Charlie Vine   Design Meeting

Further to being appointed and having carried out a site survey, an initial design meeting was scheduled to discuss designs for some side and rear extensions to a house in the Forest of Dean area. At this stage, we have developed a good background understanding of the project site and its surroundings and could now have meaningful discussions regarding the extension design.

We had a meeting with our clients to discuss in detail what they were looking to achieve with their development, and guide the clients through some of the initial design decisions that would need to be made. We often encourage meetings of this type, either at our offices, client’s home, or on site to get a feel for the project and development at an early stage.

In this particular instance, the project was faced with a number of difficulties in terms of future development of the property. This was for a variety of reasons.

The property is a two storey house that they are seeking to develop with side and rear extensions. However, the house is located close to neighbouring properties and so does not benefit from lots of natural light. The property is built on varying ground levels and is also in a Conservation area.

We gave clear architectural advice and some initial design sketches to help our clients achieve their requirements, whilst always offering the best value against their budget that we can. We also looked for innovative ways for overcoming the obstacles of insufficient natural light and differing ground levels.

During a standard design meeting of this type, our clients generally have a few questions and require guidance on topics such as:

Construction types and their advantages / disadvantages

      - Building design features, whilst considering Local & National planning policies
        and local design guides

      - Site restrictions and potential design solutions

      - Potential project budget and estimate figures

      - Planning application procedure, including local authority fees and application
        time-scales. Also exactly what information is needed to obtain local authority approvals

      - Designated areas or buildings, such as Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas or
        Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

      - Party Wall Agreements with adjoining property owners

      - Any other client project queries

After deliberation, discussion, checking their requirements / potential concerns and applying our design experience, we were able to agree on a design in principle that everybody was very happy with. This meeting was the real starting point for us to develop the design and produce documents in sufficient detail to submit a planning application.

Gareth Evans - May 2015