FAQ

scroll below for answers to the following questions

  • Why use an architect?
  • Will I need to employ anyone else?
  • How long will it all take?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How involved can I get?
  • What types of project do you undertake?
  • How can we learn more about Rishworth Design Associates?
  • How will you approach our project and what steps are involved in the design process?
  • Should I prepare anything for an initial meeting with an architect?
  • What is building control?
  • How do I obtain a planning permission?
  • What is a listed building?
  • Are any other permissions required?
  • What do I do next?

WHY USE AN ARCHITECT?
  • Architects are trained to take your brief, and can see the big picture looking beyond your immediate requirements to design flexible buildings that can adapt with the changing needs of your home or business.
  • Architects solve problems creatively and, if they are involved at the earliest planning stage, they gain more opportunities to understand the way you live, or your business needs, and develop creative solutions, and maybe propose ways to reduce costs.
  • Architects can save you money by maximising your investment as a well-designed building can reduce your bills now and increase its long-term value.
  • Architects can manage your project from site selection to completion. In many building projects the role of the architect includes co-ordinating a team of specialist consultants such as landscape architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, interior designers, builders and subcontractors.
  • Architects can save you time by managing and co-ordinating key project elements they allow you to focus on your organisation’s activities.
  • Architects can help your business by creating total environments, interior and exterior, which are pleasing and functional for the people who work and do business within them.

All architects must be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB), and are governed by its Code of Conduct. (www.arb.org.uk).

Architects may also register with The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to obtain Chartered status and are governed by its Code of Conduct (www.riba.org).

Architects are obliged to undertake continuing training to keep abreast of current developments in the construction industry, project management, design issues and statutory regulations.

All practising architects are required to hold professional indemnity insurance.

WILL I NEED TO EMPLOY ANYONE ELSE?

The size and complexity of your project will determine what other professionals will need to be involved. Whatever the case, we can suggest and arrange a suitable team to guide your project forward.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?

As soon as we are appointed we will draw up a schedule for your project and the various work stages.  Depending on the complexity of your project we will explain how long each stage will take and set targets for their completion.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

We take pride in tailoring our services to the particular needs and budgets of any project. We ensure our fees are competitive and aim to provide added value to every project.

HOW INVOLVED CAN I GET?

In essence, as much as you would like to.  
Any successful project is a result of a good working relationship and collaboration between a client and architect. We aim to guide and enable Clients to take as much involvement as they would like.

WHAT TYPES OF PROJECT DO YOU UNDERTAKE?

Rishworth Design Associates work in both the private and public sectors. We work on projects for Trafford MBC daily, and for Stockport MBC.

Within the past five years, we have worked for :

  • Trafford MBC – hundreds of projects for Clients with disabilities.
  • Stockport MBC – several schemes for extensions and alterations to four schools.
  • Miller Homes – 22 flats, Stockport.Appleton Homes – 34 dwellings, Todmorden.
  • Bio Stat Ltd – Office remodelling and refurbishment, Stockport.
  • Spaces Storage – Refurbishment of Grade 2 listed Welliongton Road Mill, Stockport, and new-build office accommodation.
  • Mile End Estates – Swan Mills, Bolton refurbishment and extension.
  • Aspiro Ltd – Conversion and alteration projects, Stockport.
  • E Nevins Properties – several minor projects and new-build mixed commercial and residential project, Stockport.
  • Private Clients – approx 40-50 domestic extensions etc per year.

HOW CAN WE LEARN MORE ABOUT RISHWORTH DESIGN ASSOCIATES?
All prospective Clients are encouraged to set up a free consultation where our architect would be more than happy to answer any questions you have, and to provide you with further information about our company, past projects and our architectural objectives.

HOW WILL YOU APPROACH OUR PROJECT AND WHAT STEPS ARE INVOLVED IN THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION PROCESS?

The first step in approaching your project would be a preliminary meeting for you to tell us about your project and for us to explain the design process to you in detail. We offer this preliminary consultation to you free of charge!

After a sketch scheme has been prepared, we discuss the proposals in detail before firming up the proposals. We then submit the finalised scheme for Planning Permission.

Obtaining Planning Permission takes maybe two months, and sometimes, it may not be possible to achieve all you want.

