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Not all architects are the same, that’s your first lesson and one you should remember. They may look the...





Design Brief


What’s A Design Brief?

When you engage the services of an architect you will need to prepare what is commonly called a design brief. This is usually in the form of magazine clippings, photos, material samples and a brief outline of what you like, don’t like and what you’re trying to achieve.

Design Brief (1)Ideas that you have with regard to the design of your project will need to be conveyed to your architect in order that he or she can start to form an impression of what you’re after. The more research and effort you make then the easier it will be for everyone.

We generally recommend that you browse the web and look at whatever magazines are available in order to get a fair idea of where the market is design wise. It’s then up to you to break down your project and start looking at elements such as roof styles and finishes, walls, glazing, flooring and any other elements that make up your project.

Let’s say you were planning an extension. What size would it be? Would it be 2 storeys or a single storey extension? Are you after an open-plan living area? Would you include a downstairs w/c?. Each and every project will be different not only in design but also in style. Budget also plays an important part as budget restraints will mean different choices have to be made.

All in all the aim of the design brief is for you to really examine what you want and to formulate some decent ideas before the architect makes a visit. That way you won’t waste loads of time and effort in arriving at a plan that will suit the property and your budget.

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How To Choose An Architect

When it comes to choosing an architect we generally feel that the criteria should change to suit the project. For example, there is a huge difference between adding on a kitchen extension to a London home and preparing plans for a new build house in the countryside. With that in mind it would then make sense to choose and architect that specialises in the kind of project you’re after.

Image(1)1Many homeowners do little or no research and simply choose architects based on the cheapest fees. Whilst this strategy might work fine on smaller low value projects we would urge that you do a lot more research if you are really building something unique or need truly creative or exceptional design work.

Not all architects are the same, that’s your first lesson and one you should remember. They may look the same and charge a similar fee but I can assure you that the road taken to be a professional architect varies considerably as will their level and variety of experience.

If I was having a new house built I would only want an architect that knew the area well, had considerable experience on my type of build and was familiar with the local planning officers. In that way I would be getting and architect with the right background and experience for my project.

My point of course is that you will get a far better outcome if you can get the right sort of architect for your project. Only after that should you be looking at fees and I can tell you for nothing that in most cases the architect is well worth the fees as he or she can save you many thousands in the design process if motivated correctly.


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