How an architect can help you achieve your dream home

A contemporary extension using traditional materials

A contemporary extension using traditional materials - Credit: Archant

Martin Smart, a director at Shipston-based Hayward Smart Architects, extols the value of appointing an architect

A contemporary extension using traditional materials

A contemporary extension using traditional materials - Credit: Archant

Why do so many of us love watching television programmes about home improvements and newbuild house projects?

We are fascinated with how people manage to create what seems impossible, and gripped by the stories of planning disputes and construction disasters! It always appears to be a very stressful way to achieve your dreams.

Despite the potential pitfalls, lots of homeowners see the benefits of improving and extending their homes.

Once you have decided to embark on this journey (and it can be a long one) there are many important decisions to be made. A qualified architect can help by advising and guiding you through the whole process. When you appoint an architect you may know what additional accommodation or changes you want, but you may be unsure what style is most appropriate.

Contemporary v traditional

Building design is subjective, influenced by many factors such as physical features, function or personal preferences.

Most Read

The two main options when extending a house are either contemporary to contrast or traditional to match the existing.

Even if your home is listed or within a sensitive historic setting, a well-designed modern extension can be appropriate and add to the character of the building.

This approach is often supported by conservation specialists as long as it is sensitive in scale and respects the context.

Traditional materials used with contemporary detailing such as frameless glazing and exposed, well considered connections, can be stunning.

Quality v quantity

There is a cost associated with this high level of detailing. However, quality should always come first. Better built environments enhance our lives. This can be achieved by engaging an architect who understands your aspirations – and exceeds your expectations.

How many times have you watched those television programmes and been wowed by the minimalist interiors and vast spaces? They look great from our sofa but the reality for most of us is that they bear no resemblance to what we associate with home. Buildings should be great to look at but, more importantly, enjoyable to live in.

If you’re inspired to create something unique, contact Hayward Smart Architects on 01608 661000, email, or visit

Comments powered by Disqus