10 Steps to Choosing an Architect For Your Private House Project

Everybody needs a place where they can close the door to the rest of the world and enjoy comfort in their own surroundings.

Your home should be the most precious place to you, so creating it requires delicate planning. This means it’s important to find the right architect to put your home in the hands of – somebody that you can trust and who can understand exactly what your vision is. This article gives you 10 steps to finding the right architect for you.

1. Are they registered?

Selecting a registered architect is vital as it means they are fully trained and qualified, covered by indemnity insurance and bound by regulations. This also means your project is expected to be completed at the right standard, but if anything were to go wrong, your investment will be protected and the architect will be held responsible for any breaches.

2. Their speciality

Designing and building a house means having unique skills that an architect specialising in offices or tower blocks may not have. Search for an architect who really understands the comfort, detail and versatility that goes into the design of your ideal house.

3. Their work

Of course you are going to have some personal and detailed requirements for your home – house design is very complex as there are so many variations. Request examples from architects of their previous work and check they don’t design and build in a single way, otherwise they may not be able to adapt to your vision. The photos below are of some of our previous work, or you can view our portfolio of private houses here.

interior exterior-21



4. Their references

An architect’s current and previous clients can talk to you not only about the quality of work and design that went into their home, but also how well they worked with the architect through the journey. If you find a client that has similar tastes or ideas to you, you can get more relevant answers.

Some may even be happy to arrange a home visit with you so you can really see the work that has been done.

garden5. Is your project to their scale?

A large scale architect may not put their full attention into your project if a higher value project is available to them. An architect used to your scale won’t only create a more suitable design, but they can plan and manage your project correctly by using their experience to maximise your budget in the best way. A bigger budget doesn’t always mean a better design; it can increase the management costs and the number of contractors.

6. Their interest and availability to you

Are they happy and confident that the process can be completed within your required timescale and budget? Are they able to fulfill your brief from the very start to finish?

If an architect is excited and keen to work on your project, that will be apparent in all aspects of the build, from design to commitment.

7. Their suitability to you

Your architect needs to understand exactly what you want from your home and what your current and future plans are. When meeting your chosen architect, see if they empathise with you and with what you need. Always remember that the architect’s role is to put your ideas into existence, not theirs.

8. Their local knowledge

An architect having knowledge of your local council permissions and other controls means you’ll have a much better chance of your planning permission and designs being approved. It also means that they will know the best contractors and suppliers in the area.

Many clients think that an architect based in their area is better which isn’t true – many experienced architects are widely travelled. It isn’t about where they are based, but if they have worked in your area before.

capture-39. Can they offer the whole service?

Some architects aren’t able to provide both interior and exterior design, and others won’t do work on the site. Ensure that you know exactly what services they offer so you can find any additional professionals that may need to be involved in the project. Architects usually have a trusted recommendation for someone who can provide a service that they can’t.

10. Compare quotes

You need to work out exactly what services you require with what you are able to pay. There are a whole range of options, including additional services such as 24/7 support, or a tailored design for your build. Compare your potential architects based on the prices and level of service that you feel is suitable.

Nicholas Jacob Architects are registered architects whom have the experience to assist in projects of many scales and sizes, offering you our full commitment.


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