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Questions to ask your Architect before hiring them

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Zara, Staff Writer

Wednesday, 14th April 2021

Architects are responsible for designing buildings. They do so by bringing creativity and expert knowledge into every aspect of their designs. Architects work on a wide range of projects from transforming residential homes to building new hospitals, schools, cinemas, retail stores and much more.

If you’ve never worked with an architect before, it can be daunting to find the right professional for your project. Here are 5 of the top questions we recommend asking, which will help narrow down your search. 

Are you a registered Architect?

It sounds so simple it's not worth asking, right? Well, only qualified architects can call themselves an architect, and it can take anywhere from 5-10 years to qualify. Depending on where you live, you will have specified trade bodies that architects must be registered with, such as the Architects Registration Board (RAB). Given the incredibly important design and structural decisions an architect is responsible for, this is one area you need to be crystal clear on. 

Can I see your portfolio?

The only way you can get a feel for the quality and overall style of an architect's work is to view their past projects. This will also give you a better idea of whether they are the right person for the job. For example, if you are looking to restore a 16th century home to its original glory, but the architect only creates modern design, it’s unlikely they would be suited for the project. Make sure you like the style of the person’s work, as although your project won’t be an exact replica, it will be along the same lines in one form or another. 

When can we meet up?

Most people work during the same hours as their architect. If so, that doesn’t leave a lot of time to meet up and discuss the progress of the project or have further consultations about any changes you wish to make. Be open about your availability, as you’ll both need to agree when you can engage in discussion. Otherwise, your project could drag on unnecessarily. 

What services do you offer?

Architects can either draw up a design and leave you to the rest, or they can see a project right through to its completion. There are lots of aspects involved to complete a structural or renovation project, so check what your architect can provide. It’s not a dealbreaker if they don’t offer a full range of services, but you do need to be aware from the start so you can manage the timeframe and budget of the project. 

How do you charge?

A very easy mistake to make with a building project is to allow the budget to get out of control. Instead, you need to remain in charge of your finances from the start. You can ensure this will be the case by asking your architect how they price projects. They’ll either work hourly or give you a fixed fee. Make sure they also know your budget ceiling height so that they can manage any costs on their end with regards to the solutions they come up with. 

Find Architects near you

Now that you know some of the top questions to ask your architect, the only thing that’s left is to find one to ask! 

Whether your project is big or small, heritage or modern, you can find local architects near you with Bark. By going into the consultation stage by asking all the right things, your project is more likely to be a resounding success.

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