Can I Build Without An Architectural Drawing?

Posted by Tim Foster on Oct 25, 2017 11:00:00 AM

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Thanks to the existence of Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages an increasing number of householders are becoming tempted to design their own home extension. However, even if they become experts with a particular CAD software package, there are a whole lot of other obstacles to overcome in terms of design layout, planning permissions and basic building regulations. And that’s just for starters.

In fact, once they’ve even got just a third or so of the way or so into designing their dream extension, things can start to go wrong. If they carry on with their design they end up with something that ‘doesn’t quite work’ but they’d ‘like an architect to incorporate some of the ideas anyhow.’ The problem here is that (a) the architect is going to hate this as it’ll be twice as much work for him/her and (b) it’s going to cost a lot more than if the householder had had the plans properly executed by an architect or architectural designer in the first place.

Unlike other areas of building an extension there are no government guidelines that state architectural drawings must be created by a professional. Some people are brave (and foolish) enough to just go ahead with what their builder suggests. Sometimes it works; in the majority of cases it doesn’t. And why take the risk on such an important and expensive project as an extension on your own home anyhow?

Advantages Of Securing Professional Architectural Drawings:

  • Probably the most important point is that a professional has had many years of training and experience to know what works and what doesn’t. He or she will also have ideas that would probably never even cross your mind (ie a sliding wall divider for when you’d like more privacy from the kids or to add a cosier feel. An architectural designer can also check more practical aspects such as ‘room flow,’ that there is sufficient light provision, and that electrical sockets are put in the most convenient places etc.
  • To ensure his or her drawings are carried out to the letter an architectural designer will insist on checking the build at various stages. In this way there will always be someone experienced ensuring that work on your extension remains on track.
  • Architectural designers can be consulted on such matters as planning permission and building regulations – an area that the layperson is confronted with very seldom (if ever) in their lives. An experienced hand to guide them is always a relief.
  • Because they are professionals, architects and architectural designers must adhere to a strict code of practice. This includes having indemnity insurance. What this means for the house owner is that were anything to go wrong with this side of the build, then there wouldn’t be any major financial losses since the damage would be covered by insurance.

Of course, hiring a professional means paying for his or her expertise. Most architects and designers charge from 15 to 20 per cent of the project’s cost. But that’s small change when you think of how much you would be out of pocket with an extension that was so badly built it was unsafe, unsuitable for purpose or just so plain hideous that it had to be knocked down and created from scratch again anyway.

Not only would you be out of pocket for the build in the first place, but your house as a whole would fall in value since no-one would want to inherit it when it came time for you to move on.

Get Your Extension Off To The Best Start

To find out what an architectural drawing involves and how hiring a professional designer for a bespoke home improvement can leave you feeling delighted – rather than in despair – contact us here at BDS Architecture where you can also find ideas and case studies. Meanwhile, why not download our free guide The Essential Guide To Expanding Your Living Space.

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Topics: Architectural Designer

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