Frequently Asked Questions

Before you meet your architect, try and be as clear as you can about what you want to achieve.

Make some notes: what will the space be used for, what styles do you like, what don’t you like, when do you want the work to start and finish, how much do you want to spend. Your architect will help you develop the brief.

At Townscape, we use those initial meetings to listen carefully to you and what you want. We will produce a draft brief, addressing not only design aesthetics, but also the function of the building.

Timings and budgets for your project will be identified at an early stage and only after you have approved initial sketches will the ideas be developed further.

There are a range of ways that architects charge for work including a fee as a percentage of build cost, lump sum fixed fee or hourly rate charges.

At Townscape we will provide a fee tailored to your needs and the nature of the project. This means our fees are competitive and that you always know exactly what you are paying for, and how much it costs. Our aim is to make sure that the value we add, and the potential savings we can make for you, make us the best investment you ever make.

Architects provide a full array of services to deliver your project, from concept to completion. This may be different for each architect so it is best to check.

At Townscape Architects we provide the following services: feasibility studies, briefing consultations, building surveys, development advice, concepts and designs, planning applications, building regulation applications, 3D visualisations, project tendering, project management, party wall notices.

You may need planning permission if you wish to build something new, change the appearance of your building, or change the use of your building.

There are different rules for conservation areas and listed buildings. We can to guide you through the planning process. Further details, and information on planning permission can be found at www.planningportal.gov.uk

Planning applications are made to your local authority. An application can be made by post or online and should include detailed drawings, design statements, site and location plans.

At Townscape we will prepare and deal with every aspect of the planning application and we will submit it on your behalf. We will liaise with the planning department and we will keep you updated on the progress of the application.

Your local planning authority will make a decision on your planning application, usually within 8 weeks.

All local authorities in England charge the same for planning applications. For domestic extensions the planning fee is currently £172. For new build houses the planning fee is £385.

For change of use applications the fee varied and depends on floor area. Further information can be found here www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/english_application_fees.pdf

You can undertake some property alterations and small extensions to your property without the need for planning approval. These works are known as Permitted Development.

The works that can be undertaken under Permitted Development will depend on the location and size of the works.

Further details can be found here www.planningportal.gov.uk

Townscape can advise you if your proposed works can be undertaken with or without planning approval.

Building regulations are different to planning approval. For significant works you are likely to need both planning and building regulation approval. Building regulations are often required if you intend to alter, build or extend a property.

Building works must be undertaken in accordance with the technical guidance included within the building regulations. Further details can be found at www.gov.uk/building-regulations-approval/when-you-need-approval

When you have selected your preferred architect you will receive a written appointment document.

Our appointment documents will set out your brief, a schedule of the fees and services to be undertaken and our terms and conditions.

Not all architects offer project management services. We offer a full range of architectural services to ensure the smooth and efficient delivery of your project, including project management.

This can also include tendering your project to ensure the best prices are obtained, and setting up the contract between you and the builder.

We do. We offer a construction phase service where we will visit site regularly to inspect that the works are being undertaken in accordance with the drawings, specifications and that high levels of workmanship are achieved.

Some architects may expect you to manage the project yourself, or find your own contractors, or submit your own planning applications.

When you work with us, all you need do is take part in the progress meetings, when we can update you on how the project is going, and answer any questions you may have. Of course, if you want to be more involved, that’s fine too. You can be as involved as you want to be, but we won’t expect you to do our job for us.

At Townscape we use our experience and expertise to be able to give estimates of construction costs from the outset.

Some architects will give you a general support team. At Townscape you will have a named individual member of our team who will be your familiar face and permanent point of contact throughout the project.