Another local project now on site.
Monday, 10 May 2021
Monday, 15 March 2021
LABC Technical Update.
Acceptability of timber frame kits for use on our sites
Important update to LABC Warranty requirements
The use of off-site, prefabricated manufactured timber frame panels is becoming ever more popular. LABC Warranty needs to ensure that timber frame is manufactured to high standards of consistency and uniformity, to maintain high standards across the industry and give peace of mind to homeowners.
From September 1st 2021 LABC Warranty will only accept new projects for warranty application that have timber frame panels by an accredited manufacturer or have been assessed by the Warranty Innovations Team.
From now until September 1st 2021, transitional arrangements will apply and timber frame panels will be accepted subject to certain conditions, described below.
LABCW Timber Frame What We Need (pdf download)
LABC Warranty’s position on timber frame panel accreditation
LABC technical requirements ask for such timber frame wall panels to be accredited to:
- STA Silver or Gold standard, or
- BM TRADA QMark, or
- CATG – Frame Mark
(Note: a standard membership of one of the above is not identified as being accredited)
The accreditation should include ISO 9001 quality control systems for the materials supply, design and manufacture of the frame. Trained and competent installers are also expected to erect the frames.
We have noted that a number of manufacturers have chosen not to seek accreditation and do not have adequate ISO 9001 systems in place.
It is important from a warranty perspective that as no harmonised standard for timber frame kits exists, the need for a recognised industry standard accreditation for the manufacture of timber frame panels is vital to ensure they are constructed to consistent standards to meet the requirements of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.
This benefits the industry and the end user, giving peace of mind to the homeowner.
Timber frame panel transitional arrangements
Therefore, where a project is to be submitted for LABC warranty, LABC Warranty is introducing a transition period from now up to September 1st 2021, to allow timber frame manufacturers to either:
- Attain accreditation to one of the above acceptable levels, or
- Be in the process of gaining accreditation and provide evidence of such. We will require such application to be completed within an agreed period on a case-by-case basis and no later than 31st December 2021
As part of that accreditation, an ISO 9001 quality management system for the materials supply, design and manufacture will need to be in place by 1st September by all manufacturers.
On September 1st 2021 and thereafter, LABC will only accept new projects for warranty application that have Timber frame panels by an accredited manufacturer or have been assessed by the Warranty Innovations Team as meeting our Technical Manual requirement, which will include having an ISO 9001 quality management system in place (as above).
Thursday, 11 March 2021
Planning Granted in Whitnage
Planning has been granted to convert an existing outbuilding, formerly a large detached garage, to create a garden room/playroom and extend the outbuilding to create a home office and store. It was also within the scope of the proposal to erect an oak framed 4-bay garage.
Work has commenced on the demolition phase on a project that will reverse the 1970's conversion of two offices back into two residential dwellings in Bradninch, Devon.
Does an outbuilding need building regulations approval?
With the increase in people working from home during the pandemic, it seems a useful time to visit the topic of building regulations and small detached buildings, in domestic settings such as home offices, workshops and other uses.
As a rule, the construction of any new building is likely to be work that is controlled under the building regulations. However, there might be cases where some small, detached buildings can be treated as exempt from them.
Under the building regulations the erection of a building is treated as controlled building work – to which the building regulations must be applied and for which a notice must be given to the local authority before the work begins.
However, there are some exceptions.
- Those with a floor area not exceeding 30m2; and
- Those with a floor area not exceeding 15m2
To be exempt from the regulations they must have the features listed below and they must not contain any sleeping accommodation (no beds in sheds).
Small, detached buildings less than or equal to 30m2
These must be single storey – a roof mezzanine or loft floor would not be permitted, and:
- The internal floor area must not be greater than 30m2 (for example 3m x 10m, or 5m x 6m), and
- The building must be constructed substantially of non-combustible material unless it is 1m or more away from any boundary.
These types of buildings are typically used as garages, workshops, home offices, garden rooms, saunas.
The boundary measurement rule is important as features such as fascias, soffits, guttering, rainwater pipes - anything that is part of and protrudes from the building - can be counted as being a point from which the closeness to the boundary can be measured. If any part of the building is between 0m to 0.999mm then the materials that can be used for construction must be controlled.
In the case of a building closer than 1m to the boundary – to retain the exemption status – materials must be, in the main, non-combustible. That means they should be, for example, walls of brick, block, concrete panel, steel frame with metal cladding etc, and roofs of slate, clay or concrete tiles, or metal cladding.
If the building is 1m or more away from the boundary there are no restrictions on the type of materials that can be used.
