Should I use a Local Architect
Walters Architects are frequently asked, ‘Should I use a Local Architect?’ The answer really depends on what it is you expect from the architect and how involved you would like them to be.
Most clients think that the architect will need to make endless site visits but this is not entirely true. They will visit site initially to get a feel for the project or site, most do this for free as part of their initial consultation. They may not be on site again until the builder is in place and construction begins.
If the architect is administering a building contract (sometimes referred to as Project Managing – although incorrectly so), they may only visit once a month during construction in order to issue payment certificates. If an actual Project Manager (the correct definition, and not always the architect) is running the contract, the architect may not visit at all once you are on site.
Since the pandemic, most practices have learnt to efficiently communicate remotely with offices continuing their use of software packages such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. This means there is even less need for your architect to travel to site or have physical meetings. Theoretically, this could reduce the cost of the professional team.
Obviously, there may be more input required on site if problems arise with specific design details. But usually the builder will communicate problems via email, over the phone or via video call whilst making reference to specific drawings. Occasionally architects are called to site to resolve such issues but it’s quite rare with conventional builds.
If a building project is relatively small, the architect may only visit site a couple of times throughout the entire process. This may encourage the client to use an architect from further afield. Choosing a practice from a region rather than locally. This may increase the standard and creative options open to the client. For example, there are a lot of benefits in using smaller creative practices if design and service are important to a specific client. Clients shouldn’t be put off by commissioning practices further afield.
Where We Work
As a company, Walters Architects undertake works all over the country with current projects in Huddersfield and Maidenhead. More locally we appear to be popular in areas such as Charnwood Borough (we are approved Planning Agents) , Rutland/Oakham and other key areas of Leicestershire.
If you are looking for a small to medium sized project, looking for hands on involvement for bespoke or full services, please just give us a call and discuss your requirements. We are practical thinkers and want a solution which works best for all involved, builder, architect and certainly the client.
For further information on working with an architect please visit the Royal Institute of British Architects web site page ‘how do I work with an architect’.