How do I engage an architect?

Firstly, if you haven’t been recommended anyone by a friend or family member and don’t know where to start, I would search the internet for local practices, take a look at the website for examples of their work and information about what drives them as a practice to see if you think they might be a good fit for you and your project. Once you find a practice, or practices, that you like, arrange an initial site meeting to discuss your requirements. Before that initial meeting its worth spending some time defining your brief so the architect(s) has a really good idea of what you are trying to achieve with your project. Below is a checklist of things to include on your brief

  • What is the purpose of your extension/new build – who is it for?
  • What spaces are required for these people? (bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, studies etc)
  • What do you want in these spaces?
  • Do you need more storage?
  • How are these spaces laid out – single or double storey?
  • How the spaces need to interact – what is the flow through the spaces?
  • Is this your forever home?
  • Do you want to avoid major structural changes?
  • Have you got views you want to make the most of? If so, what direction are they in?
  • Do you want open plan living and/or separate spaces for different activities?


If you can give this information to your architect this will help them to understand exactly what you are trying to achieve. If you would like help in defining your brief we will soon be offering a short course on the subject where we walk you through the process and give you examples and worksheets to enable you to clearly define your brief.