From Work Experience to Apprentice

From Work Experience to Apprentice

M P Architects LLP are proud to support local schools and colleges and are happy for young aspiring Architects and Interior Designers to spend time with us carrying out work experience.

Some of these young people enjoy it so much we have invited them back to spend more time with us during their holidays. At our Practice, students get the opportunity to use AutoCAD and Revit as well as joining Architects on-site visits and surveys to get an insight into life as an Architect.

Martyn Pattie visits local schools to give career talks about the life of an Architect and what it is like to work in the industry.

Last year M P Architects LLP were joined by a work experience student called Ellie-Mae. She was confident, enthusiastic and keen to learn the ins and outs of what is involved in being an Architect. Ellie-Mae had previously used photoshop but had no architectural experience. After her week shadowing the team Ellie-Mae was able to comfortably navigate AutoCAD at a basic level and produce a drawing as specified.

Following Ellie-Mae’s work experience, she saw an open day advertised at London South Bank University (LSBU) – she went to enquire to find out more. One of the courses they were offering was an Architectural Assistant Apprenticeship – Architecture BA (Hons).

The main appeal was that the course was accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). This accreditation means you satisfy the criteria for RIBA Part 1 exemption when you complete your apprenticeship, putting you one step closer to becoming registered as an architect.

Ellie-Mae approached M P Architects LLP to consider if it would be possible for the Practice to sponsor her. Martyn Pattie (Practice Partner) was delighted to offer Ellie-Mae a position at the Practice as a Junior Architectural Assistant and to sponsor her on the apprentice scheme as London South Bank University.

Ellie-Mae joined the practice in September 2019. Over the last 8 weeks Ellie-Mae has hit the ground running. She is determined, driven and not afraid of hard work or to ask questions to learn and get involved.

We are delighted to have her as part of the team and are keen to support her through her studies over the next few years as she settles into her role and is committed to working toward becoming a qualified architect.


Claudia Gregory

B.Sc. (Hons) Social Sciences, MA in Personnel and Development

Practice Manager

New & Innovative Building Materials

Architects certainly have their work cut out to come up with building design that makes best use of eco-friendly materials.

Thankfully there is a real push in this direction. Here are some of the techniques that are being used to construct homes and business premises of the future.

Smart Glass:

This really is a multi-purpose, highly effective building material. Here are just 5 examples of where it can be used:

  • Commercial building projects.
  • Residential building projects.
  • Healthcare establishments.
  • Hospitality suites.
  • Permanent or semi-permanent exhibition buildings.

Glass facades, partitioning and windows can either be manually or automatically controlled. Such operations work to regulate the amount of light, glare as well as heat that is passed through a building’s windows.

What does this mean for the occupants?

Smart Glass is highly effective at regulating the temperature inside buildings.

It can reduce the need for air-conditioning during the summer yet provide additional heating during those cold snaps and wintertime.

An example of self-tinting: Through this process the glass tints itself in order to shade interiors. This prevents heat from escaping outdoors.

Two forms of smart glass:

This flexible material comes in two forms, both of which respond to heat retrospectively:

  • Electrochromic Smart Glass: This responds manually through an electrical charge that is sent to a printed thin film on the glass.
  • Thermochromic Smart Glass: Many would class this as being even ‘smarter’ glass. It responds to the sun’s direct heat and then shades the inside area with the appropriate level of tint.

Net-Zero Buildings:

This is a very appropriate name for futuristic buildings. Basically, architects will be responsible for designing buildings that generate the same amount of energy as they use over the course of their occupancy. In measurable terms this will be on an annual basis.

Net-Zero buildings operate through the use of passive systems which heat and cool interiors.

Without wishing to get overly technical the process consists of the building mass; examples being large areas of concrete, stone or water which are naturally used to retain heat throughout daylight hours. This heat is then gradually released during the evening’s cooler hours.

In with the new, but don’t forget the old!

The above are just two examples of ‘new’ technology, but innovative architects have certainly not forgotten the past.

