Extension above by Prue, architectural designer from Barnet, London. See more and shortlist them for your home project here.
Should you go small?
Finding a design professional for your project, particularly if you’ve never embarked on a building project before, can be overwhelming. For private home projects such as extensions, renovations and self-builds, small architecture firms or freelance architects can arguably offer the best service and value for money, for a few reasons:
1. A wealth of experience and expertise
Small residential architecture firms live and breathe private residential projects. They are experts in this field, unlike larger multi-disciplinary practices who take on only the odd private job. All the specialist knowledge required for designing and managing home projects will be at the tips of their fingers; from architectural detailing, space planning, knowing the ins-and-outs of the residential planning system, how to deal with small contractors and tricky neighbours.
2. Your project will be important to them
It’s likely that they’ll only have a handful of projects on their books at one time, so your job won’t get buried under a stack of higher-budget jobs. For a small practice each job is really critical to their growth and portfolio so it’s likely they’ll take a great deal of pride in the design and management of your project. Many of the small architecture firms on Design for Me, are young ’emerging’ practices so it’s a clever idea to hire them before they hit the big time – they’ll be full of energy and enthusiasm for your project and you’re likely to get a stunning design as they build their reputation.
New kitchen design by Demian – click on the image to see his profile and shortlist him for your project.
3. Your project architect will see your project through
In a larger company where work flow requires careful management, individual architects and designers might shift between jobs as needed, often not seeing a job through from start to finish. In a smaller firm you’re much more likely to keep your project architect for the duration of your project.
Renovation project by Paul – click on the image to see his profile and shortlist him for your project.
4. Value for money
Smaller firms – and particularly freelancers – can offer very competitive fees as they will have much smaller overheads. Also, when it comes to the design and specification of your project, the small architecture firm will be much more used to working with tight budgets. They are usually very good at getting the most out of your money for the best result.
Side and rear extension by Tom – click on the image to see his profile and shortlist him for your project.
Finding small architecture firms near me?
Naturally, freelancers or small firms can be more difficult to find; they don’t usually have a big marketing budget for websites and marketing material. Instead, they often rely on word-of-mouth recommendations for new work.
Fortunately, we at Design for Me have created a UK-wide database so that you can find an affordable architect who is perfect for your small or domestic project. You can find them on our platform by registering your project below. We’ll match you with up to three architects for a consultation, and it’s completely free!
Below are just some of the areas we cover – link on the links to see the type of design pros we have in your area:
EAST ANGLIA | Cambridge | Norwich
EAST MIDLANDS | Lincolnshire
NORTH EAST | Newcastle | Northumberland
NORTH WEST | Liverpool | Manchester | Lancashire | Cheshire
SCOTLAND | Edinburgh | Glasgow
WALES | Cardiff
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