Firstly, we analyse your requirements. We will then relate your needs and quality standards to your budget. The success of your project depends in large measure on the quality of your brief (your description of what you need from the building). This information enables us to develop a design related to your needs and wishes. Agreeing a realistic budget for your project is an important part of Work Stage 1. It maybe that your needs cannot be met within the available budget or market conditions may make achieving your budget difficult. If your budget is fixed you should make this clear to us at the start. If you require a particular standard of kitchen or other fittings and finishes, we will be happy to discuss this. If, because of these or other similar factors, a cost cannot be established at this stage we will use the Cost Guidelines to arrive at an initial estimate of building cost.
We will analyse your requirements further and will present developed proposals in the form of drawings for you to evaluate. Drawings can be difficult to understand, but it is vital that you work with your designer to fully understand the proposals, before applying for any planning permission and before starting to build. If you have any doubts, raise them with us at the time so that you fully understand and agree about what is to be built. This is important, because once a project goes on site, changes can be expensive, can delay the project, and may even require an additional planning permission. Project cost and timescale should be re-evaluated and agreed at this stage.
Having translated your brief into a developed design, we will produce detailed drawings and specifications for competitive pricing by builders. We will prepare a list of suitable contractors with you. Contractors should be pre-selected on the basis of quality, and in general the lowest tenderer will be awarded the contract. A good contractor represents real value in terms of reliability and quality, and will ultimately cost less than a poor one, no matter how cheap a price the latter might have submitted. The builder or ‘contractor’ enters into a contract with you, to carry out the building work. In turn, the contractor has contracts with specialist sub-contractors and with suppliers of materials.