How To Find An Architect

Posted on: 18 October 2023

How to Find the Right Architect

Written By: Townscape Architects | Last Updated: November 2023

Are you looking to find an architect for your home renovation or extension project? Finding the right architect can be daunting, with so many options available and such an important decision to be made.

Finding the right architect is crucial for any home or commercial architectural project, so you need to ensure you spend sufficient time researching and considering a number of architects.

As experienced residential and commercial architects, we’ve spent decades working with projects of all sizes, budgets and styles, so we’re well place to offer advice on what to look for when choosing an architect.

Below is our expert guide to finding the right architect for your project.


How do you find a good local architect?

The best way to find an architect, and one that is qualified, is to look for a chartered architect that is registered on the RIBA online database of chartered architectural practices.

Once you have a shortlist, search social platforms, reviews and further online resources to get a complete picture and a design sensibility that resonates with you. Finding an architect need not be a daunting experience when you have done your research and checked out their online review, past work and testimonials.

Beyond checking The RIBA online database of chartered architects, to certify a good architect near you, it is recommended to visit the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) online register and check the practice names or specific architects on their website.

The Architects Register will validate all official architects because it holds authoritative records of all UK architects. Beyond this, research examples of your intended architects online and ask them to send you case studies or examples showcasing their work.

To ensure you have found a good local architect, one vital bit of research is to seek recommendations or referrals from people you trust and read reviews. Then, speak with your preferred architect. The final and most important factor in finding a good architect is personal – is it someone you can work with?


How to instruct your architect

First encounters matter; the most vital part of instructing your architects is your brief. Sitting down and creating our brief will help you define what you want from your project and set the scene for your architect. It guides what is essential to you and what you want to achieve with your project.

Visualise how you will live and function within your extended home:

  • Who will use the space
  • How they will use it?
  • How will it change or link with your current living arrangements?

Visual aids can also help, such as saving images on your phone or PC. Using Pinterest, Google images, social media or referring to other projects can also help to share your style, inspiration and design tastes with your architect. Primarily, define a realistic maximum budget for your project.

At what point do you hire an architect?

Once you have a clear idea of why you need to expand or alter your property, have sufficient funds or financing in place and are decisive on how you will use your planned space, that is the time to seek an architect.

Hire your architect before you begin planning permission or building regulations.

They will guide you through whether you need these and navigate the permission with you.

You do not have to have an exact configuration or structure in mind. Your architect will respond creatively, suggesting designs and also advise on obstacles and how to overcome them.

Do I Need An Architect For An Extension?

Hiring An Architect: The Process

To ensure you and your architect work in sync, these steps will help you begin and continue a fluid relationship when you instruct your architect

  1. Write a brief, get your thoughts on paper
  2. Discuss your requirements and expectations, and ensure your architects understand your prerequisites. You could be working with your architect for a number of years so getting on is vital.
  3. Plan ahead – work with your architects to get your plans and approvals in place prior to starting work and agree on a time schedule.
  4. Make sure your planning conditions are discharged before you commence.
  5. Make sure you have adequate finance in place and suitable insurance in place to cover your building, contents and building works.
  6. During the design stages with your architects, make as many adjustments as you need to create the perfect plan. However, try to minimise changes once your build is underway or unplanned problems may arise and additional costs. If changes are essential with your builders, record all charges and agree on costs in advance.
  7. There are often unforeseen works or expenses once your build begins, so have a contingency pot to allow for this

If you are looking to explore your architectural design, brief us on your project today.

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Get in touch for general enquires such as planning permission and construction budgets or send us your brief in more detail and we'll get back to you.


01423 505 924
The Studio, 9a Albert Street, Harrogate, HG1 1JX
01904 217190
152-154 Holgate Road,
York , Y024 4DQ