Finding the right architect is key in developing your project and making your ideas a reality, but how do you find and choose the right one? We’ve come up with a few pointers for what to consider when starting your journey.
Finding an architect: Where to start.
Google or your search engine of choice is the best place to start. Google gives you the most information in the easiest way and can take you straight to an Architect’s web page rather than sifting through countless names on other websites.
However, there are many Architects out there, so you could try using online databases to initially narrow down your options: find architects in your area, read testimonials and see their previous work.
All qualified Architects in the UK must be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) which ensures that Architects on the register must comply with their code of conduct and be covered by adequate Professional Indemnity Insurance
Websites like RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) and Homeowners alliance have helpful ‘Find an Architect’ services that will let you see the professionals in your area. All you need to do is fill in a couple of details about your future or current property and you will be provided with a list of potential Architects. You can then get in contact.
Do your research.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise but one of the most important things to do when looking for your ideal Architect is to do your research.
Once you have narrowed down your options, a good thing to find out is whether their design style and portfolio of work is suitable for your project. You’ll be able to find this out by looking on their websites and social media pages or if you can, visit your potential Architects past projects to see for yourself in the flesh. This is a great way of establishing their credibility.
One important thing to bear in mind when conducting your research is to consider what permissions you will need which can be determined by what kind of area you live in and what work you are wanting to pursue. Read more about regulations and permissions in our ‘How to kick start your project’ blog.
Prepare your brief.
Always have a brief in place. Architects need to have an idea of what you’re looking for, so they can work out whether your project is something they would like to take on. It’s also helpful to provide your brief to all your potential Architects, because while it may not suit one, it may be perfect for another. Ideally you’ll want to interview two or three.
Some things to include in your brief:
- Where are you planning to build / alter or extend your property
- What are you looking to accommodate in your project
- Architectural styles you like
- Materials you like
It may also be beneficial to speak with your neighbours and friends about Architects they’ve used. It could be advantageous to employ an Architect that is already familiar with other homes in your area and your local planning authority.
Can you work with them?
Do you get along with them?
Do they listen to you?
Very important questions to ask when choosing your Architect. You’ll be working closely alongside them for large portions of your project so you should think long and hard about what kind of relationship you would like to have with them.
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