Hi, welcome! No its cool, you can leave your shoes on, the place is still a bit of a building site 😊

Thanks for opening this short message. My aim is to provide some light, home extension based, relief to your day.

Got anything nice planned for the weekend? The weather forecast looks ok, if still a little cold for this time of year.

Audience think ‘Ok goodness, the weather, is this honestly what Alistair has resorted to on this first weekly email he is sending?!’

Alistair thinks ‘Oh goodness, the weather, you had better turn this around into something vaguely interesting else they will unsubscribe!’

Bear with me…. I had my extension built last year, we replaced a conservatory with a slightly wider extension and opened it up to the kitchen. Our house is an ex local authority 1950’s number up in Dinnington, and we love the areas, don’t want to move, but with two young kids it was getting very tight.

What does this have to do with the weather? I am getting there I promise.  We love the space its great, its not fancy, no zinc or large pieces of glass here, just a cost effective, well designed (you’d hope so wouldn’t you!) functional space.

So, when I look at the weekend weather – which I do often cause I love my bicycling – and it looks to be sunny, I’m happy. I can plan to tire out the rugrats in park, tire myself out in the Northumberland hills, hit the amazing beaches we have, or play in the garden.

And when it look bad, all horrid and windy or wet, you know dreich as we scots say, well now, I’m kinda delighted! The house has some space now, a bit of elbow room, a big room where we can all hang out in comfort. I can cook (another passion) and watch the kids play. We can get all the toys out and invent games without feeling like the walls are closing in. All previous small home anxiety has been released. It’s a place we are all happy to be in. To be absolutely honest, we can’t quite believe we live there, still, nearing a year on.

The extension has nullified the weather, whatever it is, sun or snow, we, as a family are going to be happy. That’s week in, week out, year in year out. Honestly, its really magical. If you’ve extended, you know that right? If you haven’t, then now is the time to start planning. This year is pretty much booked out for builders, but starting now on the design phase will get your extension finished for next summer, and then, if it’s a wash out, it will no longer matter (quite as much as it did).

If you’ve read this, please may I ask a quick favour. Can you just fill out the form below, it will take two seconds. I’m keen to know if you’ve extended already or still thinking about it.

Best regards, and I hope you have a joyful weekend whatever the weather.


Creating an open plan living space is a great way to maximize the use of available space, while giving the home a cohesive style. When designing your open space, it’s important to consider elements like scale, flow, and texture to ensure that the end result is both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable.

Identify the Type of Space

Before designing your open plan space, it is important to identify which type of space you need. Ask yourself questions like what type of activities or gatherings will be taking place in the room. Will it be an area used for entertaining? If so, will there be a designated dining area? Once you have identified the types of activities that will take place in the space, you can begin to consider how to create an environment conducive to them.

Form Follows Function

Function should be the driving design force behind any plan for an open space. The goal should be to create a functional layout that maximizes all available space for each activity. This can include anything from properly designed counter top space or seating arrangements to implementing natural light sources or movement patterns when needed. It is important to consider how the activities within each space will interact with one another so that each element has its own purpose, but still interacts with the rest of the environment in harmony.

Set a Design Theme

When designing an open plan space, it is essential to establish a design theme that can carry throughout the whole area. This allows all elements of the plan to fit together seamlessly and also helps create a focal point in each area. Factors such as colour, texture, pattern and light will all help determine your overall theme. Utilize textures or finishes that both border and contrast with one another depending on what activity is occurring within each space for a stylish finish.

Think About How You Will Use the Space

As with all rooms, it is important to consider use when designing an open plan space. Think about which activities and events you generally take part in and which areas need to be blocked off for these activities. This will help inform your overall design as it will help define the area for each event or activity. For example, you may wish to include comfortable seating areas for relaxing and family time, as well as plenty of storage solutions to create a clutter-free environment. One of our clients recently shared with us how glad she was that she encorporated a second dishwasher. Christmas is now that bit tidier and less stressful because of this detail! We always like to remind clients about the bins – a hidden bin and recycling area can transform the feel of a space.

