Our main services are listed here but if you do not
find what you are looking for please contact us.
When instructed to assist with the design of your project, we listen to your ideas and work with you to unlock your vision for your property. The ultimate objective is to ensure that the house you live in becomes your dream home. Our designers use the most up to date AutoCAD software to prepare proposed drawings. We can also provide 3D visualisations help with modelling the external appearance and internal space.
We have worked with a number of local contractors and can recommend those that work to the highest workmanship standards while still providing good value. With projects often involving listed properties it is important that builders have knowledge of the traditional skills and materials required for historic buildings.
We will also ensure the project meets all Building Regulations. These cover a number of areas from the size of a steel beam and it’s fire resistant covering to how much insulation is included within new walls and how new drainage must be dealt with. We keep a close eye on the quality of the finish and the finer details too, we know how important this is, not just to your enjoyment of the property but also to its value.
Do you need planning permission?
Planning legislation is key as it can often directly influences the size and design of a proposed building. We can meet with the local planning authority at an early stage to discuss any potential problems with the site and ensure that there is a reasonable chance of gaining planning consent. We obtain planning consents for one-off residential new-builds, conversions and extensions.
Do you need Listed Building Consent?
We can advise you on whether your building works require Listed Building Consent. We have experience working with listed buildings and local Wealden Conservation Officers and can prepare detailed drawings and a Heritage Statement to support an application.
What is a specification?
A specification or Schedule of Works is often a lengthy document which sets out in detail the building works to be undertaken. The document tells the builder what materials to use from the type of the bricks to the light fittings.
Why do you need a specification?
We will ask builders to price against the specification and it is often appended to a building contract. It is then clear exactly what work will be included in the builders tender.
We offer a full project management service which involves managing the whole process from design through to completion. We can also tailor this service to suit your needs and budget offering ‘ad-hoc’ site visits. Our involvement will ensure that the build is completed on time and within budget.
We can advise you on the best type of contract, assist with tender documents and provide contract administration. We can work with your chosen contractor to ensure that payments are certified throughout the project and also oversee the quality of the build.
Surveys & Inspections
What is a Building Survey?
A Building Survey (previously known as a (Structural Survey) is a comprehensive inspection of the condition of the building and is suitable for all properties.
It is strongly recommended for properties that:
• are over 70 years old
• have alterations/extensions undertaken or planned
• are in poor condition
Pre-purchase surveys are most often instructed by a purchaser once an offer has been accepted on a property. Buying a property is the biggest investment an individual will make. A pre-purchase inspection will identify any major defects such as subsidence and less obvious, uninsurable defects like rising damp.
Our report will use plain language to explain any matters of concern. The report will ensure that you are able to make an informed decision and will either give you the peace of mind that you are making a sound investment or have the ammunition to negotiate on price, or to arrange for necessary works to be carried out.
What is the Condition Report?
The Condition Report is a bespoke survey provided by Lawrence & Taylor which has a similar level of detail to a HomeBuyer Report but doesn’t include a Market Valuation or a valuation of rebuilding costs for insurance purposes.
This report is popular with purchasers who have arranged their own mortgage valuation but want a basic level survey to confirm the condition of the property.
The Condition Report is recommended for properties less than 70 years old and for those which have not been extensively altered.
Have you become aware of damp or cracking to your property?
We can carry out a defect inspection which includes a detailed analysis of the problem and will explain the cause to you plainly. Where appropriate, details of the remedial work required are included and we can recommend a suitable contractor to carry out the works.
We have considerable experience in the investigation and diagnosis of building defects. These include assessing; cracking to external walls, subsidence and the effect of trees, and problems of water penetration and timber decay. Our defect reports are often instructed by home owners, business owners and letting agents wanting to obtained independent advice on the defect and to ensure that it is correctly diagnosed.
We recommend inspection by a Chartered Surveyor before works are carried out by a builder to ensure that the defect is correctly identified and to prevent ineffective costly works.
A buildings insurance valuation is an assessment of how much it would cost to rebuild the property in the event of a fire or collapse and enables you to insure it for the correct amount. This includes visiting the property, taking measurements to calculate the floor area and surveying the type of construction and fittings in accordance with RICS recommendations.
If you are proposing to carry out works to your property which are close to the party wall, or if you have received a notice from a neighbour wishing to carry out such works, we will be able to provide you with the appropriate advice and act as your Party Wall Surveyor as required.
Disputes over building works are not uncommon, in this instance a report from an Expert Witness Surveyor may be required to give an independent and unbiased view to help the Court understand the matter and reach a decision.
If you are in dispute over a building matter and resolution has not been possible, you can obtain assistance from a Surveyor acting as Expert Witness early on to provide independent assessment of your position.
If the dispute relates to substandard building work, an Expert Witness should be instructed to inspect the work at an early stage before remedial works commence which could remove the evidence.
We are experienced in carrying out Expert Witness Reports in respect of the following issues:
• valuations on property
• defective building works
• negligence by property professionals
Lawrence & Taylor combine our experience in designing with our construction knowledge to oversee insurance property claims for reinstatement works for fire, flood, water damage and impact damage to various properties.
We have experience representing Insurance Policy Holders and can lead you through all stages of the process to take away much of the stress. We coordinate directly with Insurance Companies and their Loss Adjusters and negotiate on your behalf where possible to ensure a fair reinstatement.
Our involvement would typically include undertaking an initial appraisal of the damage, preparing a schedule of remedial works, obtaining competitive tenders, and overseeing construction work.
We are lucky being based in Sussex, to be surrounded by a wealth of historic towns and listed buildings. We regularly survey historic buildings including converted barns and period houses which require knowledge of traditional building materials such as lime mortar and an understanding of building pathology.
We have been involved with many listed buildings in Kent and Sussex including churches and Wealden houses and can advise on the repair of sandstone and flint walls and traditional oak frame construction. We are also experienced in working with any heritage bodies that may need to provide their approval to any works.