Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

MANCHESTER 0161 236 9761




"Grant has been working on several of our development schemes across the region and has provided very high quality layouts and images for the presentation of the sites we are promoting through the planning system. All projects have been delivered on time and within budget. We will continue to work with Grant on future projects."


Andrew Laing

Land & Planning Manager

Hollins Strategic Land



“What impressed me most about Grant Erskine Architects is the professionalism, knowledge, experience, unbeatable pricing and the communication throughout. I know their services are endless, but importantly they return calls, provide free initial advice and deliver what they agree to do. I would not hesitate in recommending them where the opportunity should arise.


Top qualities: Great Results, Good Value, On Time”


Joanne Nuttall

Owner, Breakey & Nuttall



“I would describe Grant Erskine Architects as extremely professional, but personable and approachable at the same time and as people who "think outside the box" and really go that extra step to delivery results with quality. In all honesty I would recommend them to anybody including friends and family and we are extremely happy about the project that they recently completed for our business.


Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, High Integrity


Mike Naughton

Diggle Nursery Owner



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 Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

Methodist Church to Nursery Conversion in Diggle, Oldham. Accomodation for children of all ages, as well as a multi-purpose space. more

 Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

This House Extension in Bramhall, Stockport compliments the traditional house, with glazing and retractable doors that take full advantage of the view and morning sun. more

 Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

A cost effective refit of a 4th floor office in an old mill in Bolton, providing a range of accommodation between 200 and 1000 square feet.. more


Another Reason to use an Architect!

Loft Conversion ¦ Planning Permission ¦ Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

We recently took a call from a tearful homeowner, quite distressed at the news that her planning application was not going to be approved. We of course said not to worry, we will pop out for a free* chat over the next few days to see if we can help.


When arriving to meet the homeowner, she showed us a pack of drawings that she had bought from a local “Architectural Plans Drawn” advert in the back of the newspaper. The individual was not an Architect and the drawings were... to use the words of the local planning officer “a bit clunky”.


Where to begin?

The drawings - the unqualified plan drawer had prepared one set of drawings, which he believed were suitable for both Planning and Building Control purposes. This is something we always advise against for the simple reason - one department is concerned purely with aesthetics, the other technology. You cannot do both things on one drawing!


The budget - I asked the homeowner how much she had to spend, which she did not want to tell me. I asked if the unqualified person ever asked her, to which she replied no. After some persuasion she shared that she had £120K total for the build. The house on her drawings was closer to £180K (this news caused more tears).


The design - if you could call it that. There were many inherent issues, but the big one - it was not designed for this family! It was a stock drawing, suitable for a young family who intended to move to a bigger home, not a “this is the family home until the kids leave” home the client wanted.


So, what did I advise? It was tough news to give, but in short, write off the £500 fee paid to the unqualified draftsman and the £172 planning fee as a tough lesson learned. Then hire a qualified Architect and let them work with you to design you a good family home that you can afford to build. Budget about £2,500 - £4,000 and get your family home designed to your requirements.


We of course quoted for the project.

Last we heard, the homeowner had decided to use another unqualified plan drawer that she had found in the back of the same paper for £700. We really hope it worked out for her and her family and that she is not making the same mistake a second time.




*free chat - we offer a free half hour to any new enquiry within about 25 miles of Manchester at our discretion (so if you are reading this in South America, we’d love to, but...)


Have you come across people who have compromised on the design of their homes before? Let us know in an email or tweet us @GEArchitects!


See more of our advice and blogs here.


ARB Registered Architects Manchester ¦ North West Construction Professionals ¦ Building Design Team

Company Reg. No. 07477118


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Grant Erskine Architects Limited. Registered in England and Wales. Registered Office, 3rd Floor, Suite 5, 61 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HZ


0161 236 9761