Read our 3–step guide below to discover more.
Finding the right architect for you can be tricky. How do you know when to trust an architect when making significant changes to your home?
It’s vital to find a professional, highly recommended and reliable architect or designer who has experience on similar schemes as your project.
Why do I need an architect or designer?
The simple answer is that not every project requires an architect. But, it’s a well-known fact that employing a reliable, qualified architect or designer to work on your scheme will add value to your home through:
unique and creative designs
maximising space and light in your property
high-quality specifications and well-considered finishes
So, you’re guaranteed to enjoy your ideal home when you employ an architect. But what about during the build process itself? Most architects can take the stress of home improvement works from homeowners by:
Thinking about the details upfront.
- Meaning no nasty surprises and additional costs during the build when you realise there isn’t enough head height on the stairs to walk up them safely.
Making the planning and building control approval process easy.
- Architects and designers have been through these processes many times before and have experience in meeting the requirements and what doesn’t. In our case, Aura Architecture has a 95% planning approval success rate, which reduces stress, time and cost for our homeowners.
Keep on top of your selected contractors.
- Commercial architects and designers can produce a specification of works to ensure you receive comparable like for like quotes and the best price for your works. And, they can keep on top of the build progress of works for you, making sure your builder is on track and within budget.
We at Aura Architecture want to help you select a trusted, and reliable architect for your home improvement works – whether it is us or not! So, we have compiled a 3–step guide of things to look for throughout the selection process.
Step 1 – Things to look for when you are shortlisting an architect or designer:
Do you have any family, friends or colleagues who have employed an architect or designer in your area?
- Personal recommendations can give you the peace of mind that the architect is experienced, reliable and provides excellent customer service.
If you don’t have any personal recommendations, start looking for those architects with top reviews in your local area.
Check out the architect on their website and social media pages.
Whilst on their website, look out for their qualifications. Are they registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB)?
- This is a mandatory requirement of architects in the UK – so do not work with a company without this! Many architects are also RIBA qualified. We have a talented team of architects, trainee architects, technicians, and architectural engineers at AURA Architecture.
Does the architect have any award certifications?
- This is key when understanding the quality of their work and experience in various schemes and projects. We at Aura Architecture are proud to have two awards, including ‘Most Trusted Architectural Practice 2019 – Greater London’ by Build Magazine.
Step 2 – Things to look for when contacting your shortlist of architects
So, now you’ve had a bit of time to do some research in your local area, and you have your shortlist of preferred designers. Here are some things to look out for when you reach out for a home design consultation and a personalised quote.
Do you have an opportunity to speak to the architect or designer on the phone about your brief?
- This is an important step, so you can understand if the architect has the right skills for your job and time within their schedule to take it on. Make sure you do this before you invite them to your home for a design consultation, as often this involves a fee.
Throughout the brief process, do the architects showcase good communication skills?
- Do they understand your vision? Do they provide ideas of their own to add value to your home? If so, it’s likely that the architect has experience within similar projects, is committed to your job, and is keen to win your business.
Do you have ‘chemistry’ with the architect and designer?
- Do they speak in a language that you can understand, rather than technical jargon? It’s important that the architect takes time to talk you through the design process step-by-step and is transparent with costs, timelines, and any possible constraints in your project. If you feel the architect is hiding something or gives vague answers to your questions, take caution!
Step 3 – Things to look for when selecting your chosen architect
Now that you have had time to brief and meet your shortlist, you’ll be eager to select your chosen architect or designer and start moving on to creating your ideal home! Before making that final decision, you should carefully compare the shortlist and make the proper selection for you. Here are some of our top tips and things to look out for:
Compare the fee proposal.
- Is the proposal itemised so that you know exactly what you are getting at each stage? Is there an opportunity for hidden costs? At Aura Architecture, we offer an itemised quote for each of our projects for absolute transparency.
Does the designer offer a fixed fee, (including planning consultants fees), or is there a chance for hidden, extra fees later down the line?
- At Aura Architecture, we offer a fixed price – so whatever cost we put in our proposal, we stick to – even if that means we work a couple of extra hours to make your ideal home.*
It’s easy to simply select the architect who gives you the cheapest quote, but it’s also important to consider value for money.
- Which architect will provide you with your ideal home and timely, excellent customer service? Which architect has demonstrated that they understand your vision for the project and can add value to your scheme and, ultimately, the property value too?
*Changes to the scope of works within a project will result in additional costs. Fixed fee applies to projects where there is no change in the scope of works.