Incorporate Flexible Solutions

When designing an open plan space, flexibility should be a priority. Incorporate furniture that can serve different purposes easily. This could mean buying modular or multi-functional furniture such as day beds, which can double as sofas for extra seating when needed. Similarly, use rugs to create distinct zones within the same open floor plan and move them around according to your needs. With a flexible layout and design, you can turn your open plan space into different atmospheres for working, relaxing or entertaining guests at a moment’s notice.

Think About How You Will Use the Space

As with all rooms, it is important to consider use when designing an open plan space. Think about which activities and events you generally take part in and which areas need to be blocked off for these activities. This will help inform your overall design as it will help define the area for each event or activity. For example, you may wish to include comfortable seating areas for relaxing and family time, as well as plenty of storage solutions to create a clutter-free environment. One of our clients recently shared with us how glad she was that she encorporated a second dishwasher. Christmas is now that bit tidier and less stressful because of this detail! We always like to remind clients about the bins – a hidden bin and recycling area can transform the feel of a space.

Choosing the Right Architect in Newcastle

Choosing the right architect for your project is an important decision that can affect the success of your project. To make sure you find someone who meets both your needs and budget, it’s important to consider certain criteria when selecting a professional. Here are some key questions to ask potential hires, along with tips on how to make sure you’re making the right choice.

Understand Your Needs.

Before you even begin interviewing potential architects, it’s important to understand your project goals and needs. Consider the size, complexity and timeline of your project, as well as the type of design you desire. Knowing these details will help ensure that you find an architect who can meet your specific requirements and deliver a satisfactory result.

Research Architectural Firms and Specialty Areas.

Once you have an idea of your project’s needs, it’s time to start looking into architectural firms and their areas of specialty. Research a firm’s expertise, past projects, and client testimonials. Make sure to ask questions about the types of projects they have worked on and if their design style fits your vision. Additionally, don’t forget to inquire about their availability and timeline expectations – this is key if you are on a tight schedule!

Make Sure Potential Architects Have Proper Credentials & Licensing.

Before you hire an architect, it’s important to make sure they have the proper professional credentials and are licensed in your state. The license should be up-to-date and there should be no record of any disciplinary action or investigation of the firm or its members. It is also wise to check customer reviews on independent review sites to get a better idea of an architectural firm’s reputation and quality of service.

Check the Firm’s References & Portfolio of Work.

Before you make your final decision, it is critical to research the firm’s portfolio of projects and references. This will provide you with an overview of the type of work they have completed in the past and will give you an understanding of their style and capabilities. Once you have settled on a few potential firms, ask them for client references so that you can speak directly to those who have worked with them in the past. This will allow you to verify their services and get a better feel for how well they handle projects.

Get an Estimate for Services & a Timeline for Completion.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential architects, the next step is to request an estimate for the services they will provide. Make sure to get a detailed outline of the scope of work that will need to be completed for the project, including all required permits and any additional consultation services that may be required. Requesting cost estimates from multiple architects can help ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. Additionally, ask each architect for a timeline outlining when various phases of the project are expected to be completed. This will help you get a sense of when milestones should be met throughout the course of the project.

Speak to Acre Design today.

We’d love to talk you through our recent projects and tell you all about how we operate as an architectural design company based in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Calculating an architect’s fee can be a complex task. There are many considerations to take into account, including the scope of the project, the amount of time it will take to complete, and the costs of materials and other services involved. Knowing how architects calculate their fees is key to getting a fair rate for your project.

Initial Project Definition.

One of the first steps in determining project costs and fees is by defining the scope of the project. This includes discussing with the client their needs and desires, understanding what they are looking for in terms of a finished product, developing a timeline and budget, setting goals, assessing environmental concerns, and preparing a detailed plan. The more precisely all of these elements are established at this stage, the better equipped you will be to accurately estimate your fees.