Materials such as:

  • Fungal mycelium – A fast-growing, fully mouldable and completely compostable material that is excellent for cladding, insulation and temporary structures.
  • Natural fibres: These are also enjoying a new lease of life. Examples here being Bamboo, Cork, Linen, Plywood and cardboard. All can be ethically produced with low environmental impact.

A host of ways to make buildings more sustainable:

We have only really touched the surface with regard to the ways that architects are looking at when it comes to the construction of eco-friendly buildings.

Progressive architectural companies have many other ideas, ways and materials that can be utilised when it comes to this type of innovative building construction.

If you are keen to understand more for your next building project, please do discuss the options with a well-respected architectural company.



Loft conversions – The Ideal Way To Extend Your Existing Home

House owners in need of more space do have the option of moving to a larger property, but there is an option that offers additional space in an existing property without the upheaval of moving home.

That option is a loft conversion.

Here are some major benefits and reasons why an increasing number of households are finding such a conversion to be an excellent alternative.

Far less upheaval all round:

Finding a new home to suit your space requirements can be time-consuming and stressful.

Costs incurred will include the value of the new property, stamp duty, solicitor fees and the actual cost of moving from one house to another.

Packing your worldly goods and then unpacking them is another consideration that adds to the challenge of moving home.

You then need to take into account facts such as:

  • Unless you find a property in reasonably close proximity to your existing one it may mean additional commute time to your place of work (or finding new employment).
  • Arranging a new school for the children.
  • Settling in to a brand-new environment with the social challenges this brings for the whole family.

When all of these factors and many more are taken into account it is easy to understand that moving home is quite rightly viewed as a huge project, one that cannot be taken lightly.

Gain space without losing any!

A major reason for considering moving home is that your growing family now require more space.

Yes, you can consider building an extension on your existing home, but unless your property is situated in ample grounds you will certainly loose outside space and the freedom which goes with it.

By taking the advice and ideas of a well-respected architect you will find that the conversion of your loft will add additional, very function space such as an office, a children’s den, or the most popular choice; an additional bedroom with en-suite bathroom.

A light, airy addition to your property:

By definition a loft conversion can be designed to make the most of natural light. Being at the top of the house means natural light is far less restricted from surrounding properties or trees.

Window styles can be far more expansive and a roof-window really can make the most of sunshine and daylight. You will also find views from a loft conversion far more elevated than from other rooms in your home.

Added value to your home:

We must make this point because a loft conversion is seen as one of the most cost-effective and valuable home improvements you can make.

The fact that the external structure is already in place reduces the overall cost, inclement weather does little to reduce the progression of work as the majority of this will be carried out from the inside (unlike building an extension), and in many cases planning permission is not required.

A well-designed loft conversion can add up to 20% on the value of your existing home.

A final point to ponder:

In many cases the cost of converting your loft as opposed to moving home is equivalent to the stamp duty you will pay if taking the latter option.

This means that by deciding on a loft conversion you are gaining more living space while paying less for it.

How Planned Architecture Can Help Tackle Global Warming

Today’s architectural companies are well aware that they can have a huge impact on reducing carbon footprint and global warming.

Here’s why, and how responsible architects are addressing this major issue.

Building in isolation needs to be addressed:

For far too many years we have been building in isolation and not taking into account environmental issues.

This is seen in the fact that the vast majority of buildings are currently consuming far more energy than they require to deliver services to occupants.

Indeed, industry estimates put figures of building consumption at 35% of generated energy and nearly double that (60%) of all electricity used.

These figures show that although initiatives to reduce global warming and carbon footprint are gathering pace, there is still lots of scope to improve the situation.

5 ways in which architects are assisting:

Here are 5 ways in which responsible architects are addressing environmental concerns in relation to new building projects.

  • Pre-development: Architectural knowledge and assessment of how the building consumes will likely affect the climate before the project commences is a must.

Once this is understood, the architect(s) concerned can look for possible alternatives and consider resources that are more efficient than those originally tabled.

