Take a look at our 10 step process to working with us
1- Phone Consultation – No Charge
Discuss your project and ideas with our senior architectural technicians who will be happy to discuss options and assess your project's needs and viability.
2- On-Site Briefing – Fixed Fee Invoiced on appointment £65.00 per hour
This stage is about getting to know you and for us to find out, in full, what your hopes are for the project. We’ll discuss your budget, likes/dislikes and practicalities based on your project's ambition.
3- Feasibility / Survey – Fixed Fee
We will visit your site to conduct a thorough survey, allowing us to produce a set of initial plans which will include accurate measurements and land properties to enable us to design your detailed 3D plans. We provide the lead design role and we brief and coordinate the work of consultants who are appointed by the client. There is a comprehensive outline of this at the bottom of this page.
4- Feasibility & 3D Designs – Fixed Fee, Invoiced Weekly or Monthly
Following the measured survey, we will discuss ideas with you and generate a set of detailed 3D plans, allowing you to have an accurate picture of what your finished project will look like – internally and externally, from material used to how large a space will be. We will continue to work with you, going through designs until you are happy.
5- Planning Application – Fixed Fee, Invoiced At Submission Of Application
We will prepare detailed documents and accompanying drawings of the project for your application. When necessary, we will speak in front of the planning board on your behalf in order to give your project the highest chance of approval. If your application is refused, we can exercise our right to appeal or submit a revised proposal based on new designs.
6- Building Control
This stage determines how the building stands up, how it resists the weather and how it keeps ventilated, warm or cool. Although there is room for interpretation in some of the Regulations, this is chiefly about compliance. Drawings are prepared at 1:50 scale and are accompanied by a general specification.
7- Construction Drawings – Fixed Fee Invoiced On Completion Of Drawings
Where the client wants a building that celebrates attention to detail, it is important that drawings at 1:20 and 1:5 scale are produced. These give clear instructions to make the building, and to ensure that the original conception is not watered down by misinterpretation. There may be occasions when a project needs to go to tender; in this circumstance we have to collate the relevant documents and ensure that if a contractor is involved, we have all the correct documents which can become a substantial task.
8- Appoint A Contractor – No Charge
Sphion Ltd will happily advise you on selecting a trusted and capable contractor that is right for your project. When going to tender the same process applies as mentioned in point 7.
9- Appoint A Contractor – No Charge (Or Fixed Fee For Tendering The Project)
Sphion Ltd will oversee the construction, ensuring standards are being met and dealing with any on-site alterations that may arise. We keep in regular contact with you in order to keep you completely in the loop at all stages of the build. Alterations / additions are covered by hourly rates.
Your project is complete and ready to enjoy.
We provide the lead design role and we brief and coordinate the work of these consultants who are appointed by the client (approximate fee bands for a 'bespoke family house' are given in £100’s after each; plus VAT):
Land Surveyor – to provide an electronically measured survey of the site and building before the design work can commence. (5-10).
Arboriculture / trees – to identify and survey those affected on site during the early design process. (5-10).
Ecology – to survey and recommend action to avoid disturbance to wildlife, prepared to coincide with their seasonal movement and submitted with the planning application. (5-15).
Highways (less often with single house commissions) – specialist advice on vehicular movement and highway safety. (5-10).
Planning Consultant – We have a strong level of experience within planning and can provide assistance with planning issues. We spend much of our working time designing and sometimes there is a need to engage a professional who can interpret policies, and case precedent, to fully establish the regulatory framework. We work alongside consultants productively, and the advice we give you will synthesise the input of each. (15-25).
Acoustics (rare in private work) – to identify and contain unwanted noise. (7-10).
Energy (usually at the technical stage, post-planning) – to measure the building’s energy requirement, specify its thermal performance, and advise on renewable sources. (5).
Structural engineering (at the technical stage) – to provide calculations to ensure the structural performance of the building. In projects where the structure is designed to be visible, to provide a sensitive and creative role in support of the design. (20-75).
Mechanical and electrical consultant (used on larger projects) – in projects where the complexity of the heating, plumbing or electrical services is such that they need to be designed and drawn alongside the technical drawings prepared for the building fabric, an m&e consultant may be appointed. Care must be taken to ensure that the specification is appropriate to the (domestic) commission. (20-40).
Quantity Surveyor – on projects where financial control is governed by a bank or if there is unusual complexity, a QS is required. (20-60).
Party Wall Surveyor – for legal agreements necessary when building close to neighbouring boundaries. (20-40).
Historic Building Consultant – often we produce appropriate supporting statements but it can be invaluable to engage with specialist heritage support in critical cases. (15-30).