If you have a need to change your home in any way, from a radical transformation that will create more space, to imaginatively altering a part of it, going up, down or sideways, or simply installing a new kitchen, I can help.
Since 1999, I’ve been ensuring clients achieve their goals, whether that’s designing a brand new home, undertaking a sensitive renovation, or reconfiguring a layout to create a much better and more practical flow within a home.
Working with clients is a collaborative process. I bring the design experience and expertise to the table and, by listening to their requirements, come up with the best solution to enhance their home.
I’m always mindful that it’s the client’s money, home and project. Only when the client is satisfied, am I satisfied.
Three stage process
I follow a three-stage process that acts as a guide, from the start to the completion of a build. Each stage puts in place the various applications and consents required by the authorities, along with keeping an eye on budget and deadlines.
1. Design and planning
After hearing your aspirations and suggestions, I can help you explore ideas for your home
First of all, I need to produce a set of drawings of the existing house, bungalow or apartment. Afterwards, I will come up with some initial design suggestions.
Once I’ve presented these ideas to you and listened carefully to your feedback, I can continue to improve the design.
When we have a design that we’re happy with, I then submit the drawings, along with reports and forms to the local planning department.
I’ve found that it is often best to submit a pre-application enquiry to the planners to get early feedback which will, ultimately, save time. Once feedback is received, we can reflect further on the design and, if necessary, make any required amendments.
2. Detailed design
After planning consent (and listed building consent if required) is granted, I start work on the detailed design and specification of the project. This involves working with you to understand the type of materials and details you would like internally. Usually, the external materials are agreed during Stage 1 since the planning application requires this information.
I will obtain Building Regulations approval, often with the help of a structural engineer, under a separate direct appointment.
3. Builders’ quotes and construction
In this final stage, I help you obtain quotes from builders. Once a builder is found, I can supervise the works to ensure that the design is fully implemented. If required, I can keep an eye on costs and administer a building contract.
For many smaller projects, you won’t need my input at this stage since a good set of drawings and a reliable builder will see you through to completion. However, as a halfway house, I can offer an on-call service to deal with any unexpected issues that may arise.
If you browse my Portfolio section on this website, you will see that several of my clients have used this service to their complete satisfaction.
I pride myself on designing sympathetically to gain planning permission in sensitive locations such as National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Conservation Areas.
Many of my projects involve altering listed buildings. I can help with obtaining listed building consents and building regulations approval.
People often confuse planning permission and Building Regulations but they are very different. Planning permission gives you consent for a development. Building Regulations gives you approval for how a development is built. In a nutshell, the first is all paperwork, while the second ensures bricks, stone and steel will fit together properly.
Nearly all projects need to comply with building regulations and I have the experience to make sure that approval is gained as swiftly as possible.
How I design
My passion is designing homes to enrich people’s lives. Following a design process means that I listen and get to grips with fully understanding the problem before devising a solution.
Naturally, I have some recurring ideas, themes and materials that I know will work well but these aren’t the starting point.
Once an initial design concept is agreed, three or four amendments are normally sufficient to arrive at a design that you’ll love.
I like to be totally transparent with regard to fees. For most projects on people’s homes (known as domestic projects), my fees for a full architectural service (Stages 1 to 3 above) are generally between 10% and 14% of the construction cost, with discounts available for a reduced package of services; i.e. Stages 1 and 2 only. Fixed fees can be agreed for most small commissions, measured surveys and initial feasibility studies.
It’s just me
I think it’s important to state that, if appointed, you will be working directly with me as the contact point and designer. Assistants occasionally work with me to complete drawings or measured surveys.
I prefer the personal approach since it means I can design, draw and then liaise with my clients to see projects through from start to finish.
Although I get involved in interior design, I often find that my collaborative approach empowers clients to take a proactive role in this area.
Once a project is complete, I enjoy returning to see first-hand how the owner’s touches have made it their home. After all, that’s why I became an architect in the first place!