We want to deliver architecture that truly excites both you and us, so we only take on projects that we can devote sufficient time, energy, and inspiration to.

From our very first meeting we have our feet firmly on the ground and we won’t drip-feed difficult information.

We arrive open-minded and curious, rather than jumping in with ready-made solutions. Our process is designed so that we will understand you, your ambitions and the site in such depth that we can design something truly transformational.

‘It’s an amazing house, and it’s changed our lives. Fred was everything we hoped for, and more.’

Weir Grove House Clients


With a decade of successful projects (and very happy clients) behind us, we know what’s involved at every stage and we know how long it takes to do things properly.

While all of our projects are as unique as the clients and sites they are designed for, they share the same well-practised process. This means we anticipate issues and solve problems before they arise, make sure everything happens just when it should, and can give you a very clear idea of what lies ahead.

No fee

We run through a few basics on the phone to understand your site, your budget and what you want to achieve. If we’re not the right architect for you, we’ll be able to tell you straight away.

To arrange an initial call, please fill in our Client Enquiry Form and we will take it from there.

A small fixed fee which you get back if we move to the next stage

We meet you on site (or virtually, if for some reason we can’t get together in person) so we can understand as much about you and your site as we can. We look at the potential, practicalities, and constraints.

This gives us everything we need to put together our Pre-Design report, which includes:

  • a clear and detailed articulation of your brief
  • a desktop summary of relevant planning constraints and history
  • our initial thoughts around the budget and our initial assessment of how this might be broken down to a possible project timeline
  • our detailed Fee Proposal setting out our deliverables and fees for each of the stages to come.

This early pre-design work is crucial, and our most successful designs have been in response to a clear understanding of our clients’ aspirations and needs, and a very particular set of site constraints.

Spending a few hours in each other’s company is also an opportunity to check we’re a good fit and that we care about the same things. After all, if we become your architect, we’re going to be spending quite a bit of time together.

It’s not until now, aware of all the constraints and with a full grasp of the brief and site history, that we start designing.

We look at different ways of designing everything from your brief and whether that’s attainable within your budget. A feasibility study is exactly that – a process of examining all the options to work out what might be possible, before jumping ahead to the next stage.
We develop a 3D ‘massing study’ which shows the various possibilities in different forms and different positions. We evaluate the impact of each in terms of the view, the sun and other buildings, all while keeping an eye on Planning and other constraints.

There’s never just one obvious solution, and the best design might not be the one we, or you, were expecting. Together we look closely at each option and measure it against your brief and your budget to ensure that if we have to decide on our priorities, the right compromises are being made.
We then develop your preferred design further, focusing on detailed layouts and 3D models to ensure the house will work perfectly for you and your family.

We start a conversation with the Planning department, to get their input and get them on board before the more pressurised public Planning process. We explain the design in their terms, show how it complies with policy, and give them the chance to appreciate it for what it is.

We bring on board any consultants we need for their specialist expertise – on flooding, bats or trees, for example.

With our water-tight process the Planning application should just be a formality. But we still smooth the process as best we can by speaking to neighbours and the parish council on your behalf, and by giving anyone who might be interested (or worried) a chance to see and fully understand your design before making up their minds.

We’ve got a brilliant track record in getting our applications through – 100% at the time of writing – and we have excellent relationships with Local Planning Authorities. We’re also particularly well versed in the sensitivities and guidance around protected sites such as Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the Greenbelt.

Our approach is to ‘design first, build second’. With all the decisions made, right down to the taps and light bulbs, your project can be fully costed before starting on site, and that means you won’t be open to additional expenses and delays (which is why so many building projects veer off course).

The other significant upside of our approach is that contractors want to work with us because of the level of detail we provide – it allows them to deliver well-planned, accurately costed, delay-free projects to happy clients.

Equally, we have contractors we love working with – contractors who care as much about the quality and finish as we do – so when we draw up our tender shortlist with you, we’ll include them if at all possible.

Your role is simply to sit back, get on with your life and work, and watch our shared vision take shape. We’re your hands-on, diligent project manager, and we work closely with your contractor, administering the contract and keeping everything on track and on budget. Yes, we really do deal with everything for you.

‘The house is a joy to live in and works exactly how we wanted it to. We now consider Fred as both our exceptionally brilliant architect and friend.’

Cherry Tree House Clients


We want you to have a low-energy, long-life home. So we do everything we can to drive down embodied carbon, which is the energy used to build your house, and operational carbon, which is the energy needed to run it.

Early on we think about how to shape your house or extension, and how best to position it. We look at where to place windows, how big they should be, and how they might be shaded.  All this allows us to make the most of the warmth of the sun in winter and keep the spaces cool and fresh in summer.

There are technical solutions too, to make it both comfortable and energy-efficient – simple things like insulation, triple-glazing and airtightness, through to heat pumps, solar panels, and MVHR (mechanical ventilation heat recovery).

When we can, we design to the Passivhaus or AECB standard. There’s a lot to say on this, and together we’ll agree on what’s possible.

Our response to the climate crisis is constantly evolving, as is our understanding of the urgency, so we’re always pushing ourselves to do more.