Selecting an Architect in Earlsfield | 6 Key Considerations

Choosing an architect is not easy. Most architects serving the Earlsfield area claim to do the same things, with similar fee structures.

At the end of the day, the service you receive, and the level of inventive design and expertise your chosen architect provides, is down to the people involved with your project – the architects and designers that make all the difference.

Choose the right architect for your Earlsfield extension or refurbishment, and they’ll creatively maximise the available space, coming up with inventive ideas you hadn’t thought of, and will suggest practical details you may have overlooked.

Choose the wrong architect, and your project could be a big disappointment, with impractical designs, and money wasted on features that waste space, are not energy efficient, or simply don’t add value.

And the stress-free handling of the entire project is another big consideration.  Most London Borough of Wandsworth planning applications take several weeks or even months to process, and then when the building works commence, you want to be able to continue your everyday life with minimal disruption.

A good architect will manage the project proactively on your behalf, leaving you free to focus on your life, knowing that your extension is in good hands.


Here are 6 key considerations when choosing an Architect in Earlsfield:

1) Earlsfield Architect Fee Structures

Most architects in Wandsworth charge a fee based on the percentage of the project value.  Whilst this is common practice, at AURA Architecture we believe the only fair way to charge is with fixed, transparent fees.

If an architect’s fees are based on a percentage of the project value, it incentivises them to think up the most expensive (and often impractical) features to add into the project, taking the focus away from what is best for you, the client.

With fixed fees, we are free to focus on creating your dream home, with every detail considered carefully in line with what is best for you, instead of focusing on increasing the costs of the project to maximise our fees.

AURA Architecture also advise the overall costs of our services as early as possible in the journey.  This way you are not faced with the prospect of escalating costs or abandoned projects.

We charge a flat fee of £75 per hour to clients in Earlsfield, and offer an ultra-comprehensive Home Design Consultation for just £200.00.  The Home Design Consultation allows you to meet our head architect, scope out the whole project, and assess all the main details and considerations, before you commit to anything further.

The images above show a kitchen extension in Earlsfield – click here to view the full project case study.


Or for more Earlsfield home improvement ideas, see our main projects page.

2) Does your architect have an in-depth knowledge of local planning permissions in Earlsfield and Wandsworth?

Whilst a good architect can achieve amazing results within the scope of permitted development (meaning you don’t need planning permission at all); for larger extension projects, you will need an architect who is skilled at working with the London Borough of Wandsworth planning team.

Check that your architect is competent with:


  • Official Planning Application Drawings (inc. Sections, Plans, and Elevations)
  • Retrospective Planning for Earlsfield
  • Building Regulation Drawings for Building Control for Earlsfield


Quick link to the Wandsworth Planning Portal (Wandsworth covers most of Earlsfield):

For more information on whether your project will require planning permission, or not, enquire online or else view our helpful planning permission blog post.

See also our Wandsworth Architect page, to learn about our services covering the wider area around Earlsfield.

3) Using Natural Light to improve your wellbeing and create happy and airy living spaces

One of the most common improvements our clients would like from their home extension is way more natural light in the main living areas. “My kitchen is so gloomy” or “I have to have the lights turned on in my lounge even when it’s sunny outside” are common complaints that architects can solve with a great extension design.

A good architect will not only find inventive ways of allowing plenty of natural light into the depths of your home, but will do so in a sustainable manner.  A lot of heat can be lost unless the right materials are used, and you also want a low-maintenance design, with aspects such the right pitch to minimise leaf and moss build up, taken care of.

4) Best Kitchen Design Architects in Earlsfield

Many home owners regard the kitchen as the most important aspect of their extension or refurbishment.

After all, with the increasingly trend towards open plan dining kitchens that blend seamlessly into living areas, the kitchen is where you’ll spend a lot of your time.

Kick start your day with morning coffee & breakfast in an airy, state of the art kitchen; and entertain in style with a practical layout that allows guests to socialise while you cook, without getting in your way.

5) Comprehensive design process, including virtual-reality 3D video tours

3D visualisation prior to the commencement of your Earlsworth home improvement is a huge time saver in the long run.

Rather than try to make last minute amends in the closing stages of the project, you can instead get a feel for your new dream home prior to any work commencing.

See our 3D visual blog post for an example of our design process in action.

AURA Architecture’s team includes talented home designers alongside our qualified architects, and then we utilise the very best technology to bring your project to life, and get your detailed feedback before the first tradesmen arrive.

6) RIBA Architects in Earlsfield

Whilst complex and difficult for the average home owner to understand, the Riba Stages are a great framework to ensure a thorough and methodical approach to any project, so any good architect follows these.

AURA Architecture follow the RIBA stages, but have broken these down in a more laymans approach for you.  We’ve created a 10-step Home Design Guide to help home owners understand our process, click here to learn more and download the guide.

