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How Long Does It Take An Architect To Design An Extension

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  • 03-05-2023
How Long Does It Take An Architect To Design An Extension

How long does it take an architect to design an extension? This article looks at the various stages in planning an  extension and how long you should expect each stage in the process to take. Kirk-Brown Ltd offers professional extension architect services for Maidstone and Kent. Find out more about the extension planning process.

Designing an extension to a building is an exciting process that requires careful planning and consideration.  You will need to ensure that the final result meets the client's needs while complying with regulations and standards. However, one of the most common questions that clients ask their architect is how long it will take to design an extension. The answer is not straightforward, as several factors can influence the timeline of the design process.

In this article, we will explore the different variables that affect how long it takes an architect to design an extension. We intend to provide some insights into what you can expect from the design process.

How Long Does An Architect Take To Do Plans?

How long should you allow for an architect when planning building work, and will it cause delays? Getting an architect to create plans to build an extension is a crucial part of the planning schedule, especially if you require planning permission.

Its's important to take the time to find the right architect for your project. This may involve meeting with multiple architects to discuss ideas. You may also need to speak with previous clients, and reviewing their past projects. Creating plans for building an extension can take several weeks, even for small projects, and considerably longer for larger ones.

This may feel frustrating, but it's essential that the drawings are thorough and meet the requirements of the planning department. The architect must show that the plans consider both structural and aesthetic elements. This is especially important if you have neighbours to consider. Getting the plans approved is necessary before starting any work.

In total, a straightforward extension project from the start of the design phase to the building stage can take approximately 5-6 months. If other consultants are involved in the design process, or if pre-application enquiries with the local community and council are necessary, the timeline may be extended. 

Do I Need An Architect For An Extension?

Steps To Designing Your Building Project

Designing a building project can be a complex process. But there are several steps that will help make the process smoother and ensure that your project is successful. By following these steps, you can help ensure that your building project is successful and meets your needs and goals.

 Finding The Right Architect For You

Embarking on a building project requires careful consideration and planning.  Selecting the right architect and design team is a crucial step in the process.

It is essential to ensure that the team you choose can work within your vision, budget, and time constraints to achieve your desired outcome.

While this may take some time, investing the effort at this stage will ultimately make your project more enjoyable and successful.

To find the right architect and design team, it is recommended to allocate at least a month to conduct research.

You will need to organize meetings with shortlisted firms, and review their proposed services and fee proposals. This process will allow you to make an informed decision about who is the best fit for your project.

How Long Does It Take An Architect To Design An Extension? extension architect services for Maidstone and Kent

 Getting Your Architectural Plans Drafted 

Once you have selected your preferred architect and design team, it may take up to two weeks to schedule an on-site visit to conduct a survey of the building and site. This visit typically requires one day to gather sufficient information, followed by an additional two weeks to input this data into the drawing systems. These steps provide a solid foundation for the design process to begin.

Creating sketch schemes, massing models, and virtual reality experiences will follow. These may take approximately 2-3 weeks before the design is ready to be discussed in detail with you. Following this stage, there may be another 2 weeks of fine-tuning and improvements.  Then the final design is ready for your home extension.

From the moment you decide to begin your project, it can take approximately 5-6 months to reach the building stage, provided there are no unforeseen delays. While not mandatory, it can be beneficial to consult with builders or a quantity surveyor (QS) at this stage.

This is an effective way to to ensure that the design is in line with your budget. This can save you from potentially difficult conversations down the line if the project costs do not add up. However, working with a third party can incur additional costs and take up to a month, so it may not be the best option if time is a critical factor.

 Starting The Planning Application

After you have reviewed and approved the extension project design proposal, the architectural team will continue to refine the design further to prepare for the planning application.

This includes compiling all necessary documentation, application forms, and drawing packages. This can take approximately 3-4 weeks. The team will seek final confirmation from you before submitting the planning application.

Once submitted, the Local Planning Authority will take approximately 6-8 weeks to review and consider your planning application before making a decision.

Steps To Designing Your Building Project - Extension Architect Maidstone Kent

 Getting Building Regulations Approval

After obtaining planning approval, the next step is to secure building regulations approval.  This often requires the involvement of a structural engineer. This process can take up to two months from the moment you give the green light to the structural engineer to the receipt of the final structural calculation package.

To optimize this time, it's crucial to run other tasks in parallel.  You can also begin pre-construction information packages and asbestos surveys, to avoid delays. After the application is submitted to Building Control, it may take an additional month before receiving a decision.

Once building regulations approval is granted, the focus shifts to gathering information on fixtures, fittings, materials, products, and technologies. This information, along with detailed project-specific drawings, is used to develop a tender package that will be presented to building contractors. The preparation of this package can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks, depending on the amount of input and feedback from the client.

 Securing A Building Contractor 

You should now provide the necessary information to the selected building contractors. It can take approximately one month for them to compile a list of their fees.

Assuming that a contract is successfully agreed upon, it can take another month for the contractor to finalize preparations before commencing the construction process. This is subject to the availability of a suitable slot for your project.

This can be a challenge as many contractors may already have booked up their schedules for the next 6-9 months. To avoid any disappointment at this stage, it's advisable to engage in discussions with potential contractors early on in the design process.

This will help you to assess their availability and interest in your project. This way, you can avoid any potential delays and ensure a smoother transition from the design phase to the building phase.

Securing A Building Contractor - Extension Architect Maidstone Kent

What To Consider When Building A Home Extension

When considering building a home extension, there are several factors that you should take into account. By taking these factors into account, you can ensure a successful and stress-free home extension project:

What is the purpose of the extension? Will it be used as a new bedroom, a living area, a home office, or something else? Make sure that the new space you are adding meets your functional needs and will add value to your home.

The design and style of the extension should complement the existing architecture of your home. Consider the materials and finishes that will be used in the extension and ensure that they blend well with the rest of the house.

Determine a budget for your extension project and try to stick to it. Consider the cost of materials, labour, and any additional expenses, such as permits and inspections.

Make sure you are familiar with the building regulations in your area. Your extension will need to meet certain requirements, such as energy efficiency standards, structural requirements, and fire safety regulations.

Depending on the size and scope of your extension project, you may need to apply for planning permission from your local council. Check with your local council to see if you need planning permission before starting any work.

Choose a reputable and experienced contractor to complete the extension work. Check their credentials and ask for references from past clients.

Set a realistic timeline for your extension project. Consider factors such as the weather and any unforeseen delays that may arise.

Consider how your extension project may impact your neighbours. Be courteous and keep them informed throughout the building process.

 Are you looking for professional extension architect services in Maidstone and Kent? If you have any questions regarding our services please simply get in touch..