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Bespoke Homes

We love designing homes. Whether they are new builds, extensions or renovations; our friendly and professional team can help your project reach its full potential. If you have a grand design in mind? We can help you with that too!


Get in touch

We'd love to hear about your project and how we can help

How we work

To alleviate any mystery behind what we do - we have put together our work process, which runs in line with RIBA's work stages.


Preparation & brief

Following our initial visit and agreeing fees, you have made the decision to work with us! (which is great btw) We will now gather relevant site information; this may include a site survey and ordinance survey data, and we'll identify the need for any approvals or 3rd party specialists and confirm your requirements with you.


Concept Design

This is where we begin to work our magic! We will take your requirements and create some concept designs solutions in a sketch proposal form for you to consider. We'll chat through the options with you to make sure you decide on a scheme that you are happy with!


Spatial Coordination

Having agreed on the concept, we will then produce detailed design information suitable for a Planning Application or Lawful Development Certificate and liaise with the planning department throughout the process on your behalf to achieve the best outcome.


Technical Design

Congratulations! You've just had your planning application approved. Now we can move on to prepare the technical drawings and a specification of works for a building regulations application. It's at this stage you may require a Structural Engineer and/or a Party Wall Specialist. It's also the stage when you might want to find a contractor....



The time has come to start on site. We offer 'full contract administration' service, a 'light touch' service or simply 'leave it in your capable hands' service... we'll keep in touch regardless to find out how you're getting on!


Handover & Close Out

Need some interior design help or a beautiful presentation book showcasing your journey to your dream home? Just ask. Finally, we'd love to know what you think of our services and how we might improve - so we'd appreciate it if you could leave a testimonial on one of our social media platforms please.


Have any questions? You'll find your answers here.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) puts it very eloquently when they say... "Architects apply impartial and creative thinking to projects large and small, whether you are constructing, adapting or expanding a building. They will guide you through the design, planning and construction process from the early stage scenario of 'what do I do?' through to completion of the project. Architects add value, whether it comes from maximising the impact, functionality or marketability of a building."

Our team brings vast and varied expertise, knowledge and skills to your project. We'll guide you through the work stages and maximise the potential of your project to best suit you.

Being an RIBA accredited Chartered Practice means we comply with a strict criterion covering insurance, health and safety, quality management systems and code of conduct. Giving you peace of mind that your project is in safe hands.

Yes, we do.... for all jobs we are happy to come to your home or property and meet with you face to face to discuss your requirements, our ideas and how we may be able to help you. This meeting is free of charge and there is no obligation to proceed.

After meeting we will be able to provide you with a fee proposal and our thoughts on how best to move your project forward.

As you would expect, this process can vary according to your design brief and your requirements. Our initial design concepts are usually ready to discuss with you within just a couple of weeks.

With every project we like to explain the key milestones that will give clear indications to all the stages required.

All our fees are worked out on a bespoke basis to offer you best value. These will vary depending on the scope of the work you are under-taking, and we will discuss this with you before proceeding. Our involvement may only be needed for the initial design stages, or it may involve delivery of the technical design - including monitoring the works on site.

Our fees are typically fixed as this gives you cost certainty and better control over how much you ultimately spend on your project. We break them down into the RIBA’s work stages, allowing you to select all or part of our services.

I’m afraid we do not offer a price matching promise, because every architect will provide you with a different design solution and often a different way of delivering their services. You should choose your designer on the basis that they are the most suitable to deliver a design specifically for you and probably more importantly, do you like them?

Your architect will be alongside you throughout the whole process and you need to be able to relate to them and know they understand your specific brief. We do however, offer the highest level of professional service and we are a very friendly and personable team!

Invoices, for our services, are typically issued at the end of each stage of work. This is all set for you out in your personalised fee proposal.

Yes, we can. Just get in touch and we will arrange a consultation.

