The process of building a new property is exciting for all involved. Every step presents new challenges to overcome as your vision finally comes to fruition. However, there are several less glamorous aspects to sort out so you can use the property safely, ensuring that you’re covered should something go wrong.
This is why you should always look for the best level of structural warranty, like the service provided here at Architects Certificate. We’re able to keep you protected if the worst ever happens to your building (but more on that later), using our many years of industry experience to our advantage. We have perfected our craft so you can benefit from a solid and secure warranty for your building.
So, enough on what we can do; what is this kind of protection, and why is it so crucial?
What is a 10 year structural warranty?
To ensure that your building is covered against damage in the first 10 years of its ‘life’, you should invest in a 10 year structural warranty. Without this, any issues that could seriously disrupt the condition of the building will have to be repaired out of your pocket, rather than those at fault paying for the damage they’re responsible for.
It includes damages that show up later, which weren’t picked up on during initial construction, perhaps being intentionally hidden by those working on your property or not fully checked before work is wrapped up. An example of this is windows that are sealed incorrectly – this is down to the specialist that fitted your windows, and shouldn’t be your responsibility to pay for.
If covered by a 10 year structural warranty, you won’t have to pay for any structural repairs that become apparent later, meaning you can quickly receive a solution to the problem at a better standard than it was before.
Why is it important to have a structural warranty?
We all know that it’s very useful to have this kind of structural warranty associated with your new build, but in most cases, it’s a necessity! If you’re looking for a mortgage straight away on the property, then the majority of UK lenders will check whether you have a structural warranty in place when deciding whether to grant you a loan.
Not only this, but a structural warranty of this kind will also keep you covered in every aspect. Sure, you can sign a contract with your building company stating that they will repair any damages that your building falls foul to in the first few years. But what if that company goes out of business? The responsibility will then fall back on you.
With a 10 year structural warranty on your property, you can be sure that even if this is the case, you’ll still be able to claim against any damage – regardless of the trading status of the contractor.
Do you think you could benefit from structural warranty?
Available for both residential and commercial properties, obtaining a 10 year structural warranty is vital in ensuring that your building is covered in the event of damage, as well as giving you the peace of mind you deserve.
Here at Architects Certificate, we’re on hand to provide expert advice and the insurance that the early years of your building will pass without a hitch. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the structural warranty we offer onsite!
You can speak to one of our team regarding any enquiries by giving us a call on 0161 928 8804 to talk to us directly, or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Similarly, you can fill out our relevant forms for a quick quote about our 10 year warranty, or make a full application online.
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Searching for the right property can be a long and stressful process. Even when a particular home seems promising, you’ll probably find that your location, design, and price ideals rarely align.
The alternative is to build your own home instead of buying a pre-built property. This allows you to tailor every aspect to your personal needs and preferences – with guidance from the experts.
You could try to do most of it yourself (if you have the experience and qualifications to carry out building work). Or, you could hire an architect and builders to take care of things for you.
The last option, for those who want a hands-off experience, is hiring a contractor to sort everything out on your behalf. However, this approach is obviously going to be more expensive.
Whichever self-build route you take, it’s likely that you’ll need a mortgage to finance the project. After all, most of us don’t have the funds to build an entire house just sitting around.
Standard mortgages are for newly-built properties, so you’ll need a specialist mortgage. Let’s take a look into stage payment mortgages and how they can help you to self-build your dream home.
Banks tend to release standard mortgage funds once a property sale completes.. Mortgages for self-builds are different. They release payments in instalments instead of a lump sum, across multiple stages of the building process.
This type of mortgage allows you to borrow money to buy land to build on first, then pay for the construction in stages as it progresses. It’s helpful for managing cashflow if you don’t have the funds to pay for the project upfront yourself.
Since it’s a specialist loan, there are fewer providers to choose from than for standard mortgages. The stage payments reduce the lender’s risk, as there’s more room for error with self-builds if they aren’t managed properly.
