GARAGE CONVERSION AUDIT
STRUCTURAL LOFT CONVERSION AUDIT
PRE-PURCHASE FEASABILITY CONSULTATION
STEEL WORK CONNECTIONS
INTERIOR MINOR ALTERATIONS
CDM & ASSOCIATED REPORTS
HEALTH & SAFETY REPORTS
3D MODELLING (from)
SOIL INVESTIGATION REPORTS
AIR PRESSURE TESTING
BUILDING CONTROL APPLICATIONS
AIR TIGHTNESS TESTING
SOUND INSULATION TESTING
PART F VENTILATION TESTING
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVICE & INSTALL
THERMOGRAPHIC SURVEYS & TESTING
CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE HOMES
PART G WATER CALCS
DOMESTIC EPC’S FOR LANDLORDS & HOMEOWNERS
Before you begin any construction work on your new or existing home, you will ask yourself if you need the services of an architect. We all know what architectural skills they have gained at prestigious universities, so their training often covers everything from landscape design to civil engineering. While a construction worker or home designer can make some adjustments at your request, a good architect will anticipate your needs and this can have a major impact on the cost and quality of construction work.
Paying the architect
The services of a professional architect can add 8-15% to the ultimate value of a home. You can always arrange to pay the architect an hourly rate for smaller (but also for very serious) jobs. The architect will monitor "billable hours" and will charge a professional price that is usually based on the value of the local economy. Compare the prices of the architect who personally earns the prices he sets.
How do I know if I need an architect?
It is only your decision to hire an architect. No law obliges you to do so. If your dreams of an ideal home are modest, you can do the job without it, because people often decide to take the big steps in remodelling and building a home - without an architect. Still, some hire architects even to remodel a bathroom, for example.
If you do not know exactly what you want, then an architect can help you come up with ideas and help everything be done efficiently, cheaply and with taste. It is also the architect's job to keep you informed about the builders and to ensure that the project is active. An architect can also be very helpful in updating the whole process.
If a fully qualified architect is what you are looking for, ensure you get one: they must be registered with the Architects Registration Board, which has a publicly available database that can serve as a testament to the expertise of the one you choose.
If you need planning permission or just suspect you may be, an architect can be the most important factor for successful collaboration with local planning authorities. A planning consultant or structural engineer may also be helpful.
The benefits of engaging an architect
• Surely, you will end up with a better product if you hire an architect.
• You will be sure that your space is fully used, that the flow of light is adequate to space and that your house is functional in every way.
• Architects notice details that most of us rarely think about and which, if misplaced, can lead to great costs (eg how the door should open, where the exit pipes should go, could you see the toilet when the bathroom door is open...).
• An architect will, with all of his/her experience, recommend you the best builder within your budget. His/her job is to represent your interests to builders and local authorities.
• Architects are also subject to a code of practice and have professional indemnity insurance to protect their clients.
Disadvantages of hiring an architect
If you have a small budget, you will be tempted to try construction without an architect. However, a good architect can almost certainly save money on big projects.
If you have a trusted builder you trust and are close to, you may feel that you don't need an architect on smaller projects.
The architect may insist on his ideas and puts yours in the background.
Unless you "got along" with your architect, the whole construction will be tedious.