We have been approached by potential clients in many ways including word of mouth, recommendations from past clients, Google search, and the RIBA Find an Architect service.
Selecting the right Architect for your project
It is important that you meet your architect prior to making your selection, rather than making your decision based on costs only.
You will work with your architect for a long period of time, on smaller projects this can be over a 12 month period, and on larger projects from the design phase until the end of the construction can be a number of years. Some clients will continue working with their architect for years building a working relationship to use on all of their future projects. It is therefore important that you feel you will be able to work together for a long period of time.
You need to like your architect, as you will welcome them into your life, home or business and you need to be on the same page. Your architect needs to understand you, your family or business; the way you want to use your building and what you want to achieve. They need to consider your taste, your likes and dislikes, and your priorities and you need to feel that you can ask questions if you are unsure or if do not understand.
You will get the best out of working with an architect if you are open-minded, allow them to guide you, take their advice and you are both patient with each other.
If you are choosing your architect from a shortlist, then have a look at their previous designs. Do you like their style? Do they create wow-factor? Were they enthusiastic about your project? When evaluating multiple fee proposals, check if they are a true comparison of services. Make sure you understand the whole process with regards to what is and what is not included within the fee structure, including what is achieved at each stage of the process. Remember, it isn’t always about choosing the cheapest quotation, as you get what you pay for.
If you haven’t found an architect through a recommendation, then view their testimonials, ask about their process and how they work with their clients, what is their planning success rate, and do they have the right experience for your type of project? So, meet the architect, ask them questions, make sure you like them, and they understand you and your requirements.