At what point do I need an Architect?

engaging an architect

A question we're asked often is "What stage do you need to engage an architect?". In this short soundbyte Managing Director Hannah Wooller gives some expert advise on engaging an architect.

Find the RIBA guide mentioned by Hannah here.

Listen via our video or read the transcript below.

It depends whether you are a domestic client looking for somebody to help you with your house, whether you are a commercial client considering a development or whether you have previous experience. In general, the answer is that it's never too soon to engage an architect because generally an architect can help you with your brief development and defining the services that you'll require.

However, it is possible to pay your architect too soon. If you are looking to build a new-build house, you are often better off getting a planning appraisal for the site before engaging an architect.

Saying that, you may speak to your architect and decide who you would like to work with before you begin the planning appraisal process, because it will help you align your service.

Once you've decided who it is that you're likely to work with, you can speak to that architect and advise them that you'll first be getting a planning appraisal - either using a planning consultant that you're aware of or through a recommendation from that architect.

Architects all have planning consultants that they work with regularly. It's usually a cheaper and more thorough way to ascertain the development potential of your site.

To understand whether you are likely to be able to construct a new build house on a site, you may well then need to come back to the architect (either through the planning consultant or directly) to have an initial scale and form composed so that you can get pre-AP advice from the local authority.

Planning will be your biggest hurdle to getting a new dwelling if you've already found a site. More likely if you're a domestic client, it will be development of your own house. In which case your architect should be your first port of call.

An architect can help advise on all of the other appointments. You will need a survey done, but many architects do offer this service in house or through a subcontractor. So speak to the architect and they can advise on the best and most efficient way to have your house measured. Then they will come and see your house and take your brief.

There are some great guides that the RIBA have produced and then advise on the other consultants you may wish to appoint.

If you're looking at a whole-house refurbishment or interested in the thermal performance of your building - which you should be because energy is only going to get more and more expensive - even if you're not driven by the pressures that the built environment puts on our climate, then you may want to have an energy consultant quite early on. Even if it's not something that you're actively seeking, you will need to have the thermal performance of your extension clarified under an EPC, which is an energy performance certificate. So you will still need to pay an energy consultant to sign off your design. But that again can be managed through your architect.

Hannah Wooller, June 2021

Hannah Wooller is Managing Director and Head of Heritage and Culture at Hudson Architects.

Published Date / July 30, 2021
Author / admin 

Similar Posts

Diss Corn Hall has won a NCEC Award
Last night The Corn Hall in Diss won a Norfolk Constructing Excellence Award for 'Preservation and Rejuvenation'
A Closer Look: The Eyrie
A closer look at the Eyrie, an energy efficient, contemporary family home. All in all, electricity, heating and hot water cost our clients just £1000 in the first year. For 30 years our clients had lived in a 16th century oak-framed house in Suffolk. Though abundant in charm and character, such a building comes with […]
A HOUSING MESS: What Next?
Two sides of the present housing crisis are nicely illustrated by what is happening in different parts of the UK. In London with an under supply of homes house prices and rents are high exacerbated by foreign investment which last year saw 40% of transactions with foreign buyers. It has made homes unaffordable for many […]
1 2 3 31

Contact us today to discuss your project

Get in touch
We produce beautiful buildings, ensure quality construction and explore innovative design whilst preserving a strong sense of space.
01603 766 220
info@hudsonarchitects.co.uk
Norwich Office
Hudson Architects
37 St Andrews Street, Norwich, NR2 4TP.

Social Media
© HUDSONArchitects 2021
Design by dash
crossmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram