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Choosing An Architect

For your self build project you will need an architect to help forfill your dreams and ideas of your new home, whilst still keeping to the budget you have set out. Here are a few key steps in finding the right architect to help you realise your dreams.

  • Contact the Royal Institute Of British Architects (RIBA), who hold a database of architectural practices across the UK, they can help you in finding a local architect who suits your particular needs.

  • Invite a few different architects to see you. Ask them about their previous work and the service they can offer you. Ask for the names of three recent clients and contact them, find out how satisfied they are.

    Talk about your budget and your ideas for the style and design of the property, before commissioning the architect. State your budget clearly and ensure the architect will stick to it. Ask them how flexible they are at altering there drawings to incorporate your design ideas.

    Confirm a fee. Most architects charge what represents an agreed percentage of the total construction cost. In this case you must clarify what is and what isn't included in their definition of construction cost. If you plan to convert an old existing building, the percentage charged is liable to be higher, as the project will generally be more complex.

    Payments should be agreed in advance, with a normal "small" project, payment in full upon completion will usually be acceptable, but with larger projects payments maybe require in instalments. It is important that you agree to this in advance.

    If you are converting an existing building, you may need to employ an architectural technologist. Unlike an architect who receives arts training, an architectural technologist has a science background and can therefore perform structural calculations. If you feel you neeed a architectural technologist contact the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.

    Should you require it, the architects can general also act as Project Managers, although this will increase the cost of your project, it may well make the process simpler, as managing the project yourself is very time consuming and stressful, although if you do take on the project management side yourself it cane be very rewarding.

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