How to kick start your project

The Design Consultation is the starting point for all our projects with homeowners. A Design Consultation is an extended first visit to a new project which allows plenty of time for discussion, analysis of the existing property and the development of some initial sketch proposals. During the Design Consultation we will aim to refine your brief, honing in on the key aspects of your project and determining the best way to reach an optimum solution. Just as every home is different, no two Design Consultations will be exactly the same and each experience and outcome will vary depending on the particular circumstances of the project.

Defining the brief

One of the key and important outcomes of a Design Consultation is the creation of a brief for your project. The brief is the key working document which sets out the aims and objectives of the project alongside other important factors such as budget, planning issues and site constraints. In some cases homeowners have a very clear idea of what their brief is and the Design Consultation can assist in confirming the feasibility of their project through analysis of the existing property and the related constraints. In other cases homeowners may have one, two or three different ideas and need assistance in working through these to determine which option will achieve the optimum solution.

Initial sketches

Another key aspect of the Design Consultation is the development of some initial sketch layouts to test the ideas discussed. These could be done to assist in defining the brief or to begin to explore how a proposed layout will fit with the existing building. The image below shows an example of the type of sketch plan that is be produced during the course of a Design Consultation. It is hand drawn to scale and shows in plan form a possible layout for a proposed extension and how this relates to the existing house.

In some cases the sketch plans can be used to determine whether a proposal is feasible or not by using accurate measurements and scaled drawings to work through proposals.

The next steps

At the end of the Design Consultation you should be in a position where you have a clearly defined brief and at least one sketch layout which shows a 2D plan drawing of an initial proposal. These elements are the starting point for your project, they provide the basis on which to begin the development of the overall concept design, from which the rest of the project follows on. After the Design Consultation, Laura Gerada Architects will be able to provide you with a detailed, bespoke fee quotation for architectural services for the rest of your project.