Embarking on a new build or extension project at home? Here are the answers to our frequently asked questions.

Q: How long does a residential architecture project take?

A: The length of a building project is mainly based upon scale and complexity. Our team will work with you to establish an accurate scope, and develop a full understanding of what you will require. Only then will we be able to give an estimation as to the duration of your project – from legislative approvals right through to the completion of the build. We want to be as accurate as possible, so gathering all this information is crucial and much better than guessing based on the first initial conversation.

Q: How much will my project cost?

A: As you can imagine, all residential projects will vary in cost and are dependent on a whole host of factors, including size, materials, and complexity. We cannot stress how important a true scoping exercise is enough, as this will allow us to fully understand the requirements and transparently cost these up with you.

Our team can happily work within a pre-defined budget if required, and can advise if we believe new and exciting project is possible with this investment. Alternatively, we can develop a comprehensive costing proposal for you from the scoping session.

Regardless of which method you choose, the process of developing your project design and preparing an accurate cost will give you complete control as you move through the process. This will simultaneously provide peace of mind, ensuring that what you are undertaking is, in fact, achievable and will not incur any surprise costs.

Q: What do I need to do?

A: We would first ask that you meet with us to discuss your requirements and aspirations for your project – you can either come to our office in Granholm, Bridge of Don, or we are more than happy to come to you or meet somewhere nearby. Our team is so passionate about what we do, so we love meeting potential new clients face-to-face to get a real feel of the project you are about to undertake, and get to know you.

After learning about your project and highlighting the key stages within our process, we would then encourage you ask us as many questions as you can. This ensures you have a full understanding of what your project would entail if you selected Tinto as your partner. After all, we want you to be 100% happy with the journey you’re about to embark on!

Q: How do the fees work?

A: Our fees are calculated in three ways:

Time in line
Fixed fee
Percentage of the build

The method selected for each client is largely dependent on the level of service you want us to undertake, and what will ultimately be the most cost effective choice for you. For initial project stages, we typically use an hourly rate as this allows us to fully explore the best solution for you, allowing us to tie down a design and budget, before then moving to another fee method.

For smaller projects, a fixed fee works best. For larger more complex projects, a percentage fee allows us to work with the client to deal with continual changes and movements in their project scope. This means we are able to adapt and control of budget as we go.

For some pieces of work where the scope is relatively unclear and we are required to undertake a consultative role, we will generally charge on an hourly basis. This is most common when people have begun work without permission, and we need to get the relevant approval retrospectively.

We aim to be completely transparent with our costs throughout the entirety of all projects, and will work with you to find a solution that suits you.

Q: What are the key stages within a project?

A: There are typically eight stages in an architectural project in Scotland, however these can naturally vary from project to project. These most common steps include:

Preparing the design

  • Stage 1: Preparation of the brief
  • Stage 2: Initial design
  • Stage 3: Planning consent application
  • Stage 4: Building warrant application
  • Preparing to build
  • Stage 5: Construction documentation
  • Stage 6: Tender administration
  • Progressing the build
  • Stage 7: Contract administration
  • Stage 8: Post completion work

Q: Will there be any additional costs during my project?

A: In addition to the architectural cost of your project, sometimes there are costs over and above this. These will vary from project to project, but many people will incur necessary extra costs due to:

  • Engaging with a principal designer
  • Appointing a structural engineer
  • Local authority application costs

Sometimes people will often need to engage with other consultants, who will also have costs of their own. This can include:

  • Specialist surveys (e.g. tree surveys and ecological surveys)
  • Specialist land and building surveying
  • Mechanical and electrical design
  • Interior design
  • Landscape design

There may also be fees payable to the council for planning and building warrant applications, as well as cost of advertising, listed building consent and various others.

Therefore, the cost given by an architect, such as Tinto, may not be the entire cost of your project – you may have costs on top of this depending on the type of project you are undertaking. We will of course guide you on this, as we want you to be fully confident that your project is affordable and will be done correctly.

Q: What is a RIAS chartered practice?

A: A RIAS chartered practice is a practice governed by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. The aims of this organisation are to offer complete professionalism and peace of mind for clients through their registered architects and practices.