We provide a full architectural service, we project manage from very first ideas & sketches, through to snagging & construction completion.
Here is an overview of the project stages:
Phase 1 Initial design
We work with you to design the best layout for you.
First we commission a measured survey, so we have accurate digital drawings to work with. Then we check local planning restrictions & precedents, which usually give a good idea of what the planners are likely to approve. Then the fun starts and we draw layout options, meet you to discuss them, then draw up the option you choose. We have as many rounds of amendments as it takes to get a layout you’re happy with. We can make 3D computer models of the options to help you visualise the possibilities.
Phase 2 Design development & planning application
Once the layout is agreed, we develop the design further.
We suggest products & materials to you for the main elements of the design. If what you want does not fall within permitted development rights, we submit the proposals for Planning Approval & Listed Building Consent, as appropriate.
Phase 3 Technical design & tender
Once we have planning approval,
we bring in other consultants & lead the design team.
We work with good, local engineers, party walls surveyors & quantity surveyors. We are your one point of contact & we co-ordinate & organise what needs to be done.
We do more detailed technical drawings, keeping you involved in design choices. We submit our drawings along with the structural engineer’s drawings & calculations to Building Control for their approval. We work with them to ensure your building complies with building regulations.
If you want us to, we do interior detail design including materials sample & colour boards & if applicable, garden design with a garden designer.
We propose a suitable construction contract. We use fixed price & time contracts, so prices cannot rise, or the project overrun without good reason. We usually tender to four good local builders. We lead the tender process, analyse tender returns, discuss them with you, prepare the contract documents & arrange the contract signing.
Phase 4 Construction
We really enjoy the on-site part.
During construction we usually visit site at least once a fortnight – often several times a week – to discuss issues arising, check build quality & conformity with design. We chair & minute regular progress meetings with you & the builder.
We certify valuations, i.e. check the percentage of work complete each month & state how much the builder should invoice you for. At each interim invoice 5% of the amount due is withheld. We keep a tight control of the costs & a good eye on progress.
At the end of construction we check snags, when they are fixed, we certify practical completion, i.e. formally state that construction is complete. This triggers the release of half of the retention money.
One year after practical completion, we check any defects that might have appeared & instruct the builder to rectify them. Once any defects are put right, we certify final completion. This triggers the release of the remaining retention money.