Steve has been involved with the building industry for over 35 years. We have compiled a list of the questions he gets asked most often by clients and prospects. These questions come from both returning clients and clients who are embarking on their first development project.
There are generally two types of plans that your Architect can supply you with. Both serve a specific purpose, and as such are priced differently. The first set of drawings are for planning purposes. These are the least costly drawings that you can commission, and as the name suggests, their purpose is to get you through the planning stage with your local council. These drawings will generally be insufficient to allow your construction partner to deliver an itemised quote for your project as the drawings will be extremely high level and be lacking in detail. Any quote requested that is supported by these drawings is likely to contain a large number of provisional cost [PC] items.
The second type of plans you can commission from your Architect are construction drawings. These are comprehensive fully detailed drawings that specify every aspect of your project, almost right down to the type of screws and nails that will be required for the project. These plans are more expensive because a large amount of work goes into them, however from a construction partner perspective they are absolutely perfect as nothing is being left to chance. It is easy (although time consuming) to manufacture a firm quote from these plans as every aspect has already been specified. From a construction perspective, they are also good news, because everything has been mapped out so planning for the build is relatively straightforward.
The price differential between the two looks large, however when it comes to the planning discussion, and then construction part of the process, everything becomes relatively plain sailing because the thinking and hard work creating solutions to problems has taken place before, rather than during, which keeps the project on track.
There are "middle options" where the main constuction work is fully specified, but fixtures, fittings, and finish material are not. Depending on what you are asking your construction partner to do, this could still be a successful solution, however the opportunity for difficulties and issues will remain relatively high, as an idea for a specific requirement for fixture, fitting, or feature may mean altering the build plans, or reversing some of the work already completed (and paid for).