Frequently Asked QuestionsHere is our frequently asked questions about our services regarding architectural services, planning permission, quantity surveying and project management.
How long does it take for my drawings to be drawn?
We aim to complete all our Architectural drawings within 4 weeks from the initial visit from our technicians to measure your property. However, this can vary depending on the size of the project.
What type of architectural drawings do I need?
Depending on your requirements, there are two types of Architectural drawings. These are Building Regulations Drawings and general Planning/Concept Drawings.
Planning/Concept Drawings give you an understanding of the project layout and appearance of the project. These drawings can then be submitted to your local planning authority.
Building Regulation Drawings give a detailed understanding of the materials and construction methods used within the project. These drawings can be checked by Building Control to ensure the project is built to the Building Regulations.
How long will it take to measure my property for the architectural drawings?
This entirely depends on the size of the property. Our technicians that visit to measure your property are trained to measure the property in an efficient and accurate way. On average, it takes 1-2 hours to measure a 2-bed terraced house.
How will you gain an understanding of my desired project and requirements?
In the initial instance, one of our experienced consultants will visit you to discuss the project and your requirements. They will be able to advise if the project is possible within current regulations, while also providing you with some design ideas.
Once you are happy to proceed, our technicians will visit the property to measure the property. On this visit, one of our highly qualified Architectural technologists will also attend to gain a visual understanding of the project and discuss design ideas.
During the drawing process, our team will continue to liaise with you to ensure that our drawings are meeting your needs, When we have finished design proposals, we send you a digital copy of the drawings for you to view and approve, or make amendments.
Are structural calculations and specifications included within the drawings?
The majority of our drawings don’t always specify structural work as it can depend on whether you have a structural engineers report. However, all our drawings show an indication of where potential structural work is required.
If you require a structural engineer for your project, we can supply you with a quotation for a structural engineering report. Our technologists are then able to incorporate structural engineering calculations into the designs. If you already have a structural report, this can be incorporated from the beginning of the design.
Can I see a 3D model of my project before approving the design?
Yes, we can provide a 3D model showing the design via an online resource. This is commonly provided on request towards the end of the design process.
How much do architectural drawings cost?
This can vary depending on three factors. The first factor we consider is which type of drawing do you require to meet your needs. Secondly, we consider the size of property to be drawn. And lastly, we consider the extent and size of the project.
What is the pay structure when paying for architectural drawings?
Unlike other companies, we don’t ask for the full balance or majority of the fee. We only ask for a 50% deposit and will only ask for the remaining balance once you have approved the drawings.
How qualified are your designers and are they registered with the Architects Registration Board?
Our designers are not Architects, our team consists of Architectural Technologists and Technicians and we therefore don’t consider ourselves Architects and nor should we. Like Architects, our Architectural Technologists have completed university degrees and are therefore equivalently qualified.
Unfortunately, Architectural Technologists aren’t eligible to be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) as they aren’t considered an “Architect”. However, all our Architectural Technologists are registered with the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) which is an equivalent regulatory body. The CIAT membership number of the Architectural Technologist assigned to your project can be provided upon request.
Can I make amendments to my drawings?
Before you have approved your drawings, you will have only 1 opportunity to make amendments to your drawings. On this opportunity we recommend you provide us with as many amendments as you wish to ensure you are satisfied with your drawings and design.
If after this opportunity, or after you have approved the drawings, you still wish to make amendments, you may incur additional fees. However, if your local planning authority request amendments during the planning application, then we make these amendments free of charge.
Can a builder work from the Architectural drawings?
Most experienced builders will be able to work from general planning drawings with a structural engineer’s report alongside the drawings. Some contractors may request building regulations drawings, however most of the contractors we work with are able to work from general planning drawings.
Are the Architectural drawings enough for granting planning permission?
Our Architectural drawings show an accurate visual concept of your proposal including existing and proposed floorplans and elevations. This therefore makes our drawings suitable for submission as part of a planning application. We work closely with councils across the South East to ensure our drawings exceed the requirements expected by most planning departments.
Do I need building regulations drawings?
Detailed plans are not always required and can be dependent on the requirements of your local building control or builder. However, you will require a full set of detailed building control drawing if are seeking building control approval via a full plans inspection application to your local building control.
Does a planning application require a structural report?
Although planning departments reserve the right to request a structural engineers report, it is unlikely that your planning application will require a structural report. A structural engineers report will likely be requested during the construction phase by building control or by your builder.
Do I need builder control?
For any construction, new build or alteration, it is a requirement that a building control is assigned to your project. The building control officer assigned to your project will make regular visits to your site to ensure that it being built in compliance to the current building regulations. This will give you the reassurance that your project has been built correctly by your contractor.
Can I change the door or window in the future?
This will be dependant of the regulations of our local authority, and/or any conditions stated as part of a planning approval. Buildings, such as those that are listed, would require permission if the windows or doors were to change.
