Categories
Careers

Join the Fourth Wall team!

Tired of outdated working practices? Is your workplace flexible, until it comes to actually being flexible? High volume of work without the rewards? Lack of transparency when it comes to salary and bonus chats?

We’ve seen it all ourselves, which is why we do things a little differently around here.

We’re on the hunt for a dynamic Residential Building Surveyor to join us. We’re a small team with big ambitions, and we’re on a mission to re-imagine building surveying, cutting the jargon and speaking directly to our clients in a language we all understand. We align all the benefits of a traditional surveying practice with the pace, flexibility and market leading knowledge of a dynamic consultancy.

With a strong pipeline of residential and commercial technical due diligence, architectural and dilapidations instructions, we’re now looking for another surveyor to service our private and large portfolio investment clients, with a keen desire to develop themselves and grow with the business.

We want you to want to work with us, so let us sell ourselves for a moment.

Mental health isn’t just a webinar, personal and professional development isn’t a free seminar on your own time and transparency isn’t just a glazing type.

We are committed to investing in our team, ensuring you have a workplace to be proud of and a life to enjoy. We love what we do but there’s more to life than top class property advice. We’ve removed soulless targets and rigid practices to enable flexibility, transparency and an environment where everyone feels the rewards and is invested in providing the best value for our clients.

To apply, drop us an email at reimagine@fourthwallbc.com

About the role //

You haven’t got bored of this job advert yet, so here’s what we’ll do for you:

  • The salary is negotiable: we’re focused on finding the right person. Skillsets and potential don’t fit in brackets, but as a starter for 10 we’re looking at £30k-45k plus car allowance, dependant on experience.
  • Work wherever suits you: you’ll be working remotely, covering the areas you know and love.
  • Work whenever suits you: this is a permanent, full-time role but we offer flexible working so you can create a work/life balance that works for you.
  • Enjoy unlimited holiday: we want you to have the rest and relaxation you need throughout the year without having to save up days.
  • Reap the rewards of your hard work with an annual bonus: we don’t want you to work hard and not see the benefits so we’ll continue to reward your hard work.
  • Working on residential properties for a young building consultancy: We have a strong pipeline of instructions across the UK servicing a variety of clients, from the general public to commercial investors with large portfolios.

About you //

Above all else, we’re looking for a Chartered Building Surveyor who fits with our company ethos, works well with our team, and wants to be involved in the growth of the business, but these are some other attributes we’re keen on.

  • We’re looking for someone who is MRICS or AssocRICS, and we’d like to talk to you whether you’re newly Chartered, an established Senior Surveyor or Associate.
  • We need you to have a full clean driving licence and the availability to travel regularly for surveys. You’ll be given a locality to cover, with options to travel further afield, if you like a bit of a change in scenery every now and then.
  • We want someone enthusiastic, driven and keen to develop. We’re planning to grow Fourth Wall and we want someone keen to be in the fold of that. We’ll be giving you the opportunity to develop your own passions and specialist skill set to do the type of work you love.
  • We’d like you to have excellent written and verbal communications skills to confidently build relationships with colleagues and clients, and write top class reports. 
  • We’re looking for you to have a good working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook, and experience with AutoCAD would be a bonus. 
  • Commercial consultancy experience isn’t essential but would be a bonus as we’re also expanding our commercial services working with number of overseas investor clients.
Categories
Beginners Guide Residential Advice

Guide to: The Architectural Process

We all want to live in a home we love, but sometimes we need to make improvements, adaptions and create a little extra space. Building projects begin with a want or need, maybe you’re outgrowing your family home or need some home office space, whatever it is we’ll work with you to turn your ideas into the perfect space. Building, extending or altering a property can be stressful, but using years of experience and heads brimming with creativity, we’ll guide you through every step of the architectural process to bring your vision to life.

So, what does the architectural design process involve?

  • Initial Consultation & Design Brief;

We’ll always begin with a design brief meeting, be that over the phone or in person, to discuss your project, what you’re wanting to achieve, any ideas you already have, and how we can help you. We’ll then issue you with a bespoke quote so you can understand the costs at every step of the architectural design journey.

  • Measured Survey;

Once we’ve had our initial design brief, we’ll come to the site to conduct a full measured survey. This is a comprehensive survey of the site which involves taking measurements ready for initial drawings. We’ll be on-site for a number of hours ensuring we fully understand your property, any issues which may arise, and to discuss our initial ideas in person. We won’t say no to a coffee whilst we’re there!

  • Drawings;

This is when the fun part really begins as we start creating the initial drawings for your project. Don’t worry, we can do lots of iterations until it’s perfect for you. We’’ll produce existing plans of the property and issue design options as per your initial brief, this may include alternative options of the internal layout or external appearance, where discussed as part of your brief.This isn’t just lines on a page, we’ll bring your project to life.

