At DMVF Architects we recognise that every project is different. We provide a wide range of services and expertise which can be tailored to suit the particular requirements and demands of each project.

DMVF Architects has specific knowledge banks in many areas including green design, conservation, build costs, project management, contract management, landscape & interior design.

The DMVF Free Consultation

To all new domestic customers, DMVF Architects is happy to offer a free consultation. At this consultation DMVF Architects will review your existing house or site and discuss with you and your family your hopes and plans for your home. We will also outline the likely implications that any proposals may have in terms of planning permission, building regulations, neighbours, time, build cost, running cost, the environment and project management to name a few. We will also look at the best design options for extending/renovating or building your new home.

DMVF Services

At DMVF Architects we are proud to provide a vast range of services which include everything from Snag lists to Energy advisory reports and to full architectural, planning and project managing services. Our services are tailored to suit the particular requirements and demands of each project. Please contact us for a fee proposal that will be tailored to suit your needs and to reflect the services you require. Please see below our standard design packs which may be modified and tailored to suit the specific requirements of your project.

DMVF Design Pack 1 (Feasibility Study)

The first design pack brings the project from feasibility stage through the initial sketch design process and is aimed at assessing the feasibility of singular or multiple design options. At the end of this stage the client should have a clear understanding of the options available and should be in a position to instruct the architect to proceed to further stages if required. The sketch design options are taken to the level of detail required to adequately describe the works.

A full survey of the existing buildings (if any) and site including all fittings and fixtures will be surveyed by our survey team, and then transferred into a digital format. A full set of existing drawings of all buildings and the site will be presented to the client. DMVF will then get started on the design process. This will be based upon the brief which will have been established in client meetings, site visits through regular telephone and email discussions. DMVF will then present the client with a number of options based on the site-specific conditions and the clients’ instructions. With each option the architect will provide information as to build cost, planning permission, building regulations and timescales.

Finalising the sketch design options and feasibility study can take a number of meetings, depending on the complexity of the job. It is likely that the one option will be focussed upon more than others as we move through the process. DMVF will provide the client with a design pack containing the options and scaled drawings after each meeting to analyse at home and provide us with the necessary feedback.

Design Pack 1 is complete when the client is confident of one design solution which is the most appropriate option. Design pack one may be helpful for clients who are unsure as to the best option for extending, renovating or refurbishing their building. This option allows the client to examine the relevant design solutions while limiting professional fees.

DMVF Design Pack 2 (Planning Permission)

The DMVF Design Pack 2 includes all of the services in Design Pack one and includes bringing the drawings and design up to the level of planning application. Not all projects will require planning permission (exempt development). In the case of exempt development the drawings and design are brought to same level of detail. Throughout design pack 2 DMVF will advise as to costs, planning considerations, environmental considerations and the on-going and evolving design. If a pre-planning consultation with the local authority is considered necessary or helpful, DMVF will present and manage the consultation process. DMVF will incorporate the statutory requirements of planning, health and safety regulations and building regulations as appropriate. If there is an existing building DMVF can undertake a BER (building energy rating) if required at this stage in order to inform the design and budget discussions.

DMVF will provide the client with a design pack containing the options and scaled drawings after each meeting to analyse at home and provide us with the necessary feedback.

DMVF will advise and prepare the documentation and drawings required to lodge the planning application. Occasionally other consultants may be required for specific and specialist services. DMVF will outline the necessity of any other consultants required at the outset of the project.

Design Pack 2 is complete when the client is confident with the design solution and the application for planning permission is ready for lodging with the local authority. If planning permission is not required Design pack 2 will be complete when the drawings are brought to a scale and level of detail which is equivalent to those required for a planning application.

Design pack two may be helpful for clients who are confident of the building process and wish to project manage their build on-site or who require retention planning permission. It may also be suitable for clients who want get planning approval but have no immediate intention to build.

