Hiring an architect is one of the most critical decisions you’ll make during your project. A skilled architect can help you achieve the best design, manage your budget, navigate legal requirements, and help ensure a smooth construction process that’s completed on time and within budget.
Design for Me is an excellent starting point for finding the right architect. However, it’s also essential to be aware of common mistakes homeowners make when selecting and appointing an architect.
Extension above by Lydia, architect in Oxford. See Lydias’s full profile and shortlist her for your project here.
Not preparing for the initial consultation
Before you meet with your architect for the first time, it’s important to prepare questions, but also have as much detail as possible about what you hope to achieve in your project. See our article here – How to prepare for your first meeting with an architect.
Not defining the project goals
Homeowners need to have a clear idea of what they want to achieve with the project. This will help the architect understand the client’s needs and develop a design that meets their expectations.
- Start by asking yourself what you hope to achieve with your extension or renovation. Are you looking for more living space, an additional bedroom, a new home office, or a larger kitchen, for example?
- Think about the style of the extension you want. Do you want your extension to match the existing style of your home, or do you prefer a contrasting style? Do you have any specific design features in mind that you’d like to incorporate into the project?
Not doing research and checks
It’s crucial to do some background checks on the architect, including experience, and portfolio. Th ARB holds the register of qualified architects in the UK, and you can search for any architect on it here: https://architects-register.org.uk/.
You can also ask for references and testimonials from previous clients. This information will help you determine if the architect is the right fit for your project.
Do also check that they have professional indemnity insurance.
Failing to establish a budget
It’s essential to establish your budget at a very early stage in your project, and before your architect starts design work. The architect can help the homeowner understand the cost implications of their project goals and develop a design that fits within their budget.
Not understanding the architect’s role
Another mistake homeowners make is not understanding the architect’s role in the project. The architect is responsible for designing the project and ensuring that it meets the building codes and regulations. Homeowners should not expect the architect to handle the construction phase or other aspects of the project outside their area of expertise. However, your architect can take on the role of contract administrator, during the construction phase.
Rushing the design process
Homeowners should allow the architect enough time to develop a design that meets their needs and goals. Rushing the design process can lead to errors, omissions, and design flaws that can be costly to correct. Before you start, you can ask your architect to provide you with a time-line for their work.
Not having a contract with your architect (or not reading it properly!)
The contract (also sometimes called an appointment document or letter of appointment) is a critical document that outlines the scope of work, fees, and responsibilities of both you and your architect. Many homeowners fail to review the contract thoroughly before signing it. Homeowners should ensure they understand the terms of the contract and seek clarification on any areas of concern before signing it.
Finding an architect for your home extension or renovation
We have hundreds of architects and interior designers all over the UK who we’ll quickly match to your requirements and see who’s interested. After you post your project you can choose up to three interested design professionals for an initial consultation. And it’s all completely free!
- Quickly see who’s interested in your job.
- Create a shortlist.
- Invite up to three for a no-obligation consultation.
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