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  1. Delays in getting Building Control (Plan) Approval will largely depend on the quality of the information submitted by your agent. Insufficient information, contradictory information and non-compliance with the Building Regulations and Technical Booklets on any submitted application will mean the application is rejected and additional information requested from your agent. Don't blame your BCO. Get the information correct the first time around. And although we are working from home we’re not sunbathing - it’s too hot!
  2. “Look for a recommended Architectural technician (Not Architect) that works closely with a structural engineer.” @Scobbyrex….Why not an architect?…….
  3. Very, very’ll probably pay more for a new tv for the new house......
  4. Since I posted this I got in touch with a CDM advisor. Site visit, a chat and set me straight on my legal obligations. It's a little complicated and grey, as under CDM regs I'm considered designer/ contractor, but under employment and workplace law, I'm not considered an employer. But best to cover all bases. I've a few kew bits of paperwork and procedures to have in place, and a load of posters. Hardest part is getting guys to wear their feckin hard hats!!! Her view is that HSE primarily want to help you run a safe site, and their first approach is to advise and improve. Hi...clicked your does the following relate:
  5. Sounds like a licence to print money to me.....
  6. What has the RICS got to do with architects fees?.....
  7. “Our architect produced a great design but way over the original budget. To minimise cost keep it simple.. Avoid roof complications like dormer window or 1.5 storey houses with rooms in the roof. Stick to a 2 storey house with simple roof. Even making the house L shape adds a bit although how much is debatable. Do you really need a chimney? A working chimney? Avoid anything needing steel beams or posts if possible. (eg windows that wrap around the corner of a house). Architects tend to like charging a fixed % of the final build cost. Sometimes as much as 10%. So if you splurge on a kitchen just remember to add 10% for your architect who may not have had anything to do with the kitchen. Better still find a builder you trust so you dont need an architect involved during construction other than perhaps a few hours to sort out design problems that might come up.” I agree with most of this. Keep the design simple. Rectangle house plan with short floor spans and a trussed rafter roof with a slate roof. No steelwork (SE required), no great expanses of glass, no masonry chimneys (stove if required with Selkirk flue), no steps in internal floor level (tanking required), no basements and render painted external walls. Don’t skimp on the insulation - go above and beyond the requirements. If you want to go with a timber frame talk to a timber frame supplier - they will do whatever you need and will design the wall panels and roof trusses based on the design you present to them. You need to balance the cost and erection speed of a timber frame with a traditional masonry build. Both have advantages and disadvantages which only you can decide upon. In relation to architects fees - many do base this on a percentage cost of the build. Many others will be happy to agree a fixed cost fee based on providing a particular service to you. You are the only person to decide if you are getting value for money but you may wish to shop around. Many architects will be more than happy to have a chat with you about what you need, what they can provide and what the cost is likely to be. My own suggestion would be to agree a fixed price fee - not one based on a (possibly fluctuating) build cost - for their services. The fee should include all expenses (excluding statutory fees) and a list of your requirements - a shopping list of what you want. An architect should provide you with a written agreement of what you require including the fee to be charged. Fees are a very emotive topic for many architects and can mean a certain amount of crystal ball gazing in relation to the amount of work they will have to do.
  8. “Unfortunately I don't think this is the case. A good architect will design you a house that looks nice and gets planning permission. That is their main skillset. Some know about designing for low running costs but not many. Very few seem to consider buildability/build costs in their designs. Massive spans, lots of glass, bespoke features you cannot buy off the shelf etc. They also will not liven the house and could have a very different idea how to layout a house relative to how you will use. Don't be afraid to tell them what you are after and if they won't do that then look elsewhere.” I’m very sorry - but I do not agree. A good architect will always design the home that you want not what they want. Their skill set is taking your requirements and turning it into a workable solution within a budget set by you. Unfortunately this may not always be the case but you as the client should always drive the solution - you are after all paying his or her fees. I do agree that If an architect fails to come up with what you want you should tell him/her and revisit the design solution or look elsewhere.
  9. In all seriousness - a good architect will save you money in the long run by designing you a home that is cost effective to build, run and maintain.
  10. “Sack architect, they will spend all your contingency, and more.” Lol.
  11. I would have thought a 4” duct through the external cavity wall into the room with the stove would be fine depending on the size of the stove. Just need to work out the ventilation requirement for the stove and ensure the duct gives sufficient air. If a 4” duct isn’t big enough go for a 6” duct. Need to fit a non-adjustable vent to both sides though.