How do you know what contractor to choose? Part 1 - Architects

One thing I see clients struggle with time and time again is deciding which contractor to use on a particular job. In this series I will be breaking down the various roles used in any project and enabling you to understand the purpose of each role and how they will be able to help you.

We start with perhaps one of the most important roles in any project- The Architect

What is an architect?

An architect is a qualified and licensed professional who plans and designs buildings. Architecture is where Art meets science, in other words it is the creative aspect that will enable you to visualise what is possible for your space. 

How do I know who to hire?

It is a good idea to hire a professional local to you, they will be aware of your councils restrictions in terms of building regulations and will help you with any submissions required. To find an architect local to you click here

In addition to finding a qualified architect, it is worth asking friends, family or neighbours if they are able to recommend someone they have used. If you see construction that catches your eye, ask (nicely!) if they could give you their architects details. 

Once you have shortlisted candidates, take time to meet them and understand their style. It is important that they are able to work with you to achieve your vision and dreams. 

Do I really need an architect?

If you say yes to any of the below, then quite simply I would say an emphatic yes! The price of an architect will heavily be outweighed by the value they will bring to your project.

- A new build property

- Building materials are unique

- Proposed design is not straightforward

- Planning permission will have complexities - for example if you are looking to build apartments or multi use facilities

- You are looking for serious wow factor

- you want a unique and bespoke design

I didn't say yes to any of the above!

You may be able to submit plans to the council yourself. Alternatively you could hire a draughtsperson or architectural technician to help create your plans to submit for building regulations. These will be simple plans for work such as a simple side/rear extensions to an existing property, Design and construction details may be lacking in these proposals so if you decide to go down this route ensure you hire competent construction firms.

How much should I expect to pay an architect?

Architects charge depending on the complexity of the project and how many hours thy expect to invest. As a very rough guideline you can expect to pay 10-15% of the total build cost. Ensure you are clear on your architects charges and charging structure so you do not got any surprises during the project! For more information about the cost of a project you may find this blog useful, here. 

Examples of Architectural genius

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