When it comes to finding an architectural designer to work with on your project – whether residential or commercial – it always helps to have an architect you communicate well with. Another benefit, some would say, is that the architect is local to the area in which your project will be based – in our case Derby and the surrounding towns and villages. Certainly, although this isn’t critical, it does have its benefits.
1) Local Knowledge Is Important
A local architect who has worked within the area will have contacts and experience to base his or her decisions on, for instance. They will also have a good understanding of council permissions, building controls and other planning, construction and political decisions that it certainly pays to be aware of. Because of this, gaining permission to go ahead with certain building works is likely to prove a much smoother process than that of an outsider’s attempts, meaning it should happen quicker and with far less fuss than if an architect unfamiliar with the local council’s planning size restrictions, local design criteria etc were in charge of your project.
In your quest for a local architect, don’t just enter the offices of the first firm you find on the high street. That’s because you’ll probably find that some of the architects with the greatest knowledge of your area don’t actually have an office locally. They may work away a lot or even produce drawings etc from a garden room in their back garden in the next village or region.
2) They Will Have An Excellent Professional (And Casual) Network
Ask around, do your homework and you’re bound to find someone who knows your area well. You may even find that they seek you out first, having heard that you’ve been asking around for a local architect (such is the strength of the local grapevine!).
Certainly, they’ll know who the best builders are locally and, in fact, have probably worked with them before on past projects. In addition a local architect will know where to source the most cost-effective, quality materials for your build and which, in turn, will obviously have a positive bearing on your overall project costs. They may very well also be able to access trade discounts and pass them on to yourself. If your project becomes more complicated than originally anticipated then your local architect will probably also know where to find a good structural engineer or party wall consultant etc.
3) Face-To-Face Meetings Are Easy To Arrange
It’s no problem to pop in and see your architect if you’re at all worried about an aspect of your decision project and vice versa if he or she requires a quick decision about something. It’s also a lot easier to clarify something when speaking directly to someone, rather than via email or by phone.
Thinking of hiring an architect yourself? If you live in Derby or Nottingham then at BDS we’re certainly local to you and would be happy to provide a free no-obligation consultation on your project. In the meantime, why not check out our free Self Build Guide for further inspiration?