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What Does An Architect Do?

What is an architect?

An Architect is someone registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB). The ARB sets out the minimum standards for being an architect which are; an honors degree in architecture, 2 years post graduate study and then a professional qualification once the candidate has amassed the required experience. An exam and interview also need to be passed.

The ARB is not to be confused with the Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA) which is a members club that promotes excellence in architecture.

The title of Architect is protected and anyone using it without being on the ARB is open to prosecution. However, the function of an architect is not protected.

The title of Architect is protected and anyone using it without being on the ARB is open to prosecution. However, the function of an architect is not protected.

What are the different types of architects?

  • Architect
    An architect has met the minimum requirements set out by the ARB
  • Architectural Student
    An architectural student is someone that is in the process of becoming an architect
  • Architectural Technologist
    An architectural technologist ensures that the technical aspects of a design, work and comply with regulations
  • Architectural Technician
    An architectural technician is someone that typically works for an architect. They can also undertake the function of an architect if they have the required experience (but cannot call themselves an architect).
FREE GUIDE: Category: Architects
FREE: How To Choose An Architect

Inside this easy to read free guide, discover how to choose an architect for your next home improvement project.

What does an architect do?

An architect can have a wide range of functions. We can break them up into two main groups. Those who do the Design and Planning of Buildings and those who do the Delivery of buildings. This does not stop architects doing both.

Design and Planning
The skill of producing a building to a client’s brief that also conforms with local planning policy. Covers massing, siting, style and contextual appropriateness

This covers the more practical aspects. Making sure the building conforms to UK Building Regulations, knowledge of materials, engineering, project management and how buildings are actually built.


Do I need an architect for an extension?

No, anyone can design your extension if they have the knowledge and expertise.


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How would my extension benefit from hiring an architect?

  • A local architect should have a good understanding of the local authorities guidance and planning policies and ensure that the work is professionally done
  • Architects are highly trained and may be able to see possibilities or take factors into consideration that you haven’t thought of – the direction of the sun, the direction of the best views, ensuring you’re making the best of the space you have, the light is right, the flow of the rooms works etc
  • Architects are generally also good at the smaller details that you may not have taken into consideration – which way should the door open? Are the electrical points in the the right places?
  • Architects can also help to maintain the quality of the materials, instruct other workers, control expenses or supervise the entire work process

Are there any disadvantages to hiring an architect?

  • The architect’s fees. However, a good architect will be working to help you save money and keep within budget so you may save money overall
  • You need to hire an architect that’s right for you – some architects may be more focussed on creating their own vision instead of yours and you could end up with something that you don’t want. Check out ‘Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring an Architect’ for more tips about hiring the right architect


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