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Architects

An architect is someone who can offer you help when designing, planning and building your home. You’re likely to be familiar with the idea that, if you require planning permission, you’re going to need an architect. Whether you’re hoping to remodel, add a conservatory or build your home from scratch, an architect is the person who can help you create the perfect plan. Read on to learn exactly what an architect does and how they can help you. 

What is an architect? 

The job of your architect is both extensive and varied. However, their main job is simply to plan a design for you which is aesthetically pleasing, but also safe, which requires planning, measuring and researching the land to make sure their design is functional. In order to do this they will use a range of tools, from computer aided designs to models. They will keep in mind your building’s location and guide you through any planning permission requirements too. 

In order for someone to become an architect, the route to having a full qualification can be long. For example, architects need to train for five years at  university before completing two years of practical experience. Once this process has been completed, they wil be able to register with the ARB which allows clients to know that they are fully trained. 

If you are building your home from scratch, and are unsure of where to begin, then an hiring an experienced professional is your best bet. Once you have found the right person, you can make an initial consultation to make sure they can help you. During this first consultation, you will be able to talk about all of your concerns with the firm and if you decide to commission them, they will be able to work on designing your home. A highly trained professional is definitely worth investing your money in. 

What kinds of architects exist? 

Although you may often hear the word “architect” mentioned, you may not realise that there are, in fact, many different professionals working under this general name. For example, whether the building you are looking to create is commercial or private makes a big different on the firm you should hire. Examples of different types of architects include:

1. Residential architects 

They are highly trained and specialise in creating the perfect home for their clients. If you are looking for a unique or customised home, then hiring a trained architect is a good idea. However, make sure to check that they are registered with the Architecture board in your country,  before you speak to them and even check out if they have a portfolio.

2. Commerical architects 

Another type of architect, whose work varies drastically from a residential architect, is a commercial architect. These professionals  are likely to focus on work which is commissioned by the government or larger businesses. The difference between these professions and the building designs they are experienced with can be drastic, so make sure you hire the right person for you.

3. Landscape architects 

You will also find that another architect option for you to consider is a landscape architect. These professionals will be able to work on outdoor areas, either creating surrounding areas for universities or businesses, or parks and gardens. This job can also be either privately or commercially commissioned.

When do I need an architect? 

You will often know that you require help if you require planning permission or if you have no idea what you would like from your home or design. 

You may find that if you have a vision for how you would like your home to look, then you may find that hiring an experienced builder will suffice. Architects may ensure that the work is done to a high level and everything is checked regularly, but this is not a definite. Their involvement can be as much or as little as you require, either they will be at the site everyday, overseeing your needs, or simply only a phone call away. Checking builders work against plans is something you may not be able to do yourself, so your architect can help you here. 

If you have decided to hire a professional, they may also be able to help guide you through the process and even find builders who are reliable and experienced too. There are many reasons as to why you should consider hiring someone, but keep in mind the fact that it is not necessarily the best option. Make sure to keep your budget in mind too. 

Where can I find a reliable architect? 

If you have decided that you would like to speak to a professional, then finding the right person can be a difficult process if you are unsure of where to begin. However, homify is here to help with a fantastic database, which means you can very easily search for professionals in your local area. Once you have found someone who you think is right for you, it is easy to find check their portfolio, visit their Facebook page and read reviews. On homify, all of the contact details you need for professionals are in one place and easy to find. However, a more traditional way to find someone is to speak to people in your area who may be able to lead you in the right direction, especially if they have recently had work done on their home. 

Why do I need an architect? 

Many people may resent the idea that they need to hire an architect, especially if they are on a tight budget. This comes down to the fact that fees can add up to 20% to the cost of a project. However, if you are working on a big project, then a professional can actually help you save a lot of money in the long run due to not needing to pay out for reparations or making small mistakes. They also won’t likely be cutting corners on your design so you can be sure you won’t need to pay for any reparation costs in the future.

If you are a first time home builder, you are likely to find that you won’t easily be able to plan and design your home all by  yourself, so a professional is a good idea for you. Your architect can then work on everything from making sure your design is perfect for you, to keeping a close eye on your budget and helping you out with hiring builders. Do not underestimate the work of a professional as they may be essential for you to create a home which is perfect for your needs.

Examples of architects work

You are likely to find that different firms provide you with very different services. Finding the right firm is important. However, a regular experience with a firm could include; meeting for a consultation (which is often free) and deciding whether they are right for you. Once you have done this, your architect can charge anywhere between 10% and 20% of the building costs. They will create a 3D model of your home, if your require this, and will keep in mind all of your needs.

Usually a charge is made as a percentage of the building costs, as this is an easier process for firms. However, if you are on a tight budget, then you may want to consider asking for a flat fee. This could be an hourly rate or a fixed rate for the entire work. If the firm you are working for is established, then they are more likely to charge you more—so keep this in mind.

A typical project undertaken by an architect will include:

1. Taking measurements of the site to give an idea of strucutral requirements, as well as technical needs. 

2. From here, the professional will take on board everything you have said you want and need from your build. 

3. They will thend draw up a plan of the schematics. You will likely be consulted at this stage. 

4. Next comes the 3D render of your design and materials will be decided upon. 

5. The final design is one which builders can then use to create your perfect home with. 

6. Once construction begins, your architect will still be on hand to overviewing the project or simply helping out when they are needed—this is all dependant on you.

Conclusion

Overall, the work of an architect is to turn your dreams into a reality and create a plan which makes construction easier. Your professional is someone who has a big influence over your finished home, so paying that little bit extra may be a good idea to ensure you have a space which is perfect for you and your family. The right firm will work on everything from the aesthetics of your home to its sustainability, facilities and environmental impact too. By using different techniques, they can create a plan a model which can show you exactly what your home is likely to look like. Just make sure that you do your homework before hiring a professional so that you can be sure you will be happy with the end result.

Which other professionals can help me? 

Building a home is a big commitment to undertake, so making sure you have the right professionals to guide you through is a good idea. Below are some examples to consider.

General contractors

When it comes to building a home, there are thousands of important details to consider and coordinate. A general contractor is the person who can help you with this. Their job is to take into consideration everything from your budget, to the builders you want to hire. If you know someone who has recently worked on their home, make sure to ask them who they would recommend as a general contractor – or simply check homify.

Kitchen planner

Once the structure of your home is complete, you are likely to find that you will need to begin designing the interiors. A kitchen is an important place in a house and so a kitchen planner can help make sure this space reflects your needs. Check out some of the ideas for kitchens on homify and make sure you go to your consultation with a kitchen planner fully prepared!