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Please help me understand - house related

11 replies

pitapatarain · 21/03/2021 20:34

Posting here for traffic, apologies if it is considered improper. Please let me know if so and I will ask for the thread be relocated.

I am having house renovations done and my architect is just so unhelpful and rubbish so I was hoping someone here could help me understand the process.

The works all fall under building control so planning permission is not needed. The architect has drawn up basic before and after floor plans showing size of rooms, which I will hopefully sign off this week. Based on advice I have also got an external building control agency lined up.

What I don't understand is the process between the initial drawings and getting building consent and the architect is just not explaining anything clearly, it's incredibly frustrating grrrrr

What happens after I have signed off these basic plans? When do I need to get a structural engineer in? Do the plans then need to be revised based on structural calculations and if so who does that, the architect or structural engineer? Which plans get submitted to the building control agency, the basic one or the detailed one?

Sorry if this should be obvious and I am just not getting it, this is the first time I am embarking on relatively a large building project.


OP posts:

billy1966 · 21/03/2021 20:48

Your architect is going to charge you a very large fee.
Do not proceed until you get the service you are paying for.


Wnikat · 21/03/2021 22:03

My architect did all the liasing with building control and he sorted out the structural engineer. Did you get a fee proposal from the architect? Did it say what services were included?


Dogsanddrums · 21/03/2021 22:32

As above, the architect (or structural engineer - or subcontracted from architect) usually submits BC plans - the detailed ones with calculations. You can submit it yourself and ask for the reports to go to yourself, your architect, your builder, whoever you like.

You said that you don’t need planning permission because your work falls under Building Control. Do you mean Permitted Development?

Planning permission (and permitted development, if relevant) is an entirely different process/team/approval to Building Control. PP looks at the design and whether it is appropriate for the property, street, area. BC looks at whether the structure will be structurally sound and makes sure you are building safely. Any structural work will require BC sign off. Adhering to BC does not mean you don’t need planning permission, it’s a different process.

Hope that helps, we are coming to the end of our second build so am keen to save anyone else from the pain of figuring all this out :)


pitapatarain · 21/03/2021 23:00

Thank you all for your insight, it's been really helpful. At the risk of sounding a little silly - what is the point of the basic drawings if only the technical ones get submitted? Also who creates the technical drawings - architect or structural engineer?

@Dogsanddrums yes I meant permitted development- sorry too many technical terms floating around in my head simultaneously

@Wnikat I did get a fee proposal and the structural engineer is listed as a separate cost which is why I was wondering who creates the detailed drawings.

OP posts:

Midlifephoenix · 21/03/2021 23:18

Not sure how basic these plans are. My architect drew up quite detailed plans and we adjusted them as needed. Then the structural engineer got involved and again the plans were adjusted. Who is in charge of getting the builder? Is your architect project managing the work too (doesn't sound like they should considering how it's going so far). You may have to adjust your plans further once you get a quote from some builders.
I imagine you are spending some considerable amount on this and you need to feel comfortable with your architect. We only had one to draw up initial plans to get through planning - he wasn't involved in the build.


Skysblue · 21/03/2021 23:52

Architect draws planning drawings (or if doing under permitted development, a basic plan).
Client agrees to the plan.
Architect prepares building control drawings and submits these to council building control department.
If approved, architect is basically finished.
Structural engineer then does structural calculations.
Client hires builders, who ask to see the building control drawings and also the structural calculations. No one by this stage cares about the original basic plan (or planning permission drawings if they were done).
Builders then pretty much take over and unless something goes wrong you see no more of architect / structural engineer
At end of (and during) project council send build control officer round toninspect and make sure it is complaint with BC. No one checks to see if the actual build remains compliant with permitted development / planning so check this yourself - height of roofs, placement of windows etc. If builder wants to change something call atchitect and build control officer to ask if ok.

Take lots of photos during build it can help to show council what was done (in unlikely event builder forgets to send them photos during build). Also useful later when you’re wondering where the wiring / pipes are.

Good luck OP and make sure you get a great builder! Don’t rely on architect recommendations - sometimes money changes hands...


Skysblue · 21/03/2021 23:53

Ps get a certificate from council stating that this falls under permitted development. Costs about £30 and will save you huge headaches if sell in future.


Skysblue · 21/03/2021 23:55

Ps the point of the basic drawings is to agree layout and measurements with you before he does the much more detailed work of build control drawing. Those have detail of inside walls etc - not much point doing all that at a dtage when plans not yet agreed.


pitapatarain · 23/03/2021 10:00

@Skysblue thanks for the detailed info. My architect has just contacted me to say that the structural engineer does not need to do a site visit and will base his calculations purely on the architect's drawings. Does that sound like standard practice to you? I would have thought the engineer would need to see the site.

OP posts:

bettybyebye · 23/03/2021 11:39

That’s exactly how it worked for us, we’ve just finished a single storey extension.
The architect shared the drawings with the structural engineer and they did not visit the site. Also echoing PPs our architect managed everything to do with planning, consent, structural engineers etc. We just used the plans and structural drawings to get builders to quote.


pitapatarain · 23/03/2021 12:59

Thanks @bettybyebye that's reassured me.

OP posts:
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