Frequently asked questions
Im not sure if I need planning permission, can you help?
I most certainly can. There are number of projects you can carry out on your home that fall under the Permitted Development Rights. The Planning Portal is a great place to start. It is important to be aware that although you might not need to submit a build project for planning permission, you may need to submit for Listed Building consent if your home is a Designated Asset and for Building Regulation Approval.
Do I have to employ an Architect to work on my home renovation project?
Quite simply no, you do not have to employ an Architect and if your design is simple in it's nature then a qualified Architectural Technican would be more than suitable, and usually cheaper, to provide you with the drawings you need. However the benefits of employing an Architect are numerous. We extensively train in all areas of Architecture, from ensuring the brief is suitable for the site, through planning and it's associated complications, preparing construction drawings and meeting with contractors, right through to moving in. We are required to register with the Architect's Registration Board inorder to use the title 'Architect' which is in place to protect you, as members of the public, and requires us to stick by a strict Code of Conduct to ensure our services are fair, ethical and professional at all times. If you wish to have that extra layer of assurance then check to see whether your Architect is RIBA registered, which requires it's members to continously keep up to date with legislation and technologies.
Can you give me an idea of your fees before I ask you come to meet us?
I'm afraid I do not give fee proposals over the phone or email before seeing the site and meeting with you to go through your requirements. Each fee proposal is tailored to the individual project and although there are a number of Architects that will base their fees on a percentage of the build cost, usually 10-15%, I believe in making sure I offer a value for money service by not using this one shoe fits all method.
Can you help find builders etc?
Absolutely, having worked on the Isle of Wight, in Hampshire, West Sussex, Gloucestershire and the Channel Islands, I have a good contact base to find the right contractor for your project. I also have worked with a large number of suppliers of flooring, kitchens and finishes and can guide you in the right direction no matter the size of the project.
Can you tell us how much the work will cost?
I am often asked this question but the reality is until a form of design is realised then a estimate is difficult to do as there is a such a wide spectrum of construction and finishes that can change how much your build might cost. It is also worth noting that although I work with the budget side of projects from the beginning, it is not my profession and if the budget is a driving factor then I would suggest bringing on board a Quantity Surveyor as early as possible or speaking to a local builder.
Can you do structural engineering?
Simply, no. If you need building calculations for foundations, steels, roof designs or retaining structures then you must employ a Structural Engineer. I work with a number of very good Engineers so am more than happy to introduce you to the right person depending on your requirement and location.
We have never done this before, do you offer more than just a drawing package?
I certainly do. I understand that taking on a potential project can be exciting but extremely daunting and Im here to help you every step of the way, from explaining the symbols on your floor plans to helping you navigate your way through the complexities of planning and building regulations, in fact, you can just leave it all with me and enjoy the journey.