Why Work With An Architect?
I actually get asked this question a lot. Most of us have an idea what an architect’s work involves – for instance, preparing layout drawings. Homeowners will also know what they want an architect to help them with when hiring one – such as a planning permission application. However, there are many more aspects of services that architects provide. They have an important role to play at every stage of a construction project and to each one, they can bring something very meaningful.
An architect will help you to refine your ideas
When thinking about renovating your property, you will surely have many ideas of your own. You may already have a partial vision of the outcome you are looking for – for example, you may be dreaming of a particular kitchen extension with specific colour of units, worktops, lighting or even a layout; or you may have a cluster of smaller things that you are looking for – such as, some build-in storage under the stairs, knocking down a wall between two reception rooms, adding an en-suite.
It is essential to communicate all of these to your architects, as he or she will help to refine the details when working with other professionals and your contractor. They are trained at grasping a space in its entirety in order to synchronise different sections with each other and to create a flow.
They will test
Architects also have a lot of technical knowledge, which is crucial to make sure ideas are feasible.
In addition, their practical experience will help you to learn early in the process. For example, if a design has a chance to succeed in planning or if there are any issues with fire regulations.
They may have also worked with a similar building and they know about its shortcomings and predispositions. This is an invaluable insight when undertaking a project.
Architect will propose new options
I am sure that most architects will also want to present some additional design options. It may be easier for them to step back and to look at a space as a whole, which can help to make sure that areas work together efficiently.
Moreover, architects obsess about details and little design accents that may be subtle but can transform a room.
It is important to tell them at the very beginning all your likes and dislikes, as well as how you personally use the space so that they can make sure that a design agrees with your needs.
Architect will visualise ideas on plans and in 3D
It is pretty much a given that an architect will put the design onto plans. Quite often, they will also visualise them in 3D, as this may make easier to understand the envisaged results.
Later, they will translate the final vision onto more detailed plans and schedules for contractors and other suppliers.
Design appropriate to the budget
The design process is truly very exciting and stimulating. It is usually preceded by a period of gathering ideas and a lot of anticipation. It is, after all, the beginning of your new home.
Besides helping you to tune the details of the design and to verify its technical feasibility, an architect will be able to advise you on the most suitable option for your budget. It is crucial to communicate this to them at the very beginning, as they will work on a project bearing in mind its achievability. If they feel there may be a discrepancy, they may propose a different design. For instance, some structures may look minimalistic, but they require more expensive solutions to make them work, such as additional steel beams for support or extra-large sheets of glass for a clean finish. By making some concessions, it may be possible to create a similar look, but at a lower price.
In other cases, It may be an option to divide the works into phases and perhaps to build your dream ground floor now, whereas to postpone a loft conversion.
Later, they will create a more detailed budget for the construction phase
The budget management does not end with the initial matching design to the budget. Once a final layout and scope of works have been agreed, an architect will work alongside constructors and other suppliers on building a more detailed budget for the project.
Of course, they will help with permissions
An architect working knowledge can be quite invaluable in this area. They will be able to advise on what planning permissions you need and the right approach. They may also have practical experience of working in your region or with a particular institution, such as your borough’s council. Architects will submit the applications on your behalf and take away the burden of liaising with specific bodies.
Help to choose a contractor
Established architects usually have a few constructors to recommend that they had the experience of working with in the past. You may also want to introduce them to a builder that you have met if you consider one for the project. An architect will usually invite a number of construction companies to participate in a tender, which he or she will manage on your behalf. They will help you to go through the quotes and guide you on choosing one. After all, architects love to see projects being built.
Important to retain during construction
We highly recommend retaining an architect working for the whole construction project. They will be already familiar with the design and understand what needs to be achieved. By supervising the construction process they will ensure that the ideas will get implemented properly and with care. An architect’s role is very broad. It starts with meeting the Clients, listening to a brief, and analysing space. It ends with the final sign off of a completed project.