Extensions Part 2 – A Residential Case Study

Richard Andrews Architects, Residential Extension

Following the last post in our ‘Design in winter / build in summer’ campaign, we’re back with the second instalment. Showcasing one of our favourite residential extensions from the past year as a case study, we talk you through our three stages of work with step by step images from the initial design stage right through to completion.

 

THE BRIEF: To create a new single story extension to the rear of the existing property for family room / kitchen space.

Stage one – Planning & Designing

Our client wanted to create an airy and light cooking/ entertaining space that would maximise their views over the surrounding countryside. Following collaborative design meetings, we came up with a scheme that encompassed a large kitchen extension. We allowed room for an island to act as a casual seating area and to provide further food preparation space – with a more formal dining area to the side.  Opposite, we proposed a large orangery with an oversized roof light over a bright, relaxed, open plan entertaining area.  

Richard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extensionRichard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extensionRichard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extension

 

Stage Two – Detailed Design and Tender                                                    

Whilst Stage one is all about feasibility, planning and design – where we work with our client  to produce a number of design options for their project and supporting them through any planning applications, stage 2 is where we apply our detailed understanding of construction and regulations to the drawings, to provide a comprehensive package for builders to work from that meets all the requirements set out in building regulations.

For this project we administered a tender package to several building contractors to get the best price and quality for the build works. In this instance our client chose to work with Tim and his team at TLC Building Services.  

Richard Andrews Architects, Residential Extension Plans

 

Stage Three – Contract and Project Overseeing

With TLC Building services now on board, we administered a contract between them and our client. This contract was based on our detailed drawings, our understanding of construction laws and contract negotiation. We oversaw all the building works onsite to ensure the work was delivered in line with our drawings, regulations and was the standard allowed for in the original tender.

Richard Andrew's Architects - Top Tips for preparing for an extension.

 

Progression of work…

The building contractors began to dig the foundations for the new extension to which the drainage, pipework and any other services needed to be laid. All work required signing off from a buildings control inspector, following which the concrete footing needed to be poured into place and again approved by building control.

Richard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extensionRichard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extension

Next, the builders turned their attention to damp-proofing. This can be achieved in several ways, such as through a damp-proof course, damp-proof membranes or integral damp proofing. Following this step is an exciting stage where we see the framework of the new build coming to life. Below we can see the creation of the block and brickwork, with wall ties fixing the walls together. The contractor was busy making sure that the cavity walls were insulated and that the lintels for doors and window spaces were fitted correctly. Following which the builder began to assemble the internal walls and lay a floor screed.

Richard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extension 20160708_133318

At this point the contractor constructed the roof structure and completed the rafters which were fitted with membrane and covered with our client's choice of material – roofing tiles. The contractor also started work on fascia’s, guttering, drainpipes and soffits.

Richard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extension

The next step was to add the doors and windows into the framework, complete the internal plumbing and electrics.  It was at this stage where stud walls were erected and internal insulation fitted before plastering. Following this stage, the new kitchen and flooring was also completed. Our client chose to render the exterior of the property to match beautifully with the original part of the house.

Richard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extension 20160909_114143

With building work completed our clients received a final certificate of approval from the building control officer. After which all that was left to do was relax and enjoy their new space!

Richard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extensionRichard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extensionRichard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extensionRichard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extensionRichard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extensionRichard Andrews Architects, Newport residential extension

 

What our client thought about the process;

 

I found RA Architects through a Google search and took a chance as the business was pretty new. I was immediately impressed by Richard's professionalism and his ideas. He listened to how we wanted to use our extension and came back with a number of options to talk through.

 

Once we had agreed a design and a cost Richard and Lewis took away all the pain – they drew up the planning application produced the tender documents and sourced a number of contractors for us to meet and submit a tender. It was reassuring to know that the people tendering were approved by Richard and had all the necessary insurances and track record in place. We decided upon TLC Building Services in Cardiff and we couldn’t have been happier. Tim and his team were the perfect fit for us and we would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone. They worked tirelessly to build an extension we love and did so in good humor- they were a joy to have around. Richard and Lewis visited at regular intervals to inspect the project, again taking away any stress.

