Architectural Services

Design/Feasibility Consultation

House keys on a house plan blueprint concept for new house desig

Oswick Ltd have been designing and managing all types of construction work since the practice was established in 1966.  As building surveyors we are in a unique position to ensure functionality of design and construction is both feasible and within your budget. This process is initially started by undertaking a free onsite feasibility consultation, whereby we discuss your design requirements and construction needs, tailoring a fixed price quotation.

Designing structures holds a variety of constraints which we will make you aware of as part of the initial site visit. Examples include; planning, Building Regulation and/or environmental, the proximity of trees and drainage in relation to the proposed works. As designers, all we require is a basic brief and we will guide you through the process at the time of instruction.

Planning Applications

Oswick Ltd make Planning applications throughout East Anglia and Greater London in line with your requirements, government national policy and local policy. Applications are analysed by individual Planner Officers within a region. Planning is subjective, so not all applications are met favourably with individual local authorities. We recommend pre-application advice be undertaken with the Planning department prior to a sizeable application being made as this is often a more cost effective approach to gaining approval.

Listed Building Applications

Listed structures and buildings within a conservation area understandably have special merits, due to their intrinsic historical significance. We have been involved in an extensive range of structures since the constancy was established and have lovingly adapted buildings for modern day living, helping to preserve dilapidated structures for future generations. These works have been as simplistic as creating an opening within a structure to converting, or altering an existing structure for a new use. Oswick Ltd promote the use of breathable and natural materials to be used within listed, or historical structures.

Building Regulation Applications

Structures, alterations and extensions of a certain size, in relation to residential dwellings, require a Building Regulation approval, whether it be a Building Notice, or Full Plans Application. All commercial structures would require a full Building Regulation application, prior to commencement of the works.

Building Regulation plans comprise plan drawings detailed to show compliance with the various parts of the Building Regulations. These plans include the structural design and detailing in relation to new or existing structures. In line with the drawn plans, we produce construction notes. This is a detailed written specification which guides the builder through the construction process and allows the builder to accurately quote for the proposed works.

Permitted Development Rights

In England and Wales legislation is in place that provides applicants with certain rights to develop, erect and construct on land. These rights are understandably complex and have recently been modified to allow larger single storey extensions to the rear of dwelling houses. If the proposed works to your property fall within permitted development rights, a Planning application is not required, meaning as long as Building Regulation approval has been granted, works can commence in a timely fashion.

Where full Planning approval is not required, we would recommend that an application for a Lawfulness Development Certificate be made. The local authority will review the plans, confirm the proposed development falls within permitted development rights and issue a certificate accordingly.

Structural Alterations

Minor works, such as creating a new opening between rooms, would require Building Regulation approval and we are happy to advise on suitable standard steelwork to be installed to adequately support the existing load above. In the event that structural alterations are substantial, we would recommend a simple plan be drafted and structural calculations prepared by a recommended engineer. Please note, engineers’ fees would not be included in our fee and a quote will be obtained prior to appointment.

Tender Administration / Contract Administration

As members of the RICS and CIOB, we strongly recommend builders and clients let any works using a standard building contract. Our recommended suite of contracts is drafted by the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT). We can also advise on suitable forms of procurement, including Traditional lump sum contracts, Design & Build, or Management Contracting.

We are experienced in managing the tender process, issuing tender documentation, such as plans, specifications etc. to a list of recommended contractors. On receiving quotations, we would undertake a detailed tender analysis, advising on the most suitable quotation, based on cost, value and exclusions.

Once a suitable contractor has been selected, we have the expertise to provide project management of contract administration services, as detailed below:

  • Draft contract documents
  • Chair project meetings including pre-start, interim and handover
  • Value works and certify payment
  • Issue contract documentation including Instructions, Practical Completion and Final Certificates

 

Land Registry Plans

In 1996, the Land Registry required all land to be marked and given a Land Registry title, so any land which has been sold after this date requires a Title Plan with authentication by an RICS surveyor.

We are skilled in undertaking measured surveys of property, or land to produce accurate plans in accordance with the Land Registry’s specific requirements.  Documentation is then forwarded to a solicitor to make the official application and we can assist in advising on suitable firms.

Site Monitoring

If you are a client having works being undertaken to your property, or land, we have experience in acting as an Employers Agent.  This role involves ensuring that any works undertaken in accordance with the design/tendering documentation, are within budget and in accordance legislative requirements.

For remedial works in relation to an insurance claim, we are experienced in liaising with appointed Loss Adjustors.

Plan Plotting / Printing

We offer A4 to A0 black and white plan copying service and A2 to A0 plotting service whereby we can plot your plans from PDF DWG or DXF format for you to collect from our Halstead office or alternatively, at an additional cost, we can send them with an invoice to an address of your choosing. We can also scan A3 plans and create PDF documents which can be emailed to you. Please see prices below, which all include VAT:

Plotting

  • A0 – £4.00 per print (b/w)
  • A1 – £3.00 per print (b/w) – £6.00 (colour)
  • A2 – £2.00 per print (b/w) – £4.00 (colour)

Copying

  • A0 – £2.00 per copy (b/w)
  • A1 – £1.50 per copy (b/w)
  • A2 – £1.00 per copy (b/w)
  • A3 – £0.15 per copy (b/w)   - £0.60 (colour)
  • A4 – £0.10 per copy (b/w)   – £0.30 (colour)

Create PDF conversion from paper document A3 to A4 – 2p per page.