OUR SERVICES

As a highly interdisciplinary team, we're able to take on property challenges in a huge range of fields, while our expertise also puts us in a unique position to advise on business management and sustainability.
Check out our range of specialisms by navigating the buttons below...

Property Search

Design

Planning Permission

Viability Analysis

Property Agency

Project Managers

Self & Custom Build

Property Search

For most business owners, finding the right workshop or office can be a chore.
At Build Consultants, it's an opportunity to create something unique.
Over the years, we've relocated countless businesses on freehold and leasehold bases - whether to open on day one or to expand in year ten. We understand that moving premises is a huge undertaking for businesses of any size, so the destination needs to match your needs as smoothly precisely as possible to make the project worthwhile. We also believe in making the process as painless as we can for our clients, leveraging our expertise across searching, surveying, agency, and financing to provide a complete package.
We take a structured, stage-by-stage approach to property searches, carrying out careful due diligence at all stages to ensure that what we're doing is the right thing for you. Our search work includes:

Stage 1: The Search

We're experts in leveraging a variety of sources to find the right premises for you. We'll check all the usual online platforms, from Rightmove to Zoopla, on a regular basis, while we leverage our extensive relationships with agents and our business networks to search for off-market opportunities for you and your business. Our expertise in planning and project management means we're also equipped to look for 'blue skies' potential in converting or rehabilitating sites that wouldn't seem to suit on a first glance.

Stage 2: Appraisal

We'll leverage our experience in project management and our financial acumen, as well as our expertise in planning and property law, to appraise the options that we've identified against your unique circumstances and requirements, liaising extensively with you to develop a deep understanding of what you're looking for - and we'll keep trying until we find what you need.

Stage 3: Survey

Once we've found the right property, understanding what you're buying, and getting it for the right price, is critical to a successful acquisition. Our keen eye for detail and broad understanding of the issues that occupiers face mean we're uniquely equipped to conduct surveys and produce a Schedule of Condition, giving you a comprehensive picture of your business' future home before you occupy - and leveraging our extensive list of standard due diligence queries to ensure that any issues picked up are dealt with appropriately in negotiations over the cost of purchase.

Stage 4: Negotiation & Acquisition

Structuring the right financial and legal package is critical to ensuring that your new property can work for you for the duration of its useful life. We'll make sure that the price is right, and that caveats like ground rents and business rates are known and quantified, and we'll explore every opportunity to save you money - both in the transaction itself and by exploiting opportunities to reduce operating expenses, sublet unneeded space, and the like. We'll also support the conveyancing team to make sure all enquiries are explored and answered quickly and efficiently, minimising the time it takes to get to completion.

Stage 5: Moving!

Moving premises can be a complicated and stressful process - that's why we'll leverage the full force of our design and project management team to plan and manage the process, from transporting valuable machinery to making the best use of space in your new premises. We're also able to procure, manage, and administrate any construction works that need doing to your business' new home before you can move in.

Design

We're not architects...
We're something much broader.
Designing is a critical step in most property projects: whether your business is moving office or you're looking to create your dream self-build home, it's a fundamental component of the industry that can make or break an outcome - which is why, at Build Consultants, we bring the full depth and breadth of our expertise to bear on the design process. Our in-house design technicians have the know-how to bring the right design to life in 2D, 3D, and computer-generated imagery, guided by our professional team to ensure that you're getting the very best out of your space.
Quality design work is a complex and continually evolving craft, and requires a unique blend of the arts and sciences to get right. Nevertheless, there are some principles that we hold as universal:

Always Unique

We don't believe in boxes. No two designs are ever the same, and nor should they be - because no two occupants ever have identical needs or wants. That's why we'll spend time getting to know you and your business as part of our design process.

Fabric First

Buildings need maintenance - that's a fact of life, and it's one that the design process should always account for. Specifying high-quality, long-life materials from the ground up means your property will be built to last, with fewer costs along the line for refurbishment or upgrades.

No Challenge Too Big

Our team has worked on a vast array of projects, from conservatories to housing developments to hurricane-proof bridges - and they've all had their quirks and their challenges. We may not be able to predict every problem that could crop up in your project, but we have absolute confidence in our ability to solve them when they do.

What Comes Next?

Over its useful lifespan, a building will have a great many occupants - which is why ensuring that we're designing to maximise your property's value when you're finished with it is high up our agenda. We'll look at ways to maximise and protect value, and to ensure that our design doesn't rule out future potential uses, buyers, or tenants.

