A Beginner’s Guide to Architects

A Beginner’s Guide to Architects

A Beginner’s Guide to Architects

Architecture is a vast and widely misunderstood industry, often believed to be the domain of just those town planning and designing impressive and enormous skyscrapers and blocks of modern flats. Instead, most architects’ work involves more modest structures including houses, office blocks and commercial properties.

If you’re embarking on a home renovation project or looking to commission or purchase a new build, chances are that you’ll need to involve an architect. But what are their roles and why might you need one? Read on to learn more…

What’s an Architect?

An architect is a highly skilled building and structure specialist who plans and designs the construction and development of buildings and their land areas, taking into account all functional and aesthetic requirements as well as the adaption to or installation of infrastructure serving it. In the UK, it takes roughly 7 years to qualify adequately to practice as an architect, although technically anyone can offer architectural service; just without the title. In order to use the title ‘architect’, a professional must be accredited by the Architects Registration Board.

When might I need to hire an Architect?

Most commonly, homeowners need architects for consultation, advice and design when they look to add an extension onto their home, to change the layout, or to refurbish the space – whether this is being done to improve the home for those living within it, or to add to its value for a future sale.

Architects must always be used in properties that hold listed status or are situated in conservation areas, as they will understand the limitations and stipulations that may be in place as a result. For other houses, provided they present no challenge, homeowners don’t technically have to hire an architect but it is absolutely always recommended.

What are the benefits of working with an Architect?

There are lots of benefits to working with an architect for the planning stages of any property project. These include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Maximisation of ROI (Return on Investment) and value additions
  • Less risk of issues being uncovered during build periods, causing delays and more investment to be required down the line
  • Optimisation of living spaces
  • A guarantee to adherence to planning permission guidelines
  • A guarantee of a safe and secure finish
  • The ability to create varying designs to meet timelines and budgets
  • Advice on sustainability, energy efficiency and varying building materials
  • A fresh set of eyes on the property to open up new ideas and opportunities.

Architects are highly skilled and can offer a professional view to home designs in a way that a homeowner with just a background in DIY won’t be able to.

How do Architects work with Planning Permission regulations?

Planning permission refers to the need for external permission from an LPA (Local Planning Authority) to extend, build, erect or demolish a structure outside of that already existing. In standard designated residential areas, homeowners have PDRs (Permitted Development Rights), that do allow for some extension and building on land they own, providing it adheres to set parameters. For anything outside of this, permission will need to be sought from the LPA.

Architects have extensive knowledge of planning permission regulations and guidelines as well as of the developments LPAs have already accepted and are sympathetic to. This means that when planning a larger development, extension or remodel, they are able to include such considerations within their design and maximise the chances of the plans being accepted swiftly and without the need to have to go through an appeal and reapplication process.

Obtaining planning permission shouldn’t be an arduous or time-consuming job but without a professional on side to help homeowners navigate it can take months, if not years – and no construction work may begin until it has been granted.

What is the process an Architect works to?

There’s no one-size-fits-all for buildings, so no two projects for an architect will be identical. However, generally speaking for a home renovation or extension, you can expect regular meetings and plenty of correspondence with the hired architect. They will visit the property, measure it, and likely take lots of photos of it, as well as source any original plans or drawings for the building. Time will then be spent producing an adjusting different designs, which the homeowner will be able to talk through and review, before producing a final architectural plan based on the chosen design.

As with the nature of all ever-evolving projects, it can be difficult for an architect to give an upfront fixed quote for their service. As a result, it’s typical for architectures to charge a percentage of the final build cost along with a fee for any amendments to their plans made.

How do VERS Pro fit into Architect’s work?

In order to best ensure that the space a property presents is being utilised to its full potential, architects use firms such VERS Pro to utilise our tech solutions to thoroughly investigate the space. Our architectural services include 3D laser scanning of properties (both internally and externally), 2D floorplan design, 3D home visualisations (a great way to understand what things will look like once your project has been complete!), working drawings, mechanical and electrical drawings and planning permission drawings (those submitted to LPAs for applications).

Get in touch with the VERS Pro team today to discuss all of our services and to learn more on how we enact technological solutions with some technical know-how to create beautiful and effective designs that save time and money long-term without compromising on either form or function!s

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