Last night cult classic Grand Designs hit our screens again, showing a fantastic collection of ambitious building projects and calamitous events that host Kevin McCloud tries not to revel in.
The opportunity to build your own home is the dream for many; ideas that started out as conversations around a dinner table, little drawings, doodles and ideas can be turned into reality - albeit several headaches later. But what really goes into building your own property? And is it as simple or as hard as you think?
Every new building, extension, and conservatory must comply with the Building Regulations in your area. In England and Wales this is referred to as Part L of the Building Regulations, whereas in Scotland it is referred to as Section 6 of Building Standards. In Northern Ireland it is Part F.
True to its name, Design Stage occurs pre-construction and involves qualified energy assessors examining the design plans of your proposed new property or extension. They will look at elements affecting the building’s energy efficiency such as: building materials used, heating systems, energy sources, insulation and many more.
This is where their expertise comes to the forefront, as they use Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) to determine the energy efficiency rating of the property. If it does not meet compliance, they will model different variations of the proposed design and advise you on the relevant changes to be made, which could be anything from the type of boiler to be used, to the number of windows present.
Once the assessors are satisfied the proposed building meets the standards laid out by Building Regulations/ Standards, a predicted Energy Performance Certificate will be issued confirming this. And now…. construction can be started!
Congratulations, your property is finished! There’s of course that big chunk in between where the wrong flooring’s turned up and so forth, but the best/ worst is over.
Another energy assessment will be conducted, using the final plans and specifications of the completed structure along with an onsite air pressure test. Providing nothing has changed and the building still meets compliance, a final Energy Performance Certificate will be issued which either you or your architect can submit to Building Control.
Occasionally people have made changes during construction which means that the building no longer meets compliance. This means having to change certain elements, which is always more expensive, and one of the reasons we encourage clients to involve us as early on in the process as possible.
Once you have final approval from Building Control, you can move in, sell or rent your property. You’ve done all the (hopefully not too hard) work and now you can rest up and enjoy your new home or investment.
Article Published: 20th September 2018