Architectural services: Our process

Whitfield Architects offers high-quality services at competitive rates. If you’d like to know more about us, take a look at our projects and credentials. You may also find it helpful to read Why use an architect?.

We can be flexible depending on your projectso you only pay for for the services you actually require. If you’d like a tailored estimate, just drop us an email at with your full address and a brief description of your requirements

Our process for residential, heritage and commercial projects includes the following services…

1) Design

We offer a consultation to discuss your requirements, which forms our brief for the project (if you choose to go ahead). This is free of charge if you are within our local area and already own the home you wish to develop.

We then undertake an architectural measured survey, so we can assess your existing property and produce digital drawings of what’s there already. This forms an essential basis for the design process and any future steps you take.

We can then present you with options and ideas and discuss these with you to agree a proposed new design. This will include advice on issues and features that are likely to affect the planning process.


2) Planning application or permitted development?

Your proposed design will determine which local authority process you need to follow. We can then assist you with:

  • A planning permission application – which is necessary for prominent and/or creative developments; or heritage projects
  • Permitted development – for small, simple developments that adhere to certain restrictions

For a planning application, we’ll produce and submit suitable drawings and documentation to the local council, monitor the process throughout and provide advice about any challenges that arise.

It’s rare for an application to be completely unsuccessful. More often, the council will request design modifications, which we’ll negotiate with them and discuss with you.


3) Building regulations compliance

Building regulations compliance is required for legal reasons, for the vast majority of building projects. It relates to issues such as fire safety, building materials, structural details, drainage and more.

For ultimate clarity and thoroughness before you invest in building, we recommend undertaking a Full Plans Application. This means we draw the technical design for a building control inspector to approve in advance, along with relevant specifications (including liaison with a structural engineer, as required).

This can help you to keep a tighter control on costs and other issues, as you can ask builders to use our technical drawings to confirm a fixed, itemised quotation. It also limits the likelihood of technical decisions being made at short-notice during the build (which may mean fluctuations in cost and timings).

The official documentation you receive will assist with selling a property at a later date, as buyers’ surveyors and solicitors will always ask to see proof that changes to a property have been carried out properly.


During these processes, we can also advise you of likely third-party fees, so you can get a better idea of the full cost of your project. These include elements such as:

  • Local authority submission and inspection fees (council administration charges)
  • Structural engineering calculations and designs (where required)
  • In-depth surveys to establish precise external and land dimensions (where required)
  • Build cost estimates by professional estimators, quantity surveyors or building contractors
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And if you’d like further advice and support with your project, we’re highly experienced in:

4) Construction support

Consultations and site visits before or during construction, including:

  • Discussions with your builder about building methods and materials
  • Advice about last-minute design changes or unexpected problems
  • Revised drawings or additional drawings
  • Site visits to check that building work is being carried out as specified by our building regulations drawings (so that you can address any discrepancies with your building contractor)


5) Completion and use

Further site inspections to provide:

  • Final snagging before the final construction bill is settled
  • Certification of values of construction work completed, as determined by a quantity surveyor (if relevant)


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