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Are we the right architect for you?

Answers to our most frequently asked questions to make sure you have all the information you need.

If you have a question that’s not listed below then please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

I’m concerned that employing an architect is expensive, why should I employ you?

Employing an architect can seem expensive but it is likely to be only a small percentage of your total project costs and the total value of your home or business premises. Building projects can also be extremely complex so employing an experienced professional to guide you through the process is invaluable.

With so much at stake, it pays to spend time planning your project to maximise the return on your investment. A good architect will pay dividends at this stage by adding value to the project and designing something which is tailor-made for you.

During the construction stage of the project, we can also help you select the right contractor for your project, help things run smoothly on site and monitor the quality of works so you can be confident you are getting what you paid for.

By working with an architect you also benefit from them being registered with the Architects Registration Board and the Royal Institute of British Architects. This guarantees the architect will have Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover themselves if anything goes wrong.

It gives you additional protections if you are unhappy with the level of service offered. And you also have the peace of mind that they are qualified to do the work. These aren’t things you can guarantee if you used an architectural designer or builder instead of an architect.

The RIBA has some more information on why you should use an architect here.

What makes you better than other architects?

We understand that undertaking a construction project is a significant investment and that it’s important to spend time properly preparing before work starts on site. That’s why we take plenty of time to fully understand your requirements and what makes your project unique. 

We’ll carefully consider your budget, time frame, brief and design preferences before we start to develop proposals. We then work closely with you to develop proposals which surpass your expectations.  We’re passionate about architecture. But we’re also passionate about getting the best possible outcome for all our clients.

A construction project can be daunting. Particularly as the majority of our clients will only work with an architect on a construction project once or twice in their lifetime.

We pride ourselves on our customer service and our ability to guide you through the construction process in plain English. We regularly and clearly communicate our progress, making sure you understand each stage of the process, including the implications of any decisions, before progressing to the next.

We also understand that costs, both professional fees and constriction costs, are an important consideration for all our clients. We are always upfront about our fees and the level of work that is included at each stage of the project so that you are never surprised about costs.

We also take great care with our clients’ budgets and aim to maximise the value for money of any design. This won’t mean pushing for the cheapest option, but the design and materials that give the best blend of performance, durability and aesthetics whilst fitting within your budget.

You’re more expensive than another architect, why should I choose you?

The first question to ask is if whether the other architect is providing a like for like service. If you also have a cheaper quote we can often be very close in cost to that quote if we price for identical services rather than our more extensive design service. We are always happy to review competing quotes to see if we are able to reduce our scope of services to match these.

However, when you’re investing such a large amount of money on a construction project is it worth reducing the level of service you receive for such a tiny saving of the overall project costs?

Whether it’s during the design or the construction stages our clients typically find that our experience and creative thinking will deliver savings in total project costs equivalent to any uplift in fees over our competitors.

Any saving would also be in addition to the peace of mind you will get from knowing your dream project is in the safe hands of the best possible people for the job.

Are you experienced enough for my project?

We’re an experienced team of architects that prides itself on offering the best service.

We have an excellent record at planning, having gained approval for numerous projects on tricky sites. This includes new dwellings on the green-belt using the stringent NPPF Paragraph 55, new build homes on complex back-land plots and challenging multi-unit residential schemes.

We also have a strong track record of delivering projects through to completion on site. We work closely with the chosen contractor to clearly communicate our design and resolve any issues so you can be confident your project will be finished to a high standard.

A number of our projects have also been self-built by our clients so we’re very experienced in guiding you through the construction process if you choose to follow this rewarding path.

Will you be able to obtain planning permission for my project?

We are experts at gaining planning permission on tricky sites and have an excellent track record to back this up.  Before we even start to develop our design we will spend time crafting a planning strategy, often in conjunction with a planning specialist, to maximise our chances of success.

This typically involves using our experience to frame our arguments in a way which appeals to the planners and responds to specific planning policies.

Once we have decided on the best strategy we develop a design that fits the unique character of the site and surrounding area, and most importantly your brief. 

We usually find the planners are more responsive to well-crafted designs that are heavily influenced by their surroundings than the more generic designs offered by our competitors.

Whilst the design is an important part of the process we find that our tried and tested experience plus our ability to collaborate with a planning consultant gives us the best chance of planning success on a tricky site.

Do you have experience working with my local planning department?

We are experts at designing schemes for tricky sites that meet the requirements of planning departments across the country. We work hard to gain successful outcomes for our clients no matter where a project is located.

We build good relationships with those planning authorities we work with regularly but often find we achieve our best results when we haven’t worked with them before. Approaching a site/local authority with fresh eyes allows us to develop a compliant design that is unique to you; one which isn’t just a tick box exercise we know will appease a particular planning department.

It can also be beneficial to start planning negotiations with a clean slate, one which hasn’t been tarnished by previous planning negotiations.

Whether we have worked with a local authority before or not, we find that appointing a planning consultant provides our clients with the best value for money when it comes to tricky sites.

Planning consultants speak the same language as the planners and are experts in framing our designs in a way which dramatically improves your chances of success. We have good working relationships with a number of planning consultants and would be happy to recommend one if we felt this was appropriate for your project.

How quickly can you produce a design?

Once we have existing drawings of your property we can produce designs to fit within any reasonable timescale you require.

However, speed is not always the most important factor when you’re undertaking a costly and complex construction project. We always recommend that you set aside plenty of time to engage in the early stages of a project and fully consider the information we present to you. It’s important not to rush key decisions.

We’re also happy to talk you through any aspects of our work that are unclear.

Whilst we do our best to guide you through the process we sometimes find that projects can become unstuck during the construction stage because clients haven’t fully appreciated the implications of earlier design decisions.

It’s also important to select the best architect and contractor for your project not necessarily the ones that are available right now. Construction projects can take years to be completed so waiting a few months for the right person will make little difference to your final completion date. You’re also more likely to finish on time and on budget if you employ the right people for the job.