Four steps to perfection

Between a rough idea and a fine building
lies a smooth process.
See it through in clean lines with Niche Design

Whatever the scale of your project – you should enjoy it and delight in the result. Niche Design is here to help you do that.

We’ve streamlined our process to make each stage straightforward and customer-friendly – with strong communication at all stages a key priority at Niche Design.

We can guide you all or part of the way. You choose how far along the road to your ideal property you want us to travel.

1. Getting to know you

First Meeting (free of charge) – you’ll be surprised how much value you get from our first, no-obligation meeting. We usually travel to you and, if it’s more convenient, we can meet in the evening.

While we’ll be asking you lots of questions to clarify what you want – you’ll get plenty of answers from us, too.

By the end of our initial meeting, you’ll know:

  • What can be done for your budget
  • Any likely regulatory or planning issues
  • How long the project will take
  • Examples of similar projects, if available

Within a week of our visit, you’ll receive a formal Fee Proposal setting out our fees, how we work and what you can expect from us.

2. Getting it right – the Feasibility Stage

If you’re happy with our Fee Proposal, we visit the property and carry out our Measured Survey. The measurements we take are used to create drawings that we will use to develop our Sketch Proposals.

If the project is a new build, we will visit the site and carry out a Site Survey (for large or complex sites we will use a survey company to do this).

At this point, you’ll also benefit from our employment of a Cost Estimator to give a detailed analysis of the cost of the proposed work. Niche Design is unusual in doing this – but we believe it’s worth investing in a more detailed breakdown at an early stage.

We’ll then have a second meeting, in which we confirm:

  • design
  • cost
  • timescale

3. Getting Permissions

Once we know you’re happy with everything so far, we can take your project to the next level.



You can place the whole process of getting Planning Permission in our capable hands. Niche Design has dealt with all relevant local authorities in the region. This knowledge proves invaluable when submitting  proposals. We don’t waste clients’ time by submitting proposals that will be rejected. These are the types of permissions that may apply:

  • Householder Planning Permission
  • Change of Use, such as for a Barn Conversion
  • Certificate of Lawful Development
  • Listed Building Consent

Estimated time allowed for Permissions:

Most domestic projects: 8 weeks
Large or major work: 13 weeks



This is the full set of Technical Drawings for your project and will take into account issues such as the performance of proposed materials.

Detailed Design underpins the success of any project and Niche Design is renowned for producing exceptionally good drawings.

These will be used for submission of Building Regulation Approval, to your Local Authority or an Approved Inspector.

We will also use the Detailed Design to put together a Package of Information to help builders and contractors give you an accurate price for the work.

Structural Engineer will also be brought in at this stage, to examine issues such as ground conditions and to develop the structural design.

4. Getting Built

If you choose to continue to use the expertise of Niche Design beyond the Detailed Design stage, this is how we could help. If required, we’ll take you all the way to completion.



Many of our clients request this service because it saves them a lot of time. Many building contractors comment that the high quality of service here makes a huge difference to the smooth running of their work.

We send out Tender Documents to a number of skilled and reputable contractors that we can recommend.  They receive from us a Schedule of Work, which is a detailed description of all aspects of the project, to be used in conjunction with the Detailed Design drawings and specification.

Once we have agreed on the right contractor, we will prepare a Building Contract for the appointment.



This is where we stay with you all the way through to completion. During construction, we make regular visits to the site to oversee the works and check they are progressing in accordance with the contract documents.  We oversee payments to the contractor and check all work is completed satisfactorily before issuing the relevant Final Certification.