FAQ - Answering the Common Concerns

What projects do you cover?

Homes! Exclusively homes.

We specialise in designing and renovating houses of all ages and types, from charming stone cottages and modern extensions to classic high-Victorian terraces. We are passionate about transforming houses into homes with spaces that are both beautiful and functional. We take pride in creating bespoke designs that cater to the unique needs of each client.

Each type of home presents its own unique challenges and opportunities. Stone cottages may require careful consideration of structural integrity, while 1960s semi-detached houses may benefit from modernising the layout. However, the diversity of housing stock in the UK also provides us with a wealth of creative opportunities. We love the challenge of adapting traditional homes to modern lifestyles and creating spaces that are both respectful of the past and forward-looking.

Every project is unique, and we take the time to understand the specific needs of each client. We start by carefully listening to your requirements and discussing your vision for your home. Then, we work closely with you to develop a bespoke design that meets your needs and reflects your personal style.

Combine that with each family having its own specific brief. We have worked on multiple houses on the same road, each originally built identically, but the houses are each different, affected and altered by many owners with different priorities. In turn, our clients have each had a unique brief, resulting in every project being bespoke.

We love the challenge and range this brings to our work.


What areas do you cover?

Lacey Architecture is primarily based in Bath. We also maintain a presence in the charming town of Shrewsbury (ask me about this sometime!). Both locations offer a wealth of architectural heritage and are absolutely wonderful places. We are so lucky to work between them both.

While our primary focus is on the Bath and Shrewsbury regions, we have undertaken many projects further afield, particularly for unique or challenging structures. We have undertaken projects as far as Derbyshire, Lake District National Park and High Wycombe.

We love local projects, but are definitely swayed by pretty, unusual, challenging houses! Particularly in the summer, when we can use country roads and the little ’68 MG Midge for site visits.

1968 MG Midget in Old English White used as an Architects car

What is your design process?

Our design process is a collaborative journey that begins with understanding your aspirations and ends with a stunning home extension that meets your brief and exceeds your expectations. We take a holistic approach to designing your home extension, considering not just the aesthetics and functionality of the extension itself, but also how it integrates with your existing home and the surrounding neighbourhood.

1. Initial Briefing and Understanding: Our process begins with a comprehensive understanding of your vision for your home extension. We will discuss your needs, desires, and aspirations for the space, and we will learn about your lifestyle and how you envision using the extension. This initial briefing is crucial in ensuring that our design aligns with your specific requirements and preferences.

2. Sketch Designs, reflecting and Revising: Based on our understanding of your brief, we will generate initial sketch designs that explore different possibilities for your home extension. Once we have generated initial sketch designs, we will take the time to reflect on our work and to refine our ideas. We will re-evaluate the ideas and make adjustments to ensure that the designs meet your requirements and exceed your expectations.

3. Creating Design Options: After careful reflection, we will develop multiple design options that reflect your brief. These options will showcase different approaches to the design, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences. We will provide floorplans, 3D visualisations (offered as an additional service, and explanations for each option, enabling you to make informed decisions about the direction of the design.

4. Identifying and Exploring Opportunities:  Throughout the design process, we will actively seek opportunities to enhance the design and to elevate your home. We will look for ways to optimise the use of space, to incorporate sustainable and energy-efficient elements, and to create a seamless connection between the extension and your existing home. We will also explore unconventional ideas that can spark creativity and add unique character to your home.

5. Presenting and Aligning with Client Preferences: When presenting the final design, we will focus on showcasing the elements and features that align with your brief and that merit your consideration. We will clearly explain the rationale behind our design decisions, and we will be open to feedback and suggestions. Our goal is to present you with a design that seamlessly integrates your needs, preferences, and aspirations.

6. Fun and Unexpected Ideas:  While we are committed to creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing home extension that meets your brief, we also embrace the opportunity to introduce fun and unexpected ideas. We believe that a home extension should not only meet your practical needs but also inspire joy and creativity. We will explore possibilities that lift the space, create unexpected moments of surprise, and offer possibilities you never imagined.

By taking a collaborative approach, valuing your input, and exploring innovative ideas, we aim to deliver a home extension that truly reflects your unique style and aspirations. We believe that your home should be a reflection of your personality, a space that brings you joy and inspires creativity.


Do you offer multiple design options to help clients explore different possibilities?

