Yes, we have considerable experience in working with listed buildings and even more so for homes in conservation areas – we’ve worked on a wide variety of these types of projects.
The planning rules for listed buildings and conservation areas vary slightly depending on the area where you live. But it’s how they’re interpreted and the relationship developed with the local authority that’s pivotal to a project’s success.
We’re always happy to explain the process and advise you on the possibilities – we can also provide you with examples of similar homes we’ve worked on, to show you what can be achieved and how we can help.
Yes, it’s very likely that you’ll need this legal approval. Most alterations that are more than cosmetic will require a building regulations application. This includes changes to the drainage, structure, or thermal performance of your home.
We’ll advise on how the regulations will apply to your home and explain how we’ll make your project comply to ensure the smooth and timely delivery of your new space.
This is a difficult question to answer without knowing all the details of your project. For example, if planning permission isn’t required, it’s possible that the construction of your home could start in a matter of months. However, for large-scale works, a project can take considerably longer.
Once we’ve discussed your requirements with you, we’ll be able to give you a much better estimate of how long the planning, design and construction process may take. This will allow you to plan out how and when you want to approach the project.
Giving a cost estimate for your project without the full details is difficult, as there are several variables to consider. However, it will be designed and built to meet your specific budget and end goal.
Because we use our own in-house construction team, we have regular meetings to discuss and monitor the cost of materials and labour. We feed this information into your project at an early stage – so you shouldn’t experience any unexpected surprises later on.
We’ve also designed our fee packages to be as flexible as possible, allowing you to pick the services and cost level to suit your needs.
Permitted Development (PD) allows you to do certain works and renovations to your home without needing to apply for planning permission.
For work to be carried out under Permitted Development, it must meet the current criteria. We have extensive planning expertise and a wide breadth of knowledge in this area.
We’re also experienced in getting the most out of your scheme by using PD and full planning permission in combination. For example, we’ve done this to deliver supersized loft conversions in London. This often makes sense economically and is a good example of how PD can sometimes be used to your advantage in a project.
It’s not unusual for a project to require input from other consultants during the planning stage. They’re often needed for providing necessary construction information for your project. This could include a structural engineer, a quantity surveyor (who can advise on costs) or a party wall surveyor.
To help with planning requirements, it can sometimes be necessary to employ consultants who have expertise in fields like flood risk, ecology, trees and landscapes, and archaeology.
We can advise you on when using any of these external experts might be necessary and can recommend professionals that you can use.
We will assess your project individually to determine whether it requires planning approval, and we’ll advise you on what’s necessary.
Permitted development rights do exist for residential properties, which means that extensions under a certain scale may not require planning approval.
If your property is a listed building then all alterations, other than like-for-like repairs, will also require listed building consent.
Planning officers must make a decision within 8 to 12 weeks (depending on the size of the project) of an application being registered. Within that timeframe, the application is validated, neighbours are notified, the application is assessed, and a decision is issued.
We stay in close contact with the planning team throughout this process to ensure the best outcome for you.
If you’d like to understand more about the planning process, you can read our guide on the best way to get planning approval, and we’re always happy to answer any questions you have.
When we design a space for our clients, we initially focus on the lifestyle possibilities that can be achieved in their new home. We concentrate on what you like and how you want to live in and use your space.
So, our preferred style is one that works uniquely for the people and families we’re designing the home for.
To deliver you a perfect solution, we create a home that works for your aspirations and lifestyle. We do this by collaborating with you throughout the process so that you have continual input. And our design teams are involved from the start, looking at how the space can be made to suit your needs and personal taste, as well as your interests and hobbies.
Our portfolio displays a range of different styles, with a focus on exceptional design solutions and quality detailing. This means we give clients a home that not only looks fantastic, but also functions perfectly for everyday life.
Yes, we can normally start working with you within the first two weeks of you making contact.
We start every project with our unique consultation and live design session. This allows us to meet you at the property, discuss your specific needs and lifestyle, and sketch out proposals for adapting the property to achieve what you need it to.
As soon as you get in touch, we can arrange for you to have your own consultation and live design session. They’re an exciting and engaging exercise to start turning your vision into reality – and it’s a great way to kickstart your project.
