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Found 10 results

  1. Brand new member, unable to find a similar post about this but apologies if its there! In a nutshell, I'm asking whether we should be able to get idea/concept sketches or drawings from architects before they are contracted, as in our case, its their ideas for the house that will probably decide who we employ. We are right at the beginning of renovating our house; it has had some ridiculous extensions over the years (which probably need knocking down and replacing) and bizarre alterations inside that just need remedied, but its such an unusual layout and plot that we cannot even begin to come up with ideas on what to do. There must be dozens of different ways to adapt and/or extend the house as there is sizable garden space on 3 sides (not to mention the existing extensions that could be renovated, replaced as-is, or completely destroyed and an entirely new extension layout built). We decided that in this case, an architect would be required, simply to draw on their experience and visualisation skills/knowledge, and have them give us some ideas on redesign. this is the brief we have to present to architects.. I imagine its an architects worst nightmare. we have cash funds that will cover any work, and can comfortably remorgage to release more funds if the project was good enough. We met three architects in February who came recommended and all said they could come up with some ideas for us, but in fact all we have been sent are outlines of their fee structure. i had thought they would discuss some ideas on how to approach the renovation initially. Is this the normal way for engaging an architect, that you have to just get a 'feel' for them from their previous work etc and engage them with no idea what they can offer? Should we be able to ask for some ideas first, or do they protect these in case we just take the concepts and use someone else/self design etc? (or are they just not interested in the work and trying to put us off gently?) can anyone offer some insight, or a better way for us to approach this?! Many thanks if you can help.
  2. Being exceptionally bored and frustrated with lockdown i have goven myself a few tasks that i just would not take on myself(old dog, new tricks) I managed to design, apply and succesfully obtain planning permsiion for a new build of my own design. So now i am applying for building regs to attach a sewere connection to a static caravan onsite. So to my questions. 1) how deep must the gravel be around the soil pipe? 2) does any onw know of revit families that conatin uk spec soil pipe componenets? 3) is an insection chamber the same as a disconnection chamber? Regards and thanks hive mind.
  3. Hi, I am seriously considering "outsourcing" my structural calculations and technical design drawings via UPWORK and wondering if anybody done anything like this before. As I was planning to manage the build myself I already been looking on UPWORK for an architect, but at the end wasnt brave enough to employ someone to do this from far away without knowledge of the plot. Now that I have got my Plannijg drawings together and only need someone to translate them into Technical Design Drawings - I am considering again to use a structural Engneer/Architct from Serbia/Ukraine/Pakistan/Bangladesh to do the technical drawings for me. I do know exactly what I want and have all the Technical drawings including Sections ready in an amateur style / homemade, but missing the AutoCad skills to make it into useable drawings plus I dont really fancy reading myself into structural calculation and woul rather leave this to someone with experience. Please also tell me if you seriously concidered doing something like this and why you have/havent . I can see a problem when it comes to UK Building regs(some bits are different here then in other countries, e.g. no Lightswitches/plugs in the bathroom) - but this would be something to be sorted by myself to make sure the plans comply.
  4. Hello everyone, first post and just wanted to introduce myself as you all seem like an extremely informative and helpful bunch - I hope one day to provide the same level of contribution and advice when we finally get to build our dream! We are hoping to build a 4 bed Passivhaus in North Somerset, about 8 miles south of Bristol. We are still in the very early stages of planning, as in, not sure if the plot in question has any potential for planning as yet, so have been spending a considerable amount of time reading about the Local Plans, NPFF and what the implications are of trying to build a village washed over with the Green Belt and is outside of a settlement boundary. The plot is part of a large garden, so might be considered a windfall plot but the two issues I mentioned are obviously very difficult to overcome, if at all. We do not have the sort of budget for a Paragraph 79 house but nevertheless given the location, we felt it was an avenue worth exploring further. In any case the research we have been undertaking generally won't be a wasted effort, since I feel it is helping us understand the build process and makes us better informed clients. In terms of build systems we are very keen on ICF, and going through the process now of trying to understand what the pros and cons are of the various systems - of which this site has proven very helpful already! We have also started to try and make a short list of architects that meet the following criteria: have demonstrable Passivhaus experience, have ICF experience, and can provide a Passivhaus design beyond just a box (yes I know that it is the most efficient design in terms of energy efficiency, but hey, its our dream :). this has proven difficult to say the least, the vast majority of architects who are local who have Passivhaus experience seem to only have experience with timber frame or seem so fanatical about the concept of eco design that I wondered whether we would be chased away with pitch forks if we even broached the idea of a monolothic concrete house. :). The other type of architects we found with lots of Passivhaus experience seem to be based in London, and frankly I wonder whether they would be so fancy that our fairly modest budget just wouldn't be of interest to them. If anyone can recommend an architect who meets the above criteria that would be great. So anyway, that's a brief synopsis of where we are, I sincerely hope to be able to contribute further to this site with updates!
