Your aim is
to get your project completed as smoothly and as efficiently as possible, we
understand that!

A Building
project doesn’t have to be complicated in fact we want you to see how simple
and logical the steps are.

To help you
achieve this we follow the RIBA Plan of Work as closely as possible, this is a
comprehensive step by step guide (the guide itself tends to be a bit wordy as
its written for Architects) so we have broken the steps down into plain English
for you.

Because We
specialize in giving homeowners the experience that they deserve when designing
House Extensions, Loft Conversions and Renovation projects we have outlined for
you the specific steps that will be followed regardless of the size of a

Have a look
at our Architectural Fees page
to see how much these services are likely to cost

Below we
have bullet pointed the steps that make up the process of a successful building


Feasibility Study-Needs & Options

·       Design & Planning Application Submission

·       Building Warrant

·       Pre-Construction

·       Construction Stage

·       Post Construction (Snagging)


If you would
like further explanation of these specific steps, please read on.




Here Goes:

1)  Feasibility Study -Needs & Options Review.


This is a
Fact-finding discussion between you (the client) & myself to establish
project constraints, your Budget and when you expect to start & finish the

Some clients
can provide us with a brief and are very clear what they want, others are not
so sure, either way, don’t worry, this stage will help you get the clarity you
need to move forward.

So, we spend
a little more time on the research than most other firms who rush their clients
into the design phase.

The first
step you will need to complete is Needs
and Options review.

We designed
this process a few years ago because we there is a huge issue in the construction
industry of people starting design and construction before they have fully done
their research and homework.

People are
trying to run before they have the walk mastered.

consequence of inadequate upfront research of needs and options is like
building a house on bad foundations. The foundations are the most important
part of the whole house because everything is built on top. It’s very expensive
to change the foundations once you have started to build on top of them. But very
easy to change them if they are simply lines on a plan!

At the end
of this stage, we produce a report that will clearly outline your objectives
(Needs) and determine what your options are. (in some situations, there may be
a variety of options open to you)

This is RIBA plan of works stage 0 & 1.

This process is designed to remove
assumptions and reduce the risk to you





2)  Design & Planning Application Submission

The design
& planning stage is based on the outcome of the feasibility study.

The clarity
that the feasibility stage gives will assist in being able to develop a design
that you love & more importantly fit your budget!

We will draw
up the initial design and, with your input (the client), will continue to tweak
the design until you are 100% happy. (after all it’s your house)

All our
projects are done in 3D which further reduces your risk as you can see what you
will get before you are committed to building it.

No more
meaningless line drawings that are impossible to understand!

The drawings
are then developed to a standard where a Planning application can be made.

The planning
officer may request supplementary information to support the planning
application such as drainage arrangements Etc.

A Planning
Fee is paid directly by you to the Local Authority (Currently £202)

Once the
Planning Submission has been made it will be validated by the Local Authority
planning department and generally takes around 8 weeks for a decision to be
made as to whether Planning permission will be granted or not.

(if the
initial planning application is unsuccessful a modified design can be submitted
that is more likely to get planning approval OR the decision can be appealed)

planning has been granted the next stage is to apply for a Building Warrant.

This is RIBA plan of works stage 2 & 3.






3)  Building Warrant

Every building project that is carried out in Scotland must comply with Building

“Scottish Ministers
are responsible for creating Building
Regulations and preparing technical guidance to ensure buildings are safe, efficient and
sustainable for all. … This gives helpful guidance to those who intend to
carry out building work
and where to seek help”.

We will
ensure that your building project meets the standards required, your design
drawings will be further developed into technical drawings that demonstrate
compliance with these building regulations.

guidance is provided by the Technical handbooks, below are the main areas they









Once the
drawings are completed a building warrant application is submitted to the local
authority building standards department.

A Building
Warrant fee is paid directly by you to the Building Standards department of the
local authority (Building Warrant fee is related to the cost of the works)

When the
Building Warrant has been granted the documents will be issued along with a
Construction notification plan.

At this
point, you are legally free to begin construction.

This is RIBA plan of works stage 4.



4)  Pre-Construction

What is
Pre-Construction? It’s a fair question.

This is the
stage in the lead up to the actual construction, its when we prepare all the
documents that will allow you to get the best value. We prepare a ‘List of
Works’ document that details every element of the project from light switches
to doors.

A tender
pack is assembled (this contains all the documents that will allow a contractor
to give the most accurate price) to send out to chosen contractors, normally 3
different contractors.

Once the
tenders (prices) come back we will assist you in choosing a suitable contractor
for your project.

This is also
RIBA plan of works stage 4.




5)  Construction Stage

Once the
contractor has been appointed, a construction contract will be set up between
you (the client) & the Builder.

We use the SBC Homeowner Contract (With Consultant)
(June 2013).

See a sample contract


We then act
as Contract Administrator, which means that we visit the site on a regular
basis (normally once per week), also (but not limited to):

This is what
we do!

for site meetings


interim certificates


Administrators Variations


a weekly project meeting and review the progress of construction.


that the contractor is carrying out the project in line with the design and
spec. You will want us to confirm that the building contractor is building your
project as per our construction documents.


to resolve quickly any unexpected or unforeseen conditions, this means that
site continues to progress & delays are kept to a minimum.


your payments to the contractor, so you have more leverage or power during the construction
stage. This leverage (Power) will allow us to protect your interest and makes
sure that you only pay for what the work is worth at any given time.


with preparing of the snagging list and see that the Completion Certificate is


are legally responsible for their health, safety, and welfare and must confirm
that all HSE (2015 CDM) regulations are being observed.


professionals, it is our firm’s policy to be involved in the construction of
every project, for the many reasons described above.


This is RIBA
plan of works stage 5.








6)  Post Construction (Snagging)

We will
assist you to compile a snagging list of defects that require being made good,
the contractor will have a period where he is obliged to rectify these issues.
Once this has been completed the retention (final payment) will be paid to the
contractor. We also liaise with building standards for your all-important
completion certificate to be issued.

This is RIBA
plan of works stage 6.

Once this
stage is completed you can enjoy your new space.

That’s all
very well, but you may be asking, what areas do you operate in?

Below is a
list of the areas we work in on a regular basis.

Here are the
local authorities we deal with:

City of Edinburgh Council

East Lothian Council

Midlothian Council

West Lothian Council

Perth & Kinross Council

All Central Belt Councils

Fife Council

Dundee City Council

Angus Council

Aberdeen City Council

Aberdeenshire Council


Now you know
all about the process of a Building Project, it’s a good idea to print this out
and use as a handy guide.

You may also
want to look at our:

Fee page

What is a Needs & Options Review

Finally, if you would like to discuss
your project further you can take up our offer click here to book your
FREE 20 ‘Ask the Expert’ call. 


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