Do I need an architect?

13. März 2017

I'm not sure where to start with a big project we're planning! We have a townhouse with the front door opening onto a hallway that runs past the garage, opens up into an area with a big understairs cupboard and then leads into the kitchen. We want to have the kitchen re-done but at the same time re-do the porch area, and I'm sure we can better utilise the larger part of the hallway/under stairs area. I'm sure we can incorporate it into the kitchen, opening the whole area up more and making much better use of the whole space. We'd also like to open the back of the house up with large sliding doors onto the garden. The problem is I don't really know where to start. We obviously need some design advice but would that be from an architect or an interior designer? Who would draw up plans for a builder to follow? We've replaced kitchens and bathrooms before but never done anything structural so I'm not sure where to start. Any advice appreciated!

Kommentare (12)

  • PRO
    Dale Loth Architects

    Perhaps we'd be seen as biased, but I'd certainly advise looking on Houzz for an architect in your area. People who have no previous experience with architects usually believe that they are an unnecessary luxury. However, a good architect should save you time and money by helping you find the most efficient and cost-effective way to achieve the changes you're considering. She/he should also have the knowledge to guide you away from potential pitfalls. Interior designers and experienced builders can be very helpful, but simply don't have the full range of aesthetic and practical training of architects.

  • adrianlowery

    I'd get 3-4 local architects to come round to give you a quote. As you explain to them what you want doing, or think you might want doing, you should get a feel for which of them seems to be most on the ball / understands you / has the best ideas and most enthusiasm for the job.

  • PRO
    SelSol Architectural
    Interior designers deal with soft furnishings etc so really not what you need.

    Also have a think about how much input you need. You may not need an architect, and a house designer / architectural designer like myself would suffice and save you a chunk of money, but equally, many architects offer a flair that isn't matched by designers.

    Generally speaking, for more grandiose projects I'd push towards an architect, for simpler works there really isn't a need.

    I'd also forego the whole 3 to 4 quotes and just find a good recommendation from someone who has used them. You may save a few hundred by going cheapest, but in the grand scheme of things a poor architect or designer can easily cost you that several times over.
  • minnie101


    Karen would be my first port of call

  • adrianlowery

    well getting people in for quotes is not necessarily about price it's about sussing out how sound they are. A recommendation is certainly helpful but by no means failsafe

  • PRO
    Thanks for the mention Minnie !

    If you want to look into options then an independent like us might work for you - we don't sell product - just design - so that means you can shop around and compare like for like by asking everyone to price your 'OnePlan' design .
  • PRO
    BetterSpace: The Floor Plan Experts

    Hi there! Good news - You're not alone! We get this question all the time. That's the very reason we created BetterSpace! Our online service focuses only on providing professional floor-plan advice to help you whey your options and make informed decisions. We can create a personalised floor plan for you without any commitment - so give us a try! Check out our website betterspace.co or drop me a line to avi.mittelman@betterspace.co. I'd be more than happy to help!

  • PRO
    Glenn Cavill

    I would definitely get some advise as professionals like myself work on this type of project daily working with clients to get the best space through select alterations and extensions. Initially advise can be given via meeting, telephone and then initial sketches then more detailed plans and guidance of the whole process can be provided. Feel free to get in touch for a no obligation chat. I find that you also want a designer that you feel comfortable with, are on the same waylength and will work together throughout the process. Regards Glenn www.glenncavill.com

  • PRO
    Akiva Projects Ltd

    We offer a fantastic design service and would be happy to offer our advice. Have a look at our page, and please get in contact for an initial conversation. We are an award winning company renowned for our customer service and can offer complete guidance. Where are you based? www.akivaprojets.com

  • PRO
    McGurran Associates Ltd


    It sounds like you have some exciting ideas for your townhouse! An architect can provide design advice and prepare drawings for you. Depending on the extent of the works, you may need to make a Building Control application. Also, if there are structural alterations, you will require some calculations from a structural engineer.

    Please give us a call If you have any particular queries.

    McGurran Associates Ltd

  • Post

    There seems to be a gulf of misunderstanding between the architectural profession and clients. It is clear to (good) architects that a good architect will transform any project and the cost of that service will bring enormous value to the client. However, there any many non-professionals who haven't trained for 7 years that are all too willing to offer a service which is perceived by the public as being very similar only at a lower cost - unfortunately this couldn't be further from the truth. A builder won't help you as he is likely to be looking at any project from his commercial perspective and anyway he is unlikely to have any design training. A technical service will be able to produce plans, but not architecture or great design, therefore a good architect is the obvious solution. However, selection of the right architect is just as important as we do not all do the same thing; it is most important to find someone whose work matches your style and that you can build a great working relationship with, rather than an architect who gives the lowest quote. We do not do this type of project, but concentrate on complete new homes - especially paragraph 55 homes. I hope that this advice is of use and that you find a great architect to work with.

  • emstillett

    Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply to me so far, lots of food for thought here!

Mein Benutzererlebnis mit Cookies anpassen

Indem Sie weiterhin auf der Website surfen bzw. die App nutzen, stimmen Sie der Verwendung von Cookies und von ähnlichen Verfahren der Houzz Gruppe zur Verbesserung der Produkte, Dienstleistungen, zur Darstellung von relevanten Inhalten und um das Nutzererlebnis anzupassen, zu. Mehr erfahren.