Commonly asked questions2019-06-16T18:45:39+00:00

Commonly asked questions

We want to clear up any doubts you might have, so why not have a look at what others have asked us in the past…

1. Why should I use an Architect?2018-07-12T16:01:46+00:00

When you use a Chartered Architect you are protected.  This is important as it means that our work has to be exercised to the standards established by the professional body.

Architects are uniquely qualified to design buildings and manage entire projects from conception to completion and this is exactly the level of service you’ll receive at inkdesign.  As a chartered architectural practice, we are obliged to uphold the reputation of the profession.  This integrity is at the core of all of our interactions, whether that’s with clients, or, indeed, when working with other consultants.  In addition, you can always be safe in the knowledge that your project will be protected under our Professional Indemnity Insurance.  

2. What’s a ‘design brief’?2018-07-12T15:38:18+00:00

A design brief is formed at the beginning of your project.  This will state the purpose and intention of the project, along with its schedule of accommodation, site and budget.  We will therefore create this ‘brief’ in consultation with you.

3. Do I need a contract with yourself/Other consultants?2018-07-12T15:46:33+00:00

In terms of our services, we will ask you to sign the RIAS document: ‘Scottish Condition of Appointment of an Architect’.  This is a detailed document that serves to benefit both parties; so that both have a clear understanding of timescales, financial commitments etc.  

In terms of other consultants, although we can recommend other specialists, you’ll contract with them separately.

4. Can you outline the main process from project conception to completion?2019-06-16T18:34:12+00:00

All projects, large or small, generally go through a similar process, as outlined in our services page.

5. How much will my project cost?2019-06-16T18:34:59+00:00

We understand that you’ll have budget for your project.  We will help you maximise the potential of this.  For more information visit Fees/Costs.

6. How do I know if I need planning consent, and how long will it take?2019-06-16T18:36:44+00:00

We will advise you on all the consents you may need (included listed building consent, conservation area consent etc).  We aim to help guide you on legislation, regulations and contractual obligations.   

In terms of timescales for planning consent, most projects will generally go through a statutory application period and this will take 8 weeks.  If, however, your application goes ‘to committee’, the length of time will be determined by the committee date.  This is more the norm for larger-scale applications, and could take around 3-4 months, but again actual timings depend on the project in question.

For more information on planning permissions, you can visit:

7. Do I need a building warrant and how long will it take to get one?2018-07-13T08:59:37+00:00

The vast majority of projects will require a building warrant.  Timings will depend on the scale of the works and whether it’s a domestic or commercial project etc.  We will advise you on average timings once we know more about your particular project.

8. How long do consents/warrants last for?2018-07-13T09:01:15+00:00

Planning permission is valid for 3 years from the date you receive consent.  With planning permission, significant work has to have started within these 3 years, however with a Building Warrant, work has to be completed within these 3 years, otherwise an extension will have to be applied for and paid for.

9. Other than yourself and us, who else is likely to be involved in our project?2018-07-13T09:23:27+00:00

Depending on your particular project, other consultants may include:

  • a structural engineer
  • a quantity surveyor, 
  • mechanical and electrical engineers
  • a building contractor 
  • energy consultants
  • land surveyors
  • additional consultants, depending on project requirements
10. Can you help us find a building contractor?2018-07-13T09:33:39+00:00

Over the years we’ve built-up strong relationships with building contractors so are happy to offer you advice when selecting the contractor for your project.  It’s essential to gets this right as the relationship between yourself, ourselves and the building contractor is an important one.

11. What are my health and safety obligations?2019-06-16T18:39:53+00:00

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015) place a duty on the client to make suitable arrangements for managing a project, principally making sure duty holders are appointed (i.e. a Principal Designer and a Principal Contractor).

The HSE provides guidance for domestic clients.


The CITB provides guidance for commercial clients.

12. What communication can I expect during my project2018-07-13T09:51:14+00:00

Communication is key.  We understand that you’ll want to be kept ‘in the loop’ with your project as it develops.  Key communication ‘points’ are during the initial brief, the final project brief (at the ‘design stage’), through to communication around the construction timetable (during the ‘technical stage’).  Finally, when your project is ‘on-site’ we can offer regular meetings and site inspections, subject to appointment.

We understand that communication is a 2-way process though and as such we also ask that you keep us informed along the way.

13. How do I get a completion certificate?2018-07-13T09:52:12+00:00

If you appoint us as administrator for the building contract, we will take care of this for you.  Otherwise, you’ll be obliged to apply for this yourself, on completion of the project and before the 3 year limit.  

Still need some advice?  We’ll gladly answer any other questions you have, so please do get in touch

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