Do You Need An Architect Before Building A House?

A home that nestles in a sound neighbourhood with good layout plan, beautiful interior and exterior is what we all wish to own. While the outlook of the house matters much, a comfortable home is also a functional one. For getting a decent house designed, which is both beautiful and functional, you need to hire an architect.

An architect is responsible for designing a house, obtaining planning permission, finding a reliable contractor and supervising the construction work on site. In order to hire a good architect, here are few things you should consider:

What are specialities of architect?

It is important to know the specialised areas of an architect. Architects specialise in various niches such as residential units, educational institutes, landscape designs, commercial buildings and public facilities. A good architect for designing your house would be the one who has designed more residential units than any other structures since he would understand the needs of a functional house and will thus offer better services.

Is he authorised to practice?

In order to work, an architect needs to have a license as well as he should be registered with local development authority or respective housing society. Only registered architects can get house drawing approvals from development authorities therefore it is important to find out if the chosen architect is legally approved by the respective development authority.

Is his past work impressive?

Work samples of an architect will help you analyse the nature and depth of his work. His finished projects will make it easy for you to find out if he can help you with your dream house. Completed works of architect can be reviewed by viewing drawings, maps as well as by visiting the built structures.

What services does he offer?

It is important to know what services an architect provides. These services include drawings and site supervision. You should discuss the details about the nature of services he provides. An architect who is specialized in house designs and offers to supervise the work in progress is an ideal person to hire.

Does he offer computerised drawings?

Architects produce two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) drawings. 2D drawings include plans/layouts while 3D drawings offer views of a home from different angles. 3D or perspective views of the home from different angles helps you know how your house home will look once it is ready.

Now a days most architects produce their works by using computer programmes including AutoCAD. You should insist your architect to give computerised drawings as these drawings have more accuracy.

Can he help you find a contractor?

Architect can help you hire a good and honest contractor since the ideal architect is supposed to have wider contacts in the concerned market. Your architect might even have a list of contractors, who he worked with in the past and is pleased with their work ethics. It is better to hire a contractor that has worked with your architect since the mutual understanding between the two will help you get what you want.

How much does he charge?

You should negotiate service charges with the architect. Rates will vary among architects and services they provide. Some charge on percentage basis and some on lump-sum. Architects normally charge less for just drawings and more if you want them to supervise the construction work on site.

Normal charges are 3-10% of total construction cost, depending on details and scale of project. Percentage fee of architect decreases with size. Architects charge less for large-scale projects, as their profit margin increases with increase in size.

By seeking answers of the above-mentioned questions, you can find the right architect to help you have a house that is beautifully designed as well as meet your family’s various needs.


– Malik Anwar Ul Islam holds a master’s degree in Housing Studies (Greenwich University, London)



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