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GW Architectural Home Designs are a friendly and innovative architectural practice in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Working across the North East, we pride ourselves in designing attractive and practical living spaces for domestic clients in Newcastle and it’s surrounding areas. We concentrate not only on meeting our customers’ living requirements but also adding true value to their homes through extensions, conversions and rebuilds.
We understand that everyone has their own idea of the ideal living space. Whether you want to make a bold statement or simply extend your home, our team of designers can help you develop the perfect solution to meet your aspirations. We’re in no doubt whatsoever that we’ll be able to add something special to your home, whilst staying on time and within your budget! You can rest assured that we’ll do our best to make the process of remodelling your home as stress-free as possible. From managing the builders to overseeing the build, we’ll ensure productivity, efficiency and quality from start to finish. We are open about our processes and do our best to make everything easy to understand for our customers.
A Q&A with Guy and Pete
Get to know the key people behind the North East architectural practice, GW Architectural. Find out who they are and what they are all about!
Please can you introduce yourself?
Guy: Hi I’m Guy Whitehead, I am responsible for starting GW Architectural. Prior to starting this practice, I worked in the architecture & construction industry for over 10 years where I worked in a variety of senior roles for practices such as Browne Smith Baker.
Pete: Hi I’m Pete Deverell, I’m the Senior Architectural Technologist here at GW Architectural. I went to Bath University where I was mentored into becoming an architectural designer. In 1997 I decided to come up to Newcastle to do a degree in architecture. I then worked in a variety of locations around the UK doing architectural design technology at a range of practices, then I came back up north and now I’m here.
How and why did you start GWA Architectural?
Guy: I started the company in 2010 primarily because I had grown weary of the politics of other offices and because I believed design quality and architectural technology could be carried out better.. So I set the company up to try to address that and to bring more enjoyment into the job I was doing.
One of GW Architectural’s first jobs was a consultant role in Newcastle working on a larger housing scheme and that is where I met Pete. A year and a half ago Pete then joined me here at GW Architectural.
You used to be focused on commercial projects, so why have you decided to branch out to domestic as well?
Guy: Domestic is something we have always done, but after extensive research we realised there was a domestic market out there and that over 2 million homes a year were having home improvements done to them. We believe that even a small house extension should be carefully designed and so that’s why we have decided to apply our knowledge and experience into more domestic projects.
Pete: We have always done domestic properties, but deciding to focus the company’s direction on these properties was a sensible choice for the company to grow.
Can you give me some reasons why you would use a designer on a home improvement project?
Guy: The general way is a client will approach a builder and they will get the designs done and then build the property. The problem with going down that route is there isn’t a great deal of consideration in regards to space, light or how the property can be delivered in the best manner.
If you come to us, we can get the very best out of your property. We do this through careful consideration of each aspect; we like to come up with new innovative ideas rather than just the usual.
We take ownership of the project too, which takes a lot of the stress off the client, they can trust us to cover all aspects of the build so they can sit back and relax.
Value also comes into what we do; we recently had a project that was quoted considerably more than it should be from some builders. We went in and applied some clever design techniques which ended up saving the client £20,000.
Pete: A designer will also always give you options; where a builder will usually just build a general extension or conversion, a designer will analyse all aspects of the space to see how you want to use it. They will ask you questions like ‘what is this room for’? ‘Will this be a space specific to an activity’? And from those conversations a designer will come up with a concept of what they think you want and also show you what you could possibly have. We will also advice you on which options add potential value to your property.
Could you summarise the process you apply to each project?
Guy: Generally we break the project up into 5 stages.
- The first stage is feasibility; where we look at design options and ideas with the client. We also assist in reviewing the options for affordability.
- Once that’s agreed we move into planning stages, where we prepare all the planning documents and submit them to the local authority for approval.
- The third stage is the building regulations; that is where we put together all the designs and documents to show it will perform with all current standards and regulations.
- Once we have approval, we start to tender it with some extra detailed designs and a detailed specification for pricing which will go out to a range of approved builders to receive competitive quotes.
- The next stage is the onsite construction, where we will set up the contracts, do the site management and valuations, check the builder is doing the project correctly and see the project through to finish.
We also keep a retention back for three months after the building is finished, to go back and check if there are any defects before we release the final payment to the builders.
If you want to find out more about what Guy and Pete can do for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Click here for our contact page.