HOW TO SELECT YOUR HOUSE EXTENSION BUILDING DESIGNER
This is probably the most important first step so you need to interview hard and
speak to as many home extension designers as you can.
You can select from a wide variety of sources from full time professional to the part time vocational designer.
You can find them in the small ads of local papers to researching on the internet. Recommendations form friends,
family and neighbours is another good source generally used very well provided you dig a bit deeper than the gloss
paint of the extension (no one likes to admit that they may have made a mistake for their shiny new extension).
So who should you use? Many say that only qualified Architects should be used but this is not what happens in
the real world. Are they too expensive? Too pompous? Not really interested? Are they no longer relevant to the
lower end domestic extension market as some people suggest? Who knows but they do seem to come go at the same
timings of the commercial economic cycles so that might be a clue.
I think it is fair to say that most ‘true’ Architects look towards the bigger development projects that the
world has to offer for the scope, variety and challenge that this sector brings.
At one end of the home extension designer market is your ‘plans drawn’ agent. Usually self employed, part time
and just does enough to get you the Planning and Building Regulations consents for a brown envelope payment. Your
documents are probably not suitable to be used as the contract documents in engaging your builder so you run the
risk of incurring excessive extra costs during the works on site.
The middle ground seems to be taken up by the Chartered Architectural Technicians or Technologists that seem to
specialise a lot more in residential development and the home extension market combined with one off new houses is
usually their bread and butter work.
I always say that its often a case of ‘horses for courses’ so simply make sure that your
chosen home extension building design agent is able to listen to your requirements, provide a good degree of advice
and opinions, has the resources, expertise and experience in dealing with residential extension design of at least
10 years, has PI insurance, belongs to some formal professional body that has a code of conduct, and is able to
provide a full service from Planning, to Building Regulations to full Construction documents without subbing the
work out to ghost designers.