  • Efficient lighting: When it comes to commercial buildings, it is estimated that lighting requirements account for about 40% of energy used.

Daylight is obviously the most sustainable lighting source available, but it goes without saying that electrical lighting must always be used to complement natural light.

Environmentally conscious architects are now concentrating on building design that makes full use of daylight penetration. By doing so they are reducing the reliance on electric lighting.

  • Water efficiency: This must be viewed as a major environmental issue. The challenge for architects is how to reduce the amount of energy expended in terms of supplying, treating and the use of a buildings water supply.

In this respect, two innovative design inclusions are gaining credence: Rooftop gardens and Rain gardens.

These positive steps allow rainwater to penetrate the ground rather than simply having it run off.

  • Use of recycled materials: It is well known that millions of tonnes of construction waste is generated each year.

While the challenge is not always an easy one, responsible architects are now looking at innovative ways to reuse on-site materials wherever possible.

  • Procure material as locally as possible: It is fully understood that this may not always be possible, but it is certainly something that should not be overlooked.

The procurement of required materials for a project from quality sources close to site can have a significant impact on carbon emissions and the closer the better.

Through the reduction of material transportation distances, the carbon footprint caused by material delivery is being reduced accordingly.

When considering a building project consider the environment!

Project managers and/or individuals who are tasked with new building projects need to be aware of how important it is to consider the environmental impact of the task in hand before any project work commences.

In order to complete a building project that is as environmentally friendly as possible it is strongly recommended that they liaise with an environmentally aware and astute architectural firm.

Establishing such cooperation from the pre-planning stage to project completion will ensure solid advice on ways to tackle the very real environmental issues that currently exist.

Three Property Alterations That Add Most Value To Your Home

Homeowners look at alterations to their property for two distinct reasons.

In the first instance it will afford greater comfort for all those living there, and when these alterations are carried out professionally, they will add value to your property.

Starting with one alteration that may not be uppermost in many homeowners’ minds, here are three property alterations that will certainly achieve the two benefits mentioned above.

#1        Cellar conversion or addition of a cellar:

Existing cellars: Those properties with an existing cellar can maximise this space by turning them into additional living space, precious storage space or a home cinema.

Estimations of the added value to your property go as high as 30%. The caveat here is that the alteration building costs per square metre should be less than the square metre price of the area.

This may seem a major conversion project, but with correct advice it can be one of the least complex.

For planning purposes this type of work qualifies as ‘change of use’. That being the case, you should not require planning permission. Although those living in a listed building who intend to make any structural changes to their property do need to discuss such a project with a local architect and obtain advice from their local planning office.

Those who currently do not have a cellar/basement can create one by digging down to add the required square footage to their home. For such a project, specialist skills are required.

This involves work relating to excavation, structural engineering and the all-important waterproofing. Again, speaking with a respected architect will reap rewards from beginning to end of such a project.

#2        Conversion of a loft into an additional bedroom:

Instead of going down with a basement project, many property owners look upwards to convert their loft into an additional bedroom. To ensure maximum benefit from such a conversion you should consider adding an en-suite bathroom.

The majority of lofts can be converted, but it really is worth your while consulting an architect on viability and design options available for such a conversion.

We say this because there are two common types of loft conversion with many different elements of design choice:

  • ‘Roof Light’ Conversion: This is the most cost-effective loft conversion as it requires far less structural work to be carried out.
  • Mansard Conversion/adding dormers: Although this is a more complex and expensive conversion it gives you far greater design scope. A mansard conversion requires that either one or both roof slopes are replaced. This new structure will have steeper sides and a roof that is almost flat.

#3        Garage conversion:

When it comes to adding additional living space to your property a garage conversion is a very popular choice. It can be particularly beneficial for those who have parking space around their property.

Before any work begins it is important to ascertain that the garage construction is suitable for conversion and whether planning permission will be required.

Many homeowners find that work involved in such a project does not require planning permission because it is classed as ‘permitted development’.

While planning permission may not be necessary, such a conversion will always be subject to building regulations. This is to make sure it is structurally sound.