Establish a Fixed Price Contract.

Instead of setting an hourly rate for your services, many architects will opt to establish a fixed price contract with their client. This type of contract works best when the scope of the project is well-defined so that you have a clear understanding of how long each project phase will take and how much it will cost. By doing this, you can give your client more financial certainty by agreeing on specific costs and timelines before the project even begins.

Define the Scope of Work & Estimate Time and Resources Needed.

Before you can establish a fixed price, you need to clearly define the scope of work and determine the time and resources needed for each part of the project. That way, you have an accurate estimation of how much time and money will be required to get it done. To do this, break down your tasks into smaller chunks and then consider the number of hours that will be required for each piece. By understanding the complexity of a project’s components, you can better estimate your costs to ensure both parties are in agreement before beginning any work.

Review Drawings and Specifications and Adjust Sub-Contractor Bids as Necessary.

Once you have an estimate in hand from sub-contractors that are necessary for your project, review those bids and the associated drawings and specs. Make sure everything matches up with your own calculations. If there are discrepancies, contact the sub-contractor and adjust accordingly before signing off on the bid. This step is important in order to ensure that all of your quotes are as accurate as possible and that you’re not paying too much for any particular part of the project.

Examine Collaborative Opportunities for Cost-Saving Measures.

Many architects also collaborate with other professionals, such as engineering firms and landscape designers, in order to achieve optimal results for their projects. By partnering with skilled specialized tradespeople, architects may be able to capture cost-saving measures that are otherwise available through economies of scale. For example, a landscape designer could provide materials on site at the same time as they are needed by the architect’s team rather than arranging for multiple deliveries—reducing both time and costs.

At Acre Design Newcastle, we guide our customers through our process transparently. We will make you aware of all of our costs and fees upfront and will work closely with you through the tender process.

Talk to us today to get started. 

Architect advice for extending your home in Northumberland

If you are living in or around Newcastle upon Tyne and looking to create more space and add value to your home without the hassle of moving, then a house extension could be the perfect solution. Learn about the different types of home extensions available, as well as their costs and benefits.

Convert Loft Space

Converting loft/attic space into an extra bedroom (or two!) is an increasingly popular way to create additional usable space, as well offering great returns on investment. Loft conversion projects tend to be one of the most cost-effective ways of extending your Newcastle upon Tyne home, with works generally starting from around £30,000. An attic bedroom typically adds up to 30% to the value of your property – so a good return for your money!

Add a Ground Floor Extension

Adding more space to your home by extending the ground floor is also an interesting option. This type of extension requires digging out some part of the back garden in order to create a much bigger living space available from ground floor level, making it very useful for creating an open plan kitchen living and dining room, maybe a new bedroom for when parents come to stay with ground floor bathroom/shower room or maybe an office. Costs are typically upwards of £30,000 depending on the design size, glazing, and finishing touches, Double or triple glazed windows, a solid roof structure and super insulated walls help minimise energy consumption costs too. This kind of extension is highly recommended for homeowners who have a sizeable garden area they are willing to lose, and maybe a small family.

Side extensions, single or two storey extensions,

Extending to the side over one or two floors can provide excellent new space for your home this type of extension can be built on top of an existing single Storey garage or to the side of the property where there is currently just access. Two Storey side extensions on the ground floor often contain office space utility rooms downstairs wc’s work can be incorporated into a more open plan feel for the rear of the property. To the first floor often bedrooms and additional shower rooms are created within this type of extension. There are lots of properties in Newcastle and N Tyneside that can benefit from this type of extension and acre design would be happy to help you understand your options.

Book a call with Acre Design today to find out about extending your home in Northumberland, North Tyneside or Newcastle upon Tyne!

Timber Frame Extensions

If you’re looking for quality timber frame extension builders near you in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland or North Tyneside, it’s important to do your research. There are many factors to consider when selecting the right contractor for the job, so here are five expert tips to help you make an informed decision.

