Process | Alston + Donnelly

Our Process

Every project is unique but the majority of projects will adhere to the following process. 

Brief and Surveys

The first step is to meet you, and see the site. We will develop a brief together and perform an analysis of the site conditions, conducting a full measured survey. This might include views, access, surrounding buildings and features such as trees and hedges. From here we will commision any other reports that may be required such as bat surveys or tree reports.  

Concept Design

Now that we have an accurate record of the existing site and features we can look at high level concepts to see how your brief may be met.  We will review things like planning policy, massing, scale and the desired aesthetic. From here we will be able to inform you if the design requires planning permission or whether we can utilise Permitted Development rights. 

Detailed Design

Following feedback from the concept designs we further develop the designs into a full drawing package and 3D Walkthrough. This is where the project really comes to life and you will be able to see and visualise how you would use the space. 


When we have the full drawing package ready we may submit a Pre-application to the Local Authority to gain feedback from the Planning Officer. 

We may decide to go straight to a full planning application. Once submitted there is a statutory timeframe for the LA to decide whether they will support the application. 

Building Regulations

Once we have achieved planning permission we will sit down with you and discuss the pros and cons of different construction types. This could be JUWO, masonry, timber frame etc. Once we have established a build methodolgy we will progress the darwings to a point where they can be submitted to Building Control as a ‘Full Plans’ Submission. There is a fee payable to Building Control at this stage. 

Working Drawings - The devil is in the detail!

Building regulation drawings will usually be sufficient for a competent contrcator to provide a budget estimate against. When it comes to construction however there are still unknowns. This stage is where we detail the building and finalise finishes and fixtures such as lighting layouts. 

This is the stage where we can help you obtain kitchen and bathroom designs. The project is really coming to life!


Now that we have a full and detailed set of information we can go out to formal tender  to obtain accurate construction costs. We may also compile a detailed schedule of works to complemenent the drawing package. When we have the detailed prices back we will be able to agree a contractor with you and arrange an appropriate building contract. 


Your project begins on site! We administer the Building Contract and attend site regulary, hosting site meetings at agreed intervals. The construction period will have been agreed and may be 6-9 months for small projects, up to 18 months on larger projects and occasionally even longer for very complex and ambitious builds. At the end of construction we have a handover meeting and issue a Practical Completions certificate. 

In use

You have now moved into your new home. Most contracts allow for a sum on money to be retained. This retention, usually up to 5% of the contract value will be held until the end of the defects liability period, which is usually between 6 and 12 months.
During this period the contractor will remedy anything that needs attentions, this could be minor things like plastering that has cracked due to normal movement. The retention monies will then be released.

We would love to hear from you and learn more about your project