Archive for the ‘building regulations’ Category

When it comes to any project, the design and planning is always the most important part of the job

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

“Hi everyone, we’re hoping to have single story kitchen/dining room extension built. Finance is in place and plans drawn up and submitted but having no joy with getting a decent quote from a builder It’s not the price I object to it’s the chasing I’ve had to do and the woefully inadequate scrap of paper with a scribbled price that they imagine constitutes a quotation”. Marylou2 Mon 11-May-15  Mumsnet

Sadly, all too often people are let down by the service that they are given by builders – even ones recommended by friends.

Once you have engaged a builder to undertake your building renovations or new development you should expect to receive a quotation on an official headed piece of paper.  A reputable builder should be able to gauge what Structural works will need to be undertaken and the cost of all materials and labour.  A decent builder will be able to provide you with expertly designed plans of what your house currently looks like and how it will evolve into your new dream home once all of the works have been completed.  All plans should be custom made to suit your design specifications and give you a detailed picture of what you can expect. These plans should be designed using the latest technology and should include structural work and completely up to date with all building regulations.

More established builders will have their own team of dedicated expert tradespeople to bring in at various stages (first, second and final fix) to save you the trouble of having to source your own, saving you time and hassle.  This will be broken down in the initial quotation along with expected stage payments and how these payments will be made.

All in all, your quotation and design plans should highlight how your home will be transformed with the best possible use of space and to an agreed budget and timescale.

If you have a property renovation in mind and would like some free advice or a quotation, please leave your details here and we will contact you as soon as possible. Click here to leave your details


How to save money on architect designs

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

It is common knowledge that it is not cheap to pay for an architect to draw up plans for any building work you might be looking to get. This is due to the advanced knowledge and training they must go through in order to safely design and draw plans for building work. When you speak to them about any ideas you have they will insist you get them to do it and most of the time we find people will, just so they know the plans are safe. But we at Four Corners Properties do not believe in just letting anyone design our work.

We have our own architects who can draw up plans with you to create something special rather than your usual designs. We feel you should always have the best and most creative design for your money to make the building work you have stand out from the rest. Because we have our own architect to design and draw up the plans it will usually end up cheaper than going straight to an architect yourself. This is part of the five star services we offer for all jobs. We cover every aspect of a build making it cheaper and easier for you.

The best way to save money with any job is to find a company like ourselves who offer the full service of all aspects of the job. If you were to hire a builder who then gets other companies to do parts of the job they do not cover then you can expect costs to rise. This is due to more people being involved and the builder you hired passing costs over to you from the other companies. This is where we can excel compared to most companies as we will design, build and supply all the materials all by ourselves.

It doesn’t matter what kind of build you are thinking of having, we will do it. And if you want to see the wide range of designs we have done then look through our gallery of previous jobs and you will be surprised by the quality of our work. We are known for our creative ideas to make your property stand out and have that unique look. No more will you get ripped off by builders and architects; you will just save money by using Four Corners Properties. So if you have ideas on how to improve your home please contact us now.

Below are 3 designs that we have completed to give you an idea of our work

plans1 plans2 plans3



All you need to know about Planning Permission

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

What to think about before starting the work

When thinking of doing any kind of building work is it always worth knowing that the owner of the property is responsible for complying with all relevant planning rules and building regulations. Even if you have hired someone to come in and do the work you need to ensure they are working within the rules and regulations regardless of if you need to apply for planning permission or  building regulations approval. This makes it important that you can trust the people who do the work as if they were not to comply with these rules it won’t affect them only the property owner.

Failure to comply with the relevant rules will result with the owner being liable which could mean the work is to be demolished or restored. This makes it important for the property owner to check all relevant paperwork so they know all the rules and regulations are being met. If after this you are still worried about anything then you can always talk to the local planning authority and building control services before the work is carried out to check what you have planned will be fine.

What the difference is between Planning Permission and Building Regulations

Most people think that you need a form of permission for all building work or alterations to a property but this isn’t true. Whether or not you need planning permission depends on the size and amount of work that you are proposing to do in comparison to what is already there but it is always worth checking first with local planning authorities. It is also work checking if you have any responsibilities under the construction health and safety regulations but if you use a contracted company they should be able to clarify this with you.

The use of planning permission is to shape our towns, cities and countryside development in a way that is local councils seek fit. Meaning they don’t want you to change the look of an area with the work that you are planning. This includes the use of land & buildings, the appearance of buildings, landscaping considerations, highway access and the impact that the development will have on the general environment. These are all considerations that will be considered by local planning authorities when you submit an application for work.

Building regulations have been set to ensure the standards for the design and construction of buildings are safe and healthy for the people who are in or near the buildings. This is making sure anyone who works on the building is not at any risk and that all the work carried out is to a required minimum standard and is all structurally sound. They also include requirements to ensure that fuel and power is conserved and facilities are provided for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings.