There are typically two self-build or stage payment mortgages available: advance and arrears.
Advance mortgages allow you to draw the funds ahead of each stage to fund each part of the project. They usually cover up to 75% of the value, so the deposit will be around 25%.
Arrears mortgages only release payments after the completion of each stage. This means you have to fund each stage yourself first, then the mortgage instalments will essentially repay you. You’ll also have to pay a larger deposit of up to 50%, as this type covers less of the value.
Self-build mortgage loan amounts depend on whether they’re cost-based or valuation-based. This means the stage payments are based on either a portion of the project costs or the value of the project at each stage – usually, whichever is lower.
Each potential lender will assess your financial circumstances (income, outgoings, and debts) and your project planning to establish how much they want to lend you. The more prepared you are, with accurate cost projections, the more likely they are to approve your self-build loan.
Interest rates for these mortgages are higher than standard rates due to the higher risk involved for the lender. They tend to be around 4-6% per annum. However, some lenders will reduce the interest rate later in the build when the property is habitable.
Depending on the lender and particular mortgage, you may be ‘tied in’ to this loan for 1-3 years. Self-build homes typically take at least a year to complete. Once you have a Building Control Completion Certificate, you may be able to switch to lower interest.
There are many advantages to self-build mortgages. They enable you to make regular payments to your contractor or purchase materials as needed. Since you only take an instalment, this keeps your monthly interest payments lower than if you had to pay interest on the total amount from day 1.
Of course, the main draw of these mortgages is that they enable you to design your ideal home. Rather than buying a new build in a cookie-cutter development, you can customise everything exactly how you want it. The final product often has a higher property value than it costs to build.
The higher deposits and interest rates are the main downside, as you still have to cover your living costs elsewhere throughout the build. It also requires much more paperwork in preparation. You need planning permission and project cost evaluations ready before you can even apply.
On the plus side, there’s the potential of saving thousands of pounds in Stamp Duty. While this tax has increased when buying completed builds, you can get around this with a self-build. You’ll only have to pay Stamp Duty on the land that you bought to build your home on, not the building itself.
Understandably, you want to know when you’ll receive the mortgage payments. The lender will normally only release the stage payments after receiving a satisfactory report at each stage. Your supervising architect or the lender’s property valuer will complete regular inspections.
Many lenders won’t offer a mortgage on a land purchase only, and will only release the first payment once the foundations have been laid and inspected. The regular inspections will allow the lender to monitor your progress, and ensure you’re staying on track with the project plan.
Most banks will permit Architect’s Certificates as proof of the status of a building project in order to release the funds. Prior to the final payment, you must provide a copy of a Professional Consultant’s Certificate (PCC) to confirm the property’s completion.
The key stages for self-build mortgage instalments may vary according to the lender, but they tend to follow this pattern:
These can vary according to the type of build, as ‘brick and block’ construction is different to timber frame construction. Renovations, such as barn conversions, are also completely different to self-builds from the ground up on empty land.
Self-build mortgage criteria will vary from lender to lender, so you’ll need to double-check their specific requirements before applying. Some require working to a fixed budget, and you may have to include contingency costs of up to 20% in your build cost estimates.
The criteria usually depend on the build type and location, but you will obviously need to comply with current Building Regulations at all times. You’ll need to identify or estimate the costs for:
When applying for the mortgage, you’ll need to provide copies of the relevant documentation. This includes fixed-price contracts for architect’s and builder’s work, if applicable. The bank can take up to 3 months to process this while they investigate your paperwork and finances.
You must be able to prove that the construction project is registered with the HB47 Scheme, or that it will be supervised from start to finish by a qualified architect or building surveyor. In the latter case, they must have certification for adequate professional indemnity insurance.
You’ll also need an appropriate building insurance policy and structural warranty. Please be aware that these are not the same thing, and banks usually require prospective borrowers to have both in place. These legal protections should give you peace of mind, as well as the lender.