 

Throughout the process RA Architects exceeded our expectations and I will use them again for any future projects I undertake.’ 

 

 

We genuinely love this type of work as to make someone’s quality of life better, truly is the passion behind our practice. If you have a similar scheme in mind please do not hesitate to contact us on 01633 744144 to book a free 1 hour consultation.

 

 

 

 

Our Guide to Extensions – Part One

Our Guide to ExtensionsPart One

As we are heading into winter it is the perfect time to start planning and designing your project ready for building work to commence in the spring and summer. We have complied a series of blog posts to equip and support you with as much information as possible through this process as part of our #designinwinterbuildinsppring campaign. Enjoy part one of our latest read, explaining why extensions are not as simple as you may think…

 

We are often approached by clients looking to maximise the space in their property through the addition of an extension. Whilst it may sound simple enough, there are many important considerations to be made when joining a new structure to an existing one and it isn’t always an easy process when each project is different with a unique set of challenges.

 

Architects need to determine how a potential extension might impact upon what is already existing at the property, even if it is not always immediately visible. Drainage is a prime example of this – architects need to check the position of drains, if they are private or shared, they will also look to see if there is a need to contact the water board for a build over sewer agreement.

 

There are other types of considerations to be made also. For example, will a potential extension be a concern for neighbouring buildings? Will the extension obscure the view for next door? Will the proposed window placements be a cause for complaint? If the extension is to be built astride a boundary wall then a party wall agreement will need to be in place.

 

Architects will also think about how the local planning office may respond if the proposed works extend beyond permitted rights development, they will also be checking if there are certain legal permissions that need to be adhered to. Whenever there is a modification to an existing building, then there is a need to apply for building regulations in order to obtain Building Control approval. This means submitting a set of drawings to the local authority and having on-site inspections by the Building Control Officer during the build.

 

Is the site within a conservation area or an area of ecological interest? If the development is within a conservation area then the planning application will need to be assessed by Conservation Officers as well as going through the usual local authority procedures, where a Design and Access statement explaining the designer's intended design ethos needs to be submitted also.

 

Are there physical concerns with the build? Will certain materials need to be used or avoided? How will the new structure attach to the old building in a way that will ensure it is watertight, insulated and sound proofed?

 

These are just a few examples in which an architect may need to examine, plan and research in detail prior to the fun part of actually designing your build. Your architect will be able to advise you of the individual concerns for your property at initial visits and solutions for how they will overcome these obstacles.

 

Once architects physically find a way to connect the new to the old, whilst designing a structure that both addresses potential challenges and at the same time satisfying the client’s design brief, they then need to be able to communicate all this information across to the contracted builders.

 

So as you can see there is a vast amount of work that goes in behind the scenes before a builder even steps foot on site. Our very own practice has great experience with extensions for both residential and commercial schemes and we currently offer a free 1 hour consultation to discuss new projects.

 

Part two of this post, will showcase a recently completed residential extension from the design brief right through to the completed home. It is a great opportunity to become familiarised with the stages of work involved, get an idea of how we looked to overcome the challenges for this particular scheme and see through a series of photographs how our client’s ideas are refined and brought to life. We also have a testimonial from our client explaining how she found the process of working with us. Packed full of top tips and advice it is not to be missed.

 

You can keep up to date of our latest news and blogs here and please feel free to contact the team on 01633 744144 to discuss your own project.

 

How to brief your architect

How to brief your architect

 

You're embarking on a new project and are about to meet your architect to discuss your ideas.  But before you do, we advise taking time before your initial meeting to gather your thoughts about the project and help set a clear brief from which your architect can work.

 

"The ultimate success of your project depends on the quality of your brief, your ability to clearly describe for your architect the requirements and functions of your building, and proposed methods of operation and management."                            RIBA, (Royal Institute of British Architects)

 

There are a few questions listed below which you may wish to think about. The answers should be able to help form a good starting point for your architect to design from.

 

What do you wish to achieve with your project?

Are you looking for a commercial new build or an extension to an existing home, maybe you are embarking on a leisure or educational scheme? Whatever the project it is useful to sum up simply what it is you are setting out to do.

(If applicable) Think about your current building.

