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Extension Refurb, architects, builders and such

Discussion in 'Building' started by Kaymo, 3 Jun 2019.

  1. Kaymo

    Kaymo

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    Hi,
    On the roof of the extension yesterday to see if anything could be done with the old polycarbonate skylights which have clouded over and found water squeezing out from between the layers of roofing felt, flashing coming away where the roof meets the house, and that in combination with the fact that the doors and windows need replaced made me think it might be time to bite the bullet on the big refurb!

    I believe the extension was built around 1989/90, its about 36sqm in an L-shape and the windows/patio doors and skylights probably all date from then. My thinking is to convert to a warm roof, possibly removing the sloping slate front (see pic below) so that insulation can extend to the front wall - the slate is nice, and obviously intended to match the main building roof, but it prevents the roof being fully insulate, obscures the 2nd floor windows etc. Extension DG and doors are all beginning to fail, and the metal frames are very cold in winter and the render is boss, so probably makes sense to do all this at once. This then leads in to thinking about whether to consider external insulation, before re-rendering, my wife starts to talk about replacing the floor tiles and I wonder whether to insulate the floor beforehand and thus it all snowballs!

    If I could pack in the job for a few months I'd love to tackle this myself, but that's just not on the cards, so I need to think about getting people in. I've never commissioned a job as big as this before and not sure what ballpark cost I am getting into, and also whether this is a job for a building company, or if I should get an architect involved, or if I should just work with individual trades?

    As we don't want to change the layout/floor area, and I have a fair idea of what I want done and at least some of the options, I am wondering if architect is overkill?

    Is there a saving to be made by working with individual trades v a multi-trade company/builder?

    Not done anything like this before so welcome any thoughts.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Notch7

    Notch7

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    I would say get somebody who can do the whole job, the difficulty is finding the right person.

    I would say find a local 1 man band builder who has the contacts to call in good subbies to do the soecialist trades.

    Have a look at orangeries online since if you remove the tiled skirt you will need some form of fascia. There are both traditional and contemporary options to consider, it depends on your taste and how much you want to change what you have.

    You are really talking about a new flat roof so will need a buildings regs application abd it will need to comply with part L, so a 0.18 u value.
     
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  3. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    An amateur's view from here....unless you're completely up to date with building regs, CDM etc. and can be on site at all times while work is going on then you'd be very ill-advised not to appoint a main contractor (local builder is fine doesn't need to be a multinational)- he/she will then look after all the trades, co-ordinate their work, settle the squabbles between the plumber & the spark over who gets first go at the easy pipe/cable routes etc etc etc. Price-wise it'll probably cost the same as pulling down and starting again (so budget £1000/sq m). I can see why you'd want rid of the slated bits but without them the whole thing would look much less attractive (worth photoshopping that pic and having a think about it).

    Might be worth having a chat with an architect just in case they have any bright ideas to better arrange the internal layout- I think some firms have a free half hour type scheme but don't quote me. Otherwise, have a look for someone who draws plans but isn't an architect- your scheme is more about compliance with regs than look and feel (except the roof :) ) . And think quite hard about the layout- now is your chance (and the wife's chance) to reorganise completely if you fancy it. Lanark probably gets less sun than I do in Darlington but you could think about bifolds on the end wall instead of the French windows on the side, maybe go for a low pitch slate roof with glass skylights in this time (yes slate has a minimum pitch, you could put GRP on the low pitch roof as the main weatherproofing then slate on top for display purposes only)

    Main element of cost control will be deciding what you want, get technical plans done then stick to them- variations are always expensive.
     
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  4. Kaymo

    Kaymo

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    Thanks guys, some good tips.

    I should clarify what I mean by refurb. I'm also curious as to what defines it as a refurb for building regulations to kick in. For example, obviously it is if I do it all at once, but if I get the roof done while we are still in the space, the doors and windows done later, and space things out in a logical way, would it still count as a refurb or just individual jobs?

    Sounds like from what Notch said that a new flat roof counts as building regulations anyway so perhaps there is nothing to be gained by separating the jobs out, but I am just thinking that in that case I would only have to concern myself with the regs for the roof, not as a whole extension.

    Oldbutnotdead - You have a good eye! I didn't mention it in the post, but yes we are planning to extend the doors. I have already knocked out the wall on the left hand side of the picture and build a sloping rockery to get a feel for how it would be if the left window was full length doors. Got a very good supply quote for triple glazed wooden sliding doors, not much more than PVC DG, so plan is to have doors on both ends of the part that juts out the extension. I wondered about a sloping roof, but I can't see any way to get even a low pitch, as being an old house the 2nd floor windows are all quite low.
     
