What is the difference between and Architect and Architectural Designer?
So Sound Design’s managing Director Pete is an Architectural Designer and not an Architect. What's the difference?

Traditionally, Draughtsmen were the behind the scene work horses, helping to develop the architect’s ideas. These days the roles have blurred somewhat with Draughtsmen setting up businesses of their own, hence the birth of the Architectural Designer.

Architectural Designers are able to do everything an Architect can. Architectural Designers can produce architectural and detailed construction drawings, submit plans to council for consent and create imaginative, practical and attractive designs. They are also capable in leading a project team and acting as an agent, taking care of any project requirements. Pete has over 30 years’ experience in architecture and the construction trade and a great understanding of how a building should be designed and built. In addition to this Pete is also a qualified project manager, providing him with the skills to not only design a building but also to take any project from the initial stages of design right through to completion of the build.

So who should I choose for my project? If you're building a sports stadium, office block, or grand hotel for instance, look at a person’s experience; what projects have they worked on before, are these commercially biased? Has that person experience of construction as well as design and therefore, are they capable of seeing the project through from design to build completion? Do they have a good understanding of the build construction and quality? If so, a good Architectural Designer is more than capable, and usually more affordable than an Architect. Here at So Sound Design our director can offer you the full package.
Are we nice to work with?
We think so, at So Sound Design we enjoy working alongside our clients to help them achieve their goals. Whether it is creating their prefect home or ideal work space. With 90% of our work coming from recommendations and returning clients we believe that we forge great relationship with all of our clients.
How are your fees worked out?
At So Sound Design we pride ourselves on providing fair and competitive fees. You can select all or part of our services and our fees will be worked out depending on your requirements. Some projects are best worked out on an hourly rate whilst others require a fixed fee or percentage fee, or we may suggest a combination of all three. In any event we remain open and consistent with our pricing structure.
At what point should I involve an architect/architectural designer in my project?
As early as possible! At So Sound Design we provide creative guidance and advice most effectively the earlier we can be involved in the process. This allows us to make the best of any available opportunities and avoid potential pitfalls.
What happens at the initial consultation?
The initial consultation is a time for us to discuss your requirements and to see if you feel we are the right company for your project. At this time, we will discuss your needs and ideas, our experience and capabilities to deliver what you require. During the meeting you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions, or ask for clarification of anything that has been discussed.
Will you need any other professionals on your project?
Every project is different and has different requirements and we will advise you of any other consultants that may be required. At So Sound Design we have built professional relationships with private building inspectors, planning advisers, structural engineers and landscape architects to ensure we are able to provide our clients with a complete service for their project.
Do I need Planning Permission?
Not necessarily, depending on the existence and size of any previous development your project may be achievable under ‘permitted development’. If your property is a flat or within a conservation area, then a planning application will be required.
How long does planning take?
The length of the process varies depending on the complexity of the project and the specific issues of the project. In an ideal scenario, the process takes between 5 - 10 weeks.
Do I need Building Control Approval?
Almost certainly, most projects (apart from minor alterations) require Building Control approval.
What is the difference Between Planning permission and Building Control approval?
Put simply, the Planning department of your local authority is concerned with the effect of your project on the local built environment. They will look at the size and appearance of your project and any change of use. The building control department on the other hand, will be concerned with compliance with the building regulations; things like structural stability, insulation and fire safety for instance.
Can you recommend a builder?
Yes, we work closely with a number of established local small builders but are not affiliated with any one of them in particular. It is very much in our interests to only work with competent contractors wherever possible.
Can you give an accurate estimate as to the cost of the work?
At So Sound Design we have built professional relations with building companies, allowing us to provide our clients with an accurate cost for proposed building works.
What services do you provide after doing the plans to help me ensure my project turns out as expected with the builder?
We provide a full architectural service from concept to completion. That means we can be with you for the duration of the project, including the building process. At So Sound Design we can provide a tendering service to help you select an appropriate building contractor and also set up and administer a construction contract, to manage the relationship between you and the builder. This gives you the peace of mind that you've always got a professional at hand every step of the way.
Can you provide Structural Calculations?
Yes, we work in conjunction with a structural engineer and can provide all calculations required by your local authority.
How far are you willing to travel?
For the right project the So Sound Design team work be willing to travel as far as necessary. Having offices in Leeds and Manchester doesn’t restrict us to the North West of England, we have recently worked on projects in Cornwall and Whitehaven.

Delivering architecture, interior design and project management across the UK