The Process

Getting a quote

 

A member of our design team will meet you so we can discuss your requirements and get an understanding of what you hope to achieve from your new project.

If you have architectural drawings, we will generally discuss the design, layout and finishing details to get an understanding of what you are looking to achieve in your new build.

 

If you do not have any architectural drawings at this stage our experienced project surveyor will advise you on what is achievable and provide a quote based on a site survey.

 

Once you have reviewed the initial quote, we would be happy to show you some of our recent work and meet some of our existing customers.

Approval

Your local planning authority is responsible for the approval of any development from your own home to a local town hall redevelopment.

 

LCD Design and builds architects key experience in domestic projects for many years will advise you on the best approach in the planning application as there are certain factors of any project that can avoid a full planning application.

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Party Wall agreements

 

For anyone with the intention of building an extension of any kind, The Party Wall Act 1996 should be known to them as the regulations in the act may affect intended proposals. A framework for preventing and resolving disputes in regards to party walls, party structures, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings is provided by The Party Wall Act.

 

If the work you are intending to carry out falls within the Act, you must notify and obtain consent from all neighbours which may be affected. You must make neighbours aware of, for example, building on the boundary with a neighbouring property, working on an existing wall shared with another property and excavating near a neighbouring property. At all times all workers will observe the requirements of The Party Wall Act in respect of all works being carried out to the party wall.

 

More information on The Party Wall Act 1996 can be found online at http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_partywall_explain_booklet.pdf.

Thames Water

 

Thames Water is responsible for maintaining 80,000 kilometres of public sewers. A high number of these sewers are located within the boundaries of residential properties. A prior agreement with Thames Water will be required if any building work is needed over the top of a public sewer or within three metres of one, this is to ensure that no damage is caused to the sewer. It also ensures no restrictions will be made to the use or maintenance of the sewer.

 

Before any work is undertaken which will involve building over or near to public sewers or any new connections, you must have permission from Thames water Utilities LTD. A formal agreement or CCTV Survey may be requested, in which case, a fee will be payable.

 

Once a Full Plans Application is submitted, the responsibility to consult Thames Water when building may occur near of over a public sewer lies with your local authority. Your architect or engineer may have already identified a sewer, in which case you can personally apply for an agreement. This speeds up the process of your Full Plans Application.

The Design Phase

 

Steps and Timescales.

 

Once we have supplied a quotation for the build and you are happy to proceed you require drawings, our architect will visit you to measure up the property. We will then generate the planning drawings. Once these drawings have been approved by yourself, the architect will apply for planning permission to gain local council approval on your behalf. It will take between six to eight weeks for this to be processed,

 

During the council approval time, our Project Surveyor will work with you to fine-tune the details in your specification. We will also ensure all aspects of the projects are covered in this time.

Once approval of the planning has been granted, we will start to prepare all the required documentation for the build. We will also then begin preparing the materials needed and allocate the foreman to your project.

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The Build Phase – LOFTS.

 

It usually takes between eight to ten weeks from start to completion for the average loft conversion. It is relatively straight forward to construct a new room within the existing loft space. When constructing a loft the key tasks we undertake are split into three phases:

 

Phase 1 – Preparation and steelwork

 

Firstly, we will erect the scaffolding and the team will then install steel beams, this is to ensure that the building is secure and that we can convert the loft into a habitable space. The new floor structure will then be installed.

 

Phase 2 – Roof and Frame Construction

 

Secondly, we will then create the box structure which is known as a dormer. After the frame is constructed we then weatherproof the sides and the roof of the dormer and the surroundings. On completion, the loft area will have been securing, insulated and weatherproofed.

 

Phase 3 – Internal Work

 

The internal work begins once the exterior structure is weatherproofed. We will start installing the internal walls, arrange drainage, plumbing and electrical points. We will then also breakthrough to the existing house to arrange the stairs. The time frame for this process takes around two days and can make your home a little dusty. After this stage is completed the walls will then be skimmed and the carpentry will be completed. Lastly, we will finish by painting the walls, ceilings and woodwork,

Whilst your home is being worked on, throughout the whole process, we will hold regular team meetings with the foreman to go through the project plan to ensure everything in your home is running smoothly. The project surveyor assigned to your home will also be available throughout the whole process if you have any questions or if there are any changes or concerns.

The Build Phase – Extensions.

 

Timescales:

 

A single-storey rear extension, on average, takes between ten to twelve weeks to complete.

The key tasks we undertake when constructing an extension are split into six phases. These are as follows:

Phase 1 – Foundations

 

At first, we aim to clear space and dig foundations. The architect with stipulates the depth that these foundations are to be dug and these will be approved by the building inspector. After the depth has been approved, we will then pour the concrete foundations and install any steels that are required to support the structure.

