Many home owners are looking for extra space in their home and often the most sensible solution is a home extension. This is the ideal time of year to start to plan your home extension ready for a build in the spring or summer. There is some time required before you can start your home extension the planning stage usually takes around three months. Depending if you need planning permission and how long it takes to finalise a design with your architect. Your architect may also need to involve the planning department and often a structural engineer to conform to the building regulations. All home extensions require approval from the building regulations department although an independent building control officer can be used. Usually a home extension will require a full plans submission building regulation application although it can be done under a building notice but this is not really advisable as issues can arise during the build that have been resolved during the design stage.
Many home and property owners rely on their architect to design their new roof and they are the right people for the job. They will look at the existing structure and tie it in with the new home extension or roof alterations but for more complex roof designs it is always best to employ the services of a structural engineer. Many people are put off by the thought of additional fees but the majority of these types of projects require input from a structural engineer so the additional costs can be manageable. This has to be considered along with the build costs, a good structural engineer will often be able to come up with a clever design. Their design could potentially save thousands of pounds in material and labour costs and also can allow for a more impressive design allowing for the opening up of rooms and the removal of intrusive load bearing walls and other structural elements. With the use of items like cranked steel beams and steel ridge beams designs can be far grander and sometimes at less cost. So it is worth considering all the option rather than going for a less impressive off the peg design.
The recent snow often highlights roof and gutter issues, the additional weight placed on roofs and gutters can often be the enough to make already defective roofs and gutters show more visible defects. Wet snow puts a great additional load on to roofs and can also cause serious structural defects to roofs that have been badly built or suffered poor repairs and alterations. For most home owners it is more likely to be simple issues like slipped slates or leaking gutters. The important thing is to take the time after the snow has melted to inspect your roof this can be done in the loft space checking for leaks daylight or any staining or cracked, spilt or damaged structure. Take the time to inspect your roof externally look for slipped slates or tiles sagging gutters lose flashings or other lead work. Taking a positive if you do have a minor defect with your guttering or roof your roofer or builder will be able to inspect the roof structure while they carry out any minor repairs. With roof or gutter repairs it is always important that they are attended to quickly to avoid any further damage or extra unnecessary expense. Most property owners rarely check their roof structures particularly with period properties they can suffer from both dry and wet rot. Wet rot is of course a damaging and costly issue but dry rot is far more serious, in roof voids it can become established without being noticed. The danger of dry rot is its ability to spread through a property and cause potentially tens of thousands of pounds of damage. It can spread to other structural timber like floor joists that are both expensive and invasive to repair and replace. So it is important that roof leaks are attended to quickly and thoroughly and the area is checked and any wet or dry rot is removed and the area treated with a suitable timber treatment.
Many factories and commercial buildings need to be altered or improved to keep them efficient for their purpose. One of the main concerns of site services or facility managers is that all or certain areas of their operations will be out of service while building works are being carried out. Good building contractors who have experience in working in this type of commercial environment will not only be good at the physical building work but also be able to assist with scheduling and other associate processes. They will be able to provide good site managers as well as all the required insurances, risk and method statements or RAM’s as they are sometimes called and have a good knowledge and understanding of the required building regulations and other statutory regulations. They will also have teams of builders and other construction trades who are available to work out of hours to ensure minimum disruption to the industrial or commercial facility. Many building projects can save thousands of pounds in efficiency savings and stop facility manager and site service managers from falling foul of safety and other regulations. They can also cause costs in lost production sometimes thousands of pounds per lost day, so it is important to make sure that these projects are well planned and that your main building contractor has the required skills to bring your building project in on time and in budget,
It is very essential to have a good working environment and an excellent interior in any company. As an employer it is your responsibility to provide your employees with best facilities and good setting. Research shows that employees of companies having excellent interior facilities perform more effectively than those with boring and monotonous interiors. A good interior attracts many potential clients too.
