Telephone : 01633 744144

Architects Registration BoardRIBA

RIBA Chartered


Special Offers

  • 1 Hrs Free Consultation with Chartered Practice Architect

Practice Areas

  • Education
    Carrying out design work for Crèche Facilities, Schools, Colleges or simply carry out extension works any of these type of buildings.
  • Residential
    Specializing in the design of Extensions, New Builds, Extra Care Homes and Housing Layout Sites.
  • Office
    New Build, Refurbishment or Extension of Offices and some Retail experience with Restaurant/Estate Agent Design.
  • Leisure
    We are working on numerous Rugby Clubs and an Events Centre in England. We cover all aspects of Leisure including sports facilities, events buildings, village community hall/buildings and numerous others .
  • Research
    Currently working on Flood Risk within buildings. Please email for further details.

Projects

Building an extension – What you need to know


2

 

 

Guide to Building an Extension

Building an extension is one of the most popular ways of improving your living space, whilst avoiding the hassle and expense of moving. Having an extension may well also add value to your existing property.

Building an extension is a big commitment and there is a lot of information you need to know before embarking on your project.

What Permissions/Consents do I require before Building an Extension?

Planning Permission

Depending on the size and position of your extension, you might not require planning permission. This will depend on whether your proposed extension complies with Permitted Development (PD).

 The easiest way of determining whether your proposed extension falls under permitted development is by referring to the interactive house on the planning portal website.

 For Wales: https://www.planningportal.co.uk/wales_en/info/17/interactive_house

For England: https://interactive.planningportal.co.uk/detached-house

 

Permitted development rights can be restricted in designated areas, such as: Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Areas, etc. There are also situations where they do not apply, for example: if your property is a Listed Buildings or if the original house’s planning consent had a condition which restricts permitted development.

 RA Architects can help you to understand whether your proposed extension complies with permitted development guidelines, and if not, how likely your project is to gain planning consent. Call now to book a site visit with one of our team members.

 What is a Lawful Development Certificate? And Do I Need One?

A Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) merely provide confirmation (from the Local Authority Planning Department) that a proposed extension meets PD requirements. So, getting a Lawfulness Certificate is not necessary if you are confident the proposed extension meets these criteria. However, you might want to get a Lawfulness Certificate anyway, to keep with the deeds of the house, so that any future purchaser knows that the extension is lawful. A Lawful Development Certification application costs £103 in England or £95 in Wales.

Listed Buildings

All alterations to listed buildings, including internal ones, require consent and it is a criminal offence to alter a listed building without it. If these alterations would usually not require planning permission, then consent can be sought through a Listed Building Consent application.

The planners will always regard the existing listed property as more important than what you are proposing to add to it. Any extension will therefore have to respect the character, appearance and historic material used in the construction of the original house.

 

Building Regulations

Whether you require planning consent or not, if you are proposing a heated extension to your home, you will need to make sure you comply with Building Regulations. There are two methods of getting Building Control Approval:

Full Plan Submission: send detailed plans to your local authority building control or approved inspector prior to get approval for the proposed scheme. The building inspector would then visit the site at several stages to check that the works are being completed in line with the approved drawings.

 Building Notice: With this method, you submit an application to the local authority building control or approved inspector, notifying them of the work shortly before it starts (check individual company for the required notice). Building inspectors will then inspect the work at various stages to ensure it complies with Building Control requirements.

A Building Notice is the riskier option as you may only find out you have a compliance issue once building work has started. This may be costly to correct.

Having a set of detailed drawings from an Architect can help avoid this issue.  RA Architects can provide comprehensive detail drawings and notes, to help your contractor to price accurately and ensure the proposed works comply with the Building Regulations.

 

Party Wall Consent

If building your extension involves either:

  • Excavating, or excavating for and constructing foundations for a new building or structure, within 3 metres of any part of a neighbouring owner’s building or structure, where any part of that work will go deeper than the neighbour’s foundations
  • Excavating, or excavating for and constructing foundations for a new building or structure, within 6 metres of any part of a neighbouring owner’s building or structure, where any part of that work will meet a line drawn downwards at 45° in the direction of the excavation from the bottom of the neighbour’s foundations

You must inform the Adjoining Owner or owners by serving a notice. A Party Wall Surveyor can advise you further on this process and what to do if your neighbour does not accept the notice.

