The moment you decide to take on a renovation project in your property, whether that be an extension, a complete rebuild, or transforming an existing space into something entirely different, you need to start compiling a team of experts who are equipped to take on the different roles required.
An architect is arguably one of the most important people within your team, not least because they are the ones who drive your vision forward into a concept and ultimately a working plan for your builders to follow. It is the architect within your project team that connects the existing floorplan with the ideal outcomes and goal, and it’s your architect who will be able to provide you with an overhead outline of costs on everything from materials to surveys, aesthetics, and completion of the final design.
Safe to say, architects are pretty important. But what should you be looking for when sourcing the right architect for your project, and what are the core differences between good and great architects?
The Reality of the building industry
Here at TN Design & Build, we see and hear about plans from other architects on a regular basis, and while the ideas are always executed effectively and generally efficiently, one thing that we find is that the standard of care for clients never quite matches that which we aim to provide.
As part of this, we’ve created a brief guide to some of the areas of focus you should consider when selecting an architect, highlighting the differences between the work of a good architect and one which is classed by clients and peers alike as great.
Let’s start with creativity and their ability to transform a brief vision into something tangible and workable.
The importance of creativity as an architect
A good architect may work with a series of different templates which allow them to take a client brief and transfer it into one of their core templates – fitting the brief so that it fits the basic outline of an existing project or one that they are familiar with.
A great architect takes existing ideas & turns them on their head
A great architect takes existing ideas and turns them on their head, exploring different solutions and finding new ways of ensuring that the complex details of a client brief are realized and brought to life in the most effective way possible. A great deal of this lies in their ability to approach a project with both creativity and strong visualization – intuitively recognizing a solution that is most suitable for the brief and communicating this to both the client and the build team.
Problem-solving skills as an architect
There’s no escaping the fact that interior and exterior projects come with their own set of challenges, with every single brief and project encountering its own difficulties whether they be related to budget, working teams, foundations, planning issues, or site constraints.
The difference between a good architect and a great architect, therefore, lies in their ability to overcome these problems and find ways of either working around them or solving them on behalf of the client. The TN Design & Build architect team specializes in implementing tried and tested solutions, calling on our experience and external resources to develop new solutions and ensure that project work is not significantly delayed or impacted.
A great architect demonstrates foresight
Sure, it’s important to be able to solve issues as and when they arrive – but it’s foresight that unveils itself as one of the most valuable assets in an architect’s arsenal when approaching any new project.
Why? Because foresight allows architects to anticipate potential issues that may arise during a project, and plan ahead to ensure that these can be overcome efficiently and without impacting the overall project timeline or budget.
Some examples of this and how it works in practice include identifying hazards and defects in existing dwellings which may impact the ability to extend or renovate, and working with trial sites during the technical design stage to allow engineers to test different foundations before ordering the materials and starting on the main project, and even anticipating issues with planning permission before an application is submitted to minimize delays.
What does good communication look like?
Every client wants an architect and builds a team that will update them regularly and let them know how things are going – however, when it comes to your architect in particular, you’re not just seeking an update on one part of the project but rather the entire project as a whole.
This means that not only does a great architect need to be able to effectively communicate with you, but also manage the full team and ensure that all of the consultants and specialists are working from the same sheet in terms of coordination, timelines, and end result.
In addition to communicating across the team and ensuring that you receive updates on everything from building control and regulations to planning specialists, project managers, and more, a great architect will let you know before these people are hired exactly what you need and how much it’s likely to cost.
A big part of planning any renovation or extension project lies in assessing resources and assigning the budget according to the specialists required – and that’s where a great architect will come into their own and make the cost of their own services well worth your investment.
The technical skills of a great architect
Every aspect of the project itself starts with the architect’s plan, with technical ability and prowess allowing a great architect to create concept drawings and outlines which demonstrate exactly how the technical specs need to be relayed to the build team.
The whole point of the initial architect design is to inform future plans and ensure that the build team is able to execute the vision as was sold to the client – without the extra time required to fix mistakes, and without the extra budget required to fill unanticipated gaps in funding.
TN Design & Build: Our Architect Services
You won’t be surprised to learn that here at TN Design & Build, we pride ourselves on delivering a high standard of architect services that match our experts with the client projects that are best suited to their skills and experience level. With so much riding on the role of your architect, making sure that you employ a great architect rather than a good one can mean the difference between a successful project and one you live to regret.
To learn more about how to engage our services, and to work with us to bring your ideal home to life, get in touch with TN Design & Build directly.