Do I need an architect for an extension?

Whether you require an architect for the property extension you’re planning will depend on several factors, and although it isn’t a legal requirement to use one, they can provide incredibly valuable assistance for even the smallest projects you wish to tackle. Furthermore, professional architects can save you time and help you avoid what can sometimes turn out to be costly mistakes.

Qualified and certified assistance

Extending a property is perhaps among the most common instances where an architect can help. An extension can be a large-scale project and potentially the largest property-related investment you will make after buying your house. With the costs involved being significant, you will want to ensure that any work is carried out correctly, but more than this, it is essential that an extension does not subtract from the value of your property.

While no laws insist you opt for an architect, and it is possible employ a builder to not only construct your extension, but also design it, this choice is not without its risks. Building contractors do not require either formal training or a license to design and build and extension. An architect, however, must work to a legal code of practice and undertake years of professional training before they can operate. Architects also work supported by Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII), ensuring their clients are always protected. Selecting an architect to create your plans therefore presents a safer option over choosing a building contractor operating in an industry that is unregulated.

Changing the layout of your home when extending

If you’re seeking to expand your property to create space, you might wish to remove walls for a more open-plan living area. Architects are not only capable of considering structural practicalities, but can identify potential opportunities to make the most of available space. This may involve the position of windows letting in natural light, doorways for ease of access and the placement of piping and ventilation. An architect you can help you avoid any unnecessary pitfalls and flaws in designs before work begins.

Assistance with planning permission

On top of assisting with home designs, architects are also specialists in applying to local authorities for building permission. If your extension requires planning permission, you’ll need to submit a completed application to council planners. Architects can save you time by first assessing the likelihood of your plans being accepted, and secondly by acting as agents on your behalf. They can complete and assemble necessary paperwork and liaise with council representatives, ensuring any feedback is answered and issues are resolved swiftly, to avoid disruption to your project. Having an architect manage your project can save you not just time, but additional costs too, as attempting to appeal when planning is refused can soon become expensive.

Architects have a unique skillset and sound experience working on multiple building extensions. Experts in making the most of space, their advice can be advantageous when you’re planning additional room for your household. Assessing your home, they can show you the most suitable way to add an extension that will add value to your property, and can provide assistance every step of the way.

Posted by Mark
October 1, 2020

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