Designing and building your own dream home may feel like an overwhelming task fraught with legal hurdles, techno-babble and a multitude of decisions. Our solution is a 5 step process that will take you from our first meeting through to moving into and settling down in your new home.
Your project will begin with a meeting between you and your architect. We will discuss your needs, understand your desired lifestyle and explain how our designs can achieve this. Your architect will also visit the site to analyse the opportunities and constraints and then prepare a comprehensive ‘briefing document’ for your approval. This document will also advise what other specialist consultants will need to be appointed to successfully complete the project.
This is where the magic happens and your architect will use their creative skills, knowledge and experience to create a series of hand-drawn design sketches.These initial sketch designs will take into consideration your requirements, the opportunities and constraints of your unique site. The ideas will be communicated to you via accurate scaled sketch plans, cross-sections and 3D drawings. You will be able to sign these off before proceeding.
A majority of projects will need permission from a local planning authority before building work can start. Your architect will discuss the best strategy and negotiate on your behalf for achieving a positive outcome. We will prepare detailed drawings for submission and approval, these drawings will include external elevation views and 3D visual representations to present the design in the best possible way.
After planning permission is granted, your architect will liaise with the other technical consultants to ensure that the structure and services integrate seamlessly with the design. A higher level of detail will be added to the drawings to illustrate that the design complies with building regulations as well as how your home will be more energy efficient and comfortable. Your architect will specificy materials and fittings needed and create detailed drawings for builders to quote from.
Your architect can help you decide which builder to choose and will prepare contract documents before the builder starts work. Once building works are underway your architect will visit the site every few weeks to check that the project is on track and within budget. Your architect will authorise payments to the builder and keep track of any changes that are made during the build. When the building work is completed, we will carry out ‘snagging’ and ensure all paperwork is finalised before you move in and make yourself at home.
We undertake bespoke new build home projects with a minimum build budget of £500,000 and large extension projects with a minimum build budget of £250,000 +VAT. We also prefer to accept commissions from clients who value sustainability, energy efficiency and the benefits of natural materials.
Our work is mostly based in the south-east of the UK but, with the popularity of video conferencing software such as Zoom, we are able to help clients with projects in all parts of the UK and internationally and do not see location as a restriction on where we work.
We provide architectural services to people who are looking to either build a new home or substantially extend their home. We have a reliable network of professional consultants and service providers who support our work with their specialist input when needed.
Typically our fees would fall between 8% and 15% of the build cost and depends on the size and complexity of the project as well as the scope of work to be undertaken. Once we have a good understanding of these aspects, we are able to provide a fixed fee that will only change if the scope of work changes.
Usually, more than you expect! We recommend allowing a minimum of £3,000/m2 of interior space plus the costs of demolition if replacing a dwelling and plus the cost of services if building on a new plot. Renewable technologies and landscaping will increase this cost further still. All professional fees and statutory approval fees also need to be allowed for in your overall budget.
From our experience, it will take a minimum of 2 years to commission, design and build a bespoke new house. It can sometimes take up to a year for the design and planning permission stages. The technical design which involves other consultants will usually be about 6 months and the build itself between 12-15 months. A large extension project will usually be designed and delivered within 18 months.
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