The value of an architect
An architect is a highly skilled professional, trained in the design and construction of buildings, who can translate your visions into practical and beautiful solutions.
An architect will guide you through the design, planning and construction process. If your project requires planning permission, it makes sense to engage an architect.
An architect must be registered with the ARB (Architect’s Registration Board) and adhere to their code of conduct. You can check the register for peace of mind!
Good design is a good investment
Well-designed buildings have greater user satisfaction and will add value to the property.
We begin the design process by getting to know you and understanding your aims and aspirations. We listen to our clients and develop our design concepts in line with your requirements and in terms of space, aesthetics and budget.
Before the initial meeting it is useful if you write down your criteria. How do you plan to use the spaces and are there any long term requirements to build in to the design? We will then provide you with a written fee proposal, based on your brief and advise you of any other consultants you might need to appoint.
Following appointment, we will begin to develop some design options. We will make initial enquires to the planners to ascertain the likelihood of obtaining planning permission. Designing is an enjoyable iterative process and we will help you to explore the ideas and design concepts using sketches and simple 3D models into a set of design plans. Once agreed, plans are submitted for planning permission (if required).
Once planning permission is granted, we will produce the very detailed plans which form the information that the builder requires to construct the building and illustrates how the building regulations will be met. We are experienced in collaborating with other professionals and consultants as part of a design team and coordinating all the different aspects of the design; structural details, thermal design, acoustics, and services.
We will send out tenders to a number of selected contractors, help you to appoint a contractor and will oversee the contract during the construction phase.
The contractor manages the build; the architect administers the building contract between the contractor and you as the employer. The architect’s role includes inspecting the work on site, issuing interim payment certificates each month, and dealing with any variations to the contract that may arise.
Throughout the process, we act as your agent to take care of your interests. When the project is under construction, we can undertake the technical decision-making so that you can focus on strategic decisions while we act as an advocate for your vision.
The RIBA sets out each stage of the process in work stages (generally in stages 1-6). In some cases clients would like a partial service and this can be discussed at the outset. Further details are available on the RIBA website.
Architect’s calculate fees on a project by project basis, using the estimated construction cost and the complexity of the project. Generally refurbishment, extensions and retrofit projects have more complexity than a new build project and fees reflect this.
For a small extension and refurbishment, fees would be in the range of 10-12% for a full architectural service (about a third of this would be up to planning RIBA stage 3)