Every commission is unique and has its own design solution based on its location and your aspirations. We collaborate with you throughout the process which follows a series of work stages that begins with your initial brief and ends with the handing over of the keys. You can commission us for any or all of the stages you require for your project, although we prefer to be involved throughout.
STAGE 01 - Brief and Survey
In this first stage we want to understand your property and establish a written brief and strategy for the project. We meet up with you to establish your aspirations, budget and timescale. It’s a good idea to collect reference images so it’s clear what your aspirations are. Once we have agreed the written brief, we undertake a survey of your property, or the relevant parts of it. For larger properties and new build sites we request that a firm of external surveyors undertake the survey for you.
STAGE 02 - Sketch Design
This stage will provide you with an insight into what is possible in design terms and at the end of the stage you will have a set of proposed sketches, a draft cost plan, a draft programme, and an idea of how to deal with the planning department in order to take the scheme forward. We usually present one or two options as hand drawn sketches and like to meet in person to explain the scheme and answer any questions. We follow up with revisions which respond to your feedback and also advise on other consultants you will need on the project (structural engineer/ party wall surveyor/ approved inspector/quantity surveyor)
Once the design has been agreed, we recommend that you approach a builder or quantity surveyor for an initial cost estimate which will reassure you that your project is within your budget. Although this adds time to your programme it will ensure that you proceed with a design you can afford.
STAGE 03 - Planning
Following the sketch design, we develop your preferred scheme in more detail to produce a full set of CAD drawings that can be submitted to the local planning authority. The design at this stage considers all elements of the external fabric such as cladding materials and glazing.
During this stage we produce realistic 3D images to help you visualise the look and feel of the project to ensure that all aspects of the design can be clearly and easily understood.
Other professionals (such as a structural engineer, planning or heritage consultant) will be brought on board as necessary to help with the application.
Sometimes a pre-application service is required to gain feedback from the council before submitting the full application. Once submitted, the application will usually have an eight-week determination period. Unfortunately, success cannot be guaranteed and occasionally a second application may be required to gain planning consent.
STAGE 04 - Working Drawings
Once planning permission has been granted, we begin to produce the required information for a contractor to carry out the works. This includes detailed drawings, schedules and specifications and will allow a contractor to price the works accurately. During this stage we hold several meetings with you to develop the detail of the design together.
We co-ordinated the work of any consultants to ensure their work is integrated into the design. This usually includes structural engineer, M&E specialist, interior designer, party wall surveyor, AV & lighting consultants and landscape designer.
Building Regulations Approval is also sought at this point and we provide the necessary information to the Local Authority (or approved inspector) to ensure all technical aspects of the construction are covered.
Once you have signed off all the construction information, we tender the works to a number of contractors and respond to any queries. All returned tenders are reviewed to ensure you achieve the quality expected within your budget.
We also advise you in selecting the right building contract to suit your project.
STAGE 05 - Site Supervision
Once on site, we oversee the construction to ensure the works are carried out according to the design and ensure the necessary standards are met. We undertake the following activities.
We manage the contract between you and the contractor to ensure both parties are fairy represented under an industry standard contract. Progress is monitored against the contractor’s programme and payment certificates are issued to ensure you are not overcharged. Once the works are completed, we certify that practical completion has been achieved.
We undertake several site visits to ensure the drawings are being implemented correctly and check on workmanship.