What We Do
If you choose, we can work alongside you from the very first sketch to the moment that you walk in to your new/extended/transformed house or workplace. It's a journey that takes time, and you may not be familiar with all of the stages involved. Here's a rough and ready guide:
1. Design. We use both hand sketching and sophisticated 3D computer modelling to explore your options with you, presenting these as both traditional drawings and as virtual models, and refining them until you have a design that you love. As Clients who may not be used to reading 2D drawings this allows you to explore the design in detail, wandering around the building on your 'phone, tablet or computer, almost as though you were actually inside.
2. Planning. Once you are happy with the design, and if permission is required, we can submit to your local authority for planning approval. The planning process is fraught with technicalities and approval is never guaranteed; we will liaise with the planning authority and suggest to you the most promising route through the process.
2. Building Control. This (and the next stage) often presents as something of a Dark Art to new Clients; a near-invisible but absolutely critical statutory requirement, and one that takes a very significant proportion of our time. Almost all built work must be assessed in regard to how it performs against a set of technical requirements (covering thermal, acoustic,, drainage, fire safety, energy efficiency standards and so on). We produce technical drawings and supporting documentation for your project, such that it can be assessed by the appointed Building Control body. The work involves forensic research into proposed materials and their relationships to one another, and to the design as a whole, as well as detailed analysis of how the different parts of your design can be built.
3. Tender. There are many options open to you, once you have a design that meets with Building Control approval. You may choose to self-build, or to take the design to a builder that you trust to interpret the information as it stands. Reality shows abound with tales of woe that beset Clients who take these paths and we would always caution against them unless you have significant prior experience. If you choose to continue our engagement at this point we will produce an enhanced set of drawn and written documentation that not only details the design to a level that cannot be unwittingly misinterpreted by a builder, but that exhaustively describes the standards of materials and workmanship required. The suite of documents allows prospective builders to accurately price the work, usually in competition. We guide you carefully through this process and assist in preparing the Contract to be signed between you and your chosen builder.
4.Construction. We can stay with you throughout the construction process, monitoring progress against the Contract and inspecting on site, as well as providing additional information required by your builder and guiding you through the nuances of payments and dispute resolution.
Please do get in touch if you think that you might like to work with us...
(Official hours are Monday to Friday, 9-6, but we're here pretty much 24/7!)