When you take out a self-build loan, the lender will expect an initial evaluation at the beginning, interim evaluations throughout the project, and a final evaluation on completion. To prove to the bank that everything is proceeding as planned, you’ll need Stage Payment Certificates.
Also known as interim certificates, or ‘pay as you build’ certificates, you won’t be able to receive the funds and pay contractors without them. Luckily, the ABC+ Warranty team at Architects Certificate can provide these all-important documents for your self-build project.
Simply get in touch and we can ensure that due diligence is done for your self-build construction. You can call us on 0161 928 8804 or send enquiries via email to email@example.com. We’ll be happy to advise you on Stage Payment Certificates for your project.
An architect’s certificate is issued by a chartered architect or surveyor on a newly built or converted property and is of 6 year duration. Though it has been renamed and is officially called ‘the CML Professional Consultants Certificate’, the term ‘Architect’s Certificate’ is still widely used.
Architect’s certificates are an important document for a number of reasons, but particularly if you or your purchaser want to take out a mortgage on a newly built property.
Mortgage lenders will generally only lend money against a newly built property if it is protected by a warranty scheme such as NHBC warranty or a Professional Consultants Certificate.
Smaller builders and self builders favour a professional consultants certificate/ architect’s certificate because they are often as much as 50% cheaper than NHBC and are widely accepted by banks and building societies.
An architect’s certificate is only a warranty in the sense that the issuing professional undertakes (by means of a signed CML certificate) that the subject property is built in accordance with the approved plans, complies with building regulations and is to a good standard. This undertaking is primarily for the use of banks and building societies as security for a loan. The lender is provided with an assurance of the standard of construction, which is backed by the issuing architect’s professional indemnity insurance. THIS IS NOT A LATENT DEFECTS POLICY.
Architect’s Certificates are issued as standard for six years cover, which the council of mortgage lenders have approved for use in their standard format. You can also buy additional cover from us, a UK-wide professional consultant’s certificate provider to give ten years cover. This additional cover is called CertificatePlus+ and is available from https://www.architectscertificate.co.uk/ or by calling 0845 680 0467.
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Commercial properties are everywhere these days. Our societies are now more built-up than ever before, you’re likely to come across many on just a short drive! This is why, in recent years, the upkeep of these buildings has become increasingly important.
At Architects Certificate, we’re specialists in this area, particularly commercial warranty. And, here, we offer a little insight into what counts as a commercial property before you come to the experts.
Commercial real estate, also known as commercial property, is any property that is used for the purposes of making a profit, as well as any form of business activity. Commercial properties are often treated differently than residential properties when it comes to the small print. This is because in some cases, they are not used 24/7 and have spells of inactivity – whether this is due to out of office hours or public holidays.
You can also find that commercial properties cater for a lot more people than a house would. Therefore, they have different regulations to ensure they’re accessible for all. Whether this is for the general public in the form of customers, or employees that may spend a lot of time in the building, you may spot that planning permission runs differently to a residential property.
Based on the definition we have given, what exactly could you see listed as a commercial property? The most common commercial buildings are facilities such as shopping centres, supermarkets, office spaces and small business shops. Of course, this makes sense, as these buildings are used for the purpose of making a profit.
However, did you know that large residential areas can also be classed as commercial buildings? This is because a landlord can rent out their property to be lived in. It’s worth keeping this in mind when looking for a building warranty for your property.
As the experts here at Architects Certificate, you may be wondering how we can help you in terms of getting a commercial warranty for your building. We’re able to help with all kinds of commercial buildings, including those which are used both residentially and commercially.
By this, we mean buildings that are perhaps used commercially on the ground floor, turning the facilities into a small business store, for example. Then on top of this lies apartments where people live, most commonly found on a high street in a town centre.
