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 template and the appropriate service needs to suit a particular project or Client.
2. How much does it cost to work with you?
My fees depend on the specific needs of each client. 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.
3. 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.
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. The services we offer is exploratory and allow us to experiment with different ideas together.
4. 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 the design brief and your requirements. With every project I like to set a schedule and milestones that will give clear indications to all the stages required.
5. Can you start straight away?
Sometimes clients have specific requirements of when they need me to complete their design or when they need the project to be completed on site. If design work needs to start immediately to meet a particular needs then it's possible. My focus is always on current clients and if work can be rescheduled then it's possible I can begin straight away.
6. Do you have a preferred style?
I do, but when I am designing for a client, it's their preference that I'm trying to understand. I'm hoping that the portfolio displays a variety of styles all of which the architectural direction has been given by the client. On occasions a client may not have a preference and this allows me to come up with my idea of what would suit their site.
7. Can you make my house look like one I've seen nearby?
That could be done and probably quite easily. But do you really want to copy something? It's more challenging but ultimately more rewarding, if I can create something that is individual to you. I use architectural examples to understand what you like and don't like, this provides me with 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.
8. You are not local, will this effect things?
I have many projects and clients 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.
9. But what about planning, will this cause problems?
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. Also with no requirement to maintain an ongoing relationship with the Local Authority I 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.
10. Will you use current design styles for my design?
My designs are for my clients and I always try and create something that will stand the test of time. Most of my clients intend to live in their new home for 10-20 years and it's usually important to them, that the value of the property is not affected by the design looking "out of date".