HOW IT WORKS
GET YOUR PROJECT OFF TO THE BEST START
I have helped many homeowners design, extend and refurbish their homes, from initial ideas through to the completed design. I have compiled a list of services which I offer to help guide you through the process. This list allows you to choose the services that will add value to your individual project.
Initial Visit (Home Consultation)
The architectural process starts with an initial visit. It is up to you how you would like to use my skills and expertise during the initial visit, but this usually involves a half or full day visit. This will involve discussing your thoughts, requirements, taking rough measurements and sketching ideas on paper for you to consider. For anyone considering purchasing a property, a half-day home buyers visit can be arranged to consider the potential of a new property.
Moving the Design Forward
Following the initial visit, you may require further drawings, information or clarification on the sketched scheme previously discussed. We can discuss the need for applying for pre-application planning advice where a proposal can be sent to the local planning authority for comments prior to submitting a full application.
To enable accurate and useful drawings of your proposals to be drawn up, it is necessary to have accurate drawings of your existing building in CAD (computer-aided drawing) format. For most projects, precision is vital to avoid costly mistakes on-site and therefore I would recommend having a full measured survey undertaken.
Next Stage Drawings
In simple terms, the more information you have on your drawings, the easier your project will be to manage. Complex buildings need a great deal of specification, whereas simple projects can get by with less. Scheme level drawings provide the backbone of what is needed for most projects.
4A: Scheme Level Drawings for Planning Applications
This is a set of plans and elevations for general use and is suitable for an application to the planning department. These are CAD drawings based upon a CAD survey that show the general layout of the proposals as a whole. While these include general notes, they are not intended as construction plans. Additionally, to these drawings, all applications require a location plan.
4B: Scheme Level Drawings for Building Regulation Applications
This is a more detailed set of plans, sections and elevations than described above, containing the specific information suitable for a ‘full plans’ application under the building regulations. Alongside these drawings, additional information is provided such as structural engineer’s design and calculations, thermal calculations, sections showing the construction build-up and a general specification. The purpose of the drawing is to show compliance with the building regulations.
4C: Scheme Level Drawings With Additional Information
To take the project further, the scheme level drawings described above can be supplemented with additional information – for instance, lighting layouts, external works or power point locations, all can be discussed and agreed upfront as to the level of detail required. Such a set of drawings are generally suitable for budget pricing and can form the backbone of what your builder will need to work from.
4D: Amendments to Scheme Level Drawings
If changes to the design are required, whether due to a change of mind, planning issues or budget, then the scheme can be amended.
4E: Outline Breakdown of Works for Pricing
I can prepare a summary of the main elements of work proposed, broken down for contractors to price against. This can help you make a like-for-like comparison.
4F: Co-ordinating with Other Consultants
For most projects it is likely you will need the input of a specialist consultant such as a structural engineer, but depending on the complexity and size of your building project, other consultants may include a party wall surveyor, a quantity surveyor/estimator, a planning consultant, an energy consultant, electrical and mechanical engineers and interior designer. I can help you obtain quotations, provide them with the information required and coordinate the works with them.
Gaining Statutory Consents
These are the permissions you may require from bodies, such as your local council in order to carry out the changes you wish to make to your property.
5A: Permitted Development Application
I can complete the application form for a certificate of lawful development, print and collate drawings, prepare volume calculations, as required, draft an accompanying letter and submit these to the local planning authority.
5B: Planning Application
If you require planning permission, I can add any necessary further detail to the scheme level drawings, fill out the application forms for planning permission, print and collate sets of drawings, draft an accompanying letter and planning statement and submit these to the local planning authority.
5C: Full Plans Building Regulations Application
If required, I can submit an application for ‘full plans’ approval under the building regulations. Along with any other consultants information, I can fill out the necessary forms, collate the drawings, draft an accompanying letter and submit the application for approval.
5D: Other Consents
I can help you prepare and submit other applications for you, as may be required, such as Listed Building Consent, a submission for landlord’s consent, preparing drainage ‘build-over agreement’ drawings and submissions.
5E: Follow Up Services
I can follow-up with the council, structural engineer, party wall surveyor, and other consultants and answer queries or prepare and submit any further information that may be requested as part of any of the above.
Details & Specifications
The more detail that you have in the way of drawings and information, the more control you will have over your project both in terms of quality and budget. The more detailed the design and drawings are, the more control you will have, but the more you will have to pay for them, so it is important to get the balance right. The best way to establish the right level is to discuss this with me and possibly your chosen builder to work out just what is required.
6A: Detail Level Drawings
Some elements of the proposals often require additional detail, and these drawings show such elements, illustrating exactly what is proposed, with notes on construction.
6B: Schedule of Works
I can provide a breakdown of the works proposed for your project (although this is not a full specification). This can be very useful when asking builders to tender for the work.
6C: Specification Information
I can put together a package that describes in precise detail the elements (as required) of the design proposals.
6D: Sourcing of Products and Materials
If required, I can prepare a schedule of the proposed building products, components, or equipment (as required), together with information of where/how to purchase.
Bringing It All Together
While the work is going on and throughout the whole project, from concept through to finished project, I will be here to help as much or as little as you want. I would be happy to run the whole contract for you or just attend a few meetings to check on progress. Outlined below are the various levels of involvement:
7A: Sourcing and Checking Contractor Credentials
I can help you source building contractors that may be suitable for you, meet them, look at their past works and take references.
7B: Compilation and Distribution of Tender Package
Once we have selected 3-4 builders that you would like to price the work, I can put together a package of drawings to demonstrate the scope and detail of the project, along with a breakdown of works for them to price against.
7C: Going Through Tenders
When you receive the tenders back from the contractors, I can help analyse these and report to you.
7D: Prepare Contract Documents
You may wish to have a formal building contract (highly recommended). I can suggest a suitable contract and prepare documentation ready for you to sign.
7E: Site Visits and Meetings
You may want me to attend site visits and/or meetings, with yourself, builders or other consultants, to discuss the progress of the project.
7F: Contract Administration and Valuations
If required, I can take the role of ‘contract administrator’ for you (some contracts require this) and prepare valuation certificates.
7G: On-site Snagging Appraisal
At the end of the project, I can prepare a ‘snagging list’ of unsatisfactory items for the builder to put right.
7H: Contract Completion Services
Where I have been acting as contract administrator there may be a contractual requirement to perform ‘post-practical completion services’ to formally conclude the contract.
The Finishing Touches
I can help with any part of the building process that you feel would benefit from a professional opinion, all the way down to sourcing furniture and helping you choose your kitchen taps.
8A: Furniture Layout Drawings
I can prepare drawings for you that illustrate the proposed layout of furniture, fixtures and other fittings within your home.
8B: Sourcing of Materials & Finishes
I can put together a package (with samples, as applicable) of proposed materials to be used, and suggested finishes, together with information of where/how to get them.
8C: Sourcing of Furniture & Fittings/Colour Schemes
I can also compile a package (with pictures, as applicable) of proposed pieces of furniture and fittings, together with information of where/how to get them. I can also prepare a schedule (with swatches and colour codes) of the proposed colour scheme to read alongside the plans of your home.
8D: Kitchen/Bathroom Design
I can prepare detail design drawings for your kitchen and/or bathroom installation, with the specification of tiles, units, appliances, worktop, and basins, etc.
8E: Lighting Design
If required, I can produce plans and reflected ceiling plans that show the proposed positions of light fittings and switches, with a detailed specification.