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From Planning Permission to Choosing your builder

Getting planning permission or a lawful development certificate can take somewhere between 8-10 weeks depending on your local authority, so it’s always a good idea to apply early if you can. However, once you have your plans drawn and you know that your building project has officially been approved, there is still one final stage before work can begin: the building regulation process.

During this process, we will draw up detailed designs along with construction notes ensuring the designs follow building regulations. You’ll also need to consider hiring a structural engineer, a CCTV surveyor and an approved inspector.

What is a CCTV survey and do I need one? It’s not very glamorous, but a CCTV survey lets you know what’s going on in your drains.

A surveyor will place a camera inside your drainage system and then write you a detailed report that covers the location and condition of your existing drainage, and should include information on whether it is public or private. If your drains are public and you want to build on or near them, you will need to submit an application to your local council.

Do I need a structural engineer for an extension The simple answer is YES! Structural engineers play a vital role in ensuring the foundations are correct for the construction process, and will provide your contractor with structural calculations and drawings to comply with building regulations.

Where can I get building regulation drawings drawn up? Some projects benefit from adding some detail to the initial designs, such as construction notes, specifications and scope of works. 71 Design are able to incorporate these elements into your plans for a small extra fee.

Who oversees my building project? You’ll need to ask the local authority planning office to provide an approved inspector to oversee how closely your contractors stick to regulations during your building project.

They will be the ones who issue you with a certificate at the end of the project, which you will need to hold onto for when you come to sell the property. This provides proof to the next buyer that the proper permissions have been obtained and the building work was carried out to the correct standards.

How many builders should I ask to tender for my project? We recommend that you invite at least three contractors to pitch for your project.

We work with a small team of trusted contractors and have taken time to research each one thoroughly. We appreciate how important it is to request references and check their financial positions (you don’t want anyone going bust and packing up before they’re done), and we can advise you who might be the best choice for your project.

It is worth noting that before starting any work you should insist that a JCT contract (The Joint Contracts Tribunal, also known as the JCT, produces standard forms of contract for construction, guidance notes and other standard documentation for use in the construction industry in the United Kingdom) is drawn up, we can assist you with this part of the process.

So if you have plans to add an extension to your house, make a loft conversion or add any kind of building work to your existing property in the New Forest area, contact us for a chat on 0800 610 2271 or book a FREE no-obligation consultation online at and ask how 71 Design can help guide you through the building process.

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