What happens after I approach DDS Architecture?

1. Initial enquiry

When you first approach us with your idea, we will ask you some initial questions to get an idea about what you are looking to achieve and what sort of budget you have in mind. This allows us to advise you in the first instance if you have a feasible project that we can help you progress.

2. Free Consultation and No Obligation Quote

This will be carried out with our director, Ross, often over the phone, or he may visit you at your property. Ross will draw on his extensive experience to let you know if your idea is feasible, what consents will be required and the services we can provide to assist you. From there we will send you a detailed fee quote so that you have this information in writing with precise costs of our services. If it’s an extension you are looking for, we will also send you our free feasibility study with detailed information on expected costs and what you need to consider.

3. Site Survey and Existing Drawings

Once we have been appointed, the first stage is to carry out a measured survey of the existing property in order to create architectural drawings showing what the existing property looks like. This is essential for the rest of the process.

4. Brief Development

From there we will work on your proposed plans. You may know exactly what it is you are looking to do with the space, or you may be looking to explore ideas to find out what is possible. In the latter case we can provide different designs for your consideration; taking into account what you want to get out of the space, your unique requirements and lifestyle, and our knowledge of the planning and building regulations. During our initial consultation with you we will discuss how many designs you may require and our corresponding fees so there will be no surprises. If, on the other hand, you already know exactly what you want, we’ll draw this up for you, taking into consideration compliance with the regulations.

5. Planning

If your project requires planning permission and/or listed building consent, we will prepare planning drawings, submit an application on your behalf and liaise with the planning department as required.

6. Building Warrant

We will prepare detailed technical drawings and other information such as a warrant specification and submit your warrant application on your behalf; then liaising with the Building Standards department as required. If we feel very confident that your project will be approved by the planners, we may submit this at the same time as the application for planning permission. Usually we wait until planning permission has been approved (if required), to avoid difficulties in the event of the planning officer requiring a change to the design for compliance. We will always discuss the options with you and never do anything unless instructed by you, offering you our expert advice. During this stage we will also appoint and liaise with a structural engineer on your behalf, if it is required for your project.

For our Consents-Only clients this is where our appointment with you will end and the final stages will be self-administered.

6. Appointing a Builder

For our clients who have appointed us for a full service, we will approach three builders, usually who we have worked with successfully in the past, preparing detailed construction drawings for them to be able to use to provide you with a price.

If you are administering this stage yourself, you can use the warrant drawings for this. However these are much less detailed then construction drawings and will not show precise fixtures and fittings such as doors, windows, light switches; as it would if you appointed us for a full service.

7. Starting on Site

Finally, the build can commence, and your dreams can start to turn into a reality! If you appoint us for a full service, we can visit the site during the build and be on hand to answer any queries from the builder.

8. Completion

If you have appointed us for a Full-Service, we will carry out an inspection to ensure works have been completed in accordance with our specification, and will apply for the Completion Certificate on your behalf. This is the certificate granted by your local council once they have completed their own inspection, which confirms work has been done in accordance with the building warrant. You should also be prepared to be inspected by the planning department where planning permission or listed building consent was required.

Your new space is ready to enjoy!