When we think about designing our new loft we tend to think of using an architect to draw up our plans for us or, if we are using a specialist building company, relying on their in-house designer.
But there is another option. We can hire our own independent designer.
Why Do We Need Plans?
The plans you have drawn up will serve two purposes. Firstly, they will form the basis of your applications for building regulations approval (and planning permission if applicable) and, secondly, they will of course be followed by your builder during the construction.
So, it is obviously important to ensure that the plans we have drawn up are done by a competent professional. Getting the bloke next door to scribble some ideas down on the back of an envelope isn't going to cut it.
Professional Architectural Designers
There are many designers out there who can draw up plans. But with something as important, and as expensive, as a loft conversion we need to make sure we hire a professional. Someone who is not only highly qualified and competent but who is also fully insured.
In short. Someone who we can have confidence in to do a good job.
Finding Your Designer
Of course good old word of mouth is a great way to find a loft conversion designer. If someone comes highly recommended by a friend or colleague than they are certainly worth a call.
But, if you don't have a personal recommendation and you want to find a professional, it is wise to go to one of the specialist organisations such as CIAT.
Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists
The CIAT is the professional body of building and construction designers known as architectural technologists.
OK. Good to know. But what on earth is an architectural technologist (AT)?
It may be a bit of a mouthful but an AT is someone who specialises in building design. They will work on designing new buildings or on redevelopment projects such as home extensions and loft conversions.
As a good designer an AT will be able to take your ideas and put them down on paper. He will also be able to prepare the plans and elevation drawings you need for your building regulations application.
An architectural technologist will also be able to draw up the working drawings that your builder will need to construct your loft conversion.
Importantly, an AT who is a member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists will be fully covered by public liability insurance and will also carry professional indemnity in case of problems or disputes.
If you are interested in learning more about Architectural Technologists or would like to search for one in your area you can visit the CIAT website www.ciat.org.uk
For more info see the related pages belowIs There Such A Thing As A Free Lunch?
Vermiculite Loft Insulation is an echo-friendly alternative to traditional insulation materials
The old loft water tank will need to be moved if the roof space is being converted into a habitable room
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations