What to know before you contact an architect(1)


You want to buy a house, or you already have one, and you decide this is not enough for you and you need to extend it. Or you have a plot of land and you decide to develop it.

Before you contact an architect you need to weight your financial burden and the outcome you want to achieve.

A common scenario is for someone with a £30K budget to go straight to an architect or designer and ask for a dream house extension; and after all the design and planning process realise you can build only a fraction of the original design.

As a rule of thumb is to follow these mid range market prices, at least in and around London:

- single storey extension - £1600-£1900 per sqm

- double storey extension - £2300-£2600 per sqm(spread over two floors)

- loft conversion - £900-£1200 per sqm

- bifold or sliding doors - about £1000 per sheet of glass

- a new bathroom - £3000-£5000

- refurbishment of the existing house - £700-£1100 per sqm

- structural beam or boxed frame(with all the work around it) - £2000-£4000

All these prices are of mid range finish quality. These are only to guide you before starting anything. Of course you can get better prices or much bigger; there are too many factors that influence a final quotation from a builder.

On top of this you have to add professional fees which can add up to a few thousands pounds depending on the size of the project. These are for the architect, structural engineer, building control, SAP assessment, as well as planning fees, build over swear agreement(if necessary) etc

Once you decided on what to do you can get in touch with an architect or designer.

Also, if you don't know what you can afford it's recommended to have a consultation with a specialist. Usually these are free, but there are a lot of practices who are charging for them. There are some practices which are sending a sails person, without any planning experience, and give bad advise just to push you to sign with them.

This is where we come in: a free on site consultation by RIBA architects, no obligations and no annoying follow-ups.

(to be continued)

#house #extension #architecture #planning #london #design #structure #refurbishment #build