Depending on what work you are planning to have done to your property though, you will more than likely need to get planning permission and get your building regulations checked by an inspector. If it is just internal altercations then you might only have to get building regulations approval and not planning permission but it is always worth checking just in case. Most building company’s such as Four Corners Properties would be able to clear this up with you to avoid any confusion.

planningapproved   Conservatory-Planning-Permission

So how do you go about the planning

One of your first considerations will be planning control. This is the process of managing the development of land and buildings. This process is what is in place to protect what is the best of our heritage while also helping to improve the infrastructure which we need for a civilised existence.This responsibility falls to your local planning authority and they will decide whether a development should go ahead no matter how big or small.

There are a few things to consider before you try to get approval from the building regulations. The responsibility for checking building regulations have been met is up to the building control bodies from the local authorities or a private approved inspector. This would be up to the person who is carrying out the work to get approval for the work. How to get approval depends on whether a Local Authority Building Control service or an Approved Inspector Building Control service is being used and if all their conditions for health and safety have been met. This would normally be checked before and during the work to make sure plans are been followed.

What if any plans are refused

Even if plans are refused it doesn’t mean that is it, you can appeal as long as you think you have a good case to carry out the work. The appeals are carried out by a planning inspectorate and you will need to provide reasons with evidence as to why you think a case should be given the go ahead. You may have to wait to hear back from your appeal as they are sometimes overloaded with cases so expect a delay.

Determinations and appeals are two procedures in which are provided for the secretary of state for communities and local governments. These are what you would use to adjudicate a dispute with carrying out building work subject to the Building Regulations and a building control body (i.e. either a local authority or a private sector approved inspector).

Planning permission is nothing to be feared as most local authorities are happy to let you develop your property as long as it is not going to affect anyone in the area. You always need to be considerate of your neighbors and check you are not going to change the property too excessively unless you have plenty of space. This article should have cleared up your understanding of planning any building work and if you needed any more information we are here to help.

How to extend your house to maximise living space and increase your property value

Monday, April 27th, 2015

With recent figures showing that property value is still rising, there are fewer houses being brought and sold. On average people now move every 14 and a half years which is much less frequent than has been the case in the past. Due to this there has been a rise in people choosing to extend their properties. There are many good reasons for this, one been that it is often more economical to extend rather than to move. One of the main reasons for this is due to the stamp duty on the most expensive houses currently at four percent. Then if you add in the agent fees for selling your house this is usually a similar amount that you would pay to extend your house before you even think about the extra money you have to pay for moving into a bigger house.

Another reason people are choosing to extend is also due to the hassle that comes with moving. If you have children you might need to find them a new school, register everything to the new address and even the neighbourhood itself. If you like the area you live in, have friendly neighbours and friends that live close by these can all count to people rather extending their property rather than moving to a new one.

Planning and building regulations

One of the most important factors to consider when planning an extension is that you make sure the extension will add to the value of the property no matter how big or small you are planning. This means making use of what space you extend onto the house, so making sure rooms are a good size and in suitable places. Another factor to consider before you look to get plans drawn up are the area your building onto, for instance:

  • What are the ground conditions?
  • Are there any surrounding trees?
  • Does the area have a history of flooding?
  • Do you have rear access for building materials or will they go through the house?

These are all factors which could affect the price of an extension. It is worth considering all these points and even going to speak to someone at the local planning office to find out informally what might be permitted especially if you are planning anything out of the ordinary. It is wise to research the local planning policies so that you are aware of any problems you might have with planning before spending money on a plan that will be refused. At Four Corners Properties ltd we have lots of experience in building extensions so know the planning officials well and can advise on what might and might not get permission, but it does all depend on the are in which the property is situated. It is also worth talking in detail with whoever creates your plans so that you are getting exactly what you want for a price you can afford, making sure they have done a detailed plan of how much everything costs so there are no financial surprises later on.

Under the Permitted Development Rights system a large number of home extensions can be built without the requirement of planning permission so you may or may not require consent for your proposed extension. It should be noted however, that if your property is near a Conservation Area or a National Park, the amount of work allowed is usually reduced by planning development but this can be checked with the local planning authorities.

Building Control

All building work, whether or not you need planning permission needs approval  by the building regulations. These are rules set by parliament to make sure fire and other forms of safety, insulation, drainage and access are all up to the correct standards. These are minimum design and construction standards which must be met for all building work. Building control officers do not supervise work on your behalf. Their role is to ensure the minimum standards of the building regulations have been adhered to. Most self-builders and extenders send what is called a Full Plan Submission to their local authority. In this case you pay a fee and the building inspector visits the site at the various stages of the build and inspects the work as it proceeds.


Depending on the size of the extension payments plans can often be arranged as not everyone has thousands of pounds sat in their bank accounts. At Four Corners Properties ltd we can set up a payment scheme to help you pay for any work as and when it is carried out so if its a big job you might not have to fork out all of it before the work commences. We also offer a breakdown plan of what you will be charged for, everything from local authority application fees to building supplies. You will get a quality service where you can see how much each part of the job will cost you so that you know your money is being spent wisely. You will also have a guarantee that any work carried out will be to your satisfaction so you can have confidence in the job we are doing.

If you have any thoughts about getting an extension added to your home feel free to get in touch and see what options you have as you might find it to be a great benefit to you and your family.

Extension Kitchen     loftconversion

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