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WORKING WITH AN: architect Part 1: Initial discussions

In this series, architect Julian Owen unveils what to expect when you work alongside a professional designer to create your dream home

A builder’s work appears in front of your eyes as it progresses, which means you can see where your money is going; however, it’s not as simple with design. A lot of our work is out of sight, so homeowners sometimes find it difficult to pin down what we have been up to on their behalf and at their expense. If you’re considering trying to keep costs down by not working with a professional architect, I’m hoping to change your mind over the next few months as I run through what goes on behind the scenes with the process and why engaging the skills of a designer is money well spent.

Finding professionals

When you meet with an architect, it’s not easy to predict if they’re the best choice for you. Not every firm will be right for each individual homeowner because they come in a myriad of different guises. There are variations in practice size, what type of projects they do well, the architectural styles they’re happy to work with and what they charge. But the most crucial thing is that you get on.

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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Smart homes for every budget - Timber frame FAQ - Choosing outbuildings - How to maximise your mortgage chances - Guide to finding land