F requently A sked Q uestions
Straightforward answers to some of the most common questions we hear
1. Can I trust you? Are you qualified?
We’ve got qualifications, expertise and a track record of happy customers. We have ARB and RIBA registered architects working at Udex, along with architectural technologists, interior designers and surveyors, so your project is in safe hands. You can also look up the name of our head of design and strategy, Javier Boza on the RIBA website. Although we’re online, we’re not robots, and you’ll be speaking with us directly from the moment you make an enquiry. We also offer an onsite measured survey/consultation service, if this is preferred. Collectively we've completed over 50 residential extensions and renovations across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. You can learn more about our projects here. https://udex.co.uk/project/
2. Why would I use UDEX?
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 company has a number of benefits. 1. Better design based on related experience and education 2. Better utilisation of space 3. Increased chance of planning approval 4. More protection from bad practices 5. Realistic live visualisation of your flat before construction 6. Option to use Artificial Intelligence for complex design ideas We’re more than just an architectural service. Our all-in-one platform brings together everything you need to get your ideas ready for the construction site. Alongside design and planning, this includes surveying, building regulations, financing, and introductions to vetted local professionals. Meaning, if this is your first time attempting a project, you can sit back and relax as you oversee the process of your project on our dashboard. Our Dashboard will make sure you stay up to date with each new development, while also allowing you to reach our team with any questions you might have. You can review documents, submit revision notes, assess local Connect recommendations, and even explore your financing options. Ultimately, thanks to UDEX, there’s never been an easier way to grow your home.
3. 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. On average, a traditional practice will charge between 5% - 10%. For example, let’s say you’re building a classic rear extension in London and it’s expected your project will cost around £75,000 overall. If you’re using a traditional practice, you’ll need to budget between £3750 and £7500 for your architect. If your architect isn’t using a percentage model, then they might be charging you by the hour. On average, this can be anywhere between £75 - £200 per hour. How many hours your project will need will depend on both the size and complexity. Want to know the cost of UDEX’s architectural services? Try our quick quote tool.
4. Why don't I just use a local architect?
There are many ways in which UDEX stands out from the crowd, especially when compared to your standard local architect. Here are just some of the ways we’re a cut above the rest… Communication One of the things we hear most from prospective customers is 'if I go with a local architect, they’ll be there for me more. And it’s true, your local architect will come to your house and meet over tea in your kitchen. But what comes after that? There will be missed calls, weeks in between your next meeting, and when a new customer pops up, their attention can quickly become divided. Our online Dashboard allows our customers to communicate with their architect whenever they need us - thanks to our messaging feature. Not only that, we’re able to skip delayed meetings and share results in record time by walking customers through their projects with our screen-share feature. Though we are able to meet our customers face to face, our online platform means those customers who want a faster service can start seeing results the moment they click ‘confirm’. Design Discipline We have reached a new era in Architecture. We offer a unique design experience via Artificial Intelligence for complex designs. In this route, designs get evolved through our unique algorithmic process; resulting in generating solutions that are adaptable to their environment and needs.
5. Can I design my own house without an architect?
There’s no legal requirement to have an architect by your side. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seriously consider hiring one. For any major project, such as extension, extensive renovation, or new build, an architect can help you get the most out of your project, ensure it meets all legal requirements, advise on budgets and contractors, plus much more. Learn more about the benefits of architects by booking a FREE consultation in our dashboard.
6. Should I hire an architect or engineer?
Structural engineers are a different kettle of fish to architects. Where architects can cover a wide range of services, structural engineers tend to specialise in only a few key areas - namely, making your house stand up. Structural engineers are mainly needed if you’re doing anything that might affect the structure of your home. Be this a rear extension, dormer loft conversion, or even removing a chimney. Typically during the building regulations stage, your structural engineer will calculate the weight of your proposed structure, and specify key elements such as steel beams. In contrast, an architect can cover... Design and architectural drawings 3D models Planning submission Building regulations Contractor recommendations Site visits Learn more: “Do I need an architect or structural engineer?”
7. How do I find a good architect?
Finding an architect can be done in minutes but finding a GOOD architect can take work. When considering any architect, we always recommend you take the time to have a consultation with their team. You should then take a look at their portfolio and see if their work matches your requirements, as well as check to make sure they have experience of working with your local authority. A lot of homeowners get lured in by fancy awards, but unless you have the desire (and budget) for conceptual architectural design, you might be happier with an architect who works predominantly with everyday homeowners. And, of course, you should always pay close attention to customer reviews.