We use our industry experience and expertise to help you achieve this kind of building warranty with ease, so you can be confident that you’re in safe hands and will always receive the best possible deal. Our experts offer a thorough yet easy to grasp service, so you can be sure that you’re always covered against any defects experienced by your building.
Do you know want to know more about our 10 year building warranty service and how you can benefit? Speak to our friendly team today with any enquiries you may have by giving us a call on 0161 928 8804 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also fill out our online form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Winning Business of the Year (10 – 20 employees), ABC+ Warranty based in Altrincham were keen to chat about what the award meant for their business. Business Connect spoke with Managing Director Adele Reid:
Congratulations on winning Business of the Year (over 10 employees). Tell us how you feel about winning the award?
“It’s great that we’ve got the recognition that our team deserves following years of hard work. A huge thank you to the Greater Manchester Business Awards.
“The team at ABC+ Warranty have been ‘critical workers’ throughout COVID. Our Surveyors have been on the front line, carrying out our crucial stages of inspection so that our clients could still carry on with their building projects, where most other Warranty providers just stopped. Winning an award like this makes the whole team feel the work they have done has been appreciated and worthwhile.”
What do you think were the reasons ABC+ Warranty were voted as winners?
“We’re constantly looking at ways to simplify the Structural Warranty process and procedures. Our customer’s experience and their journey with us is essential so we’re always looking at ways to improve. We never stop innovating.
“Also, standards are important to us. We’re raising awareness of just how crucial good workmanship is from every type of tradesperson that is involved during the process of house building in the UK. We only certify properties free of defects, properties that are built to last. ABC+ provides consumer confidence when purchasing a home that is certified by us.
“During the pandemic we assisted the Government in writing the COVID Safety Back to work office guidelines to assist people returning to work in a safe office environment following the first lockdown.
“Our Surveying Team created the ‘Safe Site inspections’ guidelines for clients and surveyors to protect all involved whilst our surveyors carried out full site inspections during the first Lockdown in March 2020 and beyond.”
Tell us more about the work you do?
“We provide 10 Year Structural Warranties, also known as latent defects insurance, which is an essential mortgage lender requirement.
“If you are raising a mortgage to fund building works or if you wish to sell the property within 10 years of it being completed, you will not be able to do so if you don’t have a Structural Warranty in place. It is also an insurance policy that provides a way to claim against structural defects that are not covered under your buildings and contents home insurance policy. We have our own team of Surveyors who guide you through the Warranty requirements.
“ABC+ Warranty is suitable for all types of residential and commercial building projects from new builds and/or converted properties and buildings. When the building works are completed, we issue our ABC+ Warranty certificate which is mortgage lender approved.”
How quickly can you provide survey results compared to others in your sector?
“We have created our own electronic survey reports which our Surveyors access through dedicated devices during our inspections. This enables our inspection reports to be with our clients within just a few hours of the inspection, rather than weeks.
We also provide the fastest Structural Warranty quotation service in the UK known as our QuickQuotes. This provides clients with an indication of costs so that they can factor this into their building project costs from a very early stage.
How do you support your local community as a business?
“We’re very keen on offering local apprenticeships. We’ve just taken on two young local apprentices, and we’re supporting them through their 5 year Building Surveying degree at Salford University.
“Also, when using external support we use local businesses, for example Social Media and HR support. Our principal Surveyor is also a weekly attendee of the local Grafters networking zoom meetings which supports a large majority of construction trades specialist.
“We sponsor local schools and charities – The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust as an example.”
What’s next for ABC+ Warranty?
How do you support your local community as a business? “We’ll continue to provide advice to the Construction Minister, the New Homes Quality Board and the New Homes Ombudsman regarding raising the building standards and the requirements needed in the UK to restore confidence in the UK housing market. “Good building standards are vital for our economy and so we will continue to make waves and raise awareness amongst construction professionals.” “We’ll also be launching our mobile phone App shortly which will make the Warranty process even easier to navigate, plus offer lots more exciting technologies that our clients will enjoy exclusively.”
