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Advice and Support

Advice & Support

With over 35 years experience in Architecture I established GT Building Design in 2004 to specialise in obtaining Planning Permission and Building Control Approvals for homeowners. I guarantee you my expertise and a reliable, professional service. Based in the seaside town of Donaghadee County Down, GT Building Design provides architectural services for residential clients throughout Northern Ireland.

If you have any questions, would like advice or discuss your project please get in touch. I would be more than happy to help you. 

I have added other information below that you may find useful.

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What is a Chartered Architectural Technologist?

Chartered Architectural Technologists specialise in the application of building science and technology to architectural and construction projects. They have specialist skills enabling them to manage the design process and use their technical knowledge and expertise to provide innovative solutions.

The Planning Service Logo

Your Home and Planning Permission (A guide for householders in Northern Ireland)

This publication from the Planning Service is to help you understand if you need planning permission for works carried out around your home. It also tells you how to go about making a planning application if one is needed. Smaller domestic works can fall into permitted development rights, however I would advise that a "Certificate of Lawfullness" should be made if a full application is not necessary. 

Building Control NI Logo

Building Control NI, What we do.

Building Control have a statutory duty to enforce Building Regulations & responsible for ensuring construction standards laid down by Parliament, are enforced in your local Council. The standards include health, structural stability, fire safety, energy conservation and accessibility. These standards are enforced through plan assessment and site inspections. When a building is completed they will issue a Certificate of Completion. Building Control are there to offer professional help and impartial advice on your project and to answer any queries you may have on regulatory issues.

Attic Conversion

Planning an Attic Conversion? (A guide from Building Control)

This leaflet provides guidance on how to achieve compliance with the Building Regulations when carrying out an attic conversion. When the intention is to provide one or more rooms in an attic, a Building Regulation application is required. Not all attics are suitable for conversion and issues may prevent conversion being a practical solution such as low head height or not enough space. Where the intended use is to store lightweight items such as suitcases, general household items, etc., then the provision of loose boarding is generally satisfactory and an application would not be required provided that the access to the area is by ladder and not by a new or fixed staircase. 

Velux Rooflights

Velux Attic Conversions (By Velux)

Discover how to renovate your loft into a daylight filled space to relax. Explore homeowner projects that will provide you with hints, tips and inspiration to help you maximise the potential in your loft conversion. Take a look at their loft conversion picture gallery for ideas and inspiration on how to inject daylight into your project.

Is it better to extend or move house? (By Ideal Home)

Deciding between building an extension on a house to better match your needs or just moving on to your next home can be tough. Deciding whether you should extend should be based on whether an extension is right for your home. An inappropriate or poorly executed extension can reduce the value of your home, should you choose to sell in the future. A professionally designed extension almost guarantees to be beneficial to your house value. 

NI Direct Logo

Radon Gas In your Home: What you need to do!

Long-term exposure to radon increases the risk of lung cancer, particularly in smokers. Radon exposure is the second greatest cause of lung cancer, after smoking, and is estimated to cause 30 deaths per year in Northern Ireland. Little is known about this by the general public but you wish to find out more by clicking the link above.

Gas Safety Register Logo

Prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home

Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas produced by the incomplete burning of any carbon fuel such as natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This can happen when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained.

CO can also build up if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked. Solid fuels, such as coal, wood, petrol, as well as oil, can also produce carbon monoxide when they burn.

CO can be deadly and is especially dangerous because you can’t see, taste or smell it, and some symptoms mimic the effects of viruses and even a bad hangover. It’s important to know the physical symptoms of CO poisoning to ensure you seek help quickly.

Energy Saving Trust Logo

Dealing with condensation, dampness and mould

These are a major source of problems and can absorb a significant proportion of repair and maintenance resources. This document will help you to identify different condensation and dampness problems and to develop and implement appropriate technical solutions.

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