Initial Consultation with Ely Design Group – What to Expect
By popular demand…
In response to prospective clients asking questions when we visit their property for the initial consultation such as ‘So how does this work?‘ or ‘What do you want to know?‘ or ‘We haven’t been through this process before – what happens now?’ we have put together this webpage so that you know what to expect. Some visits are different but generally speaking there are normally common aspects and questions which arise that we can cover in advance.
Before we forget, the initial meeting is FREE and without any obligation.
Initially you will have contacted us probably by email, filling out a form on our website or contacting us by telephone. Mary, our Office Manager, will have taken your details including your name, address, site address (if different), telephone numbers, email address and a brief description of your project. Mary will suggest some dates for the initial consultation to you and a convenient time will be agreed.
Mary will write or email confirming this meeting…if, of course, you need to change the time / date then please feel free to contact Mary again and the meeting can be rearranged.
The day (or two) before
Lucy will try to contact you a day or two before the initial consultation to confirm the arrangements. If you need to rearrange for any reason then please let us know.
On the day
Allen will be on time but he will contact you if he is running early (previous meetings have finished early) or running late…meetings have overrun, traffic is bad etc.
After the usual introductions we would like you to show us around your property, both internally and externally, so that we can make an initial assessment of the property, it’s boundaries, the neighboring properties and their proximity to your own property etc. At the same time we would like you to explain your requirements further to elaborate on the details you gave to Mary when you first made contact. If you have an sketches, photos of what you have in mind then please share these with us – they are a great way of helping us to understand your requirements.
If you project is an extension then we would need to know things like:
- Is it single or double storey or a combination of both?
- Will it have a pitched or flat roof? Will the ceilings internally be flat or sloping…will there be roof-lights?
- Will the materials be to match the existing external finishes or do you want to introduce a new material – timber boarding for example?
- What rooms will be in the extension?
- How will the extension be accessed? Is it through existing openings or are new structural openings required?
If it’s a loft conversion then we need to assess things like:
- What rooms are required in the loft space?
- What is the available headroom up in the loft space?
- Where will the stairs go? Will dormers be needed to improve the available headroom and / or provide the required heights above the stairs?
- Do the stairs arrive in a hall / lobby with an external door or are alternative methods to assist the means of escape required?
- Where will fire doors be needed.
We will advise on whether planning permission is needed or will the extension be classed as permitted development. If its permitted development then we will talk about obtaining a Certificate of Lawful Development.
If you are building on the boundary, near to neighboring properties or affecting the party wall then we can inform you about the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and the steps needed to comply with this legislation.
We understand the project now so what services do you need us to provide?
Once we have talked through your project sufficiently, so that we understand what is involved, we would like to know what services you would like us to provide for you. We are not going to insist that all of our services are required for every project…for example if you have a friend who will be building the extension or converting the loft then there is no point us offering to obtain competitive tenders, monitor the works on site etc.
There are a number of services that apply to almost all projects as follows:
Stage 1 – measured survey and preparation of drawing(s) showing the existing plans and elevations
Stage 2 – preparation of the drawing(s) showing the proposed plans and elevations, planning application etc
Stage 3 – preparation of the working drawings and applying for Building Regulation approval
Stage 4 (if applicable) – deal will the implications of the Party Wall etc Act 1996
We can also provide further services as follows:
Stage 5 – discuss your detailed requirements, prepare the schedule of works and obtain tenders from local contractors – prepare a tender report with recommendations
Stage 6 – monitor the works on site to check compliance with the drawings and building regulations and confirm that the works are to a satisfactory standard, administer the terms of the building contract, snagging inspections etc.
Here is a link to the architectural services page on our website which explains the above in more detail.
What about our fees and other costs for this process?
We always write to you confirming the scope of your project and the services we would be pleased to provide together with our fees for doing so. To be clear, whilst it costs us to visit you (time, travel etc), you are not charged for the initial consultation in connection with an architectural design project.
Unless we have agreed in advance of meeting you we will not carry out the measured survey.
So how do we engage the services of Ely Design Group?
Please sign and return a copy of our fee proposal letter or sign the email with the proposal letter electronically and Mary will contact you to arrange a convenient time for the measured survey to be carried out.
If you would like to proceed with some of the stages initially then please write your requirements on the letter.
We hope that you have found this information helpful and we look forward to meeting you and, ultimately, working with you on your project.
Of course if you have any questions before we meet then please contact Mary.
CONTACT US now to arrange your free initial site meeting.
Telephone: 01353 649 649