Architectural Design

The Design Process

All the information regarding our design process can be found below.

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Stage 1 - Consultation with Blueprint Architectural Design

Our fully comprehensive architectural consultations are charged at the low fee of £50 plus VAT and would usually be arranged at your home or the site address to discuss your brief. At this stage we will advise on the design, layout, planning, building regulations and structural issues. The consultation will usually take about 45minutes; we will then write to you confirming our professional fees and to advise the local authority and structural fees, should these be required. If you are happy with the quote and would like us to proceed with the survey, all we require is a confirmation call or email to the office, along with a signed engagement form and we can book you in for the survey and proceed with your design project.

Stage 2 - Full Measured Survey

For a residential project this can take anything from 1-3 hours depending on size of project and site. The surveyor will require internal and external access and in the winter months, the survey will need to be carried out in daylight hours. This will be required for any type of extension or new build.

For a commercial project or a large housing development we would recommend a topographical survey for the overall site and externals. Blueprint can arrange this should it be required, and this will be assessed at consultation stage.

Stage 3 - Scheme Design

The survey information will be entered into the computer using Autocad and existing plans, elevations and site plans will be created (if all required). We will then produce the proposed drawings from the original brief recorded at consultation stage, taking into account planning issues, build-ability and cost. This process can be achieved from a single design or we may feel we could offer the client an alternative design for their consideration. We will send the scheme drawings to the client for their comments, and then alter drawings until the scheme has been client approved and we are ready to proceed to the next stage.

Stage 4 - Planning (if required)

A planning package will be put together and consists of:

  • Existing floor plans, site plans, site location plan and elevations of the existing property.
  • Proposed floor plans, site block plan and elevations of the proposed scheme
  • Planning application form will be completed on the planning portal
  • Additional Design and Access Statement (DAS) or flood risk assessment may be required

Once the planning application has been submitted via the Planning Portal, we will send you a copy of the final drawings. At this stage we will require you to make payment to your local council for the planning fee, we will advise this by letter or e-mail so you have all the information required. Once the application has been submitted and registered, the planning authority will usually take 8 weeks to determine the application. Please refer to the Planning section for more information about planning.

We are extremely proactive with all of our planning applications and we will monitor your submission and contact the planning officer at 4 weeks and then again at 6 weeks for updates. We keep a database of all calls so we are able to give client updates on request. If the Planning Officer would like a minor alteration to the plans or elevations, we will contact the client and discuss the requirements and perform the amendments if requested. We then submit the alterations to the Planning Officer. No architectural company will be able to guarantee a positive decision by the local authority, however we will discuss any issues the officer may have at the end of the consultation period and advise the client, we then discuss alternative options if required. Once planning permission has been granted we will forward the approval document with a planning approved set of drawing for the client to keep and you are now ready to proceed to the next stage.

Stage 4 - Planning (if not required)

If your proposal falls within permitted development guidelines (please refer to the Planning Portal) and planning permission is not required, we do recommend applying for a Certificate of Lawful Development. This is a lawful certificate that confirms Planning is not required for the proposed extension. This certificate is useful for when you decide to sell your property.

What is the cost?

Half the fee of a formal planning application, approximately £123.

This process gives the clients the piece of mind that the works are lawful.
Not all properties hold permitted development rights. The homeowner may not be aware, assumptions should not be made.
Once the certificate has been obtained you are now ready to move onto the next stage.

Stage 5 - Building Regulation Submission and Builders Plans

Once planning has been approved (if required) the next stage is to produce detailed construction drawings and obtain building regulation approval from Building Control. Blueprint will consult with a structural engineer if required and we will obtain a quote for the client's approval. Blueprint's working drawing packages vary depending on the type of extension or new build. Within our quote we will list the drawings we are going to produce, which are typically likely to consist of:

  • Dimensioned floor plans
  • Foundation Plan including drainage
  • Timber first floor plan
  • Timber roof plan
  • Detailed elevations
  • Detailed site plan indicating finishes
  • Detailed Sections
  • Electrical layout
  • Window and door schedule
  • Specification with additional 1:10 detailing

Once the technical package has been put together, we will send everything to the client for their approval. We will then complete the relevant forms and submit an application to apply for Building Control Approval. Once submitted, this process usually takes approximately 6 weeks to receiving the approval document.

Stage 6 - Tender

With residential projects, the clients tend to obtain their own quotes for the building work and once the technical plans have been approved by the client, these can then be sent out for pricing. Blueprint allow in their initial quote fee for 1 preliminary set (prior to being submitted to building control) and 2 building control approved sets of the technical plans. If additional sets are required we would be happy to provide these, but there will be an additional cost. However, here at Blueprint we are happy to issue PDF copies of the plans at request free of charge.

If requested, Blueprint Architectural Design can perform the tender process for the client. We would normally send out 3 sets of the drawings and schedule of work to a list of contractors agreed with the client, this is an additional service, which we would be happy to quote for, on request.

We also have a dedicated recommended builders page that clients can access and research into builders that we have worked with regularly and have been recommended by previous customers.