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Other Services

Other services offered by N J Lewis & Associates...

Additional services that N J Lewis & Associates Ltd can offer

N J Lewis & Associates Ltd, also offer several other services that help with additional issues that arise within the building industry as well as helping issues that come about when owning a domestic or commercial property. Please click on a service below for more information. If you are unable to find a service that you require, then please click here to contact a member of our team.

Click here for our Architectural Design services

N J Lewis and Associates Ltd have been involved with the design of buildings to assist clients in numerous projects over the past 20 years. The projects have varied according the specific needs of the client but have in common the need for careful consideration of the client’s requirements balanced with restrictions of the Planning system, the requirements of the Building Regulations and other authorities and the ability for the project to be built within a budget.

Architectural design will always involve some compromise. N J Lewis & Associates Ltd have yet to have the perfect site, no time limitations, no Planning restrictions, an unlimited budget and a contractor who is able to interpret the drawings and satisfy every requirement of the client.

In the absence of unlimited budgets and perfect sites N J Lewis & Associates Ltd have managed to design exciting, useful, cost effective spaces that have unlocked potential within buildings and allowed building owners to enjoy more space, or sometimes just making better use of their existing space.

Initial discussions

N J Lewis & Associates will meet with you to discuss your requirements. We offer a half hour free consultation during which time we will seek to understand the scale of the project and agree sufficient information for us to be able to provide you with a reasonably accurate fee quotation based on your requirements.

Site inspection

Where possible the initial inspection will take place at the site so that the particular issues and problems associated with the building project can be understood. It is particularly important to see the location within the context of the surrounding buildings and neighbourhood as these will affect Planning approval.

Defining the brief

We will respond to the initial meeting by producing a basic design brief that will attempt to clarify the specific issues that relate to the project and include preferred options as well as comment upon the possibility of Planning problems and preferred outcomes. The design brief may not be fully inclusive at this stage but is helpful as the basis for our initial quotation to you, the overall budget for the project and a timescale.

Outline costs

At this initial design brief stage we will provide a budget for the project. Budgeted costs are limited by the information available at that time and can be drastically changed by the quality and quantity of any item within the project. As an example an extension that includes a kitchen can vary by over £20,000 dependent upon the style, quality and supplier of the kitchen units.

Local Authority

Each Local Authority will have their own interpretation of the Planning Legislation and this will be outworked by an individual Planning officer. The Planning Officer will eventually make a recommendation to the Planning Committee but they will not be bound to accept that recommendation. As a result planning approval can never be guaranteed. Planning decisions can appear strange with massive, ugly, multi-storey projects gaining approval whilst a 3 metre side extension to a residential house is rejected.

N J Lewis & Associates Ltd will guide you through this difficult and often contentious area to hopefully arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.

Informal discussions

The planners offer the possibility of informal discussions and this can be helpful, although the Planning Officer will only be able to make recommendations and he cannot guarantee the success of an application.

Has anyone else done it?

Generally a good sign, but not a guarantee, is whether anyone else has built something similar. It will depend upon the age of the other construction and the specific considerations that were used to make the decision that granted permission for that project, if it ever was approved. It can however, be a helpful starting point. If no one else in your road who owns a similar house has ever constructed a loft extension it may be that there are structural issues or insufficient height to allow for one.

Conservation area

Conservation areas have special rules and the Local Authority will impose a heavier restriction upon the proposals. This may mean that the extension to the house around the corner outside of the conservation area is permitted whereas your extension is refused.

Building Regulations

Having produced the initial scheme and obtained Planning Approval N j Lewis & Associates Ltd will produce drawings to satisfy the Building Regulations. These drawings comprise detail of how the building will be built including the size of timber joists and the thickness and thermal insulation of the external walls.

Water Authority

Dependent upon the particular site details the Local Water Authority may need to be involved in the design of the extension. Where drains run from adjoining houses the drain becomes a common sewer and is the responsibility of the Water Authority. Drains can add substantially to the costs of projects where they have to be re-routed or require deeper foundations to protect them.

Health & Safety – CDM

If the project is for you on your own home the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007 will not apply. However, if the project is not for you on your own home any reasonably sized project (over 30 days on site) may require notification under the CDM Regulations.

Details for the drawing

The drawings produced by N J Lewis & Associates Ltd for Building Regulations will include all the important details related to the project that are necessary for the builder to price the basic structure. However the project is likely to include numerous items that are not necessarily included on our drawings. An example of this would be the location of the central heating radiators and boiler, or the location and number of electrical sockets.

Additional details can be added to the drawings to ensure that the price the contractor provides includes these other items.

Specification

A specification of works is a more detailed list of all the works and this can be provided to assist in tendering and controlling a project. Please contact N J Lewis & Associates Ltd for a price for this additional service.

