Project Sequence


The length of time it takes from identifying a site to being handed the keys to your building has to deal with many variables. Your architect will produce a realistic programme of work for you which sets out key dates for when various stages will be reached. In a process which involves the legal system, the planning system and Building Control, revisions can sometimes be required.  However, the sequence is always largely the same.



Step 1 - Buying the land

Do research on the land and make sure you know details of the site you intend to buy. A Dualchas architect will be happy to look at this with you so that a variety of issues can be considered. Is there  When you're ready to proceed appoint a solicitor who will put in a conditional offer on your behalf. Once applicable consents and legalities are dealt with, the land is yours.


Step 2 - Developing the brief with your architect

Think about what you require in your design, and discuss this through with your architect. New ideas may emerge and existing ones may be dropped, and may involve your views on renewable technologies, rooms required and material choices. This will be done while looking at costs so that a realistic budget is set against the proposed works.


Step 3 - Appoint the consultant team and develop the sketch design

Your Dualchas architect will advise on the other consultants required for the project and when their input will be needed. Having early information on site topography and ground conditions will help inform design decisions which can reduce costs and assist in applications for statutory consents. The sketch design will explore how internal spaces relate to each other and the external appearance of the building in context. Structure and materials will also be considered and ideas explored through sketches and renderings.


Step 4- Apply for Detailed Planning Consent

Prior to submitting for planning, your Dualchas architect will discuss the design with the local planner to get his input and support for the proposal. This pre-application consultation can often be invaluable and save time and effort in the long run. Once the application is lodged it should take 8 weeks for a decision to be reached, although often it takes longer. Your architect will also deal with other agencies that may become involved.


Step 5 - Detailed Design

Detailed construction drawings for the submission to your local Building Control office for Building Warrant will be required. We will work closely with the engineer at this stage. It will also involve a lot of dialogue with the client on materials and fittings. Building Control wil look to establish that the design complies with all relevant aspects of Technical Standards - a building warrant will only be issued when this is demonstrated.


Step 6 - Finance in Place

Ensure that if you are intending to use a bridging loan or mortgage, that the one you have in place is suitable for the project ahead. Standard Contracts allow for builders to be paid monthly, so having a badly planned payment release schedule can cause unnecessary difficulties at a later date.


Step 7 - Appoint a Builder

The normal process is for your architect to put your house out to tender to  at least three reputable contractors, ideally NHBC registered. Your architect will ensure that you sign a contract with the builder who has returned the most suitable tender. The tender with the earlier completion date may be preferred to a cheaper price. Your  architect will ensure that both the builder and yourself understand the contract and it's obligations. The alternative to this is to have a negotiated tender with a reputable builder, which wil require the input of a Q.S.


Step 8 - Work on Site

This is the exciting part. With detailed drawings, professional guidance and a good builder, it should be an enjoyable process watching the building going up. The contractor will manage the build with the architect administering the contract between them and the employer. The architect's role includes inspecting the work on site, issuing Certificates of Progress Payment each month, and dealing with any variations to the contract. In the build itself, first there is the site clearance and the building of the substructure and drainage elements. Then the erection of the frame, roof and fitting of the glazing. Electrical and plumbing roughing work can then go on inside as the outer skin is completed externally. And when the finishes are in place and the kitchen fitted, the paintwork will bring the building to life.


Step 9 - Moving In

Once the house has been granted a Completion Certificate by the council and the Certificate of Practical Completion issued by your architect, the keys are handed over. A defects liability period will mean that the performance of the building is monitored, with money retained to deal with any defects which may become apparent. Only once all these are dealt with is the architect's Final Certificate issued and the the final retention released.



March 15, 2017

Dualchas seeking Architect in Glasgow

Dualchas Architects is looking for a talented architect for the Glasgow office.  Should have at least three years post qualification experience and be ARB registered.  Should be creative ...

November 02, 2016

New Dualchas house in Sleat completed

Ancala, a Dualchas-designed house near Armadale in Sleat, south Skye, has been completed. The three bedroom house has dramatic views over the Sound of Sleat to the hills of Knoydart, with t...