Speak to your friends, family and colleagues, as they should be able to give you an unbiased opinion of a person they have worked with. Most of the Estates have a list of Architects that are allowed to design there.
You can also drive past houses under construction and note the details of the Architects of the homes that you admire. Once you have a list of potential Architects, it is advisable to contact at least three of them to arrange interviews. Please check for a consultation fee, as some Architects may charge for this initial meeting.
Before the meeting, it is advisable to review their portfolio via email or online. Be aware that there are a few categories of registration, ranging from Architectural Draughtsperson, Architectural Technologist, Senior Architectural Technologist to Architect and only those with a Professional registration are able to submit plans. Candidates are not permitted to do so.
Make sure that you are comparing apples with apples and note that, frequently only Architects are allowed to practice in Estates. During your interview with the Architect discuss what you have in mind for your project – the style, the accommodation and your budget.
Ask how much involvement the person you are meeting with will have with your project, as frequently projects are passed on in the office to junior staff. Architects can offer different levels of service and you can decide what suits you.
Request a quote, to make sure that you can afford the service.
It is of the utmost importance to be able to communicate with your Architect effectively, to make sure that you get the home that best suits you.