The Communion Process

The journey to transform an idea into a building has five independent but interlinked Stages.
Click on the numbers below to find out more about each of them.

Stage Two: Verbalise

Designing the Finer Details & Agreeing the Price

Stage Two is exciting! By the end of this Stage, if you are happy with the level of investment involved, you will be in a position to start work on site.

Stage Two involves a detailed and rigorous process that establishes all the key details, from the depth of the foundations to the choice of roofing and everything in between.

It is a Stage that is very practical since we decide everything, right down to where the light switches go.

It is also sensual because we will help you define the touch and feel of your building by selecting final materials for walls, doors, floors, stairs and all the other items which you will soon live with every day.

By preparing all this information we remove the vast majority of the cost risk that a project can involve because it gives contractors the information they need to provide you with an accurate cost to build your project, all before any works start on site.

The Verbalise Journey

  • 1. Agreeing the objectives
  • 2. Design Meeting 1
  • 3. Appoint Specialists
  • 4. Agree Tender List
  • 5. Building Control Application
  • 6. Design Meeting 2
  • 7. Issue Tender Information
  • 8. Contractors Site visits
  • 9. Review Tender Returns
  • 10. Validation of Lowest Tender
  • 11. Design Meeting 3
  • 12. Value Engineering Exercise
  • 13. Select Preferred Contractor

“It was a very pleasant process – the attention to detail throughout was phenomenal. I was astonished when we were given a lever arch file full of drawings and details but I understood why when the quotes from the builders came back because it gave them something detailed to quote on. It was really good meeting the builders and being involved in choosing them. The price is important but so are the people – you don’t want the wrong people to be building your forever home.”

3D visualisation methods

We also offer the option of a detailed 3D digital model of your design. At this Stage, we develop the model at near 1:1 scale. We then project the model on site or, if that isn’t possible, at our offices, so you can see what your design will actually look like. We find that being able to bring the design to life like this allows everyone involved in the project to make design decisions with much greater confidence.

Materials Guide

This Stage involves a lot of design decisions, which can sometimes feel overwhelming. To help you navigate the choices available, we will give you a copy of our Materials Guide. It introduces you to some of the materials we have found to be useful in creating successful spaces and shows you how they have been combined into distinctive palettes on some of the projects we have worked on.

“We received two quotes, which were very close financially. We invited both firms to the property so we could meet them. Alex gave us the final choice, although he guided us with the pros and cons of each option. In the end we went for the slightly bigger firm who we felt would have easier access to more teams, more plumbers, more electricians and so on. I think we chose well because they were very good at communicating with us and Communion.”

Key Deliverables of Stage Two

  • Detailing the construction.
  • Agreeing the finishes for the project.
  • Appointing the specialists who will provide the expertise needed to bring your project to life. These will almost always include a Quantity Surveyor, a Structural Engineer and an Electrical Engineer. They may also include Heating Engineers, Acousticians, Audio-Visual Specialists, Data Specialists, Occupational Therapists, Interior Designers, Arboriculturists, Garden and Landscape Designers and others.
  • Working alongside specialist suppliers to provide integrated kitchen and bathroom designs.
  • Reviewing and confirming how you can deliver a project that uses the lowest amount of energy by considering building materials, heating and energy needs – including EV charging – energy sources and opportunities for on-site energy generation.
  • Gaining Building Regulation Approval to ensure your building will comply with all legal requirements and construction standards.
  • Compiling a comprehensive and robust specification that details every product used so it can be used as a Costing Schedule by tendering contractors to provide an individual price for every element of the building.
  • Reviewing tenders received and helping you to select a ‘preferred building contractor’ who will build your project.
  • Undertaking a value engineering exercise to optimise and, if possible, reduce the costs of your project further.
  • Developing the contract information for the building work to give you significant legal protection as your project is constructed.
  • Producing the Pre-Construction Health and Safety Documentation to discharge your legal duty under the CDM 2015 Regulations.

Resources for a successful build

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