Architectural Designer - How we work

If you have not embarked on a construction project before or worked with an architectural designer we hope the following information will help you understand what usually happens and how we do things.

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Based in Sheffield, covering Chesterfield and providing services across the UK

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What is involved with a typical project

1] Initial meeting
  • Following your enquiry an informal meeting is arranged, free of charge, usually at the project address, to discuss and understand your ideas and requirements.
  • Your quote is then prepared.
  • Once your quote is accepted a set of written agreement documents are prepared and signed before starting work. These documents also clearly identify your fees and an anticipated timescale for the design and construction.
2] Survey
  • A survey of your site or existing building is organised to establish any constraints.
3] Concept Designs
  • Your first set of preliminary design proposals / drawings are issued for review. This may include several options to consider.
4] Review and adjust
  • Your preliminary design proposals are then adjusted until a satisfactory overall design is agreed and signed off.
  • Depending upon the complexity of the project this design can be used for initial discussions with the Local Planning Authority.
5] Council approvals
  • Formal Planning Permission is applied for your project, if required.
  • After Planning Permission is hopefully approved the next stage would be to obtain Building Regulations consent. The Building Regulations are statutory and they set minimum requirements for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the health and safety of end users.
  • Sometimes other approvals are required and we can review these on an individual basis.
6] Pricing *
  • Following Building Regulations approval for your project the design is developed further and competitive prices usually obtained from reputable builders. There are other ways to obtain prices and this can be agreed on a project specific basis.
  • Once prices are obtained the appointment of the most suitable builder [not always the cheapest] is formalised with an industry standard construction contract.
7] Construction *
  • Construction commences and the project is managed with the builder until satisfactory completion.
  • We will ensure cost is controlled and a certified paper trail is kept that records all changes and payments.
8] After construction *
  • Before your building is ready to be occupied a small manual is sometimes produced that provides guidance on how the building operates and should be maintained. This is similar to a user manual that you are provided with when you purchase a new car or television.
  • You move in and enjoy your new building or extension etc.
  • Even after completion we will continue to work with you and the builder to ensure any problems that arise are rectified to your satisfaction.

Our attitude to architecture, design and building

1] You are our number one prioity
  • Primarily we are a client led practice, not a design led practice. This does not mean design is not important, design, function and good looks are crucial. However, listening, understanding and providing what you, the client needs is what shapes this practice. Not buildings that are unbuildable, difficult to maintain and do not perform as expected.
2] Making it as easy for you as possible
  • We know a construction project will be disruptive, therefore, we try to take care of everything with minimum involvement from you. This will result in your time and money being saved and allows you to concentrate on more important issues such as family or work.
  • We understand that due to busy lives it is not always possible to meet or talk during the daytime. Therefore, we are available most evenings and weekends to fit in with your schedule.
  • We have established valuable relationships with reliable and quality builders who we can recommend with confidence.
  • We have also built up effective relationships with many other construction specialists, such as Structural Engineers, Quantity Surveyors and other associated professionals. If we think you should use the services of such experts we will only recommend firms we are confident of working with. We’ve done the homework so you don’t have to.
  • Whatever your choice of service we will produce a fully co-ordinated design package, including specialist structural design. This means you can approach builders with confidence to obtain accurate prices.
3] Practical and simple
  • We have a no nonsense, practical approach to design and this flows through into the building process.
  • Our design approach is functionalist. It is critical the building functions as intended and fits within the context of the site and surroundings.
  • We strive to help create good buildings that are practical, economical, attractive and delightful.
4] Regular, clear communication
  • We believe in good relationships and first rate communication which are vital at all stages to ensure a successful project.
  • You will be kept regularly informed of progress, effective communication is key.
  • We will listen to you and incorporate your requirements into the design. We seek to fully understand the building users. Buildings should be people focused.
​5] Collaboration
  • Each project is approached as a collaborative team effort without hierarchy and we find this is both exciting and rewarding. By engaging with clients, consultants, builders, manufacturers, specialists and neighbours from different backgrounds and all ages improves our work, makes it more fascinating but more importantly provides the best outcome for you.
6] Careful
  • We will produce extremely clear and thorough drawings and information. This means it will be quick and easy for you and the rest of the team to understand something. Complex issues and items will not be missed off. Maximum impact in minimum time. This also means that prices will be accurate, there should be less errors on site, the build time will be reduced and therefore, you should save money.
  • We take the time to do a quality job properly and do not rush things.
  • With a meticulous and thorough attention to detail we attempt to foresee future problems and how to avoid them.
7] The right information at the right time
  • We try to do things differently. We don’t churn out the minimum amount of drawings as quickly as possible to maximise profits but rather all designs and drawings are thoughtfully prepared to provide the appropriate amount of information.

Do you have a specific project in mind? Contact us today