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Extensions... what comes first?

Have now secured money in place for alot of work to be done on the house.
I'm wanting to extend a 1930's bay fronted semi here in the North West. The single storey extension is to include a garage, utility room, porch (overlapping the front door) and dining room.

My question is what comes first?
Is it builder, architect or council?

Planning should be no problem as many in my street have single storey extensions.
I also realise that builders have pet architects, and architects have pet builders.

Should it be a builder to come round first and quote on COULD be done for x amount. Or should I get the plans drawn up first for the builder to give me an accurate quote. In that case would the architect have an accurate idea of total costing.

Sorry if my question is confusing.

10 Answers from MyBuilder Extension Builders

Best Answer

Your best bet is to get a builder round to give you a guide price for the work , then get an architect of your choice round and tell him what you want, don't let him tell you what you want. Get the architect to do a preliminary drawing for you, ( these should cost little or no money) then get the builder to give you an estimate for the work as shown on the prelimanary drawings. You will then know if the job will be within your budget. Next you instruct the architect to draft up drawings to send to the council for planning permission.Whilst the drawings are with the council, send copies to at least 3 builders including the one who you first met, to provide you with a fixed quotation, not an estimate. Decide on the builder not just on price, trust is very important, agree a start date , subject to planning permission. Once permission and builder are sorted, a quick call to the council building control department to check that there are no bad reports on your chosen builder, then your ready to start.
Just one thing, never give too much, if anything, for a deposit, and always keep 10% back until you have recieved your completion certificate from the council,
Good luck
Paul Mason,


Answered 12th Dec 2011

Hello medic,

Architect, planning, builder, is the best order.

Architect usually will arrange planning, make sure they know your budget/requirements and not their fanciful requirements.

Then invite as many builders to quote as possible.

Don't accept first quotes, pick the ones you feel you can trust to do the job to the standard you require (view similar previous works not a portfolio of shiney photo's), but always haggle the price down if you can.

Often best if the architect, doesn't know the builder and no in house plans etc always costs you more (backhanders etc).

Maybe cheaper to hire an independent project manager who will charge you a fee to run your project, but has no ulterior motive.

I don't expect this to get liked, but even the best builders over charge


Answered 13th Dec 2011

Hi several ways you can do this
My advise get an architect do plans etc he will deal with planning etc.
then either ask architect to project manange (fee involved )or do this yourself normally involves 3 builders tendering on your plans and project, the builder will then look after council with regards to building regs and inspections.
good luck


Answered 12th Dec 2011

1. architect for drawings
2. send off for planning & building regs
3. now is the best time to get the builders in to quote you
4 . get planning [ about 8 wks wait
5 . start job

thanks keith


Answered 12th Dec 2011

You need the architect first, he will sit down with you and discuss what requirements you need, then draw up the plans and hopefully sort out the planning applications and building regs.
The architect will have several copies of plans, which you can then give to the builders of your choice, they will then price up, like for like, get at least 3 prices.
By the time the planning permission has been granted you will have had all the prices in, it all works in together.


Answered 12th Dec 2011

Hi medic,

Plans come first. You can have them put together by employing an architect directly (it does not have to be an architect). If you know what you want then you could have a designer do them to save a bit of money.

Some builders like ourselves offer a complete package and handle design, planning, and the building process.

Builders can always be more accurate with costs if they have plans to work from. So I would have these created and then advertise your job on here and get a few tradesman round to quote.

You may be able to carry out the work under 'permitted development'. This allows you to extend up to a certain volume without planning. Check out for help


John Briner
Briner & Sons Ltd


Answered 12th Dec 2011

Architect would be first,Builders cannot give an accurate price without the drawings and building control cannot approve it without seeing your proposals.The architect may be able to give you a rough guide to price but it will only be rough.At the moment im seeing builders that want a rock star lifestyle and others that will price work way under the real value knowing that the work will not get finished.Only real way to put a price on the job is to get drawings and quotes from RECOMMENDED tradesmen.


Answered 12th Dec 2011

you should first find out from your council if you can get planning for the building. the council will let you know things like what the maximum size can be. when you know these details you can get an architect who will draw you up a plan to the allowed dimentions and heighs etc. one you decided on the plans you like you should then get in builders to quote you. as a bricklayer myself i like to see somethign i can work off instead of guess work. a drawing with measurmens on it is always the best way to get a accurate quote,this also cuts out any future issues with possible changes to plans.


Answered 12th Dec 2011

best to get drawings and planning done first most architechs will do all this for you then builder can give a detailed quotation from drawings ,if no drawings then youre only going to get guide prices estimates ect,most extensions can be done for 1k-1.5kper sqm dependant on final finishes ie toilets bathrooms ect


Answered 12th Dec 2011

you must contact the council first with a proposal and rough details about size etc.. then if they give the ok you get the architect to draw up plans which are submitted, if the council are happy the builder can then price the work


Answered 12th Dec 2011

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