Take a moment to list what works, what you like about it and similarly what doesn’t work and what you wish to change.

Who will be using the building and why?

For a residential home you will need to take into consideration the residents (plus any pets). For a public building it is useful to have a think about who would be visiting the space and why. For example, a library may be used by both staff working at the building and different members of the general public for study or community activities.

How will the rooms in the buildings be used?

Keeping with the library as an example, we may find the building may require staff rooms, community areas, spaces for children to learn and play, plus study areas in both individual and communal settings. A home environment may have different needs, would your family prefer open plan living? Think about your storage needs, what will you need to store in each space?

What do you need to prioritise?

For example will your property need to be wheelchair friendly? Do you work from home and need a quiet space to concentrate? Communicate to your architect what your property must have. It is also helpful to note anything that your property needs to fit, for example, if you wish for your super king bed to sit comfortably in your newly built bedroom, you need to let your architect know at the start. Likewise if you are passionate about creating an ultra-sustainable build, now is the time to discuss ways to achieve it.

Do you have a timescale in which to complete the work?

Your architect can discuss this with your contractor when your project goes to tender.

What is your budget?

It’s always best to be transparent about how much you wish to spend, so that your architect can maximise the design accordingly.

 

TOP TIP – Get registered on Pinterest! Share and gather images with your architect to help refine your design style and easily communicate likes and dislikes!

 

We offer a free one hour consultation where we meet with you at your property to discuss your ideas. Now that we are heading into winter it is the perfect time to start designing and planning. Just think, by spring next year your build will be under way and by summer the end result could be better than you could have ever imagined!

 

 

The Many Hats of an Architect

Richard Andrews Architects

 

If you saw our infographic ‘How to become an architect,’ then you will know it takes several years of intense study and practical experience to become a fully qualified architect who is registered with the Architects Registration Board. (ARB).

What many don’t realise is that architects become not only experts in the architectural field, but also need to train extensively and gain a vast body of knowledge in other disciplines also.

 

Effectively architects have to know about several other professions namely Structural Engineer, Quantity Surveyor and a Builder/Contractor. We also have to adhere to legal processes and be equipped with project running skills. Then comes buildability of the design versus creativity. Always a challenge but one we enjoy!"

Richard Andrews – Director, RA Architects

 

 

In a typical working week an architect will wear the hat of many professions, so as such we thought it would be interesting to highlight a few common examples;

Structural and Civil Engineer - As the design lead for a project, an architect needs to ensure that the structure of the building they have designed can withstand the stresses exerted on it through human and environmental factors. It is crucial that an architect be able to anticipate and solve potential structural problems during the design process.  

Building Contractor – It is an architect’s responsibility to create a set of documents that can be relayed accurately to (and understood completely) by a building contractor. These documents not only convey the aesthetics of a build but also the detailed technical instructions on how to physically make it. Architects will continue to monitor the build process through site visits to ensure that the design brief is being met in full.

Quantity Surveyor – Cost consultancy plays a role as an architect needs to be able to accurately assess building costs and work collaboratively with a quantity surveyor to ensure the budget for the build stays on track.

Construction Design Manager (CDM)- Architects need to ensure that the correct health and safety regulation requirements within the design are being adhered to. With rules updated frequently this is an area to which an architect needs to keep on top of the newest best practice.

Ecologist- Surveys for trees, plants and protected species are a common occurrence and one which an architect needs to be well equipped to understand and advise upon.

Contract and Construction Law – Architects need a thorough and up to date understanding of both contract and construction law as it is utilised daily. Construction law incorporates topics such as building and planning regulations and an architect may use contract law when dealing with sub-contractors as it covers topics such as dispute resolution and avoidance, liability and insurance to name a few areas.

Researcher – You may have noticed in our own list of services we offer options to carry out research for our clients, with flood risk assessments being one example.

And finally, as the design lead on a project, an architect needs to act as both project manager and communicator bringing together all the different contractors; ensuring the correct products have been selected and installed properly all whilst making sure our client’s brief has been fulfilled. A lot of work, but as Richard said, always a challenge but one we enjoy!