We will be exhibiting at this years Grand Designs Shows at the NEC from the October 6-10th 2021 and we are pleased to offer complimentary tickets for those who wish to attend.
Please click here to obtain your free tickets.
When any building is in the works, having it meet building regulations is crucial. Even if you’re looking to go through with a small extension on your home, it’s vital that your project meets all building regulations, otherwise you could be facing disastrous circumstances in the future. For example, a build may have a major flaw that could affect the safety of those inside at any point. If this wasn’t picked up by building control (we’ll come onto them later) or it doesn’t meet building regulations, it could put those in the vicinity at risk and leave the owners of the building liable to damages in the future.
What we’re trying to say is, no building project should commence until it’s been confirmed that it has met building regulations by a team of professionals. Here at Architect Certificate, we provide expert building control services so you can be certain your project has been given the green light.
So how does this process come about? Let us shed a little light on our area of expertise in this blog post.
What is building control?
You may not have heard of building control previously, but this group of surveyors ensure that any building work that is in the pipeline complies with building regulations. To make sure that this is the case, building control perform several in-depth tests and checks so the building is safe to use.
These checks cover all aspects of the construction of the building, including (but not limited to):
During the construction of a building, you can expect to see regular visits from these surveyors to deal with any potential issues at source, rather than see major backtracking further down the line that could cost time and money. Hardly ideal when you’re trying to meet a tight deadline and have a strict budget!
Why does it need to be approved?
Although they may seem like an extra thing to worry about at the time, building control are on your side and want to keep your building safe in the future. They are a great way of exposing any cowboy builders and bringing any of their unsafe methods of practice to the surface. All too often, these kinds of builders have packed up and left, only for an accident in the future to expose them of their shortcomings.
Why should it wait this long?
With building control by your side, you’re able to regularly check the safety and security of your project, giving you the peace of mind that work reaches the required standards.
If building control spot an issue, they can offer advice and guidance as to how it can be rectified. With this kind of corporation, we can all work towards the common goal of a well-rounded, safe structure that is ready for use straight away.
How can it be done?
Here at Architect Certificate, we can assist you in meeting building regulations with our expert team of building control inspectors. By working with us and our team – that is approved by the Construction Industry Council – you will be able to benefit from as much support and guidance as you need throughout this exciting process.
We work with you to ensure that your plans meet the safety requirements needed, so your new project can go ahead as normal. Such is our experience and industry know how, you needn’t worry about our ability to spot any potential design flaws or issues once the project has commenced.
We are a team of knowledgeable quick thinkers that use our nous to adapt to issues that may arise out of the blue. During a project, not everything is guaranteed to run smoothly, with external factors sometimes coming into play. If you’re looking for your new build to operate soundly, we’re the people to call!
Get in touch with us today
Not only do we specialise in building control, but we can also supply building warranty so you’re covered should your new building falter early in its lifespan. We offer a 10 year building warranty so you can have the peace of mind that you’re in safe hands during this timeframe.
If you have any enquiries regarding building control or any other aspect of our service, then be sure to contact us at a time that suits you. You can call us on 0161 928 8804 or drop us an email email@example.com to speak to one of our team. You can also fill out our online form and we will respond as quickly as possible.
Construction sites can be dangerous places and the risk of loss or damage to buildings or injury to people can be all too real.
If something happens you need to make sure you’re financially covered to protect the contractor or you as the employer from risks or damages.
This is when contractors all risk insurance comes in.
Contractors all risk is a non-standard insurance policy that protects contractors and employers from insurance claims for anything that happens while working on-site.
This includes for damage to property and injury to people and can help save on the costs and admin you might face by taking out separate policies.
For example, it could be a claim against you because a structure wasn’t constructed properly or another property was damaged during your construction project.
It could also include an injury claim from a subcontractor who was hurt while working on site.
Who is contractors all risk insurance for?
This type of policy is usually taken out at the start of the project by both the employer and contractor.
