How to choose an architect

Make your dream property a reality with an architectural designer

Whether you’re looking to build a new office building or extending your home, the most important first step to guaranteeing a successful project is choosing the right architect.

If there’s one thing we’ve all learned over the last year is that our property and surroundings are pretty important to us, whether that’s our home or business premises.

Whether you’re thinking about extending your property, renovating, or embarking upon a self-build, choosing the right architect for your project is key. An architect will be able to translate your design, suggest improvements to elevate it, and should be someone you’re comfortable working with.

Here’s our guide to finding the perfect architect for you:

1. Sharing your vision with your architect

Have a clear idea from the outset of what you want to achieve before you embark on instructing your architect – if you’re a homeowner perhaps you want to increase the number of bedrooms or add more family living space on the ground floor, or as a business owner you may need to increase your production capabilities or expand your office space. Consider also if you have a preference for architectural styles and materials. Think about your ‘must-haves. Your brief doesn’t need to be set in stone and a good architect will make suggestions you perhaps hadn’t considered to enhance your space or overcome planning regulations. After all, this is the specialist knowledge and experience you’re paying for.

2. Do your homework

How do you find an architect?

A good place to start is to check the list of members of the two architectural professional bodies; RIBA and CIAT.  You can also simply Google local architectural design companies in your area, for example, search ‘Architect Derby’ or ‘Architect Sutton Coldfield’ – the benefit to using someone local is that they’ll have good connections with the local planning authority and potentially make suggestions for local builders and even obtain quotes on your behalf, as we do for our clients. Word of mouth and recommendations from friends and family are also good sources and local signboards where work is currently underway. Once you’ve narrowed down a few companies, check their website for examples of previous work completed.

Browse our portfolio here.

3. Are they a good fit?

Your property is probably your greatest financial investment, so you should choose an architect that you have confidence in and can achieve what you need and work to your budget.

Do you feel you could ask your architect anything? Do they have a specialism that would suit your needs – perhaps in commercial or listed buildings? Do you want an architect to draw what you have asked for, or do you want them to bring their expertise and offer alternative solutions and ideas? A good architect will listen to your thoughts and ideas and ultimately deliver something even better than you imagined.

We believe that successful projects are delivered by good teams and consider our clients to be part of that team. Having a collaborative approach to your project is what we aim for with all our clients, their involvement is key.

4. It’s all in the planning

A good architect will have previous (and successful) experience of dealing with local planners and will have built a rapport over many years. They may have even won awards from some local authorities, like us!  Don’t underestimate the importance of this relationship. If you need someone to fight your corner and negotiate complicated planning procedures, you stand a better chance if there’s a solid and respected relationship already established between the two.

5. Good design is a good investment

Design is not a commodity and cannot be compared easily on a like-for-like basis. All designers will provide different solutions and you should choose a designer based on the expertise and experience they can bring to your project. We always aim to provide ideas and solutions that will add value. If you are altering your property in any way then it is an investment and the design is an important part of that investment.

We will always give you a competitive quotation based upon our extensive experience achieved from delivering over 1,500 commercial and residential architectural projects.

You can expect us to produce design solutions that enable you to achieve your objectives, building regulations, and technical drawings for your building contractors, and take the pain out of the planning process on your behalf. But the important thing is for you to be comfortable with the way your architectural design team listens to you and works with you, and you must have confidence in their abilities, experience, and knowledge that is directly related to your building project.

What makes us different?

We pride ourselves on always delivering added value, superior customer care, and a bespoke solution. We bring our enthusiasm and passion to every project, backed up by £2m professional indemnity insurance. Why not meet with us at our expense, we will be delighted to provide you with our fee proposal and you can decide the best path for you, with no obligation at all for you to work with us.

So, whether you’re adding value to your property or just want a better quality of life, finding the right architect for your project can turn your dream into a reality.

Contact us for more information:

Call: 01283 704 082 or 0121 3545205

Email: enquiries@bidesign-architecture.co.uk