For most of us, the idea of inviting an architect to our home to talk about remodelling, extending or improving the property is as alien a concept as asking Simon Cowell around to critique our singing in the shower. But homelessness charity Shelter and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have teamed up to create a great money-for-value scheme that brings an architect into your house without breaking the bank.
The £45 scheme offers you a no strings attached one-hour consultation, with the charity keeping the fee to put into their work with the homeless. This represents a great bargain for anyone with home improvements in mind or who is frustrated with their current living space and is a fresh alternative to simply calling a builder round to have a look.
You may think that your small flat or mid-terrace two up, two down is beyond the realm of what architects deal with, but their visit will surprise you. These specialists with an eye for design, aesthetics and construction can help to maximise the value of your home at a cost that suits your budget and returns more than your spend.
What your architect recommends may surprise you and is bound to change your ideas for the better. The best architects think about buildings holistically, so they can easily point out that your plan to extend by filling in your side return may rob of you of light or that a loft extension would add more value than a new kitchen. They don’t come with preconceived ideas of what needs to be done and it is often this aspect of the consultation that is the most valuable when using an architect.
Once you have decided what you would like to do you can engage the architect, ask for details of others in your area or simply mull it over for a while. If you do decide to hire an architect to work on your home then you can be sure that they will be able to provide detailed plans to any tradesmen that you hire. They can also work with your builders on any tricky parts of the remodelling.
If your architect comes up with several ideas, then it can be a good idea to call an estate agent round for a quick valuation. They should be able to tell you which additions will add the most value in your area. This is also a great tip to remember if you are having any major work done, as you can be sure to get value for money for your investment in your home.
You can sign up for the scheme at http://www.architectinthehouse.org.uk.