about us | faq
Dacegrade is an Architectural Design Practice based in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire offering a comprehensive, integrated design and project management service.
Having served residential and commercial clients across the Northern Home Counties and North London for 45 years Dacegrade has an enviable track record and a long list of happy clients now living in great spaces designed and delivered by our team.
Our Design Team is headed up by Mick Baird. Mick is a Chartered Architectural Technologist and a member of the CIAT. Mick took over the running of Dacegrade when his father who founded the business retired. Mick is passionate about understanding what his clients need in order that his team can design them their perfect space. With a wealth of experience of finding solutions to design challenges, Mick and his team have delivered bespoke designs for Dacegrade clients, that meet the demands of modern living and working.
Our Project Management Team is headed up by Leo Scarborough. Leo is a Chartered Building Surveyor and member of the RICS. Leo has extensive Surveying and Project Management experience having worked for some of the county’s most reputable Building Surveying Teams. His team are dedicated to offering added value to our clients, minimising their risk and ensuring projects run on time and on budget.
Take a look at our portfolio to see a selection of the team’s inspiring architectural designs and details of projects managed by Dacegrade.
We believe offering an all-encompassing service providing innovative, yet practical spaces delivered with cost certainty and low risk to our clients, sets us apart from other Practices.
1. Where do you work?
Dacegrade Ltd is based in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire but we serve residential and commercial clients across the Northern Home Counties (including Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire) and North London.
2. How much do you charge?
Unlike a number of Architectural Practices that base their fees on a percentage of your projected build cost we work on a fixed fee basis. Charges are broken down and outlined in an initial proposal for every stage of your project so you know exactly what will be charged and when. We work this way to give our clients absolute cost certainty.
3. What are the services you offer?
Our comprehensive architectural design and project management services can be broken down into five stages as follows:
Initial Phase – Initial Scheme Design
Surveying the existing building or proposed site and developing initial layout ideas.
Second Phase – Planning Scheme Design
Developing the initial scheme and creating detailed planning drawings, submitting a planning application as required and monitoring the application on your behalf.
Third Phase – Working Scheme Design
Preparation of a detailed specification document and full Design and Build tender pack.
Fourth Phase – Tendering
Compiling an agreed list of contractors and issuing tender documents. Once the tenders have been returned we report o them and make recommendations. Once a contractor has been selected we will negotiate with them on your behalf and prepare full JCT contracts.
Fifth Phase – Project Management
Our comprehensive project management service involves weekly site visits, cost reporting and agreeing contractor valuations monthly, quality checking and regular updates regarding the progress of your build.
4. How long does it take to prepare the plans?
As a guide the initial phase from surveying the existing building or proposed site to create a working design takes approximately 4-6 weeks.
Once the scheme is agreed it takes a further 3-4 weeks to create detailed drawings for the planning application.
5. Do you have experience with dealing with local authorities?
We have considerable experience of working with the planning teams of numerous local authorities.
6. Will you submit the planning application on my behalf?
We will submit your planning application and liaise with the local authority planners on your behalf.
7. What if the council refuse planning? Will that affect the fee you charge?
When putting the scheme together we will give you a good indication of the level of risk in obtainingplanning permission. If the application is refused, we will submit a further attempt within our fixed fee with no additional charges.
8. What happens once planning is approved?
Once planning is approved you have two options:
- Take the plans to a builder of your choice to proceed with the project.
- Engage our services to the end of the project and we will prepare the construction drawings, manage the tender process and project manage the build.
9. How can I find a builder?
Dacegrade has an approved list of builders that understand the tender process we adopt. You are also welcome to suggest your own builders, that you wish to be considered in the tender process.
10. What happens once the quotes have been received?
The tender process exists to choose a builder and to get a ball park figure on the price of a project. We will scrutinise the tender returns on your behalf and report on the prices received. We will recommend a builder based on the findings – this is not always the cheapest but the one that represents the lowest risk, best value for money and greatest cost certainty. Once the contractor is chosen we bring them on board as part of the team and they work with us to give you the project you desire based on budget. Once a price is agreed and all parties are happy we will prepare and issue contracts.
11. Will you supervise the works?
Absolutely, yes, we build a delivery programme into the contract documents and monitor progress weekly. We undertake financial valuations to ensure you do not overpay for the works carried out at any stage.
12. Do you offer interior design services?
Our Design Team can ether give guidance on interior fit-out or working with trusted suppliers we can offer a full interior design service.