Monday 15 November 2010

Cottage renovation Part 5

Work has progressed since my last site visit despite the poor weather. However its not been without delays.

The fixing of the breather membrane and slating battens is now complete, as is most of the slating on the northern side of the roof. However the completion of the slating has been delayed, as the vertical velux window units, were not ordered sufficient time in advance. As a point of information, the vertical elements codes VFA & VFB currently require a 3 week lead-in from date of ordering to delivery.

The client has opted to go with a factory finished hardwood timber window rather than Black uPVC. Windows and doors will be supplied by Carey Glass Joinery of Nenagh, who’s price was exceptionally competitive for the end product. A mixture of double and triple glazed units will be installed with delivery scheduled for the first week of December. Subject to favourable weather conditions, the external insulation and rendering will follow immediately.

Internally work has progressed; the first floor has now been floored with 18mm flooring grade ply and the studwork caucus now complete, which will enable commencement of the first fix of services. Final selection of sanitaryware will be critical in the coming week or so, to enable that element of the first fix progress.

At this stage the project is running 4-6 weeks behind the targeted programme, a common trait of self build projects constructed by direct labour.

Monday 8 November 2010

CIAT ramblings

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about CIAT. Last month I was in Dublin for a CIAT Centre Committee meeting, there’s normally a meeting prior to the Institute’s AGM, which took place in Guernsey at the end of last month.

I always enjoy the discussion after the Centre Meeting, where most of us “from the country” have a chat and lunch prior to making the journey home. Discussions vary covering topical issues within the profession, be it OSI copyright and the merits of buying an OSI licence or issues with planners or building control. Of course current fees or the lack of them featured in the discussions too. It’s always a couple of hours well spent, as someone will always have a solution to a problem that any of the others would raise. At this year’s AGM a number of promotional video’s (thought that term was gone with the introduction of DVD's) were launched by the Institute, 4 in all I believe. The one that’s most beneficial, is that aimed at potential clients.

I have to say it’s not bad and definitely worth having a link to, within each reach for potential clients. Another reason why I should really progress my membership now.

My POP record, is sitting somewhere on my desk awaiting the signature of my POP record supervised before submission. I should really get it signed off and submitted, so I can progress my membership… the longer it sits there the long it will be before I attain Chartered membership. Top of this week’s to do list, along with booking a CIAT CPD course.

Friday 5 November 2010

Extensions and factors influencing budget prices

People definitely see value in construction at the moment and are prepared to extend their existing homes.  I'm currently working on single storey contemporary extension to a 1970's bungalow; the sketch design has been prepared and currently with a local building contractor, who's accessing if the works can be undertaken within the client's budget. 

Extensions and renovations, by their nature are more difficult to gauge budget prices for, as existing factors greatly influence the price. Apart from the fact that each extension is unique the following are some of the factor that can influence the project's budget.

Unlike most new builds, access to works involving extensions can be restricted, from no access at all in the case of terraced dwellings, to limited access due to proximity of site boundaries. Depending on the restrictions, these can effect the overall price. The of concrete for foundations, is far greater if it has to be moved from the roadside to the back of a house via wheelbarrows, as opposed to beginning placed directly into the excavated foundation from the back of the readymix truck.

Existing Structure
Extensions, by definition will become a part of the existing structure/dwelling and effect the structure in some shape of form. How the extension integrates into the existing structure will have an effect on the project cost. Should the only works in integrating the new and the old  be removing a patio door the cost would be significantly less than an extension which is integrated into an existing room (s), as the latter will involve significant demolition and structural works. Works where alterations to existing roofs can also significantly add to the cost.

In general at least some alteration to existing services is required, when extending an existing property. The effects on the project budget of these alterations vary greatly. moving a light switch or socket would have a minimal effect, compared to diverting an underground drain and manhole or relocating the boiler.

Very often when extensions are been built, client's take the opportunity to have  other works around the house done while the builder's are in, it may be hanging a few new doors, or putting in a new ensuite or altering partitions, all adding to the overall cost and distort the actual cost of the extension. 

Naturally specification can have the biggest influence on the project's cost.