Joe Hurcombe  Planning home improvements: Contacting an architect

If you have not worked with an Architect it is hard to know what to expect. It is the start of collaboration and discussions that will continue throughout the project at every stage.

Planning Scheme Design – Extensions, loft conversions and home improvements

Once you have made contact with Apex Architecture regarding your project we will need to understand what you want and these are some of the questions we are likely to ask:

What do you want to build?

Firstly we will want to know the area you are in and the type of property you wish to improve, as different locations and Authorities have different Planning rules. We will then either visit you at the property or discuss the project with you over the phone to get an understanding of what you would like to achieve.

What are your space requirements? What improvements would you like to make?

More living space, open plan, garden room, extension, rebuild, loft extension, 2 storey extension, barn conversion or any other variation you can think of.

What is your budget?

It will help us if we know what your budget is early on so we can obtain the best value for your money and direct your finances accordingly so that you can achieve your most important goals. For instance, after discussion and our advice, you may decide to scale back on your initial ideas in order to ensure you have the funds for a top notch kitchen.

Is it more space you need or can you reconfigure what you have?

Improving the efficient use of the space you have can generate some interesting ideas. We have extensive experience of making the most of space and have the knowledge to help you work out what will work best.
It is important, right from the start, to know why you are making changes and how you wish to use the space, this will impact on the advice we will give. Apex Architecture want to make sure you have enough funds left for the finishing and the personal touches that really matter to you.

Is your property in a Conservation Area? Is your property listed?

This will have implications regarding what you will be permitted to do; usually Local Authorities are mostly concerned with the view from the street. If you are not sure we can advise on this and help you find out.

Will your project fall under permitted development rights?

If you are planning to build an extension you may not need planning permission, here is a link to help you find out.
We can also talk this though with you, as we keep abreast of all policy.

The next step

Apex Architecture offer a free consultation and will meet at your property or plot to discuss your ideas.

We will look at your requirements in more detail and help Identify factors that may affect the project. Budget and Context are the main things we look at and talk through with you. We will be able to give you some estimates on the overall cost of the project, based on cost per sq m, and will then be able to judge if you have any issues with your neighbours and surrounding areas that you will need to consider.

A fee Schedule for our services will then be worked out, based on our discussions, your ideas and our experience and a detailed quotation provided

Have a look at our blog post on fees:
Joe Hurcombe - March 2015