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Should we get an architect?

(9 Posts)
georgedawes Sun 03-Feb-13 17:36:33

Or an architectural technician? Or none?

We want to investigate squaring off the kitchen and dining room of our new victorian terrace. Next door have done this and it looks great - however there's looks like it cost mega bucks which we don't have!

I've had trouble finding a builder to come round to give me a rough quote, and am wondering if it is worth approaching an architect or architectural technician to discuss drawing up some plans.

My concerns are - how much will they charge? Will they have an idea of how much it should cost? I know they can handle planning application but there's no point us applying if we can't afford to do the work. I also don't want to waste money on architect's fees if we can't afford to get the extension done!

georgedawes Sun 03-Feb-13 17:38:05

Oh my goodness, what a terrible grammar mistake blush

I of course mean theirs .

emsyj Sun 03-Feb-13 17:41:16

I think we paid about £500 ish to our architect to draw up plans for a single storey extension to the back of our house - we extended the dining room out by the maximum allowed without planning permission and extended the kitchen about 3 feet to match it so that the back of our house (downstairs) is now all one level and has a sloped roof. He was semi-retired and knew our builder so possibly charged us mates' rates. He told us what he expected the costs to be, so we knew roughly how much it would cost and what sort of work we could afford.

georgedawes Sun 03-Feb-13 17:52:29

Thanks emsyj. Did you feel it was good value for money? How did you find the architect?

Can I ask how much the extension cost as well? Sorry for all the questions!

emsyj Sun 03-Feb-13 18:30:49

I think so - he was able to advise on what dimensions we could have and what would be possible without needing planning permission - we also used him a couple of years ago when we demolished our old asbestos garage and re-built it, and he did all the planning applications for that. I think an architect can sometimes give you ideas about what is possible that you wouldn't necessarily think of yourself, plus they will advise on costings and recommend suppliers and tradesmen.

Overall we spent a shade under £20k, but we installed a new kitchen at the same time and that cost includes the kitchen & fitting, flooring, decor etc. The basic building work was about £10k but DH and his dad did quite a bit of stuff themselves to save costs - e.g. DH spent days with a drill thingy taking up the kitchen floor (2 layers of tiles welded on top of each other) and DH ripped out the old kitchen himself.

emsyj Sun 03-Feb-13 18:32:25

Oh, the architect was someone who knew someone - I can't remember exactly, DH got him in when we rebuilt the garage and that was when DD was very tiny so I was sleep deprived and generally not very interested!!! It turned out he knew our builder, but I don't think the builder actually recommended him - not 100% sure. Best to get a recommendation really. If you're in the north west I can give you his number.

DorsetLass Sun 03-Feb-13 18:35:54

Our extension wa two storey so had to have one - they all offered free visit, ideas session and outlined all costs before we committed. They also have us an estimate of work (wasn't too far off).

georgedawes Sun 03-Feb-13 18:38:09

Thanks very much.

According to the surveyor it just falls outside of permitted development, but I believe the rules on this might change soon? The only other complication is we might want a downstairs bathroom/utility incorporating and I think an architect would help with that.

It's good to hear you spent that as that is our top budget! We would have to install a new kitchen also.

I think I will try and find a local architect as a start then.

georgedawes Sun 03-Feb-13 18:39:54

That's interesting it was a free visit, thanks Dorset!

Emsy we were in the NW but just moved in to North Derbyshire, but thanks.

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