Sunday, 24 March 2019

Design day shows how the experts can transform your home

Design day shows how the experts can transform your home

ORGANISED by the Royal Institute of British Architects, this year’s Henley Design Day will held be at the town hall from 10am to 3.30pm on Saturday, March 23, writes Alison Stodolnic.

Around 20 exhibitors will be on hand to discuss your home-related plans and ideas — most of them are RIBA architects, but they will also be joined by a number of interior and kitchen designers.

Henley firm Simon Mack Architecture will be one of the exhibitors at the event and will be demonstrating one of his projects in virtual reality, to show how homeowners can interact with their new home before it is built.

Mr Mack explained why finding the right architect for your home build, extension or refurbishment project is so important.

“Architects are highly skilled and professionally trained to provide a service which is much more extensive than just producing a set of drawings,” he said. “They are adept at understanding a client's aspirations, using a creative approach and finding solutions to turn your ideas into reality.

“They will help you with the official approvals that may be necessary, including the preparation of planning applications to the local authority, where planning consent is needed, and preparation of building control submissions.

“They will also find a good, reliable builder and provide quality control throughout the build. A good design should provide value for money — an architect will achieve efficiency through carefully used spaces, the selection of materials and finishes with a consideration of environmental issues, the use of construction methods and detailing to provide an energy efficient construction reducing maintenance and running costs.

“At an early stage an architect will work closely with you to guide the design, developing the brief and enabling you to understand the spaces through the use of techniques such as sketches, perspectives, models, and even virtual reality.”

As well as building new properties from the ground up, architects often work with clients to refurbish and extend their homes.

Mr Mack said: “A home can be transformed, giving it a better sense of entrance, adjusting the internal flow, opening up spaces to create large family rooms, enlarging windows or installing new patio doors to provide better connections to garden spaces.

“At the same time, an existing building can be updated with a ‘fabric first’ approach, ensuring that the existing construction — the walls, floor and roof — are addressed with new finishes to replace tired-looking façades and roofs.

“Upgrading the level of insulation or replacing draughty windows makes a property more thermally-efficient and comfortable. This attention to detail can result in a fantastic transformation.”

This year’s Henley Design Day is the seventh event of its kind. It is being sponsored by Hamptons International and Hobsons Choice, and admission is free.

For more information, email Sarah Miller at RIBA on sarah.miller@riba.org or call 0118 987 4900.

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