When we design your self-build, conversion or extension project, the design will be assessed by a local building control body (BCB), this can be the local authority such as Newcastle Council or it can be provided by a private company also known as an ‘approved inspector’. This ‘plan check’ process includes a full review of our drawings and structural calculations as well as checking the scheme meets Building Regulations requirements, British and European Standards and other legislation on performance and safety. As Acre Design MD Alistair has over ten years of experience working in Building Control, we have the inside scoop on how to breeze through this process and we manage this every step of the way for you.
We put together a technical plan package and submit this to Building Control for review. Once the package is reviewed by BC against the pertinent legislation they will then issue a list of questions know as a ‘plan check’, once we have answered any questions, the plans can be stamped and approved. This means you will have a design that complies with all the relevant legislation, and so long as the builder follows these approved plans, the build should be completed without delay or additional cost and the building inspector will be happy. Builders love our plans for their clarity and detail, and clients love our plans for the incredible designs we come up with.
We always encourage our clients to thoroughly check our plans before we submit them to Building Control. The design process should stop once the design is agreed and before the works start. Changes are possible during the works, however it is best to have Acre Design update the plans with the changes and submit this to Building Control as an amendment. This is so that building control can asses the changes for compliance with the regulations. Any changes during the works are likely to lead to delays whilst this process is undertaken.
You may have heard the term ‘Building Notice’ or individuals saying that you may not need Building Control plans to start your construction project. This is correct, as a Building Notice can be submitted to your local authority before starting work. The local authority will still require information such as a site plan, drainage details and in some cases sketch drawings. However, if you want to use a building notice you are stating that you will be complying with building regulations on site.
This method may be possible for smaller construction projects and alterations, but with larger projects come more problems. If a Building Notice is used, some contractors might not be aware of everything a design entails and might not be meeting the required regulations. Yes, simply submitting a building notice cuts out the cost of producing Building Regulations plans; however they usually also cut out the detailed design and contract. Without detailed plans, a builder has nothing to price your job against and has to quote based on experience alone. You may expect certain work to be included in your build but your builder may not – without detailed Building Control Plans, your build costs could spiral out of control and any savings made from not having these plans drawn up could soon disappear.
However, if Building Control drawings are used they will ensure the project complies with the Building Regulations and will be checked over by several people before work can start. This method will help overcome potential problems before getting to site, which will ensure works run smoothly with fewer problems and will provide you with the perfect new home or extension.
The law in the United Kingdom states that new construction projects need to be carried out in accordance with Building Regulations. However, there are a few circumstances where they aren’t required, such as small porches, conservatories, or detached garages (up to 30m2 floor area).
Once the planning permission for your project has been approved, the next step is to get technical drawings (Building Control plans) to ensure the design for your project complies with buildings regulations. These plans entail detailed construction drawings as well as ensuring the design complies with the Approved Documents. There are a number of Approved documents, ranging from A to R. These include everything from the structural and fire safety requirements for a new building or extension to electronic communications and accessibility.
As well as ensuring your project is built correctly and safely, the Building Control drawings will make it easier for tendering and pricing for your project. After these drawings have been produced by your Architect / Designer they will be submitted to Building Control, where they will be checked over to ensure they comply with the Building Regulations. This helps iron out any potential problems before building work starts on site, which could help save time and money.
What do the Building Control drawings compromise of?
We considered an extension to our property, but had little idea how to proceed. We selected Acre Design from positive reviews posted and have not been disappointed. Help and advice was always available and the team led us through the process in a professional and timely manner. We have no hesitation in recommending them!
