Following your initial enquiry, David Jowett will come to meet you in your home, to discuss your initial ideas, how they might be be achieved, and what other ideas may also be considered. This first meeting will be followed up with a fee quotation, which you are then free to accept or decline, with no strings attached.

Should you wish to accept, the next stage would be to make a measured survey of the property - or of the relevant parts of the property - and to refine your ideas (which quite often go through changes, following that initial meeting). This discussion will form the Brief for the work, for which an initial set of drawings will be produced.

There will then be a further visit to your home, to carefully explain the drawings and discuss them with you. At this point, you will be sent your first invoice as set out in the fee quotation (which could be anywhere from £250.00 to upwards of £1,500.00 depending on what you are having done. The average is £450.00 to £850.00). It usually takes two to three weeks from your agreement to the fee quotation to get this point.

Thereafter, there may be some changes made to the drawings; in a complex design, there may be several sets of changes to make sure that everything is just right. This may mean a further visit or, for minor changes, a revised set of drawings will be sent out to you by email. David can also give approximate guidance on what he would expect the scheme to cost to build - although this figure is really down to the builder. Allow a week or two for this kind of tweaking.

For most clients, the next stage is to upgrade your drawings and submit them for Planning Approval.  In some cases the submission may take the form of a Pre-Planning Application, or a Larger Home Extension Notification or a Certificate of Lawful Development Application or a Listed Building Consent Application.  When the Application is submitted, you will be sent your second invoice as set out in the fee quotation (which will be anywhere from £60.00 to about £750.00 again depending on what you are having done.   The average is about £200.00 to £300.00 for a Planning Application; £60.00 for a Pre-Planning Application; £125.00 for a Larger Home Extension Notification; £200.00 for a Certificate of Lawful Development Application; and £500.00 to £750.00 for a Listed Building Consent Application ). It usually takes about a week to complete your Application and then you must allow about 8 weeks for the Council to process the Application and little less for  a Pre-Planning Application. Planning Application fees will be payable directly by you to the Council.

The next task is normally to perfect your drawings and write a specification for all the work which details the materials and basic construction, and submit your Building Regulations Application. When the Application is submitted you will be sent your third invoice as set out in the fee quotation (which will be anywhere from £250.00 to about £1,500.00 again depending on what you are having done. The average is about £450.00 to £850.00). It usually takes about two weeks to complete your Application and about five to eight weeks from submitting your Application for it to be processed by the Council. If David is confident that Planning Approval will in all probability be granted, than this can all be done while the Planning Application is still being processed. Building Regulations fees will be payable directly by you to the Council or other provider.

It may be at this point that other people such as Structural Engineers, Landscape Architects, Acoustic Specialists or Heat Loss Specialists become involved in the project. David will organise anybody else you need and David will tell them what they need to do - but they will be employed and paid directly by you.

Here, you can go in two directions, one of which is optional. Firstly, if you have a builder in whom you are confident and your scheme is reasonably simple, this may be as far as you want to go. However, secondly, if you are at all anxious about builders and want to be confident that they will build exactly what you want and that you will only pay for what they do, then David can help you further.

Having issued you with a check list, David would again visit you to discuss the fine details such as what you would like to go on the floor, walls etc, what is happening in the garden, what sort of bathroom suite you would like, what will the lighting be like and a host of other things. This information will then be put together with details of how the work should be carried out, and the contract terms under which you will employ your builder - which normally include how much will be paid and how long it will take to do the job - and will sent out to tender to three or more builders, with relevant experience in building schemes like yours, who will be asked for prices. When the prices are requested, you will be sent your optional fourth invoice as set out in the fee quotation (which will be anywhere from £600.00 to about £2,500.00 again depending on what you are having done. The average is about £650.00 to £1,500.00). It usually takes about two weeks to complete your tender information and about three weeks for the builders to price the work.

Assuming that you are happy with a price and start date for the work, David will then arrange a meeting with you and your builder, to discuss how the work will be carried out, at what intervals the builder will be paid, how any variations will be dealt with, when David will be inspecting the work and anything else that is concerning you. It make take anything between a few weeks and several months before the builder can start, depending on their workload.

When the work starts on site David will inspect it, normally twice a week, to check that what is being built is what has been asked for. This is where David can sort out any problems the builder may have, or go through any changes to the work you may like and to ask the builder to sort out anything you are unhappy with. Usually every 4 weeks David will agree with the builder exactly what work has been done and how much should therefore be paid (less a retention of 5%). David will also check the builder’s progress against the builder’s programme for the works and check the cost of any variations to the work and how this is likely to affect the final amount you will be paying to the builder. At four-weekly intervals you will be sent our optional invoice (as set out in the fee quotation which would average about £700.00 to £2,000.00 depending on what you are having done). The building process usually lasts between 8 and 12 weeks, although small projects often take considerably less time to complete and larger ones more.

Around the end of the Building Work, David will issue a formal "Snagging List" of any remaining items that are not right, for the builder to sort out, and David will formally draft a Final Account for you and the builder to comment on. When the work is finished to David’s reasonable satisfaction he will issue a Certificate of Completion and the builder will be due a penultimate payment less a 5% retention. At this point you will be sent your optional penultimate invoice as set out in the fee quotation.

Following Completion a period of making good (normally of three months) will then start. In the unlikely event that any urgent problems should occur during this period, David would ask the builder to sort these out and at the end of the period David will do an inspection and agree with you a list of faults the Builder needs to sort out. On completion of these Defects, David will again check the work and formally issue a Final Account following agreement by yourselves and the builder which will signify final completion of the work. At this point you will be sent your final optional invoice as set out in the fee quotation which will average about £250.00 to £600.00 depending on what you are having done.

A final word. Building is not cheap, but it is a lot cheaper in the long run to get it right, rather than building, making a mistake, knocking it down, and building again. Not only clients but also builders tell us that having an efficient Architect on board saves everyone time and money, and possibly a good deal of unnecessary emotional upheaval.

email: david@davidjowett-architect.co.uk

tel: 07788 710 204