Our sweet spot
We specialise in design-led architecture and house renovations for high-end, private homes and developments, primarily in London and the Home Counties. Having said that, we’re open to a discussion about projects further afield where it’s a good fit.
Our architectural design work is highly creative, technically sound and our planning applications have an exceptionally high approval rate.
We create meticulously detailed, technical drawing packages. This equips the builders with all of the details they require to get the construction and fit-out right first time. This avoids any ambiguity onsite, which is what often results in disputes, delays and additional costs.
Our role as Contract Administrator means that we manage the builder’s contract on your behalf. This involves:
- Tendering the building works
- Negotiating the builder’s contract
- Answering technical questions throughout the build
- Making payment profile recommendations based on progress
- Managing variations
- Inspecting on-site works at meetings with the builder.
Unique to the architecture marketplace, we also provide a complete, wrap-around project management service. This means that over and above a standard architect’s Contract Administration offering, we co-ordinate and manage the entire project on your behalf. This provides you with the following additional services:
- Creating, issuing and managing GANTT charts to keep all parties on track.
- Acting as the client interface for all third parties: builders, professional service providers and other suppliers.
- Planning deliveries and logistics for all bought-in products and services.
- Providing detailed budget tracking and reporting to you.
- Risk and issue management
- Regular progress reporting
Type of architectural projects
Our work typically falls into three buckets:
Home extensions with either one or more of the following:
- Basement conversion
- Rear extension
- Side return extension
- Two storey extension
- Loft conversion
- Barn or other outbuilding conversion
- Swimming pool
Remodeling properties – either with or without house extensions
- Residential clients: Structural alterations, space planning and interior architecture services. To optimise the internal floor plan of a property and improve its interiors.
- Developers: Helping with the masterplanning of sites. Creating the best space plans and lay-outs when converting existing buildings into apartments, houses or offices. Providing interior architecture services which include specifying and overseeing the fit-out.
- Architectural plans for new builds.
- Improving the space plans for developers that have architectural plans but need the internal floor plans optimised by a team that understands interiors as well as architecture.
Our interior design and project management teams work in parallel across all of these types of projects as we simultaneously source and specify all of the fixtures, fittings and materials required.
At the heart of every project we take on is a philosophy of creating a one-of-a-kind home for each and every client. Our clients choose to be different. They come to us for a unique, creative and yet highly functional home that matchestheir personal lifestyle and enhances their time at home.
We don’t just think about the outside when we produce architectural plans. We work backwards from how you want to live inside. It’s very important to marry your architecture with your interiors right at the start of your project, for the ultimate home. But it takes a practice like ours with both architecture and interior talent in-house, to pull this off successfully as one seamless team.
How we work
Ensoul follows the RIBA Plan of Work
In practice, this is how you can expect the architecture process to work:
We will take a brief about what you would broadly like to do and achieve, ask for some information about how you live and any others that live / are going to live in the property. We will tell you a bit about our capabilities, experience and process and determine whether in principle, we are a good fit for each other.
Assuming that we are a good fit, we will ask to meet with you / or your agent at the property, so that we can walk around, take photographs and establish our first thoughts about what is possible. This site visit, along with a more detailed brief will enable us to provide you with a quotation for our professional fees and a very rough cost estimate for your proposed project.
3.Ensoul fee quotation, terms & contract
Next, will provide you with a fixed fee for Ensoul’s provision of services, a copy of our terms and a contract to jointly execute with you.
4.Architectural design concepts
Once engaged, we will produce our first architectural design concepts to show the art of the possible. These will be presented along with somemood boards to show what your new architectural features will look likeboth inside and out.
5.Planning application submission (where required)
When we have a design that we are all happy with, we will then prepare all of the plans, elevations, design & access statements and full documentation that is required by your planning authority to submit a planning application. Depending on the works, this may also require some survey data e.g. geotech surveys and arboricultural reports for basement conversions.
6.Planning application processing
It generally takes 8 weeks from formal receipt of your application for the planning authority to give a decision. During this time they will be in touch to organise a site visit, take photographs and potentially ask questions. We will manage this process for you and negotiate on your behalf where required.
7.Detailed Technical drawing pack
Each technical package of drawings that we design is tailor-made to suit your needs. With some clients we start this programme of works whilst the planning application is in process. Where planning applications are perhaps deemed as contentious, we may suggest that we wait until we get the planning decision before embarking on this next stage, which includes the following outputs:
- Detailed architectural CAD layouts, sections and elevations.
- Bathroom elevations with setting out of tiling and sanitary ware.
- Kitchen outline plans.
- Lighting and electrical design and specifications.
- Heating/cooling and plumbing design and specification.
- AV, IP and security client requirements’ definition
- Specifications for finishes and architectural fittings such as flooring, tiling, wall coverings and fabrics.
- Colour and paint schemes.
- Our sister company By Ensoul will produce the technical drawing package for any bespoke joinery items such as: kitchen and utility rooms, wardrobes, TV and media units, storage cabinetry, built-in offices, libraries, bookcases etc.
8.Tendering to builders & making recommendations
We write a tender document, compile all the technical drawings, schedules and documentation required for builders to tender for works. This usually goes out to 2-3 of our trusted builders. Whilst the builders are putting together the pricing we answer queries, conduct site meetings with them and receive responses. We then provide you with our recommendation of who to appoint and provide you with an appropriate draft contract for signing with the selected builder.
9.Budgeting your complete project costs & approving with you
In addition to the builder’s costs, there will typically be four other bundles of costs that we will put together for you to get a complete view of your total project costs:
- Other professional services and survey providers e.g. party wall surveyors, drain surveys, geotech consultants, arboriculturalist, structural engineer.
- Fixtures, fittings and specialist equipment. For example: sanitary ware, floorings, tiles, wallpaper, light fittings etc.
- Bespoke joinery items such as wardrobes, storage cabinetry etc.
- Furniture, soft furnishings and accessories.
10.Building Regulation Compliance
We will prepare and submit all drawings and specifications required toensure compliance with current building regulations.
11.Work commences onsite
During the course of your works, we will act as the Contract Administrator, making sure that the builder’s works are on track, approving valuation payments, managing any variations required etc. Another key aspect of this role is answering onsite technical questions and helping to resolve any issues along the way.
12.Project Management, procurement & cost control
We place orders for all fixtures, fittings and equipment, manage the entire project with all of its third party suppliers and provide you with budget tracking and reports.
With our frequent site visits, we will ensure that your agreed plans are implemented properly and we will aim to pick up any issues along the journey. At the end of the builder’s programme, we will provide our detailed snagging eyes and provide lists to the builder to complete.
14.Completion of works
At the end of the works we will agree completion with you for the builder’s contract and if we are appointed as Project Managers also deal with any other specialist trades that may be working onsite e.g. AV specialists.
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Would be delighted to set up a meeting by appointment.