We are first time buyers and we were looking for someone to help us design an extension on our home. From the outset, Acre stood out to us as a professional, welcoming service and we were both impressed by their informative response upon requesting an initial consultation. Throughout the consultation, we felt Acre gave us honest, transparent advice and they were able to creatively help us realise our vision. We were fully informed about their pricing plan and the stages of planning, which we admit we struggled with before approaching Acre. When we received our plans, it was clear that Acre is a business that takes pride in their design service and we were offered a series of meetings to talk through our design. We were over the moon with the final drawings and could not thank Acre enough. We feel that Acre went above and beyond to guide us through the planning process, from applying for planning permission, issuing a Party Wall notice and organising a structural engineer. Acre were responsive to all our questions and queries and communicated thoroughly throughout the process. We felt we could approach them with anything concerns about the plans. We would highly recommend Acre to anyone who is considering designing or planning projects. Thank you Acre!
We chose Acre design from recommendations, to draw the plans for a second floor conversion from outside open space into an additional room on our property. Quality service and helpful with every step of the design and planning application. Faultless in the way they handled the project even during Covid-19 times.
We've just completed our Needs + Options Review with Alistair from Acre Design and we're delighted - comprehensive, creative and collaborative! (Got to get a bit of alliteration in there)... Would definitely recommend doing the Needs + Options Review - we've changed our plans for our house refurb from discussing the results.
I cannot rate Alistair, Laura and the Team at Acre high enough. I don’t leave reviews but I have to make an exception as my experience has been second to none. Anyone who is unsure about finding an Architect - look no further. They have been with my husband and I at every stage from concept and design which has culminated in our plans coming together and being ready for building, They have kept us up to date and liaised with the Planners, Building Control and even provided a list of reputable builders that they work with for our project. We are delighted with how stress free the whole process has been. A first class team.
We are extremely happy with our ultimate design and we are very excited for our building work to start. Alistair and his team were very professional throughout.
I couldn't have asked more from an architect. Alistair was on board with our ideas instantly and worked with us on several drafts before we decided on the final design. Furthermore Acre's took care of planning permission and co-ordintated closely with building control. We did encounter a couple of issues once our build commenced however Acre's made several visits to the site and worked with the builders closely to ensure all snags were overcome. The end result is that we have a brilliant extension which we simply couldn't be happier with. Thank you Acre Design!
I would highly recommend Acre Design. I have been delighted with the professionalism of the team but also their warm and friendly approach when designing the extension to my kitchen / diner. Acre Design also recommended the building firm I used and they were also highly professional with a great work ethic.
Alistair was friendly and professional and listened carefully to what we wanted. He translated our requirements into drawings and specifications that satisfied building control and planning requirements, and allowed the builder to build from them without the need for additional design information. His service was prompt and efficient, and he worked exactly to the timetable he had given us initially. He was also willing and able to recommend a builder suited to our project, who subsequently did an excellent job. Thanks to Alistair, Matthew, Laura and the team at Acre Design for enabling our project to run smoothly throughout.
Really happy with the service provided by Acre Design - finished build is beautiful.
We would like to thank Alistair and his team for providing us with plans for our kitchen extension. We found Alistair very professional and helpful listening to what we wanted and giving us some great ideas in return, we would not hesitate to recommend them.
Alistair has managed to build a firm that focuses on excellence. We were planning an extension recently and it would have been easy for Alistair to push his ideas on to us but instead he actually listened to what we wanted and ensured his ideas complimented our own.
We have found Acre Design to provide friendly efficient and quality service whom have been focused on our needs as clients. They have progressed a successful application for planning permission for an extension to our home and navigated us through the challenges this can bring. I would recommend them to all. Many thanks
Called for a design quote after recommended by a local builder, came back with a quote quickly and engaged them for the work. Met the agreed timescales for the completion of the design and no issues, very professional outfit and happy with the work.
Nothing but positive things to say about Alistair, Laura and the team. Nice design, accommodated what we wanted and the drawings were great. They directed us to the next steps and put us in touch with some others great services. Building starts next week!
Excellent service, great design and extremely competitively priced. Will definitely use again and recommend.
A very professional and timely service from Alistair and his team. Our ideas and requirements were taken on board and carefully developed in sympathy with the existing house. The drawings for an extension and internal remodeling works were excellent and following receipt of planning and building regulation approvals competitive tenders were invited and a builder appointed with a start on site next year. I would have no hesitation in recommending Acre Design.