Scope galore:

Your existing property can be redesigned or added to through well-planned alteration projects.

This makes the benefits in terms of additional comfort and future added value certainly worthy of consideration.


Chelmsford, Essex – a desirable countryside location keeps Chelmsford architects busy

Long before the architects in Chelmsford of today were designing homes to meet the current housing demand, Chelmsford was popular as a place to live and work.  Located in the ‘v’ of the rivers Cam and Chelmer, since ancient times the site of the City has valued for its riverside location as well as its proximity and good access to the historic towns of Colchester and London.  A town of some standing has thrived in the area from Saxon times.

By 1189 the town was known as Chelmsford, and its location on the Londinium – Camulodonum Roman road (the modern A12) ensured it prospered.  By the 13th Century, Chelmsford had become Essex’s county town.  In modern times, Chelmsford has continued to be well served by excellent rail and road connections into London; to three major airports; City, Stanstead and Southend and the busy ports of Tilbury so in 1914 Chelmsford became a cathedral town and finally in 2012, it was granted City status by H M Queen Elizabeth II.

Morphing through the centuries from a market town, coaching town, industrial town and more recently into a townhome to the retail and financial sectors; as a place to live and work, the popularity of Chelmsford has not waned.

All the trappings of a city but in a rural environment

Sitting on the edge of the Greenbelt, 30 miles east of London, Chelmsford is a popular choice of home town for City and Dockland commuters seeking a rural lifestyle but reluctant to be too far from the buzz of the country’s capital as a short train journey of 30 minutes will take them back into London, Liverpool St station where they can reconnect with the buzz of capital city life.

However, living in the county’s only city, many find that all they require is to hand.  Chelmsford has a thriving entertainment and cultural scene.  The city hosts music festivals have two theatres and a new state of the art cinema complex.  There are impressive stately houses to visit and many beautiful parks to explore.  In the city centre, there is no shortage of independent restaurants, bars and cafes.  Many of the well-known food franchises have also invested in the area.  Chelmsford is fast becoming known as the foodie capital of Essex!  In fact, the city is so proud of its cultural facilities it is setting its cap at becoming the UK’s City of Culture.

A major business based in Essex

Since Chelmsford’s elevation to city status, a boom in development has followed.  According to Experion, Chelmsford has become the biggest business based in Essex, proving an attractive and strategic location for businesses wishing to locate close to London and needing access to excellent communication infrastructure.  While the old manufacturing and engineering businesses such as Crompton, Marconni and Hoffmans have long since closed, Chelmsford is attracting investment from other major sectors such as finance, science and technology, moving away from its industrial past towards a city of modern high-value businesses and upmarket retailers such as John Lewis.  With so much investment in businesses in the area, commercial architects in Chelmsford Essex have experienced strong demand for their architectural services, carrying out feasibility studies, designing new shops and offices and retail outlets.

A surge in residential new housing and property extensions

Having decided the City of Chelmsford with its suburbs and surrounding villages is the right place for you to live you will find there is a variety of style, size and value of property to choose to invest in.  In the city, there is a choice of large modern new houses on small developments and flats along the waterside. There are also roads with Victorian terraces, many of which are ripe for conversion into flats attracting the ‘buy to let’ investor.

With its ever-expanding population, the main borough of Chelmsford now incorporates all or part of the former parishes of Broomfield, Great Baddow, Galleywood, Writtle, Moulsham, Widford, and Springfield, including Springfield Barnes, now known as Chelmer Village.  Within these areas, there are properties reflecting the different architectural styles over the decades. These properties offer great potential for families to enter the market at a good price and Chelmsford architects are much in demand providing, extension and interior redesign services to upgrade them into modern, warm and welcoming homes.

Chelmsford has much history and in the city, and hamlets of the outlying villages, there is still the opportunity to buy a listed building, or barn, just looking to be converted.  MP Architects LLP in the past few years has completed hundreds of projects in Chelmsford; we have considerable experience in working with historic buildings and barns, updating them so that the current owners can enjoy the traditional features while benefitting, as far as is reasonably possible, from modern design and technology.

