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Why Choose JHD Architects?

We are established local architects who deliver a comprehensive architectural service with a difference. We design your project and navigate the complex planning process on your behalf, using our long experience and knowledge of the planning system to secure approvals. Our design solutions are not just innovative and inspirational, but they also consider the project costs. We understand the important balance between cost and end value in every project.

Nearly all of our work deals with difficult planning situations such as listed buildings, AONB, green belt, conservation areas and edge-of-village developments. Our team includes specialist consultants in the fields of structure, heritage, ecology, and trees, providing the comprehensive expertise needed for a successful planning application.

To bring your dream design to life, we use cutting-edge 3D software that enhances the design process and provides a clear visual representation of the finished building.

We take pride in the lasting relationships we build with our clients, many of whom return to us for subsequent projects, a testament to our commitment to client satisfaction.


Free Video Assessment

To get an initial indication about whether your ideas will work, contact us for your free video assessment

‘Design Magic’ from your friendly local architects

We offer a full service from concept to handover. The key stages are:

  • How Feasible Is My Project?

  • Concept design

  • Feasibility studies

  • Listed building appraisals

  • Detailed design and planning applications

  • Construction drawings and specification

  • Competitive tendering

  • Contract preparation

  • Site visits, cost control and advice about payments to the builder

How We Work

Our work follows a tried and tested sequence that starts with high-level strategic design work and adds more and more detail as the project progresses.

Stage 1 - Brief

  • What are your needs and aspirations?

  • How much does it make sense to spend?

  • What are your time constraints?

  • What limitations might planning policy impose?

Stage 2 - Sketch Design and Feasibility

We use your brief to explore possible design approaches. We consider where on the site to build, the best architectural style and the landscape design. We also review the planning policy requirements that need to be met. This stage is like a master plan that can include longer term ideas that you may not yet be ready to implement, but that could have an impact on shorter term design decisions.

We sketch out the various design options that respond to your brief and work out a budget for each.

We also make a planning pre-application if that will be useful

Stage 3 - Detailed Design

Having agreed the design approach and budget with you in stage 2, we now design in more detail

We create a 3D design model (see the benefits of working in 3D) and suggest a palette of external materials and discuss energy saving options.

We also prepare detailed design drawings that explain the scheme not just to you but also to the planning officer. We make the planning application and track its progress and where possible talk to the planning officer to see if there are any changes needed  to help obtain planning consent.

Stage 4 - Construction Documentation 

We start by updating the 3D model to add details of the construction, finishes, heating, electrical and landscape work to create a fully coordinated set of construction drawings and specification. We pride ourselves on the thoroughness of our documentation and the benefit to you is that the details of what the builder needs to do are very clear and that means the competitive quotes are as accurate as possible, reducing the potential for variations and delays on site.

We use the construction documents to obtain competitive quotes from builders or negotiate a price with a preferred builder.

Finally we Clear the pre-construction planning conditions and obtain building regulation full plans approval.

Stage 5 - Construction

The first step is to prepare a contract between you and the builder for the building work that clearly describes; what work you want done, the specification standard, what the agreed cost is and how long it will take to complete.

Once the builder starts we hold monthly site meetings to review progress and to agree a fair valuation of the work completed with the builder.

In between the main site meetings we deal with day to day contractors queries by phone or email and make additional site visits to resolve any unexpected problems.

Other Consultants and Specialists

Most projects require other consultants and specialists in addition to our services and we manage these on your behalf as part of our work. What you might need changes from project to project but the following list gives you some idea:

  • Detailed dimensional survey of the building(s) (floor plans and elevations)

  • Listed building heritage asset survey especially if the design requires historic fabric removal or demolition

  • An ecology survey especially if it's a rural site that may contain important habitats

  • A bat survey if there are unoccupied buildings will be re-used

  • An arboricultural  assessment of any trees might be affected by development

  • Flood risk assessment if you are in a flood risk area

  • You will also need to appoint a  structural engineer to design the foundations, structural elements and the overall stability of the building

  • We often use a quantity surveyor to advise on detailed costs to get a better idea of these at design stage

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