Here is a more in depth look at our Customer Journey

Step 1 – Appraisal and feasibility

Let’s sit down, start at the beginning and have a brew. In order for us to know the scope of what it is you would like to gain from the project, we need to explore its key aspects by getting a better understanding of your needs and wants and reasons for considering it. These key aspects will identify the scope of what we’re looking to achieve. If your unsure or unclear we can help, offer advice and ideas and help develop your own ideas to form a holistic image of the project. From here we need to check the project feasible in terms of budget and cost; timescale; and scope. We will also look at it’s other constraints for example: context, buildability, proportion and Planning restrictions and more.

Step 2 – Preliminary Design

Probably, the most important stage, this is where we look at the project as a whole. Take into account all aspects such as budget, time scale, requirements, aesthetics, sustainability, build ability etc to get to grips on what it is you want to accomplish, how you want to go about it, and how much you can actually afford to spend doing it. After all, there’s no point designing a palace if you can’t afford to build it and there’s no point building it if you can’t afford to heat it. Words to live by. We will also look at the political and legislative rings that we will need to jump through in order to make it happen such as Planning and Building Warrant applications and then into the tendering process for hiring a contractor to actually build it, unless you want to build it yourself, which is OK too. Either way you should know your options and that’s where I can help. The object of this stage is not to identify what’s stopping you but to give you the confidence to get started.

Step 3 – Planning Application

The first make or break point and to be honest the leg work  is mostly down to me. I take our preliminary discussions and consolidate them into an overall design strategy. I then produce design drawings and visualisations to let you see how your design will look once it’s built. From there it’s  down to you. We don’t stop drawing until your done designing it’s completely up to you. I can fill in the gaps but ultimately you’ve got to like what you see on paper before we put down the pen.

Once we’ve done that though we submit it to the local Planning Authority to request planning permission. They’re a friendly bunch the Planning Authorities but can be a bit pissed if you don’t ask them for permission before you build. Ultimately they can tell you to take it down so you’re better off keeping in their good books. We submit the application and once validated they can take up to 12 weeks to get a reply, usually within 8weeks though depending on the project. We have 3years to get the job started from here on in!

Step 4 – Building Warrant

The Big Kahuna! Here’s where things get technical. Basically, the guys down the hall from the Planning Department are the Building Control Department. These guys look at the design in minute detail and want to make sure that what we are about to build complies with the latest Building Standards and provide us with legal permission to begin building work. This is where I get tested to see if I’ve covered all bases of the design to make sure that we’re compliant in terms of structure, fire, enivornment, safety, noise, energy and sustainability. Good point to mention you may need to include external consultancies at this point. For example, a structural engineer will usually need to design the basic structure of the building. This is because they have the skills and ability to anticipate the structural loads on the building and design a structure that won’t fall down. This is a good thing, no? Precisely. The good news for you is though that I’m not going to force any particular companies on you. If you want me to appoint them on your behalf then I can but if you want to go elsewhere to save cost then that’s OK too. Ultimately, we may need to include these guys to get the job done.

Once we’ve had the application submitted and validated then we should hear something back within 20days depending on the local authority. Then we get 3years to get the job started.

Step 5 – Tendering for a Contractor

Right time to separate the men from the boys and not cost ourselves a fortune. Here we, or I if you prefer, approach contractors. Few things to consider when your look at a contractor:

  • Reputation
  • Insurance cover – needs to be enough to cover the total scope of works to complete the project
  • Work Load
  • Labour force – internal or external
  • Current projects
  • Previous projects

Once we have identified possible candidates then we ask them to give us an estimated price for construction based on the latest construction drawings.

Depending on the nature of the project we need to look at including the contractor at an earlier stage, especially for complex designs. Usually, they have an abundance of experience in terms of buildability which is useful to tap into at an early stage. Also, by including them at an early stage you offer them an opportunity to get to know the project better and can help them during the constructions phase to get things right first time. Better to make the mistakes on paper than on site. Cheaper too!

Step 6 – Get Building!

See the Construction Project Management page for more help on this stage.

If you have any further question please get in touch now.