Pre-Planning for Residential Design Projects

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Starting a new residential construction project can be overwhelming, but Studio Arkell’s team of experts are here to help you plan every step of the way.

Our goal is to provide you with personalised guidance throughout the planning process. We’ll work with you to create a path forward that reflects your vision and goals, all while staying within the agreed-on budget and timescale. Our team will handle all the necessary details, including site surveying and blueprint creation, so you can concentrate on keeping the project going smoothly.

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Stages of Working With Us

The planning process for your project is typically divided into several distinct stages. Our team can provide support throughout every stage, from start to finish. Alternatively, we can be called in to assist with just one or two stages, depending on your requirements. We offer our expertise in design and management for all aspects of your property, including its exterior, interior, and landscaping.

Architectural and Landscape Design

Interior Design

  • Initial Consultation
  • Concept Design
  • Project Liaison Throughout Build

Each stage of work builds upon the previous one. For example:

  1. During the Concept Design stage, you may receive two or three different designs. You can then choose a variety of features from each to create a hybrid design.
  2. This agreed-upon iteration will then be included in the planning pack submitted during the Planning stage.
  3. Finally, the approved plans will be used to form the basis of Technical and Structural drawings to meet Building Regulation requirements.

Thanks to our step-by-step, clearly defined approach, you’ll have a complete understanding of what you can expect at each stage. This method outlines when the work will be delivered, how much that stage will cost, and when payment is required, so there’s no confusion about what will be delivered and when.

Fee Structure

Before the start of each stage, we’ll provide you with a fixed fee quote and contract. This document will clearly outline the work that we’ll deliver during that particular stage. The exception to this process is the initial one-hour design consultation, which is offered at no cost.

Learn More About Our Fees

Getting Started

Wondering how the process works in practice? Below, you can see how a typical residential project might progress from Initial Consultation to Concept Design.

Initial Consultation

During our complimentary Initial Consultation, we’ll discuss your ideas and outline your brief, budget, timeline, and other key details. This meeting is also a great opportunity to get to know each other and determine if we’re a good fit. We can also decide which stages of work you need our help with - for example, we can determine if you need planning assistance or if you require a Project Manager.

Quote and Contracts

Once you’re happy to go ahead, we’ll provide you with an accurate fixed fee quote. This document will outline precisely what we’ll deliver for the quoted price during each stage of work. We’ll also send you a contract for you to sign and return to us. This contract confirms your engagement of our services for the quoted stage of work. Upon signing the contract, 50% of the total quoted fee is payable. The remaining balance is payable upon our delivery of the quoted work to you.

Site Survey

Before we can begin the Concept Design stage, we’ll need to gain an in-depth awareness of the site’s vital statistics, including dimensions, floor levels, and aspects. To do this, two members of the Studio Arkell team will visit the site and spend several hours measuring and drawing. After returning to the office, we’ll use the survey notes to create scaled drawings of the site's existing layout and elevation. These drawings will serve as the foundation for designing the new plans in accordance with your brief.

Design Review

We’ll schedule a meeting with you to review the completed drawings. During this meeting, we’ll carefully evaluate the design options and discuss them with you thoroughly. Our priority is to make sure you’re satisfied with the final design iteration that will move forward to the Planning Stage.

Pre-Planning Application

For larger or more complex projects, it’s advisable to discuss the design proposals with the Planning Department before formally submitting the Planning Application. This can be done through the Pre-Planning process, which provides valuable insight into the Planner's views on the design and whether it’s likely to receive Planning Approval. By receiving this feedback, you can adjust the design as necessary without incurring the full cost of a Planning Application. Please note that any advice provided by the Planning Department during this stage is only advisory and does not constitute a Planning Notice.

Moving Onto the Planning Stage

Now that the pre-preparations are complete, we can move on to the next stage of the process: securing planning! Click below to learn more about the steps we take during this key stage.

Securing Planning


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