GETTING STARTED FAQs

You are starting to look at architects, so you have probably already begun to think about whether your existing space suits the way you live and whether you want to change things. We’d advise looking at yours friends and families homes, see what works with theirs and doesn’t with yours. Before committing to your project financially, you may want to check the overall intent with a local estate agent, particularly if the aim is to increase the value of your home, over, a necessary change you want to make to the family home. A professional from |EDITE| will be able to guide you through the process as described below and hopefully give you a fresh viewpoint on what can be achieved. This is where the selection of a good architect will differ from a bad one, at |EDITE| we will always seek to build upon your ideas and expectations. There are two ways to approach project costs at the start; 1. See how much you are able to afford and then work backwards to see how much space you get for your money, allowing for fees and other costs. 2. You can start with the space you think you need and see how much it roughly costs – if your budget allows. It may well be that the space you need will cost more than the cost of moving, or converting the loft and staying put will afford you and your family the much needed space and convert the house you had into a distant memory.

The process is largely the same for all projects, below is an outline of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. This includes all aspects of design input including that from other services; Quantity Surveyor, Structural Engineer etc. For more detail visit www.ribaplanofwork.com but please bear in mind that this is designed for all sizes of project. Our Fee Proposal will outline exactly what you can expect from each stage when we write to you.

RIBA Plan of Work?

1: Strategic Definition Identify key objectives, Business Case + Strategic Brief and other core project requirements.

2: Preparation and Brief Develop Project Objectives, including Quality Objectives and Project Outcomes, Sustainability Aspirations, Project Budget, other parameters or constraints and Develop Initial Project Brief. Undertake Building and Land Surveys or instruct others to do so, carry out Feasibility Studies and review of Site Information.

3: Concept Design Prepare Concept Design including; outline proposals for structural design, building services systems, outline specifications and preliminary cost information. Prepare project strategies in accordance with design programme and agree alterations to brief and issue Final Project Brief. Liaise with the planning dept. to see what their thoughts are regarding the plans, apply or formal pre application advice if necessary.

4. Developed Design Prepare Developed Design including; coordinated and updated proposals for structural design, building services systems, outline specifications, Cost Information and Project Strategies in accordance with Design Programme. Gain Statutory approvals such as Planning and Building Regulation approval for the plans prior to or during the tender stage so that any amendments can be issued prior to build.

5. Technical Design Prepare Technical Design in accordance with Design Responsibility Matrix and Project Strategies to include all architectural, structural and building services information, specialist subcontractor design and specifications, in accordance with Design Programme. The package will be sent to contractors to tender in order to select one and move forward to the construction phase.

6. Construction Off-site manufacturing (if necessary) and on-site Construction in accordance with Construction Programme and resolution of Design Queries from site as they arise.

7. Handover and Close Out Handover of building and conclusion of Building Contract. Manuals, briefing and training on controls and on the building should be carried out at this stage. 8. In Use Undertake In Use services in accordance with Schedule of Services/ Home User Guide.

In the boxes above we have created links to the Planning Portal, Permitted Development Pages and Planning Pages that will tell you most of the information you will need to know – detailed planning guidance can be sought from your Local Authority and Duty Planning Officer. There is substantial guidance on the do’s and don’ts and even a 3D house that you can scan your mouse over for various applications. The Green Belt and other areas such as Conservation Areas may have stricter controls under a local ‘Article 4’ designation that limits what can be done to features that contribute to the character of an area, like windows and chimneys. Even if you are confident that you don’t need planning permission and that your proposals qualify for permitted development, it is highly recommended to apply for a ‘Certificate of Lawfulness’ from the Local Authority prior to carrying out work to confirm this interpretation. This written confirmation is particularly useful if your plans are ever queried, perhaps by a neighbour, or by a solicitor when you later come to sell the property. Building Regulations – Link to guidance on this above. Note that you will always need to make a separate application (or serve a Building Notice) to Building Control or an Approved Inspector under the Building Regulations to ensure the project meets current standards of construction and energy performance. Party Wall etc. Act 1996 – Link to guidance on this above. You will need to give your neighbour at least two months written notice under the Party Wall Act 1996 if your proposal is close enough to the boundary. This occurs independently of the Planning Process.

