Our buildings have been fully designed and detailed and are ready for fabrication. All we need to do is check the proposed site, and confirm the specification. We’ll then determine the cost, make the necessary statutory applications and start manufacture.
The typical programme for a single building is generally 8 weeks for the planning application, 8 weeks for ordering and off-site manufacture then 8 weeks for on-site assembly. The timescale for multiple buildings will vary, but we can advise once we have more detailed project information. The process usually consists of the key steps below.
Once you have a site or plot, probably the very first thing to do is visit our show home – see the quality of the space and our carefully selected specification. Then decide on a design type you prefer, consider any variations and additions, and complete our client/project registration form.
Once submitted you’ll receive an email with a link to our online digital brochure that will allow you to see the full range of options and prices and calculate a cost estimate for your project.
Either from site photographs and plans, or a site visit*, we’ll determine whether the location of the proposed building(s) is appropriate and if there will be any special considerations. Access is one important issue – if we can’t get a lorry and small crane to the site, we may not be able to deliver one of our buildings.
If the site seems feasible, we would purchase a licensed OS site plan & produce a building design configuration, site layout and material specification (for a fee of £125 + £25/dwelle.ing plus VAT). We will then confirm the estimated cost of the project. This figure will exclude the cost of any land, and will include provisional sums for foundation design, below ground services and connections and any other site specific items. We recommend you allow an additional contingency sum for these items (15% of the total build cost should be sufficient).
For a further fee of £95 (plus VAT) we can provide a Residential Search Report that will identify any Contaminated Land; River, Coastal, and Surface Water flooding; Natural Ground Subsidence or Energy features. We can also provide a range of commercial reports.
Our planning consultants can check to see if the proposed project requires Planning Permission. They can also carry out a more detailed investigation to determine the likelihood of an application being successful (for a fee of £125 + £25/dwelle.ing plus VAT), advising by way of a traffic light system on the prospects of securing planning permission for a proposal – please click here for a sample sheet. For larger or more complex schemes it may be worth submitting a Pre-Planning Application (our fees would vary and would be in addition to any fees charged by the local planning authority (LPA)). You can also apply yourself or appoint a local planning consultant… search for the Local Planning Authority (LPA) on the Planning Portal website. We can send you floor plans and elevations. The LPA should respond within 4 weeks.
Depending on the planning authority, you may be able to meet with a Planning Officer to informally discuss your proposal. We have produced a colour A4 sheet that you can download here, then print and take to a meeting.
We will ask you to confirm the design and external material specification and then we’ll prepare the Planning Application drawings. We will also submit a Party Wall Notice if applicable (subject to an additional fee).
Together with our planning consultants we will complete the forms, supporting documents and submit the application. Most planning applications are decided within eight weeks, unless they are unusually large or complex – in which case the time limit is extended to 13 weeks.
Once we have received full planning permission we will ask you to sign our Project Agreement and make the first payment (a Deposit / Customisation Fee). We’ll then help you to determine the exact internal specification including any finishes & colours.
We will arrange for an intrusive site investigation, sampling, analysis and report, order service connections on your behalf (electricity / water supply & drainage / telecoms), design the foundations & below ground services and any additional landscape design requirements (charged at an agreed fixed fee or hourly rate).
Next we will order all the materials and components and start to fabricate your building. This normally takes a total of 8 weeks.
We will also organise for the foundations and below ground services to be installed. This element of the project is undertaken by a third-party ground works contractor that is local to the site. We can either tender this to three contractors or negotiate with a specific one. The tender/negotiation, cost approval, contract signing (JCT Minor Works), site mobilisation and undertaking the ground works would ideally occur whilst the building system is being fabricated in the factory.
Once complete our Approved Inspector will inspect the foundations and new service connections.
We will commence the assembly of the building, that will take a further 8 weeks once the site has been prepared and the foundations are ready. The assembly process is split into 3 key stages – Build A is the off-site fabrication of the insulated timber panel system and it’s erection over the first week, Build B (the next 4 weeks on site) is the construction of the building shell and Build C is the (optional) fitting out over the final 3 weeks.
If required, we will commence landscaping works after Build B stage is complete.
Once the building is complete, we will carry out a final inspection to ensure it is finished to the correct standard and that all the systems are working properly. We will then hand over the keys and an operation manual. You will need to ensure you have adequate insurance from this point.
After six months, we will make an inspection and make good any defects.
Throughout the pre-construction stages we will act as Architects (registered with the Architects Registration Board), with our role changing to that of a building contractor once the project starts on site. To ensure that the building is properly certified (for mortgage, lease or loan purposes), the building is inspected and certified and given a 10 year warranty.
We will also provide a Code for Sustainable Homes Assessment, SBEM calculations (Simplified Building Energy Model) or BREEAM. The cost of these assessments are identified in the project cost schedule.
If you have any questions at all, please call us on 0161 225 4000.