How to choose the correct architect for your project
Finding the correct architect is a crucial aspect of any building project that’s going to be successful. You need someone who is going to design your extension or loft conversion successfully, and who understands all local planning rules and building regulations. If you make the wrong choice, then you’ll be wasting both time and money.
It makes sense to hire an architect who has a decent reputation and familiarity with your local area. The ARB (Architects Registration Board) has a register of UK-based architects, and all professional architects must be registered with the ARB. Deciding to hire a chartered architect is also a good idea – to be given ‘chartered’ status an architect must be an approved member of one of the following professional bodies:
- Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
- The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI)
- The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)
Before you select your architect, make your preparations
Even before you begin the process of searching for an architect, you will need to do some preparation work. Ask yourself what you want, exactly, from the space that you’re creating. Is the room going to be for a single purpose, or a multi-functional one. Can it double up as a guest room and a study? What will the room be used for in ten years time?
The more you understand about what it is that you’re trying to achieve, the more the architects you approach will be able to understand as well.
Some other considerations when you’re finding the right architect for your project:
- Ask local tradespeople or builders if they know of any local architects, and if they have any experience of them
- Speak to local building control surveyors and ask about their experiences with the architects in your area
- Search out at least two or three potential candidates and arrange appointments for them to come and visit you. Make sure such visits are not charged for, and you are put under no pressure during them
- Make sure your potential candidates have created designs within your local authority area
- Ask each candidate what their submissions approval rate is like
- Make sure each candidate has full knowledge of local authority planning permission rules and all building regulations. Ask them to commit to that knowledge with a written confirmation
- Check all the services that your potential architect is willing to supply, such as securing planning and building regs
- Check that if changes to the design are required in order to receive local authority approval you will not have to pay extra
- Make sure that any architects you consider using have professional indemnity insurance
Any building project requires a great deal of time, money and effort, and you need all the correct elements in place if your project is going to be successful. Taking the time to source the most suitable architect to work with is one important step in making sure your project completes smoothly.
If you have a construction project you would like to discuss with us, please give us a call today. We will be delighted to hear from you.
The team in the office will be available to take your call during office hours, you can reach us on 01689 858100.