The Process

The following is a quick guide on the design and statutory approvals process with Macaulay Miller Architecture.

1 – Initial Meeting

The first stage is to discuss your requirements. This can be over the phone, by zoom or at your home. This allows us to discuss and agree on a project brief. We will offer professional, honest and reliable advice on design options / limitations, budget constraints and a timescale for all approvals (planning and building warrant). We can then prepare a detailed fee proposal for your consideration. There is no obligation, its really just a chat with some professional advice and an all inclusive fee proposal with no hidden costs (submission fees, engineers, etc)

2 – Survey and Concept Design

On approval of the fee proposal, the next stage is a detailed survey of your property (or topographic survey of your site) which will then allow us to work up design proposals for your consideration. Typically, the design proposal will start off as fairly loose plans, then revise based on client comments until you are happy to proceed. We can then work up some visuals (Annick Lodge & Crossdykes are examples of our pre-planning visuals) with some further amendments if required.

3 – Planning Permission

Once the concept design is frozen, we then prepare and submit a Planning Application to your Local Authority. The planning package is essentially the concept design with further detailed information; site & location plan, materials, design statement, etc. This process typically takes from 6-12 weeks.

4 – Building Warrant

Once we are confident that planning will be achieved (this may take a revision or two depending on the local Authority, planner or project), we then prepare and submit a Building Warrant Application. This application would include a detailed set of drawings and specifications. Drawings and Design Certification (SER) from a Structural Engineer will also be included as part this application and your Local Authority assess the application to ensure it complies with the current Building Regulations. As with the Planning Permission application, there is generally some to and fro with the local authority before formal approval is granted. This process typically takes from 8-14 weeks.

5 – Tender Process

Once all permissions are achieved, you generally have 3 years from the point of approval to complete your project (this may be extended on application). The first step is to have contractors (we always advise on a minimum of two) provide quotes (also known as a tenders) to complete the work. We can recommend some excellent contractors we’ve worked with on previous projects.

6 – Work on Site

As a company, we do not typically offer project management services as it can significantly increase the overall budget and is rarely needed (dependent on size and complexity of design). We are however always available to discuss any technical issues with the contractor throughout the build regardless of the size of project.