Frequently Asked Questions


Why would I use Buildify?

We recommend using our services if you’re considering any major home project, such as an extension, conversion, significant renovation, or new build.

Working with an architectural service has a number of benefits.

Better design
Better utilisation of space
Increased chance of planning approval
More protection from bad practices

Just to mention a few!
We are, after all, more than an architectural firm. Everything you need to get your ideas ready for the construction site is all in one place with our all-in-one platform. This includes surveying, construction laws, finance, and introductions to vetted local professionals, in addition to design and planning. If this is your first time working on a project, you may sit back and relax while we guide you through it.

How much does an architect cost in the UK?

The cost of an architect varies. When it comes to traditional architecture practices, the industry typically recommends you work out the cost of your architect based on a percentage of your total budget.

A traditional practise will typically charge between 5% and 10% of the total fee.

Let’s assume you’re planning a traditional rear addition in London, and the total cost is projected to be roughly £75,000 in total. If you’re working with a typical firm, your architect will cost between £3750 and £7500.

Can I design my own house without an architect?

There is no legal obligation that you hire an architect. However, this does not rule out the possibility of hiring one. An architect can help you get the most out of any significant project, such as an extension, extensive refurbishment, or new build, by ensuring it satisfies all legal requirements, advising on finances and contractors, and much more.

Should I hire an architect or engineer?

Architects and structural engineers are not the same thing. Unlike architects, who can provide a wide range of services, structural engineers prefer to focus on just a few important issues, such as making your house stand on its own. Structural engineers are primarily required if you are undertaking any project that may have an impact on the structure of your property. Whether it’s a rear extension, a dormer loft conversion, or even the removal of a chimney, we can help. Your structural engineer will determine the weight of your planned construction and define important parts such as steel beams during the building regulations stage.

In contrast, an architect can cover…

Design and architectural drawings
3D models
Planning submission
Building regulations
Contractor recommendations
Site visits

How do I find a good architect?

Finding an architect takes minutes, but finding a GOOD architect takes time. When picking an architect, we always recommend meeting with their team for a consultation. You should then review their portfolio to determine if their work meets your needs, as well as confirm if they have previous experience working with your local government.
Many homeowners are drawn in by prestigious prizes, but unless you have the ambition (and budget) for innovative architectural design, you would be better off hiring an architect who mostly works with regular people.

Does an architect have to be RIBA registered?

An architect does not have to be a RIBA registered architect to design a home, and being one does not always guarantee the greatest outcomes.
We’re fortunate to have RIBA architects on board at Buildify, but we also have a diverse group of other architects with a track record of building wonderful daily homes. Since 2010, we’ve assisted over 3000 homes around the country, and it’s our expertise, not a certificate, that distinguishes us as a great service.

Is it better to hire a contractor or a builder?

It is unquestionably preferable to employ the general contractor, who will take care of the headaches of a project and ensure that it is completed correctly, and the cost difference for this hassle-free service is comparable to getting a quote from a direct builder.

What do building contractors do?

A general contractor is in charge of the entire building project, whatever it is. Sub-contractors known as’principal Builders’ operate beneath a Building Contractor to complete the task that the main contractor has authorised. The employment of proper tools and machinery, such as scaffolding and cranes, is also the responsibility of building contractors.

What is the difference between a Tier 1 contractor and Tier 2?

Tier 1 – Designers and builders who have a primary contract with the customer who owns the property or land on which the project will be built.
Tier 2 – Sub-contractors, such as electricians, bricklayers, plasterers, and carpenters, who will specialise in their particular trades.

What qualifications do builders need?

Although it is not a must, companies will search for a solid education, which will often include math and English, prior construction experience, and experience with tools and heavy gear. A city and Guilds NVQ is also available, which most construction companies consider necessary.

What is the difference between Builders and Contractors?

The key distinction is that contractors hold the principal project contracts with the client, whereas the Builder instructs his subcontractors on how and when to do the task.

What is required to become a general Contractor?

To become a general contractor, you should have at least GCSEs, although a bachelor’s degree is increasingly required. Because a city & Guilds qualification is equivalent to an A-level or O-level, it is quite popular in today’s environment.

Do Contractors supply building permission?

Unfortunately, they do not, and you must ensure that your paperwork is in place before contacting them; nonetheless, the specific service you need is Design and Build or Architecture.

