We recognise that different projects and clients require different levels of service which is why we have developed two methods of delivering architectural services. We would be very happy to discuss the different options available and help you choose which is right for your particular project.
FULLY MANAGED SERVICE
With this method of service we will be with you throughout the process from initial concept design stage through to the completion of your project build. We will act as the main co-ordinator of your project ensuring everything runs smoothly and any issues or problems are navigated and brought to a satisfactory conclusion. As part of a fully managed service we will typically prepare your designs, deal with your local authority to get the necessary consents, prepare a schedule of works to allow accurate comparisons of quotes from builders, prepare the detailed contract drawings that explain to a builder exactly how to build it.
For those clients who would like the input of an architect but would like the flexibility to choose the level of input our modular service can be a way to achieve this. Our modular solution breaks down the stages into initial concept design, statutory consents and build stage costing documents enabling clients to choose the service that meets their project requirements and budget. We can and will be there as and when you may require us.
Whether you are a homeowner looking to carry out a loft conversion, a kitchen extension, or a basement conversion, a developer looking to build apartments or a shop owner looking for a fit out our thorough needs analysis process aims to get a detailed understanding of your requirements as well as a detailed understanding of the site and property. This forms the basis of the brief from which the initial concepts are developed.
If you are a homeowner looking to extend an existing home or build a new home we will gather relevant information about what you are hoping to achieve, your lifestyle and your budget. For developers we will gather information about the type of scheme, target market and the financial aspects of the project. This information forms the basis of the brief that the architect will use to create initial designs.
At Urbane Design we believe that unlike the traditional approach to architecture, this important design stage should be carried out as an interactive session. Your input into the design is encouraged so that you fully understand the process and can make informed choices.
For homeowners looking to carry out extension or remodelling works to an existing property we provide several different options and sit down with you in your home to discuss these options, giving you the chance to input into the process and often combine elements of the different options to create a design that completely meets your requirements.
As part of the design process we will establish whether you need planning permission or for homeowner projects, if your work can be done under permitted development. Urbane Design has a great deal of experience submitting planning applications and has and extremely strong history of successful outcomes with Local Authorities.
Obtaining planning permission can be one of the main challenges when embarking on a project whether it is a kitchen extension or loft conversion or a new build property and needs to be given serious consideration from the beginning. We will take care of planning application submissions and subsequent dealings with the planning officer and make any necessary adjustments to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
We advise that all projects should be tendered to at least three building companies. We encourage clients to only use contractors who can demonstrate previous projects to clients, that have carried out similar projects before and who provide references.
If you need help selecting and appointing a builder we will be able to guide you through the tender and contract stage advising you on the most appropriate method for your project.
Almost all projects require building regulations approval. There are two methods to achieve building control approval under the Building Regulations Act
BUILDING NOTICE METHOD
The is method Is the simplest but is only appropriate for alterations or extensions to residential buildings. You would require a little more detail adding to your planning approved drawings for this. To do this the builder completes a Building Notice form and submits it to your Local authority Building Control Department or an independent building control company. Once the build starts, a Building Control Officer will visit the site and make arrangements with the builder to visit at specific points through the progress of the works to check that the works are up to the minimum standard that the regulations required. When work is finished, you will be issued with a certificate.
FULL PLANS METHOD
This method of application requires the submission of more detailed drawings. It is suitable for new build houses and larger projects. Urbane design will advise in consultation with the builder of the preferred route at the time. We can also assist with listed building consents, landlords consent and party wall act notices.
The key stage of any project is the build phase when your plans are turned into reality. Whether you choose to use us for a fully managed service or whether you have opted for a modular service we will be available to ensure you project is delivered to the highest standards.
If you have opted for the fully managed service we will act as the project co-ordinator and contract administrator ensuring excellent contractors are appointed, suitable building contracts are put in place covering you and your chosen builder for such things as insurances, completion dates, retention sums, payment details and building work is being carried out to the highest standards. We carry out regular site visits to ensure any potential problems are dealt with quickly and architects instructions issued to the builders when required. We approve how much they will be paid at key stages of the build, and check they are following the contract drawings and documents.
If you have opted for the modular service you can choose to select the necessary level that you feel you need. All services will be available on a pay-as-you-go basis. Prior to every stage of work we carry out we will quote how many hours we think a project is going to take and ask for your authority to progress before starting each stage. Typically any project can be broken down into five key stages.
Stage 1.0 The measured survey
Stage 2.0 The feasibility sketch design
Stage 3.0 The planning/permitted development application
Stage 4.0 Tender action and building regs submissions.
Stage 5.0 Contract administration and site inspections.
Throughout the process from concept to finished project, Urbane Design will be there to help as much or as little as you want. We are able to help you decide which level of service would be suitable for your project and budget.