Projects are developed from inception through to completion following the RIBA stages of work, detailed below. As your architect we guide you through this process step by step. As the Client you will feed back your comments and preferences, and ultimately sign off at the end of each stage to allow the project to progress.


Our appointment with you as the Client forms the contractual basis for our agreement and the scope of services we will provide, with a clear list of deliverables.

We will advise which external consultants will be required to deliver your project.

Appointments are in accordance with our standard terms of engagement (see attached copy for full details) and the RIBA “Conditions of Appointment for an Architects for a Domestic Project, 2012 edition” (electronic copy attached).

Work Stages

1. Brief (RIBA stage 1)

  • Outline the client brief with their feedback.
  • Discuss budget ambitions and advise on specialist consultant engagement.

2. Concept Design (RIBA stage 2)

  • Measured building survey (by others)
  • Finalise your project brief & produce initial concept studies for your review, this includes sketch 3D views, plans and precedent images.
  • Meeting to discuss the design and agree an outline scheme.

3. Developed Design – Planning (RIBA stage 3)

  • The agreed concept from Stage 1 will be developed in more detail.
  • Prepare a set of scheme design level drawings suitable for a planning submission or Lawful Development Certificate.
  • Review precedent images of similar projects, develop the material palette.
  • Outline schemes for structural and service strategies will be developed.
  • Submit documentation for a Planning Application / Certificate of Lawfulness.
  • Pre-applications (informal ‘before full planning application’ meetings with the LPA) are excluded. Additional work for pre-application processes will be charged hourly with prior agreement.

4. Technical Design (RIBA stage 4)

  • Drawings are developed in sufficient detail for Tenders to be invited for the building work.
  • Appoint a structural engineer, review the SE scheme and co-ordinate with the scheme design level drawings.
  • Finalise material and component design.
  • Full plans Building Control Submission to an Approved Inspector, (Building Regulations Approval).
  • Party Wall Notices and Agreements, (by others).
  • Co-ordination with other consultants, party wall surveyors, Thames Water etc will be charged hourly with prior agreement.

5. Finding a Builder (Bidding & Tender)

  • Schedule of works – itemised list of building works involved for tender purposes, (Note: Not a full NBS specification).
  • Prepare bid documents and invite competitive tenders from reputable contractors. Assess the bid returns, and appoint the preferred contractor. (Exclusions apply – Value Engineering, 2nd tender process, staged tender process)

6. Construction To Completion (RIBA stage 5&6)

Execution and Administration of the Building Contract including:

  • Site inspections and meetings.
  • Contractor payment application evaluations and Certifications.
  • Changes managed through Architect’s Instructions or other agreed system.
  • Practical Completion and Deficiencies List

7. Sign off


Change to the brief and/or design during the process of developing your project can have a significant impact on a projects progress and final outcome. It may also require additional works that are chargeable to the client in order to implement change. It is important therefore this is managed openly and effectively between parties.


Full Design Service

As your architects we enter into contract with you to provide architectural design services for the work stages set out in that agreement, typically from inception to completion of your project.

Fees are charged either as a percentage of the contract (build) costs, or lump sum fees by work stage. Fees are payable as work progresses and/or monthly in proportion to the services performed, i.e. if 50% of a stage is complete at the end of a month then 50% of the stage fee will be invoiced.

Additional works are chargeable at hourly rates agreed on our appointment with you.


Pre-design Service

We also offer various pre-design services to assist our clients with understanding the processes, timeframes and likely costs before committing to hire a design professional, and are available at short notice to visit your property as required.


Build vs Project Costs

The fees we charge cover architectural services only and a number of other costs should be allowed for when budgeting for your project.  Each project may have different requirements, but as a guide typical residential projects may include the following costs:

Download Full Guide for Residential Build Projects

Sometimes events unfold in the course of a project where the quantum of work required to address them varies so dramatically it cannot be predicted sufficiently to be captured as a fixed fee at the beginning of the project. For this reason the following items are excluded and are chargeable at the hourly rates set our in the appointment:

The following activities do not form part of the Services as part of our standard services:

  • Models & special drawings
  • Negotiating approvals by statutory authorities
  • Making submissions to and negotiating approvals by landlords, freeholders etc
  • Preparing a schedule of dilapidations
  • Services in connection with party wall negotiations
  • Negotiating a price with a builder (in lieu of tendering)
  • Dealing with extensions of time and contractor’s claim
  • Services in any dispute between the Client and another party
  • Services following damage by fire and other causes
  • Services following suspension, termination of any contract or agreement with or the insolvency of any other party providing services to the project
  • Administration associated with variations.