Architectural Services

Our core business lies within the architectural sector of building surveying. Typically we are involved with a wide range of projects, from modest domestic extensions through to large new-build developments, with all work completed using the latest AutoCAD architectural software.


BDS has a proven track record of producing well designed and technically sound scheme drawings, and undertaking works monitoring to ensure schemes are properly realised. Our aim is to add value to your project in providing a total design service on a competitive basis with a personal and professional approach to cater for the individual requirements of each Client.


OK, What's Involved?

The following listing is a typical sequence of services, with a brief outline of each stage.


Design Brief Meeting

Regardless of the nature of the project, most prospective Clients have a good idea of what they want a project to provide, but need guidance as to the best way of achieving it. BDS offer a free of charge first site meeting without obligation to discuss the project in general. It enables Clients to meet us, and it allows us to assess the feasibility of the project, the site, and any influencing features. From this meeting, a bespoke quotation will be prepared for consideration.


Site Survey and Scheme Design

Following receipt of instructions, we visit to undertake a measured survey of the building or site as appropriate. We then produce a scheme design which satisfies the design brief and is considerate of the project budget, whilst being mindful of relevant Planning Policy guidelines and Building Regulations. The draft proposals are then forwarded to you, and through discussion evolved to an agreed scheme.


Planning Application

We submit a suitable planning application for the project, accompanied by a planning statement as necessary. Submissions are typically made on-line, and include liaison with the Councils planning team as necessary. BDS have a proven track record of successfully obtaining planning approval with all Authorities in the area.


Working Drawings

Following receipt of planning consent, the next step is to prepare a package of working drawings. These detail the 'nuts and bolts' of the construction, and are used to demonstrate Building Regulation compliance, obtain quotations and ultimately to construct the works. We recognise this is a key stage of the process, as an accurate and comprehensive set of working drawings can pay massive dividends at construction stage, by allowing the Contractor to achieve consistent and unhindered progress. We strive to provide this on every project, and many of our projects either from repeat Clients or recommendations are won on this basis. Services also include the preparation of structural calculations where necessary.


Building Regulation Approval

The completed package of working drawings and supporting information is submitted to the Local Authority for Building Regulations Approval. This service also includes any necessary liaison with the Building Control Staff to achieve approval.


Schedule of Works

In conjunction with the working drawings, a schedule of works is prepared. This document lists every operation required to undertake the works. As well as the construction items, the schedule will also contain your choice of finishes, fixtures and fittings, personalising the project to suit your specific requirements. A schedule of works is a vital document, as it ties down the level of service that the Contractor is expected to provide, and it accurately indicates the scope of work that is to be undertaken. Every paragraph in the schedule will be priced separately, giving transparency as to how the tender offers are compiled.


From the occasional dispute resolution services we provide to projects that have run into problems, many of the disputes arise due to a difference in opinion as to the scope of works. In the vast majority of instances, the problems could have been avoided if a schedule of works had been prepared.


Tendering/Contractor Appointment

The drawings and schedule of works combine to form a tender package. By either negotiating with a preferred contractor or using our list of contacts of contractors whom we have successfully worked with in the past, competitive tenders can be obtained. A tender return appraisal then provides a summary and comparison of the tender offers, allowing a contractor to be selected and contract documents to be drawn up.


Contract Administration/Works Monitoring

This final stage of the process is the rewarding part, where the labours of the design process are realised. Periodic site visits ensure that the works are undertaken in accordance with the drawings and to a suitable standard of workmanship, whilst administering the terms of the contract ensures appropriate progress and cost control. This phase is concluded with the coordination of the hand-over of the finished project to the Client, putting together the final account and monitoring the defects liability period.



This indicates the comprehensive service that can be provided ranging from the preparation of initial design proposals through to the handover of the finished project. However, you are free to tailor a package of services to suit your requirements. For example, the majority of our Developer Clients are well versed in the appointment and monitoring of Contractors, and therefore utilise our services up to and including the schedule of works stage and then proceed with the latter stages themselves. For private clients where the procedure of a construction project is perhaps unfamiliar to them, our assistance can be beneficial throughout the entire process.

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