Technical Support

This stage covers our work to coordinate the other technical aspects of your project. This includes instructing the structural engineer, organising trail holes, completing CCTV surveys of drains and appointing party wall surveyors.

Modern white extension with large overhang

Do I need a structural engineer?

Most projects that involve new build elements, such as extensions or many remodelling projects that require the removal of walls, will require the input of a structural engineer. 

Structural engineers design and size structural elements such as foundations, steel beams and columns. These designs and calculations are a critical element of the Building Regulations approval process. Their input allows us to complete the Building Regulation and construction drawings. 

Our design and construction knowledge means that we often establish the principals of the structural solution prior to the engineer’s appointment. 

Who appoints the structural engineer?

We’ve good relationships with several trusted structural engineering practices. Sometimes we ask two or three to provide a quote for their services. On other occasions, we just choose who we think is best suited to the project; the engineer that can best conform to the time scale. Location will also play a part in this decision. 

Once the engineer is chosen, the formal appointment will be directly between you and the engineer. This creates a direct contractual relationship between you and the engineer. It also provides an ongoing relationship as your project progresses through the construction phase.

The engineer will send you an appointment letter to sign and will invoice you directly for their services. 

Rear timber extension with raised terrace

What other third-party professionals need to be involved?

During the early design stages, we’ll need to make assumptions about ground conditions, the condition of existing drains and the existing property’s condition.

Following this, there are two approaches to how far you investigate prior to starting on site: 

You can spend money up-front, investigating all the potential risks and possible cost implications. This won’t necessarily reduce the costs: the work will still need to be undertaken. You’ll just know about it up-front. 

The second approach is to accept there are some elements of risk and put aside a contingency in your budget to cater for them. We can advise you as to what we consider to be the risk factors and whether further investigation is required. 

These investigations could include:

  • Digging trail holes to check ground conditions, so you fully understand the foundation solution 
  • Taking a CCTV survey of the existing drains if new connections are being made or extensions require them to be amended
  • Opening up works of the existing structure to explore the conditions of the existing structure

We will cost these investigations as and when we need to undertake them.  

Dark zinc rear extension

Will I need a party wall surveyor to be involved?

A party wall notice is usually required if you’re building anywhere within three metres of a party wall or shared boundary.

To obtain consent from your neighbour, a party wall notice will need to be served. If your neighbour gives you written permission, then a party wall award won’t be needed and work can start. If your neighbour dissents to the notice, then you’ll need to appoint a party wall surveyor. If your neighbour doesn’t want to use the same surveyor, you may need to appoint one for them too. They will manage the party wall agreement and secure the award.