Skip to main content

Concept

Each property is unique and is a reflection on how the occupants use the space. As a result each design will differ based on personal tastes and individual circumstances. For example an extension for a family with young kids would differ from say an individual who is doing an investment project.

We begin with an initial consultation which establishes the lifestyle, end goals, budget and timescales. Through this we will gain an insight into the aspirations for the project and can develop a strategy accordingly.

Concept Northedge Architecture

What is a Concept Drawing?

A concept drawing will usually be in plan format showing the layout of the rooms and how the original house related to the extension.

Our drawings how original walls differently to proposed walls so they are illustrated clearly, in addition we will dot in walls that are removed. Some plan drawing services will not provide information with the same level of clarity and we are often praised by clients, consultants and builders on the concise and clear instructions that these plans provide.

We will establish the key design intent for the spatial arrangement, focusing on the interactions between rooms and the inside/outside relationship. We focus on factors such as the sun orientation, how the light may enter the space through doors and rooflights and consider how the property will be used during the day and night and through the seasons.

These early stage plans are an essential communication tool for making decisions. As these steps are taken, the design begins to evolve around the client who is able make informed decisions along the way. This road map of design development guides clients to the answers around project costs, timescales and the process.

What is the process for the concept drawing stage?

The initial client brief is set around budget, timescales and what elements are essentials and desirables for the end goal. Through site analysis we will understand how the neighbouring properties may influence the extent of the design as these are an early planning consideration. We can then advise accordingly if the proposed brief is realistic of if adjustments need to be made in the strategy. We endeavour to guide our clients in achieving their goals and in many case exceed expectation.

We will start drawing a floor plan layout to gauge the spatial arrangement of rooms and how they interact with one another. Before taking the design into 3D modelling and exploring roof shapes and external materials, we will review the size of the footprint so that clients understand how many square meters of space has been added and how that compares with the existing property. We can even provide a ballpark cost estimate per square meter so that the client is informed early on the viability and they have an early indicator to what discussions are to take place down the line with the builders. In many cases we are able to find cost effective solutions to make the finances stretch further so that as many boxes of the clients brief are ticked.

We typically will undertake a handful of iterations and options before we are pinned down on a plan layout that works spatially. We can then explore further on the external design, establishing on whether the roof is flat or pitched for example and what external material options may work with the existing property. Once these designs are finalised we are in a position to prepare the planning application to the council.

Decision making process

Often clients who had a muddled feeling around where to start find themselves in a clearer position once we begin to answer more and more of the questions around costs, timescales and the stages of work. For many people it may be the first and even the last time they embark on an extension or renovation project, so getting it right is important. We are dedicated to provide open and honest advise on the viability of a scheme so that the homeowner is aware from the beginning on the financial and time investment required. With our expertise as a planning agent we are able to advise out clients of the constraints their property may have so that the proposal we design has a strong chance of council approval.

Many of our clients are family clients and so we will take on board how their circumstances are today, but also how it may be in say 5 -10 years time as their children grow up. We consider how a play area is required in some properties with young children but as they grow up, this may transition to being a study room or ‘playstation lounge’.

With some homeowners who are seeking open plan living arrangements, this may be a new concept to how they live and therefore we put in place strategies on how to deal with practical aspects such as lack of storage. Inevitably with open plan spaces, there are less walls for furniture and so we sometimes offset this with more intensive storage spaces such as utilities and bigger cloaks areas.
We advise clients to take time to digest the plans, sleep on it and to review drawings together if there is more than one decision maker. We will provide a summary of comments that accompany the plans so that clients can look back on email and review why the design was developed in a particular way. It also keeps a track record of which iterations were explored previously as sometimes taking a step back can be a useful approach to big steps forward.

By producing feasibility drawings early on, we avoid the design being overdeveloped and out of reach of clients budgets and are able to hone in on a viable scheme that is crafted around them for the long term.