Professional Architects and Designers in Solihull Est. 1981

riba chartered architects practice in solihull

7 ways employing an Architect can save you money

Posted in Top Tips | Written by Vicki Potter

Improving your home is an important investment.  Every person we see at Cross and Craig wants to create  a dream home or extension, but also they want to spend their money wisely.  Value for money is something good Architects should be as passionate about as design itself.

It’s no secret that building costs have increased in recent years.  So it can be tempting to try and take shortcuts in the construction process by not employing an Architect. So here’s our top tips on how utilising an Architect’s services could actually save you money in the long term …

1. Getting value for money with thoughtful design

You or your builder may feel that a simple rear or side extension will solve the problems you have with your home.

However, when you employ an Architect you’re not just paying for a drawing, you’re paying for a chartered professional with potentially decades of experience designing and redesigning homes.  Most importantly, an Architect will take a holistic approach and look at the big questions before any money is spent on bricks and mortar.  Questions like …

  • Can I extend further than I thought, perhaps looking at the full range of planning options?
  • Is there a better, more cost-effective way to get the space I need, and can I save by building something smaller and more efficient than I anticipated?
  • Do I even need to extend at all, or can I save money by remodelling rooms and spaces I already have?

At a time when construction costs can be thousands of pounds per square metre, even the smallest thoughtful design decisions mean that appointing an Architect for their creative ideas could pay for itself.

2. Helping save on energy bills

Maybe you have a conservatory that’s too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer? Maybe you are unsure as to whether it’s better to invest in insulation or new technologies to cut your energy bills?

Well, it’s part of the Architect’s role to look at some of the best ways to make your home more energy efficient, which can help you save on bills.  Whether that is …

  • Considering the orientation of a room to avoid glare and overheating,
  • Looking at the best ways to cost-effectively reduce heat loss from your house by adding insulation or changing windows and doors,
  • Or introducing you to the right experts to specify heat pumps, solar panels or mechanical ventilation to maximise energy efficiency.
house with solar panels on the roof

3. Avoiding costly mistakes

It is so disheartening to have to spend money to put right problems with previous ill-considered building work. Engaging an Architect early helps avoid mistakes before they can happen, like …

  • Building an extension that does not fundamentally solve the bigger issues with your house.
  • Building something illegally because your builder incorrectly assumed it was permitted development (the permitted development rules are often a minefield – )
  • Paying for a new bathroom or new flooring, only to realise it will need to be moved or be damaged as part of a later extension.

4. Making good plans for the future

An Architect can also help you positively plan for the future.  Maybe your home is a long term project and you don’t have the funds to do everything at once.  An Architect can help you create a masterplan, so you can phase the work over time in the most cost-effective way. This will make the most of your home in all its forms over the years so you will never need to move home again!

5. Finding the right team

You may need to appoint a number of consultants during your construction project, from structural engineers to energy consultants, so it is understandably hard to know who you need, and more importantly, who you can trust.

A good Architect will take the time to recommend local trustworthy consultants so you can have peace of mind you’re appointing the right people, at the right price.

6. Negotiating the best price

So, you are happy that your design is good value for your money, you’ve appointed all the right consultants and you’ve got all the statutory approvals you need to get started.  Now you need to find the right contractor.

An Architect should be able to recommend a range of local builders with a proven track record to quote for you.

But not only that…. If you are not happy with the prices you get back, an Architect can work with you and the builder to amend the scope of works and help you prioritise your spending. Value engineering (not to be confused with cost engineering) is something a good Architect will always consider to help you save money.

7. Looking after you during the build

If you want support during the building work on site, a good Architect can do that too. Firstly, they will ensure that the building work is all done correctly.

Secondly, if the Architect acts as ‘contract administrator’, they will set up a formal contract and ensure that any extras or variations are costed fairly.  Moreover, they can ensure that you don’t pay any money upfront, only on set dates for the work that has been completed. This minimises your risk and gives you peace of mind throughout the project.

To quote one of our clients when asked about using us as contract administrators:

“…not only did it make the whole process a lot less stressful but it more than paid for itself in saved rework and avoiding unforeseen and additional building costs.”


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