  • Planning submitted;

Once you are completely happy with the designs, we’ll submit them for planning permission, liaising with the council’s planning officer as we wait for approval. It can take 2 months plus for planning to be granted on a residential property, with larger and more complex plans sometimes taking longer, and if the planning office requests changes we’ll need to discuss these with them and potentially make some amendments. Where a proposal doesn’t require a planning application and falls within Permitted Development Rights, we typically advise our clients to submit a Lawful Development Certificate Application to the Planning Department. Permitted Development Rights are always changing  and this verifies the proposed works meet the requirements at the time, preventing any issues when you come to sell your property.

  • Technical drawings;

Once your planning application has been approved, feel free to pop some champagne whilst we create your technical drawings and specifications, working with a structural engineer to achieve approval from building control. These drawings include key elements of the construction, such as the foundations, supporting steels, and electrics, and can be used to gather quotes from tradespeople ready for construction to begin. They are also used to ensure that safety regulations are met and give clear guidance to your builders on how the project is being constructed.

  • Party Wall;

If your project is going to affect the boundary wall with a neighbouring property, you’ll need a party wall certificate. It’s important to start thinking about Party Wall requirements several months before you want to start work and ideally ensure your designer is working with a Party Wall Surveyor during the design process to ensure there are less issues during the party wall process. Making changes to the design can be difficult, particularly post planning stage, where alterations to the external appearance may require further consultation with the planning department.

  • Construction begins.

It is finally time to start the construction and turn your ideas into reality. We’ll always be here if you need to ask any questions. Here’s where we may step away for a less complex build. However, we can be on hand to ensure your work is competitively tendered to achieve the best price, contracts are administered to ensure you’re protected, and works are managed on site to ensure you get the best quality and finish.

So whether your renovating, creating more room or building from scratch, at Fourth Wall we will always put you at the heart of the design process and be with you from start to finish. Get in touch if you’ve got an idea, whether you know if it’s feasible or not, we’re always happy to schedule a call.

Categories
Residential Advice

The Fourth Wall Standard

Of course when purchasing a property, you need a building survey, but we also always advise our potential clients to request an example report. We don’t work from a standard template at Fourth Wall, our reports are bespoke, developed with you in mind. We believe this is what sets us apart.

Our aim is to reimagine surveying, ensuring you gain the clarity needed to move forward with your property with confidence, and providing you with a personal service from start to finish. We’ll issue you a report you can understand and get the most from, because we get that not everyone finds buildings as interesting as we do. You need the facts, you need a clear explanation, and you need the costs. Our reports give you that.

So what makes a Fourth Wall Report really stand out?

Bespoke Reporting

Industry leading detail presented in a language and format we all understand. We’ve cut the jargon and created a bespoke report with our clients’ needs at the forefront.

Executive summary

You won’t find this in most other reports, but Fourth Wall’s bespoke Building Survey and Homebuyers reports begin with an executive summary so you can see our key recommendations and next steps at a glance – you can also send this straight to your solicitor.

Review of mobile and broadband connectivity

We know that staying connected is more important than ever and believe it is a key consideration when buying a property. That’s why we include this review within our bespoke reports as standard.

Noise and disturbance advice

No-one wants to be kept up at night. Uninterrupted sleep and work schedules is going to be essential for you to enjoy living in your new home. Unique to our bespoke report, we provide a review of traffic and noise data for the area and advice regarding noise transference potential based on the age and construction of the property.

Action points & traffic light ratings

Our recommendations come with a traffic light risk rating to easily understand the severity of the defect and when action should be taken, along with action points so you know who needs to take the next steps, be that you, your solicitor or the vendor.

Photographs throughout

Our reports provide a detailed description of the property with photographs provided within the report so you can easily understand what defect we are talking about, when we’re talking about it.

Budget costs

Our Full Building Survey reports provide budget costs as standard, so you can see how much issues will cost and even negotiate the purchase price. Our clients love this, they want to know what the issue is and how to fix it, but also how much it’s going to cost them. In the current climate getting contractors to quote for jobs isn’t easy, especially if you don’t even own the property yet, so budget costs from us really help.

5-day turnaround

Our reports are issued within 5 working days of inspection so you can continue with your property purchase with confidence. A call with the surveyor is also available within 48 hours of the survey taking place to talk through any immediate concerns.

One-to-one professional advice from Surveyors with local knowledge

Our surveyors are all members and associates of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, with all the necessary experience, training and expertise to provide an accurate assessment of your property. We don’t just issue your report and disappear, our surveyors are always here to answer questions and provide guidance.

