Whether you are transforming a dilapidated property to sell on in the future, or you simply want to create extra space in your home for a new family member, you will need to carefully plan any major construction project that takes place. You may initially think that all you will need to do is speak to a few contractors and then work will begin, however the process is far more complex than this – something we will explain in the blog below.
If you are planning a major construction, but you don’t know where to start, read on.
First and foremost, no construction project can take place if you don’t have a well-thought-out design idea. This may mean that you will spend hours flicking through interior and home renovation magazines, scrolling on Pinterest or doing endless google searches. Yet, one of the best ways to get design ideas, and also to see if this design is possible, is by speaking to local architects. Architects who are experienced in major domestic renovations can help you both aesthetically and practically in designing a renovation.
For instance, your main issue may be that you want to create more space in your home; an architect can suggest a range of different ideas at varying prices, including loft conversions, extensions, conservatories, knocking through walls and more. Or, you may have bought a run-down period property that is in dire need of a makeover. An architect who is experienced in this can suggest reasonable solutions like glass extensions, approved renovations (needed for a grade listed property), and design features that will improve its value in the long term.
Though you may be tempted to pinch pennies at this stage, an architect can provide valuable information that you may not initially have thought of yourself. Plus they can help recommend efficient companies they have worked with and also suggest a timescale and budget for the project at hand.
You have probably heard of countless building installations and projects that have significantly exceeded their original budget. Though it can’t be pinpointed to what exactly is the cause of this, there are a range of factors like bad weather, damaged materials, over-ordering of goods, inflation and also under-estimation that both delay the project and also make it more expensive.
This is why it is incredibly important to think of a reasonable budget (with wiggle room!) so you can save as much money as possible throughout. Within the overall budget, we highly recommend creating a range of smaller budgets that are set to specific elements like building materials, contractors, décor, emergencies and other important parts of the renovation. This will help you manage your costs and also prevent the chance of you going over budget.
Of course, this does mean that you need to be realistic. Though costs between contractors like builders and scaffolding contractors will vary, you need to expect that as you are paying for a service, it will be costly if you go decide a professional accredited company. However, you can rest assured that the construction project will be completed in a timely fashion. It may leave a sour taste if your budget is significantly lower than your chosen contractors typical prices and if you expect them to complete the project for that cost. Of course, you can try to negotiate, but it’s in your best interest to not offend them.
Some renovations will require you to get permission from your local council beforehand, particularly in the instance of work like large extensions, new builds, some loft conversions, and any renovations on a period grade listed property. This may be due to a number of reasons, for example, the work infringes upon the party wall of another’s property, you live in a protected area like a nature reserve or AONB, or the work will cause disruption to your neighbours and your street.
When applying for planning permission, be sure to acquire as much relevant information as possible about the build. This could be design plans, building surveyors suggestions, costs, materials you are planning on using and the intention of the build. The more information you provide, the more likely you are to get your build approved.
If your permission is approved, then you can go ahead and start. However, as this can take a while, some homeowners start the work already in the hope that their planning permission will be accepted anyway; this is always a risky move that could mean you’re subjected to fines and there is also the danger that the build won’t be approved.
Once you have got permission, the next step is finding the right building contractors to undertake the work. It is likely that there is a large variety of local building contractors and companies in your area, and traipsing through google to find a reliable, experienced and affordable contractor can be overwhelming.
The best way to find a reliable building contractor is to check that they are accredited with professional boards like SafeContractor, The Builder’s Conference or similar governing bodies. Then, you should also look on their website what services they can do and whether they have positive testimonials.
It is also important to consider what kind of contractors you will be hiring – will they just be building contractors? Or will they be scaffolding contractors, plumbers, heating engineers, Gas Safe engineers and electricians all rolled into one?
Search for scaffolding hire
Perhaps an element that may be initially overlooked, but nevertheless is still crucially important to the building process is scaffolding rental. Get in contact with local scaffolding companies to see what kind of scaffolding they can offer your project.
There are a range of different scaffolding you can typically hire, from portable tower scaffolds to scissor lifts, lightweight scaffolding and work platforms; there is something for all types of building renovations. For instance, if alongside your major renovation you are installing new windows or repainting the exterior of your home, scissor lifts may be useful. Or, if you are doing a grand renovation of the whole property, then standard scaffolding surrounding your home will also be beneficial.
Scaffolding allows for contractors to safely access levels of your property that would previously have been inaccessible, allowing comprehensive and thorough renovations all over your home. Scaffolding doesn’t just have to be applied to the exterior; there are a range of indoor scaffolding that you can hire too. This is great for homes that have high ceilings like barn conversions or period properties, particularly if they need repainting, the ceiling needs fixing or new light features need to be fitted.
Making sure that you use a reputable scaffolding company will help maintain the safety of the other contractors you hire. It is important that when choosing the scaffolding you need, that your contractors are also trained to use it in all weathers.
You don’t need to be an eco-conscious homeowner to know that organising the disposal of the waste produced from your construction project is crucial. This is because construction and demolition waste made from concrete does not biodegrade and consequently fills up landfills.
There are many ways to avoid excessive waste being produced during your property renovation; this can include careful planning and preparation when ordering materials (so you don’t over order), hiring an efficient construction waste disposal and recycled aggregate company, and also hiring skips to organise and categorise waste.
A company that buys old construction waste and turns it into recycled aggregates is a great option as it means that your old building materials can be used again for future builds, lessening the environmental impact of concrete waste. What’s more, hiring a range of skips can help you contain the waste during the construction project, allowing you to maintain high health and safety standards during the build, by lessening dust and waste causing obstruction.
Whether you are searching for local scaffolding companies or you would like to speak with a scaffold designer who can create a bespoke scaffold for your unique project, then we at DH Scaffold Services Ltd can help.
We pride ourselves on offering specialist design packages that are catered to both commercial and domestic builds, no matter the design, size or budget. What’s more, we can provide a comprehensive and personalised service that can help you from the initial planning stages all the way through to the finishing touches. We offer a free quotation and feasibility service over the phone, so that you can speak to us no matter how busy your day is.
To find out more about us, or to receive your free quote, simply contact us today.