PRF Design Service

Design Service

PRF Building Contractors work closely with a number of excellent independent architectural practices on both commercial and residential contracts throughout London and the South East. With our flexible approach we can work with your chosen architect, refer you to a good local architect, or contract directly with a first rate architect whom we can employ under a design and build contract.

As the project moves to detailed design, an architect is required to deal with the projects fine detail and develop a comprehensive job specification that is both technically in depth, concise and understood by both the contractor and the client.

So whether you’re looking for:

  • companies to tender for a brief prepared by an architect you have already employed,
  • a recommendation for a top quality architectural practice in your area,
  • contract on a design and build basis,
  • CAD technicians to prepare cost effective plans for internal remodeling, bathroom plans & minor works not involving planning permission, or
  • simple advice on how best to take the next step with your project,

PRF Building Contractors have the flexibility, contacts and knowledge to help you.

Architectural services can be split in to three separate phases as shown below. Our clients can choose whether they want the full architectural service through construction to project completion, or simply assistance up to completion of the first stage.

Proposals & planning, or through to the next phase.

Detailed design & tender process.

Fees vary according to the complexity of the project and can range from 10% up to 17% of the total value of the build contract. Fees usually ascend with residential new build projects at the lower end of the scale. Commonly, works to existing buildings (loft & basement conversions, extensions) are in the mid range of the fee scale, with complex commercial undertakings at the upper end of the fee scale.

  1. Proposals & Planning – approx 35%* of fee
  2. Detailed Design & Tender Process – approx 40%* of fee
  3. Construction & Contract Administration – approx 25%* of fee

Proposals & Planning

  1. Initial client meeting. Identifying client requirements and possible planning / technical constraints. Check all site dimensions.
  2. Prepare the strategic brief.
  3. Produce existing drawings & sketch proposals for client approval.
  4. Consultation with the local planning authority to avoid possible conflicts.
  5. Produce proposed layout drawings.
  6. Prepare paper work and submit to local planning authority for planning permission.
  7. Liaise with local planning authority as required to expedite the process.

Detailed Design & Tender Process

  1. Prepare party structure notices to be issued to the relevant adjoining owners. If neighbours dissent, a party wall surveyor** will be contracted to manage the process.
  2. Introduce a structural engineer** to prepare the relevant structural drawings and calculations.
  3. Prepare the detailed production information, including detailed drawings, interior finishes and a full build specification.
  4. Develop the schedule of works. This schedule is supplied to the builder during tender to ensure the scope of work is understood and prices are itemized.
  5. Prepare a building notice submission to the local authorities building control** department. Building control is a separate department to the planning authority which supervise works to ensure compliance with the relevant UK building regulations (fire safety, structural integrity, insulation standards etc)
  6. Provide sample boards showing the internal finishes e.g. floor tiles / wall coverings / lighting fittings etc.
  7. Manage the tender process.
  8. Prepare the building contract documents.
  9. Liaise with the planning supervisor** if applicable. On projects of a certain size a planning supervisor is required to ensure compliance with CDM (Health & Safety) regulations.

Construction & Contract Administration

  1. Conduct site visits as required during the course of the works to assist the builder with queries and inspect adherence to the specification.
  2. Conduct meetings at regular intervals with the client & contractor to review progress against the program, discuss any contract variations, valuations and any site issues that may arise.
  3. Issue minutes to the above meetings summarising the key action points and confirming the decisions made during the meeting.
  4. Approve contractors’ valuations and issue interim payment certificates. Ensure that prices submitted for any additional works are commensurate with said works. Issue the contractor such additional information, instructions and detailed drawings as may reasonably be required.
  5. Liaise with local authority building control inspector, structural engineer and planning supervisors as required.
  6. Issue a list of any necessary corrective works required prior to issuing a completion certificate.


*these percentages may vary

**Fees for the following are all at an additional cost to the architectural fees – local planning authority, building control department, structural engineer, party wall surveyor, planning supervisors & any other related profession fees.