On site assistance

For the majority of residential projects site visits will not be cost effective. However we can visit site during the project to assist you in managing the project on an hourly rate basis if required.
+ Concept

Initial discussions

N J Lewis & Associates will meet with you to discuss your requirements. We offer a half hour free consultation during which time we will seek to understand the scale of the project and agree sufficient information for us to be able to provide you with a reasonably accurate fee quotation based on your requirements.

Site inspection

Where possible the initial inspection will take place at the site so that the particular issues and problems associated with the building project can be understood. It is particularly important to see the location within the context of the surrounding buildings and neighbourhood as these will affect Planning approval.

Defining the brief

We will respond to the initial meeting by producing a basic design brief that will attempt to clarify the specific issues that relate to the project and include preferred options as well as comment upon the possibility of Planning problems and preferred outcomes. The design brief may not be fully inclusive at this stage but is helpful as the basis for our initial quotation to you, the overall budget for the project and a timescale.

Outline costs

At this initial design brief stage we will provide a budget for the project. Budgeted costs are limited by the information available at that time and can be drastically changed by the quality and quantity of any item within the project. As an example an extension that includes a kitchen can vary by over £20,000 dependent upon the style, quality and supplier of the kitchen units.
+ Planning

Local Authority

Each Local Authority will have their own interpretation of the Planning Legislation and this will be outworked by an individual Planning officer. The Planning Officer will eventually make a recommendation to the Planning Committee but they will not be bound to accept that recommendation. As a result planning approval can never be guaranteed. Planning decisions can appear strange with massive, ugly, multi-storey projects gaining approval whilst a 3 metre side extension to a residential house is rejected.

N J Lewis & Associates Ltd will guide you through this difficult and often contentious area to hopefully arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.

Informal discussions

The planners offer the possibility of informal discussions and this can be helpful, although the Planning Officer will only be able to make recommendations and he cannot guarantee the success of an application.

Has anyone else done it?

Generally a good sign, but not a guarantee, is whether anyone else has built something similar. It will depend upon the age of the other construction and the specific considerations that were used to make the decision that granted permission for that project, if it ever was approved. It can however, be a helpful starting point. If no one else in your road who owns a similar house has ever constructed a loft extension it may be that there are structural issues or insufficient height to allow for one.

Conservation area

Conservation areas have special rules and the Local Authority will impose a heavier restriction upon the proposals. This may mean that the extension to the house around the corner outside of the conservation area is permitted whereas your extension is refused.
+ Regulations

Building Regulations

Having produced the initial scheme and obtained Planning Approval N j Lewis & Associates Ltd will produce drawings to satisfy the Building Regulations. These drawings comprise detail of how the building will be built including the size of timber joists and the thickness and thermal insulation of the external walls.

Water Authority

Dependent upon the particular site details the Local Water Authority may need to be involved in the design of the extension. Where drains run from adjoining houses the drain becomes a common sewer and is the responsibility of the Water Authority. Drains can add substantially to the costs of projects where they have to be re-routed or require deeper foundations to protect them.

Health & Safety – CDM

If the project is for you on your own home the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007 will not apply. However, if the project is not for you on your own home any reasonably sized project (over 30 days on site) may require notification under the CDM Regulations.
+ Tendering

Details for the drawing

The drawings produced by N J Lewis & Associates Ltd for Building Regulations will include all the important details related to the project that are necessary for the builder to price the basic structure. However the project is likely to include numerous items that are not necessarily included on our drawings. An example of this would be the location of the central heating radiators and boiler, or the location and number of electrical sockets.

Additional details can be added to the drawings to ensure that the price the contractor provides includes these other items.

Specification

A specification of works is a more detailed list of all the works and this can be provided to assist in tendering and controlling a project. Please contact N J Lewis & Associates Ltd for a price for this additional service.
+ Construction

On site assistance

For the majority of residential projects site visits will not be cost effective. However we can visit site during the project to assist you in managing the project on an hourly rate basis if required.
Click here for our Border Disputes services

Sometimes the boundary between neighbours can cause a dispute to arise. Often the Land Registry is the only legal source for defining the location of boundaries. The scale of the drawings provided by the Land Registry is such that the thickness of a pen indicating the location of the boundary is the equivalent to approximately 300 millimetres onsite. The Land Registry drawings are therefore unable to offer more than cursory information regarding the real location of a boundary.

We can assist in finding and clarifying the location of the boundary.

Site Inspection

N J Lewis & Associates Ltd will attend site to find boundary markers that may exist to assist in defining the location of the original boundary or previous boundaries. A site inspection may require additional assistance from a contractor to clear away debris, such as if the property’s garden is overgrown preventing close inspection.

Other Information

As part of our investigation we would seek to locate other information that may assist in providing details of a boundary location. This may include the previous planning history and maps of the site and any other information that may be available including aerial photographic evidence.

Land Registry

Although the Land Registry plans may be inadequate for measuring the location of the boundary there are occasions when the drawings will indicate other features that can assist in locating the position of the boundary. Land Registry information may also be available for adjoining properties which can be obtained to ascertain whether the neighbours have different information available to them.