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Why use an architect in Oldham?

You should hire an architect if you are thinking about building an addition, major alterations or a brand new house. An architect is an individual who works full-time on building projects. They can help you see your project from a different perspective and offer suggestions that may be useful. They can also give you an idea of the costs involved in moving forward with the entire project.
It’s always interesting to talk with friends who have completed construction projects. Most often, they are pleased with the outcome and proud of their participation in it. I then ask: If you had to do it over again, would there be anything you would change with the design? The majority of the time, they reply that it is ‘with hindsight yes’.

While it’s impossible to get ‘hindsight’, we can purchase time and advice from professionals who are experienced.

It is human nature to want to do things right the first time. Professional assistance can help you save money in the long-term. We don’t want a large amount of money spent on architectural advice for a construction project. It could mean that we have less money to spend on actual construction. It is essential to strike the right balance.

How can we keep architectural design costs down? It is crucial to have a clear vision before you ask an architect to begin drawing plans. Discuss your requirements with your friends, and then think about what you want from your project. Consider how much support you will require from an architect. Are you going to need an architect at the beginning of the design process? Do you plan to make your own plans, then have your architect review them and provide you with additional information? Remember that professional drawings will be required once you have reached the building regulation and planning permission stages.

A second question you need to answer early is: Do you require the services a professional architect? It may be worth contacting a surveyor, a technician in drawing, or a professional architect. There are many people who produce architectural designs full time, but they are not registered as architects. You can always consult a professional architect if in doubt.
My case study is Two Storey Extension and Loft conversion.

My house consisted of a two-story, four-bedroom house with a roof built with prefabricated truss beams. The width was 8m, and the length was 14m. The roof pitched at an extraordinary 47 degrees. Its height was incredible 4m. Although the loft space was huge, it was completely inaccessible because of the presence of pre-made beams in every direction.

This loft conversion would have great potential, but it wasn’t going to be an easy task and it was unlikely to be affordable. A two-story extension could be built onto the end of this house. It would add a further 3.7m to the length of the house and also give more space in the loft.

Since a long time, I’ve been thinking about building something. After talking to my friends, I decided to research the possibility more in detail. It was my first thought to hire an architect to take a look, but I decided to do it myself first because I believed this would help me save money.

PS35 allowed me to purchase a low-cost architectural design software program. After that, I spent a few weeks learning the basics. I measured my building and created it in the software. Next, I made an initial design for a floor plan. I tried to keep as much of the existing house intact as possible. I was aware that moving the kitchen or a bathroom could be costly so I tried to avoid it.

One of my requirements was to make the room longer so that I could accommodate my grandfather’s table and 12 chairs. I calculated the room dimensions and was fairly certain that it was correct. So I presented the floor plan to my wife, for her approval. Unfortunately, approval was not given. She thought the space was too small. The room was too narrow so I had to go back to the drawing boards for another couple of days. The program offered a 3d feature that allowed you to virtually walk through the rooms and get an idea of how they would look. I measured my furniture and created some models in the program to show how they would look. My wife and I then sat down in front the computer. After looking at the screen, we opened the doors to the dining room. The furniture was all set. The program revealed that the room dimensions looked perfect so my wife was happy. Approval granted.

I had created a small library on the north-side of the house. My wife decided that patio doors would be more appealing to her. I preferred a window. This was easy. We made the decision to have patio doors.

After that, we spent several weeks discussing the plans with our friends and continuing to discuss them. Some of our friends offered some more helpful ideas which we were able incorporate. It was amazing to see how far we got without an architect. However, I was never less interested in involving an architect. This was my next step.

We decided to hire an architect recommended from a friend because I felt confident that the design would be strong. We met him at our home, showed him the plans, and then waited for his decision. He was satisfied with our plans and did not recommend any changes. He then took our drawings, measurements, and created a much larger set of drawings. This was later used in Buildings Regulations submission.

We were overall very happy in many ways. We were satisfied that we had done an acceptable job, and we were also pleased to have probably saved some money.

The Planning Permission was granted and Building Regulations approval was obtained. The building was approved. Although we made some adjustments as we went along with the construction, we could see that things were coming together slowly. The most significant modification we made was to the floor plan on the roof’s upper level. This was where we tried to accomplish a few objectives, some conflicting with each other.

Find a staircase that is spacious but not cramping.
Make use of the space beneath the eaves to your advantage, as it is often very small.
Use some of the roof space to store cables and run them.
A small amount of attic space should be created at the top.
Respect fire regulations.
This small storage space could be used to create a small bedroom.
Hanging space for pictures.
A spare bedroom.
A study.
This is where the chimney pipe will pass on its way up to the roof. Also, the chimney should be accessible so that we can get as much heat from it.
My wife and her dear friends supported me in deciding that the spare bedroom must have an ensuite toilet and shower.

It turned out that the first level of the roof was designed as one big open room. We were then able to place lengths timber on the floor as a way to indicate possible locations for walls. The planks of wood were moved until they reached the right compromise. Then we placed the walls on the floor, and the builders began construction. We felt that although the layout was not exactly as we intended, it was a substantial improvement.

The project was completed at the end. Looking back, there is nothing we would have changed about the design. We were extremely pleased with the final product.

Should we have hired an architect more than what we did? In our case, I think we did just about everything right. Although an architect is a must, you shouldn’t discount the importance of your own input and that of your colleagues. When you reach the stage of applying for planning permission and building regulations, you will definitely need someone who can review your ideas, refine them, and then draw professional plans.

Even though I did not have plans drawn up, I believe it would be beneficial to have an architect come in to discuss the possibilities. Most architects Oldham area will do this for free and not charge a lot. This could be an investment in time and money.