You’ve done it, you’ve made the decision.

You want to build a 5* hotel resort with at least 7 swimming pools and you need some help doing it

Or not.

Well maybe for 1% of the worlds population.

Or maybe you’re looking to extend your home? A single story extension, a double story extension or a garage conversion?

All of the above plus a loft conversion?

Lovely. You’ve come to the right place.

Here are a few friendly pointers from me to you on what you should ask your designer before appointing him/her to do anything.

Before you meet.

1. What do you want to achieve?


What’s the end result? And start with your 5* hotel resort dream shopping list – the wish list! This could be your new dream house or your garage conversion into an extra bedroom.

2. What do you want your designer to do for you?

This could be planning permission, provide building regulation drawings or construction drawings. You may need to obtain builders quotes, project manage the build and do your interior design.

3. What’s your budget?

Your designer will be able to advise if your dreams are too big for your budget – a bit like my eyes being too big for my stomach when it comes to salted caramel cheesecake or salted caramel anything for that matter. But I’ve got nobody advising me to stop.

As a guide for building single story extensions stick to £1750-2000 per sq m and for double story extensions £2250 per sq m.

4. What’s your timescales?

Are you in a rush? Is winter fast approaching and you don’t fancy your build being rained or snowed off.

Take into account the following:

  • Architectural design time – 4-8weeks depending on how they are.
  • Planning permission – 8-12weeks depending on your project.
  • Building regulations – 4weeks.
  • Construction duration – 8-16 weeks for an extension depending on its size and complexity.

To round up 6-10 months depending on your project.

Our advice. Act sooner rather than later. Appoint them and get planning underway. Once we’ve got your planning permission approved you have 3 years just to make a start on the build.

5. What do they advise for you?

Ask them outright.

You should take their advice into account but if they suggest something you’re not comfortable with then say so. It’s your project! And it’s best to air all opinions at the start so the end result is ultimately what you want it to be.

6. How much will it cost me? What are your design fees?

Ask them at the first meeting, they will have a good idea. At Design Work Studios we’ve made it easier and have set prices for most typical build projects. We have a set fee document that we send and you can pick and choose which parts you want from us.

A bit like a shopping list for cool architectural designery stuff.

Do have them send an official quote outlining exactly what’s been agreed along with the payment terms.

Now sit back and watch your design project take shape from sketches on paper to bricks and mortar (or glass, we LOVE glass).

hint hint 😉

If you want, we do all of the above and to make it easier we offer a free consultation to start the journey. We also offer free donuts! But on one proviso… the salted caramel one is mine 😉 This is a limited time offer so hurry whilst stocks last.


Send us an e-mail or fill in our contact form 

Speak soon

Design Work Studios

Catering for all things to do with your house in Berkshire including Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell and Surrey including Egham, Staines, Ashford