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We’ve Decided to Hire an Architect for Our Home. How Do We Get Started? Architectural Practice FAQ

A new client contacted us by email, to ask how much it costs for an initial call-out and consultation. They wanted to know what the outcome of the visit would be. This was our response.

Our process usually starts with an initial meeting at your house; when we spend a couple of hours with you, do some sketch designs and walk through the property. Most clients consider it to be great value for money.

The meeting serves a number of purposes:

  • It lets us get a sense of the project, and lets you explain your needs to a highly qualified professional.
  • It allows you to ask any questions you may have about the construction process and to talk through your own ideas for how the design might work.
  • Importantly, it’s also a chance to get to know each other; for you to get a sense of how we work and how we might work together over the course of the project.
  • We can nearly always show you examples of very similar projects, and explain what similar projects actually cost to build.
  • The likely budget is often foremost in clients’ minds; our design work allows them to see the value they will receive in terms of space, usability and improved aesthetics.
  • We show you design work from previous projects and this lets you see the type of approach we would use to find the solution for your needs.
  • It often takes about an hour to fully explain the process of designing a building, working with an architect, getting planning permission and managing a project through construction.

At the end of the meeting, you will typically have:

  1. A rough sketch of how an extension or internal renovation might be laid out.
  2. An assessment of whether or not the works discussed will require planning permission or other consents.
  3. An initial architect’s estimate of construction cost for your project.
  4. Answers to any questions you may have.

Overall, the initial meeting tells you if the project you have in mind is physically possible and financially viable, and what level of value you will receive from our services.

This costs €135 Ex VAT, in the Greater Dublin Area, and an additional travel charge will apply to meetings further afield.

Additional Feasibility Stage Services

The goal of the initial consultation is to quickly gauge the feasibility of the scheme, and it results in a lot of answers, rough sketches and ideas, but no drawings or hard documents. You may need more concrete proposals or more research to secure finance, or approach the local authority for planning or other purposes. For this reason, we have a number of additional follow- up services, developed in response to our clients’ typical needs.

 

Initial Consultation and Feasibility Stage Services for Domestic Extensions and Renovations

See full descriptions below.

  Description Price Ex. VAT
1 Initial consultation onsite within 30 minutes travel of our office €135
2 Optional Additional Fee for Desk Research and Meeting Preparation (2 Hrs) €80
3 Optional Follow- up Feasibility Presentation Package (3 Days) €870
4 Fee Proposal and Project Planning Meeting (2 Hours + travel) €120
5 Additional travel for meetings, charged per hour to the nearest half hour of journey time. (Shall be greed in advance) €40/ Hr.

 

1. Initial consultation Onsite or at Your Home

  • As described above.
  • For optimal value, complete our quotation request form in advance of the meeting
  • Price includes time for a roughly two-hour consultation, and time to travel to and from your location
  • For locations more than 30 minutes travel time from our office, we will agree an additional fee. Shall be priced per hour of travel time, taking into account likely traffic or public transport.

2. Additional Fee for Desk Research and Meeting Preparation

In order to help you get more from the consultation, we can spend a couple of hours in the office before the meeting reviewing official records relating to the site and building up a file. This means we will start the meeting with a much better understanding of the planning context. We can sometimes view drawings of similar houses, meaning we can also start sketching and working with design ideas as soon as our meeting starts.  

We recommend this for houses which do not conform to a standard speculative house type, or which have been modified very extensively.

  • Preliminary study of planning context and online records
  • Review of planning maps for the area to identify similar planning applications
  • Obtaining public records of drainage where relevant to design feasibility
  • Review of aerial photographs, historic photographs and other online sources
  • Viewing official maps for site boundary issues, and general context
  • Reviewing any public records of similar houses to create a scale sketch to form the basis of our design discussions.
  • Should you decide to proceed with DKAD for a full package of architectural services, the cost of this research shall be deducted from the cost of the planning research and site analysis tasks.

3. Follow- Up Feasibility Presentation Package

After our initial consultation, you will have a lot of answers, but sometimes you will need to share those answers with banks, valuers, family members or other professionals. We can prepare a feasibility presentation using the information from the initial consultation.

  • We use draft survey notes from initial consultation to create a draft quality BIM or SketchUp model of existing structure
  • 3D model of the design sketch or strategy which was created during the initial consultation
  • Illustrate main concepts in presentation standard images suitable for discussion with banks or estate agents if required.
  • Suitable for preplanning consultation with the local authority or initial consultation with quantity survey for more detailed pricing information
  • Drawings not suitable for detailed design, construction or planning application purposes due to very limited survey information and design development.
  • Includes a slightly more developed architect’s budget estimate.
  • Price is based on 3 days drafting by a registered architect

4. Fee Proposal and Project Planning Meeting

  • For clients who are seriously considering commencing a design process, and appointing DKAD for a full package of architectural services
  • Based on initial consultation, we will prepare a task list for your architectural needs and a fixed fee proposal based on standard day rates for all anticipated architectural services tasks.
  • Should you decide to proceed with our package of services, the cost of this meeting shall be deducted from the cost of the project setup and planning stage.
  • Includes a project planning discussion to define timelines for each stage of the process, based on current experience of procuring domestic renovations works in a busy market.
  • In this meeting we will also define the brief, as an important part of our contract for architectural services
  • We will describe the various options for architect’s contracts for services, including the RIAI contracts, and our own standard terms and conditions which we have developed over many years working with clients for domestic projects.

 

 

 

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