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Top Tips - Getting the most out of your first initial consultation...

Updated: May 18

This weeks blog focuses on getting the most out of your initial consultation with Architectural Service providers. We understand that starting a new project can be both exciting and daunting especially for clients who have never been through the process before.

Some providers may charge you for initial consultations and others are completely free of charge. At ICI Architecture Studio our first consultation is always free of charge and aims to provide impartial knowledge and expertise in order for you to have all of the facts in relation to your project in front of you to consider before planning your next step. Rest assured you are under no obligation to use any of our services. We use these sessions to allow you to learn from us and for us to learn from you in order to draw up a list of objectives and advise the best route possible for your project.


So how do I prepare or what to expect during the first initial consultation?

Step 1 - Project Objectives or list of Problems:

  • Draw up a list of objectives and develop a project brief of what you would like to achieve.

  • Not sure of the objectives or how to resolve the issues? Don’t worry draw up a list of problems that you don‘t currently like in your existing property this could be having to go through other rooms to reach a certain room, or the lighting could be really dark. A list of problems helps us as Architectural Service providers to understand the issues and helps us to finalise a project brief to meet your aims and objectives.




Step 2 - We will split the homework!

  • We will ask you for basic details such as the site location and will start to prepare our homework through reviewing the planning history of a site, reviewing planning policies in preparation for your meeting.

  • We may ask you to bring in a copy of your title deeds the reasons for this is so we can review any restrictive covenants imposed on a site or any information we may need to be aware of. Some clients have a full folder of the history of their property or building and others have a few sheets! Anything you have please bring it with you even if you think it may not be relevant.


Step 3 - Pictures paint a thousand words!

  • Pictures of environments you love help us to understand your styles and what you like and dislike. Whether it’s modern and contemporary to traditional and countryside retreat by providing pictures we learn more about your personality and your individual taste. Don’t worry if you like a certain style and your partner likes something different our talented team of experts will help to get the balance just right!


  • For creating your inspiration boards we would recommend Pinterest!





Step 4 - We are all ears!

  • Our job is to listen to your ideas and help to refine them into a project brief and help to put measures in place to achieve your overall project. During this process we may suggest alternative ideas that you may have not considered. As part of our values it is our duty to help guide you through the endless possibilities to achieve the perfect solution.





Step 5 -Planning the route ahead...

  • We will start to sketch ideas and start to make recommendations for the appropriate route for your project this could be utilising your permitted development rights, a house holder planning application or a full plans application. We will discuss with you how the planning process will work and what our next steps will be.



Step 6 - Money Talks

At ICI Architecture Studio we aim to be open and honest with our prices and with us you will never have a suprise bill!

During this stage we will talk you through the fees involved in your project and in some circumstances any additional taxes that maybe liable such as CILs.

Additional fees to bare in mind may include:

  • Local Authority Planning Application Fees

  • Structural Engineers Fees

  • Ecological Surveys and Fees

  • Building Regulations Application Fees

  • Diverting any existing drainage or services (Cadent Gas, Seven Trent Water)


Want to learn more about CILs? we have written a separate learning point on this topic.

Please Note:

ICI Architecture Studio is not regulated by the financial conduct authority and we are therefore unable to provide independent financial advice. For information and advice in relation to taxation and other financial matters please contact an independent financial or tax consultant to discuss this further.





Step 7- Question Time

Draw up a list of questions anything that comes to mind! We have clients where questions come into their minds at 3am in a morning! Jot them down and we will do our best to an them!


We hope you find this mini guide helpful for planning your first consultation with us but if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!


Our team members can be contacted in multiple ways!


Email: team@iciarchitecture.co.uk


Call: 01260 602 005


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