Research Your Prospective Providers.

Start your search by researching local timber frame extension builders to make sure they have the required qualifications and experience for the job. See if any of your family or friends have used a builder before and ask them for their recommendation. Read reviews from previous customers and take time to check out the portfolios of prospective providers in order to get a sense of their services and quality of work. You can also check with a relevant trade association such as The Federation of Master Builders or The National Federation of Builders to ensure that any builder you choose has the proper credentials.

Take a Look at Their Portfolio of Work.

Get an understanding of the types of projects they’ve undertaken in the past and take time to review their portfolio of work. Make sure to look for attention to detail, high quality materials, and visual consistency throughout their projects. Ensure that the builder has demonstrated experience in building timber frame extensions on a similar scale as your project and ask them about any relevant certifications or qualifications. This will help you determine whether the builder can be relied upon for quality workmanship when it comes to your own extension.

Inquire About Their Quality Assurance Processes.

Ask the builder about their practices to ensure the best possible outcome for your timber frame extension. Quality builders will have strict protocols for quality assurance, including quality control inspections during every stage of construction to make sure that everything is functioning and built correctly. The builder should also be able to provide evidence and documentation of any work that has been undertaken, as well as a warranty on their workmanship as part of an overall quality control plan.

Read the Fine Print in Any Quotations You Receive.

Carefully go through any written quotation you receive from timber frame extension builders and read the fine print. Some quotes may not include certain items that are typically present in such a project (e.g. labour costs). Make sure to clarify anything that is missing or seemingly inaccurate so that you don’t end up spending more money than expected. Moreover, ensure that all of the building materials used are of a high quality and always ask for reviews or references if necessary.

Ensure All Employees Have Up-To-Date Trade Qualifications and Insurance Coverage.

It’s imperative that the timber frame extension builders you employ have up-to-date trade qualifications and appropriate insurance in order to guarantee the longevity of your project. Ensure that all employees have the required qualifications to carry out tasks on the build and check whether they are an accredited builder to further enhance the quality of their work. Additionally, make sure that a liability policy is in place so that you have financial protection should anything go wrong during or after construction.

Ask our Team of Experts for Professional, Honest Advice.

At Acre Design Newcastle, we have worked with a number of builders over the years. We would be delighted to advice you on finding the right timber frame extension builder in Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside and throughout the North East of England. Book and Ask the Expert Call today to talk to us!

Kitchen Extension in Newcastle

You may have found a house in your dream location and the kitchen is just too small, or perhaps your family has expanded and you simple need the extra space; a kitchen extension could be far more affordable than you might think. At Acre Design, this is our most common project type and having completed over 200 in the North East of England, we are the experts in this field. Adding extra kitchen space has numerous benefits: extra storage for that clutter free space we all dream off, room to cook family meals comfortably, a relaxing area which is enjoyable to be in or a modern, stylish place to entertain friends and family. Adding large windows and/or bifold doors adds natural light and brings beautiful views of your surroundings indoors.

It is essential to make sure your plans are detailed and exactly how you want your space as failing to be organised from the outset often incurs additional fees from builders, electricians, plumbers and so on. We cannot stress enough how beneficial detailed plans are for your budget. So, we wanted to outline some key considerations for the planning and building of a kitchen extension.

Investigating and Obtaining Required Planning Permission

It’s really important to share your plans with your local planning officer before you start any work, whatever the type of extension you are planning.. Planning rules are not always fixed and often vary between different areas within one town. If a similar extension was approved at your previous address for example, this doesn’t mean it will be the same scenario in a new location. Further to this, if your property happens to be in a conservation area or national park, you will need to consider certain design aspects carefully. At Acre Design, we handle the planning process for you so that you can focus on your family, work and social life. We have years of experience in this field and can anticipate planning requirements and ensure your design sails through any approvals.

