Do I need an Architect?

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    Do I need an Architect?


    I have bought a lovely 3 bed 1930's detached house in the country and the layout upstairs isn't to my liking.

    I need someone to give me ideas on how I can change the layout - I'd need drawings. Is it an architect I need - if not, who would I employ?

    Also, any ideas on how much I would pay?

    Many thanks

    An architect could do it, but you'll be paying meggabucks for his time.

    I have always done drawings for planning applications using an old MSDOS printed circuit board layout program called Easypc, though I doubt that's available nowadays.

    Failing that, why not do a scale drawing of the house exterior walls on graph paper, and then fill in the existing layout. You can cut out shapes for the bathroom fittings, and move them around. (Best to keep the wc in the same place.)

    When you have a layout you like, then call the architect. (If there's no need for council involvement, I'm not sure you even need the architect.)

    Edit: I see Easypc is still produced.


      I don't think I need planning.

      My problems is - or rather, what I don't like is this:

      At the back of the house is the soil pipe. There is an original downstairs wc. There is a later addition of an upstairs wc, connecting into the same soil pipe. However, to get this upstairs WC, a piece of one of the bedrooms has been taken.

      At the front of the house, between two bedrooms is a room housing a bath and sink only.

      Basically, I would really like the bathroom and wc to be together at the back of the house.


        Hmm. For rental, wouldn't you be better off leaving them separate? Maybe put a tiny basin in the loo, so people can wash their hands.


          No JKO, it's my new home! I'm relocating :-)

          So, is it an architect I need - or do I not have to have anyone so senior as planning permission unlikely?


            I think you are practical enough to draw a plan for your builders, aren't you Claymore?

            BTW. You might want to go up the loft to see if there are any ceiling joist junctions above the existing walls. This will limit the walls you can move unless you want to start replacing joists or bolting bits onto them.


              You may not need an actual "architect" - there are "Architectural Technicians" (who have been to college and learned on the job rather than going to uni), who can do pretty much what an architect can do. I had one do the drawings for my new extension; it was half the cost of an actual architect and (according to my builder) he could see no difference between her work and the work of actual architects he's dealt with.


                Trust me JKO - I can't draw to save my life. Thanks for tips with ceiling joists.



                  Excellent - thank you :-)


                    Even though internal alterations to a house will not require planning permission, any changes to sanitary ware or water supplies or drainage through an existing or changed sewer system will need building control approval.

                    Otherwise when the time comes to sell that may be a problem if a prospective buyer realised that there had been changes to an original lay-out for bathrooms or toilets.

                    It is true that Architectural Technicians offer a service that will suffice for a set of plans that show all the correct details for the building control approval. Having used both architects and technicians during my professional career, I think I would agree with the "builder" who didn't know who had drawn the plans he worked from.
                    It would have been the building owner who wrote the final cheque for the plans that would have soon realised the difference.

                    As well as Yellow pages it may be worth looking in the local free paper, as that is where many such people offer their services in small adverts. Even surveyors can offer a good service when the work entails internal alterations when they can also provide any calculations needed to prove the walls won't fall down after any changes.

                    It's worth a few phone calls to speak to someone locally who can advise on the requirements for building control and offer a cost effective service.
                    Asking for some references to people who have previously used these particular locals for their plans is also worthwhile, because without someone's personal recommendation one can never know the quality of anyone advertising in any medium.


                      Thanks Pilman. I've postrd on Streetlife for recommendations, fingers crossed some recs will come my way :-)


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