Flood risk assessment for a planning application


Why do I need a flood risk assessment and what is it? If you are applying for planning permission, you may be need to provide a flood risk assessment with your application. This demonstrates the flood risk for your proposed development.   When is a flood risk assessment required? A flood risk assessment is required… Read more »

Should I be paying 5% VAT on a renovation?


For most renovation works on houses and flats, your builder will be required to charge you at the standard rate of VAT (20%). However, there is an exception where your builder can reduce their rate to 5% VAT on a renovation. This is where the property has not been lived in for two years. This… Read more »

Garden Design Ideas on a Budget


Garden design ideas

Title image: See Sara Jane’s profile here   Have some garden design ideas? When undertaking a project such as designing a new garden, you’ll want to make sure you’re spending your money in the best possible way. The principles to achieving this remain the same no matter how big or small your project… 1. MAKE A PLAN First… Read more »

Five reasons you need a structural engineer for your self build


If you’re planning a self build, you will need a structural engineer to assist you. They will be able to: Provide detailed plans and drawings for your project. Help in the creation of your schedule and the calculation of your budget. Inspect your plans to ensure structural soundness. Assist in your adherence to the building… Read more »

6 signs your house needs new windows


As part of a home extension or renovation project, it’s very common to replace or upgrade your windows. Rolling all home improvements into a single job can help reduce the overall cost and inconvenience to you and your family. If your existing windows are in a poor state of repair, replacing them with new windows… Read more »

What to Look for When Hiring an Architect


what to look for in an architect

What to look for when hiring an architect Hiring an architect is a crucial step when embarking on a construction or renovation project. Choosing the right architect can significantly impact the success and outcome of your project. We’ve put together a list of top ten considerations when hiring an architect.   Extension pictured above is… Read more »

Advantages of using an Approved Inspector for Building Regulations approval


For approximately the past 15 years it’s been possible to gain Building Regulations approval using an Approved Inspector and it’s become a more popular choice for good reason…   Featured image above – extension by Tessa, architect in Hackney. See more and shortlist her for your project here. What is an Approved Inspector? By using… Read more »

How to find a freelance architect



Why choose a freelance architect? Freelance architects are particularly suited for small domestic projects, for example: extensions, renovations and loft conversions; homeowner planning applications; sketch drawings for builder’s quotes.   Image above by Oana, Freelance architect on Design for Me. See more of her work and shortlist her for your home project here.    … Read more »

Do you need planning permission for an extension?


Extension architect

Good news – you don’t need planning permission for an extension, subject to some exceptions and rules, outlined below. Many rear extensions benefit from permitted development rights, which means that you do not need planning permission. However, you should check that your property is not exempt (see below).   Extension pictured above by Oliver, architect… Read more »

Pros and cons of design and build


Extensions designed by a design and build company (above left) and an independent architect (above right), both registered on Design for Me. Click the images to see their full profiles and shortlist them for your project.   Should I use the builder’s architect or an independent one? When looking to do an extension or home… Read more »