INITIAL SITE VISIT
Our first port of call is always your home or office to discuss the project in more detail. We do not charge for this initial visit. You can tell us your ideas and we will paint you a picture of the technical, design and planning issues which you may need to consider. We will discuss your budget expectations and whether they are realistic. We will not however, provide a quote on the basis of an initial site visit. We are happy to discuss any plans you may already have from another architect.
The concept design stage will: -Help you understand what can be achieved in design and technical terms within your budget. -Provides a plan that can be used to develop the budget. We charge a fee that ranges between $800-$2000 depending on the scale of the project. The concept design is the first phase of the design process. It forms the foundations of the scheme design. We will invite you to challenge our ideas and we may challenge yours.
Once the concept designs have been agreed, we prepare a preliminary budget. At this stage it will contain some ˜provisional sums”, or, in layman’s terms, the ˜how long is a piece of strings” sums, items that require decisions by you. We will highlight where there are cost risks, but this is where the Moon approach comes into its own. Having both the design and build teams under one roof. We understand where costs lie and can make informed changes. It is a process of rationalisation and continuous dialogue that creates good value for our clients.
Once the design and budget have been agreed in principle, it’s time to sign on the dotted line. This requires a deposit payment that is usually between $5-10k. The deposit payment enables us to allocate a slot in our programme and get cracking with all the design information required for planning and building it.
Litedares will submit all necessary applications to the relevant local authority. We are an accredited agent with the local councils. Meaning our planning applications are dealt with much quicker, sometimes in only four weeks compared with the usual eight weeks plus. We also have an excellent track record of dealing with listed buildings and properties within conservation areas. Litedares take care of all the building regulation requirements, including structural design.
While we wait for planning consents, we will start discussing all your interior & design choices such as kitchens and bathrooms. We have spent many years developing a huge knowledge of good design solutions that will help you to get the most out of your space. We don’t want to restrict your choice; our service is there to pass on the benefits of our knowledge. We have edited the choice down to a range that looks great but also works well and lasts. This stage requires continuous conversation. We produce detailed schedules and plans of all the choices you’ve made.
Producing well considered buildings requires a large quantity of high quality information. Litedares produces all the construction drawings, to a very high standard. They have to be; we’re responsible for building it as well as designing it. There’s no hiding behind the architect. The cost for this design work is always included in the budget as a fixed fee. Additional design fees are only charged when a client changes their mind and we have to produce new drawings.
Litedares controls every aspect of the construction phase, including services, building works, bathrooms, kitchens and decoration. It makes sense: the more one party controls, the better the end result. We will basically deal with everything from demolition to hanging pictures. In general, the majority of people on site will work directly for Litedares. We have some really skilled tradesmen and many have worked for Litedares for many years.
FINISHING AND SNAGGING
We work very hard to keep the number of snagging items to a minimum (it’s in our interest as well as yours). But, whatever the project, there will always be some to deal with. When we reach “practical completion”, the project and site manager will prepare a comprehensive snagging list. A site visit will be undertaken with you to discuss this list. We will then action this list and arrange another meeting to check them off with you.
The payment structure will depend on the scale of the project. In general, we are paid every two weeks. Most clients pay the installments by bank transfers (BACS). Litedares will send you a valuation report prior to each payment date. In general we only charge you for work once completed. There are always variations to budgets, the extent depends as much on the client as the type of project. Most variations are due to clients changing their minds or adding additional works after the project has started.
At the end of the project we will prepare a completion pack for you that contains: -Planning & Building regulation consents. -3rd party Guarantees & Certificates -Instruction manuals We will also arrange personal demonstrations of any items installed by us, especially new heating systems. We offer a defects liability period of 3 months after practical completion.