Day-to-Day Use

Extending your kitchen or home is a big investment, usually costing between £1500 and £2500 per square metre. We have found it’s helpful for our clients to ask themselves some key questions. We always send our clients a questionnaire in addition to discussing their brief at length, enabling us to really capture their wants and needs. We find thinking about your dream kitchen in your mind’s eye is helpful. When will your kitchen be used the most? Will the space be used only for cooking or will you want seating for socialising, breakfasting, kids’ homework or play area while you are cooking perhaps? Will it be used by everyone? Do you have any existing furniture or appliances you’d like to accommodate? How many seats will you need around the dining table and/or at the island/breakfast bar? How do you envisage moving about the space?

Customising Your Space to Suit You

Budget is a large deciding factor on the space you create and the finish you achieve. Even with a small budget, you should consider how to layout the space to be exactly as you want it – we can help with this. We offer four drafts of alternative layouts in our design process, enabling you to visualise many different potential layouts. Building a new kitchen extension is an exciting opportunity, you have a blank canvas to work with! Everything can be customised to suit the needs of you and your family, from underfloor heating to lighting, from worktops to the location of power points. You have the luxury of being somewhat unrestricted by prior electrical or plumbing locations, giving you complete flexibility on location and size of appliances. Exciting right?

Practical Points

You probably already have some idea of your budget, which is great. You will need to consider ensuring a contingency fund is also included. Though we provide exceptionally detailed plans and consider all elements of the build process, unfortunately, we have found that occasionally clients may need some extra money for unforeseen events during the build process. Usually, these circumstances involve rare issues such as unknown drainage issues when foundations are dug or exposing unusual building techniques when plasterboard is removed. Communicating with any neighbours from the very beginning has proven helpful with several of our clients’ projects. Ensuring you inform neighbours of your plans from the start in open, honest discussions avoids any element of surprise – a good relationship with your neighbours can make sure the planning and build process runs more smoothly.

Knocking Through to Other Rooms

Often, extending your kitchen may involve knocking down partition walls, perhaps between your kitchen and lounge or dining room. This can create a beautiful open plan space and allow reconfiguration of what may currently be a small and cramped kitchen. Importantly, some walls may be load bearing so this may require the services of our structural engineer and the installation of an RSJ for support. If this is the case, it can be more expensive, however other options could be considered. We can determine this at your free consultation.


Victorian or period style properties are very common in Newcastle and the North East. Your kitchen may be small and narrow, this is particularly standard with Victorian homes. One way to increase floorspace is to build an extension, often creating an additional dining or lounge space at the same time. Sky lights in the extended area add to the open plan, luxurious feel of the new space while bringing in an abundance of extra light.

If you have extra space around the sides, front or rear your home, an extension may be your perfect solution. If you do own a period property, we can also ensure any alterations are in keeping with the existing design of your house. You may be more interested in a modern contrasting extension, this will often complement a period property, and we can show you previous examples of both.

Do You Need Help Building Your New Kitchen Extension?

Your kitchen could become a beautiful, comfortable, clutter free heart of your home. Yet, it may currently be too small or cluttered. Extending your kitchen gives you more space to cook, dine, relax and entertain. We can help you design your dream space, within your realistic budget.

Contact us today to discuss your exciting project. We will get in touch as soon as possible.

Office Manager of Leading Newcastle Architectural Designer – Acre Design


We thought it was about time we introduced you to our team properly! It’s really important to us that we create a trusting and open relationship with our clients, especially in a time where face-to-face meetings are unsafe. We’d like to tell you more about us with a series of interviews.

To kick it off, we’d like to introduce Laura, our office manager and amazingly organised heart of our team. There is nothing Laura doesn’t know about planning permission, building control, managing a team of creatives… the list could go on. Having worked with Alistair since he the very beginning of Acre Design’s journey, Laura has helped complete over 500 home extension, loft conversion and self build projects across the North East. I asked Laura a few questions…

What is your role within the team at Acre Design?

I am the Office Manager at Acre Design, the first point of contact for any client, contractor or planning / building inspector.  I’m always here to answer any questions and arrange telephone calls or meetings with the Design Team where required.

