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Do I need an architect for my Rochdale build?

Do I really need an architect?
Even if your project isn’t very complex, it’s a good idea for you to talk to an architect before you begin. The majority of architects offer a full service to projects that have a budget above PS50,000. But, for a lesser fee, an architect can help you make the most of your project early on, regardless of its size or whether they are required later. These consultations can be very useful and most architects offer them one-on-one. They can provide advice on every aspect of your project including design, cost, planning, and construction. It is possible to gain valuable insight in a relatively short period of time that will help you realize your dream project. You will likely need an architect if you need planning permission.
How do I determine if someone’s an architect?

Law protects the title ‘architect’. Only those who have completed rigorous training and are fully qualified can use it. Be aware of companies that call themselves ‘architectural designers’ or other similar terms. This is usually an indication that they do not qualify. All architects need to be registered with Architects Registration Board (ARB). Most architects also take up RIBA membership. If they do not have either credential, it is possible that they are unregulated and may not be able to provide the service you require.

Why choose a RIBA Chartered Practice.

Only architectural practices meeting strict eligibility criteria may register as RIBA Chartered Practices. All RIBA accredited Chartered Practices * must employ a certain number of RIBA Chartered Architects

Professional Indemnity Insurance
Have an efficient Quality Management System
Comprehensive policies for Health and Safety and Environment are in place
You are expected to behave according to a Code of Practice, in a manner appropriate to your status. See the complete Code of Practice.

They are committed towards excellence in design, customer service, and product development. Clients are only encouraged to use Chartered Practices that have been accredited by the RIBA.
How do I create a brief?

Your project’s success depends on how well you communicate your requirements. Your ability to clearly communicate to your architect the functions and requirements of your building as well as proposed management and operation methods. Your architect can help you prepare a final brief. The following information is important for your architect Rochdale to have access to:

Your goals
your budget
What is your design style? Are you looking to match the existing building’s design? What style do you prefer? Do you want a sustainable design or one that is environmentally friendly?
Why are you interested in this building project? What activities will you be engaging in?
Your authority: Who will make decisions about design, construction costs, and construction once the project is under way?
Your overall expectations: What are your goals for this project? More space. More light. More flexibility.

Your architect will listen to your goals and create a brief. This brief addresses both the design aesthetics and the building’s function. Your project’s timing and budget will be determined early in the process. However, only after you have approved initial sketches can ideas be further developed.
How do I find the right architect for me?

Clients will often choose an architect they are familiar with, someone they trust, or who has done great work. This can be a reasonable approach, except if you require a greater range of services and skills to meet your specific needs. In that case, a more structured process is recommended.

Find a firm that is familiar with the type of project you are interested in or has similar goals. Look at how many similar projects have they built, the contacts they have with local planning departments and their track record in getting approvals. To find out how well they communicated, were responsive to changes and how efficient they managed the budget, follow up on their references.

You should speak to all the firms on your list, explain your project, and ask them if they can take on it. Ask for literature detailing the qualifications and experiences of each firm. Visit their website. Ask to view a portfolio of their work or to visit completed buildings. Make sure you get to know the intended architect. It is essential to find out if you are compatible. You should be convinced by your architects’ creative thinking and ability to get things done.
Do I have to pay for the first meeting or not?

Although they are not required to give their time, architects generally do not charge for the initial conversation. This will consist of a meeting to discuss your project and the architect’s ability to deliver it. Anything beyond this, i.e. Detailled design advice is what you should expect for a price.

The information offered at the initial meeting may vary from one architect to another, so make sure to inquire about any fees before you schedule a meeting.
What does it cost?

Based on the complexity and location, the fees of architects will vary according to the level of service they provide. Some architects charge a percentage of the total project cost while others charge a fixed price lump sum and/or a time fee. From the initial design meeting through the delivery of the project, it is up to you how much or small you wish to hire an architect.
How do I hire an architect?

It is vital that the architect and client have a good working relationship in order to ensure the success of any project. Your architect and you should agree on the scope of the services and the cost before work begins.

The Domestic Project Agreement was created by the RIBA to help clients with smaller projects. The RIBA Concise Agreement may be better suited for you if your business or commercial needs are being met. The RIBA Standard Agreement works well for larger projects that require more specific contract terms. It can be used with all types of procurement, including design & built.
How do I find out if I need planning permission

Your architect will provide advice on how to obtain all necessary approvals. However, if you are interested in learning more about the Government’s Planning Portal website, you can go here.

What are my obligations regarding safety and health?

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM2015) govern the health, safety and welfare in construction projects. These regulations have been updated for domestic and commercial clients in April 2015.

These obligations impose a duty upon the client to make arrangements for managing a project. This includes making sure that duty holders (i.e. a Principal Designer, and a Principle Contractor) are appointed.

What type of building contract should you use?

After you have received planning approval, your architect can suggest a form of building agreement and prepare drawings with technical specifications. This will allow selected builders to estimate the cost. The RIBA offers a range of contracts for both domestic and commercial projects.

How can I ensure that the build quality is maintained?

Contract administrators are responsible for overseeing construction contracts. You will have to appoint someone for this position.

The contract administrator is an architect who will ensure that the project runs smoothly. They can inspect and handle queries, instruct any additional work, monitor progress, check cost, value and verify payments to the builder.
What is the process for my project?

Every project has a similar process. It starts with the briefing, continues through design development, preparation of documentation for planning permission where necessary, and production of technical drawings for construction regulations and building purposes. Then it is time to tender and finally construction and handover.