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Frequently asked questions

  • Architects design, draw and envisage your ideas and aspirations. As a practice we believe in collaboration between client and designer. No matter what the project is, it is our job to advise, create solutions and portray ideas to both clients, the entire design team, builders and contractors. 

  • Architects ensure that your ideas and visions are represented onto paper. We look at building regulations from the earliest stage to make sure designs are compliant with legislation and most importantly, we are here to provide advice on any related matters and help you stay within your budget. 


    We also have a network of other consultants and builders that we work with and can we help manage the project for you.  

  • We would say its one of your first appointments when thinking about your project. The earlier the better! As a practice we often start with a free consultation to get a better understanding of your project requirements and then we move on through to the design stages should you appoint us.  


    It's important to remember that as soon as we are appointed, we are here to help and provide any advice you may need.  

    If its your first project or you have done projects before. Our aim is to make the process as enjoyable as possible.  

  • As soon as you have an idea. Every iteration, every design, every thought is put onto paper. It's easier to make changes on paper than on site!  


    We work in 2D, 3D and use VR Headsets to test everything we design. Through architectural drawings and 3D visualisation we can explore the site and building together. We see the site as a whole. It's about the experience, the approach, the journey.  


    Everything we produce is conveyed to the client. Even the VR! 

  • Your initial meeting will be held either at your home or in our office. At the initial meeting we will discuss your requirements, ideas, concepts and our experience in relation to them.  


    It's an important step, after all, you will be working with your Architect closely and we feel that open communication and collaboration is a key part of coming to the right solution.  

  • The right budget for the job depends on the scope of the project, the materials, labour requirements, VAT and many other factors. No matter the budget we always look to stick within them when producing designs.  


    We have good relationships with builders and cost consultants to help along the way too.  

  • Our design process is split into 2 stages. Stage 2 - Concept and Stage 3 - Developed Design.  


    Upon appointment we will often take a detailed brief of your exact requirements and discuss what is important to you. Following this, we produce a number of different options both in plan and 3D where we look at how spaces interact with each other, the journey within the building and how the proposal will look. We explore materials and design in depth at this stage. We then present all of the options to you during a face to face meeting.  


    Following our meeting, we will then work up a near final design based on everything we have discussed. We will then get you in for a final meeting to make any final design tweaks.  


    Once we reach a point where we are all happy with the design and layouts, we then submit the final scheme drawings for planning.  

  • This often comes down to project complexity, decision making time, local authorities and many other factors.  


    We will usually outline a timeframe during our initial meeting once we have more information about the project.  


    Every project is unique and there is never a one size fits all approach.  

  • Initially you may require a topographical or building survey, along with ecological surveys and reports. We will advise if we think these are needed.  


    Once we have worked up the design it is often a good idea to engage with a builder or contractor who may be able to provide some initial costings for the project. Cost consultants are also a good idea if you are keen to figure out your exact costs as early as possible.  


    Other team members such as Structural Engineers, MEP, SAP and others often come after the planning permission is granted.  


    The number of other consultants you will need is project dependant and we will discuss this during our initial meeting.  

  • Once we have produced the Technical Design, we enter into a tendering process with a number of builders or contractors to establish costs, relationships and timescales.  


    Once a builder has been picked and any relevant planning conditions have been discharged, the building work can start.  


    BCAE are happy to support during the build process and can be appointed to project manage should this be a requirement.  

  • Part of our service is to guide you through the planning process and deal with any planning requirements and planning queries during the decision period.  


    Our plans and designs are informed by both national and local planning guidance but as a practice we always look to go over and above to create high quality architecture which is fit for purpose, eye catching and positively adds to its surrounding area.  

Still not found an answer?

Simply send us an email, or give us a call and we'd be happy to help with your query.

contacts BCAE architects Preston

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