How To Improve Your Property And Increase It’s Value

Interior kitchen design Edinburgh

Making Property Improvements

Improvements such as internal alterations, extensions or conversions can be a great way to make a property more appealing and increase its value. But do you need a Building Warrant or Planning Permission? Or any other consents? How long will it all take and what costs are involved? It can be confusing and daunting so we’ve put together this step by step guide to get you started.

Step One: Appoint a Design Professional

It’s a good idea to find out what consents you will require to have in place before starting work on your project. To do so, we advise to get in touch with a local Architect or Architectural Technologist through the Architects Registration Board or Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists. Architects and Technologists both offer domestic services and will usually arrange a meeting with you to discuss how you can progress your idea to reality before providing a fee quote for their involvement. You may wish to obtain more than one quote and remember to take into account the services and level of expertise they are offering as well as costs. Think about whether you want to appoint someone to assist you in obtaining consents only or if you would like professional support on your project through to completion (more on this later).

Step Two: Initial Proposals

Once appointed, your design professional will need to carry out a detailed survey of the property and prepare drawings of the existing building. They will then develop an initial proposal, using their expertise of the Building and Planning Regulations to ensure the design complies, thereby increasing likelihood of obtaining consents more quickly. They will likely meet with you again at this stage to go over the proposed design and obtain your approval before finalising it and taking it further. We would advise clients at this stage to be as clear as they can about what they are looking for to avoid design change fees.

Step Three: Obtaining consents

Your consultant will then prepare the drawings required for the relevant consents you need. Depending on what’s required and the complexity of your project, they may need to prepare proposed floor plans, roof plans, sections, details and elevations along with the already prepared existing drawings, and gather any other relevant material such manufacturers product information. All of this information will be collated and submitted to the council as a Planning Application and/or Building Warrant Application on your behalf. Don’t forget the council charge a fee for applications which is based the estimated project cost; it is important to take this into account when planning your budget.

Once your application has been received by the council, they will assign a Planning Consultant and/or Building Control Officer to your project. Because Edinburgh is a particularly busy city with lots of building works being undertaken on an ongoing basis, it can take around 10 weeks for the City of Edinburgh Council to review Warrant applications. However there are other things you and your design professional can get on with in the meantime to ensure your project is progressing.

Step Four: obtain costs and appoint a builder

Your design professional will prepare documents for pricing your project at this stage and can assist you to appoint a builder so that you are ready to start works as soon as consents are obtained. Again we would advise clients to obtain more than one quote from builders and to use a reputable firm rather than the cheapest, to ensure your project is completed to a high standard.

Meanwhile your consultant will also keep in touch with the council and liaise with them to progress the application. Usually the building control officer will respond to the warrant application with a list of points for your consultant to address which they will do by making amendments to the drawings and submitting revised information.

Interior image of domestic project, Scotland Street Edinburgh, designed by Detail Design Solutions, Architectural Technologists in Edinburgh

Step Five: Consents Granted

When the Building Control Officer is ready to grant the warrant, they will request paper copies of all the drawings and then your consents will be granted and you can begin works. If you are on a tight budget you may end your consultant’s appointment at this stage.

Step Six: Begin Works

Building Warrant drawings can be used by your builder for those who do not wish to continue professional design involvement at this stage. Otherwise, your design consultant will prepare detailed Construction Drawings to give your builder, which contain all the relevant information they will require to carry out the works. Continuing professional involvement at this stage also means they can be on hand throughout the build to liaise with the builder, address any queries, inspect works on a regular basis and inspect the finished job to ensure it has been done satisfactory, which may make a difference to ensuring your project runs smoothly.

Step Seven: Project Completion

The Building Control Officer will inspect the finished works to ensure compliance, as will your design professional if still appointed. Then all there is to do is add your own finishing touches such as a lick of paint, then sit back, relax and enjoy your new space!

Our expert team of Architectural Technologists can help you improve your home and more importantly increase the value of your property.

 

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