23 Sep 2019

Three ways the right architect could save you money

You’ve done your numbers but adding an architect’s fee to your self-build project may seem extravagant and uneconomical. After all, the whole point is to save money, right? If you have a vision of creating your dream home from scratch, appointing an architect could actually save you time and money in the long run. Saint-Gobain explores further.


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Architects minimise room for error

Imagine the scenario. Your dream room is coming together after hours on Pinterest and flipping through magazines for design ideas.

You measure up and purchase your materials. But as work kicks off, you realise the materials you’ve chosen don’t fit or work, you’ve used the incorrect metals and you discover planning permission is required.

This could be avoided by commissioning an architect during the planning stages. Architects are specialists who can take your brief and bring your visions to life. They can draw up the initial designs and manage budgets or you can work with them through to completion – it’s up to you. Before you buy your materials, and before you cut them, an architect can provide precise measurements, and offer professional advice on materials, design and cost.

An architect possesses practical experience which is hard to replicate – he or she will foresee the pitfalls and help you to avoid mistakes.

Architects understand how to maximise space

Architects were born to measure. Show them any space, and they know what to do with it. They can visualise how a room will look before it is even built. For example, they can take your budget and cleverly alter your space to maximise natural light by relocating doors or staircases and adding roof lights. Often it’s about the illusion of space and that’s where the architect can bring their expertise.

Architects usually know what is legally permitted

It is your land and space but it doesn’t always mean you can do what you want. You don’t want to be faced with a hefty fine by failing to comply with building regulations. A good architect can advise and manage the process around planning permission and building regulations (e.g. fire safety). They can ensure you have the correct approvals before your project can commence and prepare applications to your local authority.

They can protect you from heavy fines if your building doesn’t comply to regulations.

How to choose the right architect

So, with all this in mind, where do you start when it comes to finding a qualified architect? RIBA (the Royal Institute of British Architects) is a good place to search for an accredited professional. They follow strict codes of conduct covering insurance, health and safety.

Fees do vary depending on location and what is required. Do speak to a few architects – some charge for a whole project or per hour. Discuss the scope of work and the costs from the outset and ensure a written agreement is drawn up. The end result? Peace of mind and the avoidance of mistakes, which could ultimately cost you more further down the line.

Further information....

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