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07.02.2024

How long does the architectural process take?

Whether it’s a house extension, loft, or barn conversion, the architectural process of a building project can be daunting and confusing. Our architectural timeline explains the process clearly so you can better understand the full design process, realise the necessary steps and have a practical idea of timescales.

Week 0: Initial Meeting


The first step in pursuing any building project is to talk to an expert for advice on everything from design, materials and logistics, to processes and costs. Based in Devon, New Space Architecture offer a free no obligation meeting to talk through your plans in detail. From this, we can provide a written quotation of our professional architectural fees.


Weeks 3-4: Survey


Following your confirmation and the instruction to proceed with your architectural project, the next stage is to undertake a detailed survey of your property to gather all critical measurements and information required.


In some cases, where a more comprehensive survey is needed, we may recommend instructing a specialist surveying company. We’ll advise if this is the case and, if necessary, get relevant quotes for your consideration.


Once the site survey is complete, the existing plans will be drawn to scale ready for the design sketches to commence.


Weeks 5-8: Designs


After the site survey, you’ll be invited to a Briefing Meeting where our team will talk through your architectural project in more detail so we fully understand your needs and requirements for the new space. From this, our Exeter-based architects, will produce detailed design sketches.


These designs might include various options for the project and are an important part of the process. Whether a loft conversion or a house extension, we ask that our clients are as open and honest as possible so we can make your space exactly as you need it.


The initial designs will be presented to you either face-to-face or via email (and post) for your thoughts and consideration. Once you have had time to consider the proposals, you can provide any feedback and the drawings will be altered to suit.


Week 9: Validation


The process of validation ensures that the designs meet the specified requirements and standards. It serves as a quality control measure, making sure that the design is safe, functional, and compliant. Think of validation as a thorough inspection, where every detail of the design is carefully scrutinised to ensure its adequacy.


Weeks 9-17: Planning & Neigbour Consideration


Many household alterations are allowed under ‘Permitted Development’ rights and don’t require planning consent. However, if planning consent is required, we will prepare and submit an application to the local authority on your behalf. This will include scale drawings, a supporting statement and any additional information required for your architectural project.


Once submitted there will be an initial consultation period in which neighbours are invited to review the proposals and make any comments. If any valid concerns are raised, then the design may have to be altered depending on their relevance.


Most applications go through the process very simply and without any revisions but in some cases amendments may have to be made to reach a positive outcome making the planning process a form of ‘conversation’ between the planning officer and designer.


This process can sometimes be lengthy as local authorities have 8 weeks to consider the application once it has been validated. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for this process to take longer due to high workloads but we will keep you updated if this is the case.


Weeks 18-22: Building Regulations


The final application stage of your architectural project deals with Building Regulations. This stage is all about the detail. Comprehensive construction drawings and a written specification will be drafted to demonstrate that your project will comply with current regulations.


As part of this process it’s likely you’ll need a Structural Engineer to provide a detailed specification and calculations for any structural elements. This is something that we will source and manage for you.


Once fully detailed, specified and engineered, the information can be submitted to Building Control for approval and you are able to start your project.


Project Begins


Now that all of your approvals are in place, you have everything you need to obtain accurate quotes from your builder and your project can begin!


If you have any questions on the architectural process or are looking for a Devon-based architect to work on your new space, get in touch with the team at New Space Architecture today.