Do you have deposit or sign fee?

We have a deposit that is non-refundable after 14 working days. Within 14 days after signing, you are eligible for a full refund, excluding any work completed by the company or any of its partners in the interim.

How much is your architecture sign fee?

Our design phase sign fee is £300 + VAT, and it must be paid before the architecture services can begin.

How much is your construction fee?

The charge for our construction phase sign is £1000 plus VAT, and it is paid before the building services begin.

Is loft conversion worth it?

Loft conversions are often divided into two categories. Either the house begs to be converted and will be simple to undertake, or it will be a difficult project to complete due to unusual floor and stair layouts and limited headroom.
Take into account the following:
Is the ground floor open plan? (the fire regulations can cause your loft extension to be expancive in order to meet fire regulation criteria, it is worth talking to building control before architects are employed)

Consider what you’d like to use the extra space for. The majority of loft conversions are utilised as bedrooms, with a new ensuite shower room or WC installed in many cases.

Small offices, games rooms, and home cinemas can all be accommodated in lofts.

However, due to natural curiosity of roof windows, youngsters or older persons who have difficulty climbing steep steps may not be acceptable to hang out in the loft by themselves.

Home gyms should not be located in the loft; instead, they should be located on the ground level or in garage conversions, where the majority of heavy and noisy activities should take place.

Consider putting a 3-meter out extension on the back.

Extensions of up to 3 metres are permitted; however, you must still complete the necessary designs and have building control involved, as well as having your party wall notifications in place.

What is the minimum headroom for a loft conversion?” I’m thinking of converting my loft.

While there are no height restrictions, a minimum of 2.3 metres from the top of the ceiling joists to the ridge beam of your roof is required, as well as 2 metres above the flight of stairs.

Will I be able to recover my investment in a loft conversion?

Leading mortgage lenders frequently cite loft conversions as the most cost-effective approach to boost house value. Residential property is frequently described by estate agents in terms of the number of additional bedrooms.

Is loft conversion neighbourly?

It’s a good idea to think about the impact your anticipated construction work will have on your neighbours early on. Even if the Loft Conversion itself isn’t a problem, the noise, mess, and deliveries of construction materials at all hours of the day will undoubtedly be. Involving neighbours in your plans early on not only helps them prepare for future problems, but it also helps sweeten things up a little in case future cooperation is required.

What are the six most important loft conversion questions?

Is there sufficient headroom?
Is it a flat roof or a pitched roof?
Is there any load-bearing capacity in the inside walls?
Where will the new stairwell be located?
Is there a reception area?
Is it necessary to relocate any tanks or pipes?

What exactly is the purpose of my house extension?

House extensions are a fantastic way to enhance the value of your current home.
Consider the following scenario:
More space: As the end-of-year fight of cooking Christmas feasts approaches, many households will inevitably realise that their kitchen is simply too small. However, our lifestyles change as infants arrive, seniors want a granny annexe, or we simply require more room.

Greater Comfort: Why not add extra room to your home? Whether you want to raise the value of your home or simply have your piano near the new bi-fold doors, building a home extension is less expensive than moving in today’s economy.

The most popular reasons for extending a home are to provide more space in the kitchen or to install a new bathroom.

Will my house extension project be compensated?

Don’t always assume that adding a home extension will make you a lot of money. Your home extension’s resale value could be severely harmed if it was improperly designed and constructed. There is a procedure that must be followed in its entirety. Most of the time, you will raise the value of your home, but this is dependent on the economy, demand, and popularity at the moment.

Is my home extension’s next-door neighbour friendly?

When it comes to house extensions, your neighbours are your most valuable resource. It will pay off in the end if you keep your neighbours informed from the beginning and listen to their worries.

Is it possible for me to afford a house extension?

There are numerous aspects that can influence the outcome of your project. structural changes, foundation depth, or type of finishing products utilised. Call or email us for a consultation.

How long does a Loft Conversion take to complete?

Depending on the size and specifications, a loft conversion might take anywhere from 4 to 9 weeks to complete.

Is it possible to convert all lofts?

No, some lofts would be too small or lack sufficient height. If possible, we will advise you during your session.

Is it necessary for me to have building plans for my loft conversion?

Yes. If you want to convert your space into livable space, you’ll need to hire an expert to make sure it meets building codes.

Is my loft conversion subject to planning permission?

