T&G Jersey offers advice for anyone considering home improvement over home buying and covers the importance of structural engineering … however big or small your building ambitions
As house prices soar to often unaffordable new heights in Jersey, more and more islanders will be actively considering staying put and making the most of their existing property.
It’s an enticing prospect – an extension to create additional space or modifying internal layouts to open-up what already exists.
But here’s the question: where exactly to start the home improvement process, and who needs to be involved?
Tom McCarthy, director at local company T&G, offers some professional advice and highlights the important involvement of a structural engineer.
‘The starting point for most home development projects is an architect who will help turn dreams into drawings, in the form of plans for use when engaging other building professionals. The next step in most cases is then passing those plans to a structural engineer, who will in turn develop those drawings into a structural design and specifications.
‘This engineering design activity may include:
- Assessing architect drawings against the actual building to decide the most effective engineering solution.
- Designing the structural framework needed to support any home extension.
- Calculating the steel beam requirements to support the building when opening up internal partitions.
- Checking and certifying the suitability and safety of any home development.
‘Sometimes a structural engineer’s involvement in any home development project is straightforward. Sometimes we have to think innovatively about meeting specific homeowner demands or accommodating unconventional building arrangements.
‘Regardless, structural engineers always enjoy the design challenge – whether straightforward or complex. And while T&G may create engineering solutions for the biggest island projects imaginable, our engineers place the same level of attention and professional commitment on the most modest of home developments too.’
Home Improvements small or large
Whether large or small, just about every home development requiring a structural change needs the services of a structural engineer. Given health and safety demands, it’s also an understandable condition imposed by local building regulations.
But that doesn’t mean turning to just any structural engineering company when carrying out home development.
T&G, for example, also specialise in smaller developments, based on longstanding local experience in this area. With solid understanding and capability, the company provides a range of services and benefits to homeowners:
- Initial engagement to discuss feasibility of plans.
- Design and submit engineering drawings.
- SER certification for building control submissions.
- 3D visualisation of design.
Value added services
Tom highlights the ‘3D visualisation of design’ in particular as one that homeowners considering upgrading their existing property will benefit from.
‘Our engineers specialise in using the latest 3D design techniques and virtual reality applications when working on all sizes of development.
‘This means that for clients with small building projects including extensions and internal layout changes we can create a detailed computer-generated model of the finished project, before any building work takes place.
‘They can visualise and virtually “walk through” their new space, allowing thoughts on the finish to come together, or even propose changes adding further value to your project.’
Structured steps to achieve your home development goals
Summing-up,T&G Jersey Technical Manager Lee Saxon offers a concluding guide for anyone considering carrying out a development to their property, and the important involvement of a structural engineer:
- You may want to approach a company such as T&G for some provisional advice on what’s possible from an engineering viewpoint.
- Choose an architect to turn your plans into a design and to advise on planning application requirements and initial budget costs.
- Your architect may engage a structural engineer, or you may decide to approach one such as T&G directly for their capabilities and expertise.
- Seek quotations from potential building contractors, and then select one most suited to meet your needs.
‘Remember that you won’t be the only person engaging architects, engineers and builders at this time of course,’ Lee concludes. ‘Many other islanders have decided that developing their present home is a preferable option to chasing after a new one.
‘So do start the process of engaging with construction professionals and contractors as early as possible and be prepared for a potentially longer timetable to complete the work.
‘But don’t accept lower quality or compromise on expectations when it comes to those you consider and choose. At T&G Jersey, for example, we never lower our standards or treat projects with anything less than the highest level of professionalism – whatever their size.’
Whatever the size of your potential home redesign and redevelopment, or the engineering complexity involved, T&G Jersey looks forward to hearing more about your home improvement dreams. To start the process of turning them into solid reality, contact Tom, Lee or any of the T&G team.
Our Home Improvements Jersey services include:
Structural Engineering / Civil Engineering / Imagineering / Temporary Works / Building Surveys & Reports / SER Certification