We provide a high quality service that delivers value for money; we can help you make the most efficient use of your space, we pay careful attention to detail, help you to select the best materials and finishes for your project, and we can create energy efficient buildings which keep your running costs low. We do much more than simply produce a set of plans. Using our experience, skill and knowledge we can lift your project out of the ordinary and help to create a design that meets all your needs and aspirations.

Our professional service gives you freedom from worry. We offer a comprehensive range of architectural & engineering services from initial design through to completion of a project on site. Undertaking a building project can be a daunting experience, but we offer over 30 years of professional experience to guide you through this complex process.

Do I need planning permission ?

For domestic properties, planning consent mainly relates to either changes in the external appearance such as an extension or to changes to the use of a building such as the conversion of a derelict barn into a dwelling. Planning should not be confused with the Building Warrant which is an entirely separate application.

Planning Permission and the details of the current local plan policy need to be given consideration from the start. Whether a project gains Planning approval is solely in the remit of the local council, however, we can advise you on the possibilities and restrictions imposed by current planning policy and we can guide you to a design solution which is most likely to gain consent.

Planning policy does develop over time. A common misconception is that because other houses in the street have, for instance, dormer window extensions, this will automatically mean that yours will be allowed. This is not always the case as current planning policy may have changed. For small extensions and alterations, your proposals may fall within your Permitted Development Rights which means that planning permission will not be necessary*. We will be able to advise you of this at the intial consultation. Planning Permission, once granted, is usually valid for 3 years, ie you have 3 years in which to begin your development from the date of consent. *Note : Building Warrant may still be required.

What is a Building Warrant ?

Building warrant applications are required to ensure that all the technical aspects of your building will be done correctly and to the minimum required standard. Issues such as structure, insulation, fire escape, disabled access, ventilation and drainage, amongst others, are considered and designed. In addition to our services, at this stage, you will usually require the services of a qualified Structural Engineer to advise on the structural aspects of your application, we can supply this service if required.

Building regulation matters are handled by a Building Standards Officer in your local authority. There are some works which can be done to a building without the need of a Building Warrant, and the full list is included in the Building Standards Technical Handbooks. We can advise you on this at the initial consultation. Once your building warrant is approved, you have 3 years in which to complete your project however if the works have been started but not completed within this timeframe you can apply to the local authority for an extension of time to the warrant period. The application for extension must be made before the expiry of your warrant.

How much do you charge ?

Fees depend on a number of factors such as the size and complexity of the project and the scope of services required. We charge a fixed fee agreed upfront at initial consultation stage and confirmed in writing with full list of services included.

Are there any other fees that I will have to pay ?

Lodgement fees are paid directly by you to the Local Authority for both Planning and Building Warrant Applications. We can clarify the cost of these fees once the nature of the project is known. Depending on the nature of your project you may require the services of a Structural Engineer and/or SER certification, we can arrange this for you separately.

How much will my project cost ?

The cost of a building project is extremely difficult to predict particularly before it is fully designed. There are many factors which affect the price such as geographic location, size, scope and complexity of the work, amount of structural work involved and level of specification required. We will be in a better position to give you an idea of costs once you have discussed what you would like to achieve and we have seen what is involved.

How long does the design process take ?

Planning Permission Stage : This depends on the size and complexity of the project. However, for most small to medium sized, staightforward domestic projects we allow around 1 – 2 weeks to produce DRAFT plans and a further 1 – 2 weeks to produce DETAILED plans in close consultation with you. Once a planning application has been submitted to the local Planning Department, you ought to have a decision within 8 weeks of validation of the application. For more complex projects however this can take longer with many factors which can delay the process, for example, if consultations are required or objections to the proposals are received by the Council.

Building Warrant Stage : We allow 1 – 2 weeks to prepare DETAILED drawings followed by an application to the local Building Standards office which can take up to 8 weeks to process. Thereafter, the programme for progressing your project will depend on the availibility of suitable contractors to carry out the work. Once you have a contractor ready to start, most small to medium domestic projects take around 8 to 12 weeks to complete, longer for larger or new build projects.

Can BONNYHOLM advise me prior to purchasing my property ?

Yes, we are often asked by clients to give advice prior to purchasing a property. We can advise on possible ways to improve the property by alteration, conversion or extension. This helps our clients understand the full potential of the property they are considering and informs their decision on whether the home is likely to meet all their requirements. We can also give you some basic guidance on the likely costs of the work.