You own a property and you have decided it no longer suits your needs; or you are in the process of purchasing a property that will need some modifications; congratulations on both! you are now on your way to creating something new!  
The first question you may have is “How much would the refurbishment cost?” In this article I will analyse the costing process as it relates to the architectural point of view.
The starting point is always the existing house.  Whether you have outgrown the house’s layout, or desire general updating or, it is a new to you house that you want to make your own.  Understanding what you want the house to be is the key to achieving satisfaction and long-lasting value.  This is your home, and we need to incorporate the desires, wishes, and needs you have in mind… Your partner might want a wonderful new kitchen, your kids may have grown up and now need separate rooms, you may desire a home office where you can gain privacy and focus on business.  Regardless of what your drivers for change are, now is the time to put it all in the mix.

The stages of design:

Re-designing a house is very much like the process of choosing a car.  Choosing which features are must haves and which are nice to haves (like heated seats, built in GPS navigation or onboard entertainment systems.) all impact on the base price and the suitability of the vehicle, therefore selecting the right mix is crucial to achieving a desired result. Upgrading and and/or modifying a house’s design is the same and requires critical analysis and experienced guidance to get it right.


The first step is to establish the wish list (as noted above). If the requirements are carefully thought through and listed, we can establish whether a single simplified procedure would cover the activities or if a full application is a better fit.  The simplest of these is the Permitted Developments Rights which allows a rear or side extension or a loft conversion/addition. The Permitted Developments Rights is the simplest point to start from and ranges from £600 to £1000 depending on complexity. 
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If you wish to include all the above (rear and side extension and a loft conversion), this will need a full planning application. The full planning application is a more complicated process which could require several weeks or months of work and coordination to fulfil the council’s requirements. Additionally, if the house is a part of a conservation area, or is listed, it is likely to require even further details to obtain consent from a local trust or interest group. Depending on the complexity, we may also suggest a mix of two or more procedures to speed things up to better obtain the necessary approvals in a timelier fashion.


The second stage is to explore in detail how the house looks, feels, and operates including how the systems of heating and cooling will function. We will work closely with you and guide or recommend materials, finishes, systems which suit your taste. At the lower spectrum we will offer you the general arrangements of all rooms and position of all bathrooms.
At the higher spectrum, we will design with you how the bathrooms function, whether the underfloor heating is connected to a home-owners app, and/or design the wardrobes and storage spaces as per your family’s needs. At this level we will evaluate the lighting and energy use and identify ways to reduce and optimise it. 
Included in the higher spectrum work we will analyse the doors, what they are made of, how the hardware is to be fixed and analyse the small details that are commonly overlooked like where the switches go and how quiet the house is whilst your child is practicing music instrument or playing online games.  While easily ignored, these details make a huge difference to the comfort of the home over the long term.


The third stage is where generation of the full package of the house specification occurs.  This specification drives the design based on the desires and wishes of your input. The packages will be offered to you and reviewed together with us during the tendering process ensuring you are happy with the specification and the details included. 
In addition, we will assist with the assessment, selection and contracting of the construction company ensuring both parties understand the program, expectations, and costs of construction.


The fourth and most exciting stage is the construction phase.  Once construction is ready to commence on site, we will provide a full set of drawings to the construction team. We will monitor all queries from the construction team and respond in timely manner. We will also coordinate third party deliveries for items such as kitchens, bathrooms, joinery including special items such as aquariums, large size or specially made furniture.  We will monitor and respond to all your questions for the duration of the construction site.

The cost of these activities and packages can be scaled up and down depending on the amount of involvement you desire and the complexity of the details.
We offer a free phone consultation service to better serve your needs and welcome your questions.