After this period, we complete the design to include more detailed drawings and a project specification. We then submit the scheme to the Council again for consideration under the Building Regulations.

We deal with any queries which may arise and negotiate as appropriate until approvals are obtained.

For small projects, we generally provide a design service only. Sometimes for domestic projects, and often for larger projects, we obtain prices from builders and keep an eye on the progress of the construction project. Our Clerk of Works can make weekly visits to ensure a satisfactory standard of workmanship is achieved. Even if we are not employed to oversee the work, we are happy to answer any query which may arise on site.

SHOULD I PREPARE ANYTHING FOR AN INITIAL MEETING WITH AN ARCHITECT?
This question is a simple one but if not asked, items of importance could be over looked and forgotten. To make full use of the consultation please come prepared to discuss your budget, goals and needs, at your initial consultation. All of these issues are essential in determining what kind of project is structurally and financially feasible.

WHAT IS BUILDING CONTROL?

Your local authority also oversees building control. Any new building work will need a building control approval. This means that it must meet the standards set out in the central government issued Building Regulations that cover the health and safety of people in and around all types of buildings (i.e. domestic, commercial and industrial). They also provide for energy conservation and for access and facilities for disabled people. See http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1503250 for further information, or contact your local authority’s building control office.

HOW DO I OBTAIN PLANNING PERMISSION?

To submit a planning application you need to get the relevant forms from your local planning authority. You can then fill out these forms yourself or, if you are employing an architect, they will be able to complete them for you. There is a fee for submitting a planning application payable depending on the size and type of development proposed. Your local authority should send you a copy of their fee scale when they send you the planning forms.
You can submit either an outline or a detailed planning proposal:

  • An outline submission contains the preliminary concept, to save preparing detailed drawings, but a detailed submission will still be required later.
  • A detailed or full application should show the complete scheme of development.

All planning applicants need to certify that they are the owners of the land, or notify the owner. The planning authority will then consider the application. An approval, conditional approval or rejection should be issued within 8 to 12 weeks of the application being logged by the planning office. If a rejection is issued there are procedures that allow you to appeal the decision. It may be wise to get professional advice at this stage.

There are other approvals that may be required, such as listed building consent and conservation area consent. You should ask your local planning authority if any of these might be relevant when you are requesting the forms for the planning application.

Further information can be obtained at http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1503250 and
http://www.planningportal.gov.uk

WHAT IS A LISTED BUILDING?

“Listed buildings” are buildings listed by central government as being of special architectural or historic interest. Buildings can be listed because of age, rarity, architectural merit, and method of construction. Once included on the list, Listed Building Consent is needed to alter, extend or demolish a protected building. This protection applies to both interior and exterior works and also protects subordinate structures and buildings within the grounds of the listed building. It is a potential criminal offence to undertake works to a listed building without consent. Your local council’s conservation officers will be able to give advice on whether consent is needed for particular works.

Types of listing:

  • Grade I: These buildings are of exceptional interest (less than 5% of the listed buildings so far are in this grade).
  • Grade II: These buildings are of special interest, which warrant every effort being made to preserve them. (Some particularly important buildings in Grade II are classified as Grade II*).

There are also national societies that can provide advice on historic buildings:

  • English Heritage.The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) – pre-1750 buildings.
  • The Georgian Group – buildings up to about 1835.
  • The Victorian Society – Victorian and Edwardian buildings.
  • The Twentieth Century Society – 20th century buildings (especially “modernist”).

You can see lists covering your local area and obtain copies of individual entries at your local council planning department, County Council offices and most local reference libraries. The full English national list is kept by English Heritage at the National Monuments Record, Kemble Drive, Swindon, SN2 2GZ.

ARE ANY OTHER PERMISSIONS REQUIRED?

Other consents may be required, dependant upon the type and scale of the project. These may include:

  • Approvals for grant-aided work.
  • Party Wall Act consent.
  • Landlord’s or Leasehold permission.
  • Consent of funding body.

WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
Get in touch and we will arrange to meet you to assess how we can best contribute to your project. At that meeting we will run through what will be involved from the early stages of developing a design to its construction.

© Rishworth Design Associates : Architectural and Planning Consultants working in Stockport, Manchester and throughout the UK.



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