Information for domestic clients

Project Stages

The project stages are based on the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. This follows standard work stages for projects and it is a good framework to track the progress of any project.

Stage 1: Preparation and Brief:

This is a stage to establish project considerations and obtain information about the site and/or property, such as measured and other surveys, photographs etc. This will allow designs to be prepared. It is also important to strike a balance between obtaining required information and the costs associated with it.

Stage 2a: Concept Design:

These will be our initial thoughts and designs for the project based on the brief and all the gathered information.

Stage 2b: Design Development:

Following the initial design, you may wish to develop the proposals further or explore alternative options; this would be included in the design development stage. This stage may be as extensive or minimal as you wish. Time spent ensuring the design is what you want is important and can avoid costly changes later on in the project.

This might also be a time to obtain a budget price from a contractor or appointing a Quantity Surveyor.

Stage 3: Developed Design:

At this stage, planning submission drawings and documents will be prepared based on the final agreed design and a planning application submitted.

Stage 4a: Technical Design:

This stage involves preparation of building regulations drawings and submission of a building regulations application. It also involves us liaising with other consultants to ensure the detailed design is comprehensive.

The level of technical detail will be adequate for obtaining a Building Regulations approval. Whilst the drawings will not include all items required for a project, they will be generally sufficient for a reasonably competent contractor to build to.

Please see the list below as an outline of possible further services that you may wish to consider. These are not mandatory but can be helpful tools for successful delivery of your project to completion.

Stage 4b: Client details and Interiors:

It could involve production of the following. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and/or you may only require some of these:

  • Electrical layouts
  • Lighting layouts and lighting design
  • Landscaping design
  • Kitchen design
  • Bathroom design
  • Design of other built-in fittings
  • Finishes schedules (external/internal finishes, floors, walls, tiling etc.)
  • Tiling layouts
  • Reversed ceiling plans
  • etc.

Stage 4c: Production Information:

These would include detailed drawings of specific areas of the build beyond building regulations drawings. The purpose is to provide additional details to aid the contractor during the construction.

Stage 4d: Tender and Pre-construction:

This stage generally includes:

  • Preparation of tendering packages and invitations of contractors
  • Following up and answering any subsequent queries
  • Evaluation of the prices received
  • Further negotiations with chosen contractor(s)

Stages 5 & 6: Construction and hand over:

Our services during the Construction and Handover stage would usually involve preparation and administration of a building contract, monitoring the building works, undertaking inspections and site visits, issuing Payment Certificates, Architect’s Instructions and Schedules of Defects. Following the completion, Final Account would be organised and further inspection(s) will follow once Defects Liability Period has expired.

Further Information:

The RIBA “A clients Guide to engaging an Architect 2013” gives further useful advice on standard stages of a project, indications of fees, and what you can expect from your architect; a paper copy of this can be purchased via the RIBA website (

Scroll to Top