It is essential for us to gain an insight into what the customer is looking to achieve so the project normally begins with an informal site visit. This meeting allows us to obtain a ‘ Client’s Brief ‘ which will outline the principles of the customers thoughts and goals together with identifying any constraints or technical issues that need to be considered.
We have many example images of completed projects that we carry with us and these can be presented as they can help to demonstrate some or all of our client’s requirements.
Following our site visit, we prepare a written quotation for consideration which is based upon the Client’s Brief and this will also outline any additional costs that are likely to arise, such as planning and building regulation fees etc.
Once we are appointed we will arrange for our surveyor to visit the site to carry out measurements of the building. This will enable us to prepare drawings containing the existing building and site layout in plan and elevation format.
We normally use a Topographical Surveyor for this process as this will contain all of the information we need such as levels, heights, co-ordinates, contours etc. which is what we need in order to progress the drawings to the next stage.
Once we have received the survey drawings, we will prepare some initial sketch proposals in plan and elevation format for our client’s consideration. Then, when the customer has had an opportunity to examine these drawings we may need to have a further discussion or perhaps a meeting to make any changes to the design.
If Planning Permission or a Prior Notification is required we will submit this application together with the project survey and proposals to the local authority. In some instances we may recommend that before we submit a planning application that the sketch proposals are sent to the planning department to obtain their initial thoughts, this is referred to as “Pre-Application Advice” and is particularly recommended if the proposals are complicated, are in a conservation area or involve a listed building.
If Planning Permission is successful, we will prepare detailed construction drawings accompanied by a detailed written specification and will submit these either to an Approved Inspector to the Local Authority Building Control department to seek Building Regulations Plans Approval.
It is often a requirement to employ other parties such as a Structural Engineer or Party Wall Surveyor at this stage too. We will notify the client in any such instance of these requirements and we also have local contacts for these services that we would recommend.
We work closely with Local Builders and Sub-Contractors who we believe provide consistently high quality services that are competitive. We can either pass on their details to our clients or should our customers require additional help to locate the right company we can provide additional services to help them find the right builders to achieve their goals.
Although we do not like to impose tendering and on site supervision on our clients we do recommend it, especially for larger projects so we always offer these services as an option. I any event having the support and experience of a professional enables the customer to concentrate on the finishes and their personal requirements.
During this process we will deal with any technical issues that may arise dealing directly with the building contractors which is where our value and experience will benefit. It makes good sense to the customer that we stay involved to ensure the building we have designed is delivered as we have envisaged.
The normal process follows a simple tender procedure to a number of builders from our recommended list and we present the construction package to each builder asking them to return their prices by a certain date. In the interim, they will likely visit the site to look into the more detailed parts of the project which will aid them in preparing their quotation. The result being a package of prices from all of the selected builders that we present to you and discuss our findings and of course our recommendations.
Once this selection process is complete and the builder is appointed we will continue to stay involved throughout the construction process visiting site at certain stages. This process completes the link between our clients and the builder and gives our clients the re-assurance that the quality of the building construction is being overseen by an experienced professional.
Modelling – We offer a modelling service for projects that require the design to be illustrated in the surroundings – this can be done in a simple ‘ Sketch ’ form where a feasibility study and approach to the local authority is required or we can produce a more detailed illustration that will more accurately demonstrate the project proposals. Please feel free to ask about this service.