Extension – Worth getting an architect?

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  • Extension – Worth getting an architect?
  • marcus7
    Member

    I’m using one at the moment so i’m gonna say yes, the better and acurate the drawings the less hassle with the builders imo. for reference its cost us a grand up to now to get the plans in with the council and will find out next week. having said that the building work is going to be around £80k and is relatively complex so getting someone in make sense for us.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    You can just get a structural engineer to draw up plans for what you want and you can then submit these to building control yourself. That’s how I did an extension about 12 years ago.

    Will be much cheaper and straightforward.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    If you just want drawings then an architectural technician will be a lot cheaper. If you need help with the layout, maximising space etc then maybe an architect will help. For a simple extension like this I suspect there are very few options so the technician may be the way to go.

    samuri
    Member

    I would, yes. Not so much for the building detail but for smoothing the path through the regulations people. We had a large conservatory built that just kept banging up against building regs and people in the planning department. As soon as we hired an architect he did a couple of handshakes or something and it shot through.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    We had a large conservatory built that just kept banging up against building regs and people in the planning department.

    You can just pick up the phone, or pop in and have a chat with them before you submit anything. That way you know what you’re submitting is OK and they know what it is etc.

    creamegg
    Member

    what part of the country are you?

    tom199
    Member

    Being an architectural technologist I would say that a fair amount of my projects are regularising and retrospectively sorting out projects where people have tried to save money and done the drawings and applications themselves.
    Personally I would say that if you find a competent person, be it an architect, technician or anyone else who has the expertise to produce accurate drawings then their fees will easily be recouped by preventing costly errors on site.
    Plus on a regular basis I will visit peoples houses who are 100% set on what they want but when I give them some alternative ideas and options they more often that not change their mind. This could be aesthetic, practical or cost saving suggestions.

    jfletch
    Member

    what part of the country are you?

    Sheffield. Why?

    Legoman
    Member

    IME architects add most value during the creative stage i.e. working out the best way to use your space based on how you want to live in it. You might think there’s only one obvious solution but a good architect will come up with ideas and options you never thought of.

    We spent around £70k remodelling and renovating our 4 bed 1930s house – smartest thing we did in the whole project was use an architect

    tom199
    Member

    Also in my experience builders easily recognise when a set of drawings isn’t 100% accurate or conclusive and tend to pull a fast one by adding extras for things which he knows are needed but ‘aren’t shown on the drawings’.

    jfletch
    Member

    I’m erring towards the “get an architect” option. Its not imediately obvious what the layout should be and where to put the windows on the extension since it will contain an en-suite so although its only small details it may look shit if I do it.

    Any other horror stories?

    Rockhopper
    Member

    Something to think about if you are planning on doing it yourself – its likely that the garage footings will not be man enough to support the weight of an extension above it – building control will certainly ask for them to be exposed to confirm.

    jfletch
    Member

    its likely that the garage footings will not be man enough to support the weight of an extension above it

    Garage footings are fine, most of it already has an extension on it. It’s just the front 2m which is still single storey… for now!

    creamegg
    Member

    I would of offered my services but too far away

    jfletch
    Member

    So we are planning to rejig some internal walls and do a small second story extension above the garage.

    Is its worth getting an architect to draw up the plans for builders to quote on, get planning/building regs approval etc? Or is it wasted money if we know what we want and should we draw it out ourselves and get a structural engineer to check it won’t fall down?

    I hear mixed experiences so what have others done and how has it worked out?

    Premier Icon ffej
    Subscriber

    I’d say go for the Architect or other suitably qualified person. It sounds like a fairly simple job, so a Technician, Surveyor or Engineer could probably get you a decent set of drawings to pass planning & building regs. For the uninitiated Building Regs aren’t straightforward unless you have a in depth knowledge of the requirements. Experience is king here.

    Jeff

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    its likely that the garage footings will not be man enough to support the weight of an extension above it

    You really need to do a dig and find out. Depends when it was built and if the extension is one or two stories. If they’re not up to current specs, they will need to be uprated, which will add to the cost.

    b r
    Member

    You really need to do a dig and find out. Depends when it was built and if the extension is one or two stories. If they’re not up to current specs, they will need to be uprated, which will add to the cost.

    This ^ ,before you spend any money on drawings and the like.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    Our architect manage to transpose our house back to front, and miss out a structural steel needed to stop the loft conversion collapsing. Luckily, the builders were a bit more clued up.

    samuri
    Member

    You can just pick up the phone, or pop in and have a chat with them before you submit anything. That way you know what you’re submitting is OK and they know what it is etc.

    yeah, we did all that. Went down their offices and everything, drew diagrams for them, showed them plans, the works. Then some little jumped up council official turned up at the house, told my wife he saw no reason why people should be able to extend their houses, he after all, lived in a two bedroomed house quite happily and that he was going to block the request.

    What the architect did (in reality) was exhibit a much better understanding of the regulations than the builder or the council, angled a corner of one of the walls of the conservatory which changed an intersection at a boundary wall and it all went through fine. Worth his weight in gold IME.

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