We provide you with much more than just the drawings for your new home, refurbishment, conversion or alteration to your existing home. We have the resources, experience and expertise to see your project safely through to completion, overseeing the design, statutory Planning and Building Regulations requirements, choosing the right builder and monitoring works so it stays within your budget. We are here to help:
• Define your objectives
• Develop a design
• Secure the necessary Statutory Approvals
• Manage the Construction phase
We work to the RIBA Plan of Works which outlines an in depth Work Stage process noted below.
Meet, greet and establish the brief
We look forward to arranging a meeting with yourself to discuss your aspirations over a hot cuppa. During our conversation, we will make notes and possibly doodle a sketch or two to fully understand your ideas and formulate those ideas into an established brief. As part of the brief, we will advise you of other consultants, if necessary, that would need to be actively involved in the project. Once agreed, the brief forms the key document for us to work to in order to successfully meet your needs.
If you are a homeowner looking to renovate or extend your existing property, we will undertake a full measured survey to determine the best solution in order to meet the brief. If you are a self builder, wishing to develop your site, we will obtain relevant topographical surveys to establish any constraints on the development. As such, the measured survey forms the basis of all the drawings that follow.
Feasibility Studies and Concept Design
Having understood your introductory brief, we will explore whether the briefs' demands can be accommodated in terms of economic viability i.e. the total cost of the project / budget. Please note that at this stage, an indicative project cost can be assessed. Actual costs are determined during the Tender Stage, once more detailed drawings / specifications are established. Concept design generally takes place after the feasibility study and option appraisals have been carried out. The concept design represents the initial response to the project brief and we welcome your active involvement during the design process.
We will develop:
• The design options based on the brief.
• Any outline specifications, i.e. written documents that describes the materials and workmanship required for your project.
• Schedules of accommodation.
• A planning strategy.
• The Cost Plan. Depending on the scale of the project, cost plans are generally prepared by cost consultants e.g. Quantity surveyors. This will be determined by the project brief.
• Procurement options, i.e. determining the correct building contract.
• Programme and Phasing strategy, i.e. a sequence in which a series of tasks are carried out to ensure
the project can be completed.
• Buildability, i.e. a pre-construction exercise that assesses the design from the perspective of those that will build the project.
Statutory Planning and Listed Building Applications
As the name suggests, this is the legal process of determining whether the proposed development/s can be permitted. As such, the determination for planning approval lies with your local authority. Other than Permitted Development rights, all developments require planning permission. Once you have approved the concept design in principle, we will develop the design to planning standards including all the necessary supplementary documentation in order to make a planning and / or listed building application. Please note, Planning application fees are the responsibility of you (the Client) and payment should be made directly to your local authority.
Building Regulations Applications
Following Planning approval, the approved set of documents are developed to form a Building Regulations Application. This is to ensure that all new buildings, conversions, renovations and extensions are designed to be safe and high-performing and in accordance to statutory regulations. These regulations cover a stringent set of approved guidelines that must be met in order to obtain approval for your project. We have extensive experience in meeting those guidelines and continually keeping up to date with changes in legislation. We provide a detailed set of building regulations drawings / specification package along with contractors working drawings in order to give a detailed overview of the construction of the building. Please note, Building Regulations fees are the responsibility of you (the Client), and payment should be made directly to your local authority or independent building control department.
Tender process in selecting the right builder
In addition to the concise Building Regulations package of works noted above, the contractors working drawings enables the contractors who are willing to tender, to accurately price the build. Unless you have a preferred contractor in mind, we will prepare an invitation to trusted, competent contractors for your project. Ideally, the tender documentation will be broken down into a series of packages, each with its own design drawings and specifications. This will be issued to the main contractor who will distribute it accordingly to potential sub-contractors. This makes the tender easier to price for the main contractor and makes it easier for us to appraise (compare) with other tenders. As such, once a tender has been identified, we will enter into negotiations with the preferred contractor in order to finalise the project sum and agree to the terms of the building contract.
Contract Administration and monitoring the building work to completion
At this stage, the project work has started and the build is underway. As Contract Administrator, we would act as the interface between you as the client and the contractor, overseeing quality and cost throughout the procurement period. We monitor the quality of the work and the contractors compliance with the approved drawings and specifications, as frequently builders and in some cases the client will request changes to the design or specified materials. It is our role as Contract Administrator to consider the implications of these requests and advise on the impact to cost, the construction programme and overall progress of work. We will then issue instructions confirming any agreed variations.
In addition, the contractor will be entitled to interim or progress payments. As Contract Administrator, we keep track of cost and certify the amount to be paid after taking into account the contractors claim.
As the construction work nears completion, it is an important stage because there are many consequences that the Contractor Administrator needs to address. These include: responsibility for insurance, release of part of the retention and certifying the penultimate payment to the contractor and any liability for 'damages' if the work has overrun.
We provide an thorough site inspection and provide reports of any issues that need to be addressed. This will fall under a rectification period to which the contractor has a set time to rectify any issues found. We will then complete a final inspection to ensure all issues has been rectified and once we are satisfied that the works have been completed to a high standard we will issue the final certificate, which settles the financial obligations of the contract.
Completing the project and Construction Health and Safety (CDM '15) documentation
Once the project has been completed, we prepare a handover file comprising all the approved documentation, all drawing / specification packages, certificates, and Construction Health and Safety (CDM '15) documentation for your records. As such, this provides you the peace of mind that your project has been implemented in accordance to all regulations.
From inception to completion.
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