A build project can be a stressful undertaking even to experienced developers. It can be time consuming with many hidden pitfalls impacting both on the overall quality and cost of the final project. The role of the experienced architect is to maximise the potential of your project at a cost you can afford.
James Darwent Architecture is a chartered member of the RIBA and very experienced in all aspects of the design and build process. We would be delighted to offer you a range of services.
Initial client discussions to define the project scope and affordability. Ideas are computer modelled in three dimensions to illustrate the development clearly. We then work with you collaboratively towards a preferred scheme to take forwards.
We will draw all plans and prepare design statements required for planning approval. We are very experienced in dealing with organisation such as the National Park Authorities and English Heritage for historic listed buildings. By opening discussions with the planners at an early stage, we aim to smooth the process and avoid unwanted surprises.
Building Regulations Drawings
Regulations are very strict, especially when it comes to sustainability issues such as air tightness, heat loss and environmental impact. It is therefore very important to use sound construction techniques, drawn and guaranteed by us to perform over many years. James Darwent Architecture will guide you through the specification process, helping you select fittings, materials and fixtures appropriate to the project through a range of local suppliers.
Contractor Tender Negotiations
We can help you select the best builder for your project by preparing a comprehensive package of drawings and specification to price the job. The more information provided by us, the more certainty of cost you will achieve. We recommend tendering the works to a minimum of three recommended local builders who can be assessed on quality, experience and price.
On Site Project Management
James Darwent Architecture recommend a small works contract between yourselves and the builder which would be administrated impartially by us the architect. We would then project manage the building works for a relatively small cost, releasing payments to the contractor in stages throughout the build i.e. foundations, wall head, wind and water tight etc. This can give more cost certainty to the project and allows us to take the day to day stress off your shoulders.
For larger projects we charge for services as a percentage of the total construction cost with a rate depending on the complexity of the works. The fee covers the core services of design, planning and technical drawings, site inspections, certifying money to the Contractor and general project management. We produce a breakdown of how much time we intend to spend on the project including a detailed programme for the design and build process.
For smaller extensions and minor refurbishment works we charge an hourly rate because despite extensive experience on these types of projects, the timescale is more difficult to predict.
Please click here for independent guidance from the RIBA on what benefits an architect can bring to your project.