FAQ

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions from our clients.

Following Your Consultation

Following your free home consultation our team will upload your quote to the portal. You will receive your log in details via email and you will be able to log in and track your quote. Here you can accept your quote and one of the team will call you to book your preferred survey date.

Our team can give you the current availability over the phone for all appointments and surveys. Our current time scale for home consultations are within 7 days and surveys are within 7 days following your consultation.

This all depends on the size of your property, most surveys take between 2-3 hours for a 3 or 4 bed home. Don’t worry though, we don’t need you for the whole time. A quick catch up at the beginning of the survey and then your surveyor will get to work!

Following Your Survey

Within 28 working days from the date of your survey  you will receive the first draft drawing ready for your zoom.

They will be uploaded to your portal and you will be notified via email. This is when you will be required to pay the remaining 50% balance invoice before booking your zoom or face to face review to review and make any amendments and changes to the drawings. Don’t worry amendments are expected at this time to create the perfect design for you.

We understand that this can be a daunting venture for our clients, so we have made a video which will hopefully explain our process in a little more detail:

CLICK HERE TO VIEW –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7fJfa3CAac

Most projects take around 6-8 months to complete. The design process is usually 4 weeks to get you into the planning phase. Each local authority has its own time scale ( up to 12 weeks)  and unfortunately this is out of our hands, although we will chase the application and update you throughout this stage. After this is the building control phase, here you will gain your structural reports within 3 weeks and then you are into the final phase of your project – building control approval. This is now up to you to decide if you would like to choose private building control which takes up to 3 weeks or local authority which takes up to 12 weeks.

Your First Draft

Don’t worry, amendments are expected at this stage. We will ensure you have the perfect design ready to submit on your zoom or face to face review.

Your final invoice for this stage will be uploaded to the portal with your first draft drawing. This is the remaining 50% for the design and planning phase. Once cleared our team will call you to arrange the zoom or face to face review.

 We will make any amendments you wish within the original scope of works while on the zoom or face to face review. You will then get a chance to review these drawings and make any final tweaks that you wish before we submit the design to planning. More complex designs are subject to discussion at the consultation stage in regards to amendments and changes.

We will do the initial ( and hopefully final) amendments on the zoom or face to face review which will be arranged by our team with you. You will then receive the amended design via your portal and you can download this to review it. You can then make any tweaks via email or you can call the office to do this over the phone. You can also arrange a second zoom for 95.00+Vat if you wish to do so.

Your final design drawings have been uploaded to the portal for your approval. Log in to approve your drawings and we will prepare and submit your drawings and planning application within 7 working days.

Final Draft Drawings

Once you have approved your drawings via the portal our team will begin to prepare your planning application ready for submitting to the local authority within 7 working days of your approval.

You will receive an email directly from the planning portal with a link to pay the application. Some councils may require you to pay over the phone, but the instructions will be clear within the email.

This isn’t the Plans 2 Extend Portal it’s the planning portal! Its where we submit and manage your planning application that is linked to your local authority.

You sure will, once paid you will get an email confirmation as receipt of payment.

We wish we could give you a straight forward answer, but every local authority is different. Usually the planning application is decided within 6-8 weeks but lately some local authority’s take up to12 weeks to make a decision.

During Planning Process

Woo hoo, your planning application has been submitted. Its now time to sit back and wait for the decision. The local authority will validate your application within 21 days and once we receive this we will upload it to your portal.

This is a letter that acknowledges that your application is within the planning system. It contains all the important juicy stuff for your application.. decision date, planning officers name and also any reference numbers.

Don’t panic, sometimes the local authority require a little more information about your application in order to tick those boxes and validate your application. The team at Plans 2 Extend will discuss the letter with you if needed or the team will complete any additional information required in order to validate the application.

Brilliant news! Your planning application will be given to a planning officer and they will start works to make the decision on your application. Most applications have a neighbourhood consultation period – this means any affected neighbours may receive a letter or a sign will go up around your property to notify neighbours. This gives your neighbours a chance to support or object to your proposals, any objections could bear weight on your planning application so being extra nice over the next few weeks might get you good neighbour points!
Your planning officer could also attend your site, usually they make contact first to gain entry to your gardens, but if this isn’t required they may turn up and take photos from the road side. They don’t need to talk to you and they will only be around for a short while.
Once the on site assessment has been carried out the planning officer will create their written report in preparation for this to be signed off by their manager. If they have any concerns with the proposals then the Planning officer will contact Plans 2 Extend to discuss. We are then given a chance to discuss any concerns with yourself and make any amendments as necessary or give any supporting information/evidence to gain that approval!

