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Top tips – questions to ask your architect

You're planning a project to improve your home and want to recruit an architect to help. If you both clearly understand what you want at this early stage, it may prevent problems as the project progresses. Here's how to prepare for and questions to ask your architect in your initial briefing meeting.

architect drawings home improvements and how to pay for building work

Having decided you need an architect and having found a few architects that you would like to interview, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. We have teamed up with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) to bring you their expertise on getting the best from your architect.

Preparing to meet with your architect

Before you meet with your architect for the first time, it’s worth spending some time writing down what you want to achieve with your project, what your budget and timing constraints are and what you would like your architect to do for you.

For example, you might want your architect to:

  • provide advice on design
  • you might only want them to provide drawings
  • you might want them to help with planning permission
  • or you might want them to manage every part of the project for you.

Questions to help you prepare for your architect meeting

  • What do you want to achieve from your project? Do you want a new extension, a conversion, opening up rooms etc.?
  • What do you want the architect to do for you? Obtain planning permission, provide drawings for construction purposes or manage the entire project?
  • What is your budget?
  • What are your time constraints?

Have these notes with you so that you can look over them during the meeting. It is important to give your architect as much information as possible so that they have a clear understanding of what it is you want.

During your meeting with your architect

Your architect will want to talk to you about your building project so they understand what you are looking for. You should follow your architect’s advice, but if they suggest something that you are not comfortable with, don’t be afraid to say so.

If you both clearly understand what you want at this early stage, it may prevent problems as the project progresses. It is your project, and your architect will want to make sure that you are satisfied with the end result.

It’s a good idea to make notes on advice and suggestions from your architect and whether the architect proposals seem achievable within your budget.

ARB – Questions to ask your architect

The attached ARB form covers these points and other critical areas you will want to think about. Personalise your form now to ensure your meeting with your architect goes well.

The following form, which is free to access and print, allows you to think in advance about the critical areas you need to cover in the all important first interview with your architect.

Personalise the form and print it now to guide you through your interview.Click here to personalise and print your meeting with an architect guide

For more advice on working effectively with your architect, see How do I work with an architect?

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With thanks to the ARB at www.arb.org.uk for letting us host their ever so useful interview with an architect form

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