A good workplace need to be comfortable for the staff and welcoming for the clients. It is essential to have the office space suitable both for the staff and clients. Re-organizing your office and making some minor office refurbishment will help you attain that. Below are 10 key components of a successful office refurbishment;
1. Consult all stakeholders and inform them of the adjustments that will be made and how it will impact them.
2. Everyone needs to be involved. Managing directors may have the role of approving designs and charges, financials directors create a budget, office managers could provide valuable input on what the staffs actually want.
3. Choose one individual to be in charge of the whole refurbishment process. The person needs to be responsible, great communicator and experienced. The person should be able to stay within the budget and schedule.
4. Flooring is the foundation of every interior refurbishment. Choose a good flooring material and colour to make your office look elegant and classy. Bad flooring can make everything appear messy. Replace carpet flooring with new ones or if you have tiles or wooden floor get them polished to conceal areas which cannot be repaired.
5. When refurbishing an office, re-paint the walls. A successful refurbishment should reflect more on what the business is all about. You can use a different colour scheme. You can use wallpapers to highlight walls of the office in the best possible way. Different areas of the office need to be painted with diverse colours and themes depending on the role of that section.
6. Worn out furniture need to be replaced or repaired by an expert carpenter. Office furniture tends to become stained, marked or ripped due to daily use.
7. For a successful office refurbishment security has to be considered. Security is a chief concern for any company. Your previous security measures might have become outdated. Ensure you get all the safety tools placed at the appropriate exit spots and according to your renovated office design.
8. Partitioning an office provides many benefits such as privacy. It is very important to keep customer details private and confidential. Partition enables you to work at your desk making it impossible for your co-workers to observe what you are doing. This is very crucial in case you deal with sensitive customer details. Getting a customer’s trust is very essential in any company so ensuring their details safety is crucial in being successful.
9. Having an office partition will also reduce noise thus increasing concentration. It enables workers to concentrate on work than what is going on in the office.
10. A successful refurbishment should be designed for the future. It needs to be able to adapt to future adjustments that could happen at any time. Designing your office in this manner makes your company seem more modern and future oriented to customers and staff.
Author bio: Mark enjoys talking about different office refurbishment projects on behalf of companies such as www.primesolutionsuk.co.uk.
Many home and business owners are looking to get their building projects underway for the spring and summer of 2013. Larger building projects like home extensions and structural alterations will require building regulations approval and planning permission. This will mean that the majority of these projects will require drawings. So if you want to get your building project underway ready for the spring and summer the best time to start is now. If you need to get drawings done this will take at least a few weeks before you can submit them for planning or building regulations approval. So it is best to allow a 4months to get your project designed agreed with the relative authorities. This gives you a good opportunity to find a building contractor to carry out the work. Good builders are usually booked for at least a month in advance and the building tender and quotation process usually takes a minim of four weeks. So most builders will need at least eight weeks from when you first enquire to getting their team on site. Chose a building contractor who has experience in the type of project you are undertaking with most builders they will specialise in two or three fields of expertise. These are usually interlinked so for instance if your builder has experience in period properties they will have a good understanding of damp issues, structural issues and matching period details. If your contractor specialises in contemporary structures they will be used to working with glass, steel structures and modern building techniques like specialist renders and finishes like cedar cladding. Ask to see projects that they have been they have undertaken previously and speak to some of the professionals they work with. Most building contractors will have an alliance with other property professionals like surveyors and architects. Again building contractors will be able to recommend professionals that work in their area of expertise so a building contractor who specialises in conservation will be able to recommend a specialist conservations surveyor.
