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DrPhill

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... looks at your house and suggests what alterations to make. A bit like Kirsty Allsopp. I am sure that our house probably has potential for improvement
I tried making a 3d model and planning moving the stairs, but I may be missing other possibilities.
 

Jameshow

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Interior designer if it's more asthetic and less structural.

Cheers James
 

DrPhill

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My wife and I came up with both designations 'architect' and 'interior designer', but were a little unsure which and whether there was another profession.
MIL is long departed this world... and would not have been much use for this task anyway ;-)

I have never talked to an 'interior designer' but if they are like 'landscape designer's then I am a little skeptical. SWMBO has had experience of 'interior designer's and believes them limited to suggesting poor colour schemes and expensive curtains. Well practiced in Feng-Shui (the ancient art of putting the TV on the other side of the room) maybe. Limited to artistic/crreative and not thinking about structural.

An architect seems a bit overkill/overskill for suggesting such alterations to see if we like them. I think of an architect as someone who draws up plans of what will be done so that a engineer can calculate their feasibility.
One possible question for such a professional might be 'is our galley kitchen wide enough to split into a corridor and staircase'. Or 'how could we layout the loft conversion if we redid the room-in-roof'.

So someone with a feel for building regs, structural feasibility, cost-effectiveness. Maybe it *is* sounding like an architect.
 

billw

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It sounds like you need two separate people! Perhaps get the architect to draw some plans up first and then get an interior designer to suggest how the rooms could be laid out? Or vice versa, get the designer to say what they'd do and then ask an architect. I'm not sure there's a specialism in having a foot in both those camps.
 

Inspector

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My friend's daughter is an interior designer and she does more than picking paint and placing TVs. She has to know and understand structure, plumbing, electrical, lighting, HVAC, materials and so on in order to be able to know what can be done to a place and draw it up so it all can be accommodated. Forget or not consider some aspect and the job goes in the toilet. Specialists like engineers are brought in to actually crunch the numbers where needed and the trades are supposed to know the details of their job. She has gotten so good that contractors ask for her by name when they do work for the firm she is in. Don't underestimate the abilities of an interior designer.

Pete
 

Woody2Shoes

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My friend's daughter is an interior designer and she does more than picking paint and placing TVs. She has to know and understand structure, plumbing, electrical, lighting, HVAC, materials and so on in order to be able to know what can be done to a place and draw it up so it all can be accommodated. Forget or not consider some aspect and the job goes in the toilet. Specialists like engineers are brought in to actually crunch the numbers where needed and the trades are supposed to know the details of their job. She has gotten so good that contractors ask for her by name when they do work for the firm she is in. Don't underestimate the abilities of an interior designer.

Pete
Sounds like your friend's daughter is good news. The trouble is, in the UK certainly, anyone can call themselves an 'interior designer' with little or nothing in terms of theory/practical knowledge to back it up (a bit the same with 'engineer'!). In the UK, the training of architects does usually cover nearly all the aspects of interior design - although, as with most things - some architects are more artsy/aesthetic and some are more baised towards the engineery/practical side.

There's a wealth of knowledge/experience on this forum (and guaranteed to be price competitive with an architect or interior designer!) - maybe if the OP shows us all some drawings?

PS I think the first thing to do is to write down what's good and bad about the existing setup, with some ideas about how much you're prepared to spend to fix/improve things.
 

pcb1962

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MikeG is an architect I believe, would be worth tracking him down and asking his opinion.
 

Steliz

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It sounds like you need someone with building/renovating experience who can explain the options you might have to achieve the end result.
 

DrPhill

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My friend's daughter is an interior designer and she does more than picking paint and placing TVs. ...........Don't underestimate the abilities of an interior designer.
Point taken - I should not generalise from insufficient data......
Sounds like your friend's daughter is good news. T
Yes, and where can I find one like her?
There's a wealth of knowledge/experience on this forum (and guaranteed to be price competitive with an architect or interior designer!) - maybe if the OP shows us all some drawings?
That feels a bit cheeky and presumptuous, but if folk want a look then I will see if I can find my old 3d models (or failing that I will sketch some more).
 

Terry - Somerset

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Your approach may depend on the size of the property and budget.

The solutions for a 3 bed semi and a budget of £30k would be very different to 5 ded detached in half an acre with a budget of £200k!

Certain changes will be expensive in the budget constrained model - eg moving staircases, plumbing in new bathrooms at the "wrong" end of the house, taking out major structural walls etc.
 

Yojevol

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It sounds like you need an architect who can advise on house remodelling. It would be worth looking at a few of George Clarkes programmes 'Ugly House to Lovely House' on Ch.4 to get an idea of the sort of work they do. Last night's episode covered a number of projects from earlier in the series to show how they ended up.

My friend's daughter is an interior designer and she does more than picking paint and placing TVs. She has to know and understand structure, plumbing, electrical, lighting, HVAC, materials and so on in order to be able to know what can be done to a place and draw it up so it all can be accommodated. Forget or not consider some aspect and the job goes in the toilet. Specialists like engineers are brought in to actually crunch the numbers where needed and the trades are supposed to know the details of their job. She has gotten so good that contractors ask for her by name when they do work for the firm she is in. Don't underestimate the abilities of an interior designer.

Pete
This could be a description of my daughter. She often works with architects or builders at the start of a project. It's a pity she's Berkshire based and not Somerset.
Brian
 

ade_tumu

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Different 'categories' of people will offer different specialisms and importantly insurance covers. There will be, broadly speaking, four categories to choose from.....

My understanding would be (in no particular order):

Architects: Must by law in the UK be registered with RIBA and importantly will have insurance cover if they mis-design something or offer improper advice (unless they were drunk at the time). Have an all-round understanding of architecture/design, building structures and regulations. For any very complex or large-scale work, they will still need specialist expertise such as a structural engineer - but that probably would be unnecessary in a 'normal' domestic house. Still a variation in abilities and services but overall probably the safest but most expensive option.

Architectural Designer: May or may not have a degree in architecture but is not a qualified & registered architect (i.e. not registered with RIBA). Can prepare drawing and undertake some level of design work etc. You are likely less protected if something goes wrong.

Interior Architect: Some universities offer Interior Architecture degrees. This specialises in the layout of interior spaces. Someone with this degree is not a qualified & registered architect (i.e. not registered with RIBA) but will likely have more / better knowledge in spatial issues and how people use rooms than an Architect e.g. how light works in a room; spatial issues; placing of doors and fixed furniture etc. You are likely less protected if something goes wrong.

Interior Designer: No qualifications or training required to call yourself an Interior Designer so a very wide spectrum of skills / abilities on offer. You are likely less protected if something goes wrong.
 

DrPhill

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Different 'categories' of people will offer different specialisms and importantly insurance covers. There will be, broadly speaking, four categories to choose from.....

My understanding would be (in no particular order):
That is very useful information - thanks. 'Interior Architect' sounds about the level I would want to start at. Finding one round here would be the next problem.
 

HOJ

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I have access to an "Interiors Architect", for when we get involved in any major design projects, the benefit we find is that they look at things with a clear mind.

They can help to extract, compile and reconcile the different requirements from the individual clients, (husband & wife for instance!) which can be difficult to resolve when they each want different outcomes.

Clients also tend to focus more as well, if they know they are paying a fee for the service.

A couple of links below which will give an insight into the "decision" processes that most clients are oblivious too.

This is the Riba Plan of work schedule that Architects use:

Riba Plan of work

This is a mind map from Blum more about kitchen deign, however, but gives an insight to all the possibilities that will need consideration:

Blum mind map
 
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