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What is an Architect and what do they do?

What does an architect do?

If you have never used an architect before the whole thought of it can be quite daunting. KJ Architects founder Keith Johns will attempt to ease this process with some explanations.

I am often asked questions about the role of an architect and what they actually do. I also hear stories of arrogance, how expensive, they do drawings don’t they and they are quite unnecessary as anyone can do drawings and make planning applications can’t they? I can even do it myself.

What is an Architect?

Well, it is true to an extent. Architects can sometimes centre on their own designs and not to the client’s needs and occasionally be expensive. We at KJ Architects consider ourselves centered on the client, nor are we expensive. We certainly do produce drawings and believe we are very necessary, especially dealing with construction details, design issues and of course dealing with the malaise of rules and regulations of local authorities.

Everyone planning an extension, new house or any building project from small to large are often faced with the problem of finding an architect that they can trust, has common sense and will produce something which meets the client’s brief and give value for money. For more information please go to www.architecture.com

Architectural vs Architect

Look on the internet and you will find several entries for architectural services. At this point, please beware! All architects are by law, properly qualified, registered, regulated, continually trained and properly insured.

Architectural means like an architect. So an Architectural Designer/Consultant/Technician is like an architect but isn’t one. The law governing the registration of Architects exists to safeguard you, the client.

The use of the title ‘architect’ is protected actively under the Architects’ Act 1997 by Architect’s Registration Board (ARB). If you are in any doubt whether your advisor is a registered architect or a chartered member of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), contact the ARB (Architects Registration Board).

Before a person can be called an Architect he or she will have completed a seven-year course in the design, specification and erection of buildings – including several years of real experience – and will have passed the professional practice examination which is the final stage of the training.

This permits entry to the list of UK Architects held by the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB), and use of the title ‘Architect’. Thereafter, application can be made to one or both of the chartered professional bodies which entitle members to use the term ‘chartered architect’ and the initials RIBA: Royal Institute of British Architects.

Architectural Technicians?

Architectural Technicians are specialists in the application of technology to architecture, building design and construction. Technicians are an integral part of an architectural design service, working alongside architects, engineers, surveyors and other professionals within the construction industry.

Like most practices KJ Architects employ highly qualified Technicians to assist the Architects in their work. All our work, however, is fully supervised and monitored by registered and chartered Architects.

Architectural Technologists?

Architectural Technologists provide architectural design services and solutions, and are specialists in providing a link between concept and construction. Chartered members of the CIAT may practice on their own or with fellow chartered Architects or engineers and other members of the construction industry.

Why should I use an Architect?

A client centred service, value for money, freedom from worry, and help with achieving an imaginative design are just some of the reasons why using a chartered architect makes sense.


An architect’s job is to design an original and individual building, extension or conversion for each client. Each project is unique with a different location, a different set of criteria and a different budget. Some clients require more of an architect’s services than others. For these reasons our fees vary between projects.

Our fees are a small part of the overall cost of a building project. Our intention is always to save you more than the cost of our fees by adding extra market value to the building through good design, by reducing the running costs of the building through careful detailing and by reducing the cost of constructing the building through good project management. Clients who attempt to save money by using inexperienced designers can find that the downside is substantially higher costs throughout the rest of the process. Don’t take risks with your investment. You always get what you pay for and good advice is worth paying for.

For many projects our fees for a full architectural service are based on the time we estimate we will have to spend on a project, not the construction cost. Fixed fees can be agreed/negotiated for most commissions.

Something wrong?

All architects are required to carry Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance to cover their professional work. It isn’t a warranty scheme – you need NHBC or similar for that – but it provides a degree of certainty that things can be sorted out in the rare event that something does goes wrong in the work that we have done. Details of our PI cover can be provided on request.

Contact KJ Architects

For more advice or clarity please contact KJ Architects for unbiased, common sense advice and help from our friendly team of professionals. We offer high-quality architectural services throughout London. You can contact us online or call KJ Architects directly on 01638 662393.



    Studio 2 4 The Highlands Exning Newmarket Suffolk CB8 7NT
    T: 01638 662393

    Company Number 7473357
    VAT number 104 5973 19
    Registered Office Address – Normans corner, 41 Church Lane, Fulbourn, Cambridge CB21 5EP

    RIBA Chartered Practice number 196619P
    Architects Registration Board - Keith Johns Registration number 047094E
    Active Member of checkatrade.com
    96 Kensington High Street London W8 4SG
    Studio 2 4 The Highlands Exning Newmarket Suffolk CB8 7NT
    T: 01638 662393
    What is an Architect and what do they do?