For further information, refer to:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/

 

Build Over Sewer Consent

Should you find yourself with a sewerage system within 3 metres of your property, it is mandatory for you to apply for a build over sewer agreement with your water supplier. This is carried out with an assessment and trace of the sewer line which will also determine ownership. This is difficult to receive so keep this in mind when planning your build. For further information regarding these, please follow the link –

https://www.dwrcymru.com/en/Developer-Services/Sewerage-Services/BOS.aspx

 

What other things should I Consider Before Building an Extension?

Site Access

How easy will it be for equipment and materials to be delivered to your home when building an extension? You’ll need to consider how deliveries of large items will be undertaken. You’ll also need to determine where a builder and their sub-contractors will park and store their tools.

Demands upon Your Services

We recommend giving your current services a review. It is important to confirm whether your current services will be able to sustain the added room. For example, while replacing the boiler is an option, you could also look at alternatives such as electric underfloor heating, this is a beneficial way of heating a room without over working the facilities.

Insurance

It is important to notify your home insurer of the proposed work. Some may not provide cover during the works and others will offer dedicated extension insurance products.

Open Plan Living


Free flowing kitchens - 1

 

If you are designing your new home, an open floor plan with a seamless transition from the indoor space to an outdoor veranda is a great feature to include. Open layouts are becoming more and more popular in modern homes as they give the illusion of a bigger space, provide more natural sunlight and outdoor views, and create a more safe and social environment.

To create the feel of one large and connected space, abolish any distractions or eye sores and use floor to ceiling glass where possible. Finish off using similar flooring and wall papering/ paint to complete a flush, modern look that gives the illusion that the space is one. A veranda offers many benefits, these include adding value to a home and providing additional space.

Not only will your room have the illusion of being bigger, you will feel closer to nature. Using large floor to ceiling windows with minimal lines will bring in natural sunlight and allows you to enjoy the landscapes of your home.

 

Small Spaces, Big Ideas!

2

Small spaces, Big ideas!!

 

 With the benefits of living in the City Centre growing rapidly, more and more people are searching for their perfect home. The only downside is according to a report released by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, we are living in “rabbit hutch Britain”, with new homes ranking as the smallest in Europe.


There are three principal reasons for this: no legal minimum exists for the size of a home in Britain; in the past decade many studios and one- and two-bed flats have been built; and the cost of land here often prohibits larger properties.

So with this in mind, adaptability is key when it comes to fitting your lifestyle into a small home. Incorporating hidden storage and plenty of light can make any home feel bigger and brighter.

 


Petite properties – Top tips

  1. Give the illusion of space with floor-to-ceiling mirrored cupboards. 
  2. Hang hooks on the back of doors. And hang clothes up out of sight instead of over chairs.
  3. Install a foldaway table in a small kitchen.
  4. Fix a shelf above the bed if there’s no space for a table.
  5. Don’t waste the dead space under a bed.
  6. To save wardrobe space keep belts, scarves and ties in order with a multi-use hanger.

3

 

 

 

 

 

Listed Buildings Don’t Have to Be Old!

Did you know that buildings don’t have to be old to be listed? Listing was started in 1947 as part of the Town and County Planning Act to guard specific properties for post-war builders. To be listed, a building needs to be of particular architectural or historic interest.

 

 

Inmos_Microprocessor_Factory_1

 

 

Completed in 1987, the Inmos Microprocessor Factory in Newport is of particular architectural interest and was listed in 2007. The reason why this factory is listed is that it has a unique design structure. The architect, John Young, designed all of the exteriors of the building as the support systems, which meant that no columns are holding it up inside. This building was also designed as a sort of kit so that it could be constructed quickly in many different places. This design additionally ensures that there would be no disturbances to the running of the factory if any extensions were to be added.

