Frequently asked questions


Why should I use an architect?

When you employ an architect, you are paying for their knowledge, skill and experience.

Over 30 years of working in West London, the fact we hold professional indemnity insurance, as chartered architects we provide a client centred service, value for money and excellent design skills all justify how we add value to your project.


How much are your fees?

Our fees are worked out depending on your requirements. We typically offer fixed fees to our clients as this gives cost certainty and better control over how much they spend on the project.

We break the fees down into stages allowing clients to select all or part of our services. Some projects are best worked out on an hourly rate whilst others require a fixed fee or percentage fee, or we may suggest a combination of all three.

It all comes down to what we think works best for our client.


why use a chartered practice?

Choosing a RIBA accredited Chartered Practice will give you peace of mind.

John Rich Architects comply with a strict criteria covering insurance, health and safety, quality management systems and code of conduct.


how long does planning take?

Planning officers must make a decision within 8 weeks of an application being registered.

Within that 8 weeks planning applications are validated, neighbours notified, application is assessed, officer writes a report for recommendation or refusal, officers report is reviewed by senior officers finally concluding with a decision issued.

If the application is refused then there is no limit on the length of time to go through an appeals process.


what can i do in a conservation area?

If you plan to carry out a project in a Conservation Area, there are some key guides that must be followed.

  • Preserve and Enhance
  • Conservation officers are looking for a high-quality design schemes
  • Contemporary is fine (often preferred on listed building extensions in place of pastiche proposals)
  • Just because your neighbour has done something doesn't mean that you will be allowed

Permitted Development (PD) rights still exist in Conservation Areas but are limited


what is permitted development?

Permitted Development (PD) allows for certain works to your home without the need to apply for planning permission. 

In order to carry out work under Permitted Development the work must strictly conform to the current criteria which we can advise you on or you can read here


how much will my project cost?

Projects can be designed and built to meet a specific budget and intended end goal.

For residential work, you might calculate the cost of the job at £3000 per square metre. We add a percentage to cover fees and to cover contingencies (provision for an unknown event).

We know ways to save on costs, and how to plan the job to suit your finances and we always keep an eye on how the budget and project cost is tracking.