 

Phase 2 – Brickwork

 

The brickwork will begin once the concrete has dried. The building control officer will approve the damp proofing at an early stage of the brickwork. Once approved we will continue the brickwork to the highest point, we call this the roof plate level.

 

Phase 3 – Demolition and structural.

 

At this stage, we will knock through to the existing kitchen. Once we have done this we will then remove the exterior wall and install the final steel beams. This will ensure the house is structurally sound. Your kitchen will then be moved to another part of the house and the back area will then be sealed off to ensure it is secure and you are no open to any risk.

 

Phase 4 – Roof Construction

 

Our focus at this point of the process is to weatherproof the house and construct the roof. Depending on the weather, you can choose a pitched or flat roof extension, we will finally install the tiles or felt. The new floor will then be installed into the new area once everything else in this phase is complete.

 

 Phase 5 – Internal works.

 

The team will commence with the internal work once the concrete floor is dry.  We will install the internal walls, arrange drainage, plumbing and electrical points. After the walls are skimmed, the finishing touches will be completed on the shell of the extension.

 

Phase 6 – Kitchen installation, woodwork and décor.

 

At this stage of the process, we will install the kitchen and all of the skirtings and doors. Any floor finishing, such as wooden flooring or tiling will now be installed. Finally, the finishing touches will be added. This includes decorating the room(s) ready for your use.

Top tips and Inspiration

 

Family and the role of space:

 

Choosing to extend your home, rather than moving house can prove to be a much more economic solution that suits your family's present and future needs, as well as bringing you much more satisfied with the end result. If you need more space, it is well worth investing time and money to explore all the possibilities of what we can do for you. Changing the layout of your home, predominantly making your home larger, can have a positive impact on your family and can ensure you are able to spend more time together doing the things you enjoy together at home.

 

Space plays a vital role in how and when you interact with each other as a family. For those with younger children, a family room which is an open plan can ensure all smaller members of the family can be seen from the kitchen. This is a great way to be able to keep a close eye on your children whilst they play while you may be doing other household tasks like cooking, cleaning, or working from home.

 

in addition to having a larger room to enjoy time as a family, you will all also benefit from your own privacy. Having a place to relax and play with friends will be great for younger children, whilst parents can enjoy the space to watch television or use the room to entertain guests.

 

For those with different space options, If you chose to extend upwards rather than out, making your loft space bigger can create a whole new floor on your property. Whichever way you decide to use the room, from a games room to a new master suite bedroom or several extra bedrooms, a loft extension is a popular option to chose to provide extra space for a growing family.

 

Not only will the extra space benefit your family life, but it is also a very good financial investment that can add to the value of your property. It will provide you with the extra space to ensure you make the most effective use of your home.

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Budgeting your build

 

It is very common before a build takes place on your home to have some minor concerns about budgeting. Most commonly, people are worried about having enough money to pay for the build, they may also worry that the fees will escalate to more than the original quote provided.

 

To ensure the avoidance of any unexpected fees, we will provide you with a comprehensive stage payment plan. You have the option to pay for each stage of the build as it is completed to ensure you are satisfied with all stages of the build.

 

Here is the top three budgeting tips suggests by LCD Design and Build:

 

1.     If you decide to use LCD design and build to renovate your home we suggest that a meeting is arranged between you and our architect to discuss your budget and requirements. This will enable us to maximise your space to suit your budget.

2.     Our company has long-standing relationships with the suppliers we use with whom we receive discounted prices. It is standard practice for LCD Design and Builds to pass these savings on to our clients.

3.     We also suggest, that if you wish to, you can re-use some of the existing items in your home. For example, we can re-fit old kitchen cupboards in a new utility room, should you wish.

Choosing an architect or designer

 

When choosing to renovate your home, whether it be planning a loft conversion, a ground floor extension or to make any adjustments to the rooms in your home it is vital to have the right architect or designer on board is vital to ensure the build runs smoothly.

 

There are many architects and designers who may claim to have the right credentials to help renovate your home and choosing the right one may seem like a daunting task. It is very important to find an architect or designer who is compatible with your build. They will need to understand both your budget,

whilst also having good knowledge of planning and building regulations.

 

Within LCD Design and Build we have highly qualified and experienced architects and designers who are able to work with you throughout every stage of your project. They have the perfect balance of understanding client requirements together with all design elements and the planning process.

 

Both the architect and designer designated to your build are able to work closely with you and the LCD Design and Build team throughout the whole process. Together they will ensure the changes to your home run smoothly, with the least stress possible to you and your family.