Case Study: Independent Living Studio Apartment

Independent living studio apartment by RA Architects

Architect: Richard Andrews Architects

Works Undertaken: Feasibility and planning, detailed design and tender plus contract and project overseeing.

Client: Private Domestic Client

Cost of Work: Undisclosed

Contractor: So Exclusive Developments 

 

The Brief:

We were approached by our client and their family to help design a new build studio apartment within the grounds of their existing family home. As our client has a disability that affects mobility and is dependent upon using a wheelchair it was essential that we designed a fully level home, that allowed circulation paths for the wheelchair throughout all the rooms. We encorporated wide external and internal doorways and included a ramp leading from the rear decked terrace to a garden area below.

The large bedroom and ensuite was designed to give ample space for hoist access to the bed and bath with the addition of a wetroom style shower, lowered WC and stylish vanity units. 

Another consideration we needed to address was that our client also required a team of carers present at all times. We wanted to design a home that not only allowed our client their privacy and living space but also gave sufficient space for visiting guests and carers. We proposed an upstairs wing, with private bedrooms, a small sitting/study area and a bathroom with shower enclosure. 

r278 studio front exterior r278 studio front door R278 studio interior 2 r278 studio interior r278 studio living room r278 studio kitchen r278 studio kitchen 2 r278 studio level floor exampler278 studio independent living bedroom r278 studio independent living bathroom r278 studio accessible vanity unit r278 independent living studio wetroom r278 studio - upstairs hallway r278 studio upstairs landing r278 upstairs bedroom

 

Making someone's quality of life better truely is the passion behind our practice. If you have a project you'd like our help with call our team on 01633 744144 or email admin@ra-architects.co.uk

 

 

Case Study: Cardiff Residential Extension

richard-andrews-architects-cardiff-extension-project

Architect: Richard Andrews Architects, project overseen by Associate Lewis Shaw

Works Undertaken: Feasibility and planning, detailed design and tender plus contract and project overseeing.

Client: Private Domestic Client

Cost of Work: £100,000+

Contactors: TLC Building Services 

 

The Brief:

To create a contemporary single story rear extension, with enough room to accommodate a kitchen, dining space and family area. Also to add a side extension to make room for an office and library space.

Unique Design Features – Once finished the exterior to the property showcases a beautiful white render contrasted against timber cladding. A wrap around window on the corner of the office side extension enhance natural light. Crittall style doors frame the view from kitchen to garden and allow a smooth transition from inside to out and the addition of skylights and high placed windows spanning the width of the extension bring a bright and airy family space.

Before Images:

Cardiff Residential: BeforeCardiff Residential: Before

After:

Our clients contracted TLC Building Services to complete the work with ourselves overseeing the contract administration and project management. 

Cardiff Residential Extension

Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exterior Cardiff Residential Extension

Exterior Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exterior Cardiff Residential Extension

Exterior Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exterior Details, work in progress Cardiff Residential Extension

Exterior Details, work in progress Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side view Cardiff Residential Extension

Side view Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timber Clad Exterior Cardiff Residential Extension

Timber Clad Exterior Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exterior Details Cardiff Residential Extension

Exterior Details Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office Interior Cardiff Residential Extension

Office Interior Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office Interior

Office Interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Critall Door details

Critall Door details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interior Details Cardiff Residential Extension

Interior Details Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interior Cardiff Residential Extension

Interior Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky Light details Cardiff Residential Extension

Sky Light details Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Interior Cardiff Residential Extension

Kitchen Interior Cardiff Residential Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is still a tiny bit more work to do before the propery is complete (namely applying the crisp white exterior.) However already we can see what an improvement the new living space has made for our clients. If you're thinking of embarking on a similar project, we'd love to get involved. Contact the team on 01633 744144 or email admin@ra-architects.co.uk.

 

 

Case Study – Cwmbran Village Surgery

RICHARD-ANDREWS-ARCHITECTS-CWMBRAN-SURGERY

 

Architect: Richard Andrews Architects, project overseen by Associate Lewis Shaw.