We have reginal offices in Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle providing bases for our surveyors across the North of England so we’re always on hand to help you through the property buying process.

To get in touch for a free quote and sample report, drop us a message, give us a call or send us an email: 0161 706 1131 // reimagine@fourthwallbc.com

Categories
Commercial Advice

Understanding Dilapidations

In all tenancies, agreements are made in relation to the condition of the property and whose responsibility it is for repairs and maintenance, so it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities at any stage of leasing out or renting a property.

Put simply, dilapidations are the costs involved in returning a property to its original state prior to being let, such as repairs and reinstatement works for any alterations made to the property by the commercial tenant.

If a tenant doesn’t keep the property in the state agreed, the legal covenants and relevant dilapidations case law will apply and landlords can serve a schedule of dilapidations to a tenant, which will form the basis of their claim. The dilapidations process takes place either during or towards the end of a commercial lease and involves assessing any disrepair of the property, breaches of lease agreements, where responsibilities lie, and how much it will cost to remedy.

Disputes can arise between landlords and tenants over this process, so to reach a suitable conclusion when dilapidations claims are made, each party will appoint professional representatives in the form of surveyors, as knowledge and experience of construction and dilapidations case law is essential to handle the dilapidations claim process.

Your surveyor will provide you with the expertise and guidance to ensure a fair and reasonable settlement is reached, providing advice on timescales, risks and costs.

They should advise on your liabilities under a commercial lease, and provide a thorough evaluation of the condition of the property, determining the extent of any breaches and negotiating to find a solution that’s beneficial to all parties.

At Fourth Wall we bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to support both landlords and tenants, so if you’re entering into a new lease, considering leaving or have left your premises, get in touch.
Categories
Beginners Guide Tips

The House Purchase Process

After weeks spent scrolling Rightmove and Saturdays spent on house viewings, you’ve finally found a property you LOVE so it’s time to get that offer accepted and move forward with your purchase.

If this is your first home or it’s just been a while since you last sold, we’ve put together a guide to the process of buying a new home to make things a little clearer for you and take some stress away.

  • Search for your new home

Before you begin searching, make sure you’ve saved enough for your deposit, have checked how big a mortgage you can borrow from the bank, and are sure you’ll be able to afford the repayments.

Speaking to a mortgage advisor can really help you understand how much you can borrow, and aid you arranging an agreement in principle from a suitable bank so you understand what price range you can view and how much you can offer.

  • Make your offer and have the house taken off the market

Give as much detail as possible when making your offer. The estate agent will want to know you can definitely afford the offer you’re making, and other factors may be of interest to the seller such as if you’re a first time buyer or if you’re in a chain.

Some agents will do it automatically but others may not so make sure to ask to have the house taken off the market as a condition of your offer. If not, you could end up ‘gazumped’, where another buyer offers more money than you and the seller backs out of your deal.

  • Instruct a conveyancer (solicitor)

Once your offer has been accepted it’s time to instruct a conveyancer and really get the purchase moving. A purchase is typically advised to take 8 weeks but there may be holdups along the way that can make the process longer by a fair few months. We’d advise keeping in regular contact with your solicitor to make sure you know what’s happening and when.

  • Apply for your mortgage

You should already have your mortgage in principle but it’s now time to apply for the real thing. If you’re using a mortgage advisor, they’ll prepare you and ask for the relevant documentation, but if not, ask the bank you’re applying with what you’ll need such as bank statements, pay slips (or accounts if you’re self-employed), identification and proof of deposit.

The bank will very likely carry out a valuation survey at this point, but remember this is not a building survey and will not highlight issues beyond high level observations which might affect the value. The valuation surveyor here is working on behalf of the bank so to get a thorough overview of the property from someone impartial, make sure to instruct a Chartered Building Surveyor.

  • Instruct a building surveyor

Make sure this one is on your list early on. It’s so important to really understand the property you’re buying, this is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. Instruct a Chartered Building Surveyor accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to conduct a homebuyers report or a full building survey. We have a full guide to which survey is best for you here but do get in touch with any questions.

A Chartered Surveyor will be working for you and only you to ensure you fully understand the property you’re buying and any issues it may have. They’ll spend time at the property conducting a visual inspection of all internal and external areas so they can explain any issues and advise on remedial works. We want to support you as much as we can, so we’ll always offer follow up calls to talk any questions through and advise on your next steps.

Our report may also raise additional queries for your solicitor, or may help them when setting out their enquiries for the seller, so it could be beneficial to instruct your surveyor when you’ve instructed your solicitor. Unlike other reports, Fourth Wall’s bespoke building survey reports include an Executive Summary that can be sent straight to your solicitor so they can see the key findings quickly and raise any necessary enquiries.