With quick commutes to London and important Essex towns, good schools, a university, pretty villages, and vast swathes of protected countryside and beautiful river estuaries it is no wonder that Chelmsford is a popular choice for buyers when looking at investing in property.

If you are seeking an architect to help you create a home in Chelmsford that reflects your lifestyle and meets your needs, MP Architects LLP have helped many families achieve the home of their dreams.  We know that when searching the internet for “architects near me” or “award-winning” you will find many options, but we consider we are one of the best architects in Chelmsford and Essex.  We are proud of the standard and diversity of our projects and our high quality, professional service.  You can view examples of our previous work including house extensions, new build houses and commercial projects, by visiting our portfolio page.

If you are searching for professional, proactive and responsive architects in Chelmsford, Essex, contact us today.  The initial consultation is usually free.  We look forward to meeting you.

Brentwood, Essex – a regular in the top 10 lists of desirable places to live

Brentwood, Essex – a regular in the top 10 lists of desirable places to live

It is not surprising that architects in Brentwood Essex are busy.  Growing from humble beginnings in the 12th Century as a convenient stopping place for pilgrims travelling from the Midlands to Canterbury, Brentwood has thrived and is in high demand as a place to live.  The location affords great diversity in terms of lifestyle opportunities, and it is not surprising that it is a favourite place for families; commuters, landlords and commercial business developers to invest.  You only need a little research to discover why.

Fantastic transport links to major cities and international airports.

Brentwood is nestled in greenbelt on the edge of the London, and those who settle here can experience the benefits of a rural lifestyle knowing that a short journey of only just over 30 minutes by TFL will reconnect them to the buzz of London’s city life and its attractions.  Shenfield, a popular leafy suburb of Brentwood, is also a quick commute of around 20 minutes into Liverpool Street Station, London.  West Horndon is another suburb with good commuting access to London Fenchurch Street Station.

The London orbital road, M25, is easily accessed just 2 miles south-west of Brentwood, while the A12 bypasses Brentwood town linking commuters easily to Stratford East London.  The M11, just one junction down the M25, leads to major destinations, such as Cambridge, in little over an hour.  The A12 is also a major artery going through to Colchester, the ports of Harwich, Felixstowe, Ipswich, Lowestoft and finally Great Yarmouth in East Anglia.

International commuters and holidaymakers can use the upgraded international airport of Southend, a quick an easy journey from either Brentwood town rail station or Shenfield train station.

Living outside the country’s capital city doesn’t mean you will miss out

Brentwood has a flourishing nightlife, and the foodie scene is hot too with well-known franchises such as Nandos in Brentwood high street and good gastropubs and fine dining restaurants tucked away down the country lanes.  If shopping is a major pastime, the keynote retail centres of Essex such as Lakeside Basildon Eastgate and Freeport are a quick journey away either by car or train.

A varied choice of housing options

 Having decided the borough of Brentwood is geographically the right place for you to settle, you will discover that this area is a pleasing mixture of well-kept towns and villages.  The district includes the towns of Brentwood, Hutton and Shenfield.  Venturing a little further out, you will find attractive traditional villages and hamlets such as Ingatestone – often noted as one of the prettiest villages in Brentwood.

 You will quickly notice that there is a variety of style, size and value of property to choose to invest in.  Commercial developers have invested in the area, keeping architects serving Brentwood busy designing a variety of new homes to suit different tastes and lifestyles; whether it be statement one-off houses, small developments, apartments, retirement homes or affordable housing.

In the suburbs, there is a good opportunity to buy an older style house at a reasonable price and Architects in Brentwood are busy using their interior design skills upgrading them into modern warm and welcoming homes.  In the hamlets there are desirable traditional thatched country cottages available and you can still find a barn to convert.

With its convenient location just outside London, excellent transport networks to the capital and other key destinations in the country, a choice of urban or rural living, fantastic leisure opportunities and excellent educational establishments, Brentwood looks set to remain a popular place to settle, and any architect in Brentwood will continue to be much in demand.

