Choosing a residential designer to extend or remodel your family home isn’t easy. You need the right designer who has the specific skills and experience for your home project. The right fit between you and your designer is key.
This may or may not be me!
In my experience, the best way of finding out whether I am the right fit is to fully understand what you are looking for. This is achieved through an initial telephone consultation and then a Home Consultation. If for some reason I then discover that we are not the ideal fit, you are then free to take my advice and sketches to another designer, for them to continue the process.
I started undertaking this process a few years ago because I saw a huge issue in the residential extension and remodeling industry of people starting design and construction before they had fully done their research and homework.
The consequence of this inadequate upfront research of needs and options is like building a house on bad foundations. The foundations are the most important part of the whole house because everything is built on top. It’s very expensive to change the foundations once you have started to build on top of them. But it is very easy to change them if they are simply lines on a plan.
So I spend a little more time on the research than most other companies who rush their clients into the design phase. It only causes cost overruns later if we take shortcuts and don’t establish solid foundations.
The Home Consultation is the most important step because it provides the foundational thinking that everything else is built upon and provides incredible value to you. For this service, I charge an hourly rate of £85 per hour to cover my time. Here is what I aim to achieve:
- I will meet you to listen to your requirements and to provide you with an experienced designer’s opinion to the feasibility of your project, one who is knowledgeable about undertaking home extensions & remodels;
- Discuss the design and potential solutions your site could accommodate;
- Discuss the look and feel of the potential scheme;
- Discuss the planning viability of the project from my experience;
- Discuss any obstacles and how to avoid or get around them such as boundary/party wall issues, drainage issues and build over agreements, planning issues, and construction/maintenance issues;
- Provide preliminary rough cost of your extension for budget use. Please be aware that this cost will be inaccurate. Should you require an accurate costing, then it is recommended that a quantity surveyor be appointed, or a full design undertaken and tendered by suitable contractors;
- Make you aware of all the legal requirements;
- Provide advice as to the next steps;
- Provide a written summary on the above including a schedule of services and fee proposal for the next stages of your project.
The valuable insights you gain from this first step can be used by myself or any other designer and will ultimately produce a better result for you.