We will guide you through the design, planning and construction process whether you are constructing a new building or adapting an existing property.
We will apply impartial and creative thinking to projects large and small. We add value, whether from maximising light and space, adding functionality, or achieving the best return on your investment.
We will work with you to develop your project brief and finalise the budget and will develop solutions and propose ways to reduce costs whilst coming up with a design that will increase the building’s value.
"A good architect actually pays for themselves - more than once. You will reap the reward and the building will be hugely better and deliver much better value for it." Kevin McCloud, Grand Designs
We begin with a short consultation of up to an hour. There is no charge for this if at our office but we may charge a nominal fee if a site consultation is needed. Before you contact us please draw up a brief (this is your wish-list for the project). We can see your project through the whole process from planning to construction completion or limit services to the initial stages. How much or little you commission is up to you.
STAGE 0 : MEASURED SURVEY
To begin the project we will need a measured survey of your house or development site. Depending on the complexity we can carry out the survey 'in house' or help you appoint a measured surveying company to prepare this in CAD format. We normally contact up to 3 companies previous clients have used.
STAGE 1 : CONCEPT FEASIBILITY
We recommend this initial stage to all our new clients. We begin with the client brief and overall project budget and develop a few options. Normally we have an option based on the clients overall budget at one end and an option based on your full wish list with an approximate budget at the other. The costs are generally grouped into the principle items, and based on previous completedproject construction costs.
To begin this phase we like to focus on what you want to achieve (your wish-list), with you noting down all your requirements, highlighting any problems that need solving. We recommend you thinking in terms of how you will use the space now and in the future, rather than what needs to be built.
The purpose of this stage is to establish your design priorities and overall budget, thus avoiding disappointment at a later stage.
STAGE 2 : PLANNING SUBMISSION
We confirm the preferred option with you and then advise as to whether planning permission or a permitted development (certificate of lawfulness) application are required. If planning permission is necessary, we prepare drawings and supporting information (design and access statement) and advise if any specialist consultant reports are required. We make the planning submission on you behalf and follow the progress of the application with the council. We also specialise in gaining Listed Building consents for heritage buildings.
STAGE 3 : FINAL DESIGN
At this stage we confirm the design materials, finishes, appliances and fittings, along with electrical layouts. This is the preparation stage before detailed design where the majority of works are confirmed to avoid abortive works in the detailed design phase. We will help you to appoint a structural engineer, if required, along with any other specialist consultants (such as Party Wall surveyors etc).
STAGE 4A : DETAILED DESIGN
We will prepare detail design drawings, co-ordinating the engineers design and any other consultants that have been appointed. In addition; a scope of works, specifications and conditions of contract will be prepared for tender or negotiation with contractors. We will check the detailed design for compliance with building regulations and invite or negotiate the tenders.
STAGE 4B : TENDER RETURN & CONTRACT SIGNING
We will evaluate the tender returns and/or negotiate the contract and prepare the documents and a standard form of building contract for signing, talking you through the process and answering an questions you may have.
STAGE 5 : CONSTRUCTION
Throughout the construction phase we will administer your contract with the builder, carry out regular inspections, deal with queries, instruct any additional work required, monitor progress on site, keep track of cost, value the works and certify payments due to the builder. This normally includes project management.
STAGE 6 : HAND OVER AND CLOSE OUT
When the project is ready to handover we will inspect and value the works and issue a certificate of practical completion. We then normally are available after handover and during the defects period to arrange for certifying the final payment.
We work to a fixed fee based on the amount of time it will take to complete the above stages. Fees will vary from project to project depending on location, complexity of project and the level of service required. We can also work on a time charge basis if required.