Are you nice to work with ?
Yes, I am polite, professional and proactive. I always exceed my clients' expectations.
Why do I need an Architect?
Not any architect, preferably me! I could bore you with the seven years of studying , the fact we hold professional indemnity insurance or how as chartered architects we provide a client centred service, value for money and excellent design skills.
some, or maybe all, of the following reasons:
you require some initial thoughts to steer your project in the right direction
you want advice on what changes you can make to your house
you want a professional, trustworthy contact for your project
you hold quality above ease of construction
How are your fees worked out?
Fairly! You can select all or part of our services and our fees will be worked out depending on your requirements. Some projects are best worked out on an hourly rate whilst others require a fixed fee or percentage fee, or we may suggest a combination of all three.
What happens at the initial consultation?
The initial consultation is a time for us to discuss your requirements and to see if you feel we are the right company for your project. At this time we will discuss your ideas and concepts and our experience and capabilities to deliver what you require. During the meeting you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions, or ask for clarification of anything that has been discussed.
How much do you charge for the initial consultation?
We offer a free consultation for all new projects either via email or site visit dependant on location.
Why should we choose you?
As chartered architects we provide a service that extends well beyond producing a set of drawings – we are skilled at identifying the aspirations and needs of our clients and we bring our special skills, knowledge and experience to all of our projects. ~See Are you nice to work with? above.
What is involved in the design process?
After the initial consultation we will liaise with you to ensure that you are completely satisfied and we will assess your ideas to develop a client brief. This will include a design concept which will explore the use and layout for the building as well as fixing your budget and construction timescales.
The concept sketches will be used to develop the Detailed Design which will be prepared in CAD.
Will we need any other professionals on our project?
Every project is different and has different requirements and we will advise you of any other consultants that you may require, for example, a structural engineer or ecologist.
What happens during the planning/construction phase?
We will guide you through the planning process, prepare the documents needed to make the applications and meet with the relevant planners on your behalf. Once planning approval has been granted we will prepare detailed construction drawings and specification, which will be sent for tender with a number of builders.
We will recommend the contractor appropriate for your project and monitor the construction stage, ensuring that the project is finished on time and within the agreed budget.
What are the stages of work that you follow?
We follow the RIBA plan of work - download here:
How can I find an Architect?
You can find a list of architects on the Architect Registration Board (ARB) which holds the information for every registered architect in the UK or the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). To be listed on these sites you have to be an architect and there is a professional code of conduct that you are expected to follow.
.and why a chartered architect?
Lewis Critchley Architects as an entire practice is a member of the RIBA. Their aim is to promote excellence in the building design and construction industry, and architects who have RIBA membership are chartered. This provides you with an extra level of security and comfort that your architect will be professional, skilled and intelligently creative.
Do you consider the work you do good value for money?
Our range of architectural services provides exceptionally good value for money.
Furthermore, our professional attention to detail will give you added value through the most efficient use of space and careful selection of materials and finishes. Where appropriate we will give consideration to sustainable technologies to reduce energy bills.
What is the most exciting project you have worked on?
That’s a difficult one to answer, as I don’t want to offend any past or current clients, I’ll be tactful and say they all have exciting elements!
How far would you travel?
How long is a piece of string? For the right project distance isn’t an issue.
What is the difference between an architectural technician, and an architect?
Qualification. You must have passed a good deal of rigourous exams to be an architect. Anyone can call themselves a technician or designer.
Insurance. Only architects are required by law to carry suitable professional indemnity insurance for all their work.
Trust. Architects are professionally obliged to place their clients' interests above their own. Like Latin? Credat emptor, not caveat emptor.
My builder says I don't need an architect.
That's good! You've found a builder!
The question is if you would prefer the builder to choose your construction materials and methods, over an independent professional. It is not in our interest to make savings on quality or design just to make it easier to put together on site. It may be in theirs. We are always happy to work with your builder to design a project that suits all parties. Our main objective is to deliver the perfect building for you. Which might make it tricky to build.
Do I need Planning Permission?
If you are changing the outside of a building, then probably, yes. But we are able to tell you for certain if it is. We can also design to avoid the need for planning permission, for instance by maximising your rights under permitted development.
How long will my project take?
Longer than you think, probably. There are several factors:
planning permission takes 8 weeks minimum, from submission to decision.
everyone is busy. finding builders that want the work is tough at the moment.
many building elements need to be ordered.Lead times can be over 6 weeks.
selling as well? Add 6 months..
What if I change my mind?
Changes are a natural part of the design process. We actively encourage you to consider a range of alternatives during the project development to avoid later "if only we'd have...." moments. It costs nothing to rub out a pencil sketch, but changes after construction always cost time and money.
Do you have insurance?
Yes. All architects are required by law to carry adequate Professional Indemnity insurance. A copy of our cover note is available on request.