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About

APL Architecture offers high quality drawings and architectural support for a wide range of projects, including residential and domestic extensions of all sizes. We pride ourselves in delivering practical and affordable construction solutions that perfectly fit our clients’ briefs.

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Reviews (2)

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Iain McKeith

14 January 2018

APL architecture helped us realise the potential in our home by designing us a spacious loft conversion, which now feels more like an existing second floor. They had an appreciation of keeping the look and feel of our period property, and I love the stair case design which looks identical to the existing, blending in seamlessly. APL also offered new ideas throughout the project as they were happy to come on site. They spotted that the chimney stack was in good condition, so we ended up making a feature of it.

They also listened to our requirements, using the space for music rehearsal APL designed sound proofing which retained valuable headspace but kept the rest of the house quiet!

Will definitely use APL for our next project!
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Hollie Saxon

17 December 2017

APL Architecture provide a first class service. Personable and friendly I felt at ease from the start.

They listened to my ideas and suggested options that I hadn’t even considered. The style of my traditional Victorian property is very important to me, and they made the design blend effortlessly in to the existing house whilst giving it a modern and contemporary feel.

I’ve used APL twice now, and my expectations have been exceeded on both occasions.

They’re based locally and don’t feel like a faceless office.

I considered design and build services, but really valued the independent view point and rigour that APL brought. They encouraged me to challenge builders, pushing for the best rather than what’s easiest!

Thank you!
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Q&A

In our experience almost all garages are suitable for conversion. However, the first thing to consider, if this is what you are planning, is how you might access it from the existing property.

Some older properties only allow access to the garage from the outside, meaning you couldn’t create a new internal door, or knock the wall through to create an open plan space.

Where to position a new opening from your dwelling into the garage, and how easy it is to achieve, is the very first design challenge for this kind of project. But that’s what we’re here for!

By visiting the property and discussing the kind of space you want to create, we can help you find the most logical, user-friendly and cost-effective solution, so you can be sure you’re moving in the right direction.

The first thing we would need to do is make a drawing of your existing property layout, allowing for both the ground floor and any upper floors – generally referred to as ‘elevations’.

This provides the basis for creating your ‘working drawings’. After talking everything through and scribbling your ideas onto the existing layout, we will generate a highly detailed drawing with precise measurements and plans for things like new drainage.

Once these have been agreed we can turn them into ‘construction drawings’, which your builder will use to actually do the work.

Generally most garages have an existing external door, which needs to be removed. A small foundation will be placed at this old threshold to provide a solid base for a low level wall and a window (the exact size and style of this window is up to you).

Garage floors are often 150mm lower than the rest of the ground floor, so it is best practice to insulate the existing garage floor and add a new concrete floor over the top. This helps make sure the new space will be nice and warm, whilst bringing the floor up to the same level so there are no unnecessary steps. How the new internal layout is then finished and divided will be based entirely on your vision for the space. This is such a personal thing we would always spend time discussing at length how to best find a practical, pleasing layout that works for you.

Unfortunately, not all loft spaces are suitable for conversion. The two main factors that generally affect whether it is possible are:

1. Whether it is possible to add in a full flight of stairs, using the existing landing space, and;
2. How much head height is available in the loft space.

We can tell quite quickly if it will work or not by taking some measurements during our initial site visit, which we do free of charge. If the shape of the property means a loft conversion could be tricky or impossible, we can suggest other options that might be more suitable for making the most of the current space.

The first challenge for a loft conversion are the stairs. So we always start by chatting through where they might sit, taking into account steepness, safety and how much space has to be sacrificed from the existing layout.

Following this, projects can go in a number of different directions, depending how much of the existing structure needs to change. Sometimes the roof has to be altered to include a dormer (or dormers), at other times the space is already sufficiently large to install roof lights for light and ventilation. Once the structural implications have been established, thinking through the actual layout of the space is very much based on the individual client’s vision. Just as with garage conversions, we would listen to your brief in terms of usage, aesthetic and budget to find the perfect solution.

All architects love making things! Whilst most of my job involves discussing details of a project and creating and refining drawings, the real joy comes from seeing the finished thing come to life. Nothing beats visiting a home once the builders and decorators have left to see the new space in all its glory, (and the clients enjoying it, of course).

Before setting up APL I worked at several large and medium architectural practices, where we primarily competed for large scale commercial projects. Over time I found that I far preferred working on smaller projects, where I had direct involvement from inception to completion, and where I could collaborate closely with clients in bringing their ideas to life.

After discovering there was far more satisfaction to be had improving the working or living environments for small companies and families, I decided to establish my own practice and have enjoyed many successful projects since.

We would encourage anyone embarking on a construction project to choose the architect that is right for them. Your architect needs to see you through a highly technical and expensive process, interpreting your ideas accurately and guiding you when appropriate. So it’s essential that you trust them, and it helps if you like them too!

We have a relaxed, professional and down-to-earth approach, delivering a very high level of care and attention to understanding our clients’ needs and objectives, and to the drawings we create on their behalf. We try to be as transparent as possible, and that includes assistance with the tendering process which can be daunting for some clients. We also offer all possible levels of reassurance to clients in terms of qualifications and Professional Indemnity cover.

So if you want an architect who delivers these qualities, and who goes above and beyond to make the process enjoyable and stress-free, then there’s a good chance we’re the perfect architect for you.

Before making any final decisions, though, we recommend speaking to everyone on the shortlist to get a better idea of how they work and communicate, and to look at the drawings they produce too. All architects produce drawings, but not everyone delivers them to the same standard. We’re very proud to provide what we consider to be one of the highest standards of service and drawings available, and we think that comes across from the first point of contact.

It’s one of the reasons we are glad to welcome so much business from repeat clients and recommendations.