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architect can help with an extension

Extending your living space

If you want a larger house but don’t want to move, an extension can be just the answer. So do you need to hire an architect to help you with it? To help you weigh up the pros and cons, let’s look at some of the advantages of how an Architect can help you with your self build project.

Design

As the Homeowners’ Alliance puts it: “If you engage an architect, you will pretty much always end up with a better end product.” If you don’t know quite what you want, an architect can give you ideas. If you know what you want in your head but don't know exactly what it looks like, it's their job to turn your thoughts into a coherent design. And if you know exactly what you want, they will know how to ensure it feels light, spacious and comfortable, makes best use of the space and works well with the rest of the house. And they will ensure no tiny detail is forgotten, right down to not only what kind of lights and doors you want, but which way the doors should open.

Planning permission

Lots of home extensions can be built without planning permission, and if you do need it, it's perfectly possible to do the application yourself. However, it takes time and is not particularly straightforward, so you may be very pleased to know that an architect can do it all for you. Even if you don't need planning permission, you will still need technical drawings for building regulations approval and for your builders.

Architectural advice

An architect can advise you on other issues that might come up, like the Party Wall Act (the laws covering work near the boundary of your property), building and fire regulations, and negotiating with your neighbours.

Project management

If you wish them to, your architect should also be able to find builders and manage all the construction work for you, which again can save you a lot of hassle and time. And again, they are experts trained in construction and structural engineering, so they will be able to make sure the work is up to standard – it's their design, after all, and they want to see it properly executed.

Budget

Yes, architects cost money. But, as experts in home design, good architects can help you stay within your budget – and in any case, a good quality extension is worth investing in because it will add value to your house. Conversely, an architect may help you find ways to rework the space you have, such as dividing a large bedroom into two, converting a loft or basement or making better use of a garage, so you find you don’t need an extension after all.

South East London architect Bluelime Home Design have been carrying out home extensions, loft conversions, renovations and redesigns across London and Kent for 14 years. We have 14 offices across the South East from Hampstead, Richmond and Chiswick to Bromley, Romford and Dartford. Call us on 01322 517632 to find out about the architectural services we offer or to arrange a free architect consultation.

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