These may answer your
frequently asked questions
We generally designate one day per week for consultations. When this occurs is quite flexible and can be arranged when suits the clients on a first-come-first-served basis. Generally we try to meet clients between the hours of 9am and 5.30pm on weekdays. However if these times do not suit, alternative times can be arranged but may take longer to organise. You can contact us via phone or email to organise your consultation
This consultation involves sitting down with you as the client, listening to your requirements, wishes and what you hope to achieve from the project. We can then offer advice, possible solutions and may provide a quick sketch of our initial thoughts. We will also give advice on whether or not planning permission is required. If you are happy to go with us prior to consultation we can arrange to survey the dwelling at this visit also.
There is no obligation to go with us after the consultation. We charge a consultation fee starting at €130 for the Dublin region (€250 elsewhere) for a call-out only, to cover our costs. If you would like a few hand sketches of one design idea, the fee is €250 for the Dublin region and €350 elsewhere. However if you decide to go with us, this consultation fee will be deducted from your invoice at the end of the design stage.
After the consultation we will send you a fee proposal and scope of works based on our discussions. If you decide to proceed with us, we will coordinate a time that suits for us to gain access to survey the dwelling. Surveys generally take between one and two hours depending on the size of the dwelling. After this, we return to the office, draw up the survey and complete our initial design proposals based on your wish list as to what works in terms of achieving spaces required and maximising natural light.
The design process will generally take between two and five weeks depending on how quickly you respond with feedback to our design proposals. If the extension requires planning permission, allow a further three months. If no planning permission is required then the tendering process can commence once the design stage is complete. During this stage, a Quantity Surveyor will price up the project and send it out to select builders for tender. This will generally take three to four weeks and can be done during any required planning processes. Once a contractor has been agreed, work on exempt developments can begin straight away. For all other projects a commencement notice needs to be lodged before work begins on site, once full planning permission has been granted – the lead-in time for a commencement notice is a minimum of two weeks. Once work has begun, the construction stage generally takes between three and six months.
We can only give a very rough estimation of how much the project will cost based on similar sized projects we have completed. Once you are happy with the design we can send it to one of our Quantity Surveyors for an accurate costing. We can adjust the drawings accordingly if cutbacks need to be made in order to bring the project back within budget. This will help reduce the risk of going for planning or tender (in the case of exempt development) with a design you cannot afford.
A structural engineer is required to design and specify the structure for the dwelling from foundations to structural openings in walls to roof structure. We work closely with an engineer who can give you a quote for his services based on the drawings. Alternatively you are welcome to obtain your own engineering services.
Generally any projects that will last more than 30 days or have a particular risk involved will require a Health and Safety Consultant to prepare a preliminary health and safety plan. This is required by law to cover any accidents that may occur on site. We can advise on this but it is ultimately your responsibility to engage a Health and Safety Consultant.
We should be able to determine whether or not you need planning permission at the initial consultation.
If you plan to extend less then 40sqm to the rear of your dwelling, this can generally be done without obtaining planning permission. In other words it is exempt from planning.
This will generally take about 12 weeks from date of lodgement with the County Council. 5 weeks for the application to be validated and for any third parties to make observations, another 3 weeks for Planning Authority to make their decision and a further 4 weeks for third parties or yourselves to appeal the decision, before a final grant is provided.
Buildings regulations are in place to make sure all building works are carried out to certain standards in terms of energy consumption, heat retention, room sizes, ceiling heights, fire escape, ventilation, circulation, health and safety, disability access, etc.
You require certification that the works were carried out in accordance with the building regulations. This is certification is generally requested by lending institutions to release money and is also required if you wish to sell your property at any point in the future. We carry out on site inspections during the construction stage in order to sign off that works have been built in compliance with these regulations. We are a registered Chartered Architectural Technologist Practice and we are also registered with the Society of Charter Surveyors of Ireland (SCSI) as Building Surveyors, Joe Fallon is also a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers. The practice carries full Professional Indemnity insurance on all our work.