Surveying the site
You will need
- A4 Graph paper and pen / pencil
- A tape measure or telescopic ruler / measuring rod
- A level (1200 mm preferably)
- A digital angle meter
- A straight edge (the longer the better)
- A telescopic ladder / collapsible ladder
- A digital camera
**A laser level is recommended on larger projects**
STEP TWO – SITE ACCESS
BE OBSERVANT – BE AWARE – TAKE NOTE!
Be Observant – Is there access to the rear of the property? If a terrace row, is there access from a back street or will all goods, including wheelbarrow, have to be taken through the
house? If a semi-detached, is there a path down the side? If there’s a drive, is it wide enough? If there’s a garage on the drive, is there a back door to take materials through and is it wide enough? Careful attention is required, we really don’t want to lift materials over the garage roof or have to ask the next door neighbour to lift materials over their fence!
Be Aware – If when preparing the groundwork for the conservatory footings excavation is necessary, you may need a skip. Is there room to park a skip on the drive (be careful if it’s tarmaced) or on the highway? If on the highway you will need permission from the local authority. If left overnight it will need to be lit.
Take Note – If mixing your own concrete or using an extension lead is there a socket to plug the mixer into? Is there a tap to add water to the mixer?
STEP THREE – INSPECTING THE EXISTING PROPERTY
Is there an existing patio area to dig up? Is there an existing structure to remove / demolish? Will existing garden walls or fences need to be moved? You may need a skip for any one of the above. Will existing flower beds or ornamental ponds be affected? Inform the customer and ask them to deal with them prior to commencement of groundwork.
If pebble dashed or rendered, are there any “hair-line” cracks evident? Settlement cracks between bay windows? If there are, ensure you point them out to your customer and if need be, photograph them. If you don’t the customer may hold you responsible after installation.
THE BEST WAY TO SURVEY
The best way to survey a property is to sketch out a plan and an elevation of the proposed site showing all existing windows, pipes, drains and other possible obstructions – (see below). The dimensions between each feature should be indicated and the position of the proposed conservatory. If you are carrying out several surveys in a day and drawing the results up at a later time, it is a good idea to reinforce your survey sketch with a photograph of the site. A ‘polaroid’ or ‘digital’ camera is ideal for this purpose.