Frequently asked questions

Some of the most common questions we've been asked. Take a look below...

We’ve compiled some of our frequently asked questions into sections to help you find what you’re looking for, quickly. If you want to know more, or have further questions, please contact our team, which you can do using our instant chat system (located in the bottom right of your screen), or by visiting our contact form.

Providing measurements

How can you do plans without visiting my house?

Quite easily actually! We’ve been doing this since 2008 and have completed THOUSANDS of perfectly accurate drawing sets.

If you were to use a traditional Architect, the first thing they would do is to come to your home, sketch a simple floor plan layout of the house and then walk around the house measuring each ‘line’ and writing each dimension onto the sketch.

They would then take some photos of the outside of the house then go back to the office and produce your Architectural drawings from these survey notes.

We are basically offering clients a cost-saving (and the sheer luxury of working with us of course) if they are happy to do this bit themselves.

This means you are only paying professionals to do the bits that you are unable to do yourself.

What measurements do you need?

All we need are the wall & window lengths in each room and also the floor-to-ceiling height on each storey.

If you are building a loft conversion, we will also ask for the tallest internal measurement of the roof space (ie. top of ceiling joist to bottom of ridge board).
The floor plan layouts you send just need to include simple lines with numbers along to represent these and also the stair location on each floor and door position for each room.

What if I get a measurement wrong?

If you were to provide any incorrect measurements, we would actually notice immediately during the drafting process. Everything is drawn to scale so assuming most of the dimensions provided are accurate, we could theoretically tell YOU the correct measurement as opposed to the other way around.

There is no guess work at any point. It’s just simple maths.
Note – for the purposes of Planning or Building Regulations drawings, the drawings don’t need to be millimetre perfect. Measurements to the closest 5cm are fine.

Surely you need to visit the house to do detailed Building Regulations drawings?

No, not at all. The floor plans and photos you provide are ample information to produce detailed Building Control drawings too.

What about structural steel work? Can I get calculations without a home visit?

Yes! We do not provide calculations ourselves but we have worked very closely with an online Engineering firm for over a decade now. We’ll introduce you to them at the necessary time. These Engineers will use a combination of our drawings, your photographs and even ‘virtual’ site visits if required.

Is measuring/sketching the only way I can use Arkiplan?

No. There are actually some quite nifty shortcuts you can use to get your floor plan layouts over to us.

1. Estate Agents – Almost all properties have their floor plans measured and drawn to scale as part of the sales process nowadays. You may be able to find an online record of these on Rightmove (or similar) or by Googling your address. Please just make sure you carefully check the layout and the room sizes for accuracy before uploading them.

2. Previous Planning Applications – Every Local Authority has an Online Planning Register with every historic Planning Application available for public viewing. If you search your address on the Register, you will be able to download any previous Architect’s plans that were produced for your house. The plans are publicly available and we will only be scaling measurements off them so there is no breach of Copyright with the previous draftsperson.

3. Neighbours drawings – Has your neighbour done an extension and you want one too? It’s very common for two semi-detached houses to have the exact same floor plan layout. You can actually use either of the methods above for one of your neighbours houses. All you need to do is thoroughly check the room sizes and overall layout for accuracy before sending it over. We will only use their plans for scaling while we produce an entirely new set of plans for you.

4. Developers Plans – If you live in a relatively new housing estate there is a good chance your house was built from a catalogue of options that the developer has replicated in many locations. Often, these catalogue-style house layouts are available online. Or are sometimes provided as part of the sales particulars. Just check the house was built exactly as per the plan and send it over to us!

Planning permission plans and drawings

Can I really survey and measure my own house?

Honestly – it’s a breeze. All we need you to do is use a tape measure to measure the walls and the windows then draw a quick scribble onto a piece of paper.
You may not even have to do that if you are able to upload Estate Agents floor plans. Alternatively, if you have previous Architects drawings from an old project at your home. We can even accept a copy of your neighbour’s previous drawings if their house layout is the same or very similar.

What do you mean you will submit my Planning and Building Regulations applications for FREE?

We will purchase an Ordnance Survey map of your property, complete all the drawings. Then fill in all your Planning or Building Regulations forms and submit them to your council for checking, logging ourselves as ‘Agent’. We will then send you instructions of how to pay your application fee directly to the council. During the consideration process, we will chase up the council every week. This ensures a decision is reached promptly and will communicate everything to you along the way.

Why can’t I find a cheap Architect for Planning Drawings?

Architects charge what seems like a lot of money for their drawings but in reality, you are not only paying for their drafting time. Architects spend time speaking with you on the phone, then at your house, then measuring your property and taking survey notes, drawing sketches and taking photos. They will then spend considerable time producing different designs and then ‘back-and-forthing’ with you to reach a final architectural design for planning drawings. Once drafted, they will then submit the planning permission drawings for planning approval and building regulations approval. They may also then project manage the build on site and liaise with the contractor to ensure everything gets built as per the plans.

Why can’t I find a fast Architect for Planning Drawings?

Contrary to popular belief, Planning Drawings are only a small part of an Architects job. As explained above, they do so much more than just drafting plans. An Architect’s time is spread very thinly so even a moderate amount of existing projects can cause them extreme delays in completing planning drawings for a new client – especially if the project is a small domestic job like a single storey extension or a dormer loft conversion. It makes perfect sense for them to prioritse projects of high value. For this reason, you will often find when approaching an Architect that their turnaround time just for your first set of plans can be anything up to 3-4 months!

How do I get cheap planning drawings online?

ArkiPlan.co.uk was born out of necessity as we quickly noticed a gap in the market. It turns out there are thousands of people every month that:

1) Can measure or have already measured their house
2) Have photographs of their house
3) Know exactly what extension design or loft conversion design they want
4) Are happy to find a builder themselves and keep an eye on the work themselves once the build starts.