Your planning officer could also attend site (around week 4-5) to assess the application, plans 2 extend will request that the planning officer arranges any visits through the agent – but they may contact you direct. You may be asked to leave a side gate unlocked for access to the rear of the property.

Once the on site assessment has been carried out the planning officer will create their written report, in preparation for their senior managers ‘sign off’ – if the application is recommended for approval, the decision is issued around 14 days following their site visit – if the planning officer has any concerns with the proposals, they will advise prior to determination to allow the chance for Plans 2 Extend & their client to discuss & provide any amendments necessary or supporting information/evidence to suggest that the application should be approved.

Oh no! If the objection has any planning weight (I.e proves that the application contravenes planning policy) then the appointed officer will contact Plans 2 Extend to discuss. Usually simple amendments eradicate any concerns and we move forward to the approval. Not every objection makes a threat on the planning application, only the objections that are viable.

It doesn’t happen very often but planning applications can be selected for committee hearing – where a hearing / vote will take place to approve or refuse the application. Plans 2 Extend can make a statement on your behalf ( Enquire for fees)  You can also register to provide a statement at the hearing.

A member of the team will contact you to discuss any concerns raised, and we will move forward with supporting information/evidence to eradicate any concerns. The planning officer may make amendment suggestions and along with your approval Plans 2 Extend will provide amendments inline with the planning officers request at no extra cost to you. However should you disagree with the opinion of the planning officer and wish to challenge a potential recommendation for refusal then charges may apply.  Plans 2 Extend will advise of any additional fees prior to commencement of such works.

These are set by the local authority to restrict certain aspects of the approval such as materials to be similar to that of the existing dwelling. A further application ‘discharge of conditions’ application may be required to remove conditions from the decision notice – Plans 2 Extend can assist with this ( charges may apply)

For new builds and full planning applications – further applications may be required, plans 2 extend will advise all clients of any further application requirements on receipt of planning decision notices.
Plans 2 Extend have an impressive rate of successful applications being approved. Our team are not afraid to challenge planning officers if we do not agree and our planning consultant is on hand every step of the way. Please have every confidence in the team in negotiating on your behalf to successfully achieve your desired scheme.

Plans 2 Extend has an impressive rate of successful applications being approved over the last 5 years! If your proposals are challenged, please have every confidence that your application will be negotiated on your behalf with every aim to achieve your desired scheme!

Don’t worry, its not always a bad route to go down. The planning officer may suggest to withdraw the application and usually a free application submission that is based around the same proposals is given. This allows our team and yourself to discuss amendments and provide these to the planning officer along with any supporting documents. If you do not wish to do this, we can also ask for an extension of time – this is subject to the planning officers agreement.

We hate refusals as much as you do, nobody likes to be told no! We will discuss your options with you and see if there is any further evidence we can provide to support the application. We also can make amendments to do changes such as reducing schemes to gain the approval. The local authority will work with us and guide us hopefully to an approval. You are entitled to appeal to the planning inspectorate, but you need to understand this can be a time consuming and costly process.

It is unusual for planning to refuse an application without prior notification, so you may be expecting this. Our team will contact you to discuss your options, there are always options! We may suggest a redesign, a fresh approach application or you can appoint plans 2 Extend to draft an appeal ( enquire for costs)

Congratulations!! We knew you would do it, we will upload your planning approval to your portal and give you a call to discuss the next phase ‘Building control’

Building Control

Please note plans 2 extend will keep all documents until approval is received from building control – all approved documents will be sent by email on receipt.

Minor internal amendments are okay as long as it dosent affect the external aspects. Slight tweaks such as opening width reductions are okay to carry out but because your planning has been approved based on the drawings sent they must be complied with. So no external elevation changes or adding doors/extensions or windows can be made. If you really do need to make a change then a minor amendment application will be required, but again this is only minor changes and will be subject to fees from Planning and Plans 2 Extend.

Most projects need structural reports and we will obtain the quotes from a third party company for these and upload them to your portal when we receive the quote ( usually within 5 days) for you to approve. Once approved by yourself we will upload your invoice to the portal for payment. We only work with the best team of structural engineers who provide clear and precise reports that work alongside our building control drawings.

Once the building control phase 1 invoice has been cleared the team at Plans 2 Extend will instruct the structural engineers to complete the reports. The reports are usually completed within 21 working days and once we have them we will upload them to your portal and schedule your drawings.

No visits to your property are required, the reports are produced based on photos and measurements taken by the Plans 2 Extend team at your initial survey and also the design drawings that were approved by planning. The structural engineers will liaise with the Plans 2 Extend team to complete the reports.

