FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT AN ARCHITECT?
All architects study for a minimum of seven years, which includes two years of practical experience in an architect’s office. This seven year process culminates in a final examination comprising of a 24 hour written practice paper followed by a rigorous interview. If students pass this exam they can then call themselves an Architect. The term ‘Architect’ is hard gained and is legally protected.
Architects can become members of the Professional bodies, the Royal Institute of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) or the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
When choosing an architect it is a good idea to check if they are a member of one, or both these organisations.
All Architects are required to comply with a ‘Code of Conduct’ set out by the Architects Registration Board (ARB), which also retains a register of all registered Architects in the UK. You can find this at architects. arb.org.uk
HOW IS AN ARCHITECT QUALIFIED?
Your home is probably your most valuable asset, and quite often be a statement about yourself and your family and influences how you and your family live, play, eat, sleep interact and grow together.
If you are considering making alterations to your property, it is important that you seek professional advice from an Architect early on so that the following factors can be discussed;
What is your budget and is it realistic
The project brief, your aspirations and expectations
What the Planning Department will allow
What the Building Control Department will require
Your timescale to start and complete the works
Remember, that in most cases the initial Architect consultation is free and you will have a chance to discuss various aspects of your project including feasibility, fees and timescale. An Architect has the experience to make the most of the potential of your home and can discuss in detail how you and your family use your home and what you hope to achieve.
IS AN ARCHITECT TOO EXPENSIVE?
Remember, Architects are professionals, similar to solicitors or doctors, and you should expect to pay appropriate fees. If you want the best building advice on your building project you should be realistic in allowing for professional fees. Do not underestimate their guidance before you get to site or their expertise while on site. Cutting costs by cutting out the Architect can result in expensice abortive work if things go wrong on site.
CAN AN ARCHITECT HELP WITH GETTING A BUILDING CONTRACTOR?
Not all architects, who are involved in the domestic market, are interested in taking projects ‘on site’, or even getting prices from prospected Contractors.
At hLp architects we are happy to provide a ‘full service’ from start to completion. We have a number of contractors who we have used regularly for domestic works over the years. When choosing a Contractor it is important to bear in mind a number of factors;
Price against budget
Quality of work
Timescale for carrying out works
Suitability to carry out your works
All Contractors will vary on the above factors, therefore it is very difficult to compare one against the other. It is therefore important to be guided by your Architect in choosing the right Contractor for the right reasons.
As a general rule, it is also always good practice to take references from Contractors and if possible talk to previous clients and look at projects they have carried out recently.
We know that Building projects are close to the heart and can be stressful, and being able to speak with a professional and friendly face can make all the difference.