When most people think of an architect they don’t immediately associate them with someone who can offer assistance with their home. Although architectural services are primarily concerned with the plan, design and construction of buildings, there is also architectural assistance available for the homeowner, which includes services such as property valuations, settling disputes and handling all the legalities to do with your home.
Below are five of the top services offered by architects that apply directly to the homeowner. If you’re not exactly sure what assistance is available, then this detailed overview will provide you with all you need to know.
Building and Homebuyer Surveys
Whether you’ve lived in a house your entire life, or you’re considering a brand new purchase, architects can carry out a useful building survey. The aim of this report is to determine the condition of the property and identify any dangerous substances or work that may need doing.
These great surveys will also help you establish whether any of the building work that needs doing will affect the value of the property; this is particularly helpful if you are thinking about selling your house.
Another of the great benefits of these surveys is that they will also help you recognise any non-immediate work and advise you on the cost should you decide to get it done. The surveys can also be as detailed as you like, as each survey is personally tailored to suit your needs.
If you discover a fault in your home, you may decide to undertake a building investigation survey, which is another of the services offered by architects. This investigation seeks to identify the original issue that caused the problem.
The sort of problems that may require a property investigation survey include damp and cracks in the walls or ceiling. Although these are usually not major issues, having an investigation survey could be a good idea, just to rule out anything significant.
Another of the most popular architect services is valuation. This means that the company will provide you with an estimated value price of your home, or the one you’re considering buying.
This is an essential process when buying or selling a house, but it will also help you determine whether the house is within your budget and if the asking price is appropriate.
Party Wall Legalities
The ‘Party Wall Act’ of 1996 includes any building work that involves adjoining properties. As a result of this act, you need documentation and a survey prior to beginning any construction work. This includes work on any wall or floor area shared with a neighbouring property, building work on the boundary with a neighbouring property, and excavating within 6 meters of a neighbouring property.
Party wall documentation can include notices and schedules of building work; employing an architect is a great idea because they will take care of all the legalities concerning party wall issues on your behalf.
It’s not a very nice experience when you don’t get on with the neighbours, but if a property dispute arises it can quickly become even worse. Architects (such as the Architects Corporation) can offer support and help with any property disputes that may occur.
This may include simply offering advice or getting a little more involved by providing expert witness statements for any legal proceedings, and court appearances, if necessary.
Architectural services available for the homeowner are vast and can be very enlightening. Whether you have a problem with your current property, are looking into buying a new house, or are having boundary issues, architects offer professional and essential services that are ideal for the homeowner.
Article by Natalie Moody