- How long does it take to get drawings done?
- How long does planning permission take?
- Can I start building without permission?
- How long should building work take?
- How long will an extension or house take from beginning to end?
Many thanks to all of our friends and followers, clients and contractors, for making 2017 such a fantastic year for the practice. We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2018.
This year has been characterised by a series of successes in obtaining Planning Permission for some ambitious projects in challenging situations, including the External Stair and Rooftop Retreat projects. Each project is of course unique, requiring a bespoke design and bespoke service, and this includes taking care over the preparation of statutory consent applications. In addition to designing for the brief, we also design with Planning Policies and Building Regulations in mind. A nuanced understanding of these allows us to innovate and often present more creative interpretations of them in our designs. Having done so, making a strong case for permission has been about preparing high quality drawings, including 3D visualisations, and a thorough written submission. We were delighted when the local authority gave the following reason when granting permission for the Linking Levels project:
"The extension appears as an unashamed contemporary addition in its own right, the modern design and finish of which add to the architectural interest of the house. The development does not have a significant impact on the amenity of neighbouring properties. For these reasons the development complies with the aims of policy DEV 2 of the adopted 2017 Midlothian Local Development Plan."
Having consolidated our team in 2016, we were delighted to welcome John in 2017, following his graduation from Edinburgh Napier University with the class medal in Architectural Technology. John's technical training has complemented the rest of the team's skills brilliantly, bringing the staff complement up to five in time four our fifth birthday.
To celebrate our fifth birthday, we were pleased to exhibit at the Edinburgh Home Building and Renovating Show in October. We took this opportunity to showcase some of our favourite projects, including the Upside Down House and Futureproof Conversion. We had a great time speaking to people who are interested in Self Build and this has led to some exciting new projects for us to take forward in 2018.
In the new year we look forward to some of the projects we have on the drawing board moving onto the construction phase, as well as tackling lots of new challenges. If you have a project you'd like to discuss, why not get in touch?
It goes without saying that Architects love buildings, and the built environment more generally. The Architecture of every age has distinctive characteristics and it is fantastic to see good examples of these protected by giving them Listed Building status.Read More
This year was our first time exhibiting at Edinburgh Home Building and Renovating Show, which was a great opportunity to speak to people looking to improve their home or build a new one. There were over 6000 visitors to the show and there was a sense of excitement in the air. People came to learn more about design and construction, to get ideas, inspiration and advice.
Our attendance marked the fifth anniversary of the practice, so we took the opportunity to pull together our portfolio and showcase a few of our favourite projects. The four projects featured on our display boards were the Rooftop Retreat, Futureproof Conversion, Upside Down House and Linking Levels. These were displayed on plinths and stands made by our team in the office, which proved to be a labour of love, so we are hoping to integrate these back into the office.
The main thing we were keen to get across at the show was our commitment to bespoke design and bespoke service. We really enjoy getting to know clients and designing for their individual needs. We work with people to ensure they get the very best from us, both in terms of design and the service we provide. The people we met responded well to this message and we're looking forward to working with some of them on their homes.
We are looking forward to celebrating the practice's fifth anniversary with a stand at the Edinburgh Home Building and Renovating Show on 21-22 October 2017. This will be an opportunity to showcase our portfolio of bespoke designs and to talk to self-build clients about the bespoke service we offer.Read More
As life moves forward, the needs you have for your home will inevitably change. Changing your environment to better suite your needs is at the heart of Architecture, so this is something we really enjoy helping with. Whether you simply need more space, or you have more specific needs; good design can ensure a house alteration or extension is more economical than moving.
Existing houses often fall short of the space and layout requirements of modern living. Common issues include; small kitchens, insufficient bathrooms, and a lack of connection to the garden. These can usually be addressed by making Internal Alterations, which should be designed to ensure the solution presents good value for money.
House extensions can be all shapes and sizes. Making sure you get what you need, is also complemented by making sure you like what you get. This is why tuning-in to individual clients’ tastes, hopes and aspirations, is so crucial to our approach. This can be is done by sharing reference images on websites such as Houzz and Pinterest, or it can be more effective to sketch multiple options for discussion.
It is important to ensure light continues to penetrate into the existing property when extending. This is a key feature of many projects, but can be readily seen in the Back to Front House we designed for a family in Midlothian Edinburgh.
Whatever the specifics of the project, we love meeting new clients and designing to not only meet your needs, but also your tastes, hopes and aspirations. Please feel free to Contact Us if you have a project you would like to discuss.
