Category: Blog

Architectural Design Process

Thank you for choosing Planning By Design. Once you have confirmed whether your project is feasible the next step in every project is to prepare the required architect drawings, which our chartered architects will prepare for you.

By the end of this article, you will know what architect drawings are required as a minimum for most planning applications and how we can help transform your initial idea into beautiful accurate scale architect drawings that will give your planning application the best chance of success.

Architectural design, like fashion, is very personal, what you may like another may not like, and vice versa. Each project, site and design is unique. If you view our portfolio you will see that there are many extensions yet no two are the same.

So, the first step is to establish what you ideally want it to look like. Most of our clients have a good idea of what they ideally want to achieve when they contact us.

However, when it comes to architectural design for your project, if you need a little guidance or inspiration, we can arrange a design consultation with one of our architects for a small fee.

When we provide a design consultation with one of our architects, we still require confirmation of your design brief in writing. This ensures we have a written record of exactly what you ask us to design, and we use this as a checklist while producing your architect drawings.

Thanks to our incredibly efficient process, the first version of the architectural drawings are usually exactly what the client envisages. This saves time and money with design revisions while ensuring the design is exactly what you want.

It also offers additional protection for both parties, if anything that was requested in writing is overlooked it would not count as a revision. Conversely, if new ideas are proposed that were not previously mentioned, these may count as a design revision.

Once we have received and understood your design brief, we aim to have the drawings sent for your review and approval within 7 days. However, for larger or more complex projects it can take a bit longer.

What is required?

Almost every application will require the following as a minimum;

Existing and Proposed Elevations – 2D drawings showing the property before and after works are complete.
Existing and Proposed Floor Plans – 2D drawings showing the internal layout, rooms only, no fixtures, fittings, or furniture.
Existing and Proposed Block Plan – These are maps to show the location of the site, its boundaries, and any changes that will occur.
Site Location Plan – A larger map showing where the property is located so the council can assess the impact on the wider area.

Even for a change of use where there are no changes to the building, we still need to submit the above as this the only way the council can assess and confirm there are no changes. 

Even if you are only doing something minor like a fence or dropped kerb, the architect’s drawings still need to show the whole property from each side before and after. If we just send a drawing of a fence or dropped kerb the council will not validate the application.

For any retrospective planning applications, although the construction may have already been completed, we still need to show existing elevations that show what the property looked like before and proposed elevations showing what it looks like now.

To see some examples please check out our Portfolio: (click on any project to view all the required drawings and planning statements etc for each application)

How can we produce accurate architect drawings remotely?

These days 99% of householder developments and smaller scale commercial developments, such as a change of use, do not require a site visit and are instead done via a remote survey.

We understand that for those who are not chartered architects, it might be hard to understand how we can produce accurate architect drawings without a site visit.

For your information, here is an overview of how we are able do this;

  • The existing property prior to development or changes, does not need planning permission. There will already be planning permission granted and potentially plans available via the planning portal from previous applications. If drawings are available from a previous application this is likely all we require to produce new drawings for your proposed development.
  • The existing property will already be shown with accurate external measurements on OS mapping tools which our architects use to produce accurate drawings. 
  • For anything that is not yet built, there is nothing to see or measure. We can only draw according to your brief, which is the same whether we pop round for a cup of tea, have zoom or receive it in writing. We always require your brief in writing regardless of whether we discuss the brief in person or over a zoom / phone call, so that we have a written record of what you want.
  • For most smaller scale developments, people usually have a clear idea of exactly what they want, so can easily provide a written brief detailing this. However, for larger or more complex developments, such as new build houses, sometimes clients require a little guidance or inspiration, which we are happy to help with.
  • When we conduct a site visit, our architects take photos to work from when they are back at their computer. They can see the same from a photo as they can when on site and they need photos to keep referring to during the process.
  • If there are floor plans available on the planning portal from a previous application that reflect the current layout this is all we need. If the property has recently been advertised on an estate agent website or auction site, there will usually be floor plans available, which would likely be all we require. Even if there are existing floor plans, they are unlikely to pass the councils validation criteria, so our architects still need to produce accurate floor plans with scale measurements.
  • Where there are no existing floor plans available, all we require is a rough sketch with approximate dimensions for each room. These do not need to be millimetre precise, so you do not need to be a professional architect.
  • Only once we have everything required to clearly understand your brief, our architect will start working on your drawings. We aim to have these sent for your review and approval within 7 days.
  • If any changes are required to the drawings, we will of course take care of these and send the revised drawings back for your approval. Only once you are 100% happy the design is exactly what you want will we proceed to the next stage, with your approval.
  • Whether we conduct a site visit or a remote survey, the result is exactly the same, accurate scale drawings, which every client approves with 100% satisfaction. The only difference is that with a remote survey you save time and money!!
Grant Singlehurst-Ward

AuthorGrant Singlehurst-WardFOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR

A serial entrepreneur with background in sales and marketing, Grant is the founder and managing director. He founded Planning By Design to provide clients with the highest possible level of service at unbeatable prices.

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