8. Does an architect have to be RIBA registered?
In order to design a home, an architect doesn’t necessarily need to be a RIBA registered architect and it doesn’t always guarantee the best results. At UDEX, we're lucky to have RIBA architects and RIBA graduated architectural assistants on board, but we also have other designers from different backgrounds who have a proven track record delivering great everyday homes. Since 2019, we’ve helped over 50 homeowners nationwide and it is this experience, not a certificate, that makes us a fantastic service. Learn more about our architects and designers by booking a FREE consultation.
9. Are architects worth the money?
Put simply: yes! Architects are masters of their craft and can bring plenty of benefits to the home renovation process. By bringing one on board you will enjoy… A more beautiful and functional space. Architects can help ensure you maximise your space and customise the layout to the unique way your family lives, rather than just following the trends. Increased planning success. Architects come with years of experience, not only in design but planning. Chances are they’ll have dealt with your local authority in the past, and know how to research your area. Meaning you’re far more likely to secure planning success with an architect, than without. Budget management. At UDEX, our architects and designers make sure you have a clear view of not only our charges, but of future professionals, you’ll have to contract. We’ll advise on how much you’ll need for what, and when you’ll likely be parting with it. Not only that, but our UDEX Finance team can also help you explore your funding options and find the right route for your home.
10. Can UDEX produce a variety of options for my extension?
Yes! The majority of our clients want to see the simplest, quickest and most cost effective solution for creating more space in their chosen area of their home. However, we are also able to produce what we refer to as the 'art of the possible'; taking you from simple to grand and everything in between. Just mention that you would like us to think boldly about your space when you discuss your extension during your initial consultation.
11. What information do I need to provide for you to start work on my extension?
As soon as you sign up to UDEX we will walk you through our easy-to-follow process. We’ll ask you for: Your name, contact details and the address of the property in question Basic information about the property Your preferred style estimated budget and a brief description of what you are looking to achieve Your expectations on timings Uploads of floor plans, inspiration or existing photos of the property (all optional) We will always let you know if we require further information before we start drawing.
12. How much are construction costs?
This depends on the complexity of the build, materials used and geographic location. Our cost calculator will give you an approximation of construction costs based on national averages. Planning drawings will be able to provide a better estimate but ultimately, it won't be until your technical details are established during the building regulations stage that an accurate quote can be reached.
13. Who else will be involved if I decide to proceed with a planning application and construction?
Our clients are often surprised at the number of people involved in even the most basic building project. That’s why we accompany your plans with a detailed report outlining who you should expect to consult during every stage of your build. Depending on your project, you might need to work with any of the following: - An Architect - A Structural Engineer - Your local council's planning department - A Drainage Surveyor - Building Control or an Approved Inspector - A Party Wall Surveyor - Builders - Building Control or an Approved Inspector - Various Tradesmen For further information on the end to end process of extending your home and what steps are involved, check out our advice centre.
14. What is a measured survey and do I require one?
This vital step will involve UDEX surveyors visiting your property to record the existing measurements of your home. They’ll also take a range of photographs so that our designers can fully visualise your space. Once this has been completed, those measurements are then turned into a set of existing drawings. Depending on the type of development you are carrying out, these can include floor plans, elevations, a section, site plan, and roof plan - all required by both our designers and your local planning authority. In most cases, a measured survey will be required, unless you already have a set of CAD drawings to hand on your home.
15. Can you obtain planning permission for my project?
Yes. We will prepare all the necessary information and drawings required for your project and submit your application to your local council as your agent. You will be liable for the fee, which you will have to pay directly to your local authority. As your agent, we will liaise with the council on your behalf with any queries or requests that they have.
16. Can you help me understand how long my building project will take?
Yes. The report included with your plans will outline the key timeframes and milestones. This can be used as a guide to completing your project.
