How do I choose the right architect?

We know it can be challenging to choose the right Architect for your home build. Each Architect’s practice works differently from each other, so it depends exactly on what you are after as to who will suit you and your needs.

It’s important to know exactly which services the architect that you interview provides. Some Architects will only produce design and Planning drawings. This means that you would have to go elsewhere for technical and Building Regulations drawings. Others (like us) provide the whole service under one roof: the design, the Planning, all the technical and Building Regulations information, preparations before site and then site support. Neither option is right nor wrong, it just depends on what works for you and how much you want to do yourself during the course of the project. It’s important to think about the time that you have available to spend finding professionals yourself, or submitting planning drawings etc. Often the continuity of an end-to-end service offers value for money and the best outcome for the project overall. It greatly improves timescales too. All important considerations when interviewing your Architect.

Why do I need an architect?

An Architect will be able to give you all the relevant information to embark on your exciting home build and they can give an appraisal of your project before you fully engage with them. They will be able to give you feedback on the feasibility of your ideas, rough construction costs, other professionals that may be required and how to tackle Planning Permission, Building Regulations and all other associated legislative requirements. This all helps to understand exactly where you are with your home build and what you can feasibly do.

A qualified Architect has a duty of care to inform you about all of these, so you know that you are getting thorough, appropriate unbiased advice and can take you through your whole project and support you from design to the end of construction. Every step brings new challenges that your Architect can help you with.

What if I don’t like the designs they come up with?

The design of your home is incredibly important. A good Architect will take the way you want to feel in your home and translate that into a home that will stand the test of time. You want to fully visualise and ‘feel’ the spaces within your new home. Here at BBD, we like to give you options we don’t have one design that fits all or a particular style, we always design to suit you, your budget and your taste. We love seeing mood boards that our clients have created of their dream homes and interpreting that into the designs we share with you. When you interview your Architect, ask them how they present ideas to you, if you will get to see more than one option, and if they include amendments in their fee.

How do I find a good architect?

To find a qualified architect you can search the register of architects from their regulatory body ARB (Architects Registration Board). The RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) offer a similar service, where they can match you with an appropriate Chartered Architect for your project in your area.

Make sure to really do your research, look at their website and portfolio and like what you see. Ask to talk to other clients and what they thought of the service.

How do you make the final decision?

Choosing your Architect is never going to be based on a straight comparison of fees. It is most important to understand the value of the services that each Architect is presenting. Architects’ fees are going to be the second biggest spend, the first being the build itself. And a good Architect with full service can help you to save those pennies in the long run.

Personalities matter! You will be spending weeks if not a few months designing and working with your Architect on your dream home, it’s so important to get along.

You will have established that you like their projects but do ask them if they have worked on a project like yours before. Remember that what you see on their website is not going to be the full extent of their work. Many Architects showcase the bigger projects, but it is likely they have a variety of different-sized projects in their portfolio.

Take a look at their reviews and testimonials. Have other clients had a positive experience working with them? Do they provide valuable information? What is their communication like?

If the answer to all of these questions is positive, you are getting closer to choosing your Architect!

Good luck and if you have any more questions or queries drop us an email on