ROGUE BUILDER'S TACTICS TO EARN MORE MONEY ON CHANGING THE DESIGN AGREEMENT

We thought it would be useful to put together a common list of builders' excuses we hear daily which can get quite tiring trying to explain to the homeowner that it is not just mentioned on their job but on every other project we deal with. It's like a tactic that is played out by the builder thinking that we will not mind or it will easily slip through the net which will benefit the builder by saving large sums of money. 

LIST OF ALL THE COMMON TACTICS 
BUILDERS USE TO SAVE & SKIMP TO BENEFIT THE ONLY PERSON BUT THEMSELVES 

If you are a homeowner and are currently preparing or are already into your project and have been asked by your builder the following from the list below, we have put together the most likely reasons why your builder is questioning it. Over the years we have heard and seen to hand all the excuses made by builders in ways of trying to cut corners to gain profits to line their pockets in making more money for themselves. Making more money is the main reason behind all the suggestions they come up with, the other reason is the ease of the build method as they can’t be bothered to build the correct way or they may just not be experienced to carry out the works the correct way to follow building regulation methods. Any builder that mentions the following before hiring to take on the project should be avoided. Below are just a number of examples of excuses we hear for the builder to avoid doing the job properly.

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DO NOT FALL, VICTIM, TO ANY OF THESE COMMON TACTICS  

1. We can do away with the BOX-FRAME and use one Steel Beam instead.

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The Engineer has designed a new foundation with a specific size in width and depth that is different to the existing foundation arrangement to withstand the new loading designed. The existing foundation is inadequate in size and does not carry the design composition to withstand the loading of the new structure.  

Saving the need of excavating and using cubic meters of concrete is a

massive saving in labour and skip hire will be around £250 per cubic meter. 

No, the builder can't use one beam. The engineer has designed a box frame consisting of 4 STEELS to be bolted together for the additional loading designed to accommodate for any lateral restraint, (2 columns, 1 ground beam and 1 upright) all designed by a specialist and approved by building control.

Saving the purchase and installation of 4 STEELS (BOX-FRAME) will be around £5000+vat.

2. We can use the existing foundation as its good enough.

3. We can use a timber post instead of a steel post in the loft.

The post has been designed on the drawings as a steel post that is solidly fixed to two beams by bolts. one end of the post is fixed in the floor beam and one end is fixed in the ridge beam. A solid steel fixing arrangement is the best method for loft conversions. Timber and steelwork have limited fixture results. 

Using a timber post saves fabrication detailing, welding on site and ease of installation as the timbers can be cut on-site easily and fixed together, saving approx. £350+vat.

4. We can build up the gable wall in timber instead of brickwork on this loft.

Brickwork or blockwork is much stronger than a timber wall. The ridge beam is supported on the gable wall and this needs to be solid. Building any gable wall in timber is a shortcut in using more expensive materials and the use of a bricklayer. A Timber wall does not carry the same properties as a solid wall construction choice, in every thermal composition, durability, fire protection, soundproofing nature and look.

Saving around £1000+vat using timber materials and carpentry skills instead of hiring a bricky.

5. We can do away with a steel beam or post as its over kill.

6. We can use mk04 skylights instead of what the client ordered. 

7. We can build the Extension in blockwork instead of brickwork.

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The client has chosen the size and amount of skylights which have been approved by the local authority. The size matters as it brings in natural daylight into the loft space, whos wants a dark loft room after spending over £40,000+vat + on their loft conversion?

Choosing Mk04 Velux compared to Mk06/8 has a saving difference of £150 - £250 for each Velux.

The Engineer has designed all to work with backed up working calculations to justify all loadings being imposed on the new structure so a strict rule to follow the design is essential.

Avoiding a Steel Beam or column will be in the region of £300+vat per meter.

The Client has chosen Brickwork and has followed strict council design guidelines, brickwork looks much better than a blockwork render finish and is maintenance-free.

Switching from Brickwork to blockwork will bring the cost down of the build substantially 

8. Were going to use 50mm insulation instead of 100mm.

The post has been designed on the drawings as a steel post that is solidly fixed to two beams by bolts, one end fixed in the floor beam and one end fixed in the ridge beam. A solid steel fixing arrangement is the best method for loft conversions.

Using a timber post saves fabrication detailing, welding on site and ease of installation as the timber beams can be cut on-site easily, saving approx. £350+vat.

