FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q

How much do you charge?

All fees are calculated on an individual basis and will depend on the extent of services to be provided, the nature of the project and the site, and an individual client's approach and requirements.I will normally undertake a free initial consultation and provide a fee proposal without obligation.  If you'd like to discuss this please get in touch.

Q

Do we have to use you for every stage of our project or can you take over part way through?

I'm normally happy to take a project at any stage so if you already have designs, consents or builders on site I should be able to help you.  If you'd like to discuss this please get in touch.

Q

We have a building plot and we'd like a house like this one that we've seen online.  Will this be OK?

Well designed houses respond to the opportunities and constraints offered or imposed by a site, as well as the client's brief.  Copying a design which was developed for a specific client's needs and for a specific site isn't a good approach.  It will be much better if you can look at designs that you like, think about why you like them, and use this to formulate a brief for your design.  You might like the way that the building captures views at certain times of day, the way that the reception areas connect to create a sociable living area and a feeling of space, or you might simply like the sense of quality suggested by the use of materials.  If you can understand and communicate why you like a particular design I will be able to design something with similar qualities which responds appropriately to your site.  

Q

We only want a small extension - is this too small a project for you?

No - smaller projects can make such a different to a client's home so they are often the most rewarding.

Q

We'd like to build a low energy home or adapt our existing house to make it more efficient - can you help?

Yes - I'm a Certified Passivehaus Designer so I can design a home with a minimal energy demand.  I'm also experienced in low energy retrofit of existing properties.  I'd love to talk to you about this - please get in touch.

Q

Can you guarantee that you will obtain planning approval for our project?

I have undertaken approximately 900 projects and I have obtained planning approval in well in excess of 95% of these. Projects where consent has been withheld often involve retrospective applications or proposals developed against my advice.  No-one can guarantee that you will obtain planning permission and you should take any such guarantee with a pinch of salt. Planning applications are a democratic process, inviting comment from your neighbours and your local elected representatives.  It is not always possible to anticipate or overcome objections that may be raised during this consultation process. 

I will offer you good and honest advice at all stages regarding the likelihood of gaining consent and the best way to develop proposals to ensure consent is granted.

Q

We are thinking about buying this house, can you provide a free initial consultation and a fee proposal?

Sorry - I'm unable to offer a free consultation in respect of potential purchases as my experience is that very few will lead to paid work.  I am able to undertake an initial feasibility exercise for potential purchases and I will normally recommend that a pre-application planning enquiry be submitted to the local planning department  prior to completion of the purchase.  If you'd like to discuss this service please get in touch.

Q

We're happy with your fee proposal, when can you start?

I can normally commence new projects within 4 weeks of instruction but it will depend on my workload at any given time.  My fee proposal will include an indication of my likely commencement date.

Q

How long does the design and planning process take?

From taking the initial survey I normally aim to submit a planning application within 3-4 weeks.  The planning application will typically take 8 weeks to be determined.  This period can be extended for complex applications or shortened for simpler proposals, particularly when the local council offer a fast track planning service.  Lawful development applications (for smaller extensions carried out under permitted development rights) can sometimes be determined in as little as 2 weeks.

Q

What about building regulations - how long will that take?

I normally commence building regulations drawings within 4 weeks of obtaining planning consent and aim to complete those drawings within two weeks for the majority pf projects.  The approval process can take 8 weeks but will typically be 4 weeks or less (only a few days in some cases).

Q

Do I need you to get prices from builders and manage my project - surely I can do this myself?

You can do this yourself; lots of clients do and I don't try to stop them.  However it can lead to serious problems and can be a false economy. My tendering and project management services are effective and competitively priced.  I'm always happy to discuss this in further detail with any potential client.

Q

What's an architectural technologist, is it the same as an architect?

It's very similar but it's not quite the same.  As an architectural technologist my focus is generally on the technical aspects of design.  However, I hold a degree in architectural design and you can take a look at my portfolio to review my design skills.  This article from Homebuilding & Renovating magazine should provide you with a good overview of the difference.  This article from the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists website also provides some background on what an architectural technologist does.

Q

When and how do we need to pay you?

For most projects I will require a 50% fee deposit immediately prior to commencing each stage, with the balance of fees becoming due upon completion of that stage (ie prior to submission of applications etc).  Fees can be paid by bank transfer.  I can accept credit card payments but an administration fee of 1.75% will be applied.

Q

My neighbour wants an extension just like the one you designed for me.  Can I let him use my plans?

No.  The plans that I prepare for you are licensed for you to use yourself for a specific purpose; to obtain planing permission, building regulation approval or for construction work.  I retain ownership of the copyright and the plans cannot be given or sold to a third party for use on the same, or a different site.  You can read a little more about copyright and architectural drawings on this page from the design and copyright society website.  Sorry if this seems a little mean!

Elliott Pardington Architecture & Design Ltd, Drybridge House, Drybridge Park, Monmouth, Wales, NP25 5AS 

© 2020 by Elliott Pardington Architecture & Design Ltd.