Apropos Guide to Finding An ArchitectPublished on 9th July 2015
A good proportion of Apropos customers come to us with relatively simple projects in mind – they want a bespoke conservatory, or veranda, or they would like their existing ramshackle conservatory upgraded into a stylish new orangery. These are our bread and butter projects. We love them because they’re at the heart of what we do. The rest of our customers bring projects equally enjoyable, but presenting more of a challenge: an Apropos structure as part of a wider renovation; a full barn conversion; a new build; and that’s when an architect is required.
We frequently work alongside architects on customer’s properties, whether through early collaboration, or simply running with the drawings they’ve already made, but when we discuss the design journey with our clients at the end of the build the most common obstacle they seem to have faced is finding an architect.
Top Tips for Finding the Right Architect for Your Project
- Word of Mouth – The first step is to ask around. Friends and neighbours can be a surprising source of information. If you’re feeling brave enough you could even knock on the door of any homes you’ve seen being worked on in the local area, particularly if the style takes your fancy. Most homeowners will be flattered that you like their house enough to ask, rather than being offended at the intrusion on their time.
- RIBA – The Royal Institute of British Architects is a brilliant resource for looking up architects in your area according to your budget and the type of work you want done. There are more than 3000 UK RIBA Chartered Practices so there should be someone to suit your needs. RIBA also offers a free five-day referral service tailor-made to your project, recommending up to five architects. Simply complete the online form.
- Check Credentials – Everyone practising as an architect in the UK must by law be registered with the Architects Registration Board, which imposes certain basic standards. In order to be registered with the ARB an architect will have had extensive training and will need professional indemnity insurance.
- Be Pedantic – When it comes to selecting an architect it pays to be wary of titles – an architecture consultant, architectural designer, or architectural technician is NOT an architect.
- Portfolio Perusal – Before you hire an architect look thoroughly through their portfolio to make sure that you share the same aesthetic preferences. Your architect could be the most skilled in the world, but that would mean nothing if he/she has a classical bent and you’re only interested in modern design.
- Personality – Finally, you need to be able to communicate well with your architect. You will be spending a lot of time in their company as the build progresses (especially if they are project managing for you), so a good relationship is essential. Before you sign any contracts consider whether this person is right for you.
Pairing the right architect with the right project can remove a huge amount of stress from any building project, so it’s worth putting in the time to get things right from the start.