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The building process

Whenever you are planning a new build there a lot of things to consider. The whole process can seem daunting but we are here to guide you every step of the way. Whether you want us to simply supply and erect a timber frame, or manage the whole build ourselves, we are happy to offer our advice and expertise to make the whole project run smoothly.

It is important to be realistic with your timescale and budget when undertaking any project and a multitude of factors can effect these. Please see below for an outline guide of how the whole process works.


Pod Developments normally undertake a complete turnkey service which means we will deal with everything on your behalf. This leaves you to sit back and relax knowing you have a professional company is looking after your interests ready to hand over the keys to your new designer building.


If you are designing a new building you will need to commission an architect to draw up plans of the building. The cost and timescale for this will vary depending on the size and complexity of the building. For example a bespoke Eco Pod will be a very quick process taking approximately a week, where as a new 6 bedroom designer house could take up to a month.


If you are planning to install a garden room, build an extension, or install a school or commercial building under 100m2 gross floor space planning permission may not be required as the projects may fall under permitted development. For all other buildings a full planning application is likely to be needed. This process can take up to 8 weeks from validation of the application to decision, and the average cost for this is circa £1,500.


Every building we construct adheres to building regulations. This means the local authority will need notifying, and they will want to inspect the plans and make site visits to check the work conforms to building regulations and is safe. It is important you plan the project well and arrange the site visits when each stage is complete. If you fail to do this work will have to stop and the whole project will not only be delayed but will ultimately cost more money. We have our own building regulations company and will deal with this in house on your behalf. The average cost for this is £1,000.


A full health & safety process will need to be undertaken and constantly managed throughout the whole build. As principle designers and contractors we will deal with this on your behalf. The local authorities will need notifying and may pay site visits to check all trades are working to best practice. Should this not be dealt with properly the whole site can be shut down immediately, and the person or company responsible can face fines or even jail. A full health & safety file will need to be submitted at the end of the build detailing all aspects of the process.Pod Living are used always adhere to Health & Safety and are proud members of the two leading associations CHAS and SMAS.


The first step of any build is the foundations. What is needed here will vary depending on the building and load requirement. For our Eco Pod range and most buildings this can be a quick process using a system called Jackpads. These are recycled plastic plinths that either sit on hard surfaces or hardcore in an excavated piece of earth. This process can be done in a matter of days. All other buildings will need concrete foundations, which will take more time and cost more money. Whilst foundations are being laid you will also want to make provisions for connections to the drains and mains services.


Once the proper foundations are in place the next stage is to erect the timber frame. We only deal with a specialist timber frame system which come insulated and as a closed panel. This cuts time on site down and offers better energy efficiency. Depending on the size of the building this can be done in a matter of days.


You now will want to make your structure watertight as soon as possible. Depending on your roofing system you will either want an EPDM laid for flat roofs or the roof tiled. All external windows and doors will also need fitting now.


The electricians and plumbers will now need to come in and first fix. This means all wires and pipes will need installing into pre-arranged places and connecting up to the mains supply. Once this is done they are all ready to link into sockets, switches, appliances, sinks and toilets etc… on the second fix.


This can be started during the first fix stage. Again here costs and time scales vary depending on specification. Wood cladding like Cedar can be quickly installed and cover the whole building or mix in with slate cladding or rendering. This is quick to install and will cut down on the overall budget whilst giving a designer finish. Other options include designer architectural panels which are very durable and also quick to install.


Once first fix is completed you can get on with the interior fit out. Here you will be completing wall finishes, ceiling finishes, laying flooring, installing interior doors and woodwork, decorating, and installing kitchen and bathroom units. Once this is finished your new building will be ready to use.


Pod Developments Ltd                                       Suite 263                                                          Peel House                                                             30 The Downs                                                      Altrincham                                                               Greater Manchester                                              WA14 2PX

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