How we work.
We believe that the best building and design projects result from a good understanding between the client and architect. This creative relationship helps push the design forward, often through unexpected routes, to produce the most appropriate solution.
We like to listen to the collective ideas, understand the relationships and the roles of the people involved in the design brief, and recognise their values. Our designers strive to then bring that design to life and not simply create a building or extension or renovation, but a space for living and interacting.
At all times we are conscious that, while we may be able to create and develop your initial ideas and, we may be perceived as the authors of the design ultimately it’s your project; it’s your house, its needs suit your needs and demands.
Stanton Andrews offers a full design and project management service from inception to completion, to ensure that the project meets your expectations. We can also tailor our involvement in the project to suit your requirements and budget constraints.
Here’s a brief summary of how we approach our architectural projects:
Understanding your vision and plans
To get started, we offer an introductory informal meeting free of charge to talk through your desires, aspirations and budget. We prefer to come and see you, if that’s OK. It enables us to help understand what you are trying to achieve and why. It also allows us to get under the skin of your project.
This meeting also enables you to pick our brains on matters such as planning, regulations, procurement, materials and architectural design.
Following this meeting, if appointed, Stanton Andrews Architects will then undertake an assessment of the work needed and prepare an appropriate fee proposal which includes each area of the project that we are instructed to be involved.
Creating design concepts
Stanton Andrews usually commences the project with organising a measured survey of the property. This enables us to gain a full appreciation of the existing arrangement before considering the design approach to meet the client’s brief.
Following this, we would undertake a feasibility exercise to explore ideas and consider governing regulations.
Once this information is gathered, we would then present a selection of design options for discussion.
Visualising the project
Three-dimensional computer modelling helps us to prepare and present the proposals in greater detail, that brings life to the design and highlights the quality of space to be created. After the preferred design approach has been agreed, we then work up a proposal.
If required, a planning application is then submitted to the local authority for consideration. This often is preceded by a pre-application consultation. This is a low-cost informal meeting with the planners to better understand their concerns etc.
Preparing construction drawings
Once planning permission is granted, we can then prepare the construction drawings. These will detail the construction of the building, addressing matters such as structure, insulation, heating and electricity.
The construction drawings ensure that the building is constructed safely and with adequate environmental consideration.
Construction drawings can also be used to apply for building regulations approval from the local authority, as well as forming the backbone of the information a contractor will need to prepare a tender.
Appointing a contractor
The next stage is to appoint a contractor to undertake the work. Working closely with you as the client, Stanton Andrews Architects can prepare a list of appropriate contractors and invite them to submit competitive tenders for the project.
We will then assess and comment on the tender submissions before the preferred developer is appointed. If you already have a contractor in mind, that’s great too.
Stanton Andrews Architects can also advise on the most appropriate contract to use for the work.
Beginning the build
Once the contract sum has been agreed, and the contractor is appointed and contracts are signed, work can commence on the project. This is where the designs from the drawing board become reality.
We always say to our clients this is the fun bit, so remember to enjoy it!
Stanton Andrews Architects will liaise with contractor during the construction on a regular basis, addressing any issues that may arise and ensuring adherence to the contract documents and construction drawings is maintained during the entire project.
During the build we would arrange regular meetings with you and the contractor to hopefully ensure a smooth process and successful outcome.
Meeting your expectations
Stanton Andrews’ role does not end at preparing the design, we are partners with you, and other contractors, until the building project reaches completion.
After letting the tender, our role in the project changes. We become contractor administrators as independent arbiters balancing the demands and requests between the contractor and client.
It is part of our professional work ethic, to ensure we are involved throughout the design and construction process, with particular focus on detailing, selection of materials and project management to ensure the original architectural vision is carried right through to the very end of the build. We believe in the importance of getting it right, otherwise it is not right forever.
As part of this service, Stanton Andrews will also revisit the site within six months after the project is completed, to check for any building defects and outstanding matters, and if necessary, arrange for them to be addressed by the contractor.