  5. I’ve talked to a few architects /architectural designers and still to fully decide who I would like to go with or whether I might use an in house design service. However one thing I am noticing is the lack of ‘compatible’ architects in my area. I originally had my mind set on a well-known self-build architect who done fixed price (circa £25k to do everything, which included CDM and SE) but as time went on discussing with them I felt my budget (£240-270k for build @ £1200/m^2) was not really their preferred market and it put me off a little plus they are 80 miles from where the plot would be. I then came across an experienced AD who I am meeting on site this week, even though I haven’t actually finalised the plot purchase as I wait for a few things to fall in to place, but he seems to match my expectations on price (£12k including SE) and is experienced in SIPS and timber frame. But he is from 200 miles away. My only reservation so far is the distance and the ease of being able to go through those initial stages of design collaboration. So the last few days I spent some time phoning local architects in the Ayrshire/ Glasgow area. But struggling with people who understand what I want to do. They are either way out there and looking for customers who wants a turnkey managed process and a % based fee. Or they are cheap but don’t necessarily understand modern building methods or tools. Ideally – I will use an Architect/AD to help with design, planning and building warrant. From there then contract with TF/SIPS supplier to supply and erect and then manage subcontractors myself. The selected person would ideally provide a fixed price and be well versed in modern methods of construction for TF/SIPS as above and understand building to a budget, but I seem to be struggling to find this locally. So two questions: Do we think distance is an issue? (I know we can do everything online, but sometimes a 5 minute meeting can do what takes days be email). Does anyone have any good Architects / AD contacts in the Glasgow / Ayrshire area who are well versed as above? Can anyone tell me what I actually want - as I swing between doing it myself / using and AD / Using in house design almost daily 🤣 I am a Chartered engineer (mechanical design) so I can do all the learning and planning and managing bits and very easily understand and draw my house. But I believe there is value in using a professional with regards to house design to do things that I wouldn’t think of. However I don’t want an architect who is away with the fairies or not on my wavelength. Hence I feel like an AD is where I need to be because they can add this value at a reasonable cost. Note: I’m not looking for fancy glazed gables with spiral stairs. I’m looking for good fabric first well thought out functional house with some (budget) appropriate features which take it from what I would design to something a bit better that flows well and make sense for my family and needs. A pragmatic approach to house design with a little bit of architectural flair.
  6. Hi everyone Need a fresh pair of eyes (and a brain) as a sounding board. We are veeery early on in the process of considering a new build. Currently approached a few architectural firms to get a feel of what they may offer. Output: 1) Firm A - purely architectural design firm, no fancy accreditations (at least not published). Good customer service, prompt turnaround, good reviews on Houzz, extensive experience, nice looking designs. Would only do design drawings Stage I / Stage II, and go as far as introduce you to three vetted builders. No further. Cost for services c.£5,000 (drawings and submission to LA only, all extra fees for surveys, BCO, SE etc extra, of course). Do not consider pre-submission of drawings to LA, just go straight through for proper submission. I liked them. 2) Firm B - an architectural designer, not RIBA / ARB. Significant number of glowing customer reviews on Houzz, good portfolio (not Norman Foster, but comfortable modern standard). He would do all the drawings for about £6,000, and then is happy to fully project manage the whole process. Not big fan of extensive tenders, prefers to use a main contractor of his choice (the contractor is a fully integrated building company, also has glowing reviews, some key accreditations, and a very nice portfolio, something we would strive to achieve in our house). For project management he charges 6% of the building costs (haven't yet discussed fixed price with him, but will attempt). DH liked him. 3) Firm C - an architects bureau, RIBA, etc etc, very fancy. Costs are 2.5 times more than Firm B, happy to project manage as well but won't even give us an approx. fee structure even though we've clearly stated our budget. Reviews are good, but portfolio looks pretty ugly (uber-modern "shipping-container-style" houses, odd choice of materials, etc). Don't really like them but it was good to get a quote for comparison. I know lots of smart and talented people on BH have managed to do their own drawings and submissions and project management, but that's not our case, sadly. My DH has got time on his hands and is happy to muck in with some not too complicated labour, but hopeless at project management. I am good at project management, spreadsheets, cost calculations, etc (corporate commercial background helps somewhat! 🙂) but am in a demanding full-time job so not able to closely run a tight ship with builders. So, what shall we do? Option A - go with Firm A, get drawings and pl permission done cheap and then tender for a main contractor (potentially approaching the preferred builder of Firm B)? Option B - just go with Firm B straight away, let the guy do the process for us but try shift him onto a fixed fee away from percentage? Also, should we be worried if neither Firm A or B are RIBA / ARB / CIAT etc? Your views, please. Thank you
  7. Hi We have just received our first architect quote (2 still to receive) and there is a fairly chunky section (2.5% of construction costs and £50 per hour (I need to clarify why it is an "and" as would much prefer a single fixed fee) apportioned to 'architectural contractual administration' which includes: -preparation and collation of tender and contract documents - issuing instructions to contractor -issuing certificates under the build contract e.g. payment certificates, practical or partial completion certificates -valuing the works and agreeing the final amount (where there is no QS) -dealing with contractor's application or extension of time and extra payment - inspecting the work sat stages during the construction and preparing defect lists When the time comes we will be appointing a main contractor who will project manage the entire build as part of their role. A relative works for a house building company so provided the quote is competitive it is likely they will be awarded the contract. Is it necessary to have the architect to provide the types of services listed above? It seems the majority of it is something that could be managed between myself and the main contractor but am keen to get people's views and experiences of this element of the services. The only bit I would potentially be struggling with is the tender documentation as i'm not familiar with how tender documentation should be compiled. I assume there is more to it than handing over our plans to a few builders to provide quotations. If anyone has any advice on the tender side of things that would also be most welcome. For info - there is a separate fee over and above what is noted above for the architect certificate which I am fairly comfortable with. Thanks in advance!
  8. Amanda

