Will Covid-19 affect my building project?

We understand that this is a worrying time for anyone who is about to start – or more crucially – in the middle of a building project. This might be a Self Build or a Renovation, either way, you probably have a lot of questions right now.

We have put together a list of our most frequently asked questions to help you gain a bit of clarity about what can and can’t be done to progress your project at this time. If you find yourself whirring worries around in your head about something that we may not have covered here please do feel free to contact us for some honest, impartial advice.

Can construction work on my project continue?

Although builders in certain circumstances are permitted to continue during this ‘lock down’ phase, most builders merchants are closing, thus making it difficult to source materials. If your project is very close to finishing on site and the work can be completed safely in line with government guidelines and any materials required can be sourced, your project may be completed. It will however be unlikely that work will begin on your project during this time.

Will I still be able to submit my planning application?

The Local Authorities are all still functioning well, and I believe most, if not all the Case Officers are working from home (we cannot speak for all Local Authorities here but we are in contact with many Hampshire based LA’s) In our recent dialogue with them, applications will continue to be processed as normal, however there is a view being taken on Parish Council and Committee meetings which could potentially present a small delay. If you have an application in with us, we will continue to keep you updated of the progress as we normally would.

What about my design work? Can that continue?

This can absolutely continue as normal with BBD Architects. We are working remotely and check in at least twice a day with all staff. We will still have our Design Meetings with you, and these will take place over Zoom video call (or similar). We can share our screen with you and talk through the documents, as we would in person.

Other Architects may not be set up to work remotely, or have other reasons which might mean they cannot continue with your project design. This is something you should discuss with your Architect immediately and assess against your project programme.

Will I still be able to obtain Building Regulations Approval?

The Technical Drawing phase of work can still be undertaken. This is where all the construction information is detailed in the drawings, together with notes to secure Building Regulations Approval. The Approved Inspectors and the Local Authority Building Control Department are working remotely and can process an application to approve the drawings.

Can I still obtain a price from a Builder?

Builders will be happy to price work. The Technical drawings do contain all the information to be able to do this. Although we would usually encourage a builder to visit site and to meet you, depending on the complexity of the project they may be able to price entirely from drawings and photographs, or they may have a caveat that they will need to visit site prior to construction to finalise the price. We would still encourage them to meet you either via video call or have a chat with you over the phone.

Where might my project encounter a problem in the current situation?

The main issues with project programme are around logistics and site visits. As I mentioned before. If your project is currently under construction, work may cease for either safety or because materials can no longer be sourced.

Any consultant who may require a site visit may be unable to do so, depending on the project. This will be judged on a case by case basis. Your Architects should keep you informed of a situation if that may affect your project. At BBD Architects we will make every effort to work around any issues and find a way to move forward through the programme.