If you own a flat or live in a conservation area, you’ll almost certainly need planning permission. If this does not apply to you, your local council can issue a ‘Certificate of Lawfulness’ (COL). During your consultation, we will inform you about this.

Do you offer renovations?

Yes, we also perform interior improvements.

I only require construction; are you able to provide this service?

Yes, we can exclusively handle the building phase. Please send your plans to

How do I arrange a quote?

A quote can be arranged by contacting us using one of the following methods:
E-mail –
Phone – 020 4525 1247
Contact Form – Contact Us
This will consist of an informational discussion of your establishment and your timeframes. We will then arrange for a mutually convenient time for a visit, in which we will further discuss your requirements.

Is there a charge for a quote?

No. An initial estimate is provided at no cost. We’ll collect a full explanation of your requirements, generate an estimate based on the visit/discussion, and walk you through all of the options.

What areas do you cover?

We cover all areas of London. If your stated areas are not specified, you can contact us to see if your area is covered.

How quick will work start?

Our goal is to begin the project within two weeks of contract signing. The majority of projects can be begun in as little as seven days. If the project requires ‘planning permission,’ we add a week or two to the timeline because a government response on whether or not they approve can take up to two weeks.

Would my job be too small?

We take on a wide variety of projects because our builders like a challenge and take great pride in their work. We routinely take on projects ranging from loft conversions to house extensions, so get in touch with our team today and let us assist you with your next project.

How do I benefit from using you?

Because we are a self-contained business, we are not reliant on a single vendor. This is advantageous to you because you may choose from a wide variety of styles at a reasonable price. Our interior designers may also provide guidance and recommendations on furnishings, design styles, and layouts.

How do I know I will get an interior designer that can design to a style I like?

Our interior designer works with you to identify the best design solutions for your needs, collaborating with you every step of the way. They can provide feedback and guidance on certain areas of the design if you want, but their primary function is to support and educate you as you design your new home.

Can I incorporate my own style into the design?

Our designers work with a variety of distinct styles that we might suggest to the client. The customer, on the other hand, can collaborate with the designers to develop their own own style. We are delighted to act as a consultant for you, allowing you to employ us for the complete process or just for consulting and assistance while you make your own decisions.

How long doest it take to build a Kitchen extension?

Building extensions in London typically take 15 weeks to complete, but this relies on a number of factors, the most important of which is the size of the building as well as the project specifications — a large build can often take longer. Kitchens, dining, ensuite bathrooms, and even underfloor heating have all been part of the projects. While these projects were completed in a matter of months, it is impossible to predict how long your extension will take. Our project manager will oversee the construction process from start to finish, and you will be notified immediately if any modifications to the deadline arise.

What is Party Wall?

The Party Wall Act is a piece of legislation that serves to ensure that one’s construction does not negatively impact the property of a neighbour. If you’re planning a home addition, you may need to give your neighbours notice before proceeding.

What are Building Regulations?

When you begin the construction process, you must choose a Building Control Officer to oversee the project. They’re there to make sure the job is completed safely and at a high standard. If your Building Control Officer has any issues during the construction process, our design team will be available to address them and answer any more questions.

Can I still live in the house during the build?

While some of our clients opt to leave their homes while the work is being done, it is more than possible to stay. If you wish, we may even build a temporary kitchen for you until your new kitchen extension is completed.
Keep in mind that if your home doesn’t have rear access, we’ll have to bring everything in through the front door. If this is the case, we will always ensure that the corridor and any floor surfaces are adequately protected.

Can I visit a completed project?

Definitely! We always urge all of our potential clients, both design and construction, to come see our completed projects up close and personal. This is a superb method to see our excellent craftsmanship while also providing design inspiration and assisting you in visualising layout alternatives. During the tour, members of our Buildify Teams will be on hand to answer any questions.

How do I arrange Building Control?

If you decide to construct with us, our Projects team will walk you through the steps involved in getting your plans passed Building Control. We can take care of everything for you, or you can do it yourself if you want.

What’s your guarantee period?

All structural work on all of our Loft Conversions and House Extensions is covered by a 10-year guarantee.

How much does a loft conversion cost?

