Do You Need An Architect?


When embarking on a project of home improvements, one of the early decisions has to be whether or not to engage the services of an architect. Although it is another expense to account for in a building project, their support can make a real difference.

Choosing to employ an architect is a personal decision. Not every project will need to use their guidance, though as a general guideline it can be said that where a building works programme needs to obtain planning permission it is likely that an architect will be useful to have on the team.

However, some people are very successful in creating their house building projects, including full builds and extension of an existing property, by managing it themselves and without ever needing to use an architect to draw their plans and help with any guidance on local authority planning regulations. These people are not in the majority, though, and unless you are very confident in your abilities to manage the project then it is likely that additional support will be needed. The people who do not use architects tend to be those with a very clear vision for their project and a lead builder who has trustworthy judgement and plentiful experience.

There are of course advantages to taking on an architect. For people who are otherwise busy, engaged with work or family life, and who therefore might not have time to oversee every detail of a project, an architect can act as project manager and take care of details which need attention. An architect has been through extensive training and education and is an expert in their field, trained to see the whole of the ‘big picture’ and looking for potential issues before they occur. They are also experienced in maximizing the light and space of an area, creating properties which meet the needs of their intended occupants. Building companies and contractors will be familiar with working alongside an architect, who will therefore know how to extract their best work and to make sure that everything is completed in accordance with both planning regulations and building control guidelines. Architects also have good working relations with building teams, generally, meaning they are well placed to negotiate discounts or to hire the best possible contractors for each job. On the site, the architect becomes the representative of the project, supervising contractors and reporting any issues back to the client in accessible terms.

In most people’s opinions, then, the only downside to hiring an architect is their fee. However, when taken into account alongside the potential savings made by using an architect, this is very reasonable. Projects without architects are more likely to make costly mistakes by missing a key step in the process or overlooking a detail with major consequences. For modern architect design Sussex based Yelo Architects are one of the best available, offering all of the above advantages as well as several more. The majority of home improvement projects can benefit from their expert advice.