Residential architectural services
If you’re planning a big building project, you should consider hiring an architect. Residential architects offer a wide range of services – they don’t just come up with the design of the new part of your home. There’s no law saying that you have to employ an architect for major building work, but they can help you to get the best out of your project.
What does a residential architect do?
Just some of the things that architects can help you with include:
- Ensuring that the plans for your new building or room are safe and meet legal requirements
- Coming up with a design that maximises the space in a way that you might not have thought of
- Project managing so you don’t have to – they can oversee builders and other tradespeople
- Helping you seek and get planning permission
If you’re thinking about building an extension, converting your loft or building your own home, an architect can help you turn your ideas into proper designs and plans that will pass through planning permission and will use all the space wisely.
Why should I take advantage of architectural services?
While there’s no legal requirement to engage an architect for your project, they can be helpful to have on board. If you’re not sure what you want out of your new space, an architect can give you ideas and help you think of ways to use the new area that you might not have considered before.
Architects are usually extremely good at seeing the ‘big picture’ in house designs, so they will ensure that you get a truly beautiful space that uses light correctly and all the rooms flow together.
If you know that you won’t be able to manage your entire project and ensure that all the tradespeople are on-target, it’s well worth hiring an architect to do this for you. They have all the experience in overseeing entire projects and ensuring that they get completed on time.
For a person to call themselves an architect (not an architectural designer), they must be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB). They have a statutory code of practice that they must adhere to, so you know that you’ll be protected if anything goes wrong.
What’s the difference between an architect and architectural designer?
Architects must be registered with the ARB to call themselves an architect. To join the ARB, they need to have all the relevant qualifications and insurance. However, there are skilled specialists called architectural designers or technicians that don’t need to be registered, as they aren’t fully-qualified architects – but they still have lots of experience and qualifications.
If you’re planning on a small- to medium-sized project, you might want to consider hiring an architectural designer or technician; they’re usually slightly cheaper than registered architects but can still offer lots of useful advice. They will still be good at designing an interesting room or building that takes advantage of light and space.
Will using an architect save me money?
Hiring an architect probably isn’t a money-saving purchase. Many people do complete renovations or building works without them and still get a great finish. However, if you really want something really special, an architect is worth the money.
In the long term, an architect could save you money if your project is a tricky one where you need to complete lots of planning applications. If anything is done wrong, your local authority could force you to demolish and rebuild your extension or building, which could cost thousands. Plus, if you have a perfectly-designed house or room that uses all the space available, it could attract more buyers if you come to sell your property in the future. So while engaging an architect might not save you money initially, in the long term you could make more money from using them.