Projects Hall
Why should I use a Surveyor to create planning and working drawings for my house, I thought only an Architect would do that?
Although Architects are well known for providing planning drawings, it is also a large section of work covered by most general practice building surveyors. Surveyors can have more of a practical view of how materials will work together and what issues may arise in later life.
If you’re not an Architect, what qualifications do you have?!
A BSc (Hons) Degree in Building Surveying, a HNC and an ONC both in Construction. All of these qualifications were carried out on a day release basis over 6 years. During this time I worked full time for multidisciplinary practices to gain the ever important experience on sites both large and small!
Do I need Planning Permission?
One of the most common questions that most clients ask. The Government have altered the regulations on what is known as ‘Permitted Development’, i.e building works that do not require planning approval prior to construction. However there are a number of issues that need to be reviewed in order to ascertain if planning permission is needed and this will usually be dealt during the initial meeting or shortly after which is free of charge. You can also find out more on ‘The Planning Portal’ website here.
What is the process for adding a single storey extension to my house, is it easier than a two storey option?
To view the process of taking on a construction project, please see the ‘Services’ section. As for whether it is any easier, depending on any planning issues it is not much more work to build two storey as much of the elements are the same or alter very slightly. I can discuss this with you at the property to review the options.
How much will the project cost to build?
This will largely depend on the materials used in the building process as well as the quality of finish that is desired. The common route for exploring costs is to send the approved Planning drawings to local contractors to establish an outline cost for the works. This is however not the most accurate method as a number of details will not be made clear to the contractors at this early stage and so a certain level of assumptions will apply. A better method is to employ a quantity surveyor to analyse the drawings and produce a detailed budget cost for the works. This will then allow you to review all areas of work and remove any, as necessary, to be carried out at a later date.
I want to incorporate some green elements into my project, how do I go about this?
The first step is to discuss this during the initial planning phase of the project and I can then review the options available and inform you how to proceed.
Do you have a list of builders that you would recommend?
Although we have worked with a number of contractors, we do not hold a list as such, however we can often provide a local contact that we may know either through reputation or by having worked with them in the past.
Are the Building Regulations the best possible standard?
No, the Building Regulations are in fact the minimum standard accepted by the Government. You may wish to exceed these in some areas such as increasing the insulation levels to reduce future heating costs and energy usage and this is something I encourage and will design into the project accordingly. Remember additional initial cost on insulation will help to ‘futureproof’ your building project by drastically reducing running costs.
How much does David Gregory Design charge?
There is no simple answer to this question as it will vary from project to project, however, I generally work on a fixed fee basis unless otherwise agreed at the outset, meaning that you know exactly where you stand from day one with my involvement. All expenses are also listed upfront such as mileage charges and printing costs etc.
Where do you carry out work?
I am based in Cheltenham, so primarily I work in and around the Gloucestershire area, although if you take a look at my sample projects here, you will see that I am happy to work across the UK and have even worked with a client based in Northern Ireland in the past!
How long do things take?
There are a number of stages involved
in lets say preparing to build an extension:
 

  1. The first is a detailed measured survey. This is carried out by myself, so there are no communication issues or elongated timescales with a third party and of course no additional invoice from another company either. This will be discussed with you when David Gregory Design is instructed and a date will be arranged. Typically this can be done within 2 weeks although this is workload dependant.
  2. Onwards from this will be the initial ideas section, usually taking the form of draft proposals that we have discussed along with some variations that will be sent through as additional options for consideration. This can take from as little as 1 week to as long as you wish to review the options to ensure that your building supplies you with the change that you need.
  3. Once you are satisfied that the proposals are going to achieve the most from your property we can progress to the planning application stage, if required (see question 3). This will generally takes 6-8 weeks for the Local Authority to make a decision.
  4. Assuming that permission is granted (see the next question) we can then progress to the building regulations stage. This takes the approved scheme and adds detail and notation to form a full set of working drawings that can be used by the building control department as well as your chosen contractor. These generally take between 2-3 weeks depending upon the scale and complexity of the project. You may need to have structural calculations carried out, which have to be dealt with by a third party and so the timescale of this will also have to be considered.
  5. That’s it! By the time building regulations consent has been obtained you will be in a position to proceed with your project (subject to meeting any planning conditions).
What if my project is rejected at the planning permission stage?
If planning permission is refused there is an option to revise the scheme in order to re-submit the application and attempt to gain planning permission again. Should the second application be refused then we will discuss the planning appeal route as and when this becomes necessary.
What are the terms and conditions?
All text and photographs are covered by copyright and are the property of David Gregory Design. All details contained in this website are for information purposes only. David Gregory Design reserve the right to alter the terms and conditions as often as necessary and via the website only. Any personal information submitted via email complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 and will not be distributed or sold to any third parties.