DMVF Design Pack 3 (Detail Design and Tender Action)

The DMVF Design Pack 3 includes all of the services included in Design Packs 1&2. DMVF Design Pack 3 will bring the level of detail and drawings to a much higher scale and greater detail. The intention is to prepare a detailed set of construction or production drawings and written specification which will allow a builder to accurately price the works described. It is most important to include many small details including finishes, materials and construction details in order to obtain an accurate price for the works described. The written specification will include technical and quality specifications of the materials and finishes specified. Mechanical and electrical drawings and layouts will be provided at this stage also. Detailed kitchen, bathroom and landscaping layouts may also be prepared at this stage as relevant to the particular project. DMVF will advise as to the availability of any grants that the project may qualify for. The majority of our renovation, remodelling and extension projects qualify for some level of grant aid.

DMVF will incorporate the statutory requirements of planning, health & safety regulations and building regulations as appropriate at this stage. DMVF will further advise the client as to timescales, build cost, environmental considerations and construction considerations. At this stage DMVF will also advise as to likely insurance and contractual considerations under the standard forms of contract.

At DMVF we have a large panel of approved builders who we have used many times in the past. Should the client wish to use a builder who is not on the DMVF panel we will interview the proposed builder and visit completed projects of theirs in order to advise as to their suitability for inclusion on the tender list.

Typically the tender pack (forms of tender, drawings, specifications and technical data) is issued to between four and six contractors for pricing. The tender process is intended to get the most cost effective solution for the project. The invited tenderers will have a limited time (typically one month) to return their tender which will include a start date, completion date, cost for the works, breakdown of costs and a list of rates for valuing any extra works.

Design Pack 3 is complete when the client is confident with the design solution and the tender pack is ready for issuing to the agreed and approved list of contractors.

Design pack 3 may be suitable for clients who are confident of the building process and wish to get a detailed programme and specification for the works. It also allows the client to get extremely accurate costs for the works before committing or commencing construction.

DMVF Design Pack 4 (Construction and Certification)

The DMVF Design Pack 4 includes all of the services included in Design Packs 1, 2 & 3. Design pack 4 is the complete package of services from inception to completion and includes full project management services. The services included at this stage are varied and project specific, however please see an outline of standard services below.

DMVF will analyse the tender returns and advise the client how to proceed. The tender returns will include a breakdown of costs which will be used to analyse their returns. The contractors will be encouraged at this stage to submit any comments or queries. Feedback from contractors can be very helpful at this stage to cut costs and find efficiencies in the building process.

DMVF will draft and arrange the contract between the client and the contractor. The contract will have obligations for the client and the contractor and DMVF will advise the client of these, specifically in relation to insurances, costs and timescales. Typically the contract will include a damages clause which can be activated for certain delays to the contract.

Once works have started DMVF will visit and inspect the site as appropriate. This is typically weekly or fortnightly depending on the project type/stage. During inspections DMVF will analyse the progress and quality of the work and see that the contractor is fulfilling his obligations to the client. DMVF will modify the design as required/instructed by the client throughout this process. DMVF will issue valuations at regular intervals (usually monthly) for works that are satisfactorily complete to date. The contractor is paid in stages for works complete. These certificates can also be used for the client to draw down finance from their financial institution. DMVF will also report regularly to the client on costs.

DMVF will assist the client at all stages in the selection, sourcing and costing of all elements of the building, its fittings and fixtures. DMVF will also assist with interior and landscape design.

DMVF will be in regular contact with the client and the contractor throughout the construction process. DMVF will chair regular site meetings (usually weekly or fortnightly) with the client, contractor and other specialist suppliers and sub-contractors.

At the end of the building process DMVF will prepare a snag list and instruct the builder to rectify any snags or defects. Once the client takes possession of the building the defects liability period starts. The defect liability period is a safeguard built into the RIAI contract which allows the client to retain a percentage of the build cost for a set period (usually twelve months). This is an incentive for the contractor to return at the end of this period to rectify any defects. At the end of the defcts liability period DMVF will visit site and issue a final cert for payment. At this stage DMVF will also issue certificates stating that the building complies with the planning and building regulations. These certificates should be attached to the title of the property and are required should the building ever be sold.

Design Pack 4 is complete when the building or works are complete.

All of DMVF services and design packs will be modified to suit the specific requirements of each project or client’s needs. The packs above are intended as a guide to our services only.