Green Today, Not Tomorrow

Our planet is facing an unprecedented threat of collapse due to climate change and ecological degradation - the result of uncontrolled human activity - and we all have a part to play in resolving these crises. That's why we'll always factor nature and carbon emissions into our design work at the absolute earliest opportunity, leveraging our expertise in building technologies and our certified in-house expert in the EDGE Buildings platform to produce the best outcome for you and for the planet.

EDGE Buildings is a green building assessment and certification program produced by the IFC, part of the World Bank Group. We've recently become the first firm in England to partner with the Sintali-SGS consortium, offering a complete package of EDGE Expert, Audit and Certification services - to find out more, get in touch with us at [email protected], or visit www.sintali.com/edge-certification.

Planning Permission

It's every homeowner's nightmare - but it's one of our specialties.
Planning permission and law are a complex, difficult pyramid of regulations and policy documents from different levels of government - and if not handled correctly can lead to serious delays or added costs for your project.
With experience in projects from the mundane to the extraordinary, we're specialists in achieving planning permission for complex and difficult projects - including conversions and change of use as well as rural self- and custom-builds - while the broad base of parallel expertise across our diverse team means that we can bring a full suite of relevant professions to bear on your planning project.
As standard, our work on your planning permission always includes initial design work from our in-house team, as well as a financial viability study, and can include a range of our services to suit your needs, experience, and budget:

Design & CGI

Our in-house design team can produce a full set of site and floor plans, elevations, and other related drawings to ensure that the Planning Authority has all the documents it needs to understand your scheme - and with powerful rendering tools at our disposal, we can create computer-generated imagery to really bring your project to life.

Specialist & Application Management

Our extensive portfolio of successful planning applications means we're intimately familiar with every step of the process, and are able to call on a range of trusted contacts to arrange the full set of specialist services needed for your planning application - from ecology to flood risk, and archaeology to contamination. We're also able to manage the application itself, completing all the relevant paperwork, submitting, and liaising with the Planning Officer on your behalf.

Planning Statements

We're able to draft and submit Design & Access, Planning, and Heritage Statements to accompany your application, with reference to all-important national and local policy documents as well as relevant appeal decisions and court judgements, ensuring joined-up thinking across the most important parts of your application, and that the best possible case is presented in support of your scheme.

Market Studies

We're qualified to produce a variety of market studies to support your planning application. For unique residential applications, we offer a form of the Sequential Test that's part of flood risk assessment to illustrate whether or not the local market is already offering what you're proposing, while for applications that involve a loss of employment use we'll work with you to produce the relevant documentation in the form of an Employment Statement.

We're also able to leverage our expertise in support of requests for pre-application planning advice and permitted development applications.

Viability Analysis

Reality can hit hard.
So it's our job to make sure that you always know what's coming.
Designing your dream home, or finding what looks like a perfect investment opportunity - they're both great feelings. When it comes to property, though, it pays to be careful; hidden costs, underestimates, or simply a lack of contingency planning can all derail projects by putting them beyond your financial means - which is why it's critical to make sure you're kept well-informed of the financial reality of your project.
We use our extensive expertise in all aspects of property, from legal structures to planning to the build itself, to anticipate nasty surprises and produce an accurate estimate of the cost and return of your project, taking into account the unique circumstances and opportunities that your property might offer to create additional value. Our viability analysis offering includes:

Design Study

Whether it's using your own architectural drawings or by producing an in-house feasibility proposal, the first and most important stage of any feasibility study is to analyse the design. We're looking to answer two questions in this stage: what makes the property stand out, and is it well-suited for its purpose? These are critical considerations that we need to have answered to inform our market study.

Market Assessment

To understand whether a project is right for you means ascertaining whether you'll be better off at the end of it - and an important part of that is assessing what impact it'll have on the value, freehold or leasehold, of your property. We'll conduct a comprehensive search of comparable properties to obtain current market data, and obtain historic price paid statistics - coupled with our extensive market knowledge and any design study we've undertaken, we'll use this to make a professional assessment of the market value of your proposal.

Costs Study

The final component of any robust viability study is an assessment of the costs that come with a project - even if that project is a simple continuing tenancy. We'll bring our extensive knowledge of a wide variety of property issues to bear, backed up by industry experience and data, and anticipate the costs you're likely to face. Some of the things we'll consider are:

For leaseholds...

