Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an Architect?

An RIBA Chartered Architect has studied for a minimum of seven years, and subsequently has the qualifications, professional training, vision and experience to manage the entire design and construction process. Since a professional service is offered at every stage of the project, clients can relax knowing that the architect will take care of all of the necessary paperwork, monitor the work on site and deal with your contractor directly. Chartered Architects are subject to a statutory code of practice and carry compulsory Professional Indemnity Insurance to protect their client’s interests. While a technician, surveyor or builder may appear cheaper, be aware that they will not have the breadth of training that an architect will have, and as a result may provide a more limited service, possibly requiring you to spend additional time and money organising the project and dealing with problems arising.

How long does the design and build process take?

This depends on the size and complexity of the project. However, for most small, straightforward domestic projects we allow around 3-4 weeks to produce a design once a detailed survey has been undertaken. Once a planning application has been submitted to the Local Planning Authority, you typically receive a decision within two months of registration of the application.

Preparation of detailed construction drawings are likely to take approximately 3-4 weeks, followed by an application to the Local Authority Building Control department which can take from 4-12 weeks for most Local Authorities to process. If a client wishes to fast-track their project and are confident of gaining planning permission approval, we can prepare detailed construction drawings shortly after submission of the planning application, and submit these while awaiting the final decision. Both planning approval and building regulation approval can then be obtained simultaneously, and reduce project lead times.

Thereafter, the programme for progressing your project will depend on the availability of suitable contractors to carry out the work. Once you have a contractor ready to start, most domestic projects take around 12 to 18 weeks to complete.