Would recommend to anyone needing plans drawn.Alistair and his team have been very good throughout. Their experience and expertise meant that they managed to design exactly what we wanted, all within building regulations. We got a lawful planning certificate straight away.All plans were done very quickly, and all our questions or request were answered straight away. Will use them again if ever I need more plans drawn.
We chose Acre Design simply because they were local and have had good reviews. We just walked in without an appointment but were treated very well by Alistair and his lovely team of people from the start. We wanted an extension to our 80's built house to improve our kitchen and create a new dining room. Acre really listened to us and understood exactly what we wanted. They came out to our house and took initial measurements before coming up with very professional plans. We asked for some minor changes which were done quickly to finally come up with what we really wanted. Planning permission and building control were all dealt with by Alistair very efficiently. They recommended a good builder who we employed. All in all we are very happy with Acre design and would recommend them for their very professional but also friendly and approachable attitude.
Could not recommend this company enough. Very reasonable price for a high level service from start to finish. We love our new home, it has exceeded all of our expectations. 100% recommend.
We chose Acre design after a recommendation from a neighbour. The service we received was outstanding! Every little detail was covered, and my builder has commented on how good the plans are. The team are really friendly and good at answering any queries you have. They also took care of the planning application and building control. I would highly recommend this company. Thanks Andy K
As an extremely busy Building Contractor, it is very important that the drawings and specifications we receive to prepare Tenders and Quotes are detailed and clear. It is a pleasure to work on drawings, specifications and 3D designs that Acre Design prepare.They consistently deliver the highest quality documents enabling us to very accurately prepare our quotes and use as working drawings throughout the projects.www.giraffebuilding.com
We are using Acre Design for the second time now as they delivered a high quality service on our first project. Alistair was punctual, efficient, polite and always willing to assist in all matters relating to the build. I would highly recommend Acre Design if you are seeking a pragmatic, seamless but also innovative approach to your project.
Alistair has been excellent throughout. From first contact he was approachable and had excellent ideas for our extension. Plans were done quickly and he was always available for questions and replied promptly to emails. Alistair came up with several good ideas and has produced a plan that is beyond anything we could have imagined. Planning permission and building control has sailed through and the planning department have been impressed with his other work.Highly recommended and would use again if I ever needed further work doing.
Alistair took care of the design and building control submission for our kitchen extension. He also sourced us a highly professional and trusted contractor to take the work forward. He gave us some great ideas in response to our brief, delivered each step on time, kept us completely informed throughout, and was extremely personable. We were really impressed with how efficiently the whole process moved along and now we can't wait to make his vision a reality! Would recommend highly.
We couldn't be happier with the service we've received from Acre Design, the process was made so easy for us from the initial concept drawings through to planning and the build. Alistair was in communication with us all the way through keeping us informed on how things were progressing. Excellent work, thank you.
We simply picked Alistair as he covered our area and with no recommendation thought we would ask him out for a chat about our design thoughts. He was helpful and enthusiastic and knew our builder when we mentioned his name. He went away with our ideas and came back with a design which with a few tweaks (which were not a problem) was just what we were looking for. Our bungalow has doubled in size and is just how we imagined it to be. Would have no problem in recommending this company.
We were very happy with the service provided by Alistair of Acre Designs. We received a quick response to our request for planning help. Alistair knows his subject and as a client we were confident that we would get a well thought out design. We would have no reservations about recommending his work.
Alistair at Acre took on all the planning and execution of the major refurbishment and additions at my family home and worked tirelessly to ensure the house was transformed into the modern attractive home it is today. I always knew I could rely on him, he provided excellent value for money and I warmly recommend him.
After trouble with our first architect, Acre stepped in and had our approvals sorted in no time. He was always on the end of the phone and kept us informed about how things were progressing. Would definitely recommend.
Alistair at ACRE was great, polite, on time, and always on the end of the phone. He took our initial idea, made it buildable, within our budget and our approvals went straight through.