Our Services - Step 1 Enquiry and Preliminary Report - Further Information

Often you need help and guidance to understand what is involved, the processes and possibilities, indications on costs, to know whether or not the project is likely to be feasible and realistic.

Our response to your enquiry - To discuss your requirements to ascertain how best we can help you. We need to know about you and the property.

To identify your needs, requirements and aspirations. To understand your tastes and preferences. To listen to your ideas and the possibilities you are considering. Ascertain your intentions and constraints in terms of timescale, initial budget, individual site and building construction limitations.

This will usually be a meeting with you in your home, or property under consideration, to discuss your ideas and requirements. An initial feasibility assessment giving views on the practicality and if possible at this early stage to give an indication of approximate building cost. An explanation of the procedures involved and project timing. What other consultants may need to be involved, what further investigation might be needed.

After assessing your needs and the project details, we can prepare a fee quotation with a report on how to proceed and associated costs.

Prior to the meeting or sometimes afterwards we will carry out research about the various relating to the project; such as Town planning considerations, what site specific information is available, what further information will be needed. From this we can prepare an outline brief and fee proposal that sets out what you need from us, what you need from others and how much it is likely to cost as well as how long it will take. Often with an indication of the likelihood of success or what problems may be encountered and how to deal with them.

We would recommend that we be employed to explore the development potential of your property rather than just focus on your initial needs. We would hope to show you new possibilities and ideas, if not for now then perhaps at some point in the future, as needs change so you are not necessarily compromising this potential.

We appreciate you may not know all the answers and may not be clear in your own mind what you need until you know more about the process etc. We can help you with this as we have many years experience of understanding individual circumstances and varied project types. Also we respect that you may not wish to divulge much personal information until you have confidence in us. We prefer to visit you, to meet each other face to face and have direct contact rather than a remote relationship hiding behind emails etc.

We need to know about your property and its location, such as:

  • House type, layout, number of rooms, construction and approximate age
  • Has the property been extended and altered already
  • Have surrounding properties been altered in a similar way
  • The site - how much space around the house, how far back from the road, the general topography

We also need to know about your interest in the property - for example:

  • Are you the homeowner or a prospective purchaser, freehold, leasehold or a new style of ownership/tenancy
  • Are you a developer - is this a commercial enterprise to optimise the development potential
  • What sort of equity do you have in the property and how will the improvements be financed

You might want to know:

  • Are the improvements going to add value, or might they detract
  • Would you get your investment back if you sold soon
  • Whether or not the project is realistic and achievable from a practical perspective
  • What procedures have to be followed
  • What permissions will be needed
  • How long will each step take
  • Who else needs to be involved, why, what will that cost and how long will it take

It is not always possible to give clear answers as further investigation and some design development is needed.

We will probably need to carry out some initial research to understand what physical and legislative constraints there might be on the building and the site to advise you on what is involved and the right way to proceed, how long it will take and how much it might cost. Or, at least identify the issues that will need further investigation. We can begin to outline some design options, how you needs can be met and some ball park figures for building costs and duration.

You may have come to us because of a personal recommendation from a mutual acquaintance or builder- most of our work is through recommendation- in which case you know something about us and have seen examples of our work. Further examples of our work are shown on this website. Others may want to know more about us, so we are happy to provide references and further project details.

With the development of services available on the internet it is possible to gather together information about your property and its location. Google Earth and Street View, access to the local authority planning application databases, estate agents details, your photographs and sketches. Skype etc.

So in situations when it is difficult to find a mutually convenient and appropriate time to meet initially there are now alternatives.

The first main stage for us is when we are appointed by you to provide the services you require. We would like to be appointed at the earliest opportunity so that we can help you on your journey. In each project the route and method can be different in many ways according to individual circumstances. Our up to date professional knowledge and years of experience should be invaluable to you from the outset.

We are providing important and valuable information to help you assess whether or not to proceed. We hope that this will be a worthwhile investment of our time so that not only will you consider using us for the project, but also that we offer a better service than our competitors.

The aspect of Design and all that it involves is often not properly appreciated and under valued as it takes many years to aquire, develop and hone the skills required.

*To be able to give meaningful practical advice for certain types of project, in particular loft conversions, there are some important initial feasibility issues to be checked that require measurements and detailed designing to be undertaken at the outset. We believe that it would not be unreasonable to charge for this work on occasions, as it will be of value to you. If neighbours have done something similar it may be that as rules and regulations have changed over time and it might no longer be possible to do the same thing.

We would recommend starting a scrap book to keep any details or pictures of particular designs, materials, colours that you like and may wish to incorporate.

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