Find the best Architect in Northern Ireland for your project
Whether you’re planning a remodel, an addition or a whole new structure, the services of a good architect can make the difference between resounding success and complete disaster. Experienced DIY aficionados apart, most people do not have the training and expertise to design a construction project that is buildable and attractive while conforming to all the current codes and regulations. This is what an architect can do, possibly saving you a load of money, time and frustration.
Choosing the right architect, therefore, is a serious business and you should not take it lightly or rush into a contract without getting input and feedback from at least a couple of local architects. Note that localities differ considerably in building requirements and restrictions, so someone familiar with your area is usually – though not necessarily – preferable. Talk to builders in the area who have completed jobs using architects; if you admire the finished project it’s a pretty good indicator that the architect is one you should consider for yours.
It’s well worth a little extra time to interview two or more architects and get at least a tentative quote on price. Some charge by the hour, some by the job, so it’s up to you to find out exactly what the job will entail in terms of materials, time and labour costs. Also find out if the architect will be responsible for all the necessary permits – applying for and obtaining them – or if you’ll have to do that yourself. The architect should know precisely what’s required, in any case.
It is really important to have a clear picture in your own mind of what you want from this project, i.e. the particular style if there is one, the purpose for the space created and any specifics of design. Ask about your candidate’s previous experience; if it does not include some projects similar to yours, you should probably continue your search. By the same token if there are examples of completed projects along the same lines as the one you’re planning and you like what you see, that’s a strong point in the architect’s favour.
A reputable and experienced architect may be part of a firm or work alone, but in either case should offer a free consultation and quote a price for the completed project. Make sure you know exactly what’s included in that price and get it in writing; that way you have a solid basis for choosing and won’t be misled by a low quoted price that may not include securing permits, for instance.
Of course the cost is a major factor, but most people in the business also emphasise the importance of mutual understanding and ‘good vibes’ between architect and client. If, when discussing the project, you seem to be on the same wavelength as far as what it will take to make your project a thing of beauty, you’re definitely on the right road towards finding the ideal architect for your project.