ANDREW CATTO - ARCHITECT
Andrew Catto trained at the world renowned Architectural Association School in London and before founding his own office worked on a wide range of residential, commercial, sports, leisure and healthcare buildings in the UK and SE Asia. Over 35 years’ experience in the UK and overseas, and has run Andrew Catto Architects in Putney since 1999.
JOHN DAWSON ARIBA
Over 40 years’ experience in the UK and principal of his own practice for 20 years.
MELISSA LAWRENCE DA CUNHA
With 6 years of experience in Brazil, Melissa moved to London where she had her qualifications accredited by the RIBA and become a qualified architect in 2010.
Working with us for over 15 years. Karen is responsible for managing all the office administration, including everyday organization, staff workload and invoices.
HELPING YOU ALL THE WAY THROUGHSome of our clients may undertake only one building project in a lifetime. Others come back time after time. But whatever you want to build, the planning and other regulations and technical requirements for building get ever more complex and we are here to help from start to finish. We aim to provide a ‘One Stop Shop’ for our clients, sometimes from before you even buy right through to long term maintenance. For specialist stuff like structures or home automation, if we can’t do it, we will connect you to someone who can. An experienced architect is there not just to give you design ideas (which of course we do) but also to guide you through this process from setting the brief to dealing with builders (who we can suggest). Quoting our fees step by step allows you to have our help with as many or as few of these steps as you want.
FEASIBILITYBefore you commit to a full project, we can look at your property and advise what changes or how big a build will be practical, what may be difficult or costly, and what is likely to get consent, saving time and cost later. If you are looking at buying a property to extend, an initial verbal assessment often needs just an hour or so on site and is great value if it saves you buying the wrong house.
OUTLINE DESIGNYour requirements may be simple or complex, but getting the big picture and basic diagram right is at the heart of what we do and it’s worth taking time to explore all options before getting down to detail. Occasionally this shows when less or an alternative approach may do better. Where we differ is in working face to face with you at this stage to ensure you are happy with the plans before moving on to consents.
PLANNING PERMISSIONThis is the topic that causes most frustration to house owners and professionals alike. Planning Permission controls the use, scale and external appearance of buildings. Almost all building works need this in some form although often we can show you how to avoid the need for consent through ‘Permitted Development’ or ‘Prior Notification’. We will liaise with the planners, suggest specialists where needed, research policy and context, write the “Design & Access Statement” and other documents, prepare and follow up the application. We don’t seem to need many Planning Appeals, but for tricky cases we can help you take this next step
BUILDING REGULATIONSThese cover the technical aspects of construction, and apply to all building works, including many internal alterations and any change of use. There are rules on structure, fire precautions, energy use, heating, ventilation, drainage, disabled access, the safety of stairs and glazing etc. These are regularly revised and extended. Most alterations, and all new buildings now need complex heat loss calculations. We can handle all of this for you, and ensure that our designs comply at all stages.
GREENER CONSTRUCTIONAs one of the first practices locally to be accredited to the Green Register, we aim to ensure that all of this is done in the most sustainable way, and will advise you on energy saving measures to include in your build. Ever rising prices make this the right time to look at generating at least some of your own energy.
LISTED BUILDINGS & CONSERVATION AREASEven more restrictions apply if your house is a “listed” building (rare) or in a “Conservation Area” (many of the nicer bits of London, and some that may surprise you). The presumption may be against change, but a lot is still often possible by working closely with the planners. Andrew Catto is SPAB trained in the repair and alteration of historic structures. We know our Arts & Crafts from our Art Deco and how to detail either.
HEALTH & SAFETYNobody’s favourite phrase. But construction is dangerous, and the legislation to deal with this extends even into the early design stages. We will advise you of what is needed, and act as the ‘Principal Designer’. Now required by law.
PARTY WALLSFor a lot of building work there is a legal requirement to give notice to and get an agreement with your neighbours. This can be surprisingly time-consuming, so we aim to get your initial notices out as soon as possible. John & Andrew both have 30 years experience as Party Wall Surveyors.
TENDERS, CONTRACTS AND DURING THE BUILDProperly priced tenders and building contracts are the key to meeting your programme and avoiding price disputes with your builders. We can prepare schedules of work and pricing documents, advise on builders (we have a wide ranging list) and contracts, and seek tenders for both your main building contract and specialist elements. We can deal with all aspects of your building contract, checking the builder’s work on site and agreeing payments due, or simply be available to advise when required.