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.
FAQ No1. WHY SHOULD I USE TONY HOLT DESIGN?
There are a number of reasons why we could be a suitable designer for your self build project, some of which are:
We are a multi-award winning CIAT registered practice undertaking self build projects from £150k - £1.5m including extensions, remodeling and new builds. If you are looking to undertake a similar project to those featured on our website and you like what we do, then we’ll be a good match for you to consider us as your designer.
We have secured over 340 planning consents for our clients with 104 Local Planning Authorities across 40 Counties in the UK. Consents include greenbelt, conservation and special character areas including paragraph 55 house (now para 79).
We are a small energetic and enthusiastic team of people that share a passion for creating great places to live. We provide a personal service where clients of all experiences and backgrounds can work closely with us allowing up to support you through your self build journey.
In the Initial stage of the design process we will share the design risk with you, creating and exploring outline options on a conceptual level until we have an agreed chosen design to develop in detail. This means you will never need to use another designer.
We have a diverse portfolio of architectural styles with comes from having an appreciation of clients design preferences. We actively ensure we listen to you and let you set the design direction with our full support and guidance throughout the design process.
Our design service is offered on a stage by stage basis with fixed and capped fees giving you flexibility and control. You are able to decide what level of service you require from us which can change as we go through the design process.
All our clients benefit from a register of companies supplying products and services direct to self builders based on previous client experiences.
FAQ No2. 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, remodeling 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.
FAQ No3. 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.
FAQ No4. But what about planning, will this cause problems?
Since 2012 we have secured over 340 planning consents with 104 Local Authorities across 40 Counties including projects 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.
FAQ No5. 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.
FAQ No6. 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.
FAQ No7. 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.
FAQ No8. 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.
FAQ No9. 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.
FAQ No10. 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.
FAQ No11. 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.