We would like to thank all of our clients and colleagues, followers and and friends for making 2016 such a fantastic year for the practice. We look forward to a great 2017 for everyone.
This year we have consolidated our team and it has been a real buzz working together to deliver a high volume of projects throughout Edinburgh, Midlothian, and beyond. We take great satisfaction in helping our clients to realise their aspirations and it has been particularly pleasing to see families moving back into their homes for Christmas.
We have lots of exciting projects on the drawing board, including some mixed-use developments and community projects. We're looking forward to taking the projects forward in 2017.
Watch this space for more images of our designs and projects on site in the new year!
This month we are celebrating the practice's fourth anniversary. We are really pleased to have delivered a friendly and straight forward service on a large number of high quality projects for our domestic clients since the practice started in 2012. Since then, we have been building a strong team and are excited to be working on an increasing number of residential and mixed use developments. Our team shares a passion for high quality Architecture and all of our projects continue to share common themes of; interacting with and regenerating existing buildings, improving light and connection to the outside, and future-proofing. If you like what we do, we would very much appreciate if you could leave us a review on our new Houzz profile.
We're excited to see that many of our projects are moving rapidly from concept to construction. Whilst the statutory consent process can be slow, a number of exciting home extensions are now moving onto site, just a few months after designs were first produced. It is an extremely satisfying process listen to a client's idea, design a solution, and then see it begin to come to life. We like to ensure clients enjoy the process, but the ultimate test is of course when the client begins to enjoy the finished product.
From our base in Dalkeith, we have quick access to a wide geographical area. The majority of our work has always been in Edinburgh and Midlothian, but we are increasingly working in West and East Lothian, in the Scottish Borders, and further afield. We take great pleasure in helping people with alterations and improvements to their homes, as well as larger extensions and development projects.
Many of the projects currently moving on to site are high quality home extensions. We have worked closely with our clients to agree a solution that meets their needs, but also hope that it will offer an improvement to their quality life. As construction work begins on these projects, it is a delight to see our clients begin to inhabit the new spaces in their minds.
We have also seen a few projects reach completion recently, allowing our clients to inhabit their new spaces more literally. Returning to visit them after this is a great pleasure and gives us motivation to do just as well on the next project.
We are delighted to be participating in Architect in the Hoose for another year.
This RIAS scheme gives people an hour-long consultation with an Architect for a nominal donation to charity. We've been part of this since it started and have found it to be a great way for clients to get past the initial apprehension about approaching an Architect. In previous years, this has given some clients the confidence to go ahead with the project, and it has been nice to see these come to fruition. If you know someone who's thinking of making changes to their home, please let them know about it.
Merry Christmas to all our friends, clients and contractors.
This has been another great year for the practice. We completed our third year in business and enjoyed celebrating this with a few long-standing supporters. A few key projects were also completed, and we are particularly pleased with the Mews House Regeneration. The client recently saying "Feedback from neighbours and friends has been overwhelming, and the true test has been seeing people relax and put their feet on the furniture. Brief met!!"
The team has changed over the course of 2015. Gordon moved on to work in the multi-disciplinary environment of GLM in Edinburgh, and we welcomed some new and old faces to the team. Katy has proven to be an invaluable contributor and we were delighted to welcome Glen back after a few months with our friends at Matson-Henderson.
We are very much looking forward to 2016, when we anticipate great progress on our diverse range of projects, including some getting onto site..
Thanks to everyone for your ongoing support and all the very best for 2016.Read More
We are delighted to be involved in the Unexpected Art Exhibition, which will showcase how the spaces at the Dalkeith Arts Centre can be used to form a vibrant community hub. Our free-standing display structure will illustrate how an architectural intervention can illicit a variety of interactions with it and define the surrounding space. The structure will take the form of a ribbon, with a simple plywood construction, which will fold up and down to form doorways and platforms, enabling visitors to experience the art in unexpected ways!
Design for your needs
Making changes to an existing property or developing a site for a new home can get you everything you need and prevent you from settling for the best-fit available. This is all achieved with the use of good design using the right team. An Architect begins with an informal chat to discuss your needs and establish the budget, and can advise on other constraints. Following a survey, designs are then developed to meet these, and to match your taste.
The Architect takes care of all the permissions required for the development. The appearance of the proposals is agreed with you, before submitting a planning application to get local authority approval. The Architect then produces information to demonstrate compliance with the relevant technical standards, in application for a building warrant.
