Do I really need an Architect

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We live in a Bungalow which is well within two metres of our boundaries. Under permitted development I want to build a 5 metre long x 4 metre wide extension on the back of the Bungalow, it will have a Gable pitched roof back into the existing roof and will remain single story.

I know I will need a structural engineer for the knock through for sizing an adequate sized steel.

I have approached an architect that is either dragging his feet or not interested and I'm starting to wonder if I actually need one.
The only reason I want an architect is for building regs for footings and insulation the rest of it I'm comfortable with.

What do you reckon please?
 
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Building inspector will tell you what foundations you'll need, unless there's something unusual about them or your on tricky ground then no you've no need to use an architect.

Only time an architect will be really useful is if you go for a full plans building control submission, if you do it on a building notice then I wouldn't personally bother
 
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Depends on what you mean by architect and how skilled and knowledgeable your builder is.

If you mean someone who is a qualified architect registered with the RIBA or ARB, then probably not.

However, if you mean someone who can draw plans and details, and has a good understanding of the building regulations, then maybe.

This person might be offering “architectural services” and may be an architectural technician or technologist, or a MRICS.

They will be perfectly capable of taking your proposals through to a full plans submission with building control.

Your structural engineer will usually design the foundations too.

If you decide not to do a full plans submission you will be reliant on your builder making up a lot of the details on the hoof. There are many threads on this forum and others where that has caused issues further down the line.

Some builders have the skills and experience to do this, others don’t.

If you are comfortable and are doing most of the work yourself you might be ok, but up to you.

The rules for insulation have changed recently and that needs to be. considered.

I can help out if you PM me.
 
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Save the cost of the architect and go with a builder on a building notice and a design and build contract with condition that what he builds must be BR compliant. Final payment on sign-off
 
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I'm not necessarily looking for a builder, I'm comfortable digging the footings and have access to the machinery required to do so, I know a very good bricklayer, I am a Carpenter so can take care of the sub floor and cut and pitch the roof, I'll get a glazing company in for the windows and doors etc, albeit I could do that as its new so no Fensa required.

Plumbing, plastering, electrics will be taken care through the the trades that sub to me through work.

It's the regs I'm out of my depth on, lintel sizing steel sizing etc so I'll need an S.E. insulation etc. Is there anywhere on line where I can access building regs information?
 

bsr

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Building regs:

Online SE:

But you're still going to need a design otherwise how will the SE know what to design to, how will the bricky know where to put the openings and what height the wall plate is at etc
 
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Good point, I could sit down with my scale ruler and draw it myself, or I could save myself a load of hassle and find someone to do it for me.

But not necessarily a full blown bonafide Architect.
 
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Architects are RIBA registered. Not everyone who draws plans are Architects.

Plans are not just lines on paper to make pretty pictures. There is a concept called design, and that means that the lines that join up on paper also join up in real life when the thing is built, and things fit where they are meant to be.
 
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Thank you Woody, I build a lot of one off projects which I generally do my own scale drawings for, I agree, they are not pretty pictures, they provide me with measurements so I can see if the design works and the amount of material I need to order, thereof I use the drawing to build the project, especially when months can pass between pricing and actually doing the job.

I am on a budget for this extension, some of it is not my field for that I need assistance, I assumed I needed an architect, but it is a small project and an architect might be overkill.

I'll have a chat with the builders I know.
 
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If you build under a building notice, you build stuff, then get it inspected.

Thats retrospective, if you do non compliant work, the remedial cost could easily be more than the cost of building regs drawings.

An architectural technician is what you need.

There are online people that do building regs, but you will get generic cut n paste stuff, it might work for you, might not.
 
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Thank you one and all for being straight with me and making me realise my own Ignorance of the process and Arrogance for thinking I can manage it myself, I cannot.

I have had costings from one architect which goes like this:-
Survey with outline drawings £1000+vat Planning Application and something else £500+vat then technical architectural drawings £1000+vat, so £3000 for the architect, then SE fees, and other fees I'm vaguely aware of.

Gut feeling, the architect seems expensive, but again I prepare to be shot for this remark?
 
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I’d say that’s not bad value. There’s a lot of work in doing planning drawings and then detail drawings for building regs.

As a structural engineer who occasionally does building regs drawings, I’m well aware that the building regs drawings take much longer than the structural drawings, because the level of detail required is usually much greater.

I also built my own single storey extension and did drawings of absolutely every detail (to a much greater level of detail than I would have got from an architect (or other designer)). I don’t know where I would have been without the drawings.

As an example of where things can go wrong, even with drawings I ended up having to take the insulated plasterboard off the one wall and replace with thinner material as once I hung the radiator I couldn’t open the kitchen drawers :rolleyes:
 
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