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Choosing the right architect when building your home

Architect working on project. Laptop and folder on desk

26 May 2017

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Very few things are more exciting than building your own home.

Sure, there’s a lot of work and energy involved, but think about it. You get to create the home that you’ve been dreaming about for ages. And nothing tops the excitement of actually watching your build get bigger and stronger by the day. Lucky you!

However, it’s not quite so easy taking the image in your head and translating it into an actual house.

Most of us will have to hire in an architect to draw it up and flesh it out.

It’s their job to help you draw out plans for the home you want and the function of the build, as well as overseeing the financial costs to make sure that your budget is being spent in the best possible way.

Choosing the right architect is vital to the success of your build, but how do you pick the right one?

Here are five tips to make sure that you pick a winner for your build.

1. Ask around

Most people find architects or various trades simply by just asking their friends and neighbours who’ve already built their own homes.

Don’t be afraid to knock on some doors of local houses that you like. You might get a couple of odd looks, but all it takes is one person to answer and give you the name of the architect you’ve been hoping for.

2. Look online in the right places

Google isn’t always the most reliable source when it comes to finding the right architect.

A good starting point is the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI), which has a very useful search facility and a register of over 2,600 architects on its website.

An RIAI architect is professionally qualified, legally registered to practice and bound by a code of ethics established by The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, so you know that you’re getting the good stuff.

3. Ask for a portfolio

Ask all architects that you deal with to bring a portfolio of their work with photos of projects that they’ve completed.

Look out for the quality of the finished projects and if the designs overall are in-line with your taste.

You might see a portfolio full of extravagant and complexly designed homes, but if you’re just looking for a simple 4-bedroom and enough space to throw the odd shindig, maybe reach out for other options.

4. Look up architects who have experience in your local area

It’s wise to consider an architect who is experienced in dealing with planners in the area in which you plan to build. This will help the planning permission process go as smoothly as possible as they will understand what is and isn’t acceptable to the local planning authority.

Remember, don’t start construction on your build until you have full permission from your local authority.

5. Make sure they’ll listen

Hire an architect who listens and is willing and able to interpret your ideas into the designs you want.

After all, you’ll be the one who will actually be living in the house. So you need to make sure that they’re helping you realise your ideal home and preferences, not theirs.

If you feel that the connection isn’t strong to begin with, you may end up less than friends at the end of the tunnel.

It’s also important that you as a client stick to the design once you and your architect decide on it.

Any deviation from the original design during the build can have a dramatic knock-on effect on your budget – and no one wants that!

Are you thinking of building your own home?

Check out this handy guide to building your home in Ireland complete with stories from EBS customers who have already built a home.

Find out how much you can afford to borrow with our mortgage calculator or book a mortgage meeting to suit you with one of our mortgage experts.

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for the latest home inspiration, news and great competitions.

EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either expressed or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

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