TV – is not the real world.

TV – is not the real world.     Many people enjoy a wide spectrum of programs but the building programs such as DIY SOS and Grand Designs, are always a draw for viewers.   Here is the rub, they are great TV, but they often do not reflect the real world.   When watching DIY SOS, it is easy to get emotional, as a young family with a disabled child move into their home, it has been extended, substantially altered, adapted, and completely refurbished and redecorated, all in just a few days.   Or in Grand Designs the host visits the property at the end of the program to inspect a beautifully finished property that is different, quirky, and to be quite honest sometimes, strange.   These programs are great and you might be thinking, “I might extend and alter as well.”   It’s not quite as easy as they necessarily make out.   Here’s our ten reasons why you should seek professional advice before you start;   There is rarely a mention of the 8-12 weeks, to obtain Planning and Building warrant from the Local Authority. Nor the time scales required in obtaining competitive quotes.   If your development is a bit “out there” in relation to the surrounding properties, Planning Consent may prove even harder to obtain.   Whilst you may like your design, your neighbours and the Planning Department may not. There are also strict criteria that must be met in order to meet the Building Control requirements. This may mean, some of your design is impossible, or at least a compromise solution requires to... read more

One Chance

“One chance” The Kids seem to be getting bigger by the day, the dog is driving you crazy and we haven’t mentioned the amount of “stuff” every-one seems to have collected, and it is spilling out, all over your home. You have looked at moving, and for whatever reason, that is not a reality. So you are thinking of extending, out or up, but what now? There are various things to consider; What are you wanting to create? What is possible /realistic for your property? What is the best practical solution? How much will it cost? How do you fund that cost? What is the financial impact? What consents do you need? Who do you need to involve Architects Engineers builders and how do you find them? Do you look at a builder who does design and build or rely on an Architect and a tender process? Depending on what you are building do you continue to live there whilst work is in progress or do you need to stay somewhere else? The list continues to grow. So a quick guide. The first and most important thing to do, as an individual or as a family, before you do anything else is actually decide, what it is you are looking for. To decide what it is you actually want. To build a beautiful relaxing conservatory, when a dining room that can double as a study /homework area, would be a waste and visa-versa. Next you have to take into account your property. How much space do you really have to extend into? This is harder and were you start... read more

Creating Space

Creating space The question often asked of architectural firms, is how can we create more Space. The Scientific World, could have a full on debate, about Space, is it infinite, can it, be created or destroyed, before quickly moving on to black-holes, and dark matter. But from a practical point of view, if there is a cardboard box 1 m x 1 m x 1 m there is in theory and area of 1 m³. If, however, the cardboard is unfolded and laid flat the area of 1 m³ has not, been lost, disappeared, or vanished! It is just, that it is, no longer defined. The question in reality is therefore not how to create space but how to define the space available. Can we define the Space, for a specific purpose or requirement? Building an extension for example, has not in universal terms created more space, but has only redefined an area as being part of the dwelling, rather than part of the garden. The visual impact of space can also be altered by the use of Materials and Colours. A dark painted room for example, will appear smaller than one finished in white colours. The difference in visual perception, of an empty room, a lightly furnished room and a cluttered room is significant.  The actual space has remained the same, in all these scenarios. How a property is designed can have a huge impact! Trends and culture also have to be taken into account. Fashions change, and we might move from an individual room, box structure, to an Open Plan design. The key in any architectural and... read more

Architecture

Architecture Around the world, architecture has many meanings, definitions and uses. The Oxford dictionary suggests that it is a mass noun; “The art or practice of designing and constructing buildings.” But it can be more, than purely related to buildings, as in; “The chemical architecture of the human brain.” The Cambridge dictionary provides a similar core definition but suggests; “A person responsible for achieving a particular plan for aim.” i.e.  “Bevan was the architect of the British National Health Service.” At NGP Architecture we agree with these definitions but go beyond that to suggest it should include; “The Communication of, and subsequent creation of the physical reality, of individuals, construction... read more