17. What does UDEX offer?
UDEX brings together all the architectural services you’ll need to get ready to build. These include… AI-based Design Measured surveys Home design 3D models and interactive walkthroughs Planning submission Party wall surveys Structural engineering Building regulations Finance Plus our connect service will put you in touch with the best local contractors and suppliers in your area, so you can move into the construction phase in a safe pair of hands. We’re the perfect starting point for any homeowner looking to dramatically transform their property. Taking you step by step through all the nitty-gritty of planning, while still allowing you the freedom to design a space perfectly suited to your home’s needs. All this is facilitated by our online platform, which allows you to manage everything in one easy to use place. You’ll be able to submit your home details, view perspective designs, and chat to your architect - all from the comfort of your own home. Put simply: UDEX offers all the benefits of architecture, with none of the headaches.
18. Do I require planning permission for my project?
Not necessarily. The team at UDEX can help you determine if your plans fall under something called 'permitted development'. If they don't, you’ll need to apply for planning permission. Under UK planning policy you are able to build on your property without planning permission if the proposed development falls under certain rules. For more information, visit our advice centre. Even if you can build under permitted development, we still advise that you apply for a lawful development certificate, which we are happy to apply for on your behalf.
19. Can you complete plans for new builds?
We can indeed! Simply book a free consultation with our team to kick off your project.
20. Where is UDEX based?
Our main office is in South West London, but we service all of the UK.
21. Can you support us if we live abroad?
We currently only offer our services to property in the UK. However, our Dashboard allows you to manage your project anywhere in the world. We have previously done projects outside the UK and depending on the project we may accept projects outside the UK.
22. How can you help me sell my property faster?
We can provide you with a glossy brochure that outlines the extensions and space reconfigurations that are possible for your property. This is the best way to demonstrate the latent value in the home that you are selling, brought to life through vivid 3D pictures. No imagination is necessary! We have been frequently been successful in helping homeowners who are struggling to receive offers at the price they wanted, or whose homes have been on the housing market for a while. Please give us a call or drop us an email if you would like to see our case studies, or to discuss how we can help you achieve a speedy and successful sale.
23. What if I am unhappy with the service or output?
Your satisfaction is our highest priority. If you feel our service has fallen short of your expectations, we encourage you to give us a call or drop us an email at email@example.com
24. What happens if my planning application is refused?
In 99% of refused cases, the council will provide you with an explanation. We will analyse the issues that have been raised and advise on solutions to satisfy the council's requests. We will then resubmit your application and also alert you at this point if there are any additional costs. It is not unusual for planning permission applications to be refused, but with proper research and the correct plans and elevations, this likelihood can be reduced.
25. Can I request additional renders/perspectives?
Yes. Each additional render is £75+VAT.
26. Can an estate agent tell me what the value of my property will be after the extension?
Yes. Most estate agents will be able to give you a rough idea of what your property might be worth after a project is completed, based on other ‘similar’ properties in the area that have recently sold. However, they will not be able to provide you with an accurate summary of the cost of your project, what opportunities for future development the property has, or whether your plans are likely to receive planning approval.
27. Do I have to pay for introductions to contractors?
No, it will be free.
28. Will you take the project forward through planning and assist us with the construction process?
Yes. We are happy to assist you through the planning process. We have comprehensive packages (starting from £700) that include preparation of all the necessary drawings and submission to the council on your behalf. Post planning, we have a pool of carefully selected professionals, consultants and contractors that we can connect you with to support you through the next steps. If you require assistance with this, let us know. The report that accompanies your plans will clearly identify the professionals you will need to use in order to deliver your project to completion.
29. When do I pay?
Payment can be made once we've issued you a quote. To pay, you'd need to login to your UDEX account and make the payment from your dashboard. Some invoices may have a deposit option, allowing you to pay a small % to book in our design time.
30. Does UDEX also carry out the building works?
No. We do not carry out any building works. We are a design and planning company only. However, we do have an extensive network of reliable and trusted partners that we are happy to connect you with.
31. How many revisions to plans are included in my design package?
The pricing for all of our packages includes one full set of revisions. This means you can change as many elements of the design as you wish, but they must all be communicated to us in one batch, rather than drip-fed over a period of time. We are more than happy to accommodate further revisions until you are happy with your plans. These will be charged at a flat rate of £75 per hour, inclusive of VAT.
32. When would I submit a pre-application to the council?
We may suggest that you apply for a pre-application if your proposed project is contentious or at high risk. This is a low-cost exercise as the level of detail that we need to produce is much less than full planning. It gives the council a chance to give feedback on your project and issue guidance on the likelihood of you gaining their approval.
33. Is the work that UDEX completes insured?
Yes. We carry professional indemnity insurance with a limit of £1m.