    Amanda

    I am an architect and certified passivhaus designer working in the south West. I obtained planning permission (a minor miracle after huge amounts of work) last year to knock down my house in Wiltshire and replace it with an eco house. A passivhaus would be the aim but as the site is in AONB and Green Belt on a steep west facing slope with amazing views it has a few fundamental issues that will make this challenging, but seeing how close we can get will be the aim. I am trying to find time now outside office hours to work up the details and put it in PHPP and I will endeavour to post my progress for anyone who is interested. The first issues will be how to deal with too much glazing facing the fantastic views, what to build it out of to keep walls as thin as possible (building volume is critical in Green Belt) with a partner who wants it "solid" and my own frivolous desire to have concrete floors throughout! Oh and stopping it falling down the slippery slope....
  9. Mrs H

    Hello

    Hello BuildHub forum. I'm a Chartered Architect specialising in the domestic market. I'm not here to sell my services, nor to dispense advice. I know a lot about the procedures involved in commissioning a house and hopefully can say things such as "We did it like this..." without incurring liability. What I hope to gain from this forum is an insight into problems encountered from the client point of view. I've already learned a few things. I'm getting more Self Build projects recently and am interested in streamlining my support services to those who don't need a full architect's service. Often I find that people don't know what they don't know. Me included.
  10. This checklist is intended as a starting point for your own thinking. It isn't definitive, it is intended as a guide. There's a downloadable pdf (a link at the bottom of this list) version which I'll update in the light of comment. Comment and discussion make this list more useful: please add to it, and make suggestions or offer constructive criticism. Is an architect appropriate at this stage of your project? Will a Planning Consultant do? Do you have to brief an architect? Will an Architectural Technician do? Consider doing some of the designing yourself or perhaps a CAD Technician Is an architect working for a house manufacturer appropriate for your build? Research suitable architects: websites, relevant journals Make a long-list of possible companies Check each architects credentials here Is the architect bankrupt? Check the architects Indemnity Insurance Make initial contact; listen Ask for examples of existing work; visit / drive by Company brochure Work up a brief. Consider budget and don’t forget VAT Will the architect of choice actually do the work? Does ecology come into the mix somewhere? Time scales. Refine your brief, and write up. One side of A5. Send it to the architect in advance of your meeting List the questions you want to ask, and refer to the list during the meeting Meeting: has the architect read the brief? Does the architect listen? Is the architect merely an “Educated Artist”? What does the architect think of as the scope of his / her work? Clarity about Extras and Incidentals Does the chemistry work? Ask for references. Visit / ring/ talk to them Decide Checklist Briefing an Architect.pdf