We will visit the project with you to identify opportunities and constraints and discuss the brief with you.
There is no charge for this service.
Once we have agreed the services required with yourself the next phase is to establish the brief. At this stage we discuss with you the aspirations for the project, parameters to the project and the working budget. budget.
Further to establishing the brief and organising site information we will produce some initial conceptual designs and approaches to the project. We will then arrange a meeting with you to explain these and decide on the appropriate way to progress the design.
The design phase sees the development of the concept options into fully realized designs which consider the way the spaces will work and how the proposal will look internally and externally.
We always work in 3d on the projects and will models and images to help both parties understand the space and the proposed works. We also offer the ability to examine the proposals within a VR environment at our offices, which is a great tool for understanding proposals.
The design process can vary in duration depending on how the design evolves and we will have meetings with yourselves until all parties are happy with the proposal.
Once the design is signed off we produce a set of drawings and reports to submit to the local authority in order to gain permission. We have a great track record in working with the council in order to get the necessary approvals. We always try to liaise with the planning officer and meet them on site to explain the proposals and make amendments if required to gain the required permissions.
With the relevant permissions secured the second phase of the project looks to develop all the detail of the project to a point where it is ready to go out to tender.
At this stage all the decisions relating to lighting, heating, and layouts need to be finalised and drawn up. All the construction details and materials are agreed and added to the drawings and documents. At this point we coordinate with an engineer who will provide design for any structural elements such as steelwork and foundations.
The final result of these works is a set of detailed drawings, a set of documents that describe the works in detail and the all important excel spreadsheet to ensure that the tenders are all returned in a format that allows easy comparison between builders.
We issue the tender package to a selection of construction companies. We normally tender to 3-4 companies and these tend to be from a pool of firms we have worked with previously and have established a good relationship. We also encourage clients to suggest firms if they have experience or knowledge of good contractors.
Once the tenders are returned we help you compare the figures and negotiate with the different firms, by providing the different costs in a single comprehensible table. If the budget is being stretched then we will work with you to identify areas where costs could be saved.
Once a price and contractor is agreed on we provide an Industry standard contract that forms the basis of the relationship between yourselves and the builder. This will be a fixed price, fixed time contract where the builder is required to build exactly what is on the drawings.
During the construction period we visit the site on a regular basis to check progress and quality of work and we then issue valuation certificates which let you know how much money is due to the builder based on progress on site.
We will also coordinate with building control during the build who will also inspect key stages and issue certificates certifying the quality of the works.
At the end of the works we issue completion certificates and certify the final account. Then hopefully our photographer can come and document the realised design.
Dominic Bradbury is an author, journalist and an expert in the fields of architecture and interior design.
His journalism has appeared in publications such as House & Garden, Homes & Gardens, Harpers & Queen, Elle Decoration, Vogue Living, the Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times and the Sunday Times. He has also written many books on architecture, design and interiors, which have been published internationally.