Invoices for our services are issued at the end of each stage of work – this will all be clearly set out for you in your personalised fee proposal.
Each bill you receive will explain the costs that are covered and provide you with a detailed breakdown.
If you’d like to know more about our invoicing or have any further questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to explain things further.
All of our fees are worked out on a bespoke basis to offer you the best value. The fees will vary depending on the scope of work you require, and we’ll discuss these with you before we proceed.
You may only need our involvement for the initial design stages. Or you might need us to be involved in the delivery of the technical design, which includes monitoring the works on site.
Our fees are typically fixed as this provides you with cost certainty and gives you much better control over how much you’ll spend on your project. We break our fees and costs down into the RIBA’s work stages, so this allows you to select all or just a part of our services.
You can find out more about how we charge for our services by taking a look at the fee packages we offer.
Because we provide a completely bespoke service, we don’t offer a price-matching promise.
Every architect will provide you with a different design solution and way of delivering their services. So when you choose your designer, it should be on the basis that they’re the most suitable professionals to deliver a design specifically for you.
When you’re deciding who to use, you should also ask yourself: ‘Do I like them’?
Your architect will be alongside you throughout the process. So, it’s important they make you feel relaxed and comfortable and give you full confidence that they understand your brief.
We always offer the highest level of professional service, and we’re a very friendly and personable team – as our numerous clients will vouch for!
The process of creating your new home can vary depending on your design brief and personal requirements. After we’ve held the live design session with you, our initial worked-up concepts are usually ready to discuss within a couple of weeks of your consultation.
With every project, we like to explain the key milestones. These will give you clear indications of all the stages (and timeframes) that are required.
If you decide to use our fully integrated service offering, you can rest assured that we’ll be accountable for each step of the timeline and the delivery of your new home.
Yes, we do this for all the projects we work on and it’s an essential part of making sure your home is designed in the right way.
Our consultation also involves a live design session which involves:
- coming to your home and meeting with you face-to-face
- learning about your requirements and how you want to live in and use the space
- exploring the unique aspects of your home and uncovering its potential.
During this session, we’ll discuss our ideas with you on how best to achieve what you need from your space and explain how we can help with your project.
After the meeting, we’ll be able to provide you with a fee proposal and our thoughts on how best to move your project forward.
Being a RIBA chartered practice means we comply with strict criteria which cover insurance, health and safety, quality management systems and code of conduct.
As a RIBA practice, we are quality-assured and committed to design excellence and providing superior customer service. This gives you peace of mind that your project is in the right hands.
If your project is going to affect the structure, increase the size, or change the layout of your home, using an architect is a wise decision.
Working with an architect can help you to:
- Achieve the right design for your needs and lifestyle
- Comply with planning regulations
- Choose the right builder
- Set a budget
Using an architect gives you peace of mind that your space is being used in the best possible way, that the structure of your home will be safe, and that your new home will comply with planning regulations.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) puts it eloquently when they say;
“Architects apply impartial and creative thinking to projects large and small. They add value, whether from maximising light and space, adding functionality, or achieving the best return on your investment.”
Our integrated team brings a vast amount of knowledge and expertise to your scheme. We’ll guide you through each stage and maximise the potential for your project – so that you have a home that delivers the quality and lifestyle you deserve.
Yes, at Bespoke Living AIC we understand the real benefit an interior designer can bring to a project. In fact, early collaboration between architecture and interior design teams will really maximise your project’s success.
For this reason, we’ve created our own interior design service as part of our core team, which allows us to deliver seamless design solutions.
Our unique integrated approach means that we design the interior of your home in tandem with your architectural design, always working with you to ensure your personality and style resonate throughout your space.
Over the years we’ve developed strong working relationships with a large variety of suppliers throughout the industry. Our brand awareness, and sourcing of materials and finishes, sets us apart – allowing us to procure unique products for your home at the best possible prices.
During the FF&E stage, we will put together a detailed document highlighting the selection of products we’ve specifically curated for your home to bring your space alive.
You can also take a look at our partner page to find out more about the suppliers we work with, and examples of projects that showcase the results.