Architect or Builder First?

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Architect or Builder?

Who Should You Speak To About Your Extension First - A Builder, or an Architect?

Who Comes First - Architect or Builder?

When you are planning an extension to your property you are going to have plenty of things to plan for and think about.

You can try to do this alone, however, it makes the entire process that little bit harder to manage.

A great way to make things easier for yourself is to have the right experts readily on hand in to help you.

Two of the main experts that you can request for your extension projects are an Architect/Architectural Technician and a builder.

Whilst both are important and have their own part to play, many home-owners are not sure which one that they need to arrange first when it comes to building their extension.

When is a builder required first?

Having a builder come straight into an extension building project is usually only reserved for those people who have a set idea on what they want to do their home and for very small building projects.

For anything larger, such as an extension or a loft conversion then the first question a builder will generally ask is have you got drawings they can take a look at.

The exception to this is if you have already chosen your builder, perhaps on a recommendation from family or friends.

If this is the case then it will be worth speaking to them before looking for someone to produce plans for your project to see if they have an Architect/Architectural Technologist who they have worked with and can recommend.

Indeed, we have many builders who send their potential clients over to us simply because they have worked with our drawings and have enjoyed many successful builds from them.

Architect/Architectural Technologist?

Not everyone has an idea of how they want their extension to look or even what they want in the first place. This means that they are going to need to find someone who can help in those early design stages of the project.

An Architect is often the first  place people turn to.

They can work with those people who are looking for something that is more bespoke in its nature, or to give the home-owner ideas on what it is that they actually need.

In modern times, an Architect is going to take charge of the design process within planning an extension, but not too long ago they would have been in place to actually manage the entire process from start to finish.

They would be in charge of the design of the extension and working with the clients to ascertain what it was that they actually wanted from their extension.

They would also be able to locate and source the best builders to carry out the work that was required and oversee their work.

They would then charge a percentage of the build cost and this would be their fee for providing this service.

In more recent years, many people turn instead to an Architectural Technologist to assist with their extension project.

This is especially true if they have a clear understanding of what it is that they want from their extension.

More often than not, they will have seen a similar type of extension online, in a magazine or perhaps actually in real life and they will want to replicate that in their own home.

When this is the case, an Architectural Technologist will be more than capable of designing your home extension and will provide this service for a fraction of what an Architect would charge.

Whether you go for an Architect or an Architectural Technologist, you are still going to need to be aware of the key regulations and guidance that you have to follow in order to meet with the requirements set out within your own local area.

You may find that your chosen builder can help with this aspect of the process, however, more often than not they are going to need to find professional help or them to seek advice from.

Another thing that an Architect or Architectural Technologist will do is work closely with the local authorities.

They will be there to make sure that the planned extension is going to fit in with the regulations that are set out for extensions and that they do not breach any guidance.

Lets Talk For A Moment About Project Viability

Another very important consideration is project viability. 

Your average Builder will receive many calls from homeowners looking to extend their homes and if they spent time going around to look at every single job they wouldn’t have enough time left in the day to actually build anything.

One system that many builders use to decide which jobs are worth going to look at is to ask during the initial phone call whether or not you have plans drawn up.

If you can answer with a yes then instantly they know you are not wasting their time and that your project is viable.  

They will not only want to come and look at your project, but the fact they know that your project is viable and ready to go they are probably going to price the job more competitively as they know it ready to go!  



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