MP Architects LLP are proud of the standard and diversity of our projects and our high quality, professional service.  We have completed hundreds of projects in Bentwood in recent years. You can view examples of our previous work including house extensions, new build houses and commercial projects, by visiting our portfolio page.

If you are searching for professional, proactive and responsive architects in Chelmsford, Essex, contact us today.  The initial consultation is usually free.  We look forward to meeting you.

Why Sustainable Architecture Makes Sense

During the building or renovation of homes and buildings the aim of sustainable architecture is to complete a project that is not only pleasing to the eye, but is also environmentally-friendly.

This can be achieved through a combination of:

  • The use of renewable materials
  • Technology that is energy efficient
  • Innovative architectural design

A key reason highlighting the importance of sustainable architecture:

There is no doubt whatsoever that homes and buildings have a highly significant impact when it comes to carbon emissions.

The Environment Programme headed by the United Nations has produced figures stating that buildings account for almost 50% of global energy use.

Two stark findings also state that they produce 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of all solid waste.

Responsible architectural firms have been implementing sustainable practices for quite some time now. They are constantly coming up with innovative sustainable design strategies that will hugely benefit your project.

These strategies that not only reduce energy consumptions, they also reduce environmental damage.

Minimising environmental impact:

The ever-growing demand for new buildings in the form of homes, commercial concerns such as restaurants, shopping centres, leisure facilities and office space means there is a real responsibility for architects to address these challenges in a way that ensures waste is reduced, sustainable products are used and the end result is aesthetically pleasing.

By achieving such goals, they are contributing greatly in terms of minimising the environmental impact of any new or refurbished development project.

A further positive is that these sustainable methods ensure long-term benefits through the design of energy-efficient buildings.

Sustainable architecture is not confined to new projects:

Anyone considering the refurbishment of their home or business premises should be aware that sustainable architectural practices can also benefit such a project.

This is achieved through the re-design of buildings in a far more energy-efficient manner and will introduce such things as:

  • Solar Panels
  • Environmentally friendly insulation methods
  • The latest, low-energy heating systems

These are all quite straight-forward and effective ways of ensuring that a property achieves its aim of becoming ‘greener’ through re-design as well as operation.

Dependent upon the type of project you are undertaking, you may also find government schemes available that make such ‘green’ initiatives even more attractive.

Include a green architect from the conceptual stage

There is no doubt that the most sustainable building projects are those which are designed and overseen by ‘green’ architects from the conceptual stage onwards.

This is because your chosen architectural firm will then have full scope to introduce innovative and unique eco-friendly design measures at just about every stage of the project.

By doing so it will mean the finished design is created consuming less energy, yet providing highly advanced methods of sustainable technology.

Sustainable architecture benefits everyone:

The completion of an ideal building project is one that is environmentally sustainable for the long-term benefits of everyone.

It promotes occupant health through the use of natural, renewable materials, the sourcing of energy and water, and functionality that affords positive environmental benefits.

The implementation of sustainable architecture is of extreme importance. Benefits are far reaching, not just for those who live or work in such buildings, but the surrounding community and its economy.

Pros and Cons of Hiring an Architect to Design A Holiday Home Abroad

Building your dream holiday home could mean you are also constructing your future home. These days there is no shortage of British citizens moving abroad for retirement and who could blame them?

Many of these people prefer to buy land and construct a newbuild while there are plenty of people that want to renovate an old-style Spanish or French villa or add an extension, swimming pool, or even a sunroom. This is all very well, but how do you hire an architect that you can communicate well with and that you can trust?

Most of the time people would rather hire an architect in their own country to come up with the design plans and take abroad for an estimate. However, before you decide which option is best for your circumstances, consider the advantages and disadvantages of using a home bred architect.

Advantages to Using an Architect at Home Rather Than Abroad

Some foreign countries do not have the safety standards that the UK has. One thing we can all appreciate about the British way of doing things is that we have strict constructions laws. These construction laws adhere to not just structural safety standards, but take into consideration the spread of fire, the likelihood of a fire, how close we can build to another property and so on.

