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How does the process of appointing an Architect work?

(8 Posts)
Traalaa Tue 17-Jan-17 09:36:56

We're thinking of opening up the back of our little house, so a small extension onto the garden, etc. Do potential Architects come round for a chat and a look, then after that you pay them for designs/ further work? If so, is it just wrong to ask a couple to come round just to see if we chime, get on, etc, etc, before deciding who to go with. I don't want to rip anyone off at all, but I have no idea how these things work. Any advice would be great!

Cacofonix Tue 17-Jan-17 09:53:10

Yes - just call 3 or so that you have on recommendation or like the look of their work and they will come around for a initial chat and look around, then they will send you an estimate. Choose from there. Easy peasy. Some will chat through ideas on that initial meeting and some do a quick sketch and include it in their estimate (although others don't). That is how we chose. One guy totally didn't listen to me at all on the initial meet up - he didnt get the job!

JT05 Tue 17-Jan-17 10:06:56

Look at the RIBA websites for registered Architects in your area. Invite 3 to come and chat through the job, at this point they will be able to outline any complications in designing the extension. This should be at no cost to you. They should then be able to send you a proposal, outlining their stages of design and fees. Usually it's broken down into initial designs, planning permission application, building reg. applications and whether you wish them to project manage the build. It is always better to go for stage payments, so that you can bow out if you're not happy.

Large practices may not be interested in small extensions, so it might be better approaching smaller ones.

Traalaa Tue 17-Jan-17 11:17:43

Brilliant. Thanks for demystifying it for me. I will go and look at the RIBA website and look at a few websites to see who's done similar projects that I like the look of. smile

ShortLass Tue 17-Jan-17 12:21:40

Be prepared for architects not to ring you back.

Or to be interested in a project that isn't a new build for re-designing mansion.

In other words, you may need to call more than three.

littlestar34 Tue 17-Jan-17 17:02:52

If you have a builder in mind sometimes they have someone who does drawings as quite often that is all you need especially if it is a fairly straightforward extension. Our builder was fairly clued up on planning permission, building regs etc. We appointed an architect as we thought he would take us through the process and it would help us get comparable quotes from builders. It really didn't work out that way and I am not really sure at the end of it what we actually paid for! Our fault really as we should have spent longer choosing and seen a few more.

littlestar34 Tue 17-Jan-17 17:03:19

If you have a builder in mind sometimes they have someone who does drawings as quite often that is all you need especially if it is a fairly straightforward extension. Our builder was fairly clued up on planning permission, building regs etc. We appointed an architect as we thought he would take us through the process and it would help us get comparable quotes from builders. It really didn't work out that way and I am not really sure at the end of it what we actually paid for! Our fault really as we should have spent longer choosing and seen a few more.

Traalaa Wed 18-Jan-17 11:27:36

Thanks both. Good advice. I hadn't thought of the builders being able to do that. I will ponder a while longer..

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