Residential Architecture Projects In Earlsfield

Our Online Reviews

Scott Robertson
Scott Robertson
June 20, 2023
Professional, reliable, great to work with. Highly recommended if you are renovating your house.
Carina Isabel Lopes De Carvalho
Carina Isabel Lopes De Carvalho
May 2, 2023
It is a company of excellence
Emily Stuart
Emily Stuart
January 25, 2022
I used Aura for a side return and rear extension, and a renovation of my first floor bathroom. I wanted something unique and characterful, with lots of natural light. Aura really went above and beyond my expectations, creating me a space that truly is more than I could have imagined. From the initial consultation, where I felt immediately at ease with the team, to the transparency in their costings, all the way through the design process and project management, Aura have been consistently professional, communicative and flexible. It certainly hasn’t been an easy time for anyone in the industry, but Aura’s solution-first attitude and their adaptability made it so easy to work with them through lockdowns, supply chain challenges, pingdemics and everything in between. It was a true pleasure to work with the team - they really do their utmost to make the process as straightforward, simple and enjoyable as possible. I’d not hesitate to recommend Aura. They team are the perfect balance of creative and practical, imagination and solutions, to make whatever dream you have come to life.
Rob Birkin
Rob Birkin
November 18, 2021
February 9, 2021
I chose to use Aura based on their reviews in June 2020. At first it was a really good experience and I was impressed with their professionalisim. I received my drawings and wasn't completely happy with them. The 4 options I was given were all basically the same thing. They never came to my property to see the space or get a feel for where the light was coming in etc. The bathroom on the drawing didn't make sense as it was so small. (See below). The snug was also like a meter so again didn't make sense. I tried to escalate this to Ben, and I was offered another call but I had lost confidence in them. My neighbour was also doing work on her flat which is a similar layout and in contrast her drawings were really well thoughtout. In the end I had to pay again to get my drawings redone. (Attachment P&S - one example of my new drawings below - the more detailed drawings). I asked Aura for a partial refund as I never actually received a final drawing from them (despite paying for them) and they refused. It was just a disappointing and expensive experience.
Anthony Egan
Anthony Egan
May 22, 2020
I recently contacted Aura Homes Ltd to discuss a small development project. The project was unusual and a lot of factors needed to be taken into account due to the location, site surroundings and practicality of the proposal. I originally discussed it with Ben Richards who I found to be helpful, knowledgable and very accommodating in that he listened intently to give a fair assessment of feasibility. Iris Kouneni was assigned to me and met with me to thoroughly discuss and understand what my intentions were. Like Ben, she digested my layman’s view and proceeded to give me her professional opinion. Iris and Ben were an absolute delight to work with, professional, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and communicative to mention just a few of their qualities. Unfortunately due to the COVID19 lockdown we have had to shelve the project. It's been a pleasure to work with Aura Homes Ltd, refreshingly honest and professional. I look forward to working together with them in the future.
Brendan Quinn
Brendan Quinn
May 20, 2020
Thanks for reading this review. Ben is one of my monthly sponsors of the Property Events that I have run and also of the National Development Summit earlier in 2020. In a business setting I really appreciate Ben's support, particularly during COVid19- Ben had the option of pulling out of my events as a sponsor- as I have had to pivot- moving them online. Ben has continued to support these events as a sponsor, when he could have easily turned his back and moved on. Also at the National Development Summit 2020, Ben could see the effort I had put in to make the event, a great event, and himself and his team also equally put in huge effort. When you organise events, you ideally want things to go smoothly in terms of presenters turning up on time/before time, and with slides which are hassle free, and this Ben has done so. I have been to Ben's office several times and the staff have been really friendly. Ben's knowledge of working at Berkeley Homes, puts his company at a very high level.
Louise Hancock
Louise Hancock
April 13, 2020
Aura Homes is a highly professional firm of architects that always have the clients best interests at hart. The quality of their plans and drawings is superb and their turn-around when making amendments well within expected timelines. For bespoke projects, their research and recommendations (both in terms of quality and costs) is superb.
Harry Bucknell
Harry Bucknell
April 10, 2020
Couldn't recommend Ben and his team more. We were in a really tricky position with our building project and Ben navigated us safely out of it. Superb guidance, great technical knowledge and what I really valued the most was the communication. Always got back to me promptly which makes a real difference when stress levels are high. Thanks Aura!
Eugene Clarke
Eugene Clarke
April 9, 2020
The quality of work from Arua Architecture is to an excellent standard. We worked primarily with Ben and Gabby, they provide a friendly and professional service that minimised the worry and stresses associated with building projects. We hired Aura Architecture to assist us with our building project. We appointed them for the following work: - Regularisation on previous designs - Planning conditions discharge - Building regulation drawings - Detailed designs They came recommended from a Structural engineering company, and we were not disappointed.
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