100605 – Don’t just jump in. It’s deep!

If your workplace or home is no longer working for you but you don’t want to move:

  • Don’t just talk to a builder about an extension or a separate new building. They how to build but not what to build what would be best for you.
  • Non-architects who offer ‘architectural services’ will ‘draw up’ what you want, but not necessarily what you need.
  • Your ideas about what you want are also not necessarily what you need.
  • One of the many skills of an architect is to help you determine your needs as the project manager during the pre-planning stage. We offer a cost effective preliminary ‘Needs and Options’ Report to get that process underway.
  • By discussing possible solutions with you and the other building design professions (chartered engineers and chartered surveyors etc), architects are the project manager during the design stage.
  • By using a ‘proper’ and formal building contract for the construction the architect administers that contract. The ‘project management’ of the construction’ is always best left to the main contractor as they manage the programme. As contract administrator the architect certifies progress, payment and completion.
  • The architect is therefore the best ‘project manager’ for a building project, it has been our role since the profession began as ‘master builder’


I have frequently advised clients how their money could be much better spent making smaller improvements, reducing the structural cost by increasing the logic of the structure. Extending a building to have the beams within the floor thickness provides pleasant spaces but having a down-stand that supports the floor over from underneath rather than from within can half the cost. Likewise, adding additional space within the attic saves on foundation costs and leaves the garden the same size.

Un-used upper floors in town centres are a wasted resource but if opened up can be let to tenants or sold to increase income. The same is true of vacant industrial units, if the structure is sound simply re-cladding the unit to reduce energy costs and refitting the interior to suit other uses brings them back into use and can start the regeneration of an area. The Yards in Kettering is a very mild version of that but has missed some opportunities, much like most of Kettering 🙂