  5. jonbey

    jonbey

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    Don't waste money on an architect. I'd go for a general builder, ideally a recommendation.
    What is the floor? If solid concrete then insulating will be a bigger task, if suspended timber then pretty easy.
    Really all you're looking at is insulating the floor, replacing the roof and changing the windows?
     
  6. paulrockliffe

    paulrockliffe

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    There's no such thing as a refurb from a Building Regs perspective, they see each element of the work individually. For your roof there's a percentage of area I think that triggers the requirement for regs, it doesn't matter what it is for your purposes because you're replacing the whole roof, so it needs to comply to current regs. Same with the doors and windows, new door, new regs. Anything structural will need regs, the main things will be structural design and fire protection for any beams.

    The regs are irrelevant really for your doors etc because you'll struggle to buy and fit them that don't comply and you want them to comply. For the roof, they may add some cost, but the purpose is primarily heat retention, so you'll get it back eventually. Probably. Either way, you don't get a choice, so don't worry about it beyond ensuring someone else is on the hook if the design doesn't comply.

    If you get a builder involved it's really implicit that the work they do should comply, but certainly worth tying payment to regs approval and consider whether you should do this via a full plans application rather than on a building notice. Full plans will give you more certainty that the proposed design complies before anything gets built, but does involve getting plans drawn, which your builder may not want to do and obviously costs.
     
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  7. Kaymo

    Kaymo

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    Thanks Paul for the clarification. From following other posts, and even from reading some of the regs I had been under the mistaken impression that there was some kind of trigger where if it became classed as a refurb you needed to look at all of the elements together. If it is just the individual elements then that makes more sense now. The U values etc are easy to calculate, and I know that the doors/windows we are looking at are well within, but you make a good point about things like structural fire regs which I hadn't really considered and is currently beyond my knowledge base.

    Thanks also for the tip on planning.
     
  8. Kaymo

    Kaymo

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    Jonbey - Part of the floor, in the dining/kitchen area appears to be suspended, but the raised part that juts out is a solid concrete slab, which would obviously be messy.
     
  9. Leofric

    Leofric

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    :LOL: Architects work in conjunction with builders. The builder might want an architect to obtain building regulations approval. Builders often ask if a job has building regs approval before they provide a quotation.
    Get an architect or architectural technician to obtain building regs approval and a good small local builder to build it.
     
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  10. Kaymo

    Kaymo

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    I think I have taken on board that if I go with the large scale renovation I definitely need a builder at least, and possibly an architect or architectural technician.

    On the other hand the potential cost and complexity of it all is making me question the value of a full refurb, and being in a conservation area I have to add in planning approval and possible rejection of any change to how the roof looks. Definitely need to get the doors and windows done, but starting to wonder whether I might be better to just diy repair the roof and look into one of those roof repair coatings to go over the top.

    Roof repair, new skylight domes, then get someone to do the windows and doors, tiling, and a bit of decor would be transformative with relatively little disruption and relatively straightforward building regulations and planning approval for the new doors - possibly less than £10k all in. If I add in the new roof, ripping up concrete for ufh or an even more extensive renovation the cost and disruption will be significantly magnified! I'd obviously see a benefit from the insulation but I would never come close to seeing a return on that level of investment from energy savings, and instead of ufh I could buy slippers! :mrgreen:

    Obviously need to give this some serious thought, but these forums are great as a sounding board so thanks all!
     
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  11. jonbey

    jonbey

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    I agree if you are doing a big job, but for a refurb, don't see the point. If the builder cannot be trusted to build in line with regulations and work with the local inspector to get every stage inspected and signed off, then they aren't going to follow an architects plan properly either!

    I did a 60m2 single story extension last year - living room, kitchen, removing 2 chimneys, gas works, electrics (consumer unit replaced), mains moved, drainage moved, windows closed up and new windows and doors opened. Builder took care of it all, it was all inspected at each stage (I booked the council inspector myself so could speak direct to them, but didn't need to).

    I did it this way because a local architect / tech drawer advised me to - they told me I didn't need them, I just needed a good builder. But ... they did also suggest I get ready made roof trusses as these come with the building reg calcs - this was the only reason to have drawings done. So maybe as you're replacing the roof, you might need some calcs done.
     
  12. Leofric

    Leofric

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    You can't guarantee you would recoup the cost of an extension in the increased value of the house either , but only you can decide. Good luck anyway with whatever you decide to do.
     
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