NOW FOR THE NEGLIGENCE STOREYS

9. Your project does not need planning permission just build without it. 

The post has been designed on the drawings as a steel post that is solidly fixed to two beams by bolts, one end fixed in the floor beam and one end fixed in the ridge beam. A solid steel fixing arrangement is the best method for loft conversions.

Using a timber post saves fabrication detailing, welding on site and ease of installation as the timber beams can be cut on-site easily, saving approx. £350+vat.

10. We can double up on timbers instead of using steels.

The post has been designed on the drawings as a steel post that is solidly fixed to two beams by bolts, one end fixed in the floor beam and one end fixed in the ridge beam. A solid steel fixing arrangement is the best method for loft conversions.

Using a timber post saves fabrication detailing, welding on site and ease of installation as the timber beams can be cut on-site easily, saving approx. £350+vat.

11. We can raise the ridge height if we have not got enough head-height. 

The post has been designed on the drawings as a steel post that is solidly fixed to two beams by bolts, one end fixed in the floor beam and one end fixed in the ridge beam. A solid steel fixing arrangement is the best method for loft conversions.

Using a timber post saves fabrication detailing, welding on site and ease of installation as the timber beams can be cut on-site easily, saving approx. £350+vat.

12. Not paying for building control.

The post has been designed on the drawings as a steel post that is solidly fixed to two beams by bolts, one end fixed in the floor beam and one end fixed in the ridge beam. A solid steel fixing arrangement is the best method for loft conversions.

Using a timber post saves fabrication detailing, welding on site and ease of installation as the timber beams can be cut on-site easily, saving approx. £350+vat.

13. Kitchen kickbacks make money on the commission suppliers offer. 

The post has been designed on the drawings as a steel post that is solidly fixed to two beams by bolts, one end fixed in the floor beam and one end fixed in the ridge beam. A solid steel fixing arrangement is the best method for loft conversions.

Using a timber post saves fabrication detailing, welding on site and ease of installation as the timber beams can be cut on-site easily, saving approx. £350+vat.

14. Ordering and guessing Steel Beam design without calculations.

The post has been designed on the drawings as a steel post that is solidly fixed to two beams by bolts, one end fixed in the floor beam and one end fixed in the ridge beam. A solid steel fixing arrangement is the best method for loft conversions.

Using a timber post saves fabrication detailing, welding on site and ease of installation as the timber beams can be cut on-site easily, saving approx. £350+vat.

  • Floor Beam 203mm thickness

  • The gap above the existing ceiling joist to the underside of floor steel 30mm 

  • Ridge Beam thickness 152mm (but set in the position of the existing timber ridge beam)

  • Plaster board 12mm

When following this 300mm takeoff rule the drawings work when scaling off. DPL draw all proposed elements (Sections, Plans and Elevations) to a scale of 1:50 so when Building control departments measure from drawings the drawings need to be accurate and show a 2000mm headroom clearance. If for example an Existing attic floor height is measured to 2200mm then the same 300mm will apply. 2200mm subtract 300mm will leave a finished internal headroom of 1900mm which will not pass building control approval in this situation because the ridgeline cannot be raised due to planning restrictions. The only other method to achieve a liveable loft conversion would be to lower the first-floor ceilings.

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Architectural Design Studio

Established 2005

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Buckhurst Hill - Ceiling removal for Loft Conversion Design

" CONCLUSION OF ATTIC HEIGHT NEEDED "
2300mm WOULD BE THE MINIMUM HEIGHT FOR OUR TEAM TO DESIGN YOU A SUCCESSFUL LOFT CONVERSION WITHOUT THE NEED TO LOWER YOUR FIRST FLOOR CEILINGS

Please note that you will require structural calculations if any steel beams are designed within your scope of works, this will be charged separately to the engineer.

EACH PROJECT WE TAKE ON IS STARTED FROM SCRATCH SO EVERY NEW JOB IS DESIGNED WITH CARE AND EXPERTISE TO GET 100% SATISFACTION

We hope you found this article useful to give you a small insight into what is involved in these cases. doing the homework first will save you £££££'s in the event of a surprise which you cannot carry out. Feel free to call our team for a free consultation over the phone and we will be more than happy to assist you on any technical matters. Regards John. D. 

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