Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

MANCHESTER 0161 236 9761




"Grant has been working on several of our development schemes across the region and has provided very high quality layouts and images for the presentation of the sites we are promoting through the planning system. All projects have been delivered on time and within budget. We will continue to work with Grant on future projects."


Andrew Laing

Land & Planning Manager

Hollins Strategic Land



“What impressed me most about Grant Erskine Architects is the professionalism, knowledge, experience, unbeatable pricing and the communication throughout. I know their services are endless, but importantly they return calls, provide free initial advice and deliver what they agree to do. I would not hesitate in recommending them where the opportunity should arise.


Top qualities: Great Results, Good Value, On Time”


Joanne Nuttall

Owner, Breakey & Nuttall



“I would describe Grant Erskine Architects as extremely professional, but personable and approachable at the same time and as people who "think outside the box" and really go that extra step to delivery results with quality. In all honesty I would recommend them to anybody including friends and family and we are extremely happy about the project that they recently completed for our business.


Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, High Integrity


Mike Naughton

Diggle Nursery Owner



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 Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

Methodist Church to Nursery Conversion in Diggle, Oldham. Accomodation for children of all ages, as well as a multi-purpose space. more

 Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

This House Extension in Bramhall, Stockport compliments the traditional house, with glazing and retractable doors that take full advantage of the view and morning sun. more

 Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

A cost effective refit of a 4th floor office in an old mill in Bolton, providing a range of accommodation between 200 and 1000 square feet.. more


How does an Architect Think? ¦ Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

How does an Architect Think?













Three little words for you – “Plan of Work” or more accurately, “RIBA Plan of Work”.


This is generally how an Architect sees a project, or more importantly the process of a project. Interestingly, as we write this RIBA have released a new approach to the plan of work, which appears to be numbers from zero to seven as opposed to letters A to L, but in short they both mean the same thing.


You may be thinking “how does this apply to me?” The RIBA plan of work shows that there are four main stages in a project and if you are aware of these stages, you can use this information when appointing your Architect. More importantly you can decide whether you want full or part service.


Stage 1

Appraisal / Brief / Feasibility

Old RIBA Stages A-B / New RIBA Stages 0-1

Statutory Approvals – none


This is the initial part of the project, in essence, the part where we work ask “is it possible?”. Different size and type projects will mean that the amount of time spent here will vary, to the extent where a small house extension will only require a couple of hours, but a large commercial development could take several months.


Stage 2

Concept Design / Design Development / Planning Submission

Old RIBA Stages C-D / New RIBA Stages 2

Statutory Approvals – Planning (other additional may be required such as Listed Building)


The second stage of the project, where we have agreed with the client the direction the project will take and work up the designs to a point where they can be submitted to the local planning authority. There is what is expected as a “standard pack” which varies from project to project, but most include drawings such as plans, elevations, location plan etc. Other inclusions may be things like Design and Access Statement, Visual impact assessment etc


Stage 3

Technical Design / Tender / Building Regs

Old RIBA Stages E-H / New RIBA Stages 3-4

Statutory Approvals – Building Regulations Approval


The third stage of the project, this is where the whole scheme is pulled together and designed to meet the technical standards. Much of this stage will have been considered in the previous stages, but here it is formalized into a package of drawings for approval. At this stage we are most considered with elements such as structural integrity, environmental control, fire safety, comfort and inclusivity in use etc.


Stage 4

Construction / Work On site / Completion

Old RIBA Stages J-L / New RIBA Stages 5-7

Statutory Approvals – normally all achieved by this stage


The title of this stage explains it all. This is the construction stage. This is where we build, complete and occupy the project.


Handy Tip!

Whilst we always recommend appointing an Architect for all the stages of work, it’s not always necessary. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, you may decide to use your Architect to only design your project and submit for planning permission. The builder may then be able to proceed working under a “Building Notice”. This is a risk however, as you will be reliant on the builder delivering not only the quality, but also the actual project you want! (planning drawings are not that detailed).


See more of our advice and blogs here

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Grant Erskine Architects Limited. Registered in England and Wales. Registered Office, 3rd Floor, Suite 5, 61 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HZ


0161 236 9761