So after what seems like years of deliberating you have decided now is the time to get on with that kitchen extension. So where do you start? Well the first point of call is to find the right Architect and here are my 7 top to-do's when you are looking for the one.
1. Meet face to face. It's so important to meet every Architect in person and if possible on site. At the end of the day, if you and your Architect clash from the first time you meet, you can guarantee that the rest of the road will be rocky one.
2. Make a list of questions before he or she gets to you. Ask them what their experience is in this kind of project, do they have any references they can send you or examples of similar projects etc.
3. Do some background research on them. Most practices will have a facebook page or instagram account and they are a great way to see snippets of how the practice runs or different projects they may be working on. And read their website if they have one, look for blogs, galleries, FAO's that can give you an insight into how they work.
4. Check that they are registered with the ARB first and foremost and then if they are using the RIBA logo on their site or stationary, as I am, check they are actually RIBA registered as well.
5. Speak to more than one Architect. Don't just speak to the first architect that is recommended by your friend from yoga. At the end of the day, it's a personal experience working on a person's home and you need to do a little shopping around.
6. Don't just take the cheapest offer. I can not stress the value of having the right person for the job. It is so stressful undertaking a home renovation of any size and your Architect will literally be your hand holder for the majority of it. So if you have a couple of quotes but the more expensive one just seemed to make you tick, then I would really advise you to choose them. If you are struggling a little with budget, pick up the phone and call them, they may be able to match the other quote or at least bring it down a little.
7. If you have seen a few but no one has felt like a fit, then keep looking. Try looking in a different area, most architects will travel for the right project or ask around on Facebook. And don't be afraid to try the one man bands. After all most of us are sole traders because we want to spend more time focusing on a smaller number of clients to be able to given them the best of our attention.
I hope those points help you in your search and if you have a project you would like me to come and look at then please just let me know in the contact form.