We invite both property developers and specialist professionals in the construction industry to join us – and we can help match developers’ needs to the specialist skills required during the development lifecycle. This A to Z list covers just some of those specialisms:
Accountants with relevant property and development experience will provide the necessary ways to record, measure, summarise and report financial information. Getting the correct advice on personal and business taxation will make allow tax efficiency and minimise taxes payable.
Acousticians are experts in sound. With defined targets they advise on materials, detailed design and installation. It’s important to get the right advice at the detailed design stage with further input at installation, as testing is carried out post completion of works and any remedial works are very costly.
Archaeological surveys are often needed on projects with monitoring during the foundation and groundwork stages.
Architects can lead the design stage from initial concept sketches through space planning to the final design drawings. As with many professionals it’s important to get someone who has relevant experience, for example, someone who has worked on a similar type of conversion and similar size.
Architectural technicians will generally produce the detailed design, either as independent practitioners or as part of an architect’s practice. Experienced technicians can offer assistance with specifying the right products.
Architectural services – as above
Affordable housing is a requirement on many developments, whether as a financial contribution or by on-site provision. Experienced advice and consultancy in this area will lead to more profitable development.
Asbestos surveys are required for many projects, particularly involving buildings constructed pre-1980. The cost of removal can be high so an early survey will allow the opportunity to include these costs in the appraisal.
Building control is required for all development projects and can be provided by independent companies or local authorities. Advice is available on the information that needs to be provided for planning application and on the tests and certificates that might be required to satisfy the essential paperwork for mortgage providers or other lenders.
Capital allowances can provide tax relief on property that is being refurbished and/or developed. Its important to get the right information about what may be possible, preferably prior to purchase. Experienced property lawyers can provide access to the specialist knowledge required to benefit.
Commercial legal services should be carried out by suitably qualified and experienced lawyers. They will guide you through the potential legal maze associated with acquiring, disposing or retaining development assets.
Contracts for any use including partnerships, heads of terms, options, tenancies and similar, should always be either drafted or checked by a lawyer. Self-produced cut and paste documents will rarely stand up to scrutiny if tested.
Conveyancing services for the sale or transfer of developed properties, especially those with new titles, can be provided by lawyers or licensed conveyancers. Whilst price is important at this crucial stage of the development process, it’s essential to get a great level of service.
Cost consultancy can be provided by quantity surveyors and can include project costs for the initial appraisal, ongoing costs and cost monitoring for staged funding payments.
Daylight and sunlight expertise can be required for planning applications where neighbouring properties may be affected by loss of daylight and/or sunlight by any proposed development. By using computer models the experts will predict any potential impact so that amendments to proposals can be made at an early stage.
Drainage surveys are extremely useful to get an accurate picture of the existing condition and position of services, so that alterations can be planned with certainty of feasibility and costs.
Ecological surveys for example, bats and trees, are required for many planning applications. There are hundreds of species/types to consider in the planning process. Many of these can potentially stop or significantly hold up projects.
Estate planning should be considered prior to starting a project or business. What will happen to the assets or liabilities if and when someone dies?
Fire officers are consulted on conversions and some new build projects. Getting their input at an early stage, preferably during scheme design, can save time and considerable expense by avoiding necessary redesign fees at a later stage in the project.
Funding is obviously an essential part of development. Understanding the different sources and types of available money and when, where and how it should be used will help avoid stop-start projects. Funding needs to be considered for all stages of a development project: pre-purchase, purchase, build, and post-build. It’s important to understand the requirements of the final lenders for sale or hold projects, prior to organising the initial funding.
Ground investigation works are important to fully understand the unseen and any relevant cost and time issues. Investigation and tests will establish the type of ground and any contaminants present.
Health and safety is crucial to any development project. Getting the correct advice and guidance from experienced professionals will save you time, money and, most importantly, avoid accidents and longer-term health issues. The Construction Design and Management (CDM) regulations cover the whole project period from initial design through to completion on site.
Heritage consultancy is essential when appraising projects in conservation areas and listed buildings. Input from professionals as to what may be possible – and what definitely isn’t – gives valuable input for early scheme design.
Highways consultants will look at potential access and parking issues and produce a report when necessary to add significant strength to any application. They can also make you aware at a very early stage of possible issues that would prevent the desired approval being granted.
Insurance requirements will vary dependent on your business, type and size of project, procurement method, and sale or hold exit. It’s imperative to get the right cover and for anyone working with or for you to have the right cover too.
Interior design is not about cushions and paint colours. Using experienced interior designers will improve the scheme design with input on room sizes, openings, lighting, materials and produce better sales results, with beautifully decorated and dressed show units.
Measured surveys will be required to provide accurate dimensions upon which to base our scheme designs prior to any planning applications. An existing building or an empty site needs accurately measuring for lengths, widths and heights. Ground levels need recording too, a full topographic survey will be required on many projects.
Mechanical and electrical design or advice at the right stage of your project will allow maximum flexibility of choice by understanding all the possibilities and their implications. With many planning authorities now requiring the use of renewable energy, it’s essential to understand how to comply – and also how to take advantage of any available financial incentives.
Party wall surveying is required when work is going to be on, or close to, a party wall and/or boundary. Excavations within three metres of a boundary or lower than neighbouring foundations may require a party wall agreement.
Planning consultants will guide you though the often lengthy and complex planning process. They will help you understand the different ways available to maximise the chances of a desired result.
Planning consultancy – as above
Project managers can guide you and the project from concept to completion, including advice on specifying and procuring goods and services, advising in the early stages, sorting all the paperwork and contracts pre-construction, overseeing the construction works and then completing all the signoff-paperwork at and post-completion.
Project management – as above
Quantity surveyors can provide detailed bills of quantities for tendering/quotations and cost monitoring/control services. For some projects, provided they have the relevant experience, they could provide project management services.
Social media plays a big part in may peoples’ lives and should be embraced for sourcing projects and marketing yourself or your company and/or the completed units. Understanding how this is possible with guidance from people doing it may bring surprising results. This stuff really does work.
Structural engineers will provide detailed design and supporting calculations for the structural shell, from the foundations to the roof. As part of the design team they can advise on to the possibilities and implications for desired features.
Structural engineering – as above
Structural warranties are essential for exit funding. Providers need to be acceptable to as many mortgage and commercial lenders as possible, in order to ensure best possible lending rates. Warranty providers can have different criteria for construction details than both building control and structural engineers, particularly on conversion projects. This is an insurance policy.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is something that tends to be seen as all bad. If you understand how to structure deals, both purchase and exit, with the minimum tax liability you can save thousands of pounds. SDLT specialists will advise on the best ways available, so early knowledge will be beneficial.
Tax is something that most of us like to avoid paying. With specialist advice, deals, projects and companies can be structured to give maximum tax efficiency. The advice can be very different for each individual, so its imperative that you get the correct guidance from specialists who know what is possible and can advise both at an individual and collective level.
Title creation is necessary when we create new units (residential or commercial) for sale and can be advisable for hold units too. Whether creating a freehold and/or leasehold title, it is important that the right advice is taken from experienced lawyers. With leasehold titles the length of lease and the terms will have an effect on the associated freehold value.
Transport and highways – as above
Utility services are notoriously difficult to cost and get connected. Knowing who to talk to, and how and when to talk to them can save you thousands of pounds. In the appraisal stage it’s imperative to get realistic costs for supplies and connections, if this is not possible then you need to know how to accurately estimate this part of the deal structure.
In the areas above where we don’t currently have preferred suppliers we can offer education and advice.