Frequently Asked Questions

You might be wondering where to begin with your construction project. To help you plan, we’ve compiled a list of our most common queries from homeowners.

Do I need to get plans drawn up before beginning my project?

If you have not already commissioned your design, we would still encourage you to come direct to us. We collaborate with highly experienced, award-winning Aberdeenshire architects to offer an integrated service, where both design and construction work together, minimising delays and realising your budget. This frees you of the responsibility of introducing professionals who may not have worked together before and may not share the same approach. It also means you won’t be led through months of design, only to discover the real cost of realising your project is far beyond what was expected.

How do I find out what permissions I might need?

Planning permission is required for large alterations, extensions and new builds. However, permission is not required for all types of works, as some are classed as ‘permitted development’. Speak with your architect, who will guide you through the process to help you achieve the right outcome.

How long will it take to complete my project?

The size of your project, specifications and site conditions will determine the duration of your build. We can provide an approximate build time once we have visited the site and studied architect’s plans. Our clients are kept fully informed before and during construction as to the timescale and receive a detailed Schedule of Works which breaks down the various construction phases, the jobs to be completed and the dates each trade will be on site.  

Will we need to move out during the works?

If we are undertaking a major renovation or extension, we usually recommend the client vacate the premises. However, each project is unique and we are happy to explore options to mitigate disruption and continue making your home as comfortable as possible. Any noise will be limited to our normal working hours. It would be unrealistic to suggest you wouldn’t notice we were there, but you should be able to continue using your home as usual.

How do I choose fit-out items? Do I need to purchase them myself?

Unless agreed otherwise, we will supply all fit-out items, for which we make a small charge to cover the cost of administration, specification, delivery, storage, suitability and installation. This means we take full responsibility for ensuring everything is correct and has appeared at the right time, in full working order. It is necessary for us to maintain control over this aspect of the work, in order to provide you with fixed costs and time schedules for completion.

Could you give me a ballpark price for extending my home?

Yes, and since every project is unique, we invite you to set up a time to discuss your project. Email us

When it comes to calculating the cost of adding an extension, the variables between the different properties, site conditions, material and product selections and complexity of the design all have a part to play. A lot of focus is often placed on square metre rates in calculating an extension's cost. Although this can be used as a guide, we would strongly advise speaking to our architect and company director, Ross Booth, to ensure your project is designed with your budget in mind. 

Prices for extensions in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire vary between £2500 - £3000 + VAT per m2 depending on the spec you opt for. High-end windows, doors and finishings will cost more. These prices are based on projects we have had direct experience with and do not include landscaping, driveways and patios. 

Can we do some of the work ourselves?

We are happy to discuss this on a case-by-case basis. However, we normally don’t take on projects where a client wants to do work themselves as it has caused delays in the past. As a main contractor, our job is to obtain your product selections and use the best mechanics to install those in the manner you want: professionally, on time and with no stress to you. That way, we take full responsibility over the products, installation and workmanship.

Can we visit one of your projects?

We are happy to arrange viewings of our previous and current construction projects to demonstrate our consistently high standards. We can also put you in touch with past and current clients.

Are you a member of a trade association?

Yes. Coldwells Building Company passed an independent inspection and met strict criteria to become members of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in 2017. As FMB members, we have committed to abide by a stringent Code of Conduct for building quality. In 2021, Coldwells was awarded the FMB's prestigious Medium Renovation Project prize for our Cornival extension and renovation. The judging panel commented the project "showcases masterful use of techniques and innovative solutions."

You can search for Coldwells on the FMB website here:

We are also members of the Association of Professional Builders, a global best practices organisation for the construction industry. 

Can I make changes after construction has begun?

We have regular site meetings to ensure that your project is being built exactly the way you imagined. At any stage, you are welcome to make changes if time permits and the changes don’t affect the structural integrity of your build. We understand the need for flexibility during the construction phase, so we are happy to assist. 

Who do I communicate with during construction?

You will communicate directly with company director, Ross Booth. He will be your project manager throughout the construction phase and will provide ongoing support once you have moved into your home. You will also meet with trades and suppliers before construction commences to determine selections and design layouts, such as preliminary plans for your kitchen and electrical.