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    Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why do I need an architect?

Where can I find an architect?

Is my project too small?

How much does it cost to use an architect?

How much would it cost to build my project?

How long does it take?

What is the Party Wall Act 1996?

How can I make my house more environmentally friendly?

What is the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)?

What is a conservation area?

What is a listed building?

To enter a new question/answer in this page, send the question to: info@cantaledesign.com


Why do I need an architect?

For small projects, like opening or removing a non-load-bearing wall or enlarging a window, you don't need an architect. But for the renovations of the whole house, new kitchens or roof extension, there are many good reasons for hiring an architect. An experienced architect can give you precious advice on a range of matters including: space planning and optimization of the given area, natural light control and sustainable design solutions. Architects take your vision and give it form, exploring and maximizing the potentiality of the building and raising it to a new level.  An architect can make sure the aesthetic considerations meld with the structural requirements of the project, in other words, giving your property an added value by design. The sooner you bring an architect on board, the more fully your vision can be realized - even exceeding your own expectations.

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Where can I find an architect?

The best place to start is the ARB (Architectural Registration Board) web site.

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Is my project too small?

From a small extensions to loft conversions, new builds to renovations, no project is too big or small. No matter what the scale of the project, our commitment to providing an excellent service is always of the upmost importance. Whether youve got grand designs or something smaller in mind, we can make recommendations based on your budget and help you make the most of your home.

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How much does it cost to use an architect?

In general terms, our pricing strategy is to give you the most we can for the least we can ask for a given project. However, every case is different.  We don't charge for the initial visit and consultation, and shortly after we'll give you a precise quotation. After the agreement, the quotation is fixed and will not increase along the way. To have a very basic quotation, send us an e-mail with a brief description of the project and if possible photographs and we will respond as best as we can.

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How much would it cost to build my project?

Every project is different.  Generally, we can say that to build a awful house costs the same as a beautiful one sometimes even more due to design errors and the successive fixing costs. Using an architect for your project will save you a lot of problems and consequent costs, and you'll get a better result in design terms included in the price.

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How long does it take?

There is not a specific time frame for a given work as it depends on many different factors which are difficult to calculate. However, we can say that a planning application process should take not less than a month. But from experience, we know that the process is rarely straight forward. To reduce as much as possible the necessary time from inception to completion of the project it is important to have a clear idea of what you need and what you want to achieve before starting. The architect could help a lot in this phase. The architect would also help along the way to coordinate with planners, Building Regulation officers, builders and suppliers. The whole project can last for just two or three months up to one year or more depending on the speed of the builders and the finances available.

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What is the Party Wall Act 1996?

If you intend to carry out building work which involves one of the following categories

Work on an existing wall or structure shared with another property
Building a free standing wall or a wall of a building up to or astride the boundary with a neighbouring property
Excavating near a neighbouring building

Then you must find out whether that work falls within the Party Wall  Act. If it does, you must correctly notify all affected neighbours by sending a Party Wall Notice. If you have received a notification, then you must respond correctly to avoid prejudicing your position. For more information see: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/40/contents

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How can I make my house more environmentally friendly?

For every work that you undertake on your property there are always choices between different materials or different construction systems. By carefully choosing the right ones, you can achieve a reduction in energy consumption and/or minimize the carbon footprint of the supplied materials. Your architect should advise the right choices and for new buildings could make the property even greener by design. Cantale Design is committed to reducing the carbon footprint for all new and renovated buildings using sustainable design practices.

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What is the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)?

From October 2008, the law requires all properties that are built, sold or put up for rent in England and Wales have to have an Energy Performance Certificate. This certificate is a document that provides a rating from A to G for your property, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least. The certificate also states, on a scale from A to G, the impact the home has on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. EECs Accredited Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) produce EPCs. The certificate includes recommendations on ways to improve the home's energy efficiency to save you money and help the environment. The Residential EPC is valid for 10 years.

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What is a conservation area?

In the United Kingdom there are more than 8000 conservation areas. These are in most cases urban areas considered worthy of preservation or enhancement because of their special architectural or historic interest.

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What is a listed building?

A listed building in the United Kingdom is a building that is on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

This status applies to more than half a million buildings in the UK. A listed building may not be demolished, extended or altered without special permission from the local planning authority. Owners of listed buildings are, in some circumstances, compelled to repair and maintain them and can face criminal prosecution if they fail to do so or if they perform unauthorized alterations.

There are three types of listed status for buildings in England and Wales.

Grade I:        Buildings of exceptional interest,
Grade II*:      Particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
Grade II:       Buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them
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DISCLAIMER

This FAQ page is not a definitive source of legal information. If in doubt, you should contact your local planning authority.

   2012  CANTALE DESIGN