RIBA Work Stages 0 and 1

When you get in touch with us, our first step will be to meet you, ideally in person, to discuss your project goals, budget and timescales. We’ll begin with an introduction to the practice and our work and you’ll have the chance to ask questions and get some initial guidance and advice. The meeting provides an opportunity for you to get to know us, helping you to decide if we’re the right architect for you. Following the meeting we’ll provide a summary of our discussion along with a fee proposal for your project. 

Before starting any design work we’ll work with you to develop a detailed design brief. This is a key part of the process where we invest time in understanding your project goals, getting to know you and your aspirations. The budget is also a critical part of the brief, which we agree from the outset so we can tailor our designs to suit.

During this stage we'll arrange for any necessary surveys, typically including a measured survey of the property and an ecology survey if required.  For historic or Listed properties we would recommend having a heritage assessment carried out as this can prove beneficial when discussing the proposed works with the Historic Buildings Officer later on.

RIBA Work Stages 1, 2 and 3

We typically begin with a feasibility study to gather information about the site including potential planning constraints to understand the development potential. Our team will start to bring your vision to life with initial sketch designs and, typically, 3D modelling, to explore ideas on layout, massing, elevational treatments, and the site layout. 

Alongside our sketch designs we will discuss the planning strategy and recommendations for any specialist consultants that you may require to join the project team at this stage for example planning advice, interior design, heritage advice or cost guidance.  

Taking your feedback on our concept ideas and any planning constraints into account, we’ll carry out further design work to move towards developing a single more detailed scheme for your project. Throughout this phase, we’ll work closely with you to review and refine the emerging designs as well as agree material choices. We’ll develop a 3D model or commission a professional CGI to bring your project to life. 

We always recommend that you seek cost advice from a Quantity Surveyor (QS) pre-planning to ensure the proposed works can be achieved within your budget.  We will then make any minor amendments needed based on planning advice or costing considerations.

The design stage will conclude with an agreed scheme that meets your brief, project goals, and budget and that we can take forward agree the planning strategy.

RIBA Work Stages 2 and 3

As the designs emerge there is an option to seek pre-application advice from the Local Authority on planning and heritage matters. Engaging with planners at an early stage of the process can prove beneficial. This step is particularly advisable if we anticipate that the proposed works might pose potential challenges or raise planning-related concerns. 

Once the final design has been agreed we will seek your approval to proceed to planning.  We will create preliminary planning drawings and, where necessary, draft a Design and Access Statement to support your application. We then meet with you to review and finalise the preliminary planning pack before submitting a planning application.

We’ll liaise closely with the planners throughout the process to give your project the best chance of success.
Sometimes additional information may be requested by the planners and often, further discussion, negotiation, and occasionally a second application, may be required to gain planning consent.  After consent has been granted there are often planning conditions that require action.  

RIBA Work Stage 4

The next stage of work includes the preparation of a pack of technical drawings and information for tender and construction purposes and we generally act as the Lead Consultant through this part of the process.

We'll meet with you post-planning to review the scheme in detail and make any minor adjustments if needed. We'll also coordinate a Consultant Team, which, as well as your architect, may also consist of other professionals such as the interior designer, landscape designer, structural engineer and mechanical and electrical consultant. The team will provide the necessary drawings, plans and specifications for your Building Regulations application to be submitted. 

The Building Regulations Pack includes a lot of detail, but to provide full technical details for tender and construction purposes (see below) we prepare additional information within a Construction Pack which typically includes the preparation of additional construction details, specification notes, schedules, and further liaison and coordination with the Consultant Team.

The stage concludes with our providing a detailed pack of information to seek accurate pricing from builders and ultimately to build from.

RIBA Work Stages 5, 6 and 7

JDA will discuss the different procurement options with you. Typically, you can choose either a competitive tender process where tenders are invited from several builders or a negotiated tender route where you select a builder early on and negotiate the contract sum directly with them. You may wish to engage the Quantity Surveyor to assist with the pricing process.

JDA can assist you with choosing a builder by holding interviews, visiting projects and carrying out due diligence to ensure the builder is the right fit for you and your project.

Once a builder is selected and works are ready to start on site, we offer two options:

A. Call Out: This option is ideal if you or a Project Manager will oversee the work. We attend the site as requested, typically around two times per month, including monthly progress meetings and additional site visits as needed.

B. Contract Administration: We can formally act as the Contract Administrator in the building contract between you and the builder. This comprehensive role includes monitoring construction with weekly site visits, holding monthly Progress Meetings, issuing instructions for any changes, managing payments, certifying progress, issuing Practical Completion Certificates, overseeing defect rectification, and assisting with the Final Account preparation.

We’ll oversee your project throughout the construction phase and right through to handover, making it as stress free as possible for you.