FAQ | Alston + Donnelly

Services

We provide a full range of architectural services, from concept to completion. 

Of course. We offer services from feasibility, obtaining planning permissions, building regulations and contract administration. We also offer JUWO technical services within the North of England and Cleanroom Design and Build throughout the UK. 

Please refer to our process page for a detailed overview.

Every project is unique and as such we have no set fee structure, as every project will have different requirements. However we usually charge 5-7% of the construction budget, in line with RIBA recomendations. 

Just get in touch in any way you prefer. Either send us and email or pick up the phone for a chat. We will come and see you initally for a no fee, no obligation meeting to discuss your project. From there we will be able to give you a detailed proposal oulining all of the srvices which you will require. 

There are many different types of designers out there, all with different backgrounds, training and specialisms. We believe that you have to pick someone that you feel comfortable, but you also need to ensure that the person / company demonstartes the experience, knowledge and behaviours to deliver your projects. We are here to help and to guide. As a start we are:

A Chartered CIAT Practice

Chartered Architectural Technologists

Passivhaus Designers

BREEAM Associates

We carry Proffesional Indeminity, Product liability, Public Liability and Contractors Insurances. 

We have been trading for over 10 years. 

Planning

Certain types of projects do not require planning permission. Once we know what is required we will be able to advise. 

All projects are different. Some sites are more sensitive than others, some buildings are listed, some are in flood zones. Once we have an understanding of your site we will be better placed to advise you of the liklihood of obtaining planning permission. 

There are no guarantees in planning; What we cann say with certainty is that by following our methods you will stand the very best chance of achieving your vision. 

Probably! We have worked with many Local Authorities, but it doesnt matter if we dont. In our opinion it is an outdated perception that consultants need close realtionships with the planners. Planning teams come and go like any other employee. Our approach is to treat any planning offcier with respect and reply promptly and politely to any questions and queries that they may have. 

Again all projects are different but the statutory period is 8-12 weeks after the application is validated. It usually takes 2 weeks for a project to be validated. 

Building Regulations

The building regulations are detailed technical standards set down by the Government to make sure homes are built to reasonable standard and are safe, warm and dry. Most building work requires building regulations approval. 

October 2023 saw the introduction of the new Building Safety Act and duty holder requirements. One of the duty holders is ‘principle designer’. The outline function of which is to:

  • Co-operate and share information with the Building Safety Regulator
  • Ensure compliance with the Building Regulations
  • Comply with the specific regulatory requirements imposed upon them
  • Ensure they and the people they employ are competent do the work they are undertaking

This will depend on the project. We can engage and manage the consultants. Examples of other consultants are: 

  • Structural engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Electrical engineer

We offer a service in 2 parts. The first is to gain Building regulations approval. This provides an accurate and dimensioend set of General arrarnement darwings – plans. elevations and sections. This serves as an accurate way of obtaining firm pricing. The second is what we call ‘working drawings’ which is where we will create highly detailed 1:5 construction details that shows how various materials intersect and interact.

Construction

We work with several trusted contractors / builders who we can recommend and are also happy to work with new people. 

Yes, we can provide a full tender service where we invite an agreed panel of contractors to price the project. We can then review the pricing and appoint a contractor to deliver your project. 

Yes we can. On residential projects the contractor will be project managing the build, we would be administering the contract between you, the client, and the contractor, ensuring that the work progresses as per the agreed terms. We would also manage any variations to the contrcat, such as additions or revisions, right up to agreeing the final account. We usually run this service on a fixed monthly retainer which covers all works required. 

This is dependant on the type of build, the specification and the site features / constraints. As a residential estimate new build works could be between £2500 per m2 and £3500 per m2. 

Refurbishment projects would be cheaper. We can assist in gaining accurate quotations so that you always know what the costs are going to be. 

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