How KS3c Can Help

KS3c Self-Build Angel is aimed at those managing their own building projects

When you watch “Grand Designs” on TV you will often hear Kevin McCloud express deep concern when the services of an architect or other professional are not retained through the build.  This is particularly true for the more ambitious projects that feature in that programme.

“Grand Designs” is television entertainment however and all the projects scrape through various crises eventually, often through the strength of character rather than technical expertise of the valiant homeowners. Much as these people love their remarkable new houses their stories too often involve lengthy delays and significant cost overruns.

“Prevent a hiccup becoming a crisis..”

The most assured route is to retain the services of your designer but professional fees can seem expensive once the design is complete and planning and regulation approvals are in place, and most projects are less demanding than those featured on “Grand Designs”. 

Despite the stories from other TV programmes such as “Cowboy Builders” the majority go well enough if not without an occasional stressful moment. KS3c Self-Build Angel bridges that gap by being on call to prevent a hiccup becoming a crisis, but without the burden of full professional fees from beginning to end.  

What KS3c Do

KS3c is a sole proprietor construction related consultancy business. The three c’s are:

KS Consult

KS Consult

A range of consultancy services including technical appraisal, technical writing, research and professional opinion – for example to help prevent construction disputes from escalating.

KS Conserve

KS Conserve

Expertise on sustainability and particularly on energy conservation issues. For example devising sensible and buildable construction details that do not introduce unforeseen consequences such as thermal insulation causing damp penetration problems.

KS Construct

KS Construct

Helping aspiring self-builders with techniques and skills and  undertaking small scale construction and repair work. The two combine in getting self-builders started by working alongside them until they are able to take over.

How does Self-Build Angel work?

It works best if KS3c is retained. Retained means brought in to the project, preferably quite early-on, to get a feel for it and so a head start when the phone rings and you have questions. It also involves KS3c holding copies of key drawings and specifications but these continue to belong to you.  A retained period is for one calendar year after which time it can be extended or terminated when any information is returned and records closed.  A retention can be terminated at any time – e.g. for speedy projects done and dusted in a short space of time.  It can also be extended (pro rata) beyond completion if you see a benefit in being able to pick up the phone and ask about something.

The basic charge is a day rate built up from an hourly rate and each intervention is charged according to an agreed scope for whatever the issues are.  If KS3c is retained there is no charge for the time involved in agreeing the scope of each intervention so you can make up your mind without further cost. If KS3c is not retained there will be cost involved for the time necessary in familiarisation with your project.

What are the charges?

Per day: £350 (7 hours at £50 per hour). Travel costs and time for projects more than 10km from HP27 are normally additional by negotiation.
Retainer: £200 per year, for one calendar year or part thereof. If you do not need to call and your project is completed successfully (eg final building control sign-off) let me know and KS3c will buy you a bottle of bubbly to congratulate you.

Who is KS3c?

Keith Snook HonMCIAT

After studying Building Technology at Brunel University I worked as a contracts manager for three years and then spent seven years at the Building Research Establishment (BRE), doing research on the related subjects of Project Information and on Achievement of Quality on Site.

I was then in practice for five years as Technical Adviser and Quality Manager for multidisciplinary design practice YRM Partnership Limited, and after that for three years running my own consultancy, in quality management, technical issues, research and expert witness reports.

I took up the Director of Practice role at the RIBA in 1995, and in 2003 became the first Director of Research and Development.  My efforts were recognized with an Honorary CIAT membership in 2008.

In 2011 I left RIBA and after a short period engaged in technical writing projects I returned to BRE looking at future BREEAM technologies, with reference to the BIM/Big Data-enabled world. I retired from BRE in July 2018 (see this press release from CIAT on my retirement: “Keith Snook HonMCIAT retires”).

I have been a guest lecturer and essay/thesis supervisor for the IDBE (Interdisciplinary Design in the Built Environment) Masters course at Cambridge University.

In 2013 I redrafted BS7000-4 (design management) and wrote a new British Standard BS8000-0 (workmanship). I chair the coordination group for workmanship Standards and also chair the overall BSI committee for General Building Codes.

In 2016 I published BIM – it’s about the planet, an overarching view on Building Information Modelling (BIM) and its role in the future particularly for sustainability.

I started cycle racing again at 50 (after 18 years away) and now compete in mostly fast and furious veteran’s circuit races and also other open and club level events.

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