Al­ways have a plan B

The Herald - Scotland's Homes - - Welcome Home -

IN­SPIRED by Grand De­signs to build your own home and think you might have found the per­fect plot? Or, daunted by the mishaps that the Chan­nel 4 show has cov­ered, are you con­fin­ing your­self to home im­prove­ments?. Be­fore you start, take time to plan, get ad­vice and per­mis­sions.

Plan­ning ex­perts, build­ing con­trol ad­vi­sors, ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers will be giv­ing free ad­vice at The Scot­tish Home­build­ing & Ren­o­vat­ing Show which is at the SECC, Glas­gow, on May 15 and 16. 2010.

The team from the show has put to­gether some tips to help you.

Per­mis­sion First: Hav­ing the nec­es­sary per­mis­sions un­locks the value of the land. For any­one ex­tend­ing or re­mod­elling it is pos­si­ble that plan­ning won’t be needed. How­ever, other re­stric­tions could ap­ply so check with the lo­cal author­ity.

Re­search: Plan­ning in Scot­land is a lo­cal func­tion and the plan­ning author­ity should be the point of con­tact. Ad­di­tional ad­vice can be found at­

Know the Build­ing Reg­u­la­tions: These set out min­i­mum re­quire­ments for struc­tural in­tegrity, fire safety, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, damp proof­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and other as­pects that en­sure a build­ing is safe. If you’re in a hurry, you can be­gin af­ter giv­ing build­ing con­trol 48 hours’ no­tice to­gether with a plan and the fee. But the work will be in­spected so make sure you trust your builder!

KnowWhen to Em­ploy a Pro­fes­sional: Suc­cess means get­ting the right bal­ance be­tween us­ing pro­fes­sion­als and do­ing it your­self so that you keep con­trol. Con­sider us­ing an ar­chi­tect or de­signer .

De­sign to Suit the House or Plot: If you’re build­ing from scratch, land may be so scarce that you have to de­sign the house to suit the plot. If you are ex­tend­ing, the plot shape will in­flu­ence what can be built, and the prox­im­ity of neigh­bours will dic­tate where you can put win­dows.

Love Thy Neigh­bour:What­ever the size of the project, keep the neigh­bours in­formed. Ob­jec­tions can have a neg­a­tive im­pact and cause de­lay. Con­sult all the rel­e­vant par­ties be­fore you sub­mit the ap­pli­ca­tion. THIS nifty hand­made sign doesn't need to be taken too lit­er­ally. Hang it on the lounge door if you want to watch your favourite TV pro­gramme in peace, or on the door to any room where you sim­ply want a breather from the rest of the world. It costs £17 and is avail­able ex­clu­sively from flores­tine, at www. flores­, tel 01273 763986 or from the bou­tique at 4 Bartholomews, Brighton, where it prob­a­bly could be taken more lit­er­ally than usual.

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