Each project we undertake has a unique balance of requirements, with every new project enquiry we offer an on-site initial consultation where we can begin to understand your aims and ambitions for your project. We will then prepare a Service Proposal tailored to meet your specific requirements.
At Organic we believe in an "open book" approach so we base our pricing on an estimate of time spent, rather than a percentage of the build cost. Our Service proposals are broken down in to a series of easy to understand project stages with an overview of the work to be undertaken at each stage.
If you are thinking of a project and unsure where to start please get in touch and we will be happy to help.
We do offer some fixed price offerings for clients who want to explore the feasibility of their project with absolute certainty on the outlay.
Follow the links to find out what to expect from each stage of the process.
The key to a successful project is the communication between all involved, we like to arrange a visit to meet with you on site and have a conversation about what your goals are. With domestic projects we find that clients are more emotionally involved with the process and the outcomes, it's important for us to establish a rapport so we can fully understand how to help you solve your problems.
We will offer advice on every aspect of the project and answer any questions you may have, we will also discuss your style preferences and talk over any obvious potential technical or planning issues.
After meeting with you we will prepare a written briefing document which details our understanding of your requirements, we always ask for feedback and discussion on this as it's important that we design with your preferences in mind.
The briefing document will establish some basic information for the project; an initial budget, time scales, accommodation required etc - it is a constantly evolving document which will be adapted and tweaked as the project progresses.
At this stage we may also look to set up a private, shared pinterest board which will help us understand things you like and (sometimes more importantly) things you don't!
At the end of this stage we will issue a tailored Service Proposal for you which gives a step by step overview of the process and the fee associated with each, we will also highlight any additional consultant input which may be required at different stages of the project.
In this first design stage we will propose a number of design options to discuss with you (the number of options will depend on the type and complexity of the project but it would normally be between 2-5)
This stage of the project is where we can add most value to the project, we will explore and interrogate the brief to offer solutions which meet or exceed your requirements. Client input is crucial throughout this stage as we rely on honest feedback to develop proposals in line with your tastes and vision.
We work in a variety of ways at this stage, sketches, 3d models, physical models and drawings - which ever works best to help you visualise the project.
From this stage we will have a preferred option identified to take forward.
For some projects we recommend submitting an application for "Pre-Application Guidance" from your local authority. It can be particularly useful for contentious proposals or difficult sites. What you should get back from the Local Authority is a list of relevant planning policies, an overview of the planning history of the site, confirmation of additional consultant reports or consultations and, most importantly, an opinion from a local authority planning officer on the likely success of a planning application.
The pre-app process can be a very useful exercise for checking the feasibility of a project at an early stage before advancing too far.
We offer the option of a fixed price pre-application service which can be undertaken as a stand-alone service to give you some peace of mind from the outset.
Following feedback from both the planning authority and client, the preferred design option will be advanced and tweaked to suit. At this stage the design will be refined with external finishes, details, room sizes etc.
We can produce a 3d walk through or a cut through model of the design to allow you to put yourself into the building and understand the layout and volumes of the proposed building.
Planning approval represents a major milestone in any project, for home owners it is usually the main concern. We are well versed in preparing and administering planning applications with various local authorities throughout the UK, we also regularly prepare Listed Building Applications. For property and sites within special designations such as conservation areas, sites of special scientific interest, areas of panoramic quality etc. there may be a requirement for additional surveys or supporting statements, we can advise on what is required and recommend any consultants necessary.
We will coordinate all information required to form the Planning Application submission and then act as agent to respond to any queries from the local authority or statutory consultees.
The next stage of technical design is where add detail to the drawing set to show compliance with the current Technical Standards (Building Regs outside of Scotland). This stage of process sets out the wall construction, insulation, roof build ups, electrical and drainage layouts and all the accessibility and health and safety issues covered by the Technical Standards.
An engineer will design and specify the structure and below ground drainage and provide an SER certificate for the design. As part of the process it may be necessary to carry out some ground investigation to establish the bearing capacity of the ground.
An energy consultant can provide SAP calculations where required (usually new build houses) heating, insulation right down to the number of led light bulbs!
We have a network of specialists that we regularly work with in the delivery of projects, for all jobs we will tender works on your behalf and give you a selection of quotes to choose from. We are always happy to work with consultants known to you, so if you have an engineer or interior designer etc used on previous projects we can easily accommodate that.
Once all the information is coordinated a Building Warrant Application will be submitted to the local authority, where a verifier will check the drawings and confirm compliance with the regulations.
In Scotland it is a legal requirement to have an approved building warrant before undertaking work on site, the system in England and Wales is slightly different where you can submit a building notice to the local authority and begin works without this comfort. We believe that this stage is critical in the delivery of any project no matter of location, having the drawings detailed and passed by Building Standards allows clients to have absolute certainty that what is designed will be able to be signed off by a local authority and also lessens the potential for extra costs arising on site.
There are different routes to having a job priced by a contractor; for larger jobs where cost certainty is critical we would recommend using a Quantity Surveyor to work with us during the design process to give budget costs along the way, the QS would then produce a Bill of Quantities which to be priced by a number of selected contractors.
For smaller works, or where a QS is not involved, we will produce a Schedule of Works which details all of the work required to deliver the project, this document details the proposed form of contract, start and finish dates and has the specification of everything in the project right down to bathroom fixtures and fittings - a typical Schedule of Works for a small extension will run to 20+ pages.
To accompany the written documents we also provide a drawing package which builds on the technical details required by the Technical Standards and provides information on decoration, light fittings and any specialist items. The more information that can be issued as this stage, the more accurate the pricing returned is.
We would normally issue tender packages to three contractors, during the course of the tender period we always ask contractors to visit the site and meet the client, it's important that home owners are comfortable with the selected contractors when they are on site on a daily basis.
Once tenders are returned we check through each and prepare a report for the client which gives an over view of the returns. We will then meet with our clients to discuss the returns in more detail and select a preferred contractor. With most jobs there be a discussion between parties to agree any cost savings and get to a contract sum which everyone is happy with.
When a job goes on site we will act as contract administrator for the duration of the works, we arrange meetings with the contractor and client to keep track of progress, regularly attend site, produce payment certificates and track changes to the construction (and cost implications).
We are always on hand to answer any queries from the contractor and provide additional drawings to aid the construction.
We work with you right up until you get the keys to your new house or extension, there will be a rectification period set in the contract (generally known as snagging) we can help you prepare a list and discuss with the contractor how and when to address these items.
Then it's just down to you to enjoy your new house or extension!