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Side return extension advice - North Surrey/SW London area

(11 Posts)
Preggersplayspop Sun 10-Apr-11 20:45:20

We are considering extending into the side return on our house, and a bit into the back as well. We're also thinking about adding a bathroom to our existing loft conversion.

We have an appointment with Architect Your Home but my DH got a bit frightened off after a really salesy man phoned him back to try to rearrange the appointment so we are wondering whether to proceed with them (its quite expensive at £900 plus VAT) or shop around a bit more.

I wondered whether anyone had done a similar extension in this area and could recommend builders/architects, or had any feedback on Architect Your Home. Do we need an architect at all for something like this, or could a competent builder be enough?

Also, wondering what the approximate cost would be. We have a small house, so side return not massive, and probably can only go out the back a further couple of metres maximum.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

SpringHeeledJack Sun 10-Apr-11 20:47:53

<marking place>

LittleCheesyPineappleOne Sun 10-Apr-11 20:48:21

We're in your area, but our house is quite complicated so we needed an architect. We got him through the RIBA/Shelter scheme Architect in the House where for a small donation to Shelter, an architect will come to give you ideas.

Most decent builders have access to an architectural technician for simple schemes, though.

Preggersplayspop Sun 10-Apr-11 20:58:48

I did have a look at the Architect in the House scheme, but got the impression it only happened for a limited time each year. Did I get the wrong end of the stick on this?

How did you find your builder? I have been stung before (on something relatively small but a complete and utter nightmare at the time) and the memories are still enduring!

amidaiwish Sun 10-Apr-11 21:00:01

if you can get hold of a magazine like "Richmond magazine" - the free monthly glossy, there are always quite a few ads from companies "specialising in side returns"- i doubt these builders would need separate architects.

what do you get for your nearly £1100 (inc vat) from architect your home?

LittleCheesyPineappleOne Sun 10-Apr-11 21:04:03

It is only on for a ltd time, but it's happening now (April)

My architect is recommending a builder, the structural engineer has recommended one, and I've also approached two companies who've done extensions for friends. We're just at the point of getting quotations.

Preggersplayspop Sun 10-Apr-11 22:02:37

We have a similar magazine for where we live, and I did look through it today and saw some adverts along the line of what we were looking for. Was worried I would be taken in by all the lovely photos though! May be a good idea to contact a couple before we launch into AYH though. I think for the money you get a 7 hour appt, which includes plans being drawn up at the end of it.

Had another look at the Architect in the House scheme as well, will discuss with DH.

beanandspud Sun 10-Apr-11 22:48:26

It sounds a bit backwards but it might be worth asking a couple of local builders to come round and have a look at the job first. We did this with our extension and they recommended architects that they had worked with. The architect that we used in the end was fantastic - he came up with ideas that we would never have considered and dealt with all of the planning etc.

I would expect to get a brief initial meeting without charge - nearly £1k up front sounds like a lot of money when you don't know the person or whether you feel you can work with them.

kbaby Mon 11-Apr-11 23:10:14


I'm not in your area but doing something similar. We have a half dormer bungalow. We want a bathroom put upstairs, the stairs moved and all bedrooms moved about a but and a dormer out on the front.
We came up with a few ideas ourselves but decided to go through an architect. I couldn't find any recommendations so just chose one.

So far she has been to the house twice to get ideas and has given us one set of plans to look over. The plans she has come up with are nothing like the ones I had thought of and are so much better than what we would've come up with.
We've not paid anything yet and they've told us we pay half when we are happy with the plans and ready to apply for planning and the other half once planning is granted. The next stage for us is to get specific dimensions on the plans and make what changes we need and then to get a builder in to quote is prices for the work, because depending upon the cost of the work the plans may need changing.

I hope this helps

Preggersplayspop Tue 12-Apr-11 19:43:42


We cancelled AYH and we are looking at other architects, will shop around before committing so much upfront

pascalbuildteam Thu 13-Mar-14 15:54:27

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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