How to choose your London construction company
Choosing the right London construction company is essential if you are going to end up with a quality finished product. Get it wrong and not only will you lose time and money but may have to live with your construction company’s mistakes for a very long time. Let’s review these 12 stages and outline how to choose the right one:
The 12 stages of property development
Professional and experienced London construction companies will follow 12 key stages. These involve sequential relationships, and each have various levels of importance. When followed correctly, the development will be successful.
A written proposal should be created, listing the objectives and requirements of your development. This is likely to be adjusted as further detailed information is gathered pertaining to the market and the site. Once this is done, stage 2 can commence.
2. Feasibility Study
This will be prepared based upon the proposal and on-site investigations. The feasibility study will determine the viability of the project, presenting you with an appraisal of benefits and costs. Capital investment will be determined and risks assessed
3. Professional Appointments
Once the go-ahead is given, you can begin to make professional appointments. These will be people who will get involved, delivering specialist advice and work. This list can vary but may include planning consultants, tradesmen, quantity surveyors, mechanical/electrical engineers, structural engineers etc. In the case of Concept Bespoke, we have all the elements required for construction in-house and have design coordinators who collaborate with the appointed architect and interior designer to bring their designs to life.
This is something that you, as the owner of the project, will need to attend to. Financing will need to be in place from day one to devote to the project. If you do need finance, it will need to be on the best terms hence you will need specialist advice. If you don’t have your own resources to provide this, ask your London construction company if they can put you in touch with experts in this sector. Having the right finance in place can determine whether the development will be successful.
5. Planning Application
Planning permission will need to be obtained from the local authority before building can commence. Your London construction company or architect should be able to take care of this on your behalf. The proposal needs to be submitted with a detailed specification and technical plans in order to ensure that planning permission is granted. Well-established London construction companies should already have good relationships in place with most of the local authority planning departments so that they can ask for advice and recommendations.
6. Site Assembly/Purchase
Once your construction partner has confirmed that the site will accommodate your proposed project successfully, purchase of the land can be made. Your London construction company will at this point create an initial proposal, detailing the objectives and requirements for the project.
This is split into 4 stages and depending on requirements will require an architect and interior designer:
- Conceptual – general layout and physical look of the building along with detailed aesthetics.
- Development – transform the conceptual idea into plans from which drawings can be produced.
- Drawings – these show a high degree of detail allowing costs, prices and schedules to be developed.
- Specifications – statements of materials and machinery required.
Now your London construction company can produce a contract package of documents along with detailed costs, sourcing of finishes and organising project management. This will involve:
- Preparation of contract documents, general conditions of building contract, construction drawings and preparing specifications along with bills of quantities.
- Establish total costs.
- Choose appropriate scopes and finishes for the building in collaboration with the architect and interior designer and negotiate with suppliers and manufacturers for materials.
This is the exciting stage. Work can now begin on construction which should come in on time and budget and in line with the specifications. Delays at this point can create cost variations and reduce profits. A skilled London construction company will carefully control progress of the work according to schedules.
If you are going to live in the property yourself, this will not apply. If you are going to sell, then marketing can begin as soon as building work commences. This may include advertising, brochure preparation, site hoardings and the preparation of furnished show rooms for potential buyers to view.
If the completed building is going to be let, then letting agents will need to be involved and lease terms agreed.
12. Sale / Completion
At the point at which you move in or the property is sold or let, the development process is complete and full payment should be made to your chosen London construction company.
What to look for in a good construction company in London
When it comes to choosing the best London construction company, there are several things that you can do:
- Find out if they follow the 12 steps shown above.
- Look at previous customer references and feedback.
- Ascertain whether they have experience in your particular area, both geographical and building type i.e. whether you are restoring a treasured old building or building a brand-new home of a very contemporary design, they need to have done something similar before.
- Check pricing carefully. If you receive a low bid, does it cover everything? If you have asked for prices for a full service build to include interior decorations and services and the low price is just for the shell, you may be in for a shock later on.
How to choose the right construction company
Finally, you must make a choice. Which London construction company you opt for is a major decision so should not be rushed or treated lightly. Here is our final checklist for you to follow through:
- What experience do they have? – Look at how many years ago they were established and check out their portfolio to gain an idea of the experience they have gathered over time.
- Reliability – they must be both reliable and reputable. Sticking to budget and project deadlines is a must.
- Working with the architectural design – are they able to work closely with your architect and follow the design? If not, a mass of problems may occur resulting in higher costs and wrong materials being used.
- Working relationships – how do they get on with other professionals and trades i.e. planners, sub-contractors, architects. Look for good relationships as falling-out during a contract will not end well.
- Management – they need to follow project plans, keep to timescales and manage their own tradespeople well so skilled project managers are a must.
- Finances – the best London construction companies can advise and assist you with the financial side. If any additional costs appear due to changes you have made, they should inform you of this at the time.
- A one-stop-shop – choose a London construction company who can be with you from day one until the end. Their service should be all-encompassing and involve managing the whole project well. Things such as liaising with architects, interior designers and engineers or sub-contractors and carrying out planned inspections should all fall within their remit.
Overall, when you choose your London construction company, the most important factor to consider is whether they suit your needs. Never take a gamble. Follow all the information that we have given above and choose a professional company who do it all i.e. design, building, construction and project management. Consept Bespoke meets all of these criteria.
By choosing a company that provide a service that takes account of all your construction needs, there should not be any unpleasant surprises and the end project should be exactly what you wanted.