 

We hope you have enjoyed this post, keep following us to be kept updated on future posts as we have lots of behind the scenes tips and inspiration lined up to show you! As always if you'd like some help or advice on a project feel free to get in touch on 01633 744144.

 

 

 

How to become an architect

Fancy a career in architecture? Our fun infographic explains what it takes to become licensed with the Architects Registration Board, ARB.

 

infographic_how_to_become_an_architect

For those of you who may have already started on their journey in architecture, we currently have an architectural assistant vacancy. Contact the office on 01633 744144 or email admin@ra-architects.co.uk for more information!

Why Should I Choose a RIBA Chartered Practice?

RIBA_CHARTERED_PRACTICE_LOGO

 

Continuing to answer our most frequently asked questions, today we are discussing 'Why Should I Choose a RIBA Chartered Practice?'

 

RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) is a professional body that enforces a strict criteria threshold for potential architectural practices to adhere to if they wish to be classed as a RIBA Chartered Practice. 

By working with a RIBA Chartered Practice, clients can expect to receive a quality service that meets a recognised set of standards. Clients will also find peace of mind that the RIBA will only endorse and support practices who can demonstrate effective business performance with a commitment to excellence.

 

RIBA state that all practices must;

  • employ a required number of individual RIBA Chartered Architects
  • have appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • have an effective Quality Management system
  • have comprehensive Health and Safety and Environmental policies in place
  • are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with a Code of Practice in a manor appropriate to their status. View the full Code of Practice.

They are committed to excellence in design and customer service. That's why the RIBA only promotes accredited Chartered Practices to clients.’

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           – www.architecture.com

 

How do I find out if my architect is a genuine RIBA Chartered Practice?

RIBA keeps a directory of all current members (including Richard Andrews Architects) on its website which you can visit at www.architecture.com

 

Will my build need planning permission?

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There are a few questions that architect practices get asked on a regular basis. So to help our clients become better informed we’ve decided to talk about our most frequently asked questions, starting with the most common; ‘Will my build need planning permission?’

 

Every project undertaken by ourselves is assessed on an individual basis as to whether or not planning permission is required and it is something we can advise further in our initial consultation, but here’s some information to help gauge whether your project is likely to require planning or not.

 

What is planning permission and when might you need it?

In simple terms, planning permission is a request (usually to your local planning office) to carry out a specific type of building work. It ideally needs to be granted before any work begins. So whether you are thinking of adding an extension to an existing home, creating a build from scratch or maybe even looking to change the use of your building, you may require planning permission.

However you can also perform certain types of work without the need to apply for planning at all, as these fall under the category of ‘permitted development rights.’

Permitted development rights, derive from a general planning permission issued by the government and can be more restrictive in designated areas of the country – For example, if your project resided in a national park.

(It is important to stress that permitted development rights, differ between commercial, and residential properties. With differences between domestic homes such as houses and apartments again. So it is especially important to seek expert advice prior to starting a build).

 

Where to find out more?

With so many different factors it can be tricky to know where to start finding out the correct information for your build.

To investigate the particular planning constraints for your project we recommend the following;

 

Speak to your local planning department - The government have given the main responsibility of planning to local council authorities, if you have a specific question regarding your proposal your local planning dept. should be able to help answer it.

 

Look online – There are several reliable online resources you can turn to in order to find out more information regarding planning; most notably planningportal.co.uk. Here you can find comprehensive information (including several interactive guides) relating to the planning constraints of properties in Wales (as well as England).  

planning_portal_2 planning_portal_1

You can also review documents on the Welsh Government’s planning policy by clicking the link below;

http://gov.wales/topics/planning/policy/ppw/?lang=en

 

Chat with us – You can always utilise our team’s knowledge. As experts in our field and thoroughly up to date with local planning we will happily talk you through your proposal. Call us today on 01633 744144.

 

 

 

Career Vacancy – Architectural Technician

 

JOB TITLE: Architectural Technician

RESPONSIBLE TO: Director/Principle Architect

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Day-to-day Technical Aspects of projects such as; new build residentials but also prestigious developments such as The Groomes Event Centre, Guildford and Barry Community Water Activity Centre.

