Undertaking a home extension is a large project and you should be completely comfortable with the company you choose to instruct for both the Design & Build Phase. We offer a two-stage process so you are able to commit to the Design Phase and keep your options open when it comes to assigning a contractor for your Build. Having completed over 425 projects all over London, we work hard to exceed client expectations to produce designs that are practical and in line with the assigned budget. We have explained our Architectural Design Process below to offer an idea of how it all works, and what to expect if you choose to instruct us for the Design Phase.
1. Site Visit
The initial site visit allows us to see your home and understand what you want to accomplish. Every single project is different and it's important we fully understand what you want to gain from your home extension from the very beginning. The site visits also offer us with an opportunity to tell you more about how we work. We only send out members of our Architectural Team so you'll get a knowledgeable, creative team member, passionate about design and architecture. Following your Site Visit, we will send over your quote based on the discussion and information pulled from the Site Visit. This outlines both our Fixed Fee Design Service, and also a budget estimate from our Build Team.
Book A Site Visit
If you choose to instruct us to proceed with the Design Phase, the first thing we do is book in your Measured Survey. This is a meeting at your property which is typically 2 hours (this does vary on project size). You'll meet your Designer and sit down with them to discuss what you want to achieve from your new extension. This will be your designer throughout the entire Design Process and they'll develop your design with you, take you through planning and prepare your Building Reg Pack. They'll have lots of ideas, floorplans and images for you to consider, so if you're not sure what you want that's not a problem - we are here to guide you. They will then measure up the property in detail.
Following the Measured Survey, we will send over existing & proposed floorplans within 7 to 10 days. You are free to amend your plans or request new plans until you are totally happy with your final layout - we don't rest until it's perfect. We actually encourage our clients to take this time to experiment and consider lots of designs as you want to be sure before committing to a design via planning. Lots of clients choose to speak with their designer face to face, over the phone or on email - it's completely up to you.
Once you are completely satisfied with your design, we will prepare your planning application for you. This includes your planning application or permitted development application and anything else we feel would support your application such as a Heritage Report or a Design & Access Statement. This also includes your drawing set (site plan, existing and proposed ground floor plan, roof plans, sectional details, side elevations etc.). Our team our absolute pros at this so we'll tell you exactly what we feel we should submit on your behalf and the reasons why.
Planning generally takes 8 weeks. Once we submit your application, your designer will immediately begin to chase the council to ensure it becomes validated. Validation means that the council are registering the application as valid and confirming that they have what they need to make a determination. Once the application is validated, a Case Officer (CO) will be assigned. We then make contact with the CO to ensure that they have our details. Sometimes the CO will want to carry out a brief site visit at around week 6 or 7 of the planning period and in this case we will be in touch with you to book it in. They generally just want to have a quick look around and take some photos.
If you want to build soon, we would recommend getting started on Party Wall (PW) once you have submitted to planning, so you can run the process alongside the 8 week planning window. Party Wall can be lengthy, especially if your neighbours are not supportive of the works you intend to carry out. It’s important to remember that no neighbour can stop you from building, they can only delay it during the PW negotiations. We have an in-house Party Wall Expert who can serve Notice & draw up the Schedules of Condition. We take a very sympathetic approach when it comes to serving to Notice in the hope of gaining a consent to the works which ultimately saves you time and money. We do this by offering lots of information and support if your neighbours have questions or concerns.
If planning permission is accepted, we will notify you and send over all of the documentation for your information and records. Once the application is accepted, we begin your Building Reg Pack. These are the detailed drawings that Building Control and your assigned contractor will require during your Build. They are the detailed drawings that show all of the steel placement and specifications etc. If your application is rejected, we will look carefully as the reasons for rejection and work with you to find the best solution forward, be that to Appeal the decision or amend the drawings and resubmit.
8. PCM
Once we have your detailed drawings, we will book in your Pre Contract Meeting. This is a meeting with our construction team where we sit down with you to run through your drawings and knuckle down on exactly what you want from your Build, be that first fix only or internal refurbs elsewhere in the property. Following this meeting we will send over our Detailed Schedule of Works which is our contract for the Build, this will show our fixed price tender and it is then your decision whether you wish to proceed with the Build Phase.
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