Unexpected ways London architects can maximise your returns

publication date: Jul 8, 2019
author/source: Guest article from Urbanist Architecture

Unexpected ways London architects can maximise your returns



Firstly, it’s crucial to know what an architect actually is. Architects are the trained and licensed experts in the planning and building of all buildings. Plenty of people correlate architects with just the blueprints, and as much as it’s true they’re involved in the design phase, not many are aware that architects are truly committed throughout the entire process — from the concept, to the understanding of their drawings and plans, to building, and finally, to maximise your returns. Not all architects work on the entire scope of your project, however, if you hire our architects to build your house, you can expect them to bring years of expertise to the table.


Anyone can draw a plan or apply for a planning application, right?


Well, sort of, but, will everyone know the ins and outs of design and technical aspects, and find opportunities to make the most of your home? With their seven years of study, architects have invested time and effort to be able to advise you in areas you might not realise need consideration. If it’s this important to study for so long to get their degree, there's a great reason - they're there to help you to understand what your home needs.


So, how can you help me maximise my returns?


Decent architects should always apply that impartial and creatively different thinking to a project, small or large. The added value they bring isn't limited to just magazine-quality design, but they'll help you out with maximising light and space, adding the functionality you need, or advising you how to get the best return on your investment. We've identified six ways we can get you precisely the returns you want from your asset.


Clarifying your needs


Now, as we all know, the cost of building your dream home should be consistent with the real estate values of your property's surrounding neighbourhood.


Here are a few questions an Architect may press you on:

  • Is your main objective to make the house more liveable for yourself, or to make it more saleable to the next owner?
  • Do your needs warrant building a new home?
  • Would an addition be the most effective way to get that extra space you require?
  • Should you add a floor or expand your house’s footprint?


Options, right? Here’s where an architect can help you decide.


Exploring potential and determining risks


Planning laws and regulations may considerably affect what you are allowed to build and develop on your property. Your building’s height, how much of your property is covered by the building, and how far it must be set back from the property line are all dictated by Planning Regulations. An architect will help you determine how these and other restrictions apply to your design project and can assist you in filing applications and obtaining the necessary permits if necessary.


Your property may even have the potential for unique design opportunities – possibly a great view, or good sun exposure. It may also hold unusual hidden hazards which you may not be aware of – weak soil, poor drainage, or too steep of a slope – nevertheless, your architect can assess these factors and take them into account, avoid obstacles, and really make the most of your assets.



Maximise your returns with the kings of practicality


With their experience, your architect can help you make quick and smart choices on your home’s design that can assist and save you in remarkable ways. It’s crucial to have a genuine understanding of the potential – and limitations – of your project’s budget to be able to maximise your returns. By balancing your budget, square footage, and level of finishes, an architect helps you to prioritise your requirements.


Thinking for the long-term, not short-term


Your architect can provide flexible design opportunities to adapt to your changing family size, reduced mobility, or changing priorities. Not forgetting, by suggesting design approaches for lowering energy usage or maintenance, or by recommending specific amenities, your architect can help you see the bigger picture and maximise your returns - whether in terms of design solutions, or long-term rental value or resale.



Doing more than what you think they'll do


Remember, an architect works alongside YOU. They are constantly watching out for your best interest throughout the entire process. And once you and your architect establish exactly what is to be built, the architect can help you visualise the design opportunities via a number of means, including rough sketches, computer renderings, or even physically staking out significant dimensions directly on the site.


No handshake or letter of agreement is firm enough to cover all the roles, responsibilities and commitments that must be carried out in your building project. Your architect can both prepare and complete construction documents, detailed drawings, and specifications that the contractor will use to establish construction costs and later build the project.


But, an architect’s engagement doesn’t end with preparing the drawings for construction work. As both your adviser and agent, an architect will visit the site to protect you against work that is not according to the plans. With them accompanying and observing construction, you get informed reports of the project’s progress, a trained eye for quality control, and a check on the contractor’s monthly invoices.


Save money well into the future


Who wouldn't want to save more money? To maximise your returns you need to save every penny on your hard-earned investment. This said, putting money towards an energy-efficient property can mean saving you money on fuel bills down the road. Investment in designing a building to make the most of heating from the sun, cooling from wind circulation or ventilation and letting in natural light will reduce your heating, cooling, and electricity bills over time well into the future.


Now we've shown you what we do to maximise your returns, we'll break down how the project really works.


Let’s briefly take a look at the most important points at the different stages in a project...


Design stage


  • An architect should listen to the concept / dream home you have in mind, then put it all on paper and advise you in defining your requirements.
  • They will also help you to define the agenda (i.e. amenities to be provided in your house) and the overall area of the property.
  • A decent architect will give you options on how to get the maximum amount of light and create more spacious living spaces according to your preferences.
  • An architect will design the best functional internal layout and at the same time ensure it has good air, light and ventilation all year round.
  • They will also select materials and technologies with respect to the environment and weather, and also create a home that is attractive and also economical in terms of running costs and a long life span. For example, they will be able to keep your energy usage levels to a minimum by installing insulation.




  • At this crucial stage, it’s good to give an architect time to complete the processes and phases involved with your project, from working with the council to dealing with builders and contractors.
  • Linked to the above, they'll be able to think of upcoming future policies and regulations to advise you on your future plans or decisions.
  • If you so wish, architects can also act as project managers and lead the team of other consultants, contractors and subcontractors.
  • An architect will also help you in identifying appropriate agencies, either a material contractor or a labour contractor, for the construction phase of your property.
  • Likewise, they should help you to distinguish the correct sub-consultants like a structural engineer, MEP engineer etc.




  • Any architect worth their salt will visit the site regularly to monitor whether the construction work is being carried out as per the plans and specifications they prepared and provided.
  • During these periodical supervisions, an architect should additionally examine whether the quality of materials and workmanship are of adequate standards or not - this step can really save money further down the line.
  • In addition, they will also review the contractor’s bills of the contractor periodically and confirm payment to the contractor.


After completion


  • As well as choosing the right material for construction, an architect can also help you to select your furniture. With economic and environmental sustainability in mind, they will guide you in choosing a material that not only looks good, but is an investment in the longer term.
  • The architect will also help you to get the completion certificate, proving that the work has been carried out according to the approved plans.
  • To conclude, it is worth remembering that a quality architect will always try to invest efforts now and make your home last in the long run.


An architect’s services are a wise investment. A well-conceived project can be built more efficiently and economically to maximise your returns. Architects don't like to plan your project with you not on their own (unless you prefer it that way) – as ideas evolve, changes can be made on paper much less expensively than later when construction is underway! Thorough drawings also make it easier for a contractor to get the lowest, most accurate cost. An architect strives to make sure you get the utmost from your project budget by reviewing all the possibilities, deciding suitable suppliers and providing the greatest quality design.



Maximise your returns with the right professionals


Hopefully we’ve given you some insight into how an architect can help you in unexpected ways to get the most from your property, whether it's to rent, renovate your own. Now you've seen how we can help you, so take a look at some of our work to see exactly how we’ve done it!

All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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