Residential Architectural Services
We provide a creative and cost effective design service obtaining maximum value from the cost of the build.
The scope of our work in this sector is wide ranging with projects of all sizes and budgets covering:
- New build homes
- Loft conversions
- Barn conversions
- Home offices
- Listed buildings
- Domestic Interior Design
- Architectural Services and design
New build homes have a number of benefits. They are not subject to VAT. They are designed to suit a client’s individual requirements (subject to planning constraints). They are constructed to the latest Building Regulations standards, under floor heating and the latest technologies including the micro-generation of energy can be easily incorporated into the design. New builds will have at least a 10 year guarantee and will not require redecoration or replacement of fixtures and fittings for a number of years. Generally the investment potential will be greater than the purchase of an existing older property.
The down side to building a new home is finding the right plot at the right price. However this can be an exiting and enjoyable process.
Extensions are the most popular method of increasing living space. The size and design of extensions are governed by the character of the existing property, the size of plot and the impact on adjacent properties as judged by the Planning Authority but within these boundaries the design can be very flexible. Many extensions can be built with very little disruption to the existing property with the access between the two being formed when the extension walls and roof are complete and it is fully watertight.
A well, designed extension adds value. Whether the value is measured by the enhanced lifestyle an extension can give or an improvement to the appearance of the property or simply the additional floor area which increases the value of the property, a well designed extension is money well spent.
Loft conversions are the second most popular method of creating additional space and ideal for bedrooms, playrooms or home offices and quite often can be built as ‘Permitted Development’ without the need for planning approval. The critical factors for a successful conversion are the location of the new stair and the width and the height of the loft which dictates the useful floor space. The minimum existing height required within a loft is 2.25 metres and the ideal location for a new stair is directly above the existing stair. If these factors prove favourable the prize is an additional space the full length of the house and a useful width of approximately 3.6metres in a traditional semi detached house. Loft conversions invariably increase the value of a property, they can be very cost effective to build per square metre of space created, they are within the footprint of the host property and do not encroach on valuable garden space.
Barn conversions make very desirable homes. Unconverted barns are usually sold with planning permission which gives the maximum financial return for the vendor but for the purchaser the security to purchase a property with the benefit of a planning approval is for most people, money well spent. By the very nature of their original use most barns are located within open countryside or the Green Belt and their change of use to dwellings and the physical changes that can be made to such buildings are strictly controlled by national and local planning policy. Barn conversions do not give as high a return on capital as an equivalent new build property, they can be expensive to purchase and the construction costs are generally greater than a new build. However they are quite often to be found in sought after locations and can have the benefit of original features and an abundance of character.
Home offices are becoming increasingly popular as more people work from home. Home offices of all sizes and designs can be purchased quite cheaply as factory made kits by specialist manufacturers and erected by either them or by your own building contractor in your garden. Depending on its sighting, floor area and the height to the eaves and ridge a home office could be built as ‘Permitted Development’ otherwise planning approval would be required. Home offices can also be easily incorporated into a new build home, an extension, a loft conversion, above a garage or into a barn conversion.
Listed buildings are buildings which hold special historic or architectural services interest, are considered to have heritage significance and are graded in level of importance. They are protected by national and local planning policy under the Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act, contravention of which can lead to prosecution.
The entire fabric both internal and external of listed buildings are protected, this includes internal features such as fireplaces, doors and skirtings. The setting of listed buildings is often an important feature of its character and the listing can include boundary walls, railings, gates and other buildings within the curtilage of the listed building. The protection of the setting of a listed building can extend beyond its cartilage and affect planning applications for adjacent properties.
Alterations and extensions to listed buildings need Listed Building Consent and may also require Planning Approval. Preparation of an application can be very involved, time consuming and costly. We advise our clients that high levels of stamina and patience and a degree of compromise may be required before an application is granted.
However living in an historic building with perhaps the style of the Georgian period, carefully altered or extended for a C 21 life style can make the whole process very worthwhile.
The interior design of a building even in its simplest form has to be considered during the design of the building. Built interiors and finishes and décor are an important consideration when detailing certain elements of the structure. We can offer a full interior design service, a partial service or have no involvement other than to ensure that the correct allowances in floor thickness for example are catered for to suit finishes selected by clients.