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Work with an architect for your home

Your home is likely to be your most valuable asset and the process of designing and building or extending may feel daunting at first. Unless your project is very simple, it makes sense to at least talk to an architect for advice before you get going. If you need planning permission, it is sensible to engage an architect to take you at least up to that stage in the process. For more information about planning and building regulations, visit the Planning Portal.

As recent RIBA research demonstrates, our homes, now more than ever, play an integral role in our physical and mental wellbeing – so it’s important that they are tailored to our individual needs. A good architect will propose solutions and develop your brief so that it reflects your aspirations. They will help you with the approvals required before the project can go ahead, including preparation of applications to the local authority for planning consent (where needed) and for Building Regulations approval.

Victoria Street by 5th Studio, Cambridge – RIBA East Award 2003

They can also help you find a good reliable builder and provide quality control over the build, helping you to complete your project efficiently, and manage the budget.

How much or how little you commission an architect is up to you – from coming up with an initial design to seeing the project through to completion.

Choosing an RIBA-accredited Chartered Practice will give you peace of mind. They comply with strict criteria covering insurance, health and safety and quality management systems. They have extensive experience so you'll be able to find the right match for your project.

For more information about working with an architect, read our guide, see our homeowners' digest or explore our YouTube playlist, featuring expert advice, top tips and design inspiration from professionals. You can also start the process of finding an architect for your home project by using our Find an Architect service.

The video above, first produced for the Homebuilding and Renovating Virtual Show 2020, features design advocate, property developer and TV presenter Kunle Barker, who outlines the role of an architect, how to find the right one, how to get the most from them and the overall benefits of working with one. 

Read our collection of articles designed to help homeowners make informed decisions on their self build, renovation, extension or conversion projects via our Find an Architect service.

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