What does Highland Architecture do?
Highland Architecture provide architectural design services and are specialists in
architecture, building design and construction, and form the link between your requirements and the delivery of building work. We can negotiate the construction project and manage the process from inception through to completion if required.
We are specialist in residential design and therfore do not get involved in the design of commercial or industrial buildings.
What type of design services can Highland Architecture provide?
The scope of our design services are matters for agreement between you and
Highland Architecture. However, design services for construction works to a domestic property, usually include the preparation of plans and drawings for the proposed works and preparation of a detailed specification. The specification normally sets out how the works should be constructed, the nature of the materials to be used. Highland Architecture will discuss your requirements with you and can advise upon the type and quality of materials for use in the proposed work. We can also provide SAP 2009 Energy calculations and energy performance certificates.(EPCs) for New Build properties.
How do I get started?
Most projects generally start off by our meeting to discuss and assess your needs in order to agree a way forward. This often includes identifying possible options, discussing budgets and a timescale for the completion of the works. It may also involve a feasibility study based upon your brief. A feasibility study may involve:
• advice and recommendations upon any site investigations or tests that may be required, for example, to establish the ground conditions at your property;
• the need to involve other professionals to undertake these investigations or tests, or indeed to provide other specialist services for your project; and
• advice as to whether any statutory approvals may be required before works commence.
The terms of engagement should be understood and agreed prior to starting any work.
Will Highland Architecture ensure that I obtain planning permission and/or building regulations approval?
Highland Architecture take all necessary and appropriate steps to prepare the relevant plans and applications required by Council Planners and Building Standards. However, it is the Local Councils Planning Committee or department who decides whether planning permission will be granted for any particular project, and it is the Building Control Inspector who decides whether a building warrant approval will be granted. As Highland Architecture ultimately have no control over whether the statutory approvals are granted, there can be no guarantee of approval.
It should be remembered that these applications attract charges for which you would be responsible, and there may be further inspection charges under the building regulations. They are normally separate to the charges for professional services.
Do I need to agree anything in writing with Highland Architecture before they start work?
In order to provide for certainty and avoid disputes at a laterstage, it is always best to agree in writing the scope and the terms of our services. The best time to do this is when your instructions are being discussed
and accepted. Highland Architecture will confirm the following
• the amount of fee to be charged.
• it is also usual to identify those services which may be undertaken by other professionals.
Why would I need to employ other professionals for my building project?
Many building projects require specialist advice from other professionals working in the construction industry such as a structural engineer, or specialist drainage designer.
For example, a structural engineer might prepare structural drawings or calculations for the foundations and or load bearing steelwork, if required they will provide an SER certificate for their proposals.
If I need to involve another professional, how do I go about employing them?
If you require to employ an engineer or other professionals we can advise who you should employ. It is important to bear in mind that you will be employing each professionals directly.
Their fees will be separate from and additional to those charged by Highland Architecture. You will be responsible for paying the other professionals' fees and they, in turn, will be responsible to you for the services they provide.
Will Highland Architecture get quotes from local contractors?
Yes. We can invite a suitable number of competitive tenders from selected local contractors. They will be provided with copies of the necessary details including plans and specifications. The tender prices are communicated directly to you to select the contractor of your choice. You can then employ the successful contractor to complete the building works in accordance with the approved plans.
How do I go about employing a builder?
You may already know which builder you wish to employ, but if you do not already have one in mind, you can seek assistance from Highland Architecture in the selection and employment of a builder. Factors which often influence the selection of suitable builders include their skills and experience, track record, whether they have appropriate insurances in place and their availability. It is advisable to obtain more than one quotation.