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Please contact McKenzie Strickland Architects for more information or to discuss a specific project.



London Office details coming soon.

T: 01764 910410
E: info@msa–


159 Dunkeld Road, Perth Perthshire, Scotland, PH1 5AU

T:01738 445983
E: info@msa–


23 Bank Street, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland, PH15 2BB

T: 01887 829228
E: info@msa–

Renovations and upgrades: The architect’s role

So, you have decided that you want to renovate and upgrade your current property. You have a rough idea of what you want  the finished project to look like and you even have a budget in mind.

It’s fair to say that you have put a fair amount of preparation in  to your plans. However, with all this preparation you will be surprised at what costs and other procedures you may have overlooked or not even considered at all. This is something an experienced architect will be able to help with. We have compiled a list of the five most common unforeseen planning procedures you may have overlooked when planning renovations and upgrades to your current property.

Do you need planning permission?
Planning permission is the formal permission you may need from your local authority for the alteration of buildings on UK land.

You will need to check with your local council to see if you need their approval. If so, this will usually incur a cost as well.

You may be surprised at how even just little alterations around your house will result in you needing planning permission. This could range from a kitchen extension to changing air conditioning units. If in doubt, always chat to your architect or local council office.

Structural and party wall alterations
If planning an extension that will require altering the structural walls, there could be hidden costs incurred with this. If you are creating a new large open plan area, a structural engineer will need to come in and professionally design your project.

Other projects like removing a chimney and replacing it with a fireplace will usually require the party wall to be redesigned
and fitted. These are problems that an experienced architect can guide you on.

Added building costs
With many projects in the UK on old buildings, there are a few extra areas that require consideration. These include:

  • Piping
  • Electrical rewiring
  • Underfloor heating
  • Loft insulation
  • Scaffolding
  • Skip hire

Have you thought about all of this?

Finishing and the aesthetics
Sometimes it can be rather difficult to fully place yourself in the finished project. But once the development has been completed
you may notice it looking rather empty. That’s because you need to think of the aesthetics.

Some of these will most likely include:

  • Fixtures and appliances
  • Sockets
  • Radiators
  • Furniture
  • Lighting

Get thinking about these and start ordering. It’s best to be on top of things.

You will most likely already have money designated for your renovation and upgrade project, but we do advise having a little
extra money saved away just in case.

It is good to have that safety net. Sometimes unforeseen costs can creep up. It may be a slightly more expensive sofa you have your eye on, or a slightly different shade of colour as a finisher to the colour scheme.

It’s best to have more instead of less.

These are our top 5 tips to bear in mind when planning that renovation or upgrade to your property. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

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