Award Winning Balham Architects | 12 Key Considerations Award Winning Balham Architects | 12 Key Considerations

Here are 12 key considerations to help you discern which Balham architecture firm is best suited to your unique requirements.

Avoid pitfalls like running over budget, missing the deadline completion date, wasting hours of your own time chasing up planning applications and contractors, or worst; not ending up with the dream home you envisage.

We trust that this guide will help you to decide whether or not to appoint AURA Architecture, or one of the many other architects serving Balham, as your chosen architecture firm.


1) Choose An Architect That Knows Balham Well


Balham has a unique culture and identity.  From the numerous period homes, mainly from the Edwardian and Victorian eras, to the Heaver Estate, and the landmark Art Deco flats of Du Cane Court, Balham has a strong architectural heritage.  To add value to your home, any refurbishment, extension, or kitchen remodel should be designed with this in mind. The Balham Architect you work with should have an understanding of local culture, and be on the inside track with the planning team at Wandsworth Borough Council.


2) RIBA Process Architects


While every project is unique and every client has unique needs, your chosen architect should be disciplined and have a documented process to ensure important details are not missed and all requirements are accounted for. AURA Architecture have a 10-step process based on the RIBA process, that is followed on every project.  For more details, view our RIBA process blog post, and download our free Home Design Guide at the same time.


earlsfield kitchen extension architects


The above image shows one of AURA’s kitchen extension projects in Wandsworth – click here to view the case study.


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


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3) Trust And Confidence – Architect Reviews And Awards


How valuable is your time? You’ve worked hard to get where you are in life and don’t have time to waste working with someone you mistrust. Honesty and integrity are our first two core values.  The team at AURA Architecture were voted the ‘Most Trusted Architecture Firm in Greater London‘ by Build Magazine in 2019.  Checking the reviews of Balham architects online also gives you valuable insight into the experiences of past clients – you can view AURA’s reviews on Google here (current overall score is 4.9/5).


4) Listening – Your Needs First


Your home should reflect your personality, your needs, and required features. Up to 8 weeks will be spent designing and documenting the requirements for your home transformation, and communicating these back to you, to ensure we fully understand what you require.  It is important during that time to be comfortable with your design team and express to them what your requirements and goals are for your dream home. 

Creating a home that is ideal for YOU, i.e. not necessarily the kind of home the architect or designer themselves would design, is one of the key reasons people select the team at AURA based on recommendations from family and friends.

5) Advanced Visualisation, Including Virtual-Reality 3D Tours

Unexpected results and mid-project changes are definitely something you want to avoid when extending or redesigning your home.

With our contemporary 3D rendering capabilities, AURA have the ability to show what your finished project will be like and help you spot any necessary changes before the site works begin.

See our 3D visual blog post for an example of how you will be able to visualise your new home before the first building contractor arrives.



6) Choose A Balham Architecture Firm With Past Experience


Nobody deserves to be a guinea pig. Experience and track record are critical to ensuring success in your project.  Working with an experienced architecture firm may bring up some ideas you hadn’t thought of.  In business since 2014, with extensive previous experience in property development prior to that, AURA Architecture’s team of architects can draw on a wealth of creativity to enhance your home.

View a live example of one of our recent Balham residential projects here.

7) Balham Planning Experts


Balham comes under the London Borough of Wandsworth council, who handles planning and building control. The Balham Architect you select should know Wandsworth’s planning process and the personalities involved.  This is very important in obtaining planning in reasonable time. Located in nearby Clapham, AURA Architecture have extensive experience with planning applications that involve the team at the Wandsworth Council – see our Wandsworth architect page for further details.

8) Balham Conservation Areas


Because of the local heritage, some Balham homes are located in conservation areas requiring additional planning strategy with Wandsworth Council to achieve your home improvement goals. An experienced architect can guide you through planning with Wandsworth’s Planning and Building Control to develop a scheme that achieves your dreams while securing necessary planning permission.

aura homes clapham
aura homes clapham

9) Utilising Natural Light


Perhaps you are saying to yourself “why does my Lounge feel like a cave?” or “I wish my dining room wasn’t so depressing”. Natural light is very important to human well-being, actually impacting the hormones your body produces.  Bringing natural light deep into your home creates a soothing environment as well as reducing the need for artificial lighting and the associated energy consumption.



10) Kitchen Design Architects


Have you ever thought to yourself “my kitchen is so dated I don’t want my friends to see it”?  Or maybe you find yourself feeling depressed when trying to put an evening meal together…  A kitchen is the heart of most homes, especially when it incorporates dining and socialising areas.  Having a tastefully designed and functional kitchen adds significant value to your home as well as increasing the value you derive from living there.  Natural light brings liveliness to your kitchen and is an important consideration in any kitchen remodel.

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11) Sustainable Home Architecture – By Design


With the ever-increasing cost of energy, and the importance of protecting the environment, choosing an architect with strengths in this area is an important consideration.  What will your new home’s carbon footprint be?  AURA are passionate about making sustainability and energy efficiency an integral part of every project.

12) Representing Your Interests As Your Home Transformation Proceeds


Contractors can be quite inventive, especially when it comes to excuses why your project is not progressing.  With site monitoring, AURA Architecture can monitor works progress and inject accountability into your home transformation.  And by carefully selecting tried and tested contractors in the first place, AURA can preempt many of the issues that come from experimenting with new tradesmen and builders.

Architects in Balham: 12 Ways To Select The Best One For You Ben Richards
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