USEFUL TIPS WHEN PLANNING YOUR NEXT PROJECT...
Tip Number 1 > Sourcing your Architect.
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Our advice is to make sure the person or company you choose to discuss your project with are indeed architects and not
companies who advertise as architectural designers, consultants. Ideally, an architect will be a member of the R.I.B.A. the
Chartered Royal Institute of British Architects, this will be indicated by RIBA crest, shown below. If they are a member, they will be listed on the register and this can be viewed at www.architecture.com
By taking this approach, you can be sure that you are employing a professional that has had seven years university training, before they qualify.
Before appointing an architect, ask to view examples of their work, they should be only too pleased to do so. We recommend that you also speak to clients that have previously appointed them to hear their views on the service they have provided.
Tip Number 2 > Appointing your Architect.
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We advise you appoint an Architect that is registered on the Architects Registration Board and a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. They will have had seven years of training in higher education, that members are required to have achieved before being offered membership.
Before appointing an architect, ask to view examples of their work. If possible, view completed projects and ask probing questions of previous clients to allow you to obtain an insight into the quality of the service that has been provided.
An Architect is professionally obliged to propose a schedule of fees and services, which will form the basis of any agreement that you have, once you have appointed them.
Once you have formally appointed your architect, discuss your proposals with them, starting with the formation of a brief and it is this, we will be looking at next month.
Tip Number 3 > Formation of the Brief.
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At this point you will have formally appointed your architect to work with you on your project.
The next step is to gather material which will form the basis of a brief. We believe that the brief is crucial and should be thoroughly analysed by your architect and interpreted to generate a design which is tailor made for your requirements. The material gathered could, for example, comprise : a schedule and sizes of accommodation , photographs of images from either magazines or from the web that inspire you, textual statements which can be interpreted into a design.
At Progression, we enjoy the process of analysing and developing the brief. We believe that the chemistry between client and architect is very powerful, and combined successfully is a solid foundation to a successful project. Experience has shown that a well examined brief forms the basis of a good design.
Tip Number 4 > Initial Outline Designs.
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At this point you will have firmed up your brief with your appointed architect. The next step is for your architect to diligently analyse and appraise the brief to arrive at some initial designs, based on your requirements.
We advise that before you appoint your architect, that you ensure that they have a computer drawing package that draws in three dimensions. That way, your architect will be able to draw your new design to scale in three dimensions which will allow you to transfer yourself into the your new design within the computer environment allowing you to experience the spaces how they will be, once constructed. This allows you the opportunity to change the spaces before you start building. This is an ideal way to create and develop a design, as unlike other forms of design, it isn't possible to build a prototype.
At Progression, we have reinvested in our computer software, year on year, and have cutting edge packages that show all of our design in three dimensions, allowing you to walk through your building, before a brick is laid. Our clients have found this invaluable to allow them to visualise the design and inform the development of the design. Our image at the top of the page is computer generated.
Tip Number 5 > Developing the Designs.
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At this point you will have firmed up your brief with your appointed architect. The next step is for your architect to diligently
analyse and appraise the brief to arrive at some initial designs, based on your requirements.
This is where it is fundamentally important that you appoint an architect, that has a computer drawing package that draws in three dimensions. This will ensure that your new design is drawn to scale in three dimensions, allowing you to experience your new design as it will be, once constructed. This allows you the opportunity to change the spaces before you start building. We also feel that a high resolution computer screen is important to enhance the feeling of being in the building.
At Progression, we have reinvested in our computer software, year on year, and have cutting edge packages that show all of our design in three dimensions. We can also produce walk through movies. Our clients have found this invaluable to allow them to both visualise the design and inform the development of the design.
Tip Number 6 > Finalising the Design.
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At this point you will have discussed the initial proposals that your architect has prepared for you, discussed and presented to you on a computer screen in the form of a three dimensional model, that you are able to explore, rather like walking around a prototype design. This is the point when the drawings are prepared as an application to the Local Authority.
This is where it is fundamentally important that you appoint an architect, that will not merely submit your planning application and then just notify you of the outcome, but one that will monitor the application during the determination process and report back to you with any issues that need addressing. This approach also allows your architect to make any potential amendments and thus allowing the application to be consider of approval, rather than refusal.
At Progression, we have always adopted this policy and this has allowed good relations to develop with planning officers across all authorities. It has also meant that our success rate is in the high 90 percent. Our clients have regularly commented on the value of this approach..
TIP NUMBER 7 > LIFE AFTER THE PLANNING PROCESS.
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At this point the planning application will have been submitted and through conscientious monitoring and contact with the
planning officer, any issues should be ironed out and an approval granted. Your Architect should now be sitting down with you to gather information about the more detailed areas of the project, such as lighting and kitchen design. At Progression, we offer this detailed service, guiding you through the process.
After building regulations have been applied for, the tender drawings will be prepared and detailed information will be a
necessary part of this. This we believe is the second stage of the design process and is a key stage to ensure all the detailed
elements of the scheme come together. Your architect should be guiding you through this part of the process.
At Progression, we have always prided ourselves on providing a quality service and our clients have regularly commented on the value of this approach.
TIP NUMBER 8 > TENDERING PROJECTS AND OBTAINING BUILDING COSTS
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At Progression Architects, we have always believed that the selection of the correct builder is essential to allow the successful completion of your design. To ensure this, we normally select three builders to tender for the work. Building contractors can be selected from recommendations, but we always advise that you view some of the builders previous work and also to speak to the clients that they have completed work for.
Firstly, we invite all three contractors to the site and explain the work we wish them to tender for. We then supply them with a set of drawings and specifications, which they take away to formulate their price. Once the tender prices are returned, we appraise them and discuss the findings with you. After detailed consideration, we then invite our preferred tenderer to meet and discuss the quote to ensure all has been included, that was asked for.
Once a contractor has been appointed, we draw up contracts, see next months tip on contracts.
TIP NUMBER 9 > TENDERING PROJECTS AND OBTAINING BUILDING COSTS
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Following the appointment of a contractor, contracts are drawn up. It is very important that this is agreed as it sets out the
beginning and end dates of the building works, which not only allow you to plan your life and furnishings post construction,
but it also provides you with the comfort that everyone that appoints a contractor wants, knowing that they will be there every day to complete your work on the agreed date. The contract will also set out the agreed payment stages between you and your contractor allowing you to budget accordingly.
Your Architect should be able to advise you on the type of contract that would suit the size and complexity that your project offers. The contractors insurance details should always be attached to the contractor. Don’t forget to advise your insurers that you are having work carried out, so that your insurance policy isn’t affected.
Once work commences, our clients often wish us to be involved in the construction of the project. This could include, monitoring of quality of work, troubleshooting, issuing payment certificates and the ongoing design decisions that inevitably arise.
At Progression Architects, we find that our clients value this input.
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