Ten Questions To Ask An Architectural Designer

Ten Questions To Ask An Architectural Designer

Ten Questions To Ask An Architectural Designer

Here at Acre, we like to respond to our clients questions and queries as often as we can! With 2019 coming to a close, we have compiled our top ten questions to ask a architectural designer and our advice to give a little helping hand for those looking to transform their space! If you’re planning a project to improve your home and want to recruit an architectural designer to help you, it is critical to ensure you ask all the right questions to guarantee they know exactly what you want from the project. Whatever your query, we are more than happy to help and we hope you find this article helpful valuable…

Question #1

What will the architectural designer advise for your site?

When meeting an architect, he or she will want to talk to you about your building project so they understand what you are looking for. You should take your architect’s advice into account when making decisions, but if they suggest something that you are not comfortable with, please say so. If you both clearly understand what you want at this early stage, it may prevent problems as the project progresses. It is your project, and the architect will want to make sure that you are satisfied with the end result.

Question #2

Will I need planning permission?

After the measured survey, we will draw the existing plans and produce a first draft proposal. We will then invite you into the office to go over the plans, this is an opportunity for you to tell us ‘what a great idea’ or ‘we never would of thought of that’ or alternatively tell us of any changes you need or areas you don’t think will work for you. We then make those changes and the process starts again (with another meeting or over email) until you are happy, then we will invoice you and apply for the relevant approvals.

Question #3

How long will my project take?

Unfortunately, every project in entirely unique and this means that the length of the project will depend on the size of the project. To get a time scale from your architectural designer they will need to visit your property or site. If you are looking for a design quotation, call Acre today and arrange a free meeting – we would be able to give you an idea of timescales and costs, specific to your project.

Question #4

Are your proposals achievable on your budget?

Be realistic and make sure you know if what you want to achieve is possible with your budget. You should remember that your budget will also need to cover any third party costs such as structural engineers and surveyors etc.

Question #5

How much will my project cost?

Like time scales, cost will differ extensively depending on the type of project you are looking to conduct. When using Acre Design we advise that you budget between 5-10% of total build costs for Acres Design fees, structural calculations (if required) and the council fees. We charge on an hourly basis for our work at £70 per hour. The time it takes to complete each stage will depend on a number of aspects:

  • We are required to measure the existing, so the bigger the house, the more time it will take.
  • The complexity of the existing house. A bungalow takes less time to draw that an stately home.
  • Do you know exactly what you want? If so we won’t need to show you as many options, reducing the time to agree a design.
  • The scope of the works. The larger the project the more time it will take to complete the proposals.
  • The complexity of the proposals. If you are looking for a cantilever balcony from a zinc clad dormer window this takes longer than a simple detached garage.
  • Planning requirements. In a conservation area you will need a heritage statement and design and access statement to be submitted with your planning application for example.

We will give you a price at our free initial consultation where Alistair will go through the stages, and apportion an amount of hours to each stage, you will then get a fully detailed quote within 48 hours of our visit.

Question #7

What different project types are there?

When transforming your space there are a number of ways through which this can be achieved. Here at Acre, our project types include:

Click to read in more detail about what these project type entail.

Question #6

Can I achieve an attic conversion in my home?

If you want to add space and value to your house, and there is little room to the side or back of your property (or you love your garden too much), then attic conversions are a great way to do so. However, we adding an attic conversion there are a few considerations. This includes making sure there is sufficient headroom, that you inform your mortgage and insurance lender about your conversion and so on. For more information on attic conversions click here.

Question #8

Why do I need a measured survey?

At Acre, we draw your house exactly on our 3D drawing software, we need the exact measurements so we can show you what you will have once building work is complete, it helps you make an informed decision, and get the most out of your extension, new home or whatever it is we are designing!

Question #9

What happens during the design process?

After the measured survey, we will draw the existing plans and produce a first draft proposal. We will then invite you into the office to go over the plans, this is an opportunity for you to tell us ‘what a great idea’ or ‘we never would of thought of that’ or alternatively tell us of any changes you need or areas you don’t think will work for you. We then make those changes and the process starts again (with another meeting or over email) until you are happy, then we will invoice you and apply for the relevant approvals.

Question #10

Will you keep me updated throughout the building process?

Acre Design will provide you with updates throughout the whole process. We can get your first draft to you within 10 days. After this we will invite you to the office to go through our initial design, we also give you a full print out to take home and look over. Once you have got back to us with any thoughts we make the changes quickly, ready for you to approve our final design and we can prepare the drawings for planning permission. This next bit is where patience becomes a virtue, once we have applied for planning permission it can take 8 weeks for a decision to be made. Acre Design will send you a link once we have applied to the local authority public access where you can keep an eye on your application in real time.

If you are looking to start your building work as soon as planning is approved, we will immediately begin preparing your technical building control drawings. Once these are complete (usually within a week of planning being applied for) we will send these to you. If required we can forward a couple of plans to our trusted contractors for them to begin pricing the job for you. You can also arrange in this time meeting them or going to see some of their previous work.

We hoped you found this article helpful! If you are interested in any of our architectural design services then please do not hesitate to contact us today, we would love to hear from you.

Let us help you turn your dream home into a reality.