  • Maintenance costs:
    • How old is the boiler?
    • What's the condition of the roof?
    • Is there a sinking fund?
  • Tenancy management:
    • Preparing Schedules of Condition & Dilapidation
    • Negotiating dilapidation liabilities
    • Marketing & negotiating new tenancies

For freeholds and new projects...

  • Solicitors' & agents' fees
  • Finance costs - fees and interest
  • Party Wall Act fees
  • Remediation of contamination
  • Flood risk modelling & abatement costs
  • New or altered access or service routes and capacities
  • Landscaping
  • Asbestos management surveys & disposal
  • Per square metre build and conversion rates
  • Green technologies
  • Business Rates
  • Building Control & Warranties

Property Agency

Picking the right agent to buy, sell, or lease property on your behalf can be a nightmare.
With Build Consultants, you can have the confidence that our years of industry experience and extensive knowledge across the property sector will put you in good stead to find the right site, buyer, or tenant.
At the heart of our business model is ensuring that your interests are protected. As instructed agents, you can rest easy in the knowledge that the full expertise of our team in property search, planning policy, viability analysis, and property law will be brought to bear in any and all work we conduct on your behalf.
Whether it's a condition sale of a self-build plot or a conventional commercial tenancy, you can trust us to ask the rights questions on your behalf:

Residential & Commercial Sales

  • What's the extant planning use? What's the right market for this use - and can it be adapted or repurposed?
  • Where might the buyer seek to make savings? How can we preclude problems and have answers for difficult questions ready in advance?
  • Would a conditional sale contract, subject to the owner obtaining planning consent, create additional value?
  • Could any agreements with neighbours, for example for additional access, improve the land?

Residential & Commercial Acquisitions

  • What's the proposed boundary? Is the value per square metre appropriate?
  • What's the proposed tenure of the acquisition - freehold or long leasehold?
  • Are there any encumbrances, by way of easements, leases, or the like? Are any rights to be retained by the seller?
  • What access and use classes does the property benefit from?
  • To protect disposal at the end of the property's useful life, what are the property's planning prospects?
  • Is the property contaminated? Do any buildings comply with Building Regulations? Are Building Control certificates available?
  • What services are available on or adjacent to the property?
  • Will the sale value be sufficient to eliminate any outstanding liabilities charged against the property?

Lettings & Tenancies

  • What's the proposed demise? Does the tenancy benefit from any off-premises rights, for access, services, or similar?
  • Is the tenancy valued at an appropriate market rate? Does this rate reflect any benefits or encumbrances to be borne by the tenant?
  • Who is the proposed tenant? Do they have good standing, financially and in business? What protections exist for the landlord's rental income?
  • Are any alterations to the premises proposed or have any been undertaken? Are these under valid license?
  • Does the premises meet relevant Building Regulations standards, including for energy efficiency?
  • Is an up-to-date Schedule of Condition available? What dilapidations obligations are outstanding, or to be introduced?
  • Are any sinking fund arrangements in place?
  • How is insurance and maintenance to be handled? Who is responsible?
  • Is an appropriate planning use class in place for the proposed use? If not, who is responsible for obtaining change of use?

Project Managers

Every construction project has its pitfalls.
At Build Consultants, we have the experience to anticipate and preclude the inevitable challenges that crop up - and the expertise to deal with those that aren't foreseen.
From unexpected design complications to unexploded ordinance, issues can crawl out of the woodwork in any area of a project. Our extensive planning process and experience with a wide range of historical projects means we're familiar with the type of challenges that tend to occur, so we pride ourselves on our ability to plan ahead - whether that's with flexible project programmes, robust contractual language and structures, or responsible contingency planning. We're also here to handle the unexpected, able to deploy our wider industry knowledge to fully consider the options and their implications for your project.
Every project is different, but some things are always needed to ensure a project runs effectively:

Careful Programming

The classic Gantt chart is a highly underrated tool for making sure things are happening at the right time. We'll produce a feasibility programme at the start of every project, planning out every stage of the process to illustrate where the holdups might be - and building in realism and contingency from day 1. Whether the project is measured in months or years, we'll plan to keep the critical pathway moving at a pace to suit your requirements, and through a simple and transparent document we'll keep you and other stakeholders up-to-date on progress throughout.

