How do I choose the best Architect for my project?
With so many architectural practices offering different services, you may wonder what makes one better than another. The differences between architects can be vast, therefore it is important to consider how they fit with your aspirations. We have highlighted some of the key points to look out for when comparing architects, taken from the relationships we have forged over the years with some great clients.
The following is to help you select an architect, including our top three most important things to remember when choosing. It covers everything from picking the right style of architecture for your bespoke project to finding the right fit between you as the client and your architect.
- Think about the Architect’s design style
This is generally the one area that is most readily available to review, as most architects’ websites are essentially their portfolio, and provide a good insight into the type and style of work they create.
You need to consider how the architects’ designs reflect your requirements and aspirations. Are you looking for a modern or traditional solution? are you open to ideas? as this is arguably where an architect’s value excels. Choosing an architect who can best translate your initial ideas and thoughts into the style that excites you, will create an immediate connection. To do this you will need to make sure your architect listens to you, and can immediately interpret your needs and determine your architectural brief. This will allow the architect to hit the ground running and develop bespoke and beautiful proposals that are specific to you.
It is extremely important for an architect’s design to be tailored to you and your unique needs. Therefore, you must choose an architect with a track record for listening to their clients. A great place to start would be to read any reviews written by past clients. Find out what they say about what it was like working and collaborating with the architect, and whether they would recommend working with them.
See some examples of what our clients have said about us on our reviews
- Think about the direct relationship with your Architect and their team
Will you get on long-term and be able to freely communicate?
A beautiful home is not designed or for that matter completed overnight; projects require a lot of work and effort, and if taking a project from brief determination through design, planning, detailed design and construction stages, you will be in regular contact with your architect and their design team for anywhere from 12-24 months, and sometimes longer.
Make sure you check that your chosen architect has undertaken your type of project before and review their design process aka ‘the journey’. You will be guided through from your first chat and initial design, all the way to the construction phase. Importantly review their portfolio and construction projects, especially those that have been completed, to get a sense of the finished quality they can deliver.
Choose an architectural practice whom you feel comfortable communicating with, relying upon and building a relationship with for the long term. Find out who will be leading your project as you need to have a good rapport with them, where you can get to know each other and communicate freely. This will lead to a much more enjoyable and fruitful process for all involved.
- Every project lives and dies on how the Timescale, Construction Cost and Quality of your project are managed.
You must choose an architectural practice that you feel is best able to balance these 3 factors. Delivering a high-quality project that aligns with your budget expectations and timeframe, and importantly a practice that does not shy away from hard truths. Your architect should be clear from the outset, managing expectations and advising if the balance should change to meet your brief. ie. should your timeframe be extended? Should you reduce the size or quality of the work? or increase your budget (or indeed a combination of the three). This should be part of their design process and your journey to a finished home.
Most importantly, choose a practice that you trust and believe has the honest intentions and experience to guide you through the full process, keeping you informed at every turn. This is your project, and your architect is there to deliver upon your brief and hopefully exceed your expectation in terms of what is possible, particularly on the design front.
How we can help
We trust this has been helpful and that it allows you to make informed decisions about how to proceed with your project. Should you wish to discuss your project we would love to hear from you. Please click on our ‘Book a Call’ button to start your journey and find out more.