Choosing a good architect to design your extension or renovation is critical, as they will pave the way for your investment. With so many architects out there, how do you distinguish which will produce the best results for you? We’ve put together some of our top tips on how to choose the right architect.
This is something that most people don’t even think about. If you’re spending a lot of money, you need to make sure that the architect creating your designs is thinking along the same lines as you.
Have a look at some of their case studies to see whether they stick to the same sort of style. If their previous work is extremely varied, it’s likely that the architect works very closely with their clients and produces innovative designs that fit their individual requirements.
You really need to check that the architect you are looking to work with is registered with the Royal Institute of British Architects, and are therefore recognised within their industry. Ask your friends and family for recommendations too – this is one of the best ways to find a great architect.
Staying local is always a good idea, as the architect will need to visit your property throughout the design stage to put the plans together, and being nearby will make things a lot easier. @Wild Olive Estates recently tweeted, “One must understand that architecture is not a trade, it’s a craft” – we couldn’t put it better ourselves!
Don’t forget that architects will be working very closely alongside planning officers, builders and, of course, you. Not only do you need to be able to build a good working relationship with them, but if your architect has successfully worked with local planning authorities, you stand a much better chance of getting approval for your extension or renovation.
Your architect also needs to listen to your requirements closely. It’s great if they have an added ‘flair’ of design, but at the end of the day, you are the paying customer. You need to ensure they won’t get carried away and completely disregard your original brief.
Often the best architects have a busy schedule, but don’t be put off by this. If you have the time to wait for a well-respected, popular architect then that is probably the better option.
However, if you’re looking for a quick turnaround, you need to bear this in mind. As a rough guide, you should allow about six weeks for the design process, but of course, this can vary from project to project.
Once you think you’ve found the architect that fits your requirements, go ahead and get an initial meeting booked in. Always schedule a meeting with a few architects, even if on paper you have a favourite that stands out.
A face-to-face meeting will give you the chance to see if you will work well together, as communication is very important throughout your project. Feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.