CONSULTATION & BRIEF (WEEK 1)

In order to get things started we offer a free one, hour consultation where we can assess the building or site and your design requirements. From this meeting we would develop an understanding of your project objectives, budget and aspirations and produce an initial project brief. From this meeting we would develop a competitive fee, reflective of the work being commissioned.

CONCEPT DESIGN (WEEKS 2-4)

During this period we will use the client brief to produce outline design proposals for the project. Over the following weeks we will refine the designs through discussions with the client until their aspirations for the project are realised.

PLANNING (WEEKS 5-12)

Once the design has been finalised, we will produce a set of planning drawings and submit the detailed planning application or outline planning application. Once a planning application has been validated, the local planning authority should make a decision on the proposal as quickly as possible, and in any event within the statutory time limit unless a longer period is agreed in writing with the applicant. The statutory period for determining and application is 8 weeks for a residential application.

The planning application is concerned with the external appearance of the new home or extension and ensuring that the design of the proposals is not detrimental to the character of the local area and surrounding properties. Some extensions to the rear and side of a property fall under ‘permitted development’ and will not require planning permission.

BUILDING WARRANT (WEEKS 13-20)

A building warrant is the legal permission to start building work, or to demolish a building. However, unlike the planning application the building warrant application relates to the construction and meeting the minimum requirements as set out in the Building Standards (Scotland).

Over the 8 weeks that it takes for the planning application to be determined we will have worked up a set of building warrant drawings displaying all necessary construction and building standards information. As well as this information we will require the input of a structural engineer to produce structural drawings and a SER Certificate. We will then submit all this information and associated forms for the building warrant application.

Although there is no defined statutory periods for determining a building warrant application it is our experience that most are resolved within two months.

TECHNICAL DESIGN & TENDER (WEEKS 21-24)

After gaining warrant approval we can produce any final technical drawings that will be required for the construction process and then issue the tender package to a shortlist of building contractors for pricing. It is advised that a minimum period of four weeks is allowed for potential contractors to price the works, get quotes from sub-contractors and return the tenders.

Once the tenders are returned, the prices are compared and we will advise on the selection of the successful contractor. The contractor will then be appointed under the relevant building contract for the works.

CONSTRUCTION (WEEKS 25-36) (WEEKS 25-48)

Prior to the works commencing on site, both the client and contractor will have signed the building contract. This contract will set out the scope of the works, timescales and the fixed cost of the project. It will be our responsibility to administer the contract and to monitor the quality of the construction on site and to ensure that the works are in accordance with the tender drawings and building standards.

Payments to the contractor will be required at stages (as agreed in the contract documents). It is our responsibility as Architects to carry out valuations of the work-in-progress and materials delivered to ensure all payment claims are for works already undertaken. This is intended to protect the client from any overpayment.

It is our experience that most home extensions take between 8–12 weeks from works starting on site to completion and that new homes can take between 24-36 weeks. Once the works have been completed we conclude all paperwork and obtain the certificate of completion from building control. All that’s left afterwards is the house warming party.

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