Making sure that your project is viable is an important part of the early design process. We will discuss the project with you in some detail and carry out preliminary appraisals of the site, taking a holistic look at the whole development. For example looking at views, sunlight and usage of existing spaces. We would then suggest a few options and produce a sketch design which will enable you to decide the best way forward. We will also identify the need for any approvals and advise whether any other consultants will be needed.
Defining and writing the right brief for your project is an essential first stage of our work. We will talk through your ideas, and help to articulate exactly what your ambitions are for your project. We can then create a design brief that responds to your needs and ensure that you get the most out of your proposed development.
For larger schemes it can be useful to prepare a feasibility study to establish the viability of the project and highlight any issues that may impact the design.
Before any design work can be carried out, it is important to have an accurate measured survey of the relevant parts of the site and existing buildings. We can prepare this measured survey for you or advise where a specialist surveying firm may be more appropriate.
The design of a new house holds many possibilities and we will discuss your requirements in some detail to find out exactly what you want to achieve. We allow designs to emerge as a collaborative exercise with you, applying our professional knowledge and experience to what you tell us about the patterns of your daily life, how you wish to live in your new home and what spaces you wish to create.
A well designed home extension can give a house a new lease of life by opening out a cramped kitchen or adding an extra bedroom to accommodate a growing family. We will discuss your requirements with you and suggest possible solutions, whether this is replacing an existing cold and damp 1970s extension or building out into your garden or yard.
We can advise at an early stage whether your loft is suitable for conversion and check whether you have enough space for a new staircase. Any loft conversion will need building regulation approval. We can guide you through all the relevant regulations and prepare and submit your application.
We can offer advice on the internal layout of your premises, whether this be the most efficient way to add new bathrooms to your guest house or the opening up of an existing space to form a workshop area.
Should you require to build new premises or extend your existing buildings we will gain an understanding of the way your business operates and work with you to produce a design that makes the most efficient use of the space available.
Much of our local building stock was built over 100 years ago. From the Victorian terraces of the region’s market towns to the farmhouses of the surrounding countryside, we are surrounded by a building stock rich in heritage which acts as a showcase of traditional building techniques. When working with these historic buildings we believe it is important to be sensitive to the design of the original built elements. By understanding the techniques used by the original builders these buildings can be meaningfully preserved and continue to be interesting and inviting spaces for current and future inhabitants.
Proposals for additions to or alterations of Listed buildings make for exciting projects calling for sensitive and thoughtful design.
We would research and establish an understanding of the history and development of the existing building before discussing the options available to develop it with you. We would then approach the local Planning Department Conservation Officer and liaise with them to create a proposal which compliments and enhances the quality and integrity of the existing building whilst establishing its own character and validity as a 21st century addition or alteration.
We have experience preparing the necessary Heritage Asset Statements and all of the design and paperwork that is required for Listed Building Applications. We have worked on both Grade I and Grade II listed buildings as part of our work as Miller Clear Architects and whilst working for other practices.
Within the Lake District National Park you will need planning approval for all but the smallest domestic extensions. Outside the Park restrictions on building work are less onerous but many extensions will still require planning approval.
If your project will need planning permission then, as part of our design process, we will liaise with the local planning department and establish a design and choice of materials that would be most likely to gain permission whilst also responding to your design ambitions. We would also highlight any other issues that may influence whether permission will be granted and find solutions to them.
Once we have discussed your project in detail and agreed a design with you we would prepare all the necessary drawings and forms to submit an application to the planning department.
Most building work will require some form of building regulation approval. This is an entirely separate process from planning approval and will often be required even if planning approval is not needed.
The building regulations are concerned with the design and construction of many different elements of any building. We can guide you through any regulations that apply to your scheme submit an application for Building Regulation Approval to your local council should one be required.
The involvement of an architect during the construction phase of a project can be hugely beneficial and can help to ensure that the quality of work is to a high standard and that costs are kept under control. We can provide technical drawings and specifications giving more detail about the construction of the building. We can also offer assistance in obtaining tenders and arranging for a formal building contract to be used. Once construction has started we can administer the building contract and carry out regular site inspections with attention to the timing, cost and quality of the building work.
All partners at our practice our members of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Miller Clear Architects LLP is an RIBA Chartered Practice.
We use the RIBA Plan of work to structure our work on your project. The RIBA Plan of Work sets out the different stages of a project from initial thoughts and feasibility through design and construction and finally the completion of the project. We are able to provide a service for whichever of those stages is best for your project with some clients requiring a full service covering all the stages and others opting for specific parts of the plan of work such as site analysis and feasibility or up to the submission of a planning application.