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We specialise in designing quality and highly functional buildings and internal spaces that enhance people’s lives. Our aim is to create designs that meet your requirements, whilst at the same time ensuring that all planning and building regulations are fully adhered to. We want you to be involved in the design process and be totally satisfied with the final designs.
Ultimately, we recognise the importance of your investment and will strive to achieve maximum added value throughout both the design and construction processes.
No. We believe that honest and knowledgeable advice is essential for clients to make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed with a proposed scheme.
Our initial meeting will usually include a detailed discussion on the various design options, advice on planning matters, building costs and construction in general.
Depending on the nature of work being considered, we may then be able to provide some outline sketch designs and further preliminary advice in order to assess the feasibility of the proposals.
During the initial visit we will spend time discussing your proposals and finding out what you want to achieve. We will discuss the options that you have available along with the feasibility and implications of these options.
The objective of the initial visit is to make sure you are fully informed and in the best position possible to make a decision and move forward
No. We generally prefer some additional time to consider the proposals and put together an all inclusive fee quotation – which will include our survey & design fee and will also clearly list all other associated costs including planning, building regulations and structural engineers fees.
We will however be able to provide indicative costs, based on similar previous projects.
Once you have accepted our fee quotation for the works, we will return to your property and carry out a full measurement and photographic survey. This information, together with a detailed brief of your design requirements will enable us to commence with the design process.
The amount of time required for the survey will obviously be dependent on the size, nature and complexity of the existing building. Typically, a single project on one level may take 4-5 hours. A more complex project with more than one element, such as an extension and a loft conversion, may take a full day.
The building survey and all associated costs will have been included in the previously agreed fee quotation.
Yes. This is one of our key considerations to ensure client satisfaction. In most cases we will develop the drawings to a certain level, and then provide an opportunity for you to review the proposals and make necessary changes, within reason. This is an essential part of the process, and ensures you retain control. Ultimately, we want to give you - what you want.
For domestic properties, planning consent relates to changes in the appearance or use of buildings such as an extension to a house, or a conversion of a house into flats.
Planning can be one of the main hurdles to clear when thinking about making changes to your home and needs to be given consideration from the start. It may be possible that your project can be done within permitted development – we will be able to advise you of this during your initial visit.
The granting of Planning Permission cannot be guaranteed since it depends upon many factors, some of which can’t be controlled.
A common misconception is that because other houses in the street have, for instance, roof extensions, this will automatically mean that yours will be allowed. This is not always the case as planning policy does change over time. We will be able to give you advice relating to current planning policy that will help develop the design solution.
New regulations came into effect from 1st October 2008, relating to permitted development and certain building work not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to numerous limits and conditions.
For small extensions, alterations and loft conversions, your proposals may fall within your Permitted Development Rights which means that planning permission will not be necessary.
It may be necessary however, to acquire a ‘Certificate of Lawful Development’ for certain works. We can provide advice regarding this matter.
Buildings of particular architectural interest are often officially ‘Listed’ and thereby protected. Some residential buildings are listed Grade 2 which means that all alterations (not just those to the outside or original parts) have to be approved under Listed Building Consent. Making a Listed Building Consent application is similar to making a planning application - but with a few differences.
Living in a conservation area usually means that changes to the external appearance of your building will be a particularly sensitive issue. If Conservation Area Consent is required, we will able to make this application on your behalf.
We will try and recommend a proposal to amend the application that will be more acceptable to the Planners. This may involve withdrawing the application, revising it and resubmitting it under the same application fee.
The Building Regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings to protect the safety and health of people in or about those buildings. They cover many areas such as structure, fire escape, drainage, ventilation, insulation, etc and facilities for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings.
The regulations can often seem unreasonable, but they are all there for good reasons.
It is very common with alterations to domestic buildings (even for detached houses) that action under the Party Wall legislation will be necessary. Works that affect a wall, fence or any part of your neighbour's structure, within certain specified distances will require notification to adjoining owners in accordance with the Party Wall Act 1996. This notification can be a complicated procedure and can take a good deal of time. We will be able to advise and guide you through this process.
Generally speaking, any competent Builder will be able to undertake the construction work from our Building Regulations drawings. Typically, these will include existing and proposed plans and elevations, cross sections and construction specification notes. If the design contains elements that are particularly complex or unusual, we can provide additional detail drawings.
A good starting point is to ask friends, neighbours or other homeowners who have recently had work done close to where you live, if there is anybody they can recommend. Alternatively, we have a good (and ever increasing) list of local reputable builders who may be suitable. If you need assistance, we will be able to handle this process for you.
The cost of a building project is extremely difficult to predict particularly before it is fully designed. We can provide indicative costs for most projects or we can produce a realistic build-cost estimate, and advise an appropriate level of contingency.
The final costs will depend on many factors including size, scope and complexity of the project, amount of structural work involved and level of specification required.
No. We have a number of structural engineers, who we deal with on a regular basis. We will obtain a competitive quotation for the structural calculations and specifications (which are required for building regulations approval) and add this information onto our drawings. An indicative engineer’s fee will have been provided in the previously provided fee quotation, if relevant.
We can organise and manage the whole construction process in a strategic and stream–lined manner. This may include preparation of specifications, tender documents, contracts, and other documents relevant to the size and nature of the project.
Ultimately, we want to ensure that your project is built to the required standard of workmanship, stays within the agreed budget and is completed in accordance with the programme of work schedule.
We attend site on a regular basis, and endeavour to build good relationships with builders with a view to minimising difficulties and ensuring a well organised process.
We don’t like problems – we like solutions!
Our Project Management services will be offered as a separate, no obligation cost option. The fee will be based on a percentage of the build cost contract value.