The Design Process
Having a home extension, loft conversion or home alterations can often seem rather daunting. However, it needn’t be! In most cases, as our clients will confirm, it is quite exciting. Many options are available, from the internal layout through to the external appearance of your project. Embarking on an extension or conversion should be exciting and a lot of fun. We share this enthusiasm as we know how important your home is to you and your family. It simply helps that we have a real passion for what we do and enjoy working with you throughout the design process.
The Design Process
Almost all building/construction projects, from small extensions to major building projects, follow the same design process. This process is briefly described below. Click on each toggle section to find out about each topic in further detail.
Initial Client Meet / Design Brief
This is the 1st stage of any design or construction project. Following your initial contact we will arrange with yourselves a site meeting at a time suitable to yourselves.
In this initial meeting we can get a feel for the proposed project and establish what the client is looking to achieve and also suggest possible design ideas and problems which may possibly occur. We will also run through the various fees which may be payable to the local authority and any other specialist services (e.g. coal mining survey).
The initial meet is free of charge and there is no obligation to use our services further. Following the initial meet we are able to provide a written quotation for the architectural design works required. If you are happy with our quotation we will then move onto the next stage of the process.
Detailed survey of existing property or land
Once the design fees have been agreed work can begin on the architectural design for the proposed project.
Prior to commencing any work on a proposed scheme it is important that the existing property/site is fully documented. To do this we will visit the site and carry out a fully detailed measured survey.
From this we are able to produce accurate 2d CAD drawings as existing. These are then used as the basis for developing the proposed new scheme.
Concept Design and Development
Once we have an accurate draft of the existing it is possible to start design work.
Depending on the nature of the project several different design options will be given. All drawn and detailed using 2d computer aided design. (If required by the client we can also provide 3d photo realistic images of the proposed at this stage).
Throughout the concept design period the client is consulted to ensure that the end product meets their requirements. Once the proposed design is confirmed and agreed this will form the basis of the planning application (if required).
Local Authority Planning Approval
When the concept scheme has been agreed by the client we will then start the process of completing the drawings in order to submit for planning approval if required. We will complete all statutory forms and paperwork and will consult with the local authority on your behalf during the planning process.
If your project requires planning approval it can take a minimum of 8 weeks for a decision to be made. Not all projects require planning approval and may qualify for ‘permitted’ development. Lacey & Owen will advise on this during the initial site meeting, More information is available via the planning portal.
Once Planning approval has been granted we can then move on to the next stage of the process.
Building Control Approval
Having secured planning permission for your proposed development we will then proceed to produce drawings and documentation required for a building regulations full plan application.
These drawings and documentation are much more detailed to that of the planning application drawings and illustrate to the building control officer how the project is to comply with current statutory legislation. Again we will complete all statutory forms and consult with our appointed LABC officer on your behalf throughout the building regulations submission. (Note: the building regulations plan approval takes a minimum of 4 weeks for a decision to be issued).
Once Building Regulation Approval has been granted, we will then provide the client with a complete set of construction drawings and a specification. These drawings and documents will then enable prospective builders/contractors to tender a quote for the construction work for the proposed scheme.
With the majority of projects this is where Lacey & Owen’s involvement ends, however if the client wishes that Lacey and Owen over see the construction portion of the proposed, a new quotation is issued and the remaining points, (6-8), are completed.
Lacey and Owen will work closely with the client to firstly select a number of prospective contractors.
When a list of prospective contractors have been compiled we will prepare and issue all the tender documentation required. This enables the contractors to submit an accurate build cost. It also ensures that the work is being priced on a like for like basis.
On receipt of all contractors’ bids, Lacey and Owen will work with the client and advise on which contractor would be best suited to complete the construction works.
Once the successful contractor has been appointed construction work can start on site.
Lacey and Owen will monitor the construction works and approve the quality of workmanship on site. We will also approve the contractors payment/valuation certificates and negotiate on the clients behalf. All documentation and paperwork throughout the process will be issued on official CIAT documents.
Along with ensuring that the workmanship on site is monitored, having Lacey & Owen involved during the construction phase, ensures that if any problems arise throughout the build we will be on hand to offer the contractor help and advice on how to overcome these issues in the most cost effective manner. This service takes the pressure off the client as we take care of all mandatory documentation, arrange site meetings etc. and assist in the solving of any issues on site.
This is the stage we have all been working towards since the initial client meet. It can be a long and stressful process but with the help and knowledge from Lacey and Owen, the project will come through on budget and achieve what you, the client, originally specified.
At this stage Lacey and Owen will compile a full snagging list of the works and ensure that this work is done prior to the final handover.