Do I need an architect or a builder with design skills?

25 March, 2018


We are planning on gutting and completely redoing our kitchen and bathroom. We are also planning on moving our bathroom into the space where our kitchen currently is, and getting rid of a bricked up chimney breast which eats into the space, and changing our back windows to let in more natural light.

We need help with the designs and recommended layout, plus getting planning approval for the chimney removal (as well as a builder to do the actual work), but I'm wondering if we need an architect to do the plans or if we can work with a ktichen/bathoom builder instead? It's only a very small space, so not a massive project! Appreciate any suggestions / ideas.


Comments (5)

  • PRO

    The drawings/ concept designs that we do are used by build teams very often - not so much with planning departments, but I do know a few have been used as part of the info submitted with the structural engineers report for building control when taking down walls or chimneys. Check what the planning dept need from you? If you are listed you may still need an Architect or Technician... you might be pleasantly surprised. Fingers crossed for you!

    this is a link to a very similar thread... it may help ?

    Jo thanked OnePlan
  • Jen P

    If you just use a builder you will have no 'proper' plans for building regs or planning permission. Which could end up costing you more. Also as you need help with the design- do you really want this to be your builder?!

    Depending on the scale budget of your project you could use an architect. I've struggled to get them interested in small jobs like this in the past, but there may be some on here who are...

    Or use a designer/concept/kitchen planner to design the space, then an architect technician to draw proper plans and advise on plumbing/structural issues etc

    Jo thanked Jen P
  • PRO

    Hiring an architect may seem like an unnecessary expense, however, the right one can help you avoid hidden costs in the future and get the most out of your budget. For starters, an architect is best able to assess your space and get it working hardest for you. They’ll also give you an accurate understanding on the scope of work needed, so you can better plan out your finances.

    Not only this, they know the ins and outs of planning, meaning if you need it, they’ll be able to sort this for you ahead of time. Saving you time and money.

    If you’re removing a chimney breast, you’ll probably need a structural engineer. Again, an architect will be able to refer you to the best one for the project. Also, depending on your chimney, you could impact on a party wall. This could require its own set of planning, or even the recommendation of a good party wall surveyor. No matter the professional, at Resi, we try our best to put you in touch with the right people for the job. From CCTV surveyors, all the way to builders.
    If you’re still unsure about whether or not an architect is right for your project, feel free to book in a free advice call with our team:

  • PRO
    Ian Palmer Architects

    I would like to think that architects can add huge value to any project, but equally not all projects merit that degree of consideration. Ultimately it depends upon your appetite from good design and reassurances that you are making the best decision for what is (for most) your largest single investment.

    I do appreciate that there are alternative methods to get designs developed, and whilst they may appear cheaper at face value, there are always hidden costs.

    Architects are profession people and their rates are reasonable and proportional to the time it requires, and indeed the capital outlay on construction. I am naturally risk averse and I wouldn’t want to leave anything to chance.

    My friend had a saying ‘pay your money and take your pick’!

    Most architects will happily visit your home to talk through the benefits.

  • PRO
    Active Builders London ltd


    Looking at what you're trying to achieve you won't need architect. Good builder will help you with layout and how to best utilize the space. As Resi mentioned most likely you will need structural engineer for chimney breast removal and party wall agreement( you can ask for advice at your council)

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