foundations architects is a Farnham based practice specialising in residential projects, offering a fully comprehensive range of services. We also undertake commercial projects, offering the same high-quality service as for our private clients.
The practice was established by JK Wilson RIBA, who has 25 years’ experience as a qualified architect and who has been practicing in Farnham for fifteen years. The practice also employs a number of very experienced and talented architects and designers, offering high-quality design service within a simple and transparent fee structure.
At this stage we usually allow for a few hours free of charge for initial meetings and arranging surveys of the site. On more complex projects we sometimes do further work on an hourly rate basis, for example when feasibility studies are required, or on a new-build on a very difficult site. We can also use this stage to discuss budgets or the general direction of the project, or if a client wants to undertake further design studies before making an offer or completing a purchase. If for any reason further hours were required on this stage, we would always discuss and agree this before proceeding.
During the Concept Design stage we generally try to explore as many options as we can, as this stage is intended to find the best route to extend or alter your home by making sure we have thought through every possible opportunity. We aim to come up with a scheme which best answers all of your requirements, or at least as many of them as possible! By showing you these options in 3D CAD models, we can explain the design and will not move on to the next stages until we are sure that you have fully understood and agreed the scheme.
Once the Concept Design is signed off, it is then fixed for the second part of the design phase we then develop the design using the feedback from the planners from any pre-app advice which may have been received, and collate the drawings into Lawful Development applications and/or Planning Applications, following these applications through with the planners to achieve the best possible scheme for you and the property.
Once planning permission or Lawful Development Certificates are achieved, we then prepare construction information to a level of detail where there are no ambiguities, and a builder would have all the information he needed to price and build the scheme. We pride ourselves on the quality of our construction drawings and ensure they are fully coordinated with structural engineering and other suppliers where appropriate. At the end of this stage, we will also prepare and submit a Building Regulations application and follow this through with the Building Inspectors until the plans are approved.
There are as many different procurement routes as there are builders and projects, but we can help choose the best route to find the right builder for your project, either by a traditional competitive tender process, or by direct negotiation with a preferred builder. Where a client already has a builder in mind, we can help at this stage with negotiating a fair and reasonable price for the works, and can advise on the best form of contract to use. We always recommend using the latest version of a standard form of contract such as the JCT Intermediate Contract or the new RIBA Domestic Construction Contract, both of which are written with consumers in mind. In order to protect your rights as a Consumer, it is important that this stage is conducted properly but in simple terms a good contract gives us the authority to inspect and certify the work, and have it redone if it is not correct.
This stage involves administering the terms of the signed contract and visiting site regularly to inspect the quality of the work and provide advice and information for any problems or unexpected situations which might arise. We will also track costs and report to the client on progress and problems.
If the drawings and schedules completed at Stage 4 are accurate and detailed enough, the price agreed with the builder in the contract should not change unless the client requests additional work, which should be quoted for and agreed before instruction. We would not instruct any additional work without a client’s approval, except in an emergency where there was for example a safety issue on site.
“The council… would suggest this design and layout be adopted for other similar developments.”
“A most thorough planning application, well prepared, well researched and in tune with its environs. A unique design which makes best use of its surroundings.”
“One would always like cost to be kept to a minimum but we feel that we could have been charged a lot more, so we think the service was good value.”
“Just been to the house and it’s looking great. Smiles all round from my point of view – looks awesome.”
“The extension was the right decision, it looks great and the roof design makes it look as if it’s always been here. Great design!”
“We got planning! It’s all online. Thanks for your help in putting together a really good set of documents.”