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Call an Architect First or a Builder?

If you’re planning a home extension it will be tricky to grasp where to begin. Does one call an architect first or a builder?

Before you opt – ask yourself one simple question: “Do you recognize what you want?”

Often many owners will have a transparent idea of what sort of extension they need to try to do. They’ll have seen a loft conversion or kitchen extension during a neighbor’s home that’s just like what they need to try to do. If you have got a transparent idea of what you wish, it helps to form the build more simply. Many experienced builders will offer specialist one-stop shops for ‘standard-style extensions and make sure of all the design, drawing, and building regulations.

If you would like something more bespoke otherwise you aren’t quite sure how an extension would look, then an architect is usually the simplest person to relinquish your ideas. Traditionally, an architect will project manage all aspects of a home extension, choose the simplest builders and work with the local authorities to style, build and manage the project.
Sam Dedarally, senior planner at Divi Designs says: “Nine out of 10 times, a project starts with a vision. If you’re undecided what you wish, an architect can facilitate your decide what’s possible and take into consideration your needs, the precedent of design, and complexity to develop all the choices.”

There is no law saying you want to use an architect. Before deciding if and who to call first, there are three things homeowners should take into consideration:

  • Budget
  • Time-scale
  • Personality


Using an architect will incur an additional fee, often 15-20 percent more of the value of a project. Currently, a first-floor extension can cost anywhere between £1200 and £2000 per m2 and so you have got to consider the architect’s fee on top of that. However, an honest architect also can prevent money on big projects. They’re trained to determine the large picture and concentrate on the tiny details, which might find yourself being costly mistakes if corners are cut.


How quickly does one want your extension built? If you’re on a good deadline, it should be quicker to travel with a builder who will have experience in similar projects. While architects, betting on the complexity and context of your design, will consider all design aspects of the build – designing for natural light, flow, and researching materials – which can take longer.


No matter who you choose, you’re visiting be working with them, intently, for a considerable period of your time. There should be trust and a transparent understanding of what you expect from one another to avoid any fallout. Builders may be in a very rush to induce started on their next job, architects might pressure you into doing stuff you don’t want to try and do. If you’ve done extensive work before you would possibly want to project manage a number of the work or all of it yourself. Whether a builder or architect, ensure you’re both on the identical page for a stress-free extension.

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