But it’s used by anyone who is working on a construction site.
The policy would cover the employer and contractor, and would also include any subcontractors and other parties involved in the project.
This includes everyone from the site managers to the plumbers and electricians.
In the event of a claim, both the employer and contractor would be able to seek insurance from the policy to help cover any costs.
Contractors all risk is a comprehensive insurance policy against loss and damage to property or personal injury from work completed on a construction site.
A typical insurance policy will include?
While these are the typical protections included in a policy, contractors all risk insurance essentially covers any risk unless explicitly excluded from the policy when it’s taken out to help protect against any eventuality.
This will depend on a number of things but most insurers will base the cost for premiums on some typical factors.
With so much riding on your contractors all risk insurance you want to make sure you’re getting advice from an experienced provider with knowledge of the construction sector.
At ABC+ Warranty we’ve got decades of experience helping contractors secure the right level of cover for themselves and subcontractors on a range of projects.
Get in touch with us for a quote.
A Structural Warranty is an important piece of insurance that protects you against damages and financial losses caused by defects in building and construction work – including any defects in materials.
Without it, you could end up facing costly repair bills, or find yourself in a lengthy legal process trying to recover costs from developers should any defects emerge.
Previously, the go-to option for a Structural Warranty was the National House Building Council.
But this isn’t the case anymore as competition in the market means there are more options than ever to choose from.
This, of course, brings its own challenges.
Mostly, choosing a Structural Warranty that provides you with the right level of protection you need, within the budget you’ve got.
In this guide, we’ll go through the main issues you should think about and key questions you need to ask when choosing a Structural Warranty to make sure you get the protection you need.
Who’s providing the insurance?
As with most insurance policies, you’ll have to consider the insurer who will underwrite the warranty and payout in the case you need to make a claim.
There are a number of insurers who can provide cover under a Structural Warranty, so whether you go with an established provider or a newer entrant to the market could impact the cost and level of cover they’re able to provide.
What level of cover do you need in your Structural Warranty?
A Structural Warranty can provide differing levels of cover based on what you need.
It can cover any repairs as well as the partial or complete rebuild of a property as a result of defects.
With this in mind, you need to make sure your property is fully insured for any eventuality.
If not, you could find yourself with a substantial repair bill.
Also, if you’ve obtained a Structural Warranty for a project that includes existing structures, does the policy cover defects in the existing building or is it just for the new work?
Most policies only cover new work, so this is something you’ll need to pay attention to.
Who is liable for repairs in the case of defects?
A main advantage of buying a Structural Warranty is that it can remove any doubt over who is responsible for repair work or rebuilds in the event you make a claim as a result of defects.
Typically, developers will be responsible for any repair work during the first two years of the warranty.
After that, you should ensure you understand who will be responsible.
Are you covered for defects caused by water ingress?
If your property suffers from damage caused by water, or from the drainage system as a result of defects caused during the design or work on the property – or due to materials used in the development – you should be covered under a Structural Warranty.
Make sure you check with your provider that the wording of the warranty does protect you in these instances.
When will technical reviews take place?
Ideally, you should have a Structural Warranty in place before any building work takes place.
The warranty provider will review all structural drawings to identify any potential problems, and then carry out regular checks of work during development to check for defects.
As part of the warranty you should establish how often these checks will take place, and what feedback and results you can expect.
You should also understand the standards the project is being reviewed under.
Get peace of mind with a Structural Warranty
Our award-winning ABC+ Building Warranty covers all types of properties from residential to commercial, newly built to converted, mixed development schemes to single dwellings, housing associations to self-builders.
We can help you find a warranty to help cover the costs of fully or partially rebuilding a property in the event of defects or for carrying out repair work.
We’ve worked with tens of thousands of residential and commercial property projects in UK.
Get our indicative QUICK QUOTE in minutes or call our offices to discuss your building project tel. 0161 928 8804
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