Domestic Renovation FAQs

Generally speaking, for alterations that are inside your house you probably won’t need planning permission (unless your home is listed). However, any changes to the outside of your home including alterations, extensions or re-modelling will require planning permission. This includes converting a garage into a room or loft extensions. It’s always best to check with your local authority if you require planning permission; however DPA can guide you through the whole planning permission process and make sure you get what you need. You can also keep yourself informed by visiting

A measured building survey is an accurate representation of your building showing all the structural elements and architectural features. Floor plans are essential to give an accurate representation of the building and this is backed up with elevations and cross sections presented as a scaled survey drawings. Measured surveys are always required for any redevelopment of a property or when it is being extended and should be done at the start of any building project. One of our Architectural Technologists will come on site to undertake a measured building survey and produce detailed CAD (computer aided design) drawings such as floor plans, elevations and section drawings of your existing property. They will make sure that all detail is noted, which will assist the design stage significantly. We need MBS surveys for:

Planning – building works that alter your property require careful planning. It’s important to match the design to the existing and surrounding properties. This is often also specified as a condition of planning permission. For example – in some areas a new development cannot be taller than the house next door. Or a new porch or design has to be in keeping with the rest of the street.

Accuracy – a measured survey will ensure all plans, that builders are working from are accurate. This in turn can mean less potential problems further down the build process.

Saving Money – a detailed measured survey ensures that the build will run as smoothly as possible, avoiding design errors that can lead to increased costs and delays. For example, inaccurate or inadequate information can lead to problems with windows not fitting, flooring being misaligned or a design could be compromised – resulting in disappointment.

Building regulations are minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to virtually every building. They are developed by the government and approved by Parliament. New building projects are overseen by the local council’s Building Inspectors or approved inspectors. They have to make sure that any building work complies with building regulations – this is separate to planning applications. The regulations ensure that the buildings are safe, energy efficient and built to last. Having a building signed off by Building regs also gives a homeowner peace of mind that everything has been done properly and there won’t be any problems if the homeowner decides to sell in the future. Once we have secured planning permission on your behalf for your project, we develop the design drawings and constructions details – we then make a Building Regulations Application on your behalf. The full list of approved documents can be found at:

Planning determines whether you are allowed to go ahead with a building project and building regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure safety and health for people in or about those buildings.

Prices will always vary according the size and timescale of the project. DPA can offer design drawings singly, following a free of charge first visit and in depth design consultation. However, DPA specialises in delivering the whole process, giving you the client, peace of mind and the security that all aspects of your project have been professionally taken care of. For more information on prices and consultation fees please get in touch.

Yes! At DPA we pride ourselves on building strong working relationships with our clients – and this means listening to the design briefs and making sure through constant conversation that people’s design dreams are realised.

We have a very broad client group and we enjoy undertaking ALL design and build projects. These will vary from large commercial buildings which can take years to complete – to small renovations and re-modelling with a fast turnaround.

Eco design is not a new concept at DPA – we have been embedding new and ecofriendly designs into our projects for years. As well as providing the lowest cost building solutions for your project, DPA are also concerned with adhering to the Code for Sustainable Homes. DPA will explore all kinds of designs and “green and lean” building materials with you throughout the design and build process.