A free initial consultation is a conversation over the phone for us to get to know each other. You can decide if we are the type of architects that you would like to work with and we can decide if you are the type of clients that we would like to work with! We will discuss your project with you, answer project process inquiries and may offer some design suggestions but no sketches will be produced at this stage.
A Home Design Consultation is a home visit that thoroughly explores your dreams for your home. We assess your wishes as well as your house or building site.
Home Design Workshop £495*
This is a half day meeting with you in your home, developing your architectural brief, taking overall measurements and noting anything unusual. We draw sketch plans of the existing site or building before sitting down with you to create sketch designs that meet your requirements. You get sketch designs, new inspirational ideas, advice on what is possible and knowledge of how to take your project forward. For smaller and simpler projects this may be all you need to help inform a builder of your wishes. For larger and more complex projects this stage forms the basis of a feasibility study which we can use to gather further information for you including budget costs, structural possibilities and planning potential.
You can read more about our Home Design Workshop here.
You can contact us for a free initial phone consultation or book a Home Design Workshop here.
* these costs apply to homes within Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire and Greater Manchester. Outside these areas additional travel costs may apply.
We work nationally and internationally. We're based in South Manchester and cover anywhere within a 1-1.5hr drive within our standard fees. We also carry out architectural work for projects further afield and travel costs will be added to our fees.
Typically our projects are in Cheshire, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and London. We have also carried out project work in Spain and Italy.
Contact us to find out which services we can provide for you and what our fees will be for your project.
Building Control - What is it? How do I get approval? Why do I need it when I don't need planning permission?
Building control is the way that the government ensures that all buildings meet minimum standards of construction for everyone's safety and wellbeing. Approval is often required for projects even when there is no requirement for planning permission. Certain types of construction projects are permitted under planning law, however, these projects still have to be built to the same minimum standards. This means that many projects still require building control approval even if they don't require planning permission.
If you're not sure which approvals you need for your project then contact us and we will advise you.
There are two ways to get building control approval:
1. Full Plans - this requires a full set of plans and information to be submitted to building control before starting work. You can start work once you have approval.
2. Notice - this happens onces you start work and the construction work will be assessed by inspectors during the build.
Each option for applying for building control approval has pros and cons. Contact us to find out which option suits your project requirements.
Planning officers must make a decision within 8 weeks of an application being registered. If the application is refused then there is no limit on the length of time to go through an appeals process.
i-architect has a very high success rate for planning applications.
To find out how long it would take for us to carry out the architectural work required to submit a planning application contact us for an estimate based on your project specifics.
There are three types of pricing structure typically used by architects:
a) Fee Percentage - based on a percentage of the final construction cost.
b) Fixed Fee – based on an estimate of the time required to carry out the architectural work.
c) Hourly Rate - Payment by the hour.
i-architect typically offers fixed fees to our clients. This gives our clients cost certainty and better control over how much they spend on the project. We also offer flexible payment options. To get more information about how much fees for your project will cost and what your payment options are then please contact us.
Architecture is a balance of art and science. If you have an aptitude for both then this could be the profession for you. The key skills you will need / develop are creative problem solving, communication - both written, graphic and spoken, and spatial understanding.
There are ongoing discussions to change the way architecture is taught in the UK to make it quicker to qualify. At the moment the minimum length of time it takes to qualify is 7 years and the average is 9 years.
The RIBA maintains an overview of architectural education in the UK to ensure that all schools cover the same minimum syllabus. You can find out more about how to become an architect on the RIBA website.
Also this WikiHow article is a very good summary of how to become an architect.
By UK law anyone calling themselves an architect must be registered with the ARB. The ARB is the Architects Registration Board. This is a government organisation set up to protect consumers who appoint an architect. All architects must be registered with the ARB and follow their code of conduct. You can check that your “Architect” is really an architect by checking the online register: http://www.arb.org.uk/
Architects are the only construction professionals who are fully trained to design buildings and to have a wide overview of all aspects of construction sufficient to coordinate all technical and legal requirements. Many people claim to be able to design buildings, however, unless they have carried out architectural training it is unlikely that they will have all the design and project management skills plus technical and legal knowledge necessary to provide you with as good a solution as an architect.
Jane Leach is the principal chartered architect at i-architect and is both a registered architect and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). She also has over 10 years of experience working as an architect on projects valued from £50k - £28M.