Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP

Remodelling of Residential Property, Crowborough

The Project

Craig and Jody appointed Faithorn Farrell Timms in August 2015 to provide Design and Contract Administration Services for a residential extension alongside an initial feasibility study, Principal Designer and Party Wall Services.

The project consisted of a two-storey extension, purpose built to serve the needs of our client's son who has cerebral palsy. The extension provided a new accessible bedroom and bathroom, whilst also remodelling the ground floor living areas to create a larger lounge and kitchen.

Additionally, there was a requirement to install suitable lifting and hoisting equipment to enable the family to care for their son.

The project was part grant funded, however, the grant would not cover the costs of a double-storey extension, meaning the family needed to top up this funding with charity fundraising and their own capital in order to raise the extra money for the works.

Our Role

Initially, we undertook a Feasibility Study to outline the options available in order to provide an accessible bedroom and bathroom for their disabled son. Due to the families needs, a double-storey extension was required.

The works were put on hold, whilst negotiations were held between the Local Authority, County Council and our client on whether funding would be made available for the works.

Once approval was received from both our client and the respective councils, BD Woodgate were appointed as Principal Contractor, under a JCT Minor Works with Contractors Design 2016 contract, which commenced in February 2017 with a 16 week contract period.

The Challenges

  • The Local Authority had agreed to fund the cost of a single-storey extension, with the additional costs raised via charity. However, the tender prices returned were higher than the local authority were able to fund.
  • During construction, a beam was uncovered in the old kitchen and was bearing on a wall which was due to be removed. However, the removal of this wall was critical in providing a spacious lounge area.
  • The installation of the bath changing table was delayed due to a mistake by the specialist manufacturer.

The Solution

FFT issued two specifications to tendering contractors with the intention of providing a clear cost comparison between single-storey and double-storey costs. When the works were found to be higher than expected, FFT undertook a re-tender to a selection of contractors local to the site. This proved to be vital as the costs recieved were significantly lower. This allowed the project to go-ahead.

FFT arranged for a Structural Engineer to visit site the following day and a new beam was designed within three days. However, this meant that Party Wall Notice needed to be served to the neighbour in order to cut into the party wall to install the beam. The neighbour consented to the works avoiding any delay to the programme. FFT had highlighted the potential for unforseen costs and allowed for a provisional sum in the contract sum. The cost of the beam installation and engineer inspection was within this provisional sum.

As the changing table was necessary for the family to move back into the property on completion, the works were not awarded Practical Completion. Following this, FFT called a meeting with the manufacturer and the Principal Contractor to solve the problem. It transpired that the manufacturer had mismeasured the bath height and needed to order extended leg supports for the changing table. They were instructed to do so immediately and through negotiation agreed that the specialist legs were to be included in the original price quoted.

Added Value

Due to the funding streams, cost control was vital for this project. FFT went over and above in negotiation and analysis of the costs with the local authority to demonstrate they were proportional. As large portions of the funding was coming from charity money and the clients own capital there was a fixed budget which meant that an overspend was not possible.

In order to ensure the works were not over budget, the design was completed in an extremely risk averse manner, with provisional sums for many different potential risks. This meant the client was provided assurance that the works would not increase to a unsustainable level.

The project was completed significantly under-budget and our client was very satisfied with the outcome of the works.

All the staff at FFT were amazing throughout our whole design and build process. They took the pressure off us and dealt with every aspect of the build to an exceptional standard.

Craig & Jody