The Services we offer
We will normally arrange to meet you at your property to discuss the project and establish the level of service you require (i.e. the project brief) whether simply a consultation or partial services- such as sketch designs with a site development appraisal, or we can co-ordinate a scheme from preliminary sketches right through to project completion. We offer a full range of professional services from preliminary design, feasibility studies & detailed site appraisal reports through to the formal planning application process, building regulations and other statutory approvals on to contract administration and administration of the completion of the build.
The services we provide are generally as described in the RIBA Plan of Work.
Architects are skilled at problem solving and resolving complex design issues in particular. We work closely with our clients to deliver sustainable buildings & solutions that suit each client. Early meetings and discussions about a design project are a vital part of the design process to avoid costly delays or abortive work and we always develop a positive and open working relationship with our clients so that together we achieve the best solutions and particularly so that clients feel relaxed working with us. We are always very pleased to informally meet any prospective clients who may consider appointing an architect or simply want some informal advice.
Our initial discussions will help define the “brief” setting out the project particulars and services which are sent out in a letter and fee proposal for your consideration. This also explains our detailed services in accordance with the RIBA Plan of Work and sets out the basis of our agreement.
Measured Survey & Preliminary Design
To enable us to prepare drawings of your proposals we will prepare drawings of the existing building based on a hand measured survey using a Leica Disto laser and this is converted for use with ArchiCAD 16 which is our CAD design software platform specially tailored for Architects. We often suggest you commission a Land Surveyor to carry out a 3D external topographical survey (very useful even for smaller works) as it is important to have the most accurate information to work from. Preliminary drawings (typically plans, sections & elevations) form the basis of the project and are developed from the survey work and used as the basis for design discussions and developing your proposals. The design drawings can be used at this stage to provide budget cost forecasts, or as a basis for preliminary discussions with a builder or even a planning officer if required.
When a planning application is required we will develop presentation drawings and submit a planning application on your behalf to the Local Planning Authority. We maintain regular contact with the appointed case officer as the planning application is processed so that we can quickly deal with any issues that may arise. Most Applications are determined within 8 weeks of submission and are valid for three years from the date of approval. If your property is sited in a Conservation Area or is a Listed Building you will require Conservation Area and or Listed Building Consent requiring additional drawings and supporting documentation. This is rather more detailed work than a typical planning application but we regularly deal with such applications.
Before you can legally start construction it is usually necessary to submit a Building Notice (with simple works) or obtain Building Regulations & Acts Approval from the Local Authority Building Control Department who will check your proposals are built according to approved technical standards. A Building Control inspector will visit your project to agree the works in accordance with the Approved Documents. We can prepare an application for you comprising detailed drawings and construction notes, which for most residential projects is the minimum level of design and construction information for a competent builder to understand and price the nature and scope of works.
We frequently provide a fully detailed or partial working drawings service for clients so that bespoke or critical components are properly detailed where required during the course of construction.
You will need to decide before you approach a builder whether or not you need an Architect to administer your construction contract for you. Building contracts can then be negotiated with a preferred builder or competitively tendered. We can provide you with advice and administer tender procedures for you.
Site / Contract Administration
We can administrate your building contract for you, attend regular site meetings and certify work, or we can just attend meetings at key stages where you feel that you need help or you can just call on us when you need our services by prior negotiation.
Party Wall Surveyor
If your building is in close proximity to a neighbouring property boundary you will probably be required to issue notices and agree a Party Wall Award under the Party Wall Act 1996. We can advise you on the appointment of a Party Wall Surveyor.
We can advise you on the appointment of a Structural Engineer whose drawings details and calculations are required to satisfy Building Control.
Eco- Energy assessments, SAP energy calculations and CSH (Code for Sustainable Homes) are nationally recognized methods for rating and certifying the performance of new (or existing homes) to meet the requirements of Part L of the building regulations. We can advise you on the appointment of a suitable energy assessor to advise and prepare suitable certification for the project.
Occasionally we may need to advise clients to appoint a planning consultant where we need additional input by a specialist Planning Consultant. We work with experienced local Planning Consultants and will advise on their appointment
The CDM (Construction Design Management) 2007 Act cover the health and safety issues concerning building projects under construction. Domestic clients undertaking domestic projects are exempt from CDM client duties. The CDM client duties apply to domestic premises if the client is a landlord, housing association, charity, collective of leaseholders or any other commercial activity. We can advise on the appointment of a CDM Coordinator.
A link to the RIBA for background information about our services: