Most home builders would love to personalise their building project with the deft touches of an architect. And while aesthetic appeal is important if you’re to adore your abode, structural safety and regulatory compliance are paramount. These can be complex issues to negotiate if you don’t get the expert in early.
Yes, initially you’ll fork out more on your investment but the returns you’ll get thanks to architectural supervision cannot be understated. We’ve rounded up the main reasons to rush to your chosen architect in London below.
1. The skills set, competence, long-term cost savings and return on investment means that architects and interior architects pay for themselves many times over. This is most clearly evidenced in the increase in value of your home as a result of sound, inviting architectural principles.
2. Architects bring to life your vision and concepts, based on your lifestyle, budget and aesthetic preferences. Importantly, since most people do not buy houses on their own, architects are also able to sensibly and seamlessly merge two or more design choices.
3. Your local self-build chartered architect in London should be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) or Royal Institute of British Architects (ARB). Any architect with this accreditation will be able to furnish you with scale models, 3D models or 3D prints of your architectural design as you go along. This means you know exactly what you are building prior to laying the first brick. The peace of mind you’ll get is priceless.
4. An architect will take the hassle out of overseeing contractors and making sure they deliver according to schedule. They’re also more than likely to know who the best contractors are for the job, given your design spec. After doing milestone inspections, the architect will then issue certificates for work done, so you pay only for work actually completed.
5. Interior architecture is just as important as the outside design. Your interioarchitect will help you with raised ceilings, maximizing space, window placement, and lighting fixtures and openings. You’ll have the assurance that your foundations are strong and that your windows won’t cave in come the first burst of unseasonal inclement weather!
6. London is wet and damp all-year round, so interior finishes and structural materials need to be particularly damp- and mould-proof. Your architect will advise on the best materials, especially external cladding materials, for your build given the temperate but wet London climate.
Your architect is likely to charge you:
·a flat fee
·hourly retainer, or
·amount based on anything from five to fifteen percent of your building costs.
This does not include the cost of your plot, legal fees, VAT, planning application fees, structural engineer fees, self-build insurance, and so on.
The degree of complexity of your project will influence how much time your architect needs to dedicate to it, which will influence the fee.
Always bear in mind that architectural consultations work out way better financially than having to amend building plans or rectify structural flaws later.
The average cost of building a three-bedroom, one-garage brick, 180m2 house in London is in the region of £235 000. This will vary according to how fancy your features are and whether are not you will be owner-building any portion. London is, of course, more expensive on average than most other UK cities.
This will also vary according to whether you self-manage the contractors and purchase the materials yourself, or delegate this to the contractors. It is always safer to check in with an architect along the way even if you opt to self-manage.
Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable if you buy land or property over £150 000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. If you’re a first-time buyer, you will qualify for a reduction in the amount of tax payable.
Your architect will draw up and sign off plans that meet building planning permission guidelines. Not surprisingly, there are also a few London-specific regulations to bear in mind, especially given the building density in the city.
As a major city, London has been through several architectural incarnations, the clear footprints of which are all still evident in this iconic, leading European city today.
The Georgian period saw London go through an era of architectural elevation between 1714 and 1830. The buildings and homes in this era featured clean, classical lines. The terraced homes in Regent’s Park are still some of the grandest in London.
The Victoria era with its stately, imposing pillars and other features followed in the 1800s. Then came the Edwardian age in 1900 with its distinctive red-brick villas , with touches of Art Deco featuring exotic Egyptian influences in the 1920s and 1930s. After World War 2, much of the city had to be rebuilt. This is when mass housing and high-rise concrete buildings left their mark. Many of these have now given way to the most beautiful expressions of modern architecture and architecture nouveau in the capital.
Do not miss the architectural grandeur of Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey next time you’re in London.
Today, many of the top building designs in the world can be found in London, including:
·City Hall, famed for its deliberate Leaning Tower of Pisa effect
·The magnificent St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and King’s Cross Clocktower
·The Charles Holden-designed Senate House in Bloomsbury, for its Art Deco aesthetic
·Lloyd’s Building, for its almost rocket engine-like, futuristic design.
Where to find an architect in London
Looking for an architect in London? Consult the Yellow Pages or simply scan through our carefully curated architect directory of registered London architects.