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What does an Architect do?

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Alex, Staff Writer

Sunday, 27 June 2021


To those who are about to embark on house renovations or building projects for the first time, the world of new terms and professions can be confusing. One of the people who you will almost certainly need to hire is an architect. 

What is an Architect?

An architect is a qualified professional who plans and designs buildings. In many cases, an architect also oversees the construction of buildings. They need to have both artistic flair and mathematical know-how to be able to create buildings that are both aesthetically pleasing, functional, and safe.

Different types of architects include:

  • Residential architects - design residential housing such as flats, two-story buildings, three-story buildings, etc.
  • Commercial architects - design non-residential buildings including retail stores, office buildings, public buildings, hospitals, etc.
  • Industrial architects - design warehouses, factories, power plants, etc.
  • Landscape architects - design outdoor places including public gardens, building walkways, etc.

What does an Architect do?


Architects listen to your plans and requirements for your home and then come up with a unique, operational plan for your building. They will often have a signature style, or materials that they love to work with, and may also even have a team of people that they trust and who they have worked with before.

There's a lot that goes into the daily life of an architect, so if you think you could do their job without the relevant experience, then think again. Architects go through years of training before they can legally practice. If you want a more detailed breakdown of what architects do, then keep reading.

Planning and preparation

An architect is a mixture of artist and engineer. They use specialist software, as well as pen and paper, to come up with interesting, unique designs, which they will then develop into construction drawings. The artistic bit comes in handy for the initial design, and the skills in engineering are needed for the construction drawings. An architect considers many things when designing a building, including safety, functionality, appearance, and the cost of construction.

They also need to have a thorough understanding of the electrical needs and heating requirements of each room, and will most likely be able to advise on the most modern methods of installing and managing utilities in new buildings.

Architects also undertake a feasibility study. This is when the drawings and plans are applied to the actual property, either the land to be developed or the building that is to be renovated. A measurement survey, 3d drawings for the property, and projections are compiled ready for review. 

An architect will have extensive education and training in building planning and development and will know what details to look out for, including things like what lighting should be installed and which way doors should open. They will be aware of the details that elevate a home and will be able to plan accordingly. 

Permissions and supplies 

Hiring an architectural firm local to your property is handy, as they will have an in-depth knowledge of building codes and processes for your local area.

Architects will also have an in-depth knowledge of building materials, and where they can be obtained. An architectural firm with an understanding and up-to-date knowledge of the current state of imports will be able to find alternatives and make suggestions that suit your house. 

What does an architect do during construction?

An architect isn’t just there for the beginning of a project but rather is involved throughout. This means that they know what happens on building sites, how tools are used, and which tradespeople or machinery are needed for each stage. They will be able to either advise you on how to find the right people or may even have a building firm that they work with regularly.



An architect can cost between 5 and 20% of your project’s budget. This might sound like a big commitment, but they will also take control of your build and oversee the project. For a more detailed overview of costs involved with hiring an architect, check out our handy price guide.

An architect can act very much as a manager to the site, ensuring that each step adheres to the schedule. This is a life-saver for many, as you continue to have responsibilities both at work and with family. Knowing that someone you trust and respect has an eye on your house build can help reduce a lot of stress. 

Another benefit of having an architect in charge is that they will be able to make decisions and find solutions as they are needed, rather than having a third party contact you, explain the problem and suggest solutions that you then need to research and find out about for yourself. Having an architect engaged means that you can rest assured your interests are being looked after, and you can look forward to the project moving at an efficient pace. 

This aspect of architectural services may not be required in some situations, for example on a loft conversion or a simple garage installation, but knowing that you have the option might help relieve some of the pressure! 



Architects do more than simply draw beautiful houses. Within their responsibilities, they must adequately plan for the logistics of living, including deciding where plug sockets go and how rooms should be lit. They have to understand local laws and regulations, and they must be able to work with the building team. 

An architect is the best way to make the house build as easy on yourself as possible. Working with someone you trust and respect is vital, and the best way to make use of your budget. They will give you value for money that lasts a lifetime. If you've got to the end of this article and you're wondering 'do I need an architect?' the best thing to do is to get in touch with one to discuss your project plans and budget. Connect with thousands of local architects and request a quote for free, all on Bark.

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