Design process

To get from a blank piece of paper to a stunning oak frame home is not always a trouble-free process. Here, we break down the main steps you need to go through to transform the way you live.

Initial meeting

Our architectural design team will assess your project and visit the site. We gather as much information as possible to suggest an approach. We provide a fixed fee quote and discuss your aspirations and budget with you.

Concept sketches

Our design team distils discussions into a sketch or diagram. These ideas reflect the fee quote and often lead to more conversations with you.

We produce elevations that indicate the external appearance and style of the proposals. The plans take your preferences into account as well as the surroundings. Specific planning issues, like ridge heights and overlooking constraints, can be incorporated at this stage.

Fee proposal

Once you accept our fee proposal, we provide a design contract detailing all the key aspects of our working relationship. We ask you to sign it and provide us with an initial payment before we proceed.

The design contract usually includes an agreed list of drawings. These will be submitted with a request for pre-planning advice or full planning application. We also provide more information on your brief.

When you confirm you are happy with all aspects of the design, we draw up a detailed 3D model for you.

We will be happy to send you a sample contract, if you would find it useful.

Design development

Our design team will prepare concept sketches and a brief, once you return the signed contract.

We can tweak the sketches as we go through the process with you. We show you an interactive 3D model to help you visualise the space. Our 3D models indicate the oak frame of internal and external elements. At this stage, we work with other members of our team to ensure the design works from every perspective.

Planning permission

Once you agree the design, we submit a drawing package to the local planning authority for advice or approval.

Permission takes a minimum of eight weeks. If necessary, we suggest different types of planning application for the best chance of success. We discuss this process with you.

Planning permission deals with the principle of development. This includes the building’s appearance, its use, scale, its impact on neighbours and whether it complies with any relevant plans and policies.

Detailed design

Next, we produce a building regulations package. Building regulations approval is separate from the planning permission process. It mainly focuses on the safety, durability and integrity of the build.

Our team develops the approved planning sketches into a set of detailed drawings for submission to the local council control department, or another approved inspector. The inspector reviews the drawings for compliance and issues approval.

Oak frame design

Once the relevant approvals have been granted our architectural team hand your project over to our frame design team.

The design is developed into detailed drawings ready for the manufacture of the oak frame and encapsulation system. The designers use sophisticated software to design every peg and stud, ready for production in our workshops.

All our teams are under one roof, so handovers from one department to another are as seamless as possible. This vastly simplifies the process, so it is much more efficient than it would otherwise be.

Full specification

A specification accompanies the working drawings. It defines prescribed materials and quality as well as the workmanship standards needed to construct your home.

A specification is particularly useful for tendering a building project. It ensures builders quote for the same products, the same standard of fit and finish and the same quality materials. This makes it much easier for you to make a fair comparison between different quotes.

We can supplement your building regulation and oak frame drawings with a full national building specification. This additional service features up-to-date construction materials, techniques and British standards. We will be happy to provide you with a quotation for this service.