Client Guide to Construction Phases

Steven Fraser Architecture is a Chartered Practice under the RIAS scheme.

Work Stages & Services Provided

1.0 – 2.0 Brief, Appraisal and Outline Proposals
Working closely with the client to agree the project brief and budget, a survey of your property will be undertaken. This will allow the existing layout to be drawn up. Design options will be investigated and initial proposal drawings prepared. It should then be possible for a contractor to give outline cost advice. Clients may consider appointing a quantity surveyor to prepare a more detailed cost plan. The fee for this phase will be based upon the amount of time which needs to be spent since every project is unique.

3.0 Planning and/or Listed Building Consent
Planning permission is usually required and is always necessary in conservation areas. Listed buildings require additional consent. Small schemes may comply with local Permitted Development guidelines. If so, a Certificate of Lawfulness can be obtained. In all cases, we act as your advisor and agent, preparing drawings and liaising with the planning authority. For domestic projects, a decision generally takes 8 weeks from the date an application is lodged.

4.0 Building Warrant
Drawings and specifications will be produced and a building warrant application lodged. This stage ensures that the proposals meet current building regulations such as ease of access, fire safety, ventilation and energy conservation. This process normally takes 10-12 weeks from the date the application is lodged.

5.0 – 6.0 Construction Documentation & Tender
Once planning and building warrant are secured, further drawings and specifications can be prepared for tender. Alternatively, agreement may be negotiated with one contractor. We can advise on the selection of contractors based on their previous experience and insurance credentials.

7.0 Contract Administration
The Contractor will be appointed using the relevant JCT/SBCC contract. The contract sum and completion date will be set out before construction begins. The Contract Administrator’s role during the building phase is to be impartial and to act as the client’s advisor, to conduct periodic site inspections and to certify regular payments to the contractor. You will be advised of any unexpected occurrences on site or variations during construction. Checks will be carried out to ensure that the contractor has adhered to the contract documents and payment will be arranged for works properly completed.

Once the construction has neared Practical Completion, application can be made for the local authority to issue a Completion Certificate. This requires an inspection from Building Standards. The officer will evaluate the build against the approved building warrant documents, and if there are inconsistencies on site, these will need to be rectified. If changes were made during the construction phase, an Amendment to Warrant application can be lodged. Once satisfied that the building meets the terms of the contract documents, the architect issues the Practical Completion certificate.

8.0 Post-Completion
Once practical completion is reached, the defects liability period starts to run. A list of matters will be prepared for the contractor to rectify at his own expense. At the end of this period, a certificate will be issued to confirm that the defects have been made good and to allow for settlement of the final account with the contractor.

Contact Steven Fraser Architecture for further information.