When Is An Architectural designer or Surveyor Necessary For Home Renovations?

When Do I Need an Architectural designer?

If you’re like most homeowners Maidenhead Planning has come across, completing a major refurbishmentproject is in the top 5 things to do on your bucket list.

You have probably dreamed of a major renovation or a substantial change of layout that would improve the kitchen’s feng shui, energise all who walk in and make even the nice neighbours jealous.

Do you dream about finally having dramatic French doors that lead to your deck or expanding the master bedroom and bathroom? Or perhaps a two-storey extension is on the cards. No matter the change you want to make, an architectural designer or surveyor is a huge benefit to any large-scale home refurbishment.

If your first thought is that hiring an architectural deisgner or surveyor is expensive and only necessary if you live in a substantial, large property – that’s understandable. The truth is, they are almost always worth the extra cost and in some cases, may be the only person who can get your project started.

Here’s an overlook at what architectural designers and surveyors can offer and when you should consider including one for a refurbishment or renovation.

What an Architectural designer Does

Architectural designers are highly trained in design theory, ergonomics and engineering. Due to their extensive training, they tend to wear many hats and can take on various responsibilities.

Many people don’t realise just how wide a range of responsibilities an architectural designer can have. Here are a few services they will typically offer:

·Design & Space Planning

An architectural deisgner or building surveyro will listen to everything you want your project to be and what you want it to include. They then determine a project’s scope of work, including budget and design expectations. A part of this process also includes creating floor plans and concept sketches showcasing design options.

·Help with Getting Planning Applications Submitted and Approved

Masters of current planning policies and legislation, architectural designers bring clarity to this painstaking process, guiding you to the most effective route for planning applications. 

·Technical Drawings

These drawings are necessary for builders to quote and begin building. Sometimes they must be approved by inspectors or local authorities to make sure building regulations or planning permissions are adhered to.

·Design & Build

Design-build is where an architectural deisgner or building surveyor is with you from the initial concept to the very end, managing every aspect of your project. When you choose this option, you don’t have to worry about finding a builder, site meetings or if something is missing from the drawings.

When Does It Make Sense to Hire an Architectural designer?

Undertaking a refurbishment project of any size begs the question “Do I need an architectural designer?”  The answer isn’t that simple because their services are always beneficial when compared to the costs they may add.

As an architectural designer and surveyor in Maidenhead, I’ve found that these are the most common situations where hiring an architectural designer or surveyor is well worth thinking about.

·Building a new home

When you have a project of this scale, your home and peace of mind will benefit from having an architectural designer or surveyor there to supervise the work quality as the project progresses. It is also nearly impossible to get dependable fixed quotes with technical drawings alone.

·Planning and building regulations

If there’s even the slightest suspicion that you’ll need building completion certificates or any kind of planning rules or permissions, there’s no expertise more valuable than that of an architectural designer. A good design can navigate building regulations and local authorities well.

·Design services for small projects

Hiring an architectural designer for their design know how many not be the first idea that comes to mind, but it can actually be very insightful. After spending a few hours with you on the design process, discussing ideas and sketching plans, something small and simple like the rearrangement of a few rooms, can be greatly boosted and can save substantial amount of time further down the line. It’s worth knowing, when used as a design professional, architectural designers usually charge an hourly rate.

·When you don’t know where to start

Not sure of what changes you want to make or what you want to build? Architectural designers are wonderful for generating ideas and helping you think outside of the box. There’s nothing they love more than a blank canvas.

·You are short on time or inexperienced

Getting a project done takes a high level of detail to accomplish. If you won’t be around to oversee the work being done or don’t know what to look for, a designer will save you money in the long run by not allowing subpar work from builders, general contractors or design professionals and keeping the project on track and preventing ‘scope creep’ or straying away from plans.

·If a project is more than 5% of your property’s value

For projects that cost more, consider using an architectural designer or surveyor instead of a interior design professional if there’s a lot of structural change involved. If your refurbishment project consists of moving walls, adding levels to your home or expanding your home’s footprint, an architectural designer or surveyor is the way to go.

·You want to go green

An increasing number of architectural designers have begun to design environmentally sensitive buildings that consider their impact on the homeowner and the planet. Factoring sustainability into the initial concept and construction process guarantees it will last a long time, limit consumption and save money through resourceful design.

When Might it be Better Not to Hire an Architectural designer?

There’s no denying an architectural designer adds costs to a project, so it’s important to know when you may not need one.

·Close working relationship with a builder

Having a reliable, trustworthy builder working with you on a small project won’t typically require the use of an architectural designer

·Customisation is a low priority

All changes don’t have to be innovative. Standard homes can be built that offer limited amounts of customisation and modification. For these types of residential projects, an architectural designer is not really required.

·Simple, straightforward projects

There are lots of projects that a resourceful person with basic drawing skills can handle themselves. Playing to your strengths and using professionals with less design training will save you money.

Invaluable Expertise: The Benefits of Working with an Architectural designer

Whether a refurbishment needs an architectural designer or not, here are a few ways design professionals provide added value to projects of all sizes.

They see the big picture

Architectural professionals produce detailed designs based on your needs and desires. Their designs are also sensitive to a home’s existing architecture and properly scaled. More than that, they are capable of developing and refining the entirety of your project in a way that you (and planning committees) see and understand.

Though they are masters at the big picture, surveyors see the hundreds of steps that need to take place to take a concept through to its completions.

Problems are solved with visual flair

General contractors and architectural designers save you money by getting creative with materials and use of space, but they do it differently.

While contractors look for logical, efficient solutions that tend to be visually traditional, architectural designers typically have inventive solutions to complex design issues that complement and flow into the aesthetic of the rest of your home.

Bring creativity into your refurbishment

Do you want more natural light than the current floor plans allow? Do you need more storage space or want to include interesting visual elements in the shared spaces? Architectural designers love baking special elements into their designs. They also are great at crafting spaces that fulfill conflicting, complex needs of homeowners, clients, users and the community.

Customised design

Working with Maidenhead Planning, or any other good architectural designer or surveyor, gives you the best chance of having your dream come as close to reality as possible. Architectural designers are known for their good designs, but that isn’t just making sure something looks good. A good design means that every addition fits the family’s lifestyle like a glove, the construction’s detail has been well fleshed out and the project falls within the budget and timeline agreed upon at the start of the contract.

High level interpersonal skills that can navigate complex working relationships

This isn’t to say all professionals don’t have this, but architectural designers work with general contractors, design professionals, planning committees, engineers and local building authorities (to name a few). In a design-build project, you don’t even have to speak with anyone else if you don’t want to. Their expertise in every aspect of a refurbishment can’t be replicated by any other professional alone.

When you employ an architectural designer or surveyor in Maidenhead or in your area, you are paying for more than a set of drawings. You will get expert knowledge, soft skills and experience that smooths the sometimes bumpy road that refurbishment projects or building a new home can present.

Do You Need an Architectural designer?

Visionary, creative thinkers by training and nature, architectural designers and surveyors are experts at reconciling the goals you have for a building or structure.

They do this by providing solutions that use artistic imagination to fulfill your aesthetic, cultural or spiritual needs, technical knowledge to create sustainable, safe, efficient spaces and soft skills that satisfy a wide range of varying needs and wants.

A jack-of-all-trades, architectural designers and surveyors can be useful at any stage of your project and in any role, so don’t limit the results of your project by thinking you can’t afford high quality, professional help.

Maidenhead Planning can help you with your next dream project or medium sized refurbishment. It all starts with us listening to your hopes, dreams and the secret desires you think are impossible. Then we can make it happen.

Posted on February 5th 2020

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