FAQs

Design and build projects

  • How long will the job take?

    The duration of any job is influenced by many factors We suggest you refer to our 'you' page which details the main stages of your project. We can react quickly to accommodate most requirements.

    A typical Office Fit out or Refurbishment of an office covering an area of approx 5000 Sqft to take between 5-8 weeks dependent on the scope of works and the finishes/fixtures and fittings which are included in the scheme.

  • Do I need to apply for building regs?

    Most new buildings and alterations to existing buildings, including replacement windows and glazed doors, reroofing or rebuilding of walls require approval under the Building Regulations.

    The following types of project amount to building work and will need building regulations approval:

    • The erection or extension of a building
    • Alterations works which will change/affect the means of escape within a Building
    • An alteration involving work which will temporarily or permanently affect the ongoing compliance of the building, service or fitting with the requirements relating to structure, fire, or access to and use of buildings
    • Installing replacement windows using a builder or window company which is not FENSA registered
    • The installation or extension of a service or fitting which is controlled under the regulations
    • The insertion of insulation into a cavity wall
    • The underpinning of the foundations of a building
    • When you want to change the building's fundamental use
    • Renovation of a thermal element
    • Change of a building's energy status
  • What is CDM?

    Construction Design Management (CDM). The CDM 2007 Regulations apply to most common building, civil engineering and engineering construction works.

    You must notify the Health and Safety Executive of the site if the construction work is expected to either:

    1. Last longer than 30 days
    2. Involve more than 500 person days of construction work

    If either of the above apply then the client is required to appoint a CDM coordinator. A CDM coordinator is responsible to:

    • Advise and assist the client with their duties;
    • Notify details of the project to HSE;
    • Co-ordinate health and safety aspects of design work and co-operate with others involved with the project;
    • Facilitate good communication between the client, designers and contractors;
    • Liaise with the principal contractor regarding ongoing design work;
    • Identify, collect and pass on pre-construction information; and
    • Prepare/update the health and safety file
  • Can Amspec carry out all the work for me? including mechanical and electrical services

    We use experienced Mechanical & Electrical construction partners to provide this service to our customers via Amspec as the Main Contractor. We select our Services companies based upon competitive costing and proven performance. The value achieved  benefits your project.

    It is sometimes difficult to but a value upon the Main Contractors role and tempting to break the job down into its composite parts to extract the raw value. We empathise with this approach but have demonstrated to our clients that real value is achievable by coordinating all trades through one Main Contractor. 

  • Do I need planning permission?

    We have summarised some key categories below, however detailed information is available on The Planning Portal.

    Warehouses and Industrial Buildings

    Under legislation that came into effect in England on 6 April 2010, the erection, extension or alteration of an industrial building or warehouse is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to a number of limits . see The Planning portal for further details.

    Air conditioning - Heat pumps (non-domestic)

    Installations of air source heat pumps on non-domestic land are likely to require an application for planning permission to the local authority

    Installing a ground or water source heat pump in the grounds of a non-domestic building is likely to be considered 'permitted development' with no need to apply to the council for planning permission. There are, however, important limits and conditions which must be met to benefit from the permitted development rights.

    Advertisement consent

    You may need to apply for advertisement consent to display an advertisement bigger than 0.3 square metres (or any size if illuminated) on the front of, or outside, your property

    Change of Use

    Other than where both uses fall within the same use class, planning permission is generally required for a material change of use.

    Demolition

    In most cases you will not need to apply for planning permission to knock down a building, unless the council has made an article 4 direction restricting the permitted development rights that apply to demolition. Where demolition of any kind of building is proposed, the council may wish to agree the details of how you intend to carry out the demolition and how you propose to restore the site afterwards.

    Flues for biomass and combined heat and power systems (non- domestic)

    In many cases installing a flue on non-domestic land as part of a biomass heating system, or a combined heat and power system, is likely to be considered 'permitted development' with no need to apply to the council for planning permission. There are, however, important limits which must be met to benefit from the permitted development rights.

    Shops

    See change of use

    Solar Panels (non Domestic)

    In many cases installing solar panels on non domestic land is likely to be considered 'permitted development' with no need to apply to the council for planning permission. There are, however, important limits and conditions which must be met to benefit from the permitted development rights

    Trees and hedges

    Many trees are protected by tree preservation orders which means that, in general, you need the council's consent to prune or fell them. In addition, there are controls over many other trees in conservation areas.

  • How do I notify my landlord?

    It is standard practice for landlords and tenants to enter into a ‘Licence for Alterations‘ where a tenant wishes to carry out improvements or other major works to its premises during the term of its lease. Whilst structural alterations are sometimes prohibited, non-structural alterations are normally acceptable, subject to the tenant obtaining Landlord’s consent. For the Licence to be considered the Landlord usually requires Proposed drawings and outline specification indicating the works.

    Amspec can provide all information to assist with your Licence to Alter

  • Should I involve my staff in the project?

    This is very much dependant on the size and structure of you organisation. 

    From our experience if it is a particularly fastrack project it is beneficial to limit the number of people involved.

    Alternatively if you have time why not appoint a client Project Team to capture the ideas and opinions with representatives selected from a variety of business departments....this sometimes has its benefits...

  • Can Amspec help with IT and Telecoms?

    Amspec can provide IT and Telephony services as an integral part of a project.

    Larger companies have the benefit of a professional IT Manager who will have specific requirements. Whilst smaller companies may find it useful to talk to our IT specialists about there requirements.

    We have a proven track record of delivering trouble free IT infrastructure backed up with a 25 year guarantee.

  • Can you carry out the work whilst we are in occupation?

    In most cases Amspec will be able to undertake works whilst staff are in occupation within a building. This is done in a number of ways:

    1. Out of hours working
    2. Temporary relocation of teams to create ‘free’work areas
    3. Dust-proof temporary screens and barriers to segregate the works

    Our directly employed workforce are trained to be customer facing and courteous at all times.

  • Do you know where I can get finance?

    We are able to assist you in making a business case to a variety on independent lenders.

    Depending upon the value and scope of your project we could quite easily provide off balance sheet funding to cover 100% of the cost.

    We understand that Cashflow is the life-blood of most small to medium size companies and whilst you may be able to finance the project from your reserves it makes complete sense to annex the finance of the scheme to a 3rd party.

    We work with PLUS Finance quite alot but there a other similar funders out their who will provide off balance sheet funding to help you company make that next step.

    Please speak to us as we are 100% independent........

  • Do you carry out new build projects and external work?

    Amspec is an Interiors specialist  but we also carry out Structural Works, Extensions, Landscaping and Groundworks as part of our Construction Service.

    We are equipped and skilled at providing a full Design and Build offering to our clients both traditional build and SIP construction.

  • Does Amspec supply furniture?

    We have no particular allegiance with any furniture manufacture. when chosing furniture the choice can be mind boggling....! Its never ceases to amaze us how many furniture manufacturers their are out there. 

    Our advice to our clients is to carry out your Workplace appraisal to determine the type of furniture you require and then go to the marketplace. 

    the good furniture manufacturers will be FIRA rated which is the main quality accessment body. After that it comes down to person choice and budget. 

    The trend for "Agile working" is worth considering as in most cases a proportion of your staff will not require a permanenat desk allocation.

    Please consult us for an impartial approach to furniture procurement....

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