If you fit into the client profile above, then we will just do everything else – We will not charge you for work you do not need.

How do you provide such fast planning drawings?

We do not manage your build on-site and we do not spend hours meeting you for cups of tea to discuss your project. We spend our days rapidly producing planning and building regulations drawings online. As soon as our clients say they are 100% happy with their architectural plans, we submit them for Planning Permission or Permitted Development Approval. Once Planning Permission or the Lawful Development Certificate is received, if required, we upgrade their drawings to include all Building Regulations section drawings and specifications then submit them for Building Control Approval. Once you have both permissions, we send you your final drawings and then we leave you to do the rest! As our days are entirely focused on producing plans and drawings, we can often complete them in less than a week.

How do you guarantee fixed price planning drawings?

It is hard for an Architect to give a fixed price quote up-front because it is impossible to plan how much time will eventually be spent on a project. Building projects, as we’re sure you’re aware are often littered with pit-falls and unexpected delays.
We provide architectural drawings online. Then we submit them for Planning Permission and Building Regulations Approval. That’s it.
This makes it easy for us to pre-empt how much time will be spent on your project. Because of this, we can give you a guaranteed fixed price quote at the start. Helping us understand that almost everybody is on a tight budget when they embark on a house extension or loft conversion.

Are your Planning Drawings the same as an Architect’s Drawings?

YES. The online planning drawings you receive from us will be exactly the same as the planning permission drawings you can get from your local Architect. The only difference will be that the online planning drawings you get from us will arrive faster and will be much, much cheaper.

Where can I find official advice on planning permission?

Here!The government supply lots of information on planning permission. Click here to take a look.

Building regulation plans and drawings

Can I really survey and measure my own house?

Honestly – it’s a breeze. All we need you to do is use a tape measure to measure the walls and the windows. Then, draw a quick scribble onto a piece of paper.
You may not even have to do that if you are able to upload Estate Agents floor plans. Alternatively, if you have previous Architects drawings from an old project at your home. We can even accept a copy of your neighbour’s previous drawings, if their house layout is the same or very similar.

What do you mean you will submit my Planning and Building Regulations applications for FREE?

We will purchase an Ordnance Survey map of your property, complete all the drawings, fill in all your Planning or Building Regulations forms and submit them to your council for checking, logging ourselves as ‘Agent’. We will then send you instructions of how to pay your application fee directly to the council. During the consideration process, we will chase up the council every week. This ensures a decision is reached promptly, and will communicate everything to you along the way.

Why can’t I find a cheap Architect for Building Regulations Drawings?

Architects charge what seems like a lot of money for their drawings but in reality, you are not only paying for their drafting time. Architects spend time speaking with you on the phone, then at your house, then measuring your property and taking survey notes, drawing sketches and taking photos. They will then spend considerable time producing different designs and then ‘back-and-forthing’ with you to reach a final architectural design for building regulations drawings. Once drafted, they will then submit the planning permission drawings for planning approval and building regulations approval. They may also then project manage the build on site and liaise with the contractor to ensure everything gets built as per the plans.

Why can’t I find a fast Architect for Building Regulations Drawings?

Contrary to popular belief, building regulations drawings are only a small part of an Architects job. As explained above, they do so much more than just drafting plans. An Architect’s time is spread very thinly so even a moderate amount of existing projects can cause them extreme delays in completing building regulations drawings for a new client – especially if the project is a small domestic job like a single storey extension or a dormer loft conversion. It makes perfect sense for them to prioritse projects of high value. For this reason, you will often find when approaching an Architect that their turnaround time just for your first set of plans can be anything up to 3-4 months!

How do I get cheap Building Regulations Drawings online?

ArkiPlan.co.uk was born out of necessity as we quickly noticed a gap in the market. It turns out there are thousands of people every month that:

1) Can measure or have already measured their house
2) Have photographs of their house
3) Know exactly what extension design or loft conversion design they want
4) Are happy to find a builder themselves and keep an eye on the work themselves once the build starts.

If you fit into the client profile above, then we will just do everything else – We will not charge you for work you do not need.

How do you provide such fast Building Regulations Drawings?

We do not manage your build on-site and we do not spend hours meeting you for cups of tea to discuss your project. We spend our days rapidly producing planning and building regulations drawings online. As soon as our clients say they are 100% happy with their architectural plans, we submit them for Planning Permission or Permitted Development Approval. Once Planning Permission or the Lawful Development Certificate is received, if required, we upgrade their drawings to include all Building Regulations section drawings and specifications then submit them for Building Control Approval. Once you have both permissions, we send you your final drawings and then we leave you to do the rest! As our days are entirely focused on producing plans and drawings, we can often complete them in less than a week.

How do you guarantee fixed price Building Regulations Drawings?

It is hard for an Architect to give a fixed price quote up-front because it is impossible to plan how much time will eventually be spent on a project. Building projects, as we’re sure you’re aware are often littered with pit-falls and unexpected delays.
We provide architectural drawings online. Then we submit them for Planning Permission and Building Regulations Approval. That’s it.
This makes it easy for us to pre-empt how much time will be spent on your project. Because of this, we can give you a guaranteed fixed price quote at the start. This helps so much as we understand that almost everybody is on a tight budget when they embark on a house extension or loft conversion.

Are your Building Regulations Drawings the same as an Architect’s Drawings?

YES. The online planning drawings you receive from us will be exactly the same as the building regulations drawings you can get from your local Architect. The only difference will be that the online building regulations drawings you get from us will arrive faster and will be much, much cheaper.