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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why should I choose Light House Studio to work on my project?

We place clients’ needs and aspirations at the heart of the process.  We offer a high-quality design service to ensure the best possible outcome in terms of space, aesthetics and materials.  We also work hard to assist clients with planning their projects including budgets, time, site and other constraints.  We throughly enjoy working with clients to transform spaces and helping our clients every step of the way from the initial meeting to the completed project on site.  

Please read the testimonials received, the projects undertaken, the services and the process offered to see if we are the right fit for your project.

Are you a registered architect?

Like all registered Architects, Rachael is on the Architects Register which is managed by ARB (Architects Registration Board).  Her registration number is 089731K.  The ARB’s register is the only statutory register of architects in the UK.  Every architect whose name appears on the register has met the standards set by ARB for education, experience and practice.  The title ‘architect’ is protected by law in England and Wales and only people on the register have the legal right to use the title ‘architect’.       

Here is the link to see Rachael's details on the ARB register:

What are your fees / How much do you charge for your service?

The fees for each project are generally calculated after the initial consultation on a project by project basis.  This is due to the bespoke nature of projects and the services that could be required as every project is different.  However, we typically offer a fixed fees for an agreed number of hours to provide the most cost-effective service we can at each work stage.

Please get in touch for an initial free discussion to see if we can undertake architectural assistance on your project.   More details on the process and the different work stages can be found here. 

Do you have a minimum fee for working on a project?

No, even if your project can benefit from even a few hours of design and architectural assistance, we would be more than happy to help with your project.  In the past, we have worked with clients to determine the viability of their projects, although most projects do require a much time larger investment than this to achieve planning approval, confirmation of Building Regulations approval and work being undertaken on site.  

How quickly can the design be completed?

Due to the bespoke nature of project in terms of their size and complexity it really does depend.  However, if the brief and objectives are very clear to begin with, this can assist.  At the initial consultation, if any urgent deadlines are required, please let us know.  We can then discuss whether the studio can meet your desired timescales.  Light House Studio will always strive to meet clients’ deadlines and work collaboratively to ensure that critical deadlines are met.    

What areas do you work in?

Currently we undertake projects in Hampshire but can take projects on nationwide.  For the right project and an interesting opportunity, distance is not an issue.  

Is the work Light House Studio undertakes insured?

As the studio is run by a registered architect bound by the profession’s code of conduct, we have professional indemnity insurance.  We can provide evidence of this to current and prospective clients.  Currently the limit is to £250,000 but this can be increased for larger projects in the future. 

How do you work and what is the process?

At the initial consultation, we will discuss the key elements of your project.  Once the key objectives have been agreed, the project quotation will be undertaken.  A written agreement with the client has to be in place prior to commencing on any projects.

Although each project is different and each client’s needs and aspirations are unique, we want to ensure the successful delivery of the project at key stages that is why we follow the RIBA Plan of Works.  Please click here to find out more about the services and process that Light House Studio undertakes.

What happens at the initial consultation?

At the initial consultation, we will discuss your project in more detail to more fully understand your requirements to form a clear brief for the project.  This meeting usually lasts around 1 hour, although for more complicated projects this can be longer.  At the meeting, we will discuss the current state of the property, your key objectives, ideas for the spaces, concerns, budgets, timescales and styles for the design.  We will also undertake a visual assessment of the property.  We will also provide information regarding the design process, statutory applications and the process that occurs.  The more information that is provided / discuss the more understanding of the brief can be provided.

Prior to the initial consultation, a form is sent to all prospective clients to fill in as many details as possible prior to the meeting.  All of the questions and issues on the form and discussed above are crucial in also determining the viability of the project from a financial and structural perspective.

After the initial consultation has taken place, a quotation document will be issued containing the proposed costs for the project and what Light House Studio as your architect is proposing to undertaken as part of our terms of appointment.  A a registered architect the scope of services and level of fees must be agreed in writing with the client in advance for any work undertaken.    

Can you guarantee planning permission / listed building consent will be granted?

No, we can not guarantee planning permission.  Only the Local Authority dealing with the planning case can guarantee planning permission.  However, undertaking aspects such as pre-application can assist with seeing if a project is likely to receive planning approval.  We utilise our expertise and skills to produce a design that has the the best possible chance of achieving planning permission.  Adhering to the Architect's code, we are bound to act with honesty and integrity and put our clients’ best interest first.  Therefore we would not take on a project that we think is extremely unlikely to obtain planning permission as we do not want to waste our clients’ time or money.    

How long can planning take and how much does it cost

Here are some indicators as to the time and cost of different planning applications are listed below:

• Lawful Development Certificate (Proposed use or operation) - 42 days / £103

• Householder Applications - 8 weeks / £206

Alterations / extensions to single dwellinghouse, including works within boundary

• Full planning application (Alterations / extensions to dwelling houses, including works within boundaries - 8 weeks / £206

• Notification of a proposed larger Home Extension - 42 days / £96

• Outline Applications - Site area not more than 2.5 hectares - £462 per 0.1 hectare

Site area more than 2.5 hectares - £11,432 + £138 per 0.1 hectare up to a maximum of £150,000 

Please click on the following link for a guide produced by the Planning Portal on fee for planning applications:

Please visit your Local Authority website to confirm the application you require and for the most up-to-date information.

What other consultants can be required for my project?

The project’s size and complexity will determine which other professionals may be required.

Here is a list of other consultants that may need to be required:

• Land and Measured Building Surveyor

• Ecologist

• Arboriculturalist

• Landscape Architect

• Interior Designer

• Planning Consultant

• Heritage Consultant

• Quantity Surveyor

• Highway Consultant

• Structural Engineer

• Fire Consultant

• Acoustician

• Lighting Designer

• Kitchen Designer

• M & E Engineer

• Party Wall Surveyor 

• Approved Inspector

• CDM Consultant (Health & Safety)

The studio can provide assistance regarding the appointment of other consultants for your projects.

Please get in touch to discuss your project.