Is this architect registered with the ARB?
• Did you know that only qualified professionals registered with the Architects Registration Board are permitted to use the title Architect? It’s important to know who you are engaging with. A trained professional follows a strict code of conduct to give the best possible service to their client.
Think about what it is you want to achieve
• What is your desired outcome? Is it more family space? Extending up or out? Maybe you have a piece of land and it’s a new build house you’re after. Do you need advice on Planning, Building Regulations or how to find the best builder for your project? Maybe you need advice on costings and feasibility of your project. Have the questions ready to ask your Architect.
Do you have a budget?
• Have a think about your budget for the project. You may have a considerable budget to be able to carry out all the work, you may know that the work will exceed your budget but would like to phase the project over time or alternatively you may wish to ask your Architect how far your budget will stretch and see what you can achieve.
Do you have any time constraints?
• Everybody will say ‘we’d like it finished for Christmas’ – but maybe you only live for half the year in the UK and would like certain stages complete at certain times. It might be that you have an elderly relative preparing to move in to a new annexe, or perhaps you work abroad, and you need an idea of when certain stages will fall. Your Architect will be able to advise you on a project programme as a guide for you to work from.
What kind of professional would you like to work with?
• Embarking on a building project, particularly for the first time can be a daunting experience. It is important for both you and your Architect to be able to listen to and respect each other. This makes for a great working relationship and will certainly produce the best outcomes for you and your project.
Look at work they have completed for their other clients
• It is important to engage an Architect who can fulfil your needs as a client. Take your time to look at their past work, browsing the projects page on their website is always a good way to do this. Ask them directly what experience they have and if they have worked on projects like yours in the past. Your Architect should be happy to provide references upon request.
• It may seem like stepping into the unknown but remember, your Architect is a trained professional there to advise you and bring to the table all the ways in which your new project can come to life. Engage with the process, be present and enjoy the journey!