Guide to Employing an Architect

Contact Ian Banks to book a free home consultation:

Feel free to contact Atoll Director and Chartered Architect Ian Banks on 07717710014 or to discuss your design brief and potentially arrange a free home visit. Ian will be happy to advise you on this, as well as the potential added value to you in employing an architect for your project. As well as project examples listed the architecture section of this website, further case studies, ideas guides and client testimonials for Atoll Architecture can also be seen on the Houzz Pro website.

When commissioning a building design, clients have a number of options open to them. The short video A Client’s Guide to Engaging an Architect, as produced by NBS, explains why a client might consider employing an architect, showing what architects do, how they add value and how they help to ensure successful project delivery. It clarifies the difference between Registered and Chartered Architects, describing the professional standards expected of them, before discussing six key areas in depth, including: Architect’s Appointment; Client Duties; The Plan of Work; Project Management; Fees; and Design and Build.

You can also download the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) own guide Working with an Architect for your Home  . Any deemed ‘extra’ cost of employing an architect can be justified for a whole host of reasons, and the RIBA sets out the case for this in the guide:

“…Unless your project is very simple it makes sense to at least talk to an architect for advice before you get going. Architects are highly skilled and professionally trained to turn your aspirations into reality. They will guide you through the design, planning and construction process whether you are constructing a new building or adapting an existing property.”

If you feel you need more independent guidance and advocacy for the role and benefits of architects working on your home, then you can also check out impartial advice online from The Home Owners Alliance and / or Which:

The HomeOwners Alliance champions the interests of Britain’s homeowners and aspiring homeowners, providing unbiased and practical advice. This includes their Top Tips: Clever Questions to Ask Your Architect and even helping advise home owners on the most fundamental question of all of: Do I need an architect? , a consideration it summarises as follows:

When you improve your home, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether or not you need an architect. It can have a big impact on the cost and quality of the building works”

if you engage an architect, you will pretty much always end up with a better end product”.

Similarly, the Which Consumer Rights Guide sets out some answers to the core question: I’m thinking of hiring an architect, what do I need to know? :

Before you start any architectural work you should know the qualification level of the person you’re hiring, what standards you can expect and your rights should anything go wrong”.

Architects are required to act in accordance with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) code, which sets out the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of them. When comparing architectural services, remember that, the title of ‘architect’ is one protected by law under by the Architects Act 1997, which means only qualified architects registered with ARB can use the title.

Ian Andrew Banks RIBA

Architect Ian Banks has been registered with ARB since 1990, and undertakes to abide morally and ethically with their Architects Code of conduct. He is a chartered architect, via his Membership of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and a Member of the Association of Consultant Architects (ACA). He is also a designated Built Environment Expert for Design Council Cabe; is an active (and vetted) Member of Checkatrade; and is registered with regional search engine Local Architects Direct. Recent customer reviews for Ian Banks are available for viewing on Atoll Architecture’s Houzz Pro and Checkatrade websites.

Architects Registration Board: ARB are the organisation set up by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate architects in the UK.   The ARB publishes the Architects Code which has 10 standards dealing with conduct and competence, and two standards relating to client service and complaints.

Royal Institute of Architects: The RIBA is a global professional membership body driving excellence in architecture. It serves it’s members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. The RIBA’s primary focus has always been towards it’s members and has an Advancing Architecture strategy for 2016 to 2020.

Association of Consultant Architects: The ACA is the national professional body representing architects in private practice – consultant architects – in the UK. Membership is open to Registered Architects practicing on their own account either alone or in partnership or as a Director of a company whose business consists wholly or mainly of an Architects’ practice or an allied field.

Design Council Cabe Built Environment Expert: This select network of only 400 ‘BEEs’ work nationally to support Design Council Cabe’s work delivering high-quality design to places throughout England:

Checkatrade: Carries out checks on recommendations, vetting and monitors active members, including architects as well as other trades.

  • Atoll Architecture certification on Checkatrade can be viewed here  or potential customers may call them on 0800 028 22 94 to get an up-to-date independent appraisal.

Local Architect Direct: Atoll Architecture are registered with Local Architects Direct and is a price comparison website relating to property services to source property professionals for householder design projects.

  • Ian Banks RIBA: Account Number : 97115

Would you like to add £50,000 to the value of your home in just 7 – 14 days?

Refer to Atoll Blog feature on new independent research from the Federation of Master Builders  and the Home Owners Alliance (working with the The Guild of Property Professionals). A similar commercial guide on the subject has also been produced by the online Property Workshop portal which acts as a self-styled “one-stop shop for home renovation and repair” . Property Workshop details it’s own suggested ’31 Home Improvements that Add Value (and 7 that Don’t!)’ and the site takes you through 31 different ways to increase property value, with tips on how to maximise profit and make a householder’s money go further.

The New Way to Design Your Home?

Check out the latest good practice and ‘ideas books’ and discussions from the new Houzz Website . Ian Banks is now registered on Houzz Pro as Atoll Architecture, so check me out there.

Categories: Architecture

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