How to Hire Architects

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If you’re thinking about making serious renovations to your home, or even a remodel or extension, then you may want to research into using architects for your project. Architects can greatly help you when it comes to your project, then can do as much or as little as you need, such as project management, design plans and even down to getting planning permission. Read these tips below on why and how to hire an architect.




1. Why use an architect?
An architect is able to various tasks for your project, including:

    • Help you decide what’s best for your building, and what you can do with it
    • Transform your ideas into a reality
    • Help you get planning permission and meet all required building regulations.
    • Manage the construction, from choosing your builders to keeping within a budget.

2. Make sure you get a qualified company

In the UK, qualified architects must be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Only registered architects who belong to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) can be called chartered architects. Going with a qualified architect will ensure

3. Research firms
Make sure you do your research, thoroughly research companies that you find online, or even ask for recommendations from people you know.

4. Make a shortlist
Create a shortlist of companies that you think may be suitable. Call the company and ask for a timescale and rough draft on what they can do for you. If you list the different companies including projected costs, you will be able to weigh up your options.

5. Arrange meetings
Visit a few architect companies in person, this will give you a feel for the company. At each one, meet one of the senior architects to assess whether that company will suit you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, after all you’ll be most likely spending lots of money with your architect, so you want to find out as much information as possible.

6. Choose your architect
Technical competence, good design ability and a professional attitude are all things to look out for, but most of all, pick the architect that you feel is most suited to your project, don’t just pick the cheapest option, you want to ensure you get the best architect for the type of project you require.

7. Get in touch with your council
Ask your local council about building regulations and planning in your area, or visit You need to ensure you get planning permission for any large renovations you intend to carry out.

8. Discuss the project
Once you’ve chosen your architect, be sure to discuss in detail what you require, and get it down in writing, you need to make sure you get contracts signed, as this will ensure that you get what you asked for, once everything is agreed and signed

9. Write a brief
This is written with your architect and describes the functions of the building, your style and expectations, and sets a timeline and budget.

10. Estimate the cost
You need to estimate your cost for the project, to make sure your expectations are met, the last thing you want is to go over budget.

11. Calculate the fee
Architects’ fees are based on a percentage of the total construction cost, a lump sum agreed by you, or a rate based on their time used. You do not have to use all the architect’s services; choose what suits you, from a design discussion to overseeing building works.

12. Plan for surprises
As always there are often a few surprises when it comes to carrying out the work, so always ensure you allow a little over your budget to make room for these.

13. Get a contract
Get your contract signed up, to guarantee the work, at the timescale and budget agreed by both you and the architect.

14. Draw up a plan
Once you have planning approval, your architect will prepare drawings for builders in order to obtain quotes. Your architect may also suggest a form of building contract.

If you follow these steps for hiring architects for your next project, then your project will run smoothly. For more advice on what to consider when you’re hiring an architect, see the original article here: