Finding an Architect: Top 5 Questions for Hiring an Architect
Over the years I have been asked all kinds of questions about being an Architect, including one person who had me mixed up with an archaeologist! They were disappointed to hear my job didn’t involve dinosaurs
You can find countless articles on the latest trends and styles, but what about the simple questions, What do Architects do? How do I tell a good one from a bad one? And the most common, how much do they cost?
We looked at the five most searched-for questions about working with an Architect on a mission to debunk some of the most common questions surrounding the profession!
1. What qualifications and licenses should an architect in England have?
In England, someone must have a recognised degree in architecture and be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) to use the title of ‘Architect’. Although being a chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is not mandatory, it does mean that members are held to additional standards and codes of conduct.
2. How do I find and choose the right architect for my project?
When it comes to finding a good local Architect, there are three approaches that can get you started;
You can visit the RIBA’s Find An Architect service where you can search for registered architects based on location, expertise, or type of project.
Searching for local Architects online is a good way to find practices nearby who have experience working in your area which can be vital when working with Local Authorities.
Do you have a local Facebook community group? Ask there! Recommendations are a great way of hearing people's genuine experience of a company.
But be warned! There are many directories that charge a fee for results, avoid these! They are ‘pay for click’ sites where Architects pay to be top of the list. Use the RIBA Find an Architect service for trusted and free results, like the link below (we heard this Architect is really great!)
We also advise you to meet with multiple architects, review their work, and discuss your requirements before making a decision.
3. What is the typical cost of hiring an architect?
Architectural fees vary depending on the complexity and scale of a project, the architect's experience, and the services required. Generally, Architects’ fees can range from around 7-15% of the total construction cost for a full-service project (from start to finish).
However, we believe there is a better way.
At the beginning of a project it is difficult to get a firm idea of the final construction cost so many professionals will over estimate which in turn raises their fee. That is why we determine our own fees based on our experience of the area & type of project allowing us to calculate the time required to deliver our service giving you a clear idea of what our fee will be for each stage at the very beginning. That way, you have the security of knowing our price won’t change unless you decide to change the project or our service.
4. What services do architects provide?
Architects can provide a range of services including initial design concepts, preparing detailed drawings and specifications, managing the planning permission process, obtaining necessary approvals such as building control, assisting with contractor selection, and overseeing the construction process to ensure compliance and quality.
You may want an Architect present throughout the project, or you may want them to get you to a certain point before deciding what you want to do. It is vital to discuss your needs with your Architect at the very beginning to make sure you get the level of service you need.
5. Do I need planning permission for my project, and how can an architect help with that?
Depending on the location and scope of your project, you may require planning permission or other approvals from the local authority. An architect can help by assessing your project and advising on the necessary permissions. They can prepare and submit the planning application on your behalf, ensuring compliance with regulations and maximising the chances of approval.
Hopefully, this helps give an idea of what working with an Architect involves, but if you have any questions of your own, please contact us directly!
Thank you for reading!