The journey to achieve your extension, new build house or commercial project can be a daunting one. It is a complex process with many participants involved in order to make it a reality. At PMR Architecture we aim to make it a process that is easy to follow so that you know exactly where you are and what is coming next. Key to this is good and frequent communication throughout.
 
We work on a wide range of projects varying from house extensions, new build one off houses, proving layouts for large housing sites, multi-million pound commercial schemes and everything in between. We can help at every step of the way from feasibility through to completion. Whilst every project has its own unique set of criteria, below we have described the steps a project goes through and the approach we take at PMR Architecture.
B&W photo of pen on trace paper sketch design drawings

Concept Design & Planning

RIBA Stages 0-3

Briefing

The first step is for us to understand the client's unique brief. We will ask probing questions so that we can best understand what it is you want to achieve from the project and how you want to use the spaces. There will be many factors to consider such as your aspirations, budget, site constraints, planning constraints...etc... We often like to share example images with one another so that we can best design to your brief and aspirations.

Initial Designs

Once we have the existing conditions drawn up we can begin our design process. We model everything in 3D so that we can all understand the designs fully. We are able to walk you through the designs and spin you around the 3D model to show you the designs from every angle. The spaces can be explored during the design meetings and refinements discussed. It is at this stage when you get to see the designs starting to take shape.

Planning

Once the design has been finalised, we will produce a set of drawings appropriate to submit for a planning application. This may include hand drawn sketches or CGIs, depending on the project. Other consultants may be required to work on a project up to planning. (E.g. planning consultant, ecologist, heritage consultant...etc...). For larger, commercial projects, this list can be quite long. Whatever the project, we can help to guide you on what will be required. We have a strong network of different consultants that we can recommend. Once the project is submitted to planning we will monitor the application and liaise with the local authority in order to try to ensure a positive outcome.

Building Regulations & Detailed Design

RIBA Stage 4

Building Regulations

Once planning permission has been granted, we can produce a set of drawings that will be suitable for Building Regulations sign off. This package of work is a basic level of technical drawing for Building Control purposes only. We would recommend this as a minimum for all projects that are proceeding to a build.

Detailed Design

Beyond a simple building regulations package, we encourage our clients to go for a set of Detailed Design drawings. This set of drawings will be suitable for Building Regs and for contractors to price from. We go into a lot of detail at this stage as we feel this is the best way to ensure a smooth build process, accurate costings and that the design intent comes through into the finished building. Our drawings will be coordinated with other design packages, such as the Structural Engineer's information. For all but the simplest extensions we recommend this level of service.

Specification & Tender

If you are looking to get a build price from several contractors then we would produce a written specification document in addition the detailed design drawings. We can send the package out to contractors to tender. Once the tender returns are received, we can help you to evaluate these and, finally, select a contractor for your build.

Construction & Handover

RIBA Stage 5 & 6

Contracts

Once your preferred contractor is chosen, a build contract between you and the builder should be put into place. It is typical, on residential projects, for the architect to perform the role of Contract Administrator. We will draw up the contract and make sure that all parties are sticking to it unless otherwise agreed. We can perform monthly valuations of the work carried out and help to ensure you are paying the right amount. We can also help to ensure the build is being carried out in accordance with the contract (Detailed Design) drawings. Whilst a contract can seem like an adversarial thing, it is there for those 'just in case' scenarios. 9 times out of 10 the build process will be a collaborative and pleasant process.

On Site Assistance

We can provide an ongoing support role to both you, the client, and also the builder. Particularly when working with existing buildings unknowns can be discovered and a solution will need to be found. We are at the other end of the phone and will aim to respond as soon as possible when a job is on site.

Completion

We love to be involved all the way to the end of a project and see our designs turned into a reality. There is no greater satisfaction to us than to have a client happy with their completed project, particularly when we have supported them all the way through the journey. We also like to photograph it for our website!

Get started on your new project

Whether you have a general enquiry or would like to discuss something more specific we’d be happy to help. Contact our friendly team today to start the conversation