Project Design

Stages and Our Services

The process involved in bringing any serious building project to life is actually fairly complex and often catches people by surprise. Indeed we have had many clients approach us just to help them understand this process and how the various elements interlink with each other. Below we have laid out every step from initial consultation through to the administration of the building contract so you can have a clear idea of what is involved right from the start and of course we’re happy to help wherever needed. We undertake all types of alterations, extensions and restoration work as well as new builds and potential development projects, working with you throughout the whole process to ensure we deliver your vision to you.


  1. Initial Consultation

    We offer a 1 hour free consultation where our company director, accompanied with one of our architects where appropriate, will come and visit you on site to discuss your ideas. With his extensive construction knowledge he can discuss the feasibility of your project, give a rough ideas of costs and timescales and explain the process going forward to make your project a reality.

  2. Feasibility

    This is a preliminary study following on from the initial consultation to help you formulate your ideas and can give a better idea of budget costs etc. We can help you bounce ideas and prepare some simple drawings before moving the project to the more detailed design stage. Additionally our specialist planning consultant will ensure that potentially over ambitious projects are highlighted before committing any further. Some clients who have clear ideas are happy to commence from the survey stage.

  3. Survey

    The survey of the property involves the architects visiting the site to gain a greater understanding of the space and your requirements. The existing property is measured so that it can be transferred into our 3D software, ready to start designing.

    • A full measured survey of your existing property allows us to design your project with the best possible starting point.
    • Positions on important features may affect your design, such as drains, trees, hedgerows electrical equipment etc. Taking all these features into account at the design stage can significantly improve the progress of the build.
    • The survey will also look at neighbouring properties, where relevant, in terms of proximity, ridge heights and any over-looking issues, thus allowing for a more considered design.

  4. Design

    Our design team bring many years of construction experience to ensure that all our designs are architecturally pleasing while also being practical to construct.

    • We offer both traditional and contemporary designs.
    • Our design team will work with you to formally plan your requirements and produce a full set of drawings that will be used for planning.
    • Software used by our design team will produce 3D views of your project including very useful in-situ backgrounds.

  5. Presentation & Review

    After creating the design following your brief and requirements, our team will invite you into the office to have a look at some different variations of your project. Viewing your design in 3D to get a better understanding of how the space will work and what it will look like, will allow you to make alterations and adjustments resulting in a final design you are happy with. Our aim is to always create designs that exceed our clients’ expectations! Our architects, take all of your wishes into consideration and like to present a few different variations of designs, to show you the best potential for the space you have within budget. Once completed the plans will be yours regardless of whether you wish to continue with our services for the next stage.

  6. Planning Applications

    We can undertake on your behalf all the elements of your planning application including all the preparation work, design & access statements and submitting and liaising with the local authority. Our record of successful planning applications is second to none which is due not only to the quality of our designs and submissions but also to our comprehensive knowledge of the planning laws and regulations.

  7. Building Regulations/Control

    We are completely conversant with the current building regulations which ensures that we can cover all aspects of this often difficult, but entirely necessary, area of the construction process.

    • Developing planning drawings to incorporate all aspects of current Building Regulations.
    • Preparing full design specification and details to comply with all relevant Building Regulations.
    • Preparing the application and submitting to the local authority.
    • Liaison with Local Authority Officials where necessary.

  8. Structural Engineering

    It maybe necessary to prepare structural details and calculations for submission to building control as some projects will involve an element of structural engineering. We work closely with a number of local structural engineers who carry out the engineering design work for our projects and we will manage the gathering of the necessary information together with the inclusion of this in the submission documents. Our unrivalled building knowledge allows us to minimise the extent of the structural engineering during the design process to keep the project viable yet cost effective.

  9. Specification and Tendering

    This service is generally required for larger projects where the clients would like to put the building work out to tender. Our part in this process would be as follows:

    • The creation of the tender documents which would include a full written specification, form of tender, contract conditions and contract drawings
    • Selection of contractors for the tendering process
    • Issue of the tender documents to the contractors
    • Management of the tender process including answering contractors’ queries
    • Analysis of the tender returns – this is a really important part of the process as it ensures that each contractor has allowed for all the elements identified in the tender documents which then allows for an equal comparison between the returned prices
    • Recommendation of the most appropriate tender return

  10. Contract Administration

    We offer this service to clients who wish to let their construction projects under a form of contract which requires contract administration i.e. JCT Building Contracts. For this service we offer the following:-

    • Recommendation of the most suitable form of contract
    • Completion of the contract documents
    • Collation of the documentation required from the contractor
    • Calculation and agreement for the interim valuations to include retentions
    • Recording of extra works and issuing of administrator’s instructions
    • Calculation and issue of final payment certificate
    • Issue of certificate of practical completion of the works

If you would like help or advice with any stage of your project then please do get in touch and take advantage of our free 1 hour consultation.

Free 1 Hour Consultation

Get a free, no obligation, one hour consultation with one of our directors to discuss your project

We very often find the best way to discuss a client's potential project and offer what advice we can is to meet them personally.

Therefore, we offer a one hour consultation with one of our very experienced directors, totally free and no obligation.

Just give us a call to arrange a convenient time or fill in the short form and we'll get back in touch with you.

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'To create designs that exceed our clients expectations'

Paul FitzHenry,


Rachel Collins
ARB Registration Number 076823E

Architects - NDM Architects - Architects Registration Board


We cover all parts of East Devon and West Dorset

Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Seaton, Axminster, Lyme Regis, Bridport, West Hill, Honiton, Exmouth and More

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NDM Collins Architects
Office 1
The Grove
The Underfleet
EX12 2FU

01297 552622

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