Most loft conversions cost between £21K and £75K, depending on the size and style, but it all depends on the precise plan and work necessary. Loft conversions come in a variety of forms and sizes, and Buildify has installed them all across London, so we are more than equipped to provide you with an exact quotation based on your vision to determine the cost of a loft conversion. Velux loft conversions, dormer loft conversions, and hip to gable conversions are all various types of loft conversions with different costs.

What is the difference between permitted development and planning permission?

With planning permission, you’re asking the council if your loft conversion’s proposed scheme of works is suitable. It is subject to their and/or your neighbours’ rejection, and it must adhere to the local development plan. With approved development rights, you’re just asking the council to confirm that your plan meets the conditions for permitted development. If the council agrees, they will offer you a Lawful Development Certificate. You are technically not obliged to have the Lawful Development Certificate in place before work begins, and there is no law requiring you to do so.

Clients who desire it will be allowed to begin their loft conversion without having to wait for the Lawful Development Certificate, saving time. Before presuming that your loft conversion meets approved development rights, you should get professional assistance.

What are the different types of loft conversions?

Skylight or (velux), rear dormer, L-section Rear Dormer (double dormer), Mansard, L-section Mansard (double Mansard), Hip-to-Gable and Hip-to-Gable Rear Dormer are all examples of loft conversions. For further information, see our planning section and types of loft conversions article. Our planning section also discusses the best type of loft conversion for various types of homes, such as terraced, 1930’s semi-detached, Victorian, and so on. If you’re still not sure, schedule a free site survey with a member of the Simply Loft team to receive a loft conversion quote.

Do you build extensions?

Yes, you can build an extension in conjunction with your loft conversion or separately. O our company’s professional extension division. For some of our clients, we are frequently asked to construct loft conversions and extensions at the same time. Buildify operates all throughout London, from North London to South London, the West Midlands, and everywhere in between, and specialises in kitchen expansions, rear and side return extensions, as well as general refurbishment.

Do you build basement conversions?

Yes, you can build an extension in conjunction with your loft conversion or separately. For some of our clients, we are Yes. Buildify can convert basements in buildings all throughout London and the Greater London area. We’ve been asked to complete loft conversions and extensions alongside basement conversions.

How long will it take for me to obtain my quotation after I’ve had a site survey?

After a Buildify surveyor has visited your home and conducted a site survey, you will receive a full quotation within 7 working days (sometimes sooner). If you have not received your quotation within this time frame, please check your trash email folder (since our quotations can sometimes end up there by mistake!) or phone 020 4525 1247 to speak with a member of our team.

Remember that Buildify values your views and comments, so if you’d want to talk about the quote or add extras to your design, please contact one of our helpful advisors. Buildify will strive to meet your needs whether you live in Islington, Highgate, Isleworth, or Notting Hill and want a kitchen extension in London or Greater London, one of our side return extensions, or any other home improvement. Our prices are very competitive, but don’t forget that we also offer a price match comparison service, so if you discover a comparable firm’s extension quotation cheaper, contact our sales team to see if we can price match.

What types of extensions can I build on my property?

Extensions can be added to your home in a variety of ways, including rear kitchen expansions, side return extensions, and even double storey extensions. Extensions in London and the West Midlands are a fantastic opportunity to increase the size of your home and completely remodel it. Buildify has completed additions throughout London and the West Midlands, and no task is too big or small for us to complete professionally. You’ve always wanted an ensuite bathroom, but couldn’t afford it. Do you wish you had more kitchen room to invite visitors or dine with your family?

How much does a house extension cost?

The cost of a London house extension varies greatly based on your specifications and what you intend to do with the space. Some people demand a tiny bedroom with an ensuite, while others require a brand-new kitchen with a utility room or more living space, and still others require double-story expansions. Depending on the sort of roof, windows, and doors you want installed, the style of your extension will also effect the cost.

How can I add value to my home?

If you’re wanting to increase the value of your London house, it’s a good idea to speak with a local estate agent to see where you stand. After that, you can engage with our team to identify your project possibilities and get a sense of what would be your best bet for maximising your return on investment.

Will you pay me a visit?

Our staff will come to your home to conduct a measured survey at the start of your project. We generate a digital twin of your property using commercial-grade lasers rather than old hand methods. This can then be incorporated into your existing designs and referred to by our team throughout the process, obviating the need for additional visits.

How much does an architect charge to design an extension?

