Home | Contact Us | Add to favourites |
Firefly Wood

breadcrumbs >> fireflywood.co.uk >> about >> faq


why we are different
how it works

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I change the design?

2. Outline Planning Permission

3. Detailed Planning Permission

4. Building Warrant Application

5. Section 6 Energy Certificate

6. Do I need an Architect or Agent?

7. What is included in the kit package?

8. Value Added Tax

9. SER Structural Certificate

10. Who do I get to build my house?

11. Do we sell kits only?

12. Is anything not included in the fixed professional fees?

13. Copyright of house designs

14. Inspections for Mortgage Purposes


Can I change the design?

The various house types will hopefully give everyone the house size and style they need and are designed with this in mind.

Minor changes can usually be made to the design without changing the fundamental structure, although sometimes changes become too significant and we will need to re-engineer the structure, so we would try and avoid too many changes.

We charge a basic additional hourly rate to change designs and have them checked by our engineer, and as always we inform you of the likely costs before proceeding. We don’t hide these costs in our kit extras but give you the actual cost difference.

Sometimes the alterations can be too extensive and a bespoke design route will be more appropriate and as such we suggest you use Andrew Black Design for this service.

Outline Planning Permission

This is a basic form of the normal full planning approval and covers the principle of the development rather than the detail. The local authority will assess the development against policy rather than the actual look of the proposals.

It is becoming more and more common for local authorities to ask for details such as drainage to be confirmed at this stage and as such is not as straight forward an application as it previously had been.

It is preferred that when buying a plot that at least outline planning approval is in place, but this is not essential.

Detailed Planning Permission

Full planning permission is required before proceeding to Building Warrant Approval. A full application can be made, sometimes referred to as a Reserved Matters Application when following an outline consent.
Detailed plans, elevations, sections, site and locations plans accompany the application providing enough information to allow the local authority to assess the proposals. Adjoining neighbours need to be notified of the application when this is made.
All the above is carried out by Firefly Wood on your behalf as part of Stage 1. See details.

Building Warrant Application

A warrant application must be made for erections of new buildings in Scotland. The application is made to the relevant local authority and covers items such as wall,roof & floor construction, structure,  drainage, insulation and heating.
We do this for you, putting your house on the appropriate site and making the building warrant application for you.  We do all the negotiations with the building standards officers, we organise the Structural Engineers SER certificate for the whole project, which covers the foundations, exterior beams and lintols and the timber structure, including the roof trusses. Most kit companies only engineer the basic kit for you, leaving you to organise the rest of the structure.

Section 6 Energy Certificate

We are one of only a handful of Architects who are registered as Certifiers of Design under the approved scheme, which allows us to certify designs, under Section 6 of the Building Standards. Section 6 covers energy matters within the building, including insulation standards, heating systems and energy performance certificates.
The service includes the preparation of the SAP energy rating for the property as well as the issuing of the Energy Performance Certificate, that is required by law, in all new build domestic projects. This service is provided as part of section 2 of our project services. See details

Do I need an Architect or Agent?

We are unique in that we provide the full service in house, using Architects throughout the process. We deal with all parts of the process including planning approval, building warrants and structural engineers.

What is included in the kit package

We supply the structural kit, including the wall panels, floor joists, rafters, external windows & doors and all necessary framing associated with this. We also supply the insulation for walls and roofs, plasterboard, doors, ironmongery, facings and chipboard flooring.  The staircase is also supplied in oak with treads, newels and handrails.
We do not supply any materials for the exterior finish as your contractor can supply this direct. The items excluded include external cladding, blockwork, render, exterior lintels, kitchen fittings, bathroom & plumbing fittings. For a list of the kit items supplied see details.

Value Added Tax

VAT is charged on our professional fees regardless of the zero rating of actual build, in line with all professional services related to building. We also charge VAT on the kit supply but this can usually be claimed back following the guidelines from HM Customs & Excise at the following link
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/sectors/consumers/new-home.htm or contact your accountant or tax professional for further advice.

SER Structural Certificate

This can only be issued by an engineer who is an Approved Certifier of Design (Building Structures) This certificate is issued with the application to Local Authorities for Building Warrant and ensures that all aspects of design of the structure of a project satisfy the requirements of the Building (Scotland) Regulations. This will include the kit structure and elements like the foundations, exterior lintols and the staircase.
We organise this for you, and this cost is included within the Stage 2 fee. See details

Who do I get to build my house?

