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.