Architectural Design Brief

Architectural design is very personal, what you may like another may not like, and visa versa. Each site is different and if you review our portfolio, you will see for example, there are lots of extensions, but each is totally unique. So, the first step is to establish what you ideally want it to look like.

Written Design Brief

What we require is a clear written brief that describes in as much detail as possible, what you would ideally like to achieve in terms of the architectural design. If there are no changes to the existing building (for example a change of use with no structural changes), you can simply confirm this.

For anything new that will be built or changed, things to consider for the design are;

  • Where will it be built in relation to the existing property/site? (Front, side, rear etc)
  • What are the proposed external dimensions? (Length, width and height)
  • What materials will be used for the new development? (Brick, timber, cladding etc)
  • What style of roof would you like? (Flat, hipped, gable, dormer etc)
  • Are there any windows/doors to include? (How many, what style, size and where?)
  • Will the internal floor plan/room layout change? (If so, how will it change and what will the rooms be used for, for example bedroom, living room, office, etc)
  • Will there be a staircase? (If so where from and to? If existing stairs how many steps from one floor to next? What is the height, length and width of each step?

It’s important to us that the design is exactly what you want! By providing us with a clear brief will help save time and avoid unnecessary design revisions.

If you request anything that is not sensible/feasible from either a design or planning perspective, we will let you know and suggest alternative solutions.

However, if your ideal design brief is appropriate and there are no obvious issues, we can then get straight to work on producing your architect drawings.

Our process is extremely efficient and in 9/10 cases, the first draft of the drawings are approved by our clients.

Please note that 1 free design revision is included in your quote, any subsequent revisions would be chargeable as quoted.

Each revision can include multiple changes in the same request. For example, if it is your first request and ask us to make 3 minor changes to the plans, this would count as 1 design revision and would be free. 

Even if we attend a site visit, we always require a written brief before we can start working on the drawings. The architect will use your written brief as a checklist when preparing the drawings to make sure nothing is missed.

If we did miss anything that was already requested in writing either in the original design brief or a design revision request, this would not be chargeable to revise. 

However, if you have used your 1 free design revision and you change your mind or remember something you forgot to include, of course we can make any required changes but this would then be a chargeable revision. 

You can supply your written design brief in a word document or via email. This will be saved on our system and passed to the architect who will be producing your drawings. 

Site Photos

For every project type we require external photos of the existing property showing each elevation from each side (front, back and side(s) as applicable). 

Please try to take photos that show the whole property from top to bottom from the front, back and rear without any obstructions if possible.

If it is not possible to capture the full elevation (side) in a single photo please take several that we can piece together to see the full picture.

If you are making internal changes to the property, please include photos of the interior as well.

If you are doing something like a fence, dropped kerb or outbuilding, that has no bearing on the internal property, we do not need photos or floor plans of the inside.

Rough sketch of what you envisage

This is very helpful for the architect to get clearer understanding of what exactly you want designed, which saves time and money with unnecessary revisions.

It does not need to be to scale, and it doesn’t matter how good or bad you are at art, it is simply so that the architect can clearly understand what you would like us to design for you.

If 10 people asked us to simply draw 3 x 3 meter extension, each of them would imagine a slightly different design. A sketch avoids risk of misinterpretation, which again saves you time and money.

Our architects will of course prepare the accurate scale architect drawings required for your application.

Measurements for the proposed development

For us to prepare your architect drawings, we will require some measurements. You do not need to be a professional and these do not need to be millimetre precise.

For anything NEW that will be built or changed

For anything that is not yet built there is nothing for us to see or measure, so we need you to tell us what you would like us to design.

If you are making changes to the existing property, again we can’t see or measure what is not already done, so we need to understand exactly how you wish to change the design.

We will require your proposed dimensions for each project component, such as an extension, porch etc.

For example, a single story extension;

Length – 4 meters
Width 6.5 meters
Height – 2.5 meters

If there are multiple project components, such as an extension and a porch, we will need the dimensions for each component

For anything EXISTING that will NOT change

Even if nothing is changing, for example if you are simply changing the use, we still need to submit architect drawings to demonstrate this.

For the external measurements, we can usually get accurate scale measurements for the property, providing it has already had planning approved and has been added the OS mapping software.

Floor Plans

Typically for any project relating to a building we need to submit existing 2D floor plans to show the internal layout of the rooms with dimensions.

We also need to submit proposed 2D floor plans to show the internal layout of the rooms with dimensions once works are completed.

If your project does not impact the existing building in anyway, then we typically do not require floor plans for the existing building.

Typically Requires Floor plans – New build house, extensions, garage conversions, loft conversions, outbuildings, change of use, house in multiple occupancy (HMO) or porch.

Typically Does NOT Require Floor Plans – Balcony / terrace, decking, dropped kerb, driveway or wall / fence.

All we require is a rough sketch to show the layout with measurements (length and width) for each room.

The sketch does not need to be to scale or look good, it is simply for us to work from. Again, the measurements do not need to be millimetre precise, so you do not need to be a professional.

Our architects will produce the accurate plans which we will send for your review and approval before we move the next stage.

For your reference please see below a selection of example design briefs together with the approved architect drawings for each;

Example Design Brief for a Dropped Kerb
Example Design Brief for an Extension
Example Design Brief for a Loft Conversion
Example Design Brief for a Loft Conversion with Velux Windows

Example Design Brief for a Garage Conversion
Example Design Brief for a Fence
Example Design Brief for an Outbuilding
Example Design Brief for a Change of Use
Example Design Brief for a Conservatory

Design Brief Checklist

Written Design Brief (as much detail as you can)
Photos (all sides of the property + internal pics if applicable)
Rough sketch (showing external design or architect drawings if you already have)
External Measurements (for each project component as applicable)
Floor Plan Sketch (with length and width for each room as applicable)

To speed the process, please send us everything that is applicable to your project as detailed above. Once we have everything we need, we can begin working on the drawings immediately. 

If we require further information from you, we will let you know but it will save time if you are able to send us what require straight away.

If you have any questions about what we require please email or call us and we will be very happy to clarify what is required for your project.

Design Brief Form

Please complete the form below and include as much of the requested information as possible.

All News & FAQs