Our former home, Beaufort Rd we lived in for the past eight years. A semi-detached property, which required full modernisation. When we purchased it we anticipated living there for some years so we also conducted some element of remodelling, converting the original kitchen in to a utility room, adding a single height extension and building in to the roof space to add a small office and en-suite bathroom. The size and shape of the property limited how and what could be remodelled – it was a dormer bungalow and was unfortunately just too small for us upstairs once the twins were born and we needed more space. Not our ideal home but we bought it at time as we wanted to live somewhere really quiet and we liked the location. Everything that was changed in that property was down to our own vision and how we wanted to live in the property – nothing was left untouched, new electrics, central heating etc. Everything was placed where we wanted/needed it. While I have no doubt that an architect would have been good for inspiration, I still believe that the added overhead would not have been value for money. We did however; take the advice of a kitchen company, Chipping Sodbury Kitchens and Bathrooms, who questioned where we were going to place our new kitchen (this was the only area of the house where were several options, ours being very conservative – they challenged this and we are so glad that they did!), the best £100 we spent as we ended up with a kitchen with a tremendous wow factor. One thing that we learnt from the whole project is to ask the question “why?” about everything….
Our new home, Little Ravenswell, like our previous property, requires full modernisation. However, this time due to the size (internally and externally) of the property and not to mention budget available, this is something that is way beyond our ability. We know what worked and what we liked in our previous house, however, I fully concede that transferring this into our new property is the job for an architect. Given the property hasn’t been updated really since it was built, the scope and possibility of what could be achieved we didn’t want to limit to just our imagination. I firmly believe that anything is possible (depending on budget!) and knowing the budget available, the options available to us are beyond our imagination and capabilities. We look forward to the first iteration of plans from Simon at the end of January 2018.
From here they’ll no doubt be tweaks and revisions to these plans, until we reach the point where we are happy with the proposed design for Little Ravenswell V.2.! From here our Architect then prepares more detailed drawings which will support our formal planning application. The planning application decision will take a minimum of eight weeks – that’s going to feel like such a long wait as I’m itching for the building work to start. Our planning application is submitted by the Architect and he will then liaise with the planning officer during the determination period to discuss the progress of the application. Once we receive confirmation that planning is approved (always an important moment), Construction drawings will then be prepared in line with the design drawings for submission to Building Control for their approval. The other reason I was keen to work with an Architect is that they also take a really proactive role in managing the builder, ensuing there is a contract in place and any delays to agreed schedules are dealt with promptly.
So for me in a process, which can be stressful enough, the expense of appointing an Architect is worth it, he’ll save us making unnecessary mistakes and will help us achieve our vision of maximising the potential in Little Ravenswell. If you’d like to get instant updates whenever I publish a blog and keep up to date with the renovation work on this project then do Follow me on Facebook.