What is an architectural designer?

When renovating your home, it can be helpful to hire a professional to help you with some decisions and facilitate the process. We often get asked about architect costs and we’ve previously written posts all about architectural technologists too. Today we’re tackling another lesser known route : architectural designers. If your project is relatively simple or if you already have a clear idea of what you want, you might save some money on hiring an architectural designer instead of an architect or even an architectural technologist. So here’s everything you need to know before hiring an architectural designer.

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What is an architectural designer?

An architectural designer is a broad term that typically refers to someone who is involved in the design process of a building but isn’t as qualified as an architect or architectural technologist. It can also refer to partially qualified architects. In which case the title would be accompanied by “Part I” (meaning they have undertaken a bachelor in architecture) or “Part II” (meaning they have finished their masters in Architecture).

When should I hire an architectural designer? 

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Hiring an architectural designer can be a good way to save money. Although an  architectural designer can be a range of different things, they are typically ideal for typical tasks. For example to make surveyed drawings of your existing property, or make planning drawing based on your design. 

If, however, you’re looking for someone to guide you throughout the project from start to finish to rely on, you might want to consider someone fully qualified and an architect is for you.

What to consider before hiring an architectural designer? 

Since anyone can call themselves an architectural designer there are a few things to consider and questions to ask before you commit to anyone:

  • What is right for your project: do you need someone to guide you through from start to finish or do you just need help for drawings or obtaining planning. As we have mentioned, an architect might be better positioned to help you in all the stages of the design process whereas an architectural designer can be helpful for ad hoc tasks.

  • What is their experience: Have they studied architecture or design? Have they worked on similar projects before? Ask to see a portfolio of their previous work to see if it matches your vision (you should also do that when hiring an architect or any designer).

  • Do they hold indemnity insurance to protect you from any potential error: as architectural designers are not tied to any professional body, they are not required to have insurance, if they do not you might want to only use their drawings for planning then use the builder’s drawings for construction. That would pass on the responsibility to the builder.

Your renovation – where to start?

Neil and Fi have produced a free 3 day email series to help new renovators feel clued up and confident before they begin their renovation projects. Learn:

  • How to cut costs and prevent your budgets spiralling

  • How to find trustworthy contractors who’ll deliver on time

  • What order to do work in (to prevent costly rework!)