What do you think our clients would say about you?

I would hope clients see me as a helpful and a friendly voice on the other end of the phone to help with any questions and queries that they may have.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I am very much a people person.  I love conversation (sometimes a little too much).  This is usually with clients about their projects, hobbies or even the weather… I thrive on chat.

You’re such a happy, positive person. What really makes you smile at work?

Seeing clients dream homes being created by The Design Team is amazing.  It is like living in a Grand Designs programme every week day.  What more could you ask for?

What are the biggest challenges your role brings?

Being the first point of contact I remember a lot of names, a lot of addresses and the projects in general.  Acre Design has grown so much since I began working here in 2016 that it is slowly becoming impossible to remember everything.  Our computer systems provide a great resource in looking up each individual project and very quickly jog my memory.

What is your biggest strength?

I believe my biggest strength to be organisation.  I have always been one to keep lists, spreadsheets, dates and times.

Working from home can be a challenge, how have you maintained a work-life balance?

Working from home has been a lot more effective in my opinion.  It is so much easier to concentrate and get jobs done when there are no distractions.  Microsoft Teams has been a major help in keeping the team together and allowing discussions to keep everyone in the loop about all that is going on within The Design Team. I have been lucky that my working life can also revolve around my family life, I can do the school run for my children and still get all of my work done and be really productive. Doing the school run actually really helps me start the day cheerful and calm and finish it focused on my family.

You have a young family; how do you manage this alongside working at Acre Design?

My husband and two children are amazing.  Weekends are family time and this is very much a time we all make the most of.  We have 2 Labradors that love to be anywhere they can find water.  This becomes  challenge finding bigger and better places for walks.

We hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design, Newcastle, we are passionate about all things sustainable and innovative. We would love to discuss your project with you in detail.

Take a look at our recent projects for further inspiration! Get in touch to arrange a free, no obligation consultation at your home

Project Location : Birtley, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

Project Description: Rear and Side Extension

Lead Architect: Robbie Evans



We are delighted that Planning Permission has been granted on this large rear and side extension to this detached property in Birtley.

The original layout of the property has small individual rooms, which don’t suit the modern-day, open plan living that many of us dream of. Our beautifully designed, modern rear extension (architect Robbie Evans lead the design team on this project) will create a large kitchen and dining space with an existing backroom turned into a cosy snug room with log burner. To the side of the property, an existing side passage between the house and the detached garage is to become enclosed to create a large utility space with glazing that enables you to see through the property.



The extension is designed to create a modern, ergonomic living experience paired with a contemporary exterior finish. Rendered in white with simple details, clean lines and dark grey framed aluminium windows and doors, this extension will create a minimalist and monochromatic feel.

This new extension will improve the way the clients live and socialise; both as a family and with friends… creating a home for life.

Original Floor Plan

Final Floor Plan

Needs and Options Review

Original Floor Plan


Proposed Floor Plans

For this project we initially came up with a number of alternative layouts for this house extension. Please use the slider to see the various options we explored. When developing these design options, we consider: the budget, the relevant planning constraints, the client’s taste, the priorities for the space and how the client wishes to use their new space. It is then in the hands of our clients to decide which option they would like to run with together. We can then get into the finer details and develop the design to ensure it is absolutely perfect for our client.


We always start any project by exploring different design and layout options so that our clients can make an informed decision on their home extension design before beginning the build.


We have had a number of clients in Newcastle and the North East unsure about timescales for their build projects as contractors, designers and materials are becoming increasingly in demand. Let’s take a look at the situation in our area.

2021 has certainly been a strange time for wannabe home extenders. A number of factors have come together to form a bit of a perfect storm. In this blog post, I (Alistair Crerar, MD here at Acre Design) wanted to give my thoughts on the situation, having spoken to hundreds of  stakeholders in the industry in 2021 (and over the last 8 years of running Acre Design). Every day I speak to builders, agents, clients & planners about the residential extension sector, this small part of the construction industry that Acre Design works within, and loves with all its heart – if a small architectural practice can have a heart (I think it can). 

