Professional Architects and Designers in Solihull Est. 1981

riba chartered architects practice in solihull

Our Process
Ensuring the perfect finish…

What is an Architect’s role?

Extending your home or building a new one may be a once-in-a-lifetime investment. A great design will add value to the property and enhance your daily lives.

Our friendly flexible professional team can be at your side throughout the process, to make the journey as stress-free as possible.

Established in 1981, Cross and Craig are Chartered Architects, so you can rest assured that we continually meet the professional quality standards set out by the RIBA. 

As a team, we care about you and your home. We offer a personal service and are committed to ensuring that the build process is enjoyable and rewarding for you as possible.

We do what we say we will do. We won’t charge for every design change. We are always on the end of a phone and will always return your call or email.

Brief and design

Accuracy & precision…

As part of the first visit, we organise for a surveyor to measure up the property, whilst we listen carefully to all your requirements and what you want to achieve from the project in terms of additional space, better use of the space, and architectural style.

We can then put together carefully considered ideas to meet your needs in a creative way. This generally takes a few weeks.

Many of our projects are in the Green Belt or Conservation Areas, or involve listed buildings, but our experienced team understand how the planning policies vary for each Council, and can maximise the potential of your property within the planning restrictions and guidelines.

When we have drawn up our design ideas, we will sit down with you to discuss them and the options available to you. Design is a collaborative process, so we will revise our designs based on your feedback as many times as required until you are satisfied they are exactly what you want.

Depending on the property, we may also require a planning consultant, tree survey or bat survey at this stage, but we can organise these for you, to take as much stress out of the process as we can.

Planning Permission

Making it happen…

Once you are completely happy with the design, we will prepare and submit the necessary Planning application, Certificate of Lawfulness application or Prior Approval notification for you.

Again, for those who look for “Architects near me,” we tend to work locally to our office in Dorridge, with the majority of our work being in Solihull, Warwick and Stratford boroughs. We are familiar with the differing requirements and processes for each of the local Councils.

The application requires 2D plans and elevations of the existing property and the proposed building work, and often a written supporting statement explaining why the proposals are justified. We can also arrange for 3D CGI images of the designs to be prepared if they are helpful for you or to sell the scheme to the planners.

Once we have submitted the application, we will monitor it throughout the process and liaise with the planners to get feedback. We will amend the designs if required to give you the best chance of approval. We do not charge extra for design changes and we will keep you informed of what is happening during the process.

Please bear in mind that the planning process is supposed to take 8 weeks but the local Council’s can sometimes take 12+ weeks in busier periods.

Building Regulations

Important requirements…

We then prepare detailed construction or ‘working’ drawings for submission to Building Control, ensuring that the design meets all the latest Building Regulations.

These are the detailed drawings that the builder will work from. We can start these drawings whilst the planning application is being determined if you wish.

We have a flexible consortium of consultants that we work with, all of whom have in-depth specialist knowledge. We can bring these professionals into the design team as required to meet the unique demands of each project. These include structural engineers, ecologists, party wall surveyors, energy consultants, drainage engineers or acoustic consultants. We can also introduce you to specialist suppliers for items such as solar panels or air source / ground source heat pumps. In this way you will have a full package of information for your builder.

Work can legally commence once you have received your planning permission, discharged any pre-commencement conditions and your Building Regulations application has been registered.

What happens next?

Making it happen…

At this point, you may have your own builder ready to start work.

However, if not, we can obtain competitive prices for you for the work from reliable established local contractors. We typically give the builders 3-4 weeks to quote.

In order to do this, our team can prepare a written schedule of work, listing every element of building work that should be included in the price, and specifying provisional sums and exclusions. At this stage, we can also prepare more drawings of specific construction details and electrical layouts.

Cross and Craig are Architects who can co-ordinate with interior designers, landscape architects and kitchen designers so that all the finishes work together and every aspect of the project can be priced up front.

When the tenders are received, it may be necessary to review the prices between us and make adjustments to the scope of work before a contract is agreed. This can sometimes mean changing the specification of a specific element, omitting non-essential work or breaking the project into phases.

Starting building

Keeping standards up…

Cross and Craig can be responsible for setting up and administering the contract between you and the builder.

As part of our role as contract administrators, we would visit site generally weekly or fortnightly, to check on the work and discuss any design changes that may be required as work proceeds.

This service may be to give you peace of mind that the work is being completed to a high level of quality. It is also often useful if you are working long hours and simply need to know someone else is available to liaise with the builders at all times. We would check the costs to any variations to the scope of works and certify monthly to ensure that you only pay the builder in arrears for work that has been completed, and you remain in control of the costs at all times.

Alternatively, you may require a more ad-hoc service where we visit site only at key milestones to check everything has been built as we expected, or help resolve any particularly issues that may have arisen. In this scenario, we would not have a contractual role, and would simply charge for our time on an hourly rate.


We’re not finished yet…

When the main contractor has left site, you may then wish to have the kitchen fitted, a patio laid or the decorating done yourself.

This can all be agreed up front, or these details can be decided as we go through the process.

Either way, as contract administrators, Cross and Craig would remain on hand after the main building work has finished for six or twelve months. After this period, the main contractor would come back to site to rectify any snags (minor flaws) before his final installment is paid.

solihull based architects

Get in touch today

We look forward to your call…

Call us to arrange a free no obligation consultation at your home, to chat over ideas for your property and how we can help.