Yes, once we have thoroughly documented your requirements, we will endeavour to provide two sensible and practical design options that fully align with, or potentially surpass, your expectations. In certain instances, when the brief is highly detailed, the house poses exceptional challenges, or the plot is quite confined, there may only be one viable solution for the design. However, we will endeavour to present you with at lease two options that are worthy of your consideration.

But… it’s always good to explore, push and if nothing else have fun. So we also enthusiastically offer a “wildcard” option. This will push your brief, explore innovative spatial arrangements, integrate unique architectural elements and unleash the full potential of your project.

If you hate it, well, no problem, we will never mention the “wildcard” again, and you have two “sensible options”. We experimented with this approach during lockdown (didn’t we all need some joy?!), and the client feedback was overwhelmingly positive. No, every client did not choose the wildcard option, but everyone enjoyed seeing the design exploration. So we kept it, and it helps keep us fresh, innovative and enthusiastic.


When we will see design options?

Three weeks from “signing off” on the finalised the brief! Four weeks if you would like our extra 3D modelling services.

As soon as we receive your approval on the brief, we have everything we need to make a start. Despite our diligence regarding recording the brief, we can’t wait to get started designing!


What does a design presentation look like?

It is clearer to show you than to write to describe:


How long is this going to take?

Measured survey: 1 week  Scheme design: 3 weeks Design presentation followed by client consideration: Variable – client dependant 2-4weeks Feedback and revisions: Variable – client dependant 1-3 weeks Planning application Consideration by Council (if required): 8 weeks  Building Control Architectural drawings: 3 weeks Building Control Engineering Drawings: Variable – engineer dependant 3-6weeks

Please note that these are just estimates, and the actual timeline may vary. Usually client feedback periods have the biggest effect on project timelines, however, we never advocate rushing decisions! The timescale is also dependent on the complexity of the project and the council’s processing time for planning applications. Lacey Architecture will provide a more accurate timeline for your project once they have more information about your specific needs.

We have created a flowchart illustrating the project process to provide a visual representation of the timeline. Flowchart of the homeowner extension process here:

For a more comprehensive overview of the project timeline, we create an interactive Gantt chart for each client and project. See our template Gantt chart here:

The bottom RHS corner allows the scale to be changed. Holding down shift allows scrolling left to right (i.e. forwards and backwards in time).

We understand that renovating your home is a significant undertaking, and we are committed to providing you with clear communication, timely updates, and a seamless project experience.


How do you handle budget?

At our initial meeting, we will ask you about your budget and the size, scale, and scope of your project. If we believe your budget is unrealistic, we will inform you immediately.

During our comprehensive discussion of your brief, we will again inquire about your budget or how you envision your financial plan. It is crucial we understand whether the project will be divided into phases, areas, or specific work sections.

From there, we will prepare all design options to be aligned with your budget or adhere to a budget range if you wish us to explore various cost options. These estimates will be provided in a rough form based on square meter (m²) considerations, allowing for a quick evaluation of the size and scale of the different design options.

Once we have collaboratively refined the 2-3 distinct design proposals to one final option, we can then provide a more accurate cost estimate taking into account the varying features, materials, or specialised elements (for instance, green roofs, lantern roof lights, dormer windows, etc.).

In summary, this process helps us understand your budget, accurately record it, provide initial estimates, and provide more detailed pricing information.


Do you provide structural engineering services? Do we require a structural engineer for our home extension or renovation project?

No, I am an ARB (Architects Registration Board) Architect and cannot provide direct structural engineering services. However, I have a network of reputable local structural engineers who I can recommend for your project.

Most home extension or renovation projects will require some level of structural engineering input, especially if you are making changes to the roof, foundations, walls, or adding new openings. I can arrange for two or three structural engineers to provide you with no-obligation fee quotes once we have refined an outline design, typically after the planning application has been submitted.

A structural engineer can ensure that your home extension or renovation project is safe and complies with building regulations. They can also provide valuable advice on the design and construction of your project, helping you to make informed decisions that will optimise the structural integrity, functionality and overall aesthetic appeal of your home.


What questions do you have?  Get started by meeting with us!

If you would like to discuss a home improvement project, including remodelling, extending or renovating, email or call us, and we will get back to you promptly.

Our first step will be to discuss your project and then book an on site meeting at your property.

We want to get out, meet with you, learn what you need, see your house and get excited with you about the possibilities!