At the Beginning
You may be moving to a new house, converting an old building, starting a building project from scratch or simply deciding that you want to make some changes. If you think that design advice would be useful then this is the time to get in touch.
We absolutely love it – almost every day I consciously think that I am glad we had it done. Obviously it is mainly a summer room, but it it warms up in winter when the sun shines and we can heat it up to eat in there with friends. I love being able to see the garden through the French windows even when we are not in there.
The porch over the back door has been great, providing a place to remove gardening shoes, grow plants, and insulate the house.
Most initial visits are free of charge. This is your opportunity to explain your requirements and to ask questions about the building process. It’s important to get this part right and to spend the time needed to build mutual confidence. This is the first ‘building block’ in combining the equally important aspects of design and construction.
You will be provided with a clear fee quotation at the beginning of the project. Most projects go as far as providing you with an agreed design which can be submitted for planning approval, and more detailed construction drawings which will demonstrate compliance with the building regulations.
Survey and Research
All design projects need good base information. Measuring and recording details of your property or site also provides an opportunity to get acquainted with the relevant features or restrictions in the locality. Mains services can also be considered at this stage.
The decorators finish today and carpets go down next weekend so we will be moved in by mid August! Thanks for all your help and assistance over the past 9 months.
If the briefing stage has been done well then the first design solution will more often than not be the one that you decide to go ahead with. There is always scope for fine tuning and if more radical changes are needed then these can be accommodated too. The important thing is that you feel you have a pleasing design that suits your needs. A planning application will be submitted on your behalf if it is needed for the project.
Thanks so much Mark and thanks for being so brilliant!
Once a planning permission is in place it means that you are entitled to build the approved design. However more detailed drawings will be required to show the principles of the construction, key dimensions and specification of materials etc. At this stage the architect will apply for approval under the building regulations and advise about any other services that may be required such as structural or energy usage calculations. Builders can then use this information to prepare their quotations.
Most people will use the detailed information provided to obtain their own building quotations and engage a builder to carry out the work. If you feel that it would be useful to have further advice and information during the building process then this can be discussed and agreed on an individual basis.
Some key things to look out for are:
- Make sure the design is the right one for you and that it is complete. No matter how good the builder is, they need to be building the right thing!
- Good clear information is vital from the outset. What does the building quotation include exactly? For example where are the lighting points going to be and who is supplying the fittings? How will my driveway and garden be left? Who is doing the decoration? You will need to answer all these questions eventually, and many more besides, so the earlier they are addressed in the project the less room there is for misunderstanding.
- Formalise your agreement with the builder. Make it clear what you are expecting and what it will cost. There are readily available templates for this online.
- When choosing a builder don’t just look at price. As with all things better quality can be better value in the long run.
- Make sure your builder has appropriate insurance for your type of project and that they fully recognise their duties with regard to Health and Safety legislation. You have a legal responsibility with regard to this even if no one makes you aware of it.
- It may be OK to defer some small decisions but make sure that these decisions are made at the right time in the building process so as to avoid confusion and delay.
- Good communication is a vital component in successful project. This doesn’t have to be elaborate or overly formal, but it does need to be clear and timely. Establish this right from the beginning and keep up regular meetings and discussions. It helps you and the builder equally.
- Projects almost always take longer than planned to complete. It might seem like an adventure at first but it can become very wearing living in your house with building work going on. If at all possible, and appropriate, find temporary accommodation. The build will be quicker and it may work out better for all in the long run.
When all is done, and the noise and dust have become a memory, you will get to enjoy the real thing. This is after all the point of it all and it’s always good to have a clear idea about the finished product right from the beginning. The gallery page shows more completed projects and ideas.
It was finished about a month ago, on time and on budget!
It looks amazing! The builder did an excellent job and you honestly can’t “see the join”.
Internally it’s fabulous, especially the upstairs landing, genius, getting rid of those cupboards.
Also the new guest en-suite is worthy of a homes and gardens photo, the contrast with the old beams and very modern shower room.
Simply Get In Touch
If you have any queries regarding our services there are a number of methods to contact us. Take a look at the ‘Contact Us’ page and either email, phone or leave a message via the online form. Thank you.