Gordon Smith runs his own domestic architect’s practice up here on the border of North Lancashire and Cumbria. (I am a director of the practice.)
Most people would expect to employ an architect to build a new house or add a large extension the their home and you can see the type of domestic work that Gordon does by visiting his website.
But if you want an up-market, bespoke garden office who does the design work? Often the householder goes straight to a builder for this type of small project. This can be a mistake.
Builders aren’t building designers
Builders are trained to build buildings, not design them. Builders are an unfairly maligned group of people; the greater majority are highly skilled and conscientious.
A builder can only do his best work if he has a full and detailed set of professional design drawings to work from. Armed with these drawings he can then give you, the client, a detailed quotation before he starts work so that budget problems don’t arise later in the project.
A reputable builder will always recommend an architect that you can use for your project.
Designing garden offices
Why would you use an architect for a garden office or other small building project such as a porch or conservatory?
- To ensure that it looks appropriate and suits its surroundings.
- To ensure that it is going to be built correctly using sympathetic materials.
- To make planning applications and building regulations applications – even garden rooms and porches sometimes need these permissions.
A skilled and effective domestic architect focuses on making sure that you get what you want. He listens, asks questions and makes sure he understands what you want. He will notice and flag up design considerations and technical pros and cons that may not have thought of.
You may not be sure what you want until you have chatted to an architect about your project. You might think you want a detached garden room, when what you really need is an extension. You might think you need to move house when what you really need is a garden office. Why not ask an architect?
Gordon Smith works throughout in North West as an architect. Cumbria and north Lancashire are his key areas of operation.