First (Briefing) meeting
The first step is to contact an architect and schedule a meeting on site or in the architects office. There the architect will discuss your options and develope a brief for the project. These can either be short meeting to discuss main issues, usually at the architects office, or a full brainstorming design session, most of the time on site, with sketches of possible proposals.
These initial drawings are of course just that – initial! More description and pleasure will come from development of scheme level drawings (SLD’s) in plan, section and elevation suitable for seeking statutory approvals, the first stage of which is the need to obtain a “Planning consent”. In some cases a consent is needed from conservation due to the building being listed or in a conservation area. Some three dimensional drawings may well be appropriate to illustrate and convey the shape and appearance of the extension.
We use CAD drawings to develop base- and scheme drawings which can make this process smoother, and when completed should be reviewed with your strategies for achieving your aims.
The range of services we provide is based on the Royal Institute of British Architects. Beyond SLD’s and the further development of drawings for the “Building Control approvals”, what you may require from us will be dependent on your strategy for procurement, and we will review these matters at the appropriate time. Unless otherwise agreed, we work under the ACA FSA 2012 with 2015 amendments appointment contract.
The work can be broken into three stages;
- A – Planning stage
- B – Pre-construction stage
- C – Construction stage.
A – Planning Stage
Work required for the Planning Stage includes;
1 – Carry out a detailed measured survey of the property in order to produce digital (CAD) drawings showing plans, sections, and elevations. These drawings will be used throughout the project and are initially required for the planning application (PA) or Permitted Development (PD) submission. For smaller projects we can provide this service for you, or alternatively you can use a registered (RICS) Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Surveyor.
2 – We will produce a full set of existing and proposed drawings required for the Planning Application or (Permitted Development) Lawful Development Certificate Application. The production of the proposed drawings will include liaising with you over the design. We will also liaise with Building Control, and a Structural Engineer as necessary. The planning submission will also include a written Design and Access Statement.
3 – Submitting the application – this is filling out the application forms, uploading the drawings.
*The first application could be in the form of a pre-planning application where options can be discussed with your local planning officer. A Planning Application can be submitted following the planning advise. If there is not a significant time pressure involved, this could be an option to smooth the process.
4 – Location Plan – a 1:1250 Ordnance Survey map is required as part of the planning application.
5 – After submitting the application, We will liaise with the Planning Case Officer as necessary.
6 – Landlord License to Alter (LLA): in cases where the property is a leasehold, depending on the conditions of the lease, the proposal must be submitted to the Landlord for approval. The LLA application can be time consuming and may involve negotiations. It is therefore important to consult the landlord early on in the process.
B – Pre-construction stage
This will be carried out following planning approval and includes;
7 – Building Control: General Arrangement construction drawings (GA) for Building Control. These are drawings that we prepare and submit to the local authority Building Control Office or a privately commissioned Approved Inspector for a drawings check. This submission also requires the structural engineers drawings and calculations. In addition to being sent to building control, these drawings are used as part of the tender package for costing by the contractor.
Depending on the amount of glazing proposed, SAP (heat loss) calculations may also be required.
8 – Appointment of a Structural Engineer. The structural engineers design (foundations, beam sizes, roof structure, etc) need to be incorporated into the construction drawings mentioned above. The structural engineers drawings and calculations form part of the Building Regulations submission. The structural engineer will base their fee quote on the planning application drawings.
9 – In addition to the GA construction drawings, drawings are required to show the elements of work not included in the GAs. These include detail construction drawings and ”fit out” items such as; floor finishes, door types, joinery, electrical layouts, kitchen layouts etc. These drawings form part of the “Tender package”. The tender package also includes the GA construction drawings mentioned above, and a Schedule of Works.
10 – A Schedule of Works. This is a written document describing items shown on the drawings, and listing items not shown on the drawings. This is used as a tool for pricing the works and also works in conjunction with the drawings to describe the works. The schedule is later used to value the on-site works during the construction stage.
10 – Tender; It is usually the case that all of the above are sent to the tendering contractors for pricing. Accurate information will be required on the drawings and documents mentioned to ensure that contractors can accurately price the works. Detailed information will also ensure that all details of the design are clarified prior to construction. This will also ensure a better control on maintaining the design, and on costs when the project reaches site.
11 – When the prices have been returned they will be checked. It may be necessary to make changes to the project in order to reduce costs. This is also where you can make decision about project phasing.
12 – Party Wall Awards might need to be issued. In such cases a Party Wall Surveyor will need to be appointed. The neighboring properties have the right to appoint their own party wall surveyor and this is at your expense. The Party Wall Surveyor will need to do conditions surveys of all buildings that are subject to the Party Wall Awards. The conditions surveys are a safeguard to yourselves as well as your neighbors.
C – Construction stage.
13 – A contract will be drawn up between yourself and the contractor. The type of contract will depend on the scale and complexity of the project.
14 – Account must also be taken of the new CDM 2015 Regulations. It may be necessary for you to employ a consultant who deals with this.
During the construction stage we will make regular site visits. We will liaise with yourselves, the contractor, the engineer, suppliers, and Building Control to ensure the works are built as drawn and that any issues encountered are resolved correctly. we will also make regular valuations of the work and will issue Payment Certificates based on the valuations. These are usually issued fortnightly. The work we do during the Construction Stage is charged on a time basis and invoiced monthly.
The cost of the professional service depends on the scope and complexity of the scheme.