Muir Walker Pride Architecture Blog
How Long Does a Project Take?
The length of time spent on a project depends on its size, brief and location. The guidelines below are an estimate of a perfect project that has no unplanned circumstances. To give you a broad but very detailed idea, we will take an abstract 4-5 bedroom house as an example.
Key Architecture Design Timeline Considerations
1. We will need to come out to have a meeting on site first, to discuss your requirements. It is very likely that a measured survey of the existing site and building, if there is one, will need to be done. It will become the basis of the design proposals. Depending on our work schedule, we will do it usually within two-three weeks. It may take a month to prepare a sketch design.
Usually, a larger project will have more complex a brief and therefore the development of architectural drawings takes longer.
2. There will be also time that you will take to consider our proposals and come back to us with your comments, say you will take 1-2 weeks.
3. Following this, we will prepare and submit the planning application drawings to the Planning authority. This may take a couple of weeks.
4. The Planning Authority will usually take about 8 weeks to consider a Planning Application. So overall time, excluding any unplanned circumstances that may happen, it will take 16-18 weeks before you will have the Planning decision.
If your project is larger than average or located in the historic /conservation area for example, the Planning Authority will require a longer consultation period to make a decision.
5. On receipt of the Planning approval, we will be able to proceed to the next stage – Detail Design. Detail Design is a stage where time spent on gathering information and production of calculations, detailed drawings and latest building standards depends very much on the size and complexity of a project. Please note that this stage will most likely require a Structural Engineer’s involvement and the Engineer will take a few weeks to schedule and prepare their documents. Typically, it would take about 6-8 weeks to prepare Building Warrant package for a 4-5 bedroom house, including the consultants’ input.
6. We will then submit the package for statutory approval. The Building Control authority might take from 6 weeks to a few weeks more depending on your project’s complexity. So the base time could be 12-16 weeks for the Detail Design stage.
7. The next stage will be gathering product information – building products, finishes, fittings, materials. This information, together with detailed drawings will be used for production of Tender Documents. We allow 4 weeks for this. Please note that you may require services of a Quantity Surveyor at this stage, who will take a few weeks to prepare their document.
8. When the Tender Documents are ready, they will be issued to a few selected Contractors who will take 4-5 weeks to prepare a tender bid. Following the tender process, one Contractor will be finally selected. It will usually take further 4-5 weeks for the Contractor to mobilise the works and programme to start on site.
9. In our experience, construction works of a house of this nature will take 8-14 months to completion.
10. In conclusion, an ideal project of this kind will take time starting from 18 months, from when you first come to see your architect and when your project is complete on site. You will be a member of a project team during this time, making decisions and collaborating on a journey which your architect will help you on.