1. Preparation before visiting an Architect

Before contacting an architect, you will want to draw up a brief, mentally or preferably on paper. This is your wish-list for the project. Focus on what you want to achieve, noting down all your requirements and highlighting any problems that need solving. Think in terms of how you will use the space now and in the future, rather than what needs to be built.

You should also try to establish your overall budget. This will help you discuss costs upfront with the architect and avoid disappointment at a later stage.

4. Design Aspiration

This step is about finding out what the ideas and motivation are. At this point we talk about size, space, budget, comfort, light, health and wellbeing, communication, benefits, quality, time ... The list can be as long as your imagination allows. We are there as professionals  to help you to develop the design language, a language which can be translated into a construction and a finished project.

7. Community & Neighbours

This is a sensitive and important element: the human factor on projects can be the most unpredictable part. Neighbours and the community can make a project a success or a headache. It might be important to allow for some time to communicate with neighbours and the community to make sure that any idea is understood and gets support. We have a strong track record of dealing diplomatically with those kind of issues, and being fair to the client as well as the community.

10. Level of Detail

On small projects it might be less necessary on larger it is a requirement. Also important is to agree a Level of Detail. Especially here in Cornwall the understanding of what are construction information is different to what is expected in Germany. Again this will have a huge impact on the time. However the correlation is the better the information the less complicated is the construction process, which can also safe cost.

2. Initial Meeting

The first step even before a project begins will always be to meet with you. The first meeting on projects is free of charge. We will give you the opportunity to share your ideas and your concerns. At the end of this stage a 'design brief' in the form of a written summary will be provided and you will be fully informed about the timescale, risks, health and safety considerations, strategies and the services we are able to offer.

5. Budget

My role as an Architect here is to check the design aspiration against the project brief and other considerations, including the anticipated budget, as early as possible. What I want to avoid is mismatched expectations and budget. See me as a partner in your team to help find solutions, alternatives, strategies. And I can offer tools such as estimates, asking very early in the process for quotes or even get a quantity surveyor involved so that cost is something under control.

8. Project Costs, Risks and Limitations

Before taking on a project a professional designer should not only speak about the positive and exciting part, they should also address any risks, limitations and the cost. So if a project has some limitations and risks a strategy is essential to ensure that a minimum is invested to get sufficient information for an informed decision. At this point we often offer a feasibility study and maybe get for example a planning consultant involved. Depending on the project and the issues it is beneficial to collaborate and cooperate with other professionals and consultancies.

11. Quality & Time

The quality and the time have a great influence on the cost of a project. A higher quality could mean for me as the designer more time to design get it right. The benefit for the client is to get an even better and more personal design. Sometimes it is only one element such as special furniture, special lighting, a special detail which make a design more unique. The faster a service should provided means more cost due to more and better organisation.

3. Project

Calling an idea a project is starting the process, the journey to change or create something. A project is something which can be managed and has objectives. A managed process will take control of all the factors and make sure that a project is as transparent and stress free as possible.

The most important factors of a design process are the brief, time, budget and quality.

6. Context

It's important for us to develop a very thorough picture of the location and site because these can dictate many of the parameters of a design and a construction. For example, is the building in a conservation area or other designated area, is the topography difficult, are there services in the ground ... again, there can be a long list of things to be checked. In order to get the best objective picture, on almost all projects we perform a full measured survey and collecting information  and build a 3d model of the site.

9. Construction Information

This part is one of the most difficult to anticipate. Before we've made a design it's difficult to estimate precisely the amount of work necessary. This stage, known as the technical design stage, is the one least defined in the construction industry. First under this category are services such as Building Control Informations, Construction drawings, Tender information and Specifications. These can involve a lot of work, and we will do our best to tell you the likely costs.

12. Site visits & Inspections

Site visits and inspections are a service for projects. Depending on the complexity and task the amount of this service should be agreed. The same applies to the stage 6 to 7. This service will be charged at an hourly rate if not otherwise agreed.