WHY WORK WITH AN ARCHITECT
Architects are highly skilled and professionally trained to turn your aspirations into reality. They can guide you through the design, planning and construction process whether you are constructing a new building or adapting an existing property.
Architects apply impartial and creative thinking to projects large and small. We add value, whether from maximising light and space, adding functionality, or achieving the best return on your investment.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ARCHITECT
A good working relationship between Architect and Client is crucial to the success of any project. Look for a practice with experience of your type of project or one that shares your aspirations. Check how many similar projects they have built, their contacts with the local planning department and their track record of approvals. Follow up their references to find out about how well they communicated, how responsive they were to changes, and how effective they were at managing the budget.
Speak to each firm on your shortlist, describe your project and ask if they have the capacity to take it on. If so, request literature that outlines the firm’s qualifications and experience. Visit their website. Ask to see a portfolio of work, or to visit finished buildings. Above all, get to know your intended architect. It is important to ensure that you are compatible. You should have confidence in your architects creative thinking and their ability to get things done.
HOW TO EMPLOY AN ARCHITECT
You and your Architect should discuss and agree on the scope and cost of architectural services before the project begins and ensure that the agreement is in writing.
Your Architect will advise you on all approvals needed and will help you appoint a professional consultant team who will help you design the entirety of your project.
With planning approval in place, your architect can recommend an appropriate form of building contract and will prepare drawings with technical specifications that describe your agreed proposals, for selected builders to cost.
The contract administrator is the individual responsible for administering the construction contract. Unless you appoint someone to this role, this will become your responsibility.
Appointing an architect as your contract administrator provides quality control over the build. They can carry out regular inspections, deal with queries, instruct any additional work required, monitor progress on site, keep track of cost, value works and certify payments due to the builder.
All projects go through more or less the same process, starting with the initial briefing; through to design development; preparing documentation for planning permission where required; producing the technical drawings for building regulations and construction purposes; tendering and finally construction and handover.