This section answers some of the most frequently asked questions I receive. Please read through and if there is anything else you would like to know, please get in touch using the contact button.
1. What exactly do you sell?
I sell architectural design to self builders that want something individual, special or unique. This can be a design for a complete new house, remodelling an existing building including extensions and conversions. I offer either a full or partial design service and can be involved in as much of the project as a client requires. I offer a design process on a stage by stage basis, so it enable self builders to involve me in their project for the stages they need our support and input. I have Client's that engage with us for the preliminary design stage, and others that will involve us through the technical design stage and monitoring on site. Due to the nature of self build projects they do not tend to follow a specific template and the appropriate service needs to suit a particular project or Client.
2. You are not local, will this effect things?
I have many projects and Client’s across the UK. It's important that I visit your site or property and also meet with you face to face. This may only need to happen once and then communication can be done via telephone, skype video and email. But there will be critical times throughout the project that I will come to meet with you, or you are welcome to visit me if that's possible.
3. But what about planning, will this cause problems?
Since 2012 I have complete over 320 planning applications lodges with over 85 Local Authorities across 36 Counties including further project in Scotland and Wales. All Local Authorities have similar planning policies regarding dwellings against which proposed development is tested. It's a great advantage having worked with numerous Planning Departments throughout the country. Your proposals will also be tested against national planning policies that cover the entire country. I do not rely on maintaining an ongoing relationship with 1 Local Authority and find it easier to challenge them and achieve more for the Client. I often work alongside a local planning consultant and this can also be a good approach in planning sensitive areas.
4. I love your work but my project is quite small, will your services work for us?
I like to make our design services accessible to as many self builders as possible. For small extension projects we offer a remote design service where the design fees are more appropriate to the overall size and cost of the project. I love working on smaller projects so if we are a good match and your happy to work in this way then let’s discuss if can work together.
5. How much does it cost to work with you?
My fees depend on the specific needs of each Client and the nature of the project. Every client I work with has a different background and therefore requirements vary considerably. I'm happy to provide a fee schedule when I have spoken with you and understand your project in more detail. It may not be clear what involvement is needed and this may be decided as the project evolves. My involvement may only be needed for the initial design stages, or it may involve delivery of the technical design including monitoring the works on site.
6. Another designer has offered to design my house for less, can you match them?
Design is not a commodity and cannot be compared on a like for like basis. Every designer will provide you with a different solution and a different way of delivering their services. You should choose your designer on the basis that you have satisfied yourself that they are the most suitable to deliver a design specifically for you.
It's important that Client's I engage with are a good match to me as a designer. This works better with Client's that understand the value that good design can bring to their project. Exploring and delivering properly considered solutions can take time but will enhance the end result and can also save money in the construction phase.
We have many Clients approach us that have worked with a designer previously and found themselves driving the process forward having the suggest solutions and ideas to explore. As part of our service we share some of the risk with you and offer an exploratory design process that allows us to experiment with different ideas together.
7. How long will it take to design my house?
The process can vary from 4 weeks to 4 months or more. It will depend on your design brief and your requirements. With every project I like to set a schedule and milestones that will give clear indications to the stages required and the expected timescales.
8. Can you start straight away?
Some Client’s have specific time constraints and need me to complete their design in order for the project to proceed on target. If design work needs to start immediately then it's possible. My focus is always on current Client’s and if work can be rescheduled then it's possible I can begin straight away.
9. Do you have a preferred style?
I do, but when designing for a Client, it's their preference that I'm trying to tune into. I'm hoping that the portfolio displays a variety of styles on all of which the architectural direction has been set by the Client. On occasions a Client may not have a preference and this allows me to come up with my own proposals of what would suit their site and the surrounding context.
10. Can you make my house look like one I've seen nearby?
That could be done and probably quite easily. Do you really want to copy something? It's more challenging but ultimately more rewarding, if I we can create something that is individual to you. I use architectural examples to understand what you like and don't like and this provides a design direction. Everyone is different and if a design is truly bespoke, its unlikely there will be another the same. Let's create something unique, just for you.