Top advice from your builders merchant
Before you start knocking down walls or erecting an extension, there is some planning that needs to be done – some of which is a legal requirement and some is just to make sure that you don't waste time and money. A builders merchant is a great place to go to not only to get all the building materials that you will need, but also some top advice.
Going it alone or calling in the experts?
One of the first things to consider is whether you will need to hire a professional team to take on your project. Whether you are competent at DIY or not, there are some cases where it is more cost effective, and legally required, to call in an expert tradesperson.
One of the benefits of getting to know your local builders merchant is to make use of their local knowledge. A reputable local tradesman is more likely to use a builders merchant than a high street DIY store, and your local merchant will get to know their customers. So, don't be afraid to ask for recommendations for local builders, plumbers, roofers, tilers, etc.
What about planning permission, can a builders merchant help with this?
A builders merchant can certainly give you advice, but if you are planning a job that could potentially need planning permission they would always suggest contacting an architect.
There is such a thing called 'permitted development' which allow you to make changes to your property without the approval of the local council, however, this can also depend on whether you live in a listed building, conservation area or a flat, so again, getting an architect on board with your project is the best idea. It may seem like a costly outlay, but any builders merchant will tell you that it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
So what can I do without planning permission?
Under permitted development rights you can convert your loft space into living accommodation, but there may be building regulations that need to be adhered to. You can also usually add a conservatory build a porch (but again certain restrictions do apply), add a shed or greenhouse and replace windows.
You can also build an extension, but there are restrictions on height and width.
If you are taking on any of these projects, pay a visit to your local builders merchant who will be able to help with building materials. However, don't forget, the exclusions mentions above, such as listed buildings and conservation areas.
Isn't a builders merchant just for the trades though?
No! Whilst a builders merchant will tend to deal with tradesmen and women more than retail customers, and supply a lot of materials in bulk, they are great places for casual DIYers or those looking to update their homes.
At Chandlers, as well as having a number of building supplies that you would find in your high street DIY chain store, we are a builders merchant that has showrooms where customers can buy direct, or browse and direct their contractor to us to purchase the product of their choosing.
We are more than happy to chat to customers about upcoming projects and give advice. You can find your local branch here.