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How do I find an architect?

Whatever the size of your construction project, when looking for a good architect practice there are three useful ways to explore your options:

1. RIBA Find an Architect Service

The RIBA’s Find an Architect online tool is a free service and arguably the quickest and easiest way to find the right architect for your project, whatever its scope or scale. Here, you can outline your project, your budget and what you are looking for, and be matched to RIBA’s membership of over 4100 accredited firms giving you a shortlist of practices who have the right experience for your project. In turn, those practices can also let you know if they're interested in working on your project. You can then set up meetings with some or all of those shortlisted practices to make your final decision.

In this video Rob Earl, Client Services Manager at RIBA explains what the Find an Architect service can do for you.

2. RIBA Client Referrals Service

Alternatively, you can talk to the RIBA Client Services team who, on request, can draw up a tailored shortlist of Chartered Practices on your behalf. Tell us more about your project and we’ll get you matched with relevant RIBA accredited Chartered Practices.

Not sure if an architect is right for your project? Check our Why work with an architect? page. 

Benefits:

  • Free service
  • Select from over 4100 accredited firms
  • Quick and easy way to link up with suitable practices with relevant experience
  • Interested practices can contact you if the project is suitable for them
  • You will have a ready-made shortlist of relevant practices to research further / choose from

3. Personal Recommendation

Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and colleagues  can be a useful approach to finding an architect for your own project. However, it is always worth checking that the person recommended is a registered architect – and asking to see previous project examples - before you meet with them. 

The title ‘architect’ is protected by law and as such, all architects must be registered with the Architects Registration Board. This guarantees a certain basic standard of work and means they will have professional indemnity insurance should it be needed.

To find out if an architect is registered and check the credentials of any recommendation you might receive, you can search the ARB register online

Benefits:

  • First-hand knowledge of the architect’s capabilities and client service
  • Confidence that they have local knowledge
  • Evidence of their approach and expertise

Things to consider

  • You will be appointing the architect practice, not the individual, so it’s important to know who will be your day to day contact, and whether they are a registered architect. Take the time to check with the Architects Registration Board. 
  • It's important that you choose an architect you enjoy working with. Your relationship with your architect will determine the success of your project.
  • Spend a bit of time getting to know an architect before you appoint them. In that way you can get a feel for the way they work and their design style and also ensure that your collective vision for the project is aligned.
  • Aim to meet a few potential architects at your home to discuss your project and ask to see their portfolios or even visit other projects they have completed before making a decision.

 

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