Do I need drawings if it is under permitted development?
When building within your lawful development rights, you will still need to apply for a lawful development certificate. For a lawful development certificate, you will still need general planning drawings to submit as part of the application. A lawful development certificate, although not a full planning application, is proof that your project has been designed/constructed lawfully.
How much does a planning application cost?
The planning application fees can vary and can be dependent on the type of application that is required for your project.
How long does planning permission take before they reach a decision?
This can also vary, however most decisions are usually reached within 8 weeks of the application being received and validated by the council. The wait for a decision can also depend on the workload of each individual council. If the planning department do need an extension after the 8 weeks, they will ask permission for the extension period that is required.
Do I need architectural drawings for my planning application?
Most planning applications do need to have Architectural drawing accompanied with them. For some applications, if the project is small, you may only require sketches but please bare in mind that for a planning officer to determine a decision they must have as much information as possible to support an application.
What happens if my planning permission is refused?
There are 2 main options to consider if an application is refused:
- You can re submit a new application free of charge within a 12 month time frame, submitting new or amended plans after considering the reasons for refusal.
- You can make an appeal to the appeal inspectorate. Once this appeal is made it is out of authorities hands. A decision will be made with a new approach considering the initial application and drawings. This can take long for a decision to be reached and an appeal is only usually made after option 1 has failed.
Will a visit be made to my property by the council?
In most instances a case officer from the planning department will make a site visit to help their determination during the 8 week process. They will usually arrange a convenient time but on some occasions can just turn up unannounced.
How do I know if I need planning permission or if my proposed works fall within permitted development rights?
During our consultation, we will visit your property and help you by establishing firstly if the project is feasible and secondly determine what planning permission (if needed) should be applied for.
You can also looked at the technical guidance the government has about permitted developmentsa href=”https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/permitted-development-rights-for-householders-technical-guidance”>here.
When my planning permission is granted, how long do I have to carry out the woks before the permission expires?
Commonly, you will have up to 3 years from when the permission was granted. This period of time is usually stated within the conditions of approval.
Do I have to stick to my original plans that got accepted at planning or can I change them once planning has been accepted?
Once planning permission has been obtained, you can now carry out the construction. The construction must be the original design that was supplied to the planning department, any major alteration from the approved plans & application can risk any construction being taken down, or new planning permission being sought.
Does the area I live in effect what planning permission I need?
The area you live in can influence the type of planning application you require as there are several constraints to developing in certain areas. Depending on what category it falls into will determine what application is needed.
Common constraints can include:
- A Conservation Area
- A Green Belt Area
- Area of natural beauty
- An Article 4 area
- Listed Buildings.
Who can object to my proposal?
When the application is received by the local council, the application will firstly be validated. Once it has been validated it will be allocated to a case officer. The application will be live for the public to view and comment. Any comments or objections can be made here and is visible online to the public.
A letter may also go out to adjoining neighbours that may be affected by the proposed works and letters/notices may be put up in the local vicinity.
Do you use sub contractors?
We have a panel of approved contractors that are trusted and have been thoroughly vetted. The contractors on our panel have been working closely with us for number of years.
How will you manage my project?
We will firstly assign a project manager to your project. The project manager will schedule in the individual tradesmen for the relevant tasks and will ensure materials to be onsite at the right time.
Will the project manager be on Site?
The project manager will make regular site visits to ensure the construction is running to schedule. The project manager will also attend when building control visits.
Do you have any references of previous extension completed?
We are happy to request references from previous clients who are happy to disclose their information regarding their completed projects.
Are you VAT Registered?
Yes, we are currently VAT registered
How long does it take to Quantity Survey?
There are many factors than can effect the time of Quantity Surveying, depending on size and extent of the project.
What is included within the Quantity Surveying?
From conducting feasibility studies to estimate materials, time and labour costs. We prepare, negotiate and analyse costs for tenders and contracts while advising on a range of legal and contractual issues.
How much does Quantity Surveying cost?
This will depend on the size of the project and can vary on the number of hours needed to complete the quantity surveying.
Can a builder use the Quantity Surveying for the build?
Almost all types of construction projects, ranging from large building projects to residential extensions, can benefit from the services of a quantity surveyor. The main task of a quantity surveyor is to estimate the cost of the building project.
Why do we need Quantity Surveyors?
The main task of a quantity surveyor is to cost the building project. But apart from this critical function, a quantity surveyor also performs other tasks that can effectively reduce the risks associated with any type of construction project in relation to maintaining a budget set.
What else can a Quantity Surveyor do?
Quantity surveyors work within the land management, property and construction industries. They are the people responsible for calculating and managing the costs relating to projects, from helping create initial estimates to finalising the complete budget requirements.
What is the importance of Quantity Surveying?
A quantity surveyor is the person responsible for figuring out just what a construction project is going to cost. They have other roles too, especially making sure that construction costs and production are managed as efficiently as possible.