Working with an architect - client journey

The process from start to finish

Written by Theo Tomlin ,
Published on January 8, 2024 at 2:11:36 PM PST January 8, 2024 at 2:11:36 PM PSTth, January 8, 2024 at 2:11:36 PM PST

Thinking about starting to build your own home can be quite daunting… “Where do I start?”, “What do I need to do?”, “What’s the process?”

To create a perfect home, an architectural professional needs more than technical details about a future building – they need to find out as much as possible about the needs and preferences of their client.

This includes learning about the habits and lifestyles of each member of the family that will live in the property. Such information will help tailor the project to the clients’ needs.

Here we outline the 8 step process an architect will have with their client. In chronological order we will breakdown each step and bullet point each task that will be completed by the architect and the relationship they will have with their client on this special Journey.

Architects create more worth than can be expressed through the capital value of a property. The Journey of a client and their architect below will show the value they add.

8 Step Journey - Working With an Architect

1. Meet

  • Face to face meeting
  • Genuine introduction to get to know each other
  • Analysis of existing home layout and function
  • Determine project goals and requirements
  • Identify preferences and dislikes
  • Establish a project brief
  • Discussions around timescales and budget

2. Survey

  • Full measured building survey
  • Survey of site
  • Accurate set of existing buildings plans and elevations
  • Existing site plan and site location plan
  • Coordination of specialist surveyors (If necessary)

3. Concept

  • Full design review based on initial project brief
  • Wide variety of design ideas typically presented across a minimum of three different options
  • Explorations of both internal and external considerations
  • Information presented in both 2D and 3D formats
  • Fluid and open dialogue with multiple meetings where required to develop the ideal proposal
  • Establish a ‘Frozen Scheme’ to move forward with for submission to planning

4. Planning

  • Progress Frozen Scheme to refine the more detailed elements of the design
  • Produce realistic external 3D render for clear visualisation of the scheme
  • Prepare a full set of planning application drawings
  • Put together any other planning application information and prepare planning application forms
  • Coordinate and collate any external consultant’s information that may be required
  • Submit the application and liaise with the planning authority through to the determination of the application

5. Technical

  • Prepare technical information for building control assessment and approval
  • Submit and liaise with building control throughout duration of plan assessment
  • Engage, consult and coordinate external consultants information
  • Prepare a set of detailed technical information to enable contractor costing
  • Open dialogue and use of internal 3D visualisation to assist the clients decision making process
  • Consult and liaise with local utility authorities where necessary

6. Tender

  • Establish a list of preferred contractors to tender
  • Liaise with contractors and provide all required information to enable tender
  • Prepare additional information where necessary
  • Breakdown contractors tenders and provide a tender comparison

7. Build

  • Prepare contract between client and selected contractor
  • Administer contract between client and contractor throughout the duration of the build
  • Conduct regular site visits and report on site progress
  • Liaise with contractor throughout to assist with on site queries and problem solving
  • Provide any additional information requested by the contractor
  • Certify interim payments and variation requests and issue instructions

8. Handover

  • Certify practical completion
  • Help identify areas of defects and suggest resolutions
  • Continue to liaise throughout retention period
  • Coordinate contractors return to correct any 6 month defects

You can download and print this process for future reference by clicking the image below.

Final steps

I hope the breakdown of the step-by-step process of working with an architect helps nip any lingering doubts in the bud if you are contemplating hiring an architect for your project.

The architect should be the 1st person you reach out to when the thought first comes in to your head, so they are able to understand your intentions and requirements from day one and so they can assist and bring value right from the get go.

So let 2024 be the year where you finally take the plunge and start that project you’ve had in your mind, reach out to an architect or 2 and let the dream begin to weave.

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