Making it Happen
Going from design to construction is much less daunting with the help of a professional, ensuring that contractors have the information they need to calculate costs and to construct the proposals. The Architect helps you to decide on which contractor to use and maintains a presence during construction to keep you informed, advise on payment, and help the contractor with technical details to keep standards high.
Imagination & Inspiration
I was born in Penicuik, and, like many kids, enjoyed creating my own world with Lego. Growing up, my imagination was captured by disused industrial and agricultural buildings. I remember playing in them (before health and safety) and imagining what they could become. One such building was converted into an Architect's office in time for my school's work experience week, and my fate was sealed!
Experience & Understanding
I studied in Edinburgh, where I developed my interest in how people influence their surroundings. It is also a great place to help people with making improvements to their homes, many of which are listed or in conservation areas. There is a great satisfaction in seeing a building get a new lease of life and ensuring it better meets the demands of modern living.
Regeneration & Communication
I live in Dalkeith, where my wife and I are raising a family. I chose to set up my office locally to be close to home and contribute to the community. I have therefore been active in local social enterprises to address the need for community facilities. I remain passionate about the re-use of existing buildings and enjoy helping people to improve, renovate and regenerate their homes.
We are delighted that our proposals for multifunctional communal spaces have just been approved by the planning department. The ground floors of two student accommodation blocks will be transformed to include places to cook, eat and relax together, as well as spaces for projects and workshop facilities.
The proposals are for Edinburgh Student Housing Cooperative - a group of pioneering students who came together to save money by sharing accomodation costs. In doing so, they formed a community, and are developing a microculture and shared vision for long-term sustainability. Regenerating these spaces will be a physical manifestation of this, and opportunity to foster further growth.
In developing a brief, we worked with a group of around twenty of the 106 members, listening to a range of ideas and helping to balance priorities. We consolidated the various desired uses into coherent but flexible layouts, grouping similar activities and ensuring each space has an individual identity to encourage cross-usage between the blocks.
It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the Coop so far, and we very much look forward to seeing the project realised on site.
Happy new year!
When families get together over Christmas, they get a concentrated view of how well their homes meet their needs. This makes it a great time to reflect on the demands of modern family living. Whilst every project is unique, this is a recurrent theme.
It is a privilidge to meet and get to know so many families in their homes. In order to help, it is important to understand how they live and what their needs are. Embracing and reflecting the individual characteristics of each family is critical to the success of any design, but there is, of course, some commonality between projects. Recognising this, is recognising that family life is changing.
One notable example is a change in emphasis towards the Kitchen. Many existing houses include only a small preparation room, or Scullery, with a separate dining space. Modern families spend time in the Kitchen; cooking, eating and relaxing there. This requires it to be larger and more open to other spaces.
There is an increasing desire for houses to include multiple living spaces and for these to connect with each other, including with the garden. It is now more common for children to have separate rooms and for families to have multiple bathrooms. As expectations of comfort levels increase, energy efficiency becomes paramount, and our aging population makes future-proofing eminently important.
All of the above are the result of incremental socio-economic changes, especially in the twentieth century. It is therefore logical for older properties to require upgrades to remain in use, and this is particularly relavent to listed buildings. Remarkably, many homes currently being built by house-builders also fail to meet the demands of modern living. Fortunately they are generally quite easy to make alterations to, with the help of a friendly Architect!
We would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and all the very best for the new year. 2014 has been another great year for us and we are very much looking forward to progressing all of our projects in 2015, as well as embracing all the new opportunities we hope the new year will bring.Read More
Extend and save... Are you making the most of your property? Changing or adding to your home can often give you the extra space you need and save you money. Local architects are uniquely placed to help with this process.Read More
Happy Birthday to us!
We were delighted to welcome Gordon Brown to our growing team in September. He brings a rich experience of both Architecture and Construction Management, having worked on both sides of the industry.
This enhances our commitment to providing a friendly and straightforward service throughout the whole process of design and construction. Gordon also shares our passion for community-based design, and will be extending our existing involvement in this field to include his home town of Penicuik.
This addition to the team comes in time to celebrate two years as a local practice in Dalkeith. Our High Street office, overlooking the Buccleugh, has become a centre of collaboration for Architecture and the other designers working here. Gordon now joins us in this, and we look forward to building on these and many many other relationships for our mutual benefit and for that of our clients.
Welcome to our new website! We will keep you updated with our projects here on our office Blog page and via Twitter @StrachanDouglas and where possible will hi-light local events and community projects you can get involved in too.
To get in touch with us, please go to our Contact page for all our details.