From bedroom startup to one of the North East’s leading professional residential architecture practices

About Acre Design

Where it all began

Alistair founded Acre Design in 2014 from his bedroom with a cheap laptop and an A3 printer. Initially as a side hustle whilst he was working in building control – where he spent 10 years assessing architects drawing and overseeing building work.

Discover Alistair’s story – a tale of dedication and a decade spent in building control before venturing into the world of residential architecture.

Over the years, and with some key hires, the company has grown to the professional and organised architecture practise it is today.

Family enjoying new kitchen in their home extension

Our mission

Our mission has always been to help hard working families gain extra space in their homes (we only do residential work, it’s what we love). We want to show our customers their options, within budget, work with them to come up with a beautiful design, and then take all the stress and risk out of extending by helping them from concept through to completion. We follow a tried and tested process (see our 5 step process) to take all the stress and risk out of extending your home.

Why we are different

A unique first step

You know how when you want an extension, you need to commit to a full design service without ever working with the architect before, or knowing you’ll like the design? Well, what we do is show our customers all their options, with estimated build costs before they commit to an expensive design fees through our clever Needs and Options Review – read some of our google reviews here….

Not just pretty designs and approvals

Not only this, but unlike most residential firms, after the approvals are gained, we can arrange 3 like for like quotes from trusted contractors we work with regularly, then act as your construction professional during the build, to ensure that the timeframes are being met, the workmanship is of the highest quality and you don’t pay over the odds for any extras during the build.

A decade spent ‘in the trenches’

10 years in building control is not the usual training for the owner of an architectural practise. But 10 years of assessing other firms work for compliance to the regulations, and 10 years visiting sites, problem solving construction issues, has given Alistair a serious edge over the competition. He can solve issues on plans before they become issues on site, he knows the rules inside out (and all the workarounds) and most importantly, he knows that beautiful designs are only a part of the job (step 2). Producing clear, detailed, accurate technical drawings for the contractor to work to (step 3), forming lasting relationships with good contractors (step 4), and having presence onsite during construction (Step 5) is fundamental for a project to be completed on time and on budget.

Merits of using Acre Design
Merits Sole Practioner Acre Design Large Firm
Holiday/sickness cover to keep your project moving if there is an absence. close done done
Core focus/specialist in residential refurb and extensions. question_mark done close
Deciated administration team. close done done
10 year on-site, first hand experience in Building Control, fixing the issues that bad plans create, including a detailed understanding of buidability and design value for money. close done close
Dedicated team of experts working on every project. close done done
Every concept design presented with a suite of 3D images and explainer videos. close done question_mark
Full and thorough tender administration process to ensure value for money from the chosen contractors. close done question_mark
Full services from inception to completion. close done done

The practise today

Working from our modern office at Royal Quays (why not book in a visit here, we would love to show you what we are working on) Alistair and his expert team help around 6 families per month through the design phase. To date we have helped over 1000 customers in the North East extend their home. If you have questions about your build, why not book in an Ask the Expert call, it’s a great way to start the ball rolling on your extension plans.

Acre Design team

The team

Team work makes the dream work. Alistair is ably assisted on the designs by a dedicated design team, at present we have two architects and an architectural technicians. The practise manager Rebecca ensures deadlines are met, and clients are kept up to date with their project as it moves through the 5 step process. This process and our standard operating procedures (SOP’s) do the heavy lifting really, without these we wouldn’t be able to serve our customers as faultlessly as we do, and because of these the design team can focus their time on creating beautiful, buildable and cost effective extension designs.

Meet Alistair

Alistair Crerar was born in 1985 and was raised in a small village in the highlands of Scotland. He had a very happy childhood, playing lots of sport, working hard at school, and (mostly) getting on with his 4 siblings. He moved to the North East to attend university having just turned 18 and at 20 he began his career in building control for North Tyneside Council. This year out during university, as part of the course, was where he really found a deep interest in construction. When the time came to go back to university full time for his final year NTC offered him a scholarship. They paid for the tuition fees, he did his final year part time, and worked 4 days per week. After two moves to different councils, and a long cycle tour (Scotland to Istanbul) he returned to the north east to set up Acre in 2014.

Here he met his wife Katie, and they now have two small children, Phoebe 4, and Alfie 2.

Alistair and Katie

We considered an extension to our property, but had little idea how to proceed. We selected Acre Design from positive reviews posted and have not been disappointed. Help and advice was always available and the team led us through the process in a professional and timely manner. We have no hesitation in recommending them!

John McRiner

Contact Acre Design

CAI Building, Royal Quays,
North Shields, NE29 6DE

T: 0191 6808 088
E: [email protected]