These are not limited to being single storey.
- The internal floor area must not be more than 15m2 (for example 3m x 5m, or 2-storeys of 7.5m2 each).
- There are no restrictions in relation to the closeness to the boundary, or the type of materials that must be used.
It's important to know that the 'floor area' of the building means the aggregate area of every floor in the building, calculated by reference to the finished internal faces of the walls enclosing the area, or if at any point where there is no wall, by reference to the outermost edge of the floor. For example, in the case of a garage, if part of one wall is made up of a garage door, the measurement would be to the outside edge of the floor slab.
If the physical features or use do not fit with the rules for exempt status, this does not mean that the building can't be built, it just means that the work is controlled and must be notified to the council under the building regulations, and that a Full Plans or Building Notice application must be made, and the work must be inspected.
If the detached building can be treated as exempt then other features can be classed as being exempt too – such as the provision of any toilets, showers, boilers or wood-burning stoves etc. inside the building, so long as these features do not materially change the status of the exemption.
However, there are some exceptions to this - namely:
- The installation of any electrics where the electricity is from a source shared with or located inside a dwelling, in which case the installation must comply with Approved Document P and might be notifiable work.
- The installation of cold or hot water supplies from a source shared with or located inside any building other than a building or extension, in which case the work must comply with Approved Document G and is notifiable work.
- The extension of any existing drainage system to serve the exempt detached building, in which case the extended drainage must comply with Approved Document H and is notifiable work.
- Will the building require planning permission?
- Will a build over agreement be required from the local water authority – in the case of the building being constructed on or close to a public sewer?
- Will permission be required from the gas, electricity, or water authorities for building over or close to any pipes or cables?
Monday, 16 October 2017
Tuesday, 3 January 2017
Pantone Colour of the Year 2017
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Frank Lloyd Wright...
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
Pantone Colour of the Year 2015...
Every year since 1990, the Pantone Colour Institute has nominated a Colour of the Year, forecasting which specific hue designers and consumers will all supposedly be using, wearing, and buying for the following 12 months. Pantone has recently announced that the 2015 Colour of the Year is Marsala. Pantone described the colour as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red.”
Section 106 charges gone...
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
Did you know...
- the size limits for householder single-storey rear extensions are increased from 4m to 8m for detached houses and from 3m to 6m for all other types of houses. The new larger extensions are subject to a neighbour consultation scheme
- the size limits for extensions to shops and professional/financial services establishments are increased to 100m2, or half of the original floor space, whichever is smaller. Extensions are allowed right up to the boundary of the property, unless it is a boundary with a residential property where a 2m gap will be retained
- the size limits for extensions to offices are increased to 100m2, or half of the original floor space, whichever is smaller
- the size limits for new industrial buildings within the curtilage of existing industrial premises are increased to 200m2
- offices can be converted to residential without the need for a planning application.
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Care Home Addition...
Preparations are under way for the creation of two new rooms for residents at a local residential care home, Somerville House. Somerville House is a large detached, converted and extended property in a quiet residential area of Willand on the outskirts of Cullompton. The home provides residential care and support for older people.
RTDA have taken an existing annexe to create the two new residents rooms both with en-suite facilities, storage area and linen cupboard.
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
New Houses in Exeter...
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Pantone Colour of the Year 2014...
Monday, 3 February 2014
Eastern Concrete HQ, Stowmarket...
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Monday, 4 March 2013
Chalets and Log Cabins on your land...
- What is the chalet/log cabin/garden room going to be used for?
- Where is the chalet/log cabin/garden office going to be located?
- Is your site a registered AONB (Area of Outstanding natural Beauty)?
- Is your property a listed building?
- How big is the chalet/log cabin/garden office?
- How is the building constructed and what does it look like?
- It is to be sited in the garden of a detached or semi-detached property.
- The property is not in an area of conservation or outstanding natural beauty or similar category.
- The property is not a listed building.
- The cabin will not be between the house and a highway (or if it is there shall be a 20m distance from the highway).
- The cabin will not be above 4m in height.
- Total area covered by buildings will not exceed half of the garden.
- The cabin is not to be used commercially (home office is usually acceptable if it does not detract from the main use of the property).
- The cabin is not to be used as a dwelling.
- There are no other covenants that prevent you from exercising your permitted developments rights.
- No outbuilding forward of the principal elevation fronting a highway.
- Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
- Maximum height 2.5 metres within two metres of a boundary.
- No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
- No more than half the area of land around the "original house"* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
- In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from house to be limited to 10 square metres.
- On designated land buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.
- Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.