Carter Designs is an Architectural Practice that was established in South West London in 2013. Founded by Paul Carter, who has a wealth of experience having previously worked for Architectural Practices in Kent and London for 20 years. Paul has a diverse portfolio of completed projects including but not limited to Residential, Commercial, Healthcare and Leisure. We are now covering projects nationally and hope to expand upon our growing portfolio and success.
Carter Designs was formed with a focus to achieve high quality innovative design whilst meeting target deadlines and budgets. Our design team are passionate and dedicated to work with our clients closely to deliver a project from concept to completion.
Carter Designs is registered practice of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.
How to find the right architect/designer
Looking for the right architect or designer for your project can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. You may be looking to extend your house and thought the first person to contact is a builder or to google “house extension”. Or you may have a commercial project and are looking for and office fit out or shop refurbishment. We would advise you to seek references and review images of their work to see what you like. Look at interior images, if you see a lot of boxing out with downstands in the ceiling on every project then generally that’s bad co-ordination between the architect, structural engineer and builder. The best way for architects or designers to find work is by word of mouth and with that approach it’s vital for us as a business to ensure you are happy with the services we provide. We take a view that design is personal and therefore apply the same approach to our working relationship with you. We provide a professional pragmatic approach to all projects with fresh and innovative ideas that meet your budget requirements. We feel that meeting face to face from the initial outset at your project can really help you determine who is right for your project.
“A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines”
Frank Lloyd Wright
Why choose us
We are design focused, rather than just produce electronic drawings, we believe in designing both inside and out to ensure the property not only looks good but also works functionally. Having both a strong passion for design and excellent technical knowledge (over 20 years), we also review how the design will be constructed at an early stage not as an afterthought.
Cost control - we can assess the cost of your build vs the cost of return of your investment and advise what the long or short term benefits/risks are. We assess and monitor works completed/spending on a project to ensure your budget is managed.
One piece of feedback we hear time and time again is the quality of our drawing packages, they are second to none. Whether its clients, consultants or builders we are always told our drawings are very clear, accurate, concise, detailed and well presented.
No project is the same and therefore we treat every client and project individually, tailoring our services and the property to suit your needs.
Time - we are focused and committed to turning information around as quickly and as accurately as possible.
Fees – unlike other architects or design firms that quote a percentage of the build costs, this can give you cost uncertainty, we assess the time taken to produce the required level of information and quote on that basis, providing you with a more cost effective service.
What is our style?
One of the questions we are often asked by clients is what is our style? In short, we don’t have one! If you apply the same design across the board to all projects, then how do you know that design is right for that project? If an architect or designer is applying a “cookie cutter” approach to every project then chances are, you are not going to get the best results. We view each client that approaches us, presents a new opportunity to provide a unique outcome. We assess every client’s requirements individually and find the right style that suits both you and the property.
We have recently seen a rise in the number of clients coming to us after they have paid another architect or designer to produce planning drawings or building regulations which failed to meet expectations or worse unable to build from. Communication is key and we will always present new ideas and designs that we feel are right for the project, however, most importantly we listen to your feedback to ensure that you are happy with the end results rather than push a design that you really are not comfortable with. It is your property after all!
Please feel free to contact us for any potential project you have, as we have vast experience we have the knowledge to provide you with very effective service. We cover both Residential and Commercial aspects, no matter how small or big we have the capability to look after both you as client and your project. Some of the jobs we cover (but not limited to):-
- House extensions - rear extensions - side extensions
- Loft conversions
- Permitted development rights
- Interior Architecture - Design
- Contract Administration
- Prior notification
- Certificate of lawfulness
- Internal Refurbishment
- Listed Buildings
- Retail Units
- Light Industrial Units
Once we have arranged to meet with you at your potential development the first and most important detail is to establish the design brief. By meeting with you and assessing the site we can gain better understanding of your goals, design ideas and budgets etc. The more information we can gather at this stage can save a lot of time and money later. Once we have established the design brief, we will put together a competitive free no obligation quotation with an itemised list of services and costs we can provide. We will also advise if other consultants maybe required for the work, an estimation of costs to be aware of and any potential pitfalls that should be avoided.
Once appointed we will compile a set of preliminary sketch designs with illustrations and images. If required, to help you see your project we can put together 3d visuals (sample images below) that can either be just a single room or an overall view of your entire building. We can then meet with you again to discuss the proposals and ensure the designs meet the brief. We will also listen carefully and take your comments on board. Once the final design has been approved, we can submit to the Local Authority for Planning Permission (if required).
Building Regulations are a statutory requirement and a certificate of compliance is necessary for most building work carried out. With our vast technical experience, we produce detailed drawing information that will meet the current Building Regulation requirements. If you’re an experienced developer then you may only require a basic set of drawings, however, if you have little or no experience then we would advise a more elaborate working drawing package that will cover the finer details. The more detailed information you provide a builder with, then the more accurate your quote will be. A more in-depth drawing package will also benefit your contract which we will come on to……
We can approach builders of your choosing and manage the tender process for you, we will write to engage with each builder setting out the parameters of work, programme, the contract and payment terms. We recommend approaching at least 4-5 builders in this current climate as a lot of builders can be booked up for months at a time. We will then go through each quote and assess with you to help guide you in finding the right contractor for your project.
Once you have chosen your preferred builder, we can set them up on an appropriate contract. The Building Regulation or more elaborate Working Drawings provided to the builder will form the basis of the contract. The more information provided then the more contractual certainty you have that will remove any ambiguity from the works. Once on site we can monitor the works for you, we will:-
- Regularly attend site through-out the build
- Ensure the building work is co-ordinated with the drawings
- Carry out valuations of the work completed and recommend payment
- Deal with any unforeseen issues on site
- Compile a snagging list on completion
- Ensure final handover and certification is completed
Above all, we take the stress, anxiety and headaches out of the process for you providing you comfort in that you have an experienced professional dealing with your project. We go to great lengths, often without client’s knowledge, dealing with situations that may arise from planning, party wall, client/contractor’s variations, building issues etc. From the 1st meeting we are assessing how we can get the best out of your project from concept through to completion.