 

Position Overview

We have an exciting role for an architectural technician to join our busy practice based in Newport, South Wales. We are looking for a team player with a positive work ethic who will enjoy working closely with our in-house architect and other external contacts; providing architectural design services and solutions on projects. Candidates will be responsible for the production of all working technical drawings as well as the preparation of feasibility studies, sketch designs, 3D modelling specification and report writing.

 

Main Duties

• Collate and organise technical information;

• Investigate technical information and factors that affect developments, including user needs, site and building surveys and regulatory requirements;

• Monitor health and safety in design with H&S Coordinator;

• Prepare and present design proposals using computer-aided design and other design software, as well as traditional methods;

• Lead the detailed design process and coordinate detailed design information;

• Produce, analyse and advise on detailed specifications for suitable materials or processes to be used;

• Prepare specifications for construction work;

• Carry out design-stage risk assessments;

• Assemble/review tenders for construction work;

• Contribute to meetings and document preparation;

• Liaise between members of the design and construction team, as well as provide professional technical guidance to them;

• Adhere to Health and Safety Legislation/relevant Policies and Procedures and to take reasonable care for the health and safety of yourself and other persons who may be adversely affected by your acts/omissions;

• Represent the office of Richard Andrews Architects at networking events or tradeshows, if required;

• Demonstrate an aptitude to undertake Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as delivered by the office of Richard Andrews Architects.

 

Skill Requirements

• Degree qualified in Architectural Technology or equivalent;

• A minimum 2 years practical work experience on residential/ mixed use projects;

• Knowledge of UK building regulations and construction detailing;

• Highly Proficient in the use of AutoCAD and Revit;

• Knowledge of technical legislation including current building regulations;

• Ability to interpret technical drawings and designs;

• Maths skills for technical calculations;

• Excellent communication and organisational skills;

• Outstanding attention to details and design.

 

Remuneration

• Competitive salary dependent upon experience;

• Excellent holiday package;

• Mon-Fri 9am-5pm with an early Friday finish;

• Plus benefits.

 

About our Practice

Richard Andrews Architects is a thriving and creative design-led architectural practice providing services to commercial and domestic clients across the UK and of course, on our doorstep in Newport, South Wales. We are a Chartered Practice with the RIBA.

With a small and friendly team we work collaboratively together to ensure that the whole design process runs smoothly and efficiently for each client. Our excellent attention to detail delivers great results to the highest standard of every project that we design.

We are currently working on a diverse variety of projects, ranging from domestic extensions and new builds to the extensive redevelopments of Abergwuan Hotel, Fishguard and Cwmbran Village Surgery to name a few.

 

This role is a fantastic opportunity for the right individual to establish themselves within a flourishing and creative environment with a real scope to grow with the firm as the company expands.

 

Please send  your CV to admin@ra-architects.co.uk with a covering letter briefly demonstrating suitability for the role.

 

 

Why you can’t afford to not use an architect…

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When it comes to a building project, we all want to make our budget stretch as far as possible. If you’ve already got a builder in mind to complete the work, it may seem tempting to skip the step of hiring an architect completely. But we’re going to explain why using an architect will actually save you money.

 

A good Architect (and we do recommend using a RIBA Chartered Practice) will start by working with you to fine tune your ideas. Up to date with building regulations and practices they will quickly be able to let you know if your proposal is feasible and will put you in the best position in regards to submitting planning applications. 

 

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The architect will manage the design and build process for you, which includes liaising with building regulation officers and the planning department. Taking control in this way not only ensures the build runs as smooth as possible but also helps to avoid costly (and timely) disputes. 

 

An architect will also assist in the selection of a contractor. Making sure they are adequately insured and competent. Your architect will convey your vision to the building team and will make thorough checks that all work is safe and adheres to both building regulations and your original plans. 

 

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Architects also abide by a statutory plan of works and will also be insured themselves which goes further to minimise risk for your build.

 

And finally, with a vast knowledge of construction, an architect will take in to consideration building materials and the design brief itself in order for you to maximise your budget and help avoid expensive mistakes, thus generating lower running costs of the overall project. 

 

If you’d like to find out more about our process and how we work as a practice we have a quick and easy to watch video explaining all our stages of work and if you'd like to speak to a member of our team, call the office on 01633 744144. 

 

 

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