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The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) is the lead qualifying body for Architectural Technology and represents those practicing and studying within the discipline (both within the UK and internationally). Further information can be found at  www.ciat.org.uk

A Chartered Architectural Technologist (MCIAT) is a specialist in building design and construction and is professionally qualified to lead a building project from inception through to completion. This can include contractual, planning and regulation issues and final certification.

Only Chartered members of CIAT can use the designation MCIAT after their name together with the title Chartered Architectural Technologist. A Chartered member of CIAT will have met the high standards of education, training, professional practice monitoring and interviews set by the institute.

Whilst both Chartered Architectural Technologists and Architects are professionally qualified to lead a building project from inception through to completion there is an overlap between the two professions. The main difference is that a Chartered Architectural Technologist will have been trained in the science and technology of architecture whilst an Architect will have been trained in the design and philosophy of architecture.

I like to provide my clients with a fixed fee proposal for each stage of the project as this allows them to know exactly what they will be spending at the early stages of a project. By keeping my overheads low and operating below the VAT Threshold my clients are able to benefit from extremely competitive quotes without any compromise to quality or service.

As each project is unique it is difficult to estimate costs without having an initial meeting to discuss your requirements. I do not charge for any initial discussions and meetings and I am available during the daytime, evenings and weekends.

There are a number of benefits available to clients who choose to commission Forth Architecture. In addition to my extremely competitive quotations my professional qualifications, membership, contacts and wealth of experience means that I can provide you with a professional, honest and reliable service individually tailored to your needs. All of this frees up your time, provides you with peace of mind and ultimately allows you to sit back, relax and enjoy seeing your thoughts and ideas being turned into a reality by a qualified and experienced professional.

If you wish to extend or alter your home you will probably require Planning permission. This is a consent granted by your Local Authority to ensure that your proposals are in accordance with their policies. Recent changes to legislation mean that some smaller work including adding a small extension or porch can be completed without Planning Permission. This is known as Permitted Development. Whether you will require Planning Permission depends on a number of factors such as the size and location of the proposed works and the size and type of your property. If the property is listed you will also require Listed Building Consent. I can provide free reliable and professional advice on all aspects of Planning Permission during our free initial consultation.

In Scotland most types of building work will require a Building Warrant. An application must be submitted to your Local Authority for all Building Warrants. Your Local Authority will then assess the application and grant a Building Warrant providing the application demonstrates that the proposed work complies with all current legislation. Whilst this may seem daunting it is important to remember that the system of applying for and obtaining a Building Warrant is designed to protect your health, safety and welfare.

There are a few additional costs that you should be aware of and consider at an early stage. When an application is submitted for Planning Permission or a Building Warrant your Local Authority will require an administration fee. This fee is paid directly to the Local Authority at the time of the application and allows them to process and assess the application.

A Building Warrant application will include detailed design drawings, specifications and certification from a Structural Engineer. The appointment of a Structural Engineer would be undertaken by yourself. Forth Architecture would however assist by inviting a selection of Structural Engineers to tender for the proposed project, assessing the returned prices and liaising with them direct on your behalf during the design process to ensure any questions or queries are resolved.

These fees can vary depending on the type of project and scale of work being carried out. I can however offer professional advice on what you can expect these fees to be at our initial meeting and they will of course be included within my detailed no obligation written fee proposal.

Each project is unique and there are a number of factors that can affect how long a project will take to complete. As a general rule of thumb however your Local Authority will usually take eight weeks to assess your Planning Permission application and between six to eight weeks to assess your Building Warrant application. In some cases this can take longer and I would always recommend obtaining Planning Permission before preparing and submitting a Building Warrant application. In my experience I have found that it is not uncommon for a project to take up to twelve months to complete after the initial meeting. In some case this can be reduced and I can provide you with a more detailed timescale during our initial meeting.

Both Planning Permission and a Building Warrant are valid for a period of three years. Both of these can be extended if necessary.

My experience and reputation means that most of my clients commission me to over see their project from start to finish. I am however also qualified to provide assistance and advice in other areas. For example you may already have a project underway on site and have some questions that you require help with. In this instance I usually charge an hourly rate to cover my time. I have also been asked to provide a snagging service for clients moving into a new home. In this instance I would visit your new home with you, carry out a professional snagging inspection and provide you with a detailed written report. Please do feel free to call me if you need any help.