  • Discuss the findings of your survey and searches with your solicitor and make necessary enquiries to the seller

Your surveyor may suggest some further enquiries for your solicitor to make, such as boundary walls, historical party wall disputes and planning permission. Our bespoke building survey comes with an executive summary that can be sent straight to your solicitor so they can see issues, remedial works and necessary enquiries quickly and clearly.

  • Hire a removal company

It’s time to get packing! With your survey and searches done, start prepping for exchange and completion by contacting some removals companies. The property market is extremely busy so don’t leave this until the last minute!

  • Pay your deposit, exchange contracts and arrange completion

Once you’ve exchanged, you’re legally bound to the purchase so make sure you’re happy with the enquiries and your understanding of the property before you say yes at this point. This is also a good time to look at buildings insurance as you’ll now have responsibility for the property.

  • Complete on your property, pay your solicitor and stamp duty if necessary, and collect your keys

When you exchange contracts all parties will agree a completion day. This is the most exciting part as you count down the days to the move into your brand new home. The less exciting bit is seeing all that money leave your account, but it’s all worth it!

  • Give yourself time to settle in, and then instruct a surveyor or architect if you’re looking to make changes to your new home

You’ve moved in and started unpacking, but now your mind is racing with all the exciting updates you can make to your new home. Give yourself some time to settle in your home and understand what you’d like from the space, and then get in touch so we can help you design your dream home!

Categories
Uncategorised

We’re hiring!

Tired of outdated working practices? Is your workplace flexible, until it comes to actually being flexible? High volume of work without the rewards? Lack of transparency when it comes to salary and bonus chats?
We’ve seen it all ourselves, which is why we do things a little differently around here.

We’re on the hunt for a dynamic Residential Building Surveyor to join us. We’re a small team with big ambitions, and we’re on a mission to re-imagine building surveying, cutting out the jargon and speaking directly to our clients in a language we all understand. We align all the benefits of a traditional surveying practice with the pace, flexibility and market leading knowledge of a dynamic consultancy.

With a strong pipeline of residential and commercial technical due diligence, architectural and dilapidations instructions, we’re now looking for another surveyor to service our private and large portfolio investment clients, with a keen desire to develop themselves and grow with the business.

We want you to want to work with us, so let us sell ourselves for a moment.

Mental health isn’t just a webinar, personal and professional development isn’t a free seminar on your own time and transparency isn’t just a glazing type.

We are committed to investing in our team, ensuring you have a workplace to be proud of and a life to enjoy. We love what we do but there’s more to life than top class property advice. We’ve removed soulless targets and rigid practices to enable flexibility, transparency and an environment where everyone feels the rewards and is invested in providing the best value for our clients.

To apply, drop us an email at reimagine@fourthwallbc.com

About the role

You haven’t got bored of this job advert yet, so here’s what we’ll do for you:

  • The salary is negotiable: we’re focused on finding the right person. Skillsets and potential don’t fit in brackets.
  • Work wherever suits you: you’ll be working remotely, covering the areas you know and love.
  • Work whenever suits you: this is a permanent, full-time role but we offer flexible working so you can create a work/life balance that works for you.
  • Enjoy unlimited holiday: we want you to have the rest and relaxation you need throughout the year without having to save up days.
  • Reap the rewards of your hard work with an annual bonus: we don’t want you to work hard and not see the benefits so we’ll continue to reward your hard work.
  • Working on residential properties for a young building consultancy: We have a strong pipeline of instructions across the UK servicing a variety of clients, from the general public to commercial investors with large portfolios.

About you

Above all else, we’re looking for a Chartered Building Surveyor who fits with our company ethos, works well with our team, and wants to be involved in the growth of the business, but these are some other attributes we’re keen on.

  • We’re looking for someone who is MRICS or FRICS, and we’d like to talk to you whether you’re newly Chartered, an established Senior Surveyor or Associate.
  • We need you to have a full clean driving licence and the availability to travel regularly for surveys. You’ll be given a locality to cover, with options to travel further afield, if you like a bit of a change in scenery every now and then.
  • We want someone enthusiastic, driven and keen to develop. We’re planning to grow Fourth Wall significantly and we want someone keen to be in the fold of that. We’ll be giving you the opportunity to develop your own passions and specialist skill set to do the type of work you love.
  • We’d like you to have excellent written and verbal communications skills to confidently build relationships with colleagues and clients, and write top class reports. 
  • We’re looking for you to have a good working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook, and experience with AutoCAD would be a bonus. 
  • Commercial consultancy experience isn’t essential but would be a bonus as we’re also expanding our commercial services working with number of overseas investor clients.