Although each project is unique, there are a few elements that will influence the cost of your London extension.
What section of your house would you like to expand?
Type of property you have
Types of rooms you want to add or expand
You may get a quote in minutes to find out how much your possible extension will cost. Otherwise, we recommend scheduling a consultation with your potential architect for customised pricing.

What happens if my planning application is refused?

The council will offer you with an explanation in 99 percent of cases when you are refused. We’ll look into the issues identified and offer suggestions for how to meet the council’s demands.
We will then resubmit your application and notify you if any additional fees are incurred.
It is not uncommon for planning approval applications to be refused, but with thorough study and the right drawings and elevations, the chances of this happening can be reduced.

Can an estate agent tell me how much my house will be worth after the extension?

Yes. Most estate agents can offer you an estimate of what your property might be worth once the project is finished, based on recent sales of’similar’ properties in the area.
They will, however, be unable to offer you with an accurate estimate of the cost of your project, as well as information on the property’s future development potential or if your ideas are likely to be approved.

What information must I submit in order for you to begin working on my extension?

We’ll lead you through our simple process as soon as you contact us.
We’ll need the following information from you:
Your name, contact information, and the address of the property in question are all required.
Basic property information, including your preferred style, estimated budget, and a brief description of your goals
Your timeliness expectations
Floor plans, inspiration, or current images of the property can all be uploaded (all optional)
Before we start drawing, we’ll always let you know if we need more information.

Is it possible for you to obtain planning permission for my project?

Yes. As your agent, we will gather all of the essential information and drawings for your project and submit your application to your local council. You will be responsible for the fee, which you must pay directly to your local government.
We will communicate with the council on your behalf regarding any questions or requests they may have.

Are you able to complete plans for new construction?

Yes, we can! To begin your project, simply schedule a free consultation with our staff.

Can you find all of the materials we need and manage the job for us?

Yes. We source all building supplies, manage all staff, and ensure that the project is completed to the highest standard in the vast majority of our tasks. Our experience has shown that when consumers try to handle many tradesmen and source materials on their own, the final cost of the project generally rises. Contracting a single business to perform your job from start to finish will provide you with a far better experience.

Who is in charge of the projects?

On site, the project is managed by the foreman of the assigned builders team. Throughout the procedure, our office’s personal service support manager will be your point of contact.

Do I have to supply any tools?

No, our personnel are well equipped, and we will supply everything needed to do the task.

Do I have to supply any materials?

You have the choice of being as involved as you desire. Everything is up to you, from the layout and design of your kitchen to the furnishings and tiles in your bathroom, from the interior finish materials to the colour of your light switches. You can also rely on our office consultancy service for project completion recommendations based on style and budget.

Is it possible to make adjustments once the project starts?

Although we want to make as many decisions as possible ahead of time or at the start of the project, we are here to assist you in realising your ambitions and are flexible. During the project, you can add extra work or adjust the scope of work. Your quote will be amended as soon as possible, and the tasks will be thoroughly reviewed before being carried out.

What if I am dissatisfied with the service?

Walk-throughs with the builder happen frequently during the construction period. We can also arrange meetings on-site. You and the on-site project manager will also perform a full walk-through of the quote and the property once the job is completed. This allows us to search for and identify any’snags’ that may be present. This “snags list” is scheduled and finished to ensure that you are entirely satisfied with our service.

Are you a member of the Gas Safe Register?

Yes. A Gas Safe Engineer completes all gas-related work.

Are you licenced or registered electricians?

Yes. When electrical work is required that is notifiable and/or must meet the requirements of Part P of the Building Regulations, we will send an electrician registered with one of the Government-approved scheme providers or an electrical installer who has appointed a registered third party certifier to complete the required inspection and testing.

Is it necessary for me to be present?

In general, we propose that you visit the job site at the start to talk over the project and again at the conclusion to evaluate the finished product. Our teams can operate independently once all the specifics are smoothed out, and we don’t expect you to be involved in the project every day. For the duration of larger-scale projects, many of our clients take vacations or locate alternate lodging.

How do you plan to keep my home as quiet as possible during the renovation, extension, or conversion?

We recognise that, while only temporary, house extension, loft conversion, refurbishment, and renovation projects are a major disruption in our clients’ life. Buildify attempts to minimise interruption and stress by isolating our work area as much as possible to keep dirt, dust, noise, and worker traffic out of your living environment. At the end of each project, we also clean up our work spaces.