Procedure for applicants employing own agents and contractors

The Housing Team at Amber Valley Borough Council (AVBC) employ Grants Officers who approve and pay Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG)

AVBC's Grants officers work in partnership with the Property Services Team at Derbyshire County Council (DCC), who act as agents in the DFG delivery process. DCC undertake design works and administer and manage adaptation works by employing and supervising contractors who undertake the works on your behalf by:-

  • Giving you advice on whether the work is technically possible.
  • Providing detailed drawings and specifications including timescales to complete the works.
  • Obtaining the necessary Planning, Building Regulations and any other permissions
  • Obtaining quotes or tenders.
  • Arranging for all site visits by contractors, Council officers and other people as necessary, before, during and on completion of the works.
  • Overseeing the works and making sure it is carried out satisfactorily and in line with the specification and drawings.
  • On site supervision of contractors.
  • Arranging for any defects to be put right by the contractors.
  • Providing advice on future maintenance.

If you decide not to use the DCC Agency, you can employ your own agents and/or contractors to undertake your adaptations to manage the works on your behalf . Reasonable costs towards their fees can be included as part of any Grant approved. The level of fees will be based on those paid to the DCC Agency for similar works on other properties.

If you decide to use your own agents they will be expected to organise and  manage the works to the same level as the processes undertaken by DCC that are detailed above. Please note that Grants Officers will not oversee your contractor if you have employed your own agent or architect.

The Grant Officer at AVBC will establish with DCC Adult or Children's Services what adaptations or facilities are needed. If you decide to use your own Agent or Architect, you should find out from the Grants Officer the type of work and likely costs that the DFG will fund. The likely costs will be calculated from similar works on other properties.

We will only provide DFG funding for schemes that are reasonable and practical based on the identified needs of the Disabled person and the existing layout and facilities within the dwelling. DFG will not fund works that are over and above the identified works.

Whether or not the work is DFG funded, it is important to ensure that the work gets done properly and at a reasonable price.

For major works such as level access showers, extensions, changes to the dwelling layout, or ramps and hard standings, it may be best to employ a qualified architect or surveyor to plan and oversee the work.

The Grants Officer will ask to see any plans or drawings provided by your architect or surveyor.

It is sensible to employ a reputable builder. When applying for a DFG, we will normally require two written estimates before deciding on the cost of the works eligible for a DFG.

It is also sensible to get competitive quotes from reputable builders or installation companies who belong to a trade association which operates a guarantee scheme such as those run by the Building Employers Confederation or the Federation of Master Builders or is a 'Trusted Trader'. Alternatively you can ask DCC to provide you with contractors from their approved list of Contractors.

We can make stage payment for works that are lengthy such as extensions, but please note that we will only make a payment for Architects fees on completion of all works, including any defects.

You should also make sure that your agent has provided you with all relevant certificates such as instruction manuals, guarantees and safety certificates (where applicable) before final payment of fees is made. Please note we will require a signed completion certificate from yourselves, before any DFG payment is made by AVBC.

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