The outcomes of the Planning Process can never be guaranteed. There are processes we can go through to aid this though; Pre-Application Advice with the local Planning Authority can help generate an informal opinion as to the likelihood of success. This may or may not be subject to third party fees and would not be included in our fees.

It is not uncommon for clients to struggle with the visualisation of 2D scaled plans and elevations. As part of our “start to finish” service we offer the 3 following Packages; [BASIC], [STANDARD] + [PREMIUM].

[BASIC]

Your plans and elevations are drawn as standard allowing us to apply for planning permission, permitted development and make Building Regulations applications to ensure your building is built safe.​

[STANDARD]

Your plans and elevations are drawn as BASIC, but we will construct a 3D version of your project to assist you with internal and external layouts when plans really don’t make much sense to you!

[PREMIUM]

Our PREMIUM package will provide all of the basic drawings required, but will allow you to hold a computer tablet up to selected internal and external views of your property and see your proposals, in real time, and 3D using Augmented Reality!

If changing the external appearance of the building doesn’t appeal to you, it may be possible to reorganise the interior to make it work more effectively for you. Do you have existing items or furniture you want to use? Will you want to use the rooms in the same way once the kids are at college? Some people find it helpful to use paper cut-outs to scale and move them around a scale floor plan, for example in deciding the best place to put a bed and wardrobe inside a bedroom layout.

The use of the title Architect is considered a quality mark for the standard of service, care and persons qualification to do the things that architects do. It is protected by law and may only be used by registered persons, the register for which is overseen by the Architects Registration Board (arb). Those using the term ‘architectural designer’ or general ‘architectural service’ is not clearly defined by law and therefore minimises the protection you have. A professional Architect will be expected to:- Hold appropriate degree level qualifications and be registered with ARB Hold an appropriate level of Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) cover Maintains CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training. The ARB and RIBA websites offer further guidance on the benefits of using a registered architect.

As we update our new site, we will be adding new content and a gallery. In the mean time, please contact us for references on projects and PDF examples of completed work.

FEES FAQs

What a wonderful place the world would be if all good advice was free. Well, depending on the type of project, |EDITE| is that place! We can arrange a call-back to discuss the project that will be free of charge, this may be enough to give a basic quote for the work, however, in most cases and for a firm quotation of work, we will require a site/ property visit to establish the viability of your project and check out the things are aren’t obvious through desktop investigation. It is an opportunity to meet and establish a working relationship between you, the client, and us the architect. For speculative inquiries, or if you are looking at buying a property or want advice on selling, an hourly rate would be more appropriate and an hourly rate would be applied for site work. This is largely defined by the nature of property purchase in the UK. In order to get a report on the possibilities of your potential project, we would need to give more time to you for this.

Since the RIBA scrapped the fee scales, all fees are decided on a job by job basis and there are several factors that take into account the services that we would provide. Typically we like to “lump sum” our charges for the early stages, but this too may vary. Fees can vary greatly depending on the nature of the work and the specialist experience of the practitioner.

All terms of our agreements, inclusions and exclusions are appended to our project fees when we write to you. Typically, disbursements + expenses incurred and substantial re-design work are normally additional, but these must be based on agreed criteria beforehand such as mileage rates, printing costs and hourly rates. Some costs including fees to accompany the Planning Application and Building Control submission, fees for other consultants (such as engineers) or the cost of a more detailed topographical survey will be directly payable by you the client to those bodies concerned.

No, a Structural Engineer will be contacted by ourselves with basic drawing for a quote and will be appointed directly by you, the Client. An Engineer is required to oversee the scope of the structural work of the project and prepare necessary calculations for submission to Building Control.

Yes, they are required to be protected by law, especially when they relate to home improvements. The RIBA have published suitable guidance that meets the required standards.

No, not for smaller companies such as ourselves that fall below the current threshold for VAT. However, larger companies will exceed the threshold and will charge for VAT which is currently set at 20% on all fees, disbursements and expenses.

We welcome all feedback, re the website, our service and our fees. Please click on the link to leave feedback or via the tab on the hand right side of the screen.

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