The thought of extending your home can be a daunting task for some homeowners.
At Atelierdb we help clients understand the process, and all options along the way. We are highly experienced with Home Extensions, Loft Conversions, Planning Applications and managing the Building on site.
1. Talk to friends and family, colleagues and your neighbours. These contacts can offer some really useful advice and guidance. Start to talk with your neighbours as soon as you have some firm plans. Including them in the process can really help smooth the way forward and prepare them for what will inevitably be a disturbance to them compared to their current environment. Good neighbourliness is priceless, even if in some sad situations it isn't reciprocated.
2. Who do I trust to look after my project? There are so many routes, with so many different cost and service level options from Builders, Design and Build Companies, Architectural Design Companies it can be difficult to make an informed decision. Architects (ARB registered) must abide by a Code of Conduct, which offers clients security to know that all solutions offered are in their best interest.
3. What happens first? You should agree a Form of Appointment with your chosen Architect. We then undertake a survey of the property to record all relevant dimensions and key features that affect design and layout. At the same time we start discussing the initial brief in more detail to explore possibilities.
4. How do you Design what we want? We listen to our clients and advise on all suitable solutions and options that exist with the subject property. Some clients come with a strong vision in their mind, in terms of style look and feel, but equally we can advise on what works best within budget and planning constraints. We provide Concept and Ideas to arrive at the perfect layout in line with brief.
5. Are we Green? We have a Sustainability Policy and actively look to design solutions that reduce energy consumption and waste. Insulation levels can be increased to achieve better than Building Regulations, triple glazing and solar films can be used to improve heat retention and minimise heat loss. Ground source heat pumps, photovoltaic panels and other new products are actively encouraged where possible.
6. Planning Application or Permitted Development? Some projects require a Planning Application, but some enjoy Permitted Development rights, depending on property type and area. Permitted Development can strangely allow wrap around extensions, ground floor extensions and loft conversions that wouldn't be allowed under the Planning route. We help clients to extend their home in the most efficient way spatially and in quality of design.
7. Do I need a Structural Engineer? As we develop the designs we consult with Engineers we know. We have a really good understanding of what is possible from an early stage, but the Client must formally appoint a Structural Engineer to provide the necessary Drawings and Calculations to allow us to coordinate the design, and also for Building Control.
8. How do I find a good Builder? We work with a number of quality builders. With most projects we provide a pack of information to a number of builders requesting like-for-like quotations. We, and the client, appraise these tender returns and make an informed decision on who is best suited to deliver the project to the cost quality and time required.
9. CDM2015 - Health + Safety: What are Clients responsibilities? Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 require that a Principal Designer is appointed on all projects where Design is being undertaken. We undertake this role and take H&S matters very seriously and provide compliant information to Main Contractors at tender stage, as well as monitoring safety on site.
10. What are Party Walls? Before any works can be undertaken to shared walls, or foundations dug within 3 metres of boundaries, Party Wall notices must be served. This process needs careful consideration and planning at the correct stages to ensure that Awards are in place to allow the build to start on time. We can put you in touch with the best Surveyors who can administer the Act professionally.
11. Do I need insurance to cover the works? Builders should possess Public Liability, All Risks Insurance and more. It is very important that clients inform their home insurance company that works are to be undertaken, and in some situations additional cover is requested. In some situations, monies can be asked to be held in an Escrow account whilst the works are undertaken. We advise on all these matters throughout the process.
12. How do I get Building Control Approval? We design at an early stage to be compliant with Building Regulations, from access and stair design through to U-values and ventilation. Building Notice should be served 1 week ahead of the site start and we work with a number of Approved Inspectors who can provide this service for our clients.
13. Do you oversee the works on site and Project Manage? We oversee the works on site to ensure the built is in line with the tender documents and quality required, to the agreed price. We work with clients to source Kitchens Bathroom goods, floor and wall tiles and joinery items (cupboards, wardrobes) in line with the Build programme.
14. Completion and Handover. Atelierdb provide snagging reports to identify items requiring completion or better finishing. At this stage we will also review the final cost account and agree retentions.
- absolute pleasureIt has been an absolute pleasure working with Atelierdb from the initial planning and design of the project right through to completion. Not only did they deliver on the brief, they managed to exceed our expectations on what could be done to the space (whilst staying within budget!). The entire process remained stress-free thanks to the ongoing communication between Atelierdb and the building contractor, allowing the project to be completed on time and to a very high standard. Highly recommended.danny and lara moody,client, longstaff road, wandsworth
- design excellencethey supported us during the construction process with clear and concise communication. atelierdb have designed a new kitchen/dining/entertaining area which we love and has surpassed our expectationsjames + jennie lavender,client, skelbrook street
- repeat clientwe have since moved into a larger property and project and we are now working with atelierdb for the second time.carol o'gorman,client, killieser avenue + atkins road