we frequently use. We would send them the preapproved Building Regulations to help obtain the quotation for their services. We will then inform you of these quotations so you can compare quotations and advise us which you would like to proceed with.
On receipt of the Structural Engineers designs and calculations, we forward theses to your Building Inspector choice, these will support your Building Regulation Drawings and Application.
The Building Control Office may ask for Excess Glazing Calculations, SAP Calculations or Thermal Calculations, to justify excessive glazing (all 3 mean the same thing). Many designs nowadays include a large amount of glazing e.g. Bi-folding doors, roof atriums etc.
Our designs will need to comply with Part L of the Building Regulations to ensure the thermal efficiency of the building, when improved is less than the original structure. If we need to increase the thermal efficiency of your property there are many ways we can achieve this, e.g. adding additional insulation in the existing loft, making alterations to your existing windows etc.
Bricks and Pieces will go out to specialists within this field to obtain quotations for these calculations if required, and requested by the Building Control Officer.
party wall act 1996
The Party Wall Act 1996 provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings. A building owner proposing to start work covered by the Act must give adjoining owners notice of their intentions in the way set down in the Act.
Bricks and Pieces will advise you whether your proposed works will fall under the party wall act, or not. If it does, we will recommend a party wall act surveyor that you can contact for a free consultation, and who will be happy to explain the act and your best way to proceed.
If the act applies and you wish to comply with the act, the surveyor will be happy to give you the associated costs to comply with the act.
Bricks and Pieces advice is to research and find out all associated costs paid to others, before you even have drawings prepared, so these associated fees and additional cost can be included within your budget costings of the proposed works.
our optional 3d design process
80% of our clients told us they didn’t really understand the 2D drawings and plans.
When shown our 3D visualisations we found it helped them see their design(s) come to life.
We start with your existing property and your brief.
We produce both internal and external visualisations of how your property could look upon completion.
We found that the clients whom are able to see their ideas visually, make less amendments at the plan drawing and building stage.
Therefore saving them time and money in the long run.
External Front Image – Initial Design.
Here we would show you the proposed design from the front of the house.
Here you see what is the existing front elevation view.
Here you see the 3D Design showing the new porch design, enhancing the front of the property.
External Rear Images – Initial Design.
These images would show the proposed design from the back of the property.
Here you see what is the existing court yard view.
Here you see the 3D Design showing it extended and all knocked into one large kitchen, dining and Lounge area.
Existing Floor Layout
Proposed Floor Layout
To the left is the existing rear lounge view, looking towards the existing French doors. For the new design this area will be extended and knocked into one large area.
To the right is a view looking into the existing kitchen from the rear lounge. For the new design this will be opened up into the new kitchen/dining area.
Proposed Kitchen – Image 1: This image is seen from the opposite side of the proposed kitchen area. The image shows the proposed kitchen extension with the rear external wall removed to create an open plan kitchen and seating area.
Proposed Kitchen – Image 3: This image is seen from the opposite side of the proposed kitchen area. The image shows the proposed kitchen extension with the rear external wall removed to create an open plan kitchen and seating area.
Proposed Kitchen – Image 2: This image is seen from the doorway leading from the hallway into the proposed kitchen area. The image shows the proposed kitchen extension with the rear external wall removed to create an open plan kitchen and seating area.
Proposed Dining room – Initial design: This image is seen from the Kitchen looking into the proposed dining room. The room has been created by dividing the existing living room and dining room into 3. The first being a larger living room (see floor plans) while the second splits the existing dining room in two, creating a utility room accessed from the Hallway and the proposed dining room accessed from the kitchen. We feel this layout makes the property flow much better.
We find that our clients who used our 3D Design service got more involved with the design team to get their design right.
The best thing about the 3D designs is that they can save you thousands of pounds by indicating early-on any changes required.
We may have to make small changes and we always allow a final one hour session to make these amendments, if required. However small, our aim is to make sure the design you sign off on is 100% what you want.
our optional virtual tour service
Many of our clients ask us to covert their 3D Visualisations in to a 3D Virtual Tour.
This way they are able to walk around and ‘Test Drive’ their designs to make sure they have got it right.
We Let You
You Build It!
Many of our clients tell us that when they sign off, on a Bricks and Pieces approved design, they are 100% sure that’s what they want to build.
The Visual Tour gives you the added confidence to talk with the builders by showing them visually exactly what you want built.
Throughout this website you will be able to view existing customers video testimonialS, and see how, with Bricks and Pieces’ help, they got all the cost of our fees back and went on to save thousands of pounds more on their projects. In their words they tell you how we do it time and time again for our clients.
We are the only design and build company where clients often get their full fees back thefore they get all the services for FREE. Our client’s words not ours.
our optional kitchen design service
Many of our clients designs require professionally designed kitchens, if you fall into that category don’t worry
we’ve got just the team here at Bricks and Pieces.
We really are the one stop shop!
From your original brief and further discussions with our specialists we can create exiting kitchen spaces for your property.
We’ve invested in the top kitchen design software, so we can produce the best design for you!
Below shows a typical Kitchen scheme for the property highlighted in the 3D visualisation’s above
Visit the One Stop Shop page of our website where we take you behind the scenes of our kitchen partners show room.
Did you know Bricks and Pieces can supply kitchens and have them fitted by their experienced fitters?
We can supply just your kitchen all built up ready to install. If you are an avid DIYer and want to fit your own kitchen we can help you to lay it out and give you online help and assistance.
Just tell us what help you need, and we are here willing and able to help.
What Really Makes Us Different?
We produce your kitchen layout plans, so you have a definite idea on what you want, enabling you to get firm prices from suppliers prior to build completion. We offer a quote compare service, where all we ask is that you share the specification, and best price you have found, in order for us to carry out the comparison with our suppliers.