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Hello all. Double side extension help required please.


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Hi all,


I've come across this forum and am pleased to have joined as it appears to be a great resource - and boy do I need some help and guidance haha!


We own (well the bank does) a semi-detached property in Surrey and have recently employed a company to create planning and building regs drawings and to act as our agent throughout these processes.


Ultimately, we are on a tight budget so will be seeking all tips and advice that I can get my hands on.  I have tried to do much research so for instance, will be keeping the extension very square to keep costs at a minimum.


Unfortunately I have been furloughed (albeit very grateful for the support I'm receiving under this scheme) so have taken the questionable decision to progress the build with some speed so that the budget we do have, isn't squandered away on our monthly living costs.  I'll worry about the other side on the other side.


There are a few things that I could do with some general advice on and any relevant tips too please.  If any of you can help with the below then please do let me know...


- Does anyone have a detailed list/spreadsheet which breaks down the numerous areas of costs associated with such builds that you'd be happy to share with me please?


- Some people are suggesting not to serve notice under the 3rd party wall act. I am reluctant to take this approach but am concerned that my neighbour may well try to frustrate this process at every opportunity so as much as I'd like to work constructively with them, I suspect that they are unlikely to help to keep this as simple as possible.  Any tips here please? I will be building within 3 metres of their outbuilding but not there main house and I will be retaining side access of at least one metre.


- Is it generally cheaper to get a builder to complete all works or to firstly source contractors/companies for the elements where I have contacts (e.g. I know a roofer, a Gas Safe engineer, an electrician etc.).  I will ultimately compare options like for like but wondered if anyone has some loose guidance here.


Thanks in advance and I look forward to receiving as much info as possible.


Edited by DG83
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  • 3 weeks later...


im in the same boat as you. We sadly got refused our planning at the first hurdle as our neighbour objected. Our plan is to get a construction company to do the building work. We will use an electrician and a plumber separately. I can’t even bear the thought of the cost, but I think a construction company will charge more from start to finish. I have done this before, and the key is you must must shop around, even though it’s time consuming. We are on a very tight budget too. 

Good luck 

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It's quite common to employ a builder to construct upto a water tight shell and then contractors to do plumbing and electrics etc. You could also start this way and see how you get on with the builder, if you are happy then discuss him re-quoting to finish the job.


Generally employing a builder/prime contractor costs more than hiring trades because the builder is doing the project management instead of you. In my case that project management involved the builder unlocking the site first thing in the day, organising what trades would be doing, tidying up, and sometimes helping trades (eg move materials). He wasn't always onsite the whole day but would return each afternoon to discuss the next day's work with the trades and make sure they would have everything they needed. If not he would either go home via the builders merchants or go via there next day on the way to opening up. The key being not to let trades waste time going themselves or standing idle waiting for materials. Obviously he also had to pay for materials and chase delivery. He also arranged for machine/tool hire where necessary and things like the Building Control Officers visits and warranty inspections. 

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On 11/06/2020 at 16:31, DG83 said:

I will be building within 3 metres of their outbuilding but not there main house and I will be retaining side access of at least one metre.


Within 3 meters the Party Wall Act only applies if you will be digging below the bottom of his foundations.


There is no penalty for not complying with the act but should you cause damage to their building and it ends up in court the court might take a dim view and award greater damages. 


How close are you digging near their outbuilding and what is it? Just a shed? Perhaps make sure you have photos of any pre-existing cracks or other defects. Perhaps stick them in a dated sealed envelope and ask your solicitor to store them? or is that overkill.

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