And we’re off!
I am significantly poorer after the first stage of getting the extension started. I’ve just written cheques totalling £1300 and we’ve not even broken ground. Ouch.
So, here’s a recap of where we’re at and how I’ve spent so much. (Quite a skill I own think you’ll agree)
Second step, getting the architect round. Well ours is a structural engineer who we’ve used before. He’s really reliable and knows his stuff. He’ll hereby be known as Architect Man.
Third step, spending lots of money (and committing to building the extension)
We specifically didn’t want to get into planning permission territory – it seems to us to be a bit of a faff, and long winded. I’m quite impatient. So we told Architect Man to plan our extension so it falls just inside the boundary for having to get planning permission. It actually worked brilliantly for us as in terms of size we’ve not compromised at all.
He suggested that although we didn’t need planning permission it’d be worth getting a Certificate of Lawful Development from the Council. This pricey certificate is basically a big tick to say that the plans are such that we don’t need planning permission and that the Council are happy that we aren’t about to build some kind of 70’s tower block. The certificate also means that if we ever sell, we’ve got proof that it was all above board. This cost us £98.
We also had to write a cheque for a building inspector to take on our project and make sure that it’s all kosher as we go along. By all accounts they’re jolly nice people and pop out two or three times during the build. We have to pay £600 for the privilege of their time. I won’t be offering them a cuppa!
And then we had to pay Architect Man. The one cheque I didn’t begrudge. He was great. I think we were pretty easy clients, in that we knew what we wanted and only had one round of amends to his drawings. I can imagine some people go back and forth for months. He was great in that he was quick, did everything over email (apart from the initial visit) and filled in all of the Council paperwork for us as well as delivering it! He charged £650.
So, we’re up and running – a bit poorer but with plans, certificates and an emptier cheque book.