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 frequently change the regulations for 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, which is free of charge. You can also find out more on ‘The Planning Portal’ website here.
What is the process for adding say, 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 storeys, as many 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 again is a fairly common question, as you might expect! It depends on a number of factors, ranging from the overall scale and the complexity of the design, through to the materials used in the building process itself. 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 a contractor 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. It may also be possible to phase works so that some may be carried out at a later date.
I want to incorporate some green or environmental elements into my project, how do I go about this and what would you recommend?
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. There are a myriad of options available here, but most are best to review on a case-by-case basis
Do you have a list of builders that you would recommend?
Although a number of contractors have worked on my projects over the years, I do not hold a list as such, however I can often provide a local contact that may be known, 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 reduce 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 Newent, 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 does it all take?
Let’s assume that the brief is for a residential extension, there are a number of stages involved: 

  1. The first is a detailed measured survey. Typically it makes sense to outsource this to a specialist survey company. These companies do this all day every day, so it’s hard to beat their speed and cost effective methods. This will be discussed in the initial meeting and once instructed, I will obtain a quote for this on your behalf. Typically this can be done within 8-12 day once approved.
  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 2-3 weeks, to as long as you wish! The aim here is for you to review the options to ensure that your new/altered/extended building will supply 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 take 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 4-6 weeks, depending upon the scale and complexity of the project. You may need to have structural calculations carried out, which are 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 other routes as and when these are 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.