 Many people have been able to save money during the past two years where usual spending behaviours (holidays, going out…) have been restricted.  This, coupled with massive changes in working patterns (working from home becoming commonplace) led many to think about extending their home. At Acre Design, we saw an incredible demand peak early in the year. This made sense, a lot of people spent ALL of their time within the four walls of their home (the one exception was that one hour exercise window in lockdown one). Of course we started to look to see what we can do to improve our lives at home, or at the very least, adapt things to make things a little more comfortable and organised.  

With this extra cash in the bank and being locked away 23 hours of the day, a rise in house prices also really started kicking in at the start of the year as people sought greener pastures. Estate agents we spoke with told us that in North Tyneside and areas of Newcastle, houses have gone for £80k over the vendors’ asking prices! This isn’t on mansions either, these are pretty standard houses, which happen to be in truly lovely parts of our beautiful North East of England. House price inflation has certainly ramped up over the last 12 months, meaning that by re-mortgaging, more equity could be released should funding be needed for extending. And if credit isn’t required, it makes extending much more viable, as our future clients wouldn’t be breaking the ceiling price anymore.  

One other unquantifiable with limited data is the feeling that there is a bit of a migration North, possibly due to high prices down South, and the ability to work from home. It looks as though many people are cashing in their chips, selling their properties in London and the South and buying up large, period homes in the North East – Northumberland and North Tyneside in particular.  At Acre Design,  we have had half a dozen clients who have done that this year. Can we blame them? It’s a glorious place to live!

Things have died down a little since the end of the Summer, when the kids went back to school, and people tentatively started heading back to the office. However, in many cases, this return isn’t as permanent or full time as it once was, and with more time spent at home, the little bug bears about lack of space, storage, number of toilets, washing machine rumbles in zoom meeting backgrounds continues to grow and demand remains consistently high.  

We are now in October, and people are getting in touch, hoping to find a builder for a spring start. I am afraid that even in normal times that is just not realistic. We monitor closely each of our clients’ projects and the average design process takes eight weeks. There are big decisions to make, and clients need to make the right decisions as they will be the ones living with them when works are complete. With a hard working team and regular weekly meetings with clients, we can move quickly at each stage of the design process, but we will usually need to wait whilst clients mull over their options.  

For clients who go ahead today with Acre Design, we can forecast that in eight weeks  (December now… yikes!) there will be a detailed set of technical & construction drawings ready to go to a contractor with. These plans really are the minimum the contractor will need to be able to submit the quotes back to Acre Design or directly to the client dependant on the level of services a client has opted to use us for.  

Last week I spoke with Neil at Modern Living Projects  and also James Dickinson from JWD and they both agreed with me about the demand peaks at the moment, and that their order books will be full until September and late August respectively. That doesn’t leave much availability to get a build project complete in time to celebrate Christmas in 2022. 

These time frames are from two large, local contractors, but this is synonymous with what I’ve heard from others in the industry. There will be availability left for next Summer, but I think Spring is now out of the question. If you are thinking of extending and you’d like to try and find a gap in a diary for next year, the best bet is to start the design phase now, and be at peace with an early 2023 start on site, because if you can’t have Christmas in your extension, you certainly will be able to look forward to relaxing and enjoying your brand new extended dream home, whatever gets thrown at us over the coming years! 

As part of our mission to keep our customers updated with industry developments, we will continue to monitor the situation. For more information on extending your home or to find out how we can help design your next residential building development, get in touch with us at Acre Design on 0191 680 8088 or e-mail [email protected]. Our friendly, experienced staff are waiting to take your call.

We hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design Newcastle we are passionate about all things sustainable and innovative.
Take a look at our recent projects for further inspiration! Get in touch to arrange a free feasibility discussion with Alistair.