The actual builder of your home will be the key to the success of your project.  The decision to appoint a contractor should be based on thorough research of potential candidates and should include details of similar previous projects and references, current workload, suitable insurance cover and key sub-contractors.
A NHBC registered builder or membership of suitable organisations such as Federation of Master Builders is helpful, but relevant referrals are usually the most important.  We don’t usually recommend carrying out a building project without any professional inspections, unless you are relatively experienced and have a good knowledge of the contractor.
The most important part of any construction relationship is the contract and agreement between you. Always use a contract, which states the cost, payment frequency, retention sums, what is included and not included and dispute resolution procedures.  We suggest you use a standard homeowners contract if you aren’t using a professional and these can be obtained from SBCC online.
We also suggest you get a detailed breakdown of what is included and if you can get a Quantity Surveyor to make a up a bill of quantities for contractors to price, this provides you with a like for like priced document. 
We offer to refer you to a small list of preferred builders who we have worked with in the past. We only suggest builders we have had experience of on similar projects. Each builder has agreed to build the seven house types for a fixed cost, which includes a detailed specification. The specification can be altered to suit your requirements direct with the builder. Please note that you will appoint the builder directly and not through Firefly Wood and suggest you organise a suitable contract between the parties. We also suggest that you take suitable advice prior to appointing any builder and have a third party professional to inspect the works on your behalf.

Do we sell kits only?

We prefer to provide the full service as we feel this gives you continuity of service and as we know the house designs intimately, fundamentally a better service. Our costs for the planning stage (stage 1) and building warrant stage (stage 2) are very competitive and you are unlikely to get comparable costs from a Chartered Architect or even a technician.
We do understand that sometimes it’s unavoidable that another Architect will carry out the planning and building warrant approvals and as such we will provide kits only.  We do charge a small fee to issue suitable drawings, as we don’t include the drawings as part of our kit cost. 

Is anything not included in the fixed professional fees?

We have included for the items that are common on most house builds, but certain items can’t be ascertained until the actual site has been established and as such we have not included for some items.
We have a range of exterior finishes and don’t normally charge to amend the exterior look of the house design prior to making the planning approval, but may have to in certain circumstances charge an additional fee to make further changes at the request of the local authority or client. 
We have included for designing the foundations on a flat site with normal load bearing ground at the formation level of 600mm below existing ground level. Sites that are sloping, have built up ground or abnormal ground conditions will incur additional design fees, and as always we inform you of the likely costs before proceeding.
Drainage connections for foul and surface water differ from site to site and as such we have included for designing drainage only up to the disconnecting manhole at the side of the property. The design for connection to sewers is dependant on site conditions and is normally charged at around £600 extra. Septic tank and soakaway systems are normally charged at around £750 but can be difficult to predict due to differing ground conditions. Drainage requiring approval from Scottish Environment Protection Agency will also incur additional fees.

Copyright of house designs

The houses are designed for the clients intended plot and copyright remains with Firefly Wood for the house type. The house type cannot be built on another site without written permission of Firefly Wood and we reserve the right to charge an appropriate fee for the house design if it’s transferred to another site. Any use of house designs without approval of Firefly Wood will result in legal proceedings.

Inspections for Mortgage Purposes

You may need to organise some form of inspection to satisfy your mortgage company the works have been carried out to a suitable standard.

Architects can supply an Inspection Certificate or Council of Mortgage Lenders Certificate (CML) if they inspect the works at various key intervals throughout the build process. Alternatively you can use a warranty service such as NHBC solo or Zurich self-build covers.

Firefly Wood does not carry out inspection services and we suggest that you employ an Architect to do this. A suitable one can be found by contacting the RIAS www.rias.org.uk

The above cover does not prevent small defects and doesn’t deal with contractual disputes, so make sure you get suitable professional advice on the actual build. See above.


Print This Page
Back to Top

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Member

Home | About Us | House Designs | Lodge Designs | Pricing | Guidance | Contact Us

| Terms & Conditions | FAQ | Privacy Policy

Firefly Wood, The Mews, 27 Tay Street Lane, Dundee, DD1 4EF
t: 01382 220874 | e: info@fireflywood.co.uk