architect advice


I’m sale agreed on a property which needs renovation and an extension. I suppose it would probably make sense to spend some money on design advice before ploughing ahead with extension. It’s a 3 bed terrace house so I guess there is probably a limit to what can be done and budget is also an issue. It’s probably not a house I will live in forever and would maybe like to trade up in a few years time, but want it to be comfortable to live in in the meantime and maybe do work that adds some value. With that in mind, I don’t want to spend way over the odds on extension and finishes, but want a decent job done and make best use of space etc.
Is it worth spending money on architect for this type of project? Can anyone recommend architects they have used, and roughly what should I expect to pay for some design advice. The extension would not require planning permission.
Anything else I should bear in mind for renovation project and keeping costs down?

Appreciate any input from pinsters


I would say to talk to an architect (ideally talk to a couple of them and find someone who you think you can work well with). A good architect will help a lot in framing exactly what it is you want to do with the space, how it will fit with how you use the rest of the house, and in generating some ideas you wouldn’t think of on your own.

Simon Open Door is coming up - For a €50 donation to a good cause you can get advise from one of many firms. Most firms will do an initial consultation for free anyway, but I know we try to make sure people get their money’s worth on Open Door day.

Hi lexa I also wondered whether it was worth shelling out for an architect on my refurb project. My place is listed so I had to gave an architect supervising the job but I now realise that it was well worth the investment. Apart from his design ideas (very good) he organised the process of tendering for the job, advised me on where to spend money and where to cut back and stopped my builder from over charging me. So he has saved me more than his fee I think and I now appreciate the value of good professional advice. Architects will come and have a look for free but I would try to choose one on the basis of a recommendation if you can and pick one who is willing to pay a hands on role in overseeing the job, which is not always the case. I am happy to pass on the details of my architect if you PM me.

very good tip, and May 2014 is probably excellent time-frame for original poster.

The open door thing is an excellent idea but probably a little late for me.
I would hope to have started renovation work by then.

If anyone has any architect recommendations I would appreciate that.
Unfortunately I don’t know many people who’ve done work recently and used an architect.


What I did when looking for an architect was: find houses similar in age and design to mine on or houses in the area I liked, I then went to the planning applications on the county council planning websites and found from the drawings who was the architect! From there I checked to see that he was registered and if they had a website of their own.

Busted! Yes, I’m an architect, though not Dublin based. We’re flat out for the next month or so but I’m happy to PM suggestions of former colleagues & practices whose work I know is very good. One thing I will also say is that we did some extra consultations for Simon last year after the deadline where the client gave us a cheque (crossed!) made out to Simon which we forwarded on. I’m sure any firm would do the same in advance if that helped.

Most smaller firms will do a sketch design instead of a full service on small jobs (with the new Building Control Regulation amendments this will be more problematic on bigger jobs to be honest) & the cost of this is reflected in the reduced workload. I know of at least one firm who do a consultation at the house, with sketches etc done there and then.

You should also be aware of the change in legislation that came into effect last August - under this the homeowner must employ someone to look out for Health and Safety issues at both design stage and construction stage (Project Supervisors). Previously this only affected larger, non-domestic jobs but now almost anything other than DIY will count. There is info on the HSA site here … _FAQs.html

Well done on that!
That’s the first time in years I’ve heard an architect presenting that situation. Is business generally up in the profession do you think?

(Still only 3 jobs on the RIAI job-site, but there may be a lot of other roles getting filled via contacts)

If anyone wants to PM me recommendations, I’d really appreciate it


I’d also appreciate any PM’d recommendations. Looking to add an extension to a small 4-bed end of terrace house in Dublin 7. Would be considering an extension requiring planning permission.

We’re a small practice so work can go from ticking along to flat out with a few new projects, but anecdotally from speaking with other architects/construction professionals it does seem to be picking up, though mostly smaller projects still. We are certainly getting more enquiries.

The new legislation & resulting higher fees are putting people off though, again just speaking anecdotally. As an aside, it is very unfair on people who employed an architect say last summer to be asked for extra fees now to cover the extra time required for complying with the new amendment regs. When they brought in the Health and Safety legislation last year there was an exemption for people who had already started the design process; it seems daft to have not done the same at the very least for the Building Control Amendments.

more here: … -1.1739112

I’d also appreciate PMed recommendations for architects who work in the D8 area, and could manage the project too.

Got the surveyor’s report on the place I’m sale agreed on, conservatory and extension need to be completely rebuilt and there’s a lot of other work needed too to get it nice. Probably looking north of 80k total.

If you could PM me recommendations too that would be appreciated.
In particular architects with experience of rennovating old victorian redbrick houses.
Thanks a million

I’d also appreciate a pm on recommended architects in the scd area. I want to put on a 40 sq mt extension to a bungalow and don’t know any architects.

I’m still greatly appreciate any recommendations.

The only advice I ever got from an architect is that his (or hers) fees where necessary, modest and reasonable. I found in most cases they where not.

Would appreciate any PMs also. Looking at renovation of a 3-bed semi and extension in Dublin 3/9. Thank you.