5 steps for choosing an architect for your self-build

Most likely you’ve never built a house before, so taking the first step on your first self-build journey can seem overwhelming.  

Having the right architect on board for the project will help take some of the pressure from your shoulders. The architect will take your ideas, requirements and budget and create various design options suitable for your site and the area’s planning criteria.   

Choosing an architect to make the design and planning steps of your self build smooth sailing is the ultimate dream, but with so much choice how do you know which one is right for you?  

We’ve pulled together our 5 golden rules to find your ideal match in your search for an architect.


  1. Create your wishlist and budget before you start looking for an architect. For example, how many bedrooms and bathrooms or home office and playroom requirements. Also, collecting pictures that you aspire to for your dream home will help the architect to understand your style.


  1. Get recommendations. When you search Google, you’ll get a number of names but how do you know who to pick? Getting a recommendation from family, friends or neighbours can help to widdle down a shortlist of potential architects for your project.


  1. Compare. Pick 2-4 architects for a shortlist and contact them for an initial conversation to gauge which one will be the best fit. Compare them in your top priority areas, such as design style, energy-efficiency or the planning process. Cost shouldn’t always be the biggest factor but you also need to ensure the architect you choose will respect your budget.


  1. Pick someone you can work with. Building your own home is such a huge, personal experience. You need to have an architect that you feel you trust with your dream home and confident you can approach them with ideas and concerns. Remember you will be spending 1 (or 2) years dealing with this person for the duration of the build and open communication will help the project go as smoothly as possible.


  1. Set a clear contract. Once you have chosen the right architect for your self build, you will need a contract for the project. Make sure that the contract precisely defines, all services to be provided and all associated costs, fees and procedures.


If you’ve always dreamed of building your own home, check out the sites we have listed for sale.

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