Robust Contracts

Project Management comes hand-in-hand with Contract Administration. We're experienced with writing and implementing a wide range of JCT Contracts, for Minor and Intermediate Works in either Build or Design & Build formats, and always ensure appropriate RICS appointments and warranties are in place with relevant specialists to protect you in any and all eventualities. When disputes arise, as Contract Administrators we're able to act professionally to mediate according to the relevant contractual and legal contexts.

Stakeholder Co-ordination

Successful construction projects need input from a wide range of professions at different points to ensure things are built to the correct design and in the right process. We instruct and liaise with the relevant specialists on your behalf, ensuring the right advice is provided at the right price to keep your project moving - and ensure it's kept on budget and inside the law. We'll also ensure that any implications for other specialist work, the project programme, and the like are properly recorded and accounted for, communicated, and agreed with you.

Health & Safety

Staying on the right side of CDM Regulations is critical to ensuring that every project is carried out with minimal risk to site workers, specialists, visitors - and even you, the client. Appropriate management plans and records must be created and maintained, while compliance must be monitored to ensure that the site remains safe for all involved. We're able to act as Principal Designers, coordinating and managing health and safety in pre-construction phases while assisting you to ensure that your contractor(s) are fully compliant with relevant standards.

Financial Management

Budgets make or break projects - which is why we're laser-focused on making sure your money is spent on the right things and in the right amounts. We'll work as needed with a financier or Quantity Surveyor to monitor the expenditure on your project, ensuring that overruns are controlled and justified through appropriate contractual processes, and that the right prices are obtained for specialists and primary contractual works.

Self & Custom Build

Self & Custom Build homes offer the opportunity to create your dream home.
And at Build Consultants, we've been helping people realise these dreams for many years.
Our highly interdisciplinary approach means we can support you from concept to completion on either style of journey, providing expert support in helping you to identify the right plot, at the right price, to craft your design, obtain planning permission, and to plan and carry out your build.
Depending on the level of control and involvement you'd like, we're able to tailor a package of support and advice to suit you. Some of the areas we're commonly asked to assist with are below, but we're able to offer support on the vast majority of challenges that you might need a hand with - check out our other services, or get in touch, to find out more!
Plot Searching
The first hurdle in any Self or Custom Build journey is to find the right plot - and at the right price. Our extensive experience with a wide variety of sites and planning applications means we're able to identify unique, 'outside the box' sites that might on first glance appear unsuitable or difficult to work with - and turn them into plots for your dream home.
If we're able to identify a number of would-be Self or Custom Builders searching in the same area, we're also able to bring people together to look at larger plots of land that would normally be out of reach for an individual household.
Contract & Acquisition
Once your plot has been identified, it's really important that the legal process is properly configured to ensure you're protected throughout the process. We can negotiate with landowners on your behalf, developing acquisition models and documentation that reduces your liability in the event that something goes wrong - for example, if planning permission is denied, or if extensive and expensive remediation works to eliminate ground contamination turn out to be required.
Planning Permission
Once the acquisition process has been agreed and is underway, designing and obtaining planning permission for your dream home is the next big step we can support you with. We're not architects, but our technicians can work with you to get your dream on paper, producing plans and CGIs to support the planning application - or, we can work with an architect of your choosing, or recommend one of our usual partners, to produce and integrate your design into a planning application, providing proactive advice on how your proposed design relates to the planning context and challenges. We can handle production of ancillary and supporting documentation, including Planning and Design & Access Statements, coordination of specialist professions such as ecologists and arborists, and the submission and administration of the planning application on your behalf. 
Finance & Viability
From day 1, it's critical that your Self or Custom Build project is thoroughly planned to ensure that it fits within your budget - whether you're a cash buyer or looking to use mortgage finance to make your dream a reality. We can work with you to produce financial models assessing the costs of your project against its projected final value, setting out cashflow considerations and supporting you in providing details to any finance providers you might be working with.
Project Management
Not everyone is an expert in Building Regulations, building technologies, or the general ins-and-outs of building a home - so we're available to support you in commissioning and managing your construction team, from the day you get planning to the day you move in. We can assist with contractual arrangements, Building Control, discharging planning conditions, monitoring expenditure and the build itself, and much more - helping to smooth out the build process and ensure a finished project that's compliant with the rules as well as within budget.
But don't just take our word for it - check out our case studies to see our work in action:
EXPLORE OUR PROJECT PORTFOLIO
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