WHY ENGAGE AN ARCHITECT
Whether you are planning to build a new house, alter or extend your present home, employ a builder or just do it yourself, it makes sense to consult an Architect.
As Architects we can help you realise your ambitions and guide you through the design and construction process. We provide a service that extends well beyond producing a set of drawings. We can handle the paperwork, bring value for money, imagination and peace of mind to your project.
We provide a tailored solution to your needs in which you can be as involved in or separated from as you wish. We can oversee your project from design stage, through building regulations, tender and construction drawings and through to completion of your project, being your liaison with the building contractor.
Dependant on how involved you wish to become you can have us manage all or (should you be a self builder or find certain areas too complex), only the parts of the project that you do not wish to deal with. If you have any queries - call us.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST
As your project will be unique to you, our fees will vary depending on the size and complexity of your project and the services that you require.
Value for money
We are professional problem-solvers. Our experience and insight can help stretch what can be achieved within your budget and add value to your project. We can suggest new ways of utilising space and light, enrich the palette of materials, finishes or fittings, and propose design solutions that will reduce your overall running costs whilst maximising the energy efficiency of your home. At a fraction of the cost of your project, our fees will prove a sound investment.
We have three ways of charging for our fees, which are as follows,
A flat rate, we can do this once we have established the amount of work involved.
A percentage of the estimated overall project cost, this is for larger/ more complex projects.
As an hourly rate for very small projects, this is used where the complexity of the work does not correlate to the size of the project, and/ or the amount of work involved cannot be reasonably estimated at the start of the project
For most clients your home is your biggest single investment and our fees are small in comparison to the overall cost. When you reflect upon the cost of employing us and the value we can bring to your project, you will find that our fees by far outweigh the ‘so-called’ benefits of undertaking a project without the guidance of a professional architect.
The Domestic Project Process
We provide much more than just the drawings for your home. We can provide a tailored solution to meet your needs, which you can be as involved in, or separated from as much as you wish. If you choose to have a full service, we can take you through the entire project, to completion or work with you only on the services that you choose.
The Commercial Project Process
Good advice has its price but the cost of skimping on design quality is far higher. Design fees will usually constitute just a small fraction of the total construction cost and pale into insignificance when measured against the operating costs over the lifespan of a building. High quality design can reduce those operating costs by maximising the efficiency of the building. A building that has received the input of design professionals right from the start will result in greater value in the long term.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER COSTS
The work stages start from initial analysis, through design, construction and evaluation of your final project. Aside from our costs and the costs of the planning and building regulation applications there may be additional services required. For example, you may be required to submit additional reports to the council such as the following, should the council think that they are going to be affected by this on the site.
A. TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY
This shows the levels of the land on the proposed site, also picking up positions of trees, manholes and structures.
B. ARBORICULTURALIST REPORT
This will report on the general condition of the trees on site, remediation work required & how the trees would be affected by the proposal.
C. ECOLOGICAL SURVEYS
This is used to see how the proposals would impact certain species of interest, i.e. animals or other plant life. These considerations shall be made during the planning application stage - when considering the proposals.
Following Planning approval, you may have planning conditions imposed upon you which could require the reports above, or further details, plans, drawings, detailing the application to be to the approval of the Planning department.
D. STRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS
You may also need the services of a Structural Engineer. Building regulations will require often require structural drawings and calculations of the property, highlighting the changes and structural needs.
E. SAP CALCULATIONS
These are required - should you have a new build or have chosen to have a large expanse of glass in an extension. This is a framework for calculating the energy consumption of buildings.
F. QUANTITY SURVEYOR
Depending on the size of your project and what your requirements are, you may wish to appoint a Quantity Surveyor. Their job is to make accurate cost reports to you throughout the duration of your project in order to provide cost certainty.
G. PARTY WALL AGREEMENT
When you are building up to or making alterations to a party wall between you and your neighbour, we can request a party wall agreement from your neighbour, where they may require a party wall surveyor to make a document setting out the particulars of the work involved.
As part of our services, we can put you in touch with recommended professionals in the fields mentioned above, or organise the required information to be submitted to the relevant body on your behalf.
DO I REQUIRE PLANNING / BUILDING CONTROL PERMISSION?
Planning permission is required for building work so that the local Council can keep control over development in the area.
If you are a householder, you may be able to extend your home under permitted development rights without gaining planning permission. This varies by the type of house you have, your proximity to neighbours and the effect it may have on them. Using permitted development rights to extend your property does however limit the type of extension you can have.
Building Regulations plans approval is required to administer the Building standards - this covers the functional requirements of buildings to safeguard the health and safety of the people using them, energy conservation, access and convenience for people with disabilities.
Planning approval and Building regulation approval is usually valid for three years – both of which can be extended. We recommend that all approvals are obtained prior to work commencing at your property. You will find more detailed information on the above on your local Council’s website.
WHEN WILL LISTED BUILDING / CONSERVATION AREA CONSENT BE REQUIRED
Listed building & Conservation area consent is required for building work so that the local Council can again keep control over buildings of historic value, and maintain/control architectural characteristics of a particular development in the area.
If you live in a Listed Building any alterations that you wish to make require listed building consent.
Certain Conservation areas still maintain permitted development rights, should you choose to have a modest extension complying with these; however more restrictive conservation area permitted development rules may apply if you live in a conservation area.