FAQ section – Architectural Service and Cost Queries
While the service we offer is bespoke to each client, we have included below answers to some of the more common questions we are asked.
The below list is not exhaustive and answers may vary according to the requirements and specific circumstances of your individual project. Please note that the following answers should only be used for the purpose of general information. Any specific questions you have should be discussed directly with an Architect or relevant professional before proceeding.
Please feel free to e-mail us via the contact us page if you have any further questions.
We have also created another section for: Planning and construction queries
It’s sometimes very difficult for many people to understand 2D technical drawings. To resolve this, DPS Architecture use advanced 3D generation software when we produce your drawings. Not all our competitors or other Architects do this, although we find that this allows for a better understanding of the spaces before their constructed and prevents any surprises or disappointments later in the project. A project Architect can bring an example of what this 3D software can produce and the types of drawings you can expect to receive to our first meeting. Proffesional BIM & 3D Modelling Service
Yes– we can produce high quality or photo realistic renders, together with flat colored photomontage images for planning, marketing or individual client use. We can also produce animations, although due to the time and cost of producing these, they are tailored more towards the corporate marketing, bid work sectors and large domestic clients. As an alternative, we offer a `white` 3D animation service. While not coloured photorealistic, the model gives the appearance of a white card model and is very effective at demonstrating spaces and is a reasonably priced solution for both presentations and smaller domestic clients. We would welcome the opportunity to show you our previous work and the process and costs in greater detail. Proffesional BIM & 3D Modelling Service
Professional architectural fees are negotiable, in this way you can shop around to compare fees for a more competitive rate. An aspect to bear in mind is if a company appears to be very cheap you may only get what you pay for, and potentially there may be hidden costs and additional items not included in the price. It’s worth requesting a `scope of services` and directly compare the quotations on the information that is being produced. It’s also worth asking if the design will be led by an Architect or technician.
As a rule of thumb, survey drawings or Planning submissions might be completed as a simple lump sum fee, whereas overseeing a project to completion is more likely to be linked as a percentage of the final cost of the project. Percentages for this overseeing and production of information can vary greatly. As a typical figure, percentage fees for new-build sit between 4% and 8% of the overall project cost, although this is dependent on the complexity and size of the work. We do offer a time charge solution if you are unsure about a project and just wish to investigate options, although this is more for `one off items` as you may get a better rate if you ask for a `lump sum price`. Please feel free to call and we can discuss your actual project and potential options.
In our `appointment letter` issued as `standard` once we know the extents of your projects requirements, we include details about your project, services we will provide, what drawings will be produced and the fee for each stage. It’s worth noting that while this document may contain a lot of information and seem very detailed, we use the format to make sure we are as transparent as possible with our services, and we will always work with you to offer you the best service at a reasonable price, that meets and achieves the requirements of your individual project and expectations.
We note any exclusions clearly in our `appointment letter`, although as a general rule disbursements / expenses incurred, substantial re-design work or 3D work that hasn’t been previously agreed within the `scope of services `are normally additional. Any additional rates such as mileage, printing costs and hourly rates respectively are clearly defined from the outset within the T&C`s attached to all `appointment letters` and `scope of service` documents issued by DPS Architecture. It’s worth noting that large excluded items, such as fees to accompany the Planning Application and Building Control submission, detailed topographical survey, drawings and fees for other consultants (such as engineers) will be directly payable by you the client to those bodies concerned and are not included in the architectural fee.
No– a structural engineer would need to be appointed separately and prepare any necessary calculations for submission to satisfy Building Control officer. While we don’t undertake the calculations `in-house`, we will aid you in choosing and engaging an appropriate engineer to reaching a final design. Once appointed we can liaise with the engineer directly to reach a solution that is appropriate for your project before incorporating any outcome into the final design.
There are a large number of online tools to give you estimate costs. While we don’t directly indorse any individual webpage or can be held responsible in any way for their use, one such webpage that may be useful for information purposes is available on the following website. Jewson`s build-cost calculator. or Build store construction calculator Note:–All the above figures are for information only and should not be used for accurate costing. To receive an accurate costing you should look at appointing a quantity surveyor once the drawings have been completed to at least planning standard. In this way DPS Architecture does not endorse the accuracy and cannot take responsibility for the figures derived from the use of the website above. Remember:–that the cost of the build will depend on the quality of the items you choose. As an example, the quality of finishes such as solid timber flooring can vary greatly, affecting the final build cost.
Although the implications of late changes could affect the construction process and/or design of the project, the implications increase greatly if the change comes after the building has started to be constructed or has received planning approval. As a preventative measure, we would ask that you give yourself ample time in the early stages of the design process. This time will allow you to develop a layout you are really happy with, allowing you the chance to reflect upon the drawings before you commit to us finalising the drawings for submission. Note:– It’s worth bearing in mind that any later changes can cost time and money and may impact construction deadlines, construction periods, or planning timeframes. Although it’s not all bad news,– as a practice DPS Architecture produces all our detailed drawings within a computerised software package. In this way, any amendments to the drawings can be undertaken quicker than the traditional hand drawn plans, and if we were to undertake these amendments on a time charge basis, this should represent a cost effective solution for you the client.
The use of the title `Architect` is protected by law and may only be used by registered persons, while the provision of a general 'architectural service' is less clearly defined and is not protected by law, this results in a 'architectural service' being provided by others such as technicians. While others may be able to offer a similar service, a professional Architect will have a code of conduct and be expected to: hold appropriate degree level qualifications, be ARB Registered as a statutory minimum, hold an appropriate level of Professional Indemnity Insurance and have an appropriate level of experience to undertake the project The purpose of the Architects register is to protect you the consumer, and ensure if you engage an architect that you can expect a level of professionalism and competence befitting the role. The ARB and RIBA websites offer further guidance on the benefits of using a registered architect.
DPS Architecture offer a free initial 1 hour consultation to establish the viability of your project, alternatively, we can always discuss you project generically over the telephone. While the initial consultation is free, the extent of advice given at this initial meeting will be limited, due to the project being at its very early stages. In this way it’s sometimes better to look at the first meeting as an introduction between our practice and you the client.