Find out more about Acres Architects
We offer every client a free 30 minute consultation at a place that’s convenient for you. Typically we do this at your own home, or at the proposed site, but we can run this as a video chat if preferred.
After your consultation we’ll run an in-house workshop with you at our studio where we’ll discuss design options and begin to create these initial ideas. Your input into this is invaluable, as we want to put your stamp on your own design. Our expert team will guide you through and are highly trained and experienced in crafting ideas that work for you. We can blend your ideas with our expertise and experience and create the very best designs for you and your budget.
Once we have a steer on the design intent from the collaborative workshop. We will begin the process of turning your preferred idea into a realistic concept. At this stage we’ll be able to share the designs in 3D and as a virtual reality walk through of your property. The output of this stage will be a fully discussed and agreed design that meets your exact requirements which we will then take on to the final design and planning process.
FINAL DESIGN & PLANNING
Once we’ve agreed the final design, and you’re 100% happy, we will turn the concept into a package of information ready for planning submission. As part of this we’ll open discussions with the local planning authority on your behalf to ensure that this plan has the best possible chance of approval. We have a fantastic professional relationship with over 73% of the councils within the UK which enables us to provide you with greater confidence and assurance that your project will be given the best chance of planning success.
Once submitted we will stay in regular communication with the planning officer to make sure any raised queries, concerns or minor change requests are dealt with efficiently to reduce chance of delay.
When your project has received planning approval our team will begin designing all the required technical aspects of the property, making the reality of your dream home that little bit closer. During this stage we’ll begin with the sign off of the planning conditions, of which there are likely to be many. We can guide you through the final choice of external materials such as timber cladding, brick types, glazing options, render colour and many more. We may also be required to submit a sign of planning conditions back to the planning authorities. This process will lead us to make the majority of the technical decisions on your project.
BUILDING REGS SUBMISSIONS
When all materials and technical details have been confirmed by you and we are satisfied that the choices made will. as a minimum, comply with the national Building Regulations guidance and documentations, we will produce a package of information to depict and confirm these choices which we will then submit for Building Regulations approval. At Acres Architects we typically encourage our clients to work with private builing control inspectors. The advantage of this for you is an improved turn-around time for the decision and will allow us to maintain a swift pace throughout the entire project.
FINDING A CONTRACTOR
For the majority of our clients one of the trickiest and most intimidating aspects to any building project is finding the right contractor. We understand that this is a huge decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Acres Architects remove the stress, fear and hassle of tendering to contractors. We work with a select number of preferred suppliers who are willing to competitively tender for projects provided by Acres Architects. We will typically offer each project to a minimum of 5 contractors to price on. We will handle the entire tendering process, including requests for further information and provide you with a set of fixed prices from the contractors. We always then share our thoughts on who we feel is best suited to your project. We believe that the lowest price isn’t always the best option but will discuss the contractors in detail with you to help you make the right decision.
MANAGING THE BUILD
An exciting and slightly daunting part of the process is actually managing the contractors when the build begins. Acres Architects will act as ‘Contract Administrator’. We will choose the most appropriate industry standard contract, formalise this contract with the relevant project specific information, and, once signed by you and the contractor, we will instruct the contractor to begin the work onsite. Throughout the construction process we will conduct regular and consistent site visits to monitor the work to ensure it meets the requirements of the contract. If changes are required we can formally control this through an architectural instruction under the terms of the contract. This can include minor aesthetic changes or larger, more significant, cost saving options. We’ll keep you informed of any change and ensure you are 100% happy with it.
Once the build is completed we will officially finalise the contract between you and the contractor, this is referred to as ‘Handover’. This begins the defects rectification period where any issues are resolved by the contractor. This can last 6 to 12 months depending on the size of the project. The contract allows you to retain 2.5% of the overall build cost until the end of the defects rectification period. For example if, during this time, there is any cracking, movement, or any other minor issues, the contractor will be reponsible for ensuring this work is rectified.
ANNUAL REVIEW VISIT
At Acres Architects we offer an annual review to ensure that you are enjoying your dream home to its full potential. The 1st year is free of charge and we’ll discuss if there are any issues at all, we can check anything from drainage to electrical issues. If any further defects are identified we will ensure the original contractor rectifies this as part of the original contract.