FAQ’s / Questions we get asked frequently

What is a Chartered Architectural Technologists?

Chartered Architectural Technologists (MCIAT) are qualified to provide architectural design services and solutions. They are specialists in the science of architecture, building design and construction and form the link between concept and construction. They negotiate the construction project and manage the process from conception through to completion. Chartered Architectural Technologists can manage a project from inception through to completion.

Why use an architectural designer when I can go straight to a builder?

A builder does not have professional expertise to design unless they are an established design and build firm such as ourselves. The role of a professional architectural designer is to ensure you get the best possible design based on your budget and to steer you through complex planning and building regulations negotiations. By appointing a professional architectural designer you will actually save yourself time, money and unnecessary hassle. This will also ensure your project is delivered on time, on budget and to a very high standard.

Do you undertake small domestic & commercial projects?

Unless the proposed works to your home or commercial premises are substantial and the anticipated build cost will be in excess of £100,000 then we will not be able to assist with smaller sized projects. We will always individually assess the feasibility of each project before making a decision on whether we wish to be considered. If you are unsure about your intended project aspirations then please contact us.

Do you undertake projects outside of the Greater London area?

Yes we do. Given our expertise with sustainable building design, including Passivhaus design, we are constantly getting referrals by our clients and we are taking on work in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and other home counties. If you are looking to undertake a project then please contact us.

How much do you charge for your architectural fees?

Our fees are dependant on the location, size, complexity of a building project and if any specialised or bespoke design will be required. An existing or listed building requires more work with complex negotiations whereas a new building can be more straightforward depending on type, location and local planning regulations.

 

As a guide, for a large residential project, our current “Work Stage A” package which includes concept designs, initial project cost analysis, detailed planning drawings and full planning submission will be between £6,000 to £10,000 inclusive of VAT. Smaller sized residential projects will range from £3,000 to £5,000 inclusive of VAT.

 

Our full comprehensive design package which includes Work Stages A, B & C will be charged as a fixed percentage of the anticipated build cost and this will again depend on the scale, type and complexity of the building project but as a rough guide we would charge anything between 10% to 13%.

 

Our architectural design packages can be adopted in part (you pick and choose) or as a whole for complete peace of mind. For further details, including a range of other services we offer, please refer to our Services page. We will provide you with a complete and accurate breakdown of costs once we have met with you and our initial consultation is completely free!

How do I know if I require planning permission?

If your property or land resides in a conservation area then almost certainly you will require planning permission. If your existing property is classed as listed by English Heritage then you will require planning permission and listed building consent. In some instances, depending on existing local site conditions, you may be able to build under permitted development rights meaning you will not require planning permission.

 

The only way to be absolutely sure is to contact us to arrange a site meeting so that we can correctly assess your existing site conditions and we will then be be able to confirm if a planning application will be required.

How long does it take for you to submit a planning application?

From the time we are appointed it would usually take us roughly around 4 to 6 weeks to complete your approved design and submit a planning application for a standard project. This is dependant on the size and complexity of the proposed project, including specialist design requirements such as Passivhaus. A Passivhaus project requires many considerations at an early stage to ensure compliance and certification.

Is your track record good with obtaining planning permissions?

We have an excellent track record in securing planning permission for all our clients as we have in depth knowledge of the planning system in England and experienced in dealing with local planning authorities.

 

Please note that nothing is guaranteed when it comes to planning but by following some important ground rules and using our experience we can look at various options to ensure satisfactory compliance.

What are Building Regulations and why do I need them?

The Building Regulations are minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to virtually every building. They are developed by the Government and approved by Parliament.

 

The Building Regulations also contain a list of requirements that are designed to ensure minimum standards for health, safety, welfare, convenience, energy efficiency, sustainability and to prevent misuse, abuse or contamination of water supplies.

 

These regulations set national standards for building work, whether it be on a major new development or an extension or alterations to your home. They cover all aspects of construction, including foundations, damp-proofing, the overall stability of the building, insulation, ventilation, heating, fire protection and means of escape in case of fire. They also ensure that adequate facilities for people with disabilities are provided in certain types of building.

How long do all consents take before I can start building?

The standard consideration time for a planning application is 8 to 12 weeks depending on the impact of a scheme. Our technical drawings and specification will have sufficient information to satisfy Building Control requirements and the building inspector will carry out periodic site inspections during the course of the building works, therefore this will not cause any delays. If the project structurally impacts neighbouring party walls and your neighbours choose to decent to a party structure notice then you will need to allow for 8 weeks to negotiate the party wall awards before building works can commence. We are very experienced in scheduling this process for you as early as possible so that it does not cause major delays to the commencement of the building works.