Older properties often suffer from some structural issues, some serious and some are just a matter of an ongoing schedule of maintenance. Older buildings are often designed for a way of use or living that is less suited to modern needs and can benefit and become far more useable once structural alterations have been carried out. You will need to inform the local building control department of your local authority before you carry out any structural alterations. They will require calculations from a structural engineer to prove that the building works and alterations will confirm to part “A” of the UK building regulations this covers the structural element of the UK building regulations. If you are carrying out structural repairs it will be less lightly that you will require the involvement of a building control officer but it is always best to check. It is also important that you chose a competent builder to carry out the works. It is best to use a building contractor who has a good understanding of the repair techniques and specialists materials used in structural building repairs. This only comes from experience so select a builder who is used to carrying out structural repairs. The most common structural alteration is the removal of load bearing walls and the insertion of a steel beam or RSJ. Again these will need to be specified and calculations completed to make sure you have a beam strong enough to stand up to the loads placed upon it. A structural engineer will take into account the loadings and weight transferred down from the roof structure and any issues like point loading. Point loading is when there is an area of the new steel beam or RSJ that will be placed under a greater load at one particular point. This is usually when another structural member like a roof support or joists are transferring loads down onto the new beam. So make sure you do not suffer from an inexperienced contractor who is looking to either completed the job quickly or undercut his competition by taking short cuts or avoiding the involvement of a structural engineer or building control officer.
Home extensions have become increasing popular with a more stagnant housing market as many home owners chose to improve rather than move. The increase in the number of home extensions being built has also been increased due to the relaxation of planning laws in recent laws. Also home extension designs have improved along with technical advances in materials and building techniques. This has allowed architects, homeowners and building contractors to indulge in more contemporary and stylish home extensions. Also homeowners are looking to active open plan living spaces for entertaining and family living space. The use of glass and incorporating indoor outdoor living has lead to a popular addition to many home extensions of Bi- folding doors. Also many home owners are following the lead of large house builders and property developers by adding French doors and Juliet baloneys to upper floors of their homes and extensions. These are obviously popular when home owners enjoy large gardens or open aspect views. Many are also adding features like under floor heating to avoid taking up space in their new home extension with radiators. Often it is now the case that home extensions are opened up into the main house by inserting an RSJ or steel beam to allow for the removal of large sections of masonry walls. Also ridge beams and other structural designs are being used more commonly to create open ceilings and warm roof design. With these increasingly complex designs using a variety of materials and technologies it is becoming increasingly difficult to rely on a one man bands to tie together all these elements. Many home owners are opting for design and build companies who can provide a one stop solution for the whole building project. This gives the home or building owner not only one point of contact but also more control over costs and extras as design and build companies tend to take extra care when designing and pricing works to avoid extra costs. If you employ an architect and separate main contractor builder there is always a chance of additional costs if there are issues with the design or the contractor has not fully understood some items of the designs or ground works.
When carrying out building refurbishments it is important to plan out the end result that you would like to achieve. This is sometimes done by professionals like architects or surveyors but often it is left to the property owner and building contractor to finalise the specifications. This needs to be managed carefully because you do not want the works to not comply with the UK building regulations and other statutory requirements that can potentially cause expensive re-working if not done correctly. So your building contractor will need to have a good understanding of the building regulations and other statutory requirements. These are not always well known or understood by some building contractors, you will be able to get a feel for your builders knowledge by asking them some simple questions about the UK building regulations for instance what sections covers the structural elements? It is section “A”. There are other regulations for instance if you are going to use a computer screen in a commercial environment you will need to select the correct light fitting to meet the required regulations. This is not always known to some building contractors and could potentially have you paying for the same item of work twice. Again as with most things it can be a case of buy cheap buy twice.
Most property owners need various building refurbishments and repairs doing from time to time. These range from simple roof repairs through to electrical and building works. Many homeowners and in fact some building contractors are either unsure or unaware that even some repairs will trigger the need to inform the local authority building control department. This is usually done through a building regulations building notice. These vary in costs dependant on the value of the works being carried out, the building inspector will usually be required to conduct a site visit at various stages throughout the building works to check each element of the works as items are covered in. They will want to see drainage, insulation footings details and structural elements that fall under part “A” of the UK building regulations. Good building contractors will take care of managing the building notice as part of their service but ultimately the responsibility lies with the property owner. So make sure you check with your local building control department if your works will require a building regulations building notice application. Some works may not require a building regulations application when you start the works but a change to the works if an unforeseen issue arises can trigger the requirement for an application. Very often this is an issue under part “L”, of the UK building regulations. This is because if more than 25% of any external surface for examples roofs, floors or walls are being repaired it will require a building notice and site inspections.