How + Why

The ‘WHY’ :

Why choose to work with us?

We believe Clients need support and building is all about attention to detail. 

We give guidance and advice so that Clients can make informed decisions and optimise their Time + Budget.

Design is important. Quality of Construction is important. Building is all about attention to detail. We believe that Clients need support and that good design can cost the same to build as bad design.

Time spent working on a project in many regards is proportional to the quality of the end product. Poor design can have a long lasting and expensive impact.

The ‘HOW’ :

How we work:

The following are some thoughts + guidance information for people starting out to plan their own Project or New Build:

  1. Develop a Project Brief:
    1. Make a list of rooms + spaces required in your new Home / new Extension.
    2. Set out a Proposed Floor Area for the House / Extension.
    3. If working on an Existing House, are there works proposed to the Existing House? (Refurbishment, alterations, insulation upgrades, windows, kitchen, etc… Any plumbing, heating or electrical work required?)
  2. Establish the Construction Budget:
    1. Setting a Construction Budget from the beginning is critical.
    2. Typically our advice to Clients is to decide on their Budget and go from there – instead of deciding on the size and design and subsequently seeing how much it will cost. People should only build what they can afford. 
    3. Either way building an Extension, Alteration and Construction Works are a big investment and requires a lot of thought, even at this early stage.
  3. Programme / Time Scale:
    1. A Programme for the proposed design + construction works will need to be agreed. Is there a time frame in mind?
  4. Design:
    1. Really, besides your own brief, the important characteristics of the design will depend on the site; the site’s orientation, views, prevailing wind, sun path etc. Each site needs to assessed on its merits, which will impact the proposed design. Additionally, focus needs to be paid to build quality, air tightness and wind tightness.
  5. Architect Service:
    1. Level of service required? 
      1. An Initial Consultation, or
      2. Developing a design up to submitting a Planning Permission Application (if one is required), or 
      3. A Full Architect Service: from sketch designs + planning permission, through to tender drawings, tendering the works, construction drawings + inspection of the Building Contractor’s works on site?
    2. Typically our service is composed of 4 Work Stages, from initial design to completion of the construction works. Submitting the Planning Permission Application would take place at the end of work stage 2.
      1. Work Stage 1 – Sketch Design: The initial work stage involves the process of exploring different design options (Sketch Design Options) in order to get a well considered and thoughtful design to meet your brief, that is suitable for the site characteristics and orientation and fulfils the Local Authority requirements. These Sketch Designs include drawings that would be sufficient for a pre-planning consultation with the County Council. These would include a basic Proposed Site Layout Plan, Floor Plans and Elevations of the house. However these drawings would require further detail and information to make them suitable for a Planning Permission Application to give the key dimensional and material information required.
      2. Work Stage 2 – Planning PermissionOnce an agreed design is reached, the drawings are worked up on CAD for the Planning Permission Application (if required). It is advisable to have a pre planning consultation with the Local Authority, once a layout and design has been reached. Work Stage 2 would include changes to the design as advised in the pre-planning clinic, specifying finishes, applying dimensions, formatting the drawings, drawing up on CAD, producing additional drawings (building sections, existing site layout plans, site location maps,) etc.
      3. Work Stage 3 – Tender Stage: Developing the detail design for the project; including construction details, site works, finishes, fittings and technical specifications. The design will need to incorporate the works of other consultants (Engineer, etc.) and incorporate Planning Permission and Building Regulation requirements. Work stage 3 concludes with circulating the detailed design information to Building Contractors who are tendering the works.
      4. Work Stage 4 – Construction Stage: Report on Tender Prices received and arrange the Building Contract between the Client + Building Contractor. Visit the site to periodically inspect the progress + quality of the work and see the Contractor is fulfilling his obligations to the Client. Issue Certificates of Payment due to the Contractor and on completion issue the Final Account and Opinions on Compliance with Planning Permission and Building Regulations.

The following is useful information from the Royal Institute of Architects (RIAI) website (click on the links to open new tabs):

Work with an Architect: Your Home’ + ‘How does the Process Work?‘:

Whether you are planning to construct your dream home or extending and renovating your existing house, a RIAI Registered Architect has the qualifications, vision, and experience to take you expertly through your building project.’ 

Working with an Architect‘:

Providing information on:

  • What Architects do‘,
  • Guidance on Costs‘ (Architect fees + Construction Costs),
  • The ‘Project Work Stages‘, (from Initial Sketch Design, through to Planning Permission, Tender, Construction + Completion),
  • Resolving issues + disputes.

Building / Construction Costs Guidelines‘:

  • Cost Guidelines for Commercial Works
    • Industrial Development.
    • Site Development Business Parks.
    • Commercial Office Development.
    • Office Fit-Out.
    • Single Or Two-Storey House in a Speculative Development of Eight or more Houses
    • Apartment in Development Of Over Eight Units
  • Cost Guidelines for Domestic Works
    • Single or Two-Storey House To “One-Off” Design
    • Basic Single or Two-Storey Extension Single or Two-Storey.
    • Extension to House With Renovations to Existing House.
    • Renovations to Existing House only.
  • Additional Cost Factors
    • Site Access.
    • Site Conditions.
    • Specifications and Finishes.
    • When Considering Building Cost Ranges Noted Above, The Following Elements Are Excluded…..