A British architectural firm will be able to advise you on how to make the best of the space you have available to you. Room positions, pool placement, garden space and so on. You will also be able to get advice on plumbing and electrics.

Having a local architect will save you time and money going back forth with an architect abroad. You will also be able to turn up to the country you plan to build your holiday home with plans already in motion.

Disadvantages to Using an Architect at Home Rather Than Abroad

Some of the disadvantages are obvious, but they are not cause for major concern.

A British architect may not be savvy to the materials used in a foreign country to build a property. For example, most properties in hot countries do not use brickwork. That said, any good architect will be able to create design plans for an array of buildings no matter what the material being used is.

In general, a British architect will not know the building regulations and laws abroad. This could mean some parts of your original plan will need to change once presented to a construction company abroad. This could add additional expenses that you may not have had with if you used a local architect. However, instances such as these are rare and the changes that need to be made are usually very minor.

Using a British architect to design a holiday home abroad saves you having to travel abroad or communicate with an architect in a different time zone. You will also have peace of mind when it comes to adhering to British safety standards, which by and large have an excellent reputation.

In the end, hiring a British based architect is certainly more convenient than hiring one abroad if you are not already living in the country you plan to carry out your holiday construction project. That said, you may have to make some changes to your plans when you do come to hiring a construction firm in a foreign country, but on the whole these changes will be minor and can always be double checked by your architect.

Ugly House To Lovely House

Ugly House To Lovely House

Millions of viewers have witnessed the transformation of homes in the UK’s Channel 4 TV series ‘Ugly House To Lovely House’ and noted the inclusion of an architect in these projects.

Improve, not move!

The message behind the programme has certainly inspired many to improve their home rather than going through the expense of upping sticks and moving to a new one.

This should be viewed as a very viable proposition for those who are settled in a particular area and are reluctant to move lock, stock and barrel.

Considerations when deciding to renovate:

Deciding to go ahead with major renovation work will certainly transform your home, but such a project must be viewed realistically. It is not going to be achieved without cost, inconvenience, challenges and potential delays.

To ease stress and ensure you achieve that lovely house let’s list xx major considerations you need to take into account before starting such a transformation.

Hiring an architect:

This really is a key requirement. Of course, you may very well have your own redesign plans in mind and these visions should be explained to a reputable architect to allow them to take your requirements into account.

A good architect will also come up with potential alternatives based on exactly what you are looking for. The cost of such a service should be seen as an extremely worthwhile part of your investment and it should be noted that many architectural firms will also offer a complete project management role which means that while you will be consulted every step of the way, you do not have to become so involved in the renovation work and making important decisions when faced with renovation issues that are unseen at the outset but often come up during such work.

Understand costs and keep some cash in reserve!

As can be seen from the programme episodes, the initial budgets for these renovations were all exceeded.

What this should tell you is that your anticipated final cost for such work will be more than you expect.

While you are obviously not looking for this to happen it should be catered for and a sensible percentage of the initial budget should be kept in reserve for any additional costs.

Do not overstretch yourself financially. If the complete renovation plan cannot be achieved with the finances you have then prioritise and complete the work in stages. While this is obviously not ideal, it is far better than getting into debt. It will also mean that each stage of work will be completed rather than leaving a section unfinished and untidy.

Prepare for disruption:

Think “Pain before gain!”. By its very nature restoration will cause disruption to your daily life. This must be prepared for and patience is imperative.

One way to cope with such disruption is to understand from your architect exactly how long such work is expected to last. This way you have a clear goal in mind and can tick off the days. You should also arrange for regular updates on progress to help you understand how the work is proceeding, is it on schedule and whether any problems encountered will add to the expected completion schedule.

Having a clear picture of progress will help greatly in calming all members of your household while you view such an ugly house to lovely house transformation.

If you are looking for residential architects in london then please do not hesitate to contact us today.