Do I Need An Architect

When you decide to improve your home, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether or not you need an Architect. Getting a good design is critical to the success of your project, good project planning, as well as helping you get the relevant Local Authority Approvals.  A good Architect will easily save you the cost of their fees through the course of the project.
Here are a few points to consider.

Doing It Yourself

Many people believe that they can take lessons from the DIY articles on the internet, and do the necessary architectural drawings themselves.  It is certainly easy enough to buy the Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and come up with what seems to be a good DIY plan. And certainly, doing it yourself will certainly save you money at the early stages.
However, we have found that Applications for Planning Permission undertaken by Architects get validated quicker, and many builders offer more accurate prices for works with Architect’s drawings, rather than “I’ve done it myself” drawings

Applications for Planning Permission, Conservation Area Consent and Listed Buildings Consent

Planning Permission is needed for many projects, whether it is constructing a new house or office building from scratch, or reconstructing the same building.  The Planning system exists to stop us building ‘inappropriate’ buildings, wherever and however we like.
Here are some things to consider about preparing an Application for Planning Permission;
  • We complete around fifty submission a year, to a number of Authorities around the country.
  • Submitting an Application for Planning Permission can be done directly to the Local Authority, but the best practice is via the Planning Portal website.
  • The website, provided by the Government, allows you to sign up and submit an Application for Planning Permission for your chosen development using online forms.
  • We then liaise with the Authority to make sure they have everything they have to determine the Application.
  • The Application process can be quite complicated and, unless you have a good knowledge of the Planning system, professional help is usually worth the cost of Architect’s fees.

Advantages of using an Architect

We find that our Clients inevitably end up with a better “end product”.  Extensions are designed better, cost less, and are usually to a better quality.
As Architects, we are qualified and specifically trained in what we do.  By using us, you can take advantage of our experience, our knowledge, and our perspective view on best value design and construction decisions.
We will take the hassle of the Planning journey away from you – if you want!  We are used to dealing with the Planning Department, and look to work with them to achieve our Client’s expectations.
We also lead and support the design process.  The design process is usually split into two. Firstly, we will generate plans and elevations to meet your design brief, and support you through the Planning process.
Secondly, we will produce more detailed drawings, some of which may show construction details, and sometimes with a specification that enables builders to price for the works accurately.
In order to comply with Building Regulations, for example, you must show more complex information both in description and in the drawings, and we are quite accustomed to dealing with this.
If you require our further support, we can help you find the best builder.  If you don’t trust builders, or are busy or inexperienced, we will help you keep an informed eye on the builders, and ensure the project stays on track.
We are your expert eyes and ears, and our responsibility to you is to represent your interests with builders and Local Authorities.
We can also help keep the project within your budget. Although Architect’s fees can add about up to 15% to the cost of the project, we will save you the cost of our fees through the construction process.
We also carry a current and working knowledge of construction methodologies, the use of some of which, can give you direct cost and value benefit.

Remember, we can help you through the whole process.  Please do give us a call, or drop us a email.