Mr Vesey wanted to extend the ground floor of his property to create an extra room. This involved knocking down one internal wall and building a new external wall. The main project also included various smaller pieces of work, such as the installation of a new boiler and replastering throughout the ground floor of the property.
Mr Vesey hired a local, trusted builder who dealt with the build and an architect to draw up the plans for his project. The investigation into planning permission and the submission of the application to the local planning authority was handled by the builder and architect.
The builder that Mr Vesey used for the project also handled the specifics of ensuring the building work complied with the building regulations. The plans were submitted in advance and a building control officer visited the site four times in total while the work was progressing.
Mr Vesey reported that the Building Control Officer spotted a number of issues with the work-in-progress.
The original plans involved taking down two internal walls rather than one; this wasn’t possible because one of the walls turned out to be a supporting wall. Then it was established that the ground underneath what was going to be the new room was newly-made ground, and the Building Control Officer instructed Mr Vesey’s builder to dig a lot deeper than the original plans stated to make sure that the foundations were solid.
Mr Vesey gave his experience and pitfalls of the project: "Think about the knock-on effect of each piece of work. This was one thing we didn't do - for example, because we were moving a boiler, we knew we'd have to replaster and paint one room, but then in the end we had to do most of the ground floor as it would have looked odd to do one room and not the one it led into."
"Agree all work beforehand in writing, not just the bare bones of the contract, but discuss how both parties interpret the extent of each piece of work. We did this with our builder, and it avoided any stress or miscommunication at the end of the job."
- Think about the bigger picture of the work being done, how one alteration can lead to others.
- Agree on the work involved in the project before it begins and who will do what. Building contracts are useful in this situation
- If part of the project is being handled by a builder, planning permission for example, ask for a summary of the application so you are aware for the future.
- Be prepared for plans to change to ensure the project is adhering to rebuilding regulations and planning rules.