Working with YSA

This is how we approach our projects to ensure you get the home that you want:

Preparing the brief
Whatever the project, reaching a shared understanding of what you want to achieve is essential. We’ll sit down together and talk through your reasons for undertaking the work and get a feel for how involved the project will be. We’ll discuss timeframes and budget and explore what constraints exist.

The key thing is for us to understand your motives for undertaking the work. Really listening to your needs enables us to respond with design solutions that address those needs – and ideas that you may not have considered.

The clearer you are about budget, the better we can plan a project that allows for contingencies. On several occasions we’ve been underbid only to have the client bring us in later to rescue the project – resulting in work done at greater expense and delay than our original – and realistic – estimate.

Developing the concept
Once we really understand what you want to achieve, the next step is to develop the design concept. This stage shouldn’t be rushed, as critical design decisions are made in this stage that will have consequences later. Too often, we see properties that would have been built differently if people had really thought things through.

This is the time to test options and challenge preconceived ideas until we arrive at the visual narrative – or “story” – your property is going to tell. The stronger the narrative, the better the project. It is much easier to make good decisions during construction if there is a strong underpinning narrative.

The concept stage is complete when there is shared excitement about the journey we’re embarking on together.

Securing approval
The next step is to submit the concept design for scrutiny from the outside world – including neighbours, planners, and local societies with a vested interest.

In preparation, we produce detailed drawings, carry out investigative work and commission surveys. Where there are planning issues involved we also review local planning decisions to see if there are precedents to take into account.

We have an excellent track record of obtaining planning permission for projects on difficult sites, areas of natural beauty and involving listed buildings. Our designs are sensitive to their environment, but where stakeholders raise legitimate concerns, we are able to modify the concept to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Preparing technical drawings
Before construction begins, we invest time in producing technical drawings that show how things will actually be constructed. There is a growing trend to skip this stage, relying on the contractor’s technical knowledge. This may save money on paper, but it can be a false economy – aside from leaving any further design decisions in the hands of the contractor.

Project costs often overrun when the work isn’t planned adequately. Building work is expensive. It’s always better to change something on paper before it has been constructed.

Carrying through to construction
We think it is important to maintain a connection with the site once work gets underway. YSA excels at this stage of the project.

We have long-term relationships with reputable contractors and suppliers and can “speak their language”. Visiting site regularly allows us to recognise and solve any problems that arise, and to make decisions that are true to the narrative.

Staying in touch
At YSA, we are with you from start to finish – and beyond. We’re happy to hear from you anytime – if there’s something you need to know, give us a call.