Walking the Line Between the Spectacular and The Practical

Walking the Line Between the Spectacular and The Practical

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There is a common stereotype following architects, as being grand designers for incredible structures which feature in magazines and TV shows. However, the reality can be much different to this, with many architects focusing on smaller construction projects from loft conversions to home extensions. There is a fine line they must walk in these smaller projects, designing spaces to smaller budgets which look great, but are also highly practical. So, what do architects have to balance?

When it comes to designing any sized structure, there are many different influences that shape how each project can function and look. This can be the budget, the size available, the local restrictions for projects of that size, and how clients want the space to function. When it comes to domestic construction projects, many homeowners have a grand idea which they expect to have delivered by their architect, for a limited budget. It is the architect’s responsibility to then produce viable plans that would be approved by local regulators (building control for example), and that functions as the client wishes, for that budget. 

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This is where many misconceptions come into play surrounding architectural plans. Many people believe architects produce spectacular designs that stem out-of-budget, purely because they want to. But this is not true! An architect’s job can be incredibly difficult, with the brief from their client naturally falling over-budget. Any good architect will discuss any issues with your budget in your initial consultation, and make sure that the designs they produce meet your budget and look great, which is exactly what the Simply Architects team do. Of course, as with many things in life, your ideas for your construction project may be a lot more expensive than you first think. Your architect will be able to advise you with the best ways to keep costs low and offer stylish alternatives for your project.

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This is not to say that your project needs to be boring or simple – there are many ways your architect can make your project standout for a low cost! If you are having a home extension, why not consider having exposed steels? This can create an industrial style in your home, that can be quirky and interesting in a family home. For a basement project, try to reduce the amount of plumbing needed, and instead think about having any bathrooms on the ground floor. This can make your basement space more open-plan too, which can be visually more appealing than having several smaller rooms as a utility or bathroom. For a loft conversion, you can choose to have skylights instead of a Juliet balcony if a balcony does not fit within budget.

Whilst it is easy to be carried away with grandiose plans and wow-features in your project, it is important to stay grounded with the costs and what is practical. With architects needing to design to budget and to regulations, it is always best to have a detailed discussion with your architect to avoid disappointment. 

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