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We have compiled some of the questions we are frequenty asked here, use the search icon to find an answer to your query. If you can't find the answers you are looking for, then feel free to contact us.

  • What does an Architect do?
    A question which we find people are generally afraid to ask us! It seems common knowledge that Architects design and draw buildings but it isn't obvious what this entails. Architects are traditionally the lead consultant on projects, so as well as producing the sketches and drawings required, they act as the main point of contact for the client and managing the consultants (Engineers, Landscape Designer etc), the builder and the contract when the building reaches construction. We produce the drawings required by the planning department, Building Control and Contractors which detail and set out both the design and technical detailing of a project. If clients only require a design and drawings from us, we are happy to provide that service. It is worth pointing out that an Architect will not undertake structural design, we would require the help of a Structural Engineer for this but we can help with their appointment and we would incorporate any information they provide us into our drawing packages.
  • Do I need an Architect for my project?
    It is common now for builders to request formal drawings and details before providing a price for a project and certainly before starting the building work. The local council will also require drawings for any required planning applications or building regulation approval. To use the title Architect, that person has had to complete five years of University education and a minimum of two years documented work experience, so they are well qualified in design and the building process. It is always worthwhile having a knowledgeable person on board to assist with the documents and applications you will require.
  • What are the ARB and RIBA?
    The ARB (Architects Registration Board) is a statutory body set up by parliament to oversee the registered of qualified Architects. It is more likely you will have come across the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) who are a voluntary organisation of Architects in the UK and abroad. In short, to legally use the title, your Architect must be registered with the ARB. You can search the register here:
  • What type of projects do you do?
    We work on a range of projects but Residential design is our passion. Our office often has a variety of scales of work too, so we are happy to chat to you about smaller extensions up to larger new build schemes.
  • How much is an initial consultation?
    We do not charge for an initial meeting, this can be a short meeting over the phone or Zoom where we can discuss the project brief and also allow for you to ask any questions you may have. For some projects we may suggest this takes place face to face.
  • Why should we choose Maude and Edwards Architects?
    We are a husband and wife team and a small business, this means we can give clients a personal service. You will be working with ourselves throughout your project and have a qualified Architect produce all your drawings and documents. We have a number of years' experience working on all stages of building with a particular focus on residential design and building so we are confident we will be able to guide you through the process and collaborate on a design which you will love.
  • How do you calculate your fee?
    Our fees are essentially based on projected estimations of time required for us to produce the work required from us to the highest standards. When we produce our fee proposals we will show fixed fees for stages of a project which we can confidently predict (ie. Survey). In the case of stages such as Sketch Design, we will give a fee 'range' which will depend on how 'straight-forward' or complex the project becomes. Overall, you should be able to budget accurately for our services. We avoid percentage fees on the whole as we feel these are not a fair for the client and can lead to confusion (for everyone!).
  • What is involved in the design process?
    Lots of sketching! We usually will draft initial sketches based on our first discussions with our clients. Once we have comments there will be some adjustment and tweaking until we find your perfect design.
  • What other consultants/professionals will I need for my project?
    This varies from project to project but a Structural Engineer is nearly always required. We can give details on who you may require or what specific surveys you may need once we know the details of your project.
  • What type of surveys will you carry out?
    We can measure some existing buildings but in some cases we may suggest that a specialist Surveyor is appointed to assist us. We do not undertake land surveys but we will advise you if you need this.
  • Do you work with Interior Designers?
    We are happy to work with an Interior Designer should you choose to have one for your project.
  • Do you work on Listed Buildings?
    Yes, we have worked on a number of Listed Buildings and enjoy the challenges they can bring.
  • Can you manage the project from start to finish?
    In short, yes! Architects are traditionally involved in a project for its entirety assisting the client from the initial design right through to inspecting the final build. Not all clients require this from us but we are happy to discuss with you how you would like us to be involved.
  • What happens during the planning and construction phases of a project?
    Not all projects will require planning permission but in the cases that do, once we have agreed a layout and aesthetic for your build we will submit those documents to the council for approval. The time this takes can vary, but typically an outcome from the council can take 10 weeks from submission. In some cases we find that clients are keen to push to the next drawing stage of the project before having approval, in low risk applications (ie. we don't expect any planning complications or rejection) this is certainly possible to reduce the time before work can begin on site. In higher risk applications we may advise against this but ultimately this is the clients choice. Once the final drawings are complete and coordinated we can assist in finding a Builder/Contractor, when things begin on site we can be as involved as you need us to be. Some people prefer to lead the contract with the Builder themselves and have us on hand should there be any queries on site, others would like us to make regular visits or be heavily involved in the contractual side of things. Depending on the complexity of the design and size of the build we would be able to suggest the best route. More information on this can be found on the 'services' section of our website:
  • Do I need planning permission?
    This is a question which is very project specific. For large extension and new build projects this will be required, smaller works could fall under Permitted Development. This is something we would discuss, and advise on, early on. It's also worth noting that if you live in a Conservation Area, your permitted development rights will have been removed in relation to building works and a planning application is required.
  • What is the difference between planning permission and building regulation approvals?
    Planning permission concerns itself with approval of the principles of a build this is undertaken by local councils. When it comes to Building Regulations approval, this is to ensure that the design and detailing are compliant with the statutory documents as set by the Building Act 1984.
  • How long does it usually take to get planning permission?
    This will vary from council to council depending on backlog but typically we advise to allow 10 weeks from first submission of drawings.
  • What is a Lawful Development Certificate?
    On projects which don't require planning permission (i.e. the works fall within your permitted development rights) we can apply to the council to obtain this certificate. This essentially will mean the council have reviewed your design and agree that it falls within your rights and no application needs to be made. This can be a good choice if you are intending on selling your property in the future but it is not required by law.
  • What is a conservation area?
    These are 'zones' set by local council which means they are viewed as areas with special architectural or historical interest. All building work approved within these areas are seen to 'preserve and enhance' and will need to demonstrate this criteria.
  • Can you guarantee I will get planning permission?
    This is not something we can make as a guarantee but we will use our experience and expertise to certainly strive for an approval.
  • Will I need a party wall award?
    This is another project specific query, however as a rule of thumb, if you are planning on building work close to a neighbour or boundary this is certainly a possibility. We can advise on this matter and suggest party wall surveyors if necessary.
  • How do I find and select a good builder?
    Recommendations are a good start, especially if you have seen an example of their work first hand. Otherwise, we have trusted builders we can suggest who we know to be reputable and produce good work.
  • Will you visit the site during construction?
    This is completely your choice. Depending on our involvement, we may be active on the contractual side of the build and attending site frequently. Alternatively, we are happy to make visits when or if site queries arise.
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