WSC-Group

Design And Build Service

WSC Construction Ltd offers a full design and planning process to take your building project from start to finish without the use of middle-men. We have put every aspect of the planning into one affordable package from the initial concept drawings, the Party Wall agreements, structural calculations, working drawings and architect renderings. We will see what it is you need for your extension or loft and see to it that the planning process for your extension or loft is a seamless experience, allowing you to focus on work and your family.

We sometimes get asked questions about who is supposed to do what on any permitted development. We have put together a small key of terms so you understand what is what.

Planning terms Key

Structural Engineer

Structural engineers are most commonly involved in the design of buildings structures or additions to building structures. They can also be involved in the design of anything where structural integrity affects the item's function or safety. Structural engineers must ensure their designs satisfy given design criteria, predicated on safety (e.g. structures must not collapse without due warning) or serviceability and performance (e.g. building sway must not cause discomfort to the occupants).

Architect

Architects have as their primary object providing for the spatial and shelter needs of people in groups of some kind (families, schools, churches, businesses, etc.) by the creative organisation of materials and components in a land or city-scape, dealing with mass, space, form, volume, texture, structure, light, shadow, materials, program, and elements such as cost, construction limitations and technology, to achieve an end which is functional, economical, practical and often with artistic and aesthetic aspects. This distinguishes architecture from engineering design, which has as its primary object the creative manipulation of materials and forms using mathematical and scientific principles. For example, an architect would provide a full interior design, such as brick texture, wall colour, types of windows and doors, layoeut etc, all based on structural calculation provided by a structural engineer.

Planning drawings

Not to be confused with structural or working drawings, planning drawings are the first step in any building process. It will show what the property will look like afterwards, how far into the garden the extension reaches, what portion of the house the loft extends from. How high it is, how much space it takes up and how it will effect the environment. To even begin structural or working drawings, each permitted development must have initial planning drawings done and approved by the local Council Planning Department.

* planning drawings do not substitute Structural/working drawings Structural/working drawings

Working drawings are plans done exactly per the UK building regulations and include exact guide lines or intricate details needed for the builders to carry out their work. It would include structural beam dimensions and load capacity, cement depth for pillar supports, type of bricks, wall thickness and the specification of the materials needed. They are designed around the planning drawings (see above). These drawings will be used as a guide line by the Building Control Office of your local Council when inspecting to see that the new build is per UK building regulations.

Party Wall Agreement

The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and gives you rights and responsibilities whichever the side of the 'wall' you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on a relevant structure or if your neighbour is.

The Party Wall Act comes into effect if someone is planning to do work on a relevant structure, for the purposes of the Act 'party wall' does not just mean the wall between two semi-detached properties. Download Party Wall Act here.

The Party Wall Act comes into effect if someone is planning to do work on a relevant structure, for the purposes of the Act 'party wall' does not just mean the wall between two semi-detached properties. Download Party Wall Act here

Quantity Survey

A quantity survey is done by a trained and qualified Quantity Surveyor, or "QS". Unlike a traditional building quotation which may break down the project by room, square meter and general materials, a quantity survey will break down an entire building process from the smallest bolts to the largest beams, paint, bricks and labour. All rates and prices are based on the exact prices from current suppliers - no more and no less.

Using a Quantity Surveyor has its benefits including, a) keeping away cowboy builders who say they can get the project done much cheaper and then leave you with a half built loft or extension and b) it gives you a precise idea of what the project will cost so you are not left in the dark and subject to gross price variations during the building process.

Sustainability

The Government has a goal to reduce Carbon Emissions by 20% by 2010. Two schemes (Ecohomes and The Code for Sustainable Homes) are in place to reduce carbon emissions from housing and construction. Our team includes licensed assessors that can advise on both of these schemes as well as being able to advise on additional sustainability issues as required by the planning authority.

Planning sequence - 7 Steps

  1. Our architectural and/or structural designers will visit you free of charge to initiate the first steps of the planning process and drawings. He will discuss with you your ideas for your loft or extension and give suggestions and good ideas to ensure it a) is what you want and b) will be approved by your local Council. Based on the scope of work, you will receive a quote for the full planning works.
  2. The planning designer will survey and measure up your home and will do a design based on the agreed requirements. This, first and foremost, will get approved by you and then submitted to the local Planning Authority.
  3. The Planning Designer will oversee the entire approval process; answering all Council queries and making adjustments as seen fit.

    *depending on your local planning authority, the planning designer may need to revisit you to make adjustments to your designs for your building project.
  4. Working drawings and Structural calculations. Using the planning drawings as a base, our designers will complete the full working drawing package for approval with Building Control. These are the drawings that the builders will use for construction of your project.
  5. Party Wall Agreements. A lot of properties will have walls and/or floors shared with neighbours. We can tell you if a Party Wall agreement is necessary, and then guide you through the process of obtaining these agreements.
  6. Quanitity Surveying. Our professional QS will be submitted to you which gives an exact price for the building and materials to the letter.
  7. Builders. At this point you will have everything you need to get an estimate from a building contractor company of your choice. You are welcome to get as many quotations as needed from the drawings and quantity survey we provide to you.

    However, by now you will have seen the benefit of using WSC Construction and we're sure that you will want us to continue this service through to completion of your building project. Having worked with the same professional team of architectural designers, structural engineers and quantity surveyors on dozens of extensions, conversions, and home modifications over the years, we know how to make the whole building process easy for you. We always give a first class service at a competitive price and you can be assured that our work will exceed all of your expectations.

Benefits of our service

Using WSC Construction will give you a peace of mind by knowing we have provided a QS who has estimated the works based on approved legal documents and structural drawings/calculations which will result in no problems with Building Control or the local Council.

The QS price sheet will price your project down to the smallest bolt and how many bricks you need, cement, steels - EVERYTHING. There are no grey areas and you will see exactly what your project will entail from start to end.