We don’t recommend getting your own reports as some reports are a lot better than others. Think 1 star hotel VS a 5 star hotel. Our prices for the building control drawings are based on our clients using our recommended structural engineers. If you choose to get your own reports done, they may not be compatible with our drawings and we will need to requote for the building control drawings due to extra work required.

You are nearly there! Just a little longer and you can get quotes, we can also provide build quotes too for your project. Once we have your structural reports we will start your building control drawings ready to submit to building control for approval. When your drawings have been completed you can start to get quotes but please keep in mind these are pre approved drawings.

Yes, the drawings you have are design drawings. These effectively only get you your planning approval, we can send you examples of both sets of drawings to show you the difference. The building control drawings are very detailed drawings that are given to your builder to complete your build CM by CM and include a lot of information that is required for the build.

You will receive the building control drawings quote at the start of the building control phase along with the structural reports quote and building control inspector quotes. Once approved via the portal you will be required to pay for the drawings at the same time you pay for your reports. Your building control drawings will then be scheduled approx 2 weeks after your estimated delivery date for the structural reports. Please check your portal for an updated timeline.

You will have received a quote for the local authority building control and also a private building control inspector via the portal. Please approve one, and decline the other. Our team are on hand to explain the differences in the two but usually our clients choose to use private inspectors.

Usually the cheaper option when it comes to building control. Your payments for this option will be split into two payments – 1 on instruction to complete the plans approval and the other payment on commencement of works. Payments are paid directly to the local authority via a link you will receive on an email after they have been instructed by us. This option is a lengthly process, currently the waits for local authority to start the plan checks are around 10-12 weeks from instruction.

Sometimes there isn’t much difference in price with the two options you have for this stage of your project. Your payment for private will be paid in full via a link in an email when the building control inspector is instructed by us to start the plan check. The plan check is usually completed within 2-3 weeks of instruction. We find that Private inspectors can be more helpful when it comes to changes needed to get the approval vs local authority inspectors who will say no and move on.

But ultimately, the choice is yours!

A plan check is where we instruct the building control inspector to approve your building control plans that we have completed. They will also approve the structural reports at this stage too. Building regulations are always changing and updating but the Plans 2 Extend team are always aware of any changes and are fully trained with UK building regulations. We will make any amendments needed to the plans, your approval isn’t usually required at this stage to make the changes unless you request this. Changes will be requirements such as different insulation or safety windows but are not restricted to just these.

Congratulations! You are ready to build, lets get digging!!  All your approved documents will be uploaded to your portal for you to download ready to start the build or ready for quotes. Plans 2 Extend can quote for your build, and there is nobody else more perfect than the company that completed your drawings to also complete your build! Get in touch for a quote.

Yes they do, they wont just turn up though, the appointments have to be made via your builder and project management team. If you choose Plans 2 Extend – build phase then our team will arrange all the visits for you. There are a total of around 5-7  visits throughout the build stage usually – A commencement meeting,  foundations excavation, foundation concrete, Drains, timbers, pre plaster and completion. Building control will also come out to assist and help guide your builder and do additional checks.

Tender Assistance

Of course we can, there are many options when it comes to the build phase of the project with us. From introducing you to builders to us completing the build and project management. We have an extensive portfolio of projects and builders who work with us to complete your build to the highest standard. We will offer you a Bill of Quants ( May be subject to a charge) and this will ensure you have all the information ready to start the build, find alternative quotes or gain more information.

We recommend at least 3 quotes, this is where the Bill of Quants comes in as you can compare all the quotes in relation to the Bill of Quants. We will also send you the options you have if you choose to use Plans 2 Extend – Build Phase to complete your project for you.
Price is a big factor in this stage of your project but also trust and reliability is a huge factor in having a stress free build and by this stage you know Plans 2 Extend are Just that!

That’s amazing, we love it when our clients go from start to finish with us. It even makes the team in the office do a little happy dance! Speak to a member of the office team and we will arrange a couple of quotes via our builders and also send you a full list of options that include project management and site visits to you. We will also come and see you at your home for a chat and cup of tea to discuss next steps!

We pride ourselves on being honest and transparent with you and you will know this from working with us throughout the previous stages. All the fees will be outlined from the offset and you will have copies of these to keep. We require a deposit to start the project and the payment/start date will be discussed with you. Payments can be made in stages and all this will be in line with site visits and various stages throughout the build phase – this will be discussed as a part of the contract when you give us the go ahead.

Additional services

No, sadly there is no disco but a party wall notice may be required when work affects a neighboring or adjoining wall. Also when a boundary is affected when there is digging within 3 meters and the foundations are affected. The notice is a legal document and it is to be drawn and served upon the neighbour. We can complete this service for you for a fee ( Please enquire ) and also assist if a dispute arises.

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