Your home is likely to be your most valuable asset and the process of designing and building may feel like a daunting prospect. We believe that architecture should not just be seen as a statutory requirement, but as an opportunity to maximise the potential of your investment and the enjoyment of your home. The below will give you an insight to how we work and the stages involved from start to finish. DLM are a RIBA Chartered Practice and we work to a bespoke version of the RIBA plan of work, amended to suit the Channel Islands. We offer a fixed fee for each stage of work, which provides total transparency, but also avoids unexpected extra costs, often associated with our industry. Each stage establishes clear deliverables and a fixed checkpoint, allowing our clients to tailor the scope of service required.
This is our introduction to the site and you as our potential client. An opportunity to understand the scope of works you are embarking on, but also your needs, how you live, and your daily routines. It's a time to establish your outline brief, your personal design tastes and your budget and timescales. From here we will produce a fee proposal to undertake a survey if required, and develop some design ideas based on the criteria identified.
Please give us a call, we're happy to meet with you and see how we can help.
Following our appointment, we will develop your brief in further detail. This is the beginning of our collaboration, an ongoing conversation between us so that we may produce and develop ideas that meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
We explore your site, producing analysis that informs the design proposals and ensures we fully maximise the potential. We are all different, our lives are different and therefore our requirements for our home are different. In turn, every client, every site and every proposal are different, so we carefully select how to present the information to help you understand exactly what we are proposing. This can be in a range of medium, from sketches, diagrams, plans, computer renders, video and physical models, whatever best explains how the building works and how it improves your experience.
Once you are happy with the direction we are progressing, and subject to relevant feedback from the planning department, we move forward to develop the design in more detail. This will include a full set of scaled plans, sections and elevations, plus any necessary visuals or models that will demonstrate the strongest case for planning submissions, and secure you the best permission for your project. We have a comprehensive understanding of the planning policies within the Island Development Plan, and produce detailed site analysis and reports that will ensure we meet the criteria for each proposal and maximise your chances of success. We are yet to settle on a refusal.
Following the approval of planning permission, you will also require an approved building license before you can begin construction works. To obtain this we will prepare detailed construction drawings and a written specification to meet the relevant building regulations as guided by the Guernsey Technical Standards. At this point the scheme will also require detailed coordination with a structural engineer and a independent submission to satisfy building regulations. We are happy to offer our recommendation for a suitable engineer and any other consultants that may be required, depending on the complexity of the project. This detailed package, as well as being a statutory requirement, also provides a further checkpoint to ensure your requirements are being met, and begins the process of refining specific detail and finishes.
Ahead of detailed pricing and construction, a further layer of information is applied over the building control package. This bridges the gap between how a proposal meets the regulations and how it is actually built. It is a package that communicates exactly what your detailed expectations are, how much your kitchen will cost, what window system we will use, how the lighting will function, what rate to allow for tiles. We produce a further series of tender drawings, including room elevations and specific details, plus what we refer to as a room book that breaks down all the various elements room by room. Looking at all the decisions required can be a daunting prospect, so this schedule allows you to focus on a single room at a time, but also allows you to easily reference where costs are apportioned.
Having established your preferred procurement route and selected a contractor, we work with you to negotiate the final scope, costs and construction duration associated with the works. We will draw up an appropriate contract between yourself and the contractor, and offer a full administration role until the conclusion of the building contract. In addition we will provide ongoing construction assistance with regular site visits and progress meetings, and assist the contractor with further information as and when required. This also includes guiding you through the more personal specification of joinery, kitchens, bathrooms and lighting, and offering assistance in alternative procurement of fixtures and fittings.