6. How about other consultants/specialists?
As a multi-disciplinary practice, we have in-house experts that cover the three key disciplines or architecture, planning and landscape design. Often this is enough for the project, however we also have an established network of contacts who can provide additional specialist advice and services as required. Obviously this depends on the particular project but may include:
• Structural Engineer: Most jobs involve foundation design and either new or alteration to existing structures, even if it is a simple beam design across a new opening. Costs will vary according to what is involved but we can identify these at the design stage.
• Cost Consultant: If the project is extremely complex we can arrange for the services of a Quantity Surveyor, however on even large domestic projects we would typically manage the tendering process and evaluation and also certify valuations on site ourselves, thereby saving an additional consultant fee.
• Mechanical and Electrical Engineer: Again, if the installation is very complex we can arrange for a specialist consultant, but typically we would provide desired electrical and lighting layout with our floor plans and the detailed cabling and plumbing design would be undertaken by a specialist subcontractor once on site. If, however, you require specialist lighting or video/audio systems, we can happily work alongside the supplier to incorporate this into the design.
• Interior Designer: We would design all hard surfaces (floors, walls, ceilings) and make suggestions for materials and finishes and colours as part of the overall concept design. If you required a detailed soft furnishings scheme and furniture we would probably suggest including a specialist interior designer, although we may work alongside them to ensure their work co-ordinates with the overall design.
• Kitchens, Bathrooms: We would typically design layouts for these elements. The selection of fixtures and fittings is however a personal choice and very often clients would take our layout to the showrooms to use as a basis for a selection of these components. We are very happy to work alongside specialist kitchen designers and can make recommendations to you.
• Party Wall Surveyors: This is discussed later in more detail and may be required on certain projects.
• Topographical Surveyors: If your site is empty and has changes in level or significant features or trees we may recommend a topographical survey be instructed to provide an accurate base drawing to work from.
• Ecologists: If your site contains possible endangered species planning consent may require surveys to be carried out for bats, newts, voles, etc.