The building process is split up into separate stages designed to organise the process of briefing, designing, constructing, maintaining, operating and using building projects. The stages shown below detail our process for a typical residential project.
We tend to agree services stage by stage to ensure that we give you the right service and the best value for money every step of the way.
Two of the most common ways we work are either assisting you for the duration of the project (Stages 1- 6) or just helping you obtain planning permission for your project (Stages 1-3).
STAGE 1 - PREPARATION AND BRIEF
After you contact us we will reply promptly and send you a questionnaire designed to help us understand the requirements for your project. It’s important to start thinking about your aspirations, budget and time lines as early as possible so that we can analyse the feasibility of your project and assist you in agreeing an achievable brief.
We will then meet you, ideally at your home, so we can see your property and talk to you in more detail about what you think works, what doesn’t and understand the changes that you are after.
At this point we will have enough information to advise on the feasibility of your project and to propose a fee and scope for works moving forward.
If you do decide to appoint us, we start by taking or helping you commission a measured survey of your home, so we can best understand the spaces and constraints of your project and use these drawings as a basis of subsequent designs going forward.
STAGE 2 - CONCEPT DESIGN
Using the survey as a starting point we begin to look at the options for your home and start preparing a range of designs and layouts for your review. We are firm believers in exploring as many options and ideas as possible to make sure the designs we present to you are feasible, on budget and most importantly inspiring.
We will then provide you with a visual summary of the design brief, time scales, draft budget costs, information on the planning process and other statutory bodies specific to your project as well as a detailed plan on how best to proceed. We will also organise and manage a team of consultants and agree their fees on your behalf as and when they are required.
Most importantly, this stage is about us understanding your requirements so that we can propose designs and a programme that suit your aspirations and budget and formalise this into a final design brief.
STAGE 3 - DEVELOPED DESIGN
With the final brief agreed, we will continue to develop the design to the level of detail required to submit your project to the council to obtain planning permission.
We will prepare scale drawings, 3D views and sketches and present them to you along with updated time scales, budget costs and information on the next steps.
Once you sign-off the design we will submit the drawings, reports and application forms to the council for planning permission on your behalf.
We manage the planning process and keep you up-to-date with the progress of the application.
It will normally take up to 8 weeks for the council to make a decision.
STAGE 4 - TECHNICAL DESIGN
In Stage 4 we produce a technical set of drawings, details, building specifications and scopes of works which show how the building will be constructed, the materials used and the finishes of each building component.
We use this information to co-ordinate with other consultants, for example, structural engineers, and once the design is finalised, we submit the information to the council for building regulation approval. We can also use the information produced in Step 4 to run a tender process and approach at least three builders on your behalf. These will be selected from builders we have worked with before or those that you wish to approach. We can evaluate their tender returns and recommend a builder for you to enter into contract with.
It will normally take up to 5 weeks for the council to make a decision and a couple of weeks for builders to return prices.
STAGE 5 - CONSTRUCTION
This is the most critical phase of any project as the work starts on site. We project manage whilst the work is on site, checking that everything is built to a high standard and in accordance with the contract.
We attend site at regular intervals to review the work and progress on site. We provide you with site visit reports to document the issues discussed and resolved on site and alert you to any further decisions you need to make. We check and value the work completed on site and provide you with certificates so that you only pay for the work completed correctly on site. We will also answer any queries that come from the builder in relation to the design and provide any extra information as and when required. We are on hand to resolve any unforeseen changes or additional work requests.
Often statutory authorities, such as the council’s planners or building control will have conditions to their approvals that need to addressed whilst the project is on site. We liaise with them as and when required to obtain final approvals.
STAGE 6 - HANDOVER & CLOSEOUT
After the builders have completed and you are happy with the work we ensure that any certification required is obtained and once you move in we provide a final set of drawings and reports for your records.
We continue to monitor the project for 6 or 12 months to ensure that if any issues arise we are on hand to assist with your project.
We will also organise a photographer to take pictures of your new home – you remain in control of which pictures are published, your privacy is important to us.