A single story extension is one of the fastest and most cost-effective house extension options. You can use a single story extension for many purposes, including a home gym, office, expanded kitchen or additional living room. Acquiring planning permission for simple extensions is normally quite fast and some projects are covered under permitted development rules. What is more, a single story extension can often be completed within a matter of months, giving you fast access to additional living space.
However, to get all the design details right and ensure your extension is structurally sound, you will normally need the services of an architect. When shopping around for an architect, homeowners have two main options. You can seek out a quote from a Chartered Architect, or you can look for an Architectural Designer. This article explains the difference between the two types of architect and why an Architectural Designer with residential expertise is probably your best option.
Architectural Designers & Chartered Architects
Both Architectural Designers (AD) and Chartered Architects (CA) are specialists in designing buildings. They are trained in structural dynamics, material qualities and project management – as well as the artistic side of creating aesthetically appealing buildings and extensions. Furthermore, both types of professional go through fairly similar courses at university in order to qualify. There is significant overlap between the two disciplines.
There are also a few differences:
Chartered Architects are corporate members of one of the UK’s professional architectural associations. These are the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), The Royal Society of Ulster Architects and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. To become a member of RIBA an architect must pass a RIBA approved architectural qualification; which takes a total of seven years (five-years of study and two years working practice). There are three parts to this qualification, all of which must be passed and certified by the Architects Registration Board.
An Architectural Designer has similar skills to a Chartered Architect but is not a signed up member of RIBA. Qualifications and experience vary from person to person, but many Architectural Designers are qualified to RIBA parts one and two level (which includes all the important structural and design knowledge), as well as additional accreditations that some Chartered Architects do not have. Architectural Designers are free to take a more inclusive and flexible approach to their professional skills, often incorporating interior architecture, interior design, advanced project management and material engineering into their skills.
The Difference For Homeowners
For homeowners this translates into differences in the service offered by each type of architect, and the prices they charge. Chartered Architects, due to the nature of their course and the demands of their professional affiliation, tend to focus mainly on corporate work or large-scale property developments. These are high value projects, often running into the millions of pounds. A Chartered Architect may take on a domestic house extension, but it is likely to come with a high price tag. An Architectural Designer, on the other hand, will often have more practical experience working with the domestic market. Their prices are lower and their skills are more specialised towards serving residential customers.
Advantages Of Hiring A Residential Architectural Designer
For a single story extension, there are some significant benefits of hiring an Architectural Designer, rather than a Chartered Architect.
- Expert Advice on House Extensions: An Architectural Designer will have the specialist theoretical and practical knowledge to conceptualise the best house extension for you. By talking to an Architectural Designer you will be able to make the most of the space you have and get maximum value from your budget.
- Assistance With Planning Applications: As residential specialists, an Architectural Designer will be well placed to guide you through the planning process, providing expert knowledge at every step of the journey.
- Lower Costs: It normally costs less to work with an Architectural Designer than it does with a Chartered Architect.
- Wide Expertise: Not only are their fees normally lower, but an Architectural Designer may also be able to offer you specialist skills to save you time on your build. For instance, at BDS we are construction specialists as well as architectural designers. This puts us in the position of being able to manage a house extension from end to end, saving you the trouble of having to deal with multiple contractors.
Save Money, Time & Hassle When Building Your Extension
Many people are put off extending their house because of the notorious delays and stress associated with some projects – not to mention the intimidating costs. When you hire a residential architectural design company such as BDS, it doesn’t have to be like this. We have put together a free resource that shows you how to save money, time and hassle when building your extension. Download our Essential Guide To Extending Your Living Space for professional tips on planning, budgeting, project management and selecting the right type of extension for you. Click here to access your copy.