Here at DDC we have a team of experienced architects and designers who will help you achieve your desired outcome. From small residential extensions and house renovations to new build developments we are here to offer our professional services along the way. All designers and architects in DDC follow ARB’s professional code of conduct and the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) plan of work.
How it works – DDC Design Process
Step One – Project Brief
Once the client has contacted us, we arrange a meeting between him/her and one of our architects to discuss the project’s initial brief. If the works are related to an already existing building a site visit (free of charge) will be conducted. At the end of that stage the main project requirements are defined and a rough budget is agreed.
Tip: Being as specific as possible when meeting the architect is crucial. Every detail is important and can have a significant impact on the project. if you have any existing drawings of your house for example that can speed up the process. Agreeing a suitable timeframe with DDC since the beginning is important as we can dedicate the necessary resources to meet the deadline.
Step Two – Concept Design
During the concept stage a team of experienced designers and architects will conduct the necessary planning search and feasibility studies related to the project site. In this stage, the client will receive draft drawings made according to his /her requirements. Depending on the scale and the complexity of the project DDC can prepare a 3D model and photorealistic visualisations which will serve as a tool to help the client visualise better the future building. The aim is for the client to choose his/her preferred option so the architect can continue to develop the design further.
Tip: Every project is specific due to its location and construction type. The architect will research the potentials of the site and will develop design options which are meeting the council requirements and the project specifics. Pushing for bigger scale than allowed or design that is creating issues with the neighbouring properties is only going to slow down the process. Listen to the professionals and trust that they will deliver the best design for your project – that will save you time and money!
Step Three – Developed Design
For most projects a planning permission needs to be obtained before the construction process can start. Depending on the scale and complexity of the project a pre-application meeting with the council can help to see if the planning officers approve of the general design of the scheme. Here at DDC we can prepare all sets of drawings and documents necessary to submit a planning application which is the end of step 3. We shall produce plans sections elevations and prepare a detailed report where we will collate all the work and external surveys in order to present the project in the best light and obtain a planning permission.
Tip: For complex projects it’s always a good idea to have a discussion with the planning officers beforehand. They can express their concerns regarding the design of the project which will help the architect define the design better, having greater chance to obtain planning permission. Remember no architect can guarantee you a planning permission, all they can do is to provide you with the best presented drawings defending the idea behind the design.
Step 4 – Technical Design
Once planning application is submitted it will take from 8 to 12 weeks to get a decision from the local authorities. After getting a planning permission a team of experienced technicians will prepare a set of working drawings which will be used to obtain building control permission, tender work to external contractors and as a guide during the construction process.
Tip: Choosing the right contractor for the job is an important step of the process. Here at DDC we help our customers make the right choice and can provide our advice for the final decision. Don’t forget – not always the cheapest bid is the best bid! Chances are that if the difference is too big between two contractors, there is some issue that they have underestimated or haven’t thought about. Be sure to understand the given quotations fully before signing a contract, here at DDC we can always help you with that.
Step 5 – Construction
Health and safety and clean construction are priority at DDC – that is why before construction starts, we prepare a construction phase plan (or approve one) in which all measurements are in place in order to mitigate pollution and risk for the workers and the wider public.
During the construction period we will coordinate all the contractors and provide them with technical information in order to ensure high quality product. We pride ourselves with good project management skills and we deliver our projects promptly on time. Here at DDC we ensure that only qualified workers are on site and that they have all the certificates in place to do the job.
Tip: Always make sure that the contractors are financially stable before signing a contract. Proper insurance must be in place and all documents signed before any work can take place.
Stage 6 – Handover and Use
Once construction works are complete a practical completion certificate will be handed to the client, which will trigger the one-year rectification period. During that time DDC or any contractor involved in the construction works shall return and make good any defects which may appear on site. At DDC we pride ourselves with great work ethics and customer service.