Types of Extensions

 

The options for extensions are endless when it comes to creating extra space in your home. If a property seems to have no extra space to be gained, a brilliant architect or designer will almost always be able to create something impressive. For example, until a few years ago, when renovating homes, most people were unaware that they were able to fill in the side return of Victorian properties. At the present time, it is now possible to fill in the narrow side return (some of which are as small as two metres in width), thousands of families have been able to create a large, open-plan living space. Included in these spaces can be skylights, kitchen islands and folding-slidings doors which can be opened out onto their gardens. It may even be possible to extend further and have a bedroom or two added above.

 

Extensions can be added to many parts of the home. They can be single, double or multi-story and can also be added to the front, side and rear of your home. You may also decide to build a conservatory or outhouse.

 

While you are extending, thinking about changing the internal layout of your rooms may be food for thought. For example, your home may have three or four small or medium sized rooms on the ground floor. These size rooms would be perfect to convert into one or two large open living spaces should you wish.

 

What is great about having an extension is that your home can grow with you as your family does. Many homes were build for an Edwardian or Victorian lifestyle that do not necessarily fit into the category of modern living. If you love the home or area you live in, there is no need to move, we will help you change it to suit your needs and preferences.

There are three different roof options available to you when choosing to have an extension.

 

A pitched roof:

 

Generally, this has a pitch of 15 degrees or above. It is tiled with clay, slate, asphalt or concrete.

 

Flat roof: This has a pitch of 1 to 15 degrees. Each roof has to drain slightly but it can be a very small slope.

 

Glass roof: With this type of roof, unless you have very thick glass, you can lose a lot of warmth from your home. A glass roof can look very effective if this is what you choose. It is possible to use different materials on your roof to create what is called a “multi-faceted” roof. An example of this would be, choosing a pitched roof that goes to a flat roof with glass.

 

The Exterior options that are available for extensions.

 

The most common exterior option is Facebrick. Render is also available to you. This consists of an external plastering which can be painted to match your home. Wood cladding is using timber on the outside of your home, this can look very effective. There is also an option for pebble dashing, this is a decorative gravel finish which is applied to a render coat on the outside of your home.

 

How do I get planning permission and approval to build?

 

Gaining the planning permission and approval to build an extension is the same as when building a loft conversion. Your local authority will need to give you the approval on what you would like to build. Every household holds the right to develop their home, this is unless the build will break any of the following regulations. The two main applications are as follows:

 

1.     The Householder Application for Planning Permission: Your design plans must be in keeping with the existing property and comply with supplementary guidelines. This is not the same as planning permission but looks at fire resistance, structural stability, ventilation, thermal insulation and drainage, rather than the siting, design and external appearance of the building. An architect or designer will understand these regulations.

2.     Permitted Development / Certificate of Lawfulness: As a property owner, you have an 'allowance' of what you are able to build. These are the regulations, that if followed correctly, allow you to build without neighbours objecting.

 

Types of lofts

 

When it comes to loft conversions, these are not only the most straight forward way of making the most of your existing space, but they can also mean you will gain some much needed extra square meters on your property. This calm and airy space, often blessed with day-long natural light, is an ideal space for adding bedrooms or creating a home office. Most homes are suitable for a roof extension. Although is beneficial to bear in mind that those with 2.2 meters from floor to ceiling will be more difficult.

 

Roofs with a steeper pitch will be more suitable for conversion. This is due to the fact that they can offer more possibilities in the type of room extension you choose.

 

Different types of loft conversion options:

 

There are three different types of lofts that most conversions tend to fall into:

Velux: This is an existing lost space that you may already have in your home; this type of loft conversion usually works within the boundaries of the inverted “V” shape. Velux windows can be easily added to create an additional floor or room.

 

Dormer:

 

A dormer roof is created by adding a flat-roofed box with vertical walls that just out of the pitch.

 

Mansard: Mansard, similar to the dormer, is created by adding a flat-roofed box. Although, the pitch on the box replicates a 70-degree pitch on the roof. There will often be two pitches. The steeper pitch of the lower slope, where the window of the box may be, and the higher slope, on top of the roof, but with a smaller pitch. You may find that your local authority will tend to favour this type of roof. This is because it more often than not blends in with existing buildings more easily.

 

Creating new space in your home with a loft conversion.

 

We are basically adding an extra floor to your home. With a loft conversion, it is easy to create an en-suite bedroom, playroom or study. In larger properties, you may even have the option to create flats above your home.

 

Tile options available for a loft conversion.

 

Tiles come in a variety of options for you to choose. These include clay, slate, metal and asphalt. Artificial options are also available to you. These artificial options will be cheaper in price but you may find these do not look as nice as some of the more expensive tiles.

 

The pitch of your loft conversion will determine what tiles you may be able to use. The architect assigned to you by LCD Design and Build will be able to assist you with this.

 

Types of storage available.

 

At LCD Design and Build we specialise in bespoke storage solutions. One of our highly qualified and experienced carpenters will be able to assist you with this process.