Works undertaken – Feasibility and planning, detailed design and tender plus contract and project overseeing.

Client: Practice Owners of Cwmbran Village Surgery, partly funded by Aneurin Bevan Health Board

Cost of Work: £450,000+

Contractors: White Brothers & Speed

 

THE BRIEF

The practice owners contacted us to help resolve several design challenges for their surgery, which opened 25 years prior and was long overdue an update. We quickly established that the surgery's main challenge was that the building was too small for the amount of patients registered – with a poor internal layout and a lack of consulting and treatment rooms. We proposed a single front extension to expand the reception and administration spaces, with a second two storey extension housing consulting rooms to the side. The heart of the design stemmed from creating a centralised waiting room with the treatment and consulting rooms arranged in wings to improve the patient flow around the building. An installation of a lift to the upstairs floor rendered the practice compliable with the Disability Acts Standards, whilst we improved patient experience through light, modern and airy rooms.

 

BEFORE

Before -Cwmbran Village Surgery    Before -Cwmbran Village Surgery

Before -Cwmbran Village Surgery

Before - Cwmbran Village Surgery

 

The 3D Render Design

cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects-design

Cwmbran Village Surgery, Design By RA Architects

Cwmbran Village Surgery, Design By RA Architects

Cwmbran Village Surgery, Design By RA Architects

 

The dual extension accomodates 4 new consultation rooms and two new treatment rooms, an enlarged waiting/ reception area plus a reconfiguration of the adminstration and staff spaces. This particular project required the use of all three of our stages of work. The first of which was feasibility, planning and design. We gave a number of design options for the practice and worked together to choose the most practical. We then prepared the final design to be put through Torfaen County Council planning department. We submitted the planning application on behalf of our clients (including all forms and administration) and liaised with the Torfaen council to achieve a positve result. 

The next stage was to provide a detailed design. Using our extensive knowledge of constuction and regulations, we created detailed drawings for the builders to work from. Following which we consulted with engineers, building control and other professionals as necessary to ensure the project fully buildable and compliant. We then administered a tender package to a number of building contractors to assure the best price and quality for the build works. 

Our clients choose White Brothers and Speed to complete the works, which took place from early summer 2017 to completion in April 2018. We administered a contract between White Brothers and Speed and Cwmbran Village Surgery, based on our detailed drawings, our understanding of construction laws and contact negotiation. We then throuh regular site visits checked the building work to ensure the work was being delivered in line with our drawings, regulations and was to the standard allowed for in the tender.

 

Finished Result

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

 

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

Finished-cwmbran-village-surgery-richard-andrews-architects

 

 

 

Testimonial from Practice Manager Sian Whitcombe

To Lewis and the team at RA Architects. A big thank you for all your hard work and dedication to this project. Your professionalism has been exemplary and we would not hesitate to recommend you to others. 

 

We will be publishing a video documenting a behind the scenes look of the works undertaken to the surgery within the next couple of weeks. Make sure you follow us on social media to keep up to date!

 

 

 

Case Study: Langstone Residential Extension

richard-andrews-architects-langstone-residential-extension

 

THE BRIEF

Our clients approached us looking to create a sympathetic double storey extension to their cottage home. Having already being in possession of a design they were happy with, we were instructed to oversee the project works. We implemented the RIBA domestic works contract between our clients and their chosen contractor, Fern Bay Properties, ensuring over five seperate site visits that all work was being completed safely and adhered to both building regulations and the client's original plans.

 

Before-

 20150320_092604 20150320_092616

 

 

 

 

After-

richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards- richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--6 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--9 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--14 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--23 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--25 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--33 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--32 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--43 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--39 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards- (2) richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--60 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--66 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--55 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--59 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--50 richard-andrews-architects-hannah-richards--64 richard-andrews-architects-langstone-residential-extension

 

We regularly undertake a range of commissions varying in scale and complexity. We can take on 'Full Service Appointments' which run from conception to completion and we are also happy to assist clients in any isolated project stages. If you would like to talk to us regarding your own scheme, please contact the team today to book a free consultation.