What areas do you cover?
Is my project too small?
What is the difference between Planning Permission and Building Regulations Approval?
Do I need Planning Permission?
Do I need Building Regulations approval?
Am I responsible for Health and Safety on my site?
What is the difference between an architect and a technician or draughtsman?
Why use an architect rather than a technician?
Why use an RIBA Chartered Practice?
What can LCA offer over and above other architectural practices?
I live abroad – can you help?

What areas do you cover?
With bases in both West Somerset and Exeter we are able to cover most of Somerset, Devon and West Dorset. We regularly run projects on Dartmoor and Exmoor and in the last couples of years have worked on projects from Bideford in North Devon east to Bridport in Dorset, and from Bristol south to Dartmoor and the South Devon coast.

Is my project too small?
We work on a diverse range of project sizes - from porches and bus shelters, to country estates and community centres and no project is too small to benefit from our Architectural input. However, if we think we are not appropriate for simpler types of project, we will discuss this with you and offer you some alternative suggestions.

What is the difference between Planning Permission and Building Regulations Approval?
Planning seeks to guide the way our towns, cities and countryside develop. This includes the use of land and buildings, the appearance of buildings, landscaping considerations, highway access and the impact that the development will have on the general environment. Building Regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health for people in or about those buildings. They also include requirements to ensure that fuel and power is conserved and facilities are provided for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings.

Do I need Planning Permission?
Basic advice can be found on the "Planning Portal" website, using their Interactive House and guidance. For more complex proposals we can advise further, please get in touch and have a chat with one of our architects.

Do I need Building Regulations approval?
Most building work must comply with Building Regulations and you, your architect or your builder, will need to refer to these before any work is started. The regulations are continually being updated, particularly with regard to energy efficiency requirements. We can advise you on the requirements and draw up the necessary documentation for submitting an application to your local Building Control department. Building Regulations can pose a restriction on construction proposed, but we are experienced in finding imaginative solutions to help you achieve what you are looking for.

Am I responsible for Health and Safety on my site?
All building work places certain levels of responsibility on clients, designers, and builders. Different types of responsibility are placed on you as a client, depending on whether the project is domestic or commercial in nature. We can advise you on your responsibilities.

What is the difference between an architect and a technician or draughtsman?
The title ‘architect’ is protected – which means that anyone calling themselves an architect must be fully qualified as such and registered with the ARB (Architects Registration Board). As the ARB explains, "ARB issues a code of conduct for architects and keeps it under review. The code is intended as guidance for architects in their professional lives, and we can take action against those who fall short of the code’s standards. By doing so, we ensure that the integrity of the profession is maintained, and members of the public can be confident that in hiring an architect for their building project, they are securing the services of a genuine professional." ‘Technician’ or ‘draughtsman’ are not protected terms and therefore anyone can assume this title. Similarly, anyone advertising ‘architectural’ services is unlikely to be qualified or registered as an architect.

Why use an architect rather than a technician?
There will be occasions when using a technician is sufficient and a more cost effective solution and we will review this with you if it is relevant to your brief. However, whilst a technician may be skilled at drawing your plans, he (or she) is unlikely to have the breadth of training that an architect will have. As a result you often receive a more limited service from a technician, putting the onus on you to organize the project and deal with problems arising. If they do not carry suitable Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII), which Architects must do, you will not have the same protection. You are unlikely to get the added value of high quality design and broader professional expertise that a qualified architect will give you.

Why use an RIBA Chartered Practice?
The Royal Institute of British Architects champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and its members. It provides the standards, training, support and recognition that puts members – in the UK and overseas – at the peak of their profession. Chartered Practices are governed by the RIBA’s code of practice ensuring that clients receive a service with a high standard of professionalism. RIBA Chartered Practices have to work to a common set of standards and their clients can therefore expect a high quality service.

What can LCA offer over and above other architectural practices?
With a wide range of experience amongst the team we are able to match the project with the project leader and design team members who have the relevant skills to serve your project. Whether you are looking for contemporary design or a more sensitive traditional renovation, or just looking for someone who will fight your corner to achieve planning consent, we have the team to do it.

I live abroad – can you help?
We have a wealth of experience in property in the South West, but also a wide geographical spread of clients, often remote from the property concerned, so yes we can help. We regularly work with clients who are looking to move back to the UK in the near future, or to have a holiday home in the South West. Once we have discussed and agreed your brief, we can communicate with you electronically using Skype or email, so it really does not matter where you are resident.