Understand the process

What do I need to do first?

If you want to alter or extend your home or property, there is a legal process to follow to obtain the relevant approvals to build. Some clients have a clear understanding of their vision for a home, property or site while others may require creative input.

It may be as simple as converting a loft space into a bedroom – but there are a number of ways this can be achieved with differing budgets, and to make the most efficient use of the space available.

At Blink Architecture we aim to take the stress out of completing your project and provide as much or little input as you need. We’ve outlined the most common steps from start to finish of a building project:

  • Stage 1: Make an Site Visit or Home Appointment

    At the first stage, Blink Architecture will visit you in your home or at the property site to discuss the project. This is a free service and helps us to gain a better understanding of the project brief and expectations.

    Following the site visit a fee quote will be sent to you outlining the project brief, the different stages of the project and what we services we can provide. We aim to complete a fee quote within a week of visiting you and do not charge VAT, keeping the costs down for you.

  • Stage 2: Measured Survey

    So you’ve decided to appoint Blink Architecture, great! The next stage is for us to complete a measured survey of your property or site to create existing drawings to work from. On an average property size the measured survey can take between 1 to 2 hours.

    Once surveyed, we aim to come back to you with the existing plans all drawn up within 2 weeks as well as some initial sketch proposals based on your project brief.

    Although you may have a clear idea of what you want we will always look for other options to show you and suggest any changes or improvements.

    This image shows a range of options for dormer windows to the front of a property – all with a different look. It allows the client a greater understanding of what the finished building could look like.

  • Stage 3: Planning Application

    Once we have confirmed the layout of your proposals and the appearance, we will turn the sketch plans in formal planning application drawings and submit these to the Local Authority for approval on your behalf.

    Planning permission provides you with the legal permission to build an extension or dwelling and is mainly concerned with size and appearance. It answers the primary question “can I build it?”

    Not all alterations to a property require planning permission and are covered under permitted development rights. Read more about Planning to determine whether your project requires planning permission.

    In most cases obtaining planning approval is a straight forward process taking 6 to 8 weeks. However, in some instances amendments to the scheme may be required. As we act as the agent and contact between you and the planning authority, we will do all we can to obtain planning permission on your behalf.

    An example of a planning drawing is shown here.

  • Stage 4: Building Regulation Approval

    So now you have planning permission granted. Congratulations! The next step is to obtain Building Regulation approval which answers the question “how is it built?”

    A new set of plans is completed – these are more technical, detailing how your project will be built and ensuring it meets the Building Regulations.

    If your project requires structural alterations or the inclusion of steel beams then we will source a structural engineer on your behalf and arrange for the structural calculations to be carried out.

    Once all the technical information has been collated the new plans will be submitted to Building Control for approval. This can either be the Local Authority or a private Building Control company. It will usually take about 2 weeks to check the plans and then you are more or less ready to start building.

    When you start building a Building Control officer will make periodic inspections on site to make sure what is being built meets the Building Regulations. The Building Regulation plans drawn up by Blink Architecture can be given to a building company to obtain an accurate quote for your project. We are also happy to provide you with details of reliable local builders to assist with your project.

  • Stage 5: Get Building

    You’ve found your builder and all approvals are in place and you’re ready to start on site.

    In most cases a competent builder will be able to complete your project with you. However, Blink Architecture can act on your behalf and inspect the build to give you extra peace of mind. We offer additional services to help control staged payments to your builder, and on new build dwellings provide a professional consultants certificate on completion.

    We want to make sure that you are 100% happy with your finished build. We aim to always be at hand to answer any questions you or your builder may have. Even if we don’t hear from you we always love to be invited back to see the finished product.

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