If you’re planning to do some work on your home – whether that’s simply plonking down an extension above the garage or you have grand, bold plans for a structural phenomenon in a combination revival of art-deco and gothic styles – you should probably at least consider hiring the skilled hands of an architect.

With that in mind, it’s quite surprising how many people have turned away from hiring an architect by the thoughts of the process being a bit too confusing or even expensive. If that’s what you’re currently thinking, let this article try and put your mind at ease.

Architect Blue PrintsDo You Need an Architect?

Yes, probably. Or at least if you are currently asking yourself a similar question. If you’re unsure, then it’s always best to employ an architect, but as a general rule of thumb, unless it’s a small, simple project that needs zero planning permission, you should get in touch with a professional.

They should be able to offer you a free consultation, so take advantage of this and ask if they would recommend the use of an architect on your proposals. They’re more helpful than you might think – ploughing through the paperwork, applying for planning permission, doing the plans, an architect helps in a number of ways.

How to Choose an Architect

The first step – if it is available to you – is to talk to anyone you know who has recently had an extension built or so on, and find out how they found the experience with their architect. Obviously, if they highly recommend a particular firm, you should be able to trust their judgement and go with that company.

If nothing comes of this, try visiting a few different architects, and asking them what their specialty is. If they specialise in commercial developments and you just want to add an extra bedroom to your house, then maybe they’re not right for you.

Enquire about their qualifications and ask to take a look at other projects that they’ve designed. Also, a good sign of an impeccable architect would be an award of some kind, so keep an eye out for these.

Check their accreditation, too – take a look on the website for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to see if they’re listed there, or talk to someone who works in the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB).

As we said before, most reputable architect companies should offer you a free consultation at no cost. Use this to your gain – look around, take your time with a number of different architects before deciding which one fits you best, whether that’s a big, established firm such as McCormick Architecture or a small business in your area.

Hopefully this article has helped you make up your mind – we wish you the best of luck in your building plans!