Here Are Our Top Tips For Choosing The Right Architect
Choosing the right architect to design your dream home is significant decision. It will take time, effort and money to develop the design that works for you. But how do you know at that start of the process that you’ve chosen the right partner to work with?
An obvious place to start is by looking at previous designs and portfolios, this is probably what will attract you to a designer or a specific company in the first instance. But does this give you the whole picture?
The more eclectic the architect’s portfolio, the more likely they are listening to and creating what their clients want. It is very possible that a house design you dislike has delivered everything for the owner, which means the designer has done a great job for that client.
So, how can you know if a designer will be able to bring what you need to your project?
- Make sure the designer has a demonstrable process or approach in place to develop your brief and your understanding of what is possible.
- Don’t just look at past designs – if a stunning house has not met the client’s brief it cannot be good design. Look at past projects in conjunction with the client brief, testimonials and feedback.
- Look for evidence in case studies and client feedback that both the functional needs and aesthetic aspirations of the client have been met. It is far more important to engage a company that has a history of delivering what their clients want, than one that simply has a style of design you like. Aesthetics are only part of great design.
- An eclectic portfolio of projects suggests that a designer can meet the needs of a wide range of clients and isn’t wedded to their own preferred style.
- Look for evidence in design briefs and project case studies that the designer has used creativity and flare to get the most from the site, the budget and solve design challenges.
- Ask how the designer will collaborate with you. How often and when in the design process will you be consulted. Do not accept woolly answers, look for a robust process or approach that involves you.
Remember, architecture is “the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings”.
All too many houses fail to get built because they are beyond the client’s financial reach. All too often, through the design and specification process, the clients’ budget is stretched to breaking point and the project grinds to a halt.
Even worse, the question of project cost is avoided, the design is developed and put out to tender and only then, after substantial investment, financially and emotionally, does the client discover the scheme is beyond their reach.
Look for a practice that takes your budget seriously, that doesn’t avoid discussions about budget and has a robust process of budgetary control.
In summary, look for a practice not with an in-house style you think suits you, but with a clear design approach that engages and involves you whilst sharing and employing their skills and expertise to ensure you get the house you want within your budget.
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HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:
Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.
We had experienced difficulties with another company but from the moment we met Andy our faith in the project had been restored. He understood what we wanted and listened very carefully to our needs. He talked about structure and wood which was so interesting, and he was clearly so much more of an expert in his field than other people we had spoken to.
Building a house has been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.