We do, but when we design for a client, it's your perfect solution that we’re trying to understand. Our portfolio displays a variety of possible styles, with a focus on exceptional design solutions and quality detailing. Sometimes you might not know exactly what you want but, do not worry, we will help you to narrow it down and discover your ideal home.

We will assess your project individually to ascertain whether it requires planning approval and we can advise you on the necessity of this. Permitted development rights do exist for residential properties, whereby extensions under a certain scale may not require planning approval.

If your property is listed then all alterations, other than like for like repairs will require listed building consents too.

Planning officers must make a decision within 8-12 weeks (depending on the size of the project) of an application being registered. Within that time your planning application is validated, neighbours are notified, the application is assessed, and a decision issued. We like to stay in close contact with the planning team throughout this process to ensure the best possible outcome for you.

Permitted Development (PD) allows for certain works to your home without the need to apply for planning permission. In order to carry out work under Permitted Development the work must strictly conform to the current criteria which we can advise you on.

Yes, we do! Our team have extensive experience designing for listed buildings and making applications in conservation areas. We can discuss your project in detail.

Almost certainly yes. Most alterations to any building that are more than cosmetic will require a Building Regulations application; such as structural, thermal performance or drainage. This is a key stage of our design process.

We can also give advice on any aspect of the regulations and how you can ensure your building project complies.

It is difficult to quantify how long a project may take without detail of what it might involve, in some instances if planning is not required it may be possible to start construction work within a matter of months, however for large scale works it can take considerably longer.

Once we have discussed your requirements with you we will be able to give you an estimate of how long the planning and design process may take, as well as how long the construction process could be as well, this will allow you to plan out how you approach your project.

An estimate on project cost can be difficult to evaluate as there are so many variables at play. That being said, projects can be designed and built to meet a specific budget and intended end goal.

We can help you establish a detailed cost appraisal at key points of your project if so required.

It is not unusual for a project to require the input of other consultants at some point during its progress. Most typically this may be a structural engineer or a quantity surveyor (who can advise on costs). However, at planning stages it can also be necessary to employ consultants with expertise in the fields of ecology, archaeology, flood risk, trees and landscapes.

We can advise on who and when any of these may be necessary and have many contacts to be able to help you place the most suited professional to your project.

To book your informal and free initial consultation please get in touch.

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What our clients say...

The whole process with Benchmark has been outstanding.

A Taylor, Ampthill

Mark is a fantastic architect, a pleasure to work with; creative and visionary. Looking forward to working more with Benchmark in the future!

C Norman, Liverpool

We had an excellent experience with Benchmark. Our kitchen extension plan has turned into the most amazing space and we love every minute spent in it. I can't thank Alex enough for his help and the fact he genuinely cared about the project from start to finish. A truly professional and enjoyable experience. I highly recommend their services. We're over the moon!

Nicole, Ampthill

The process with Alex at Benchmark has been fantastic. It’s been a really collaborative process with all ideas explored, meaning we got to the perfect design for our brief. Would highly recommend

Dominic, Great Barford

What can I say...Benchmark have been outstanding. From the initial meetings where they sought to truly understand how we wanted to use our space, through the various design iterations based on planning restrictions, and finally being at the end of a phone line to answer specific structural questions during the build and even popping by every now and then to say hello and check on how we were getting on. Brilliant company. Benchmark and Alex have given us our dream space. Thanks!

Tim, Bedford

Matt & Mark have been absolutely brilliant in advising and supporting us through the process and planning of our new extension. They have huge amounts of patience and always have time to listen, answer queries and share inspirational ideas.

Nicola, Bedford

Benchmark Architects designed a two storey extension to replace the existing single storey extension on our 19th century Duke of Bedford Cottage in Ampthill. They were very professional, quick to respond, and pleasant to deal with throughout. Getting the planning permission on a listed building and making the most of the limited space available were both areas where their input was especially valuable. We were really pleased with what we were able to achieve with their help.

Patrick and Sarah, Ampthill

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