If you are looking to unlock the potential of your home, or looking to self-build or procure your own new home, DMCA Architects are able offer a customised, creative, and contemporary design service for your project.
On this page you will find some brief resources to help you understand how we work, how much our services might cost, and other issues you might need to consider during the course of your project. Every project will have different constraints, and every client will have different priorities, so the information below doesn't cover every eventuality.
Please contact us for further information and tailored advice for your own project.
How long can it take?
Planning a home refurbishment takes time to get right and we recommend you allow 6-months to develop the pre-construction design and discharge any necessary Local Authority approvals before you appoint a builder.
A good builder will also be booked-up well in advance, often as far as 6-months ahead, so realistically a project can take 9-12 months from our initial engagement, before construction begins on site. Faster options are possible in some cases, but fast-tracking the design process and the appointment of a builder does come with compromises.
Your project's construction duration will depend on many factors, and every scheme is different. We can provide approximate estimates based upon our experience. These estimates will become more accurate as the design is developed in more detail.
How much might an architect cost?
Clients may worry that they can’t afford to have a dedicated design professional on their project. However, investing in an architect will add immense value to your project in the following ways:
• From a design perspective, your architect’s expertise can unlock potential you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to identify, creating better spaces with improved functionality, daylight, and environmental efficiency. An architect can also detail and specify products which improve the material quality of a refurbishment.
• A registered architect must adhere to the Architect's Code of Conduct. This requires us to be competent, and amongst other things, we must also act honestly, responsibly, respectfully, and conscientiously, while considering the wider impact of our work. We must maintain Professional Indemnity Insurance to protect parties in the unlikely event something goes wrong and we must have systems in place to deal with any disputes and complaints appropriately. Further information can be found on the ARB website: www.arb.org.uk
• An architect will navigate you through the myriad of legislation you’ll need to comply with at the design stages of a scheme and provide advice throughout the project on other specialists or legal issues you may encounter as the works progress.
• When a project is underway on site, an architect can administer the building contract, monitoring the builder’s progress, helping keep your project on time and most importantly, on budget.
Of course, all this comes for a fee, but we would argue that having a better designed home is worth the outlay, and you could save significant additional costs by avoiding delays to the works, or works which fall short of acceptable quality standards.
Since every project is unique, there is no set fee for design services, as the fee will depend on the duration of services required by the client and the complexity of the design work involved. For most projects, a fixed lump-sum fee is agreed before any design services begin, after an initial consultation establishes the level of service and complexity.
How much might my extension or new home cost?
Every project is unique and there is no standard cost for any build. The following items are examples of issues might impact the overall construction budget of your project:
•Site constraints: e.g. Access restrictions, historic building fabric
•Conservation Status: e.g Listed Buildings / Conservation Areas / National Parks
•Sustainability Objectives: e.g Low-energy design above the basic Building Regulations
•Client Design Ambitions: e.g. Quality of fixtures and finishes, spatial design ambition
In addition to the construction budget, and your architect's fees, you will need to consider the following additional costs:
• Other Professionals: e.g. Structural Engineer, Party Wall Surveyor and other project specific specialists
• Fees payable to Statutory Authorities: e.g. Planning Application and Building Control
• Rental if you need to vacate your home while works are underway
• Always maintain a 10-15% financial contingency for cost over-runs, changes, or unforeseen works
The cost of construction is continuously changing as economic factors influence the availability and cost of materials and labour rates. At the outset of your project, DMCA Architects will be able to indicate ball-park costs for your project based on your design objectives, however a definitive understanding of the budget will only be possible once a design has developed sufficiently for a contractor to the scheme item by item.
Because of the continuous fluctuation in construction costs, we will not publish any speculative figures on this website. Up to date resources are widely available on the internet, and we would recommend you visit the following web pages for further up to date information on project costs to anticipate:
Please contact us if you are looking for further help understanding the typical budget required for your own project.