A unique approach with proven results.

Design development for a typical extension and full refurbishment of a large house usually takes around six months from our appointment to starting building work on site.

The Design Process


Initial client meeting & fee proposal

Producing a project that you are completely thrilled with means devoting time and careful thinking to the early design stages.

From our first meeting we will begin to discuss ideas to help you firm up your brief, and develop the strategy for your project.

We will then prepare our fee proposal, help frame the programme for the project and explain the design process for you in detail.


Outline Design

Options appraisal & strategy

Creativity is key to us, and from the outset we will explore a number of options with you to ensure we find the right solution for your space.

Using block plans, sketch diagrams, layouts and visuals, we demonstrate the possibilities and layouts open to you. We develop ‘Look and Feel’ boards to help clarify your style and aspirations for the project, as well as your likes and dislikes.

At the end of this stage we will agree which of the design concepts will be developed into the full Scheme Design.


Scheme Design

The design takes shape

The Scheme Design progresses each area of the design onwards in more detail.

This stage would include;

External CAD elevations
Overview of glazing & external materials
CAD plans of the agreed layout
Ceiling & lighting proposals
Visuals, sketches & refined imagery
Kitchen layout & aesthetic
Bathroom layouts & aesthetic
Sanitaryware proposals
Finishes proposals throughout
Review brief/budget for furniture & artwork
Review brief/budget for AV & security
Outline landscape proposals

Planning Permission

Building fabric & project management

We manage the whole planning application process on your behalf. We often begin by making a Pre-Application to explore early ideas with the planners. We will also help you manage the process with your neighbours too if appropriate.

At this point we clarify the full scope for the build, review renewable energy options and advise on how to improve energy efficiency.

We build the project team, appointing the Structural Engineer, Building Control Inspector and Party Wall Surveyor and any other consultants as required for the job.


Detailed Design

Selection of each & every element

Here we develop all elements of the project, both architectural and interior, to agree the final specification.

This includes review and refinement of drawings and samples along with options for suppliers and costs to agree the best fit in each case.

Specification of windows, doors, rooflights
Landscape design & outdoor living spaces
Bespoke joinery & specialist finishes
Sanitaryware & appliances
Lighting, inside & out
Ironmongery, radiators & fireplaces
Decoration, colour schemes & finishes
Window treatments, furniture & artwork

Production Information

Preparing the drawings & specifications

This stage formalises all the decisions made at Detailed Design stage, producing a concise package of information to enable tender and construction of the project.

On a typical project this would include;

Architectural plans, building sections, elevations & details as required for construction of all areas.
Schedules for windows, doors & rooflights
Written Scope of Works for the project
Internal joinery & room elevations & details
Bathroom elevations & details
Lighting layouts & lighting schedules
First fix heating & electrical layouts
Schedules for Sanitaryware & Ironmongery
Schedules for Finishes & Decorations  
Liaise & coordinate with project team  
Make all necessary statutory applications 

Tender Stage

Pricing & procurement

We will prepare tender documentation with our Production Information described above and liaise with our chosen builder short-list to produce comparative costs for the project as designed.
The more information we have fixed at this point, the more certain the cost will be.

We will interrogate the tender returns and conduct pre and post tender interviews with builders, take up references and visit completed projects.

We will assist you in the final selection, negotiation, and appointment of the builder. Then prepare the building contract.


Site Stages

& Contract administration

Once works commence on site we will monitor works as they progress, review the design and details as the building is revealed (based on fortnightly site visits rising to weekly at busiest periods) maintaining regular contact with the builder and subcontractors throughout.

We will administer the contract; inspecting and valuing the works to date and issuing instructions to the contractor.

We will also finalise the trade orders for all 'Client Direct' items such as interior joinery, fittings, finishes and lighting and package up for order direct by you - giving you the benefit of all our trade discounts. We will manage the logistics of their delivery to site and onward installation.


Furnishing & Accessories

Procurement & installation

We will propose and select furniture, loose fittings and accessories for all areas, to complement the scheme and your existing items.

We will work to your agreed budget, tendering/gathering quotes for all these items, passing on all our trade discounts to you.

We will manage all the logistics and oversee the installation of all furniture and accessories after the completion of the on-site works, and carry out final styling and dressing of the house.



Snagging & defects

As works complete we will inspect the work and prepare a defects schedule, managing the resolution of these and their final sign off after the 6 or 12 months retention period.

We compile a Completion Pack with all certificates, guarantees, drawings and contact details for your future reference.

We demand the highest standards for our delivered projects. Our clients can, and do, expect their new spaces to transform their lifestyles and working practices.

Basement joinery designed by The Vawdrey House