To tell the truth I had taken for granted that the normal thing to do when anyone wanted to build a home was to call an architect first; however that wasn’t the impression I obtained from a close friend this last August. The conversation started when this friend asked me if I knew a good local builder as he wanted to build a house.
I did ask him if he had already selected an architect and his reply was that they were too expensive.
I did ask him if he knew what an architect could do for him and again to my amazement not only he didn’t know the services that a qualified architect could provide for him but he was totally convinced that an architect would be just an added expense to his enterprise.
So rather than entering into delivering a long sermon I did promised to write a list of services that our profession do for society as soon as I returned to the office and try publishing it.
What an architect can bring to your project
An architect’s Practice can help you realise your ambitions and guide you through the design and construction process. Architects provide a service that extends well beyond producing a set of drawings, they can handle all the paperwork, and believe me here in Spain there are lots and lots of paperwork, bring value for money, imagination and peace of mind to your project, whilst keeping it on track and on budget.
Obtaining value for money
Architects are professional problem-solvers. Their experience and insight can help stretch what can be achieved within your budget and add value to your project. They can suggest new ways of utilising space and light, enrich the palette of materials, finishes or fittings, find a builder at the right price, and propose design solutions that will reduce your overall running costs whilst maximising the energy efficiency of your home. At a fraction of the cost of your project, an architect’s fees will prove a sound investment.
Putting imagination into it
An architect can lift your project out of the ordinary and help you achieve your aspirations and vision.
They are trained designers who will explore your needs and desires and find inventive and practical ways of enhancing your living environment.
If you want peace of mind…
When you hire an architect here in Spain, you have a professional on your side who knows the construction industry inside out. You are working with someone who has undertaken seven years of architectural training – no other building professional is trained in design and construction to such a high level of expertise.
The term “Architect” is a protected title by law and requires those that use it to be registered in an Official College of Architects. If you are not sure you can always ask for the registration number and check with the local College.
What an architect can do for you
A qualified architect’s practise will provide you with much more than just drawings, they have the experience to see your project successfully through to completion. They can oversee the design, assist with the approvals process, manage the build and keep track of your budget.
In the initial stages the architect discuss with you your initial ideas so that he can get a real feel for your needs and together you can establish a clear brief and a realistic budget.
This will help reduce the overall design costs and help ensure the project comes in on time and on budget whilst identifying and reducing any potential problems early on.
Developing the design
Your architect will work with you to develop designs that will interpret your ideas imaginatively, maximise your investment, ensure your project is cost effective
and can help add real value to your home. An architect will come up with a range of ideas for you to discuss, develop and refine together.
The Approvals Process
Your architect can help with the approvals required before your project can go ahead, including preparation of applications to the local authority for planning consent (where needed) and for Building Regulations plans approval (which covers the functional requirements of buildings to safeguard the health and safety of the people using them, energy conservation and access and convenience for people with disabilities).
Guiding you through the construction phase your architect can help you select suitable builders, obtain appropriate prices for construction, monitor progress and standards, supervise safety on site, liaise with other specialists and oversee the construction through to successful completion.
Watch out for those pseudo architects!!
Before we start explaining the fees of architects in Spain let me inform you that there has been a proliferation lately of intermediaries who position themselves in internet as professionals of the building industry or even solicitors or accountants who are offering the services of architects. Well these people will obviously pass the work to the architects that they have on their list and charge a percentage of the fees that you will end up paying yourselves.
They make themselves visible on the web gaining a privileged position by paying a high SEO (advertising fees in internet).