If you’re looking to make changes to your existing home, you may be wondering whether you need an architect.
While many people believe that architects are only necessary for large projects such as designing buildings from scratch, they’re extremely useful for smaller home improvements, too.
How do I know if I need an architect?
Strictly speaking, there’s no legal requirement to hire an architect for a project. However, an architect is able to create designs, optimise space, handle project admin, manage your budget and ensure that the final build meets all necessary regulations.
There are four main types of project that especially benefit from the input of an architect:
1. Ideas and big-picture thinking
If you’re not sure what you want, or you have ideas but don’t know how to implement them, working with an architect is invaluable.
Not only will an architect be able to give you some insight into how much your project should cost and how long it will take, they can provide practical, creative and unique solutions.
Tell your architect what you’re looking to achieve and they’ll give you options on how to do it. Whether that’s bringing more light into your home, creating more space or incorporating a particular material, an architect has the expertise to turn your vision into reality.
2. Extensions and conversions
As these are significant additions to your home, discussing an extension or conversion with an architect will help to ensure the best outcome.
Not only can an architect help you to design the new addition, they can advise where best to locate it to ensure the maximum amount of light or to provide the most natural flow from room to room.
In particular, if your addition offers challenges such as tight spaces, unusual shapes or changes in floor level, it’s best to bring an architect on board.
3. Changing layouts and removing walls
If you’re thinking about moving or removing interior walls to open up a space, or adding or moving doors and windows, you’ll want to work with an architect.
Changing the layout of your home isn’t as simple as knocking down walls and rebuilding them elsewhere; there are a lot of technical considerations to protect the structural integrity of the building.
As well as advising you which changes are safe and practical, an architect can help you to create a space that works. How doors and windows interact with a room, and how the space is utilised can make or break its function and enjoyability.
4. Obtaining planning permission
Architects know which projects require planning permission, and how to apply for it. This can be a complicated and time-consuming process to do by yourself, so handing it over to an expert will allow you to relax.
Your architect can fill out all the paperwork and liaise with the council on your behalf, handling any necessary changes quickly and efficiently. This will help you to complete your build project on time and minimise the chance of rejection.
when to hire an architect
Here are some common household remodelling projects that would benefit from the input of an architect:
Moving the location of a bathroom or kitchen
Changing the position of or knocking down interior walls
Installing a swimming pool
Large projects with multiple contractors
Projects that require planning permission
While smaller jobs might not require an architect, they are often well worth their fees to ensure a smooth-running project.
Do you need an architect?
If your project does require an architect, then get in touch to discuss your project and turn it from a dream into reality.