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The top 5 questions you should ask before choosing architects in Oxford

18 Dec '18

Questions for you architects in Oxford

We are the first to admit that taking on the challenge of renovation, extending your home or building a new home from scratch requires a certain amount of bravery. It is not uncommon for builds to face problems, however, as architects in Oxfordshire, our job is to ensure those problems are kept to a minimum, so the process is as smooth for the client as possible. The first step to safeguarding a stress-free build is to choose an architect to best suit your individual needs. Our list of top questions to ask before choosing an architect is below to help you make that decision:

What services can my architects in Oxford provide?

Many people are under the misapprehension that an architect will simply draw up the blueprints of your design and pass them onto the builder, signing themselves off from the project in doing so. That is not the case at all. A good architect will be able to assist you throughout the entire process with many services, from helping you with the design of your build, providing inspiration, gaining planning permission for you, developing your designs for construction and managing the build itself. Plus, through regular site visits, problems will be quickly foreseen and dealt with. It is always worth looking into the services that an architect provides to ensure they can be with you for every step of the build.

How can my architects ensure planning permission?

Planning often causes the most hiccups throughout the building process, and of course, an architect cannot always guarantee a design will get planning approval. However, a good architect will be knowledgeable of the local planning laws and the various constraints that will be put in place. If planning is denied, the contributing factors are usually the surrounding environment; if your property sits on agricultural land, if your design is not in keeping with the current streetscape, if it is going to encroach on neighbouring properties. A good architect in Oxford will investigate all the possible outcomes before your design is put to planning, they will be able to instruct you on issues that will prevent you achieving it, and work your design to get around many of the challenges.

Will I approve of their style?

As you begin to approach architects it is highly likely that you will have an image in your mind of what you would like your finished project to look like. You will, at least, know what you hope to achieve; more bedrooms, an extra bathroom, a reworked living space. This project is to be a major part of your life and so it is vital that you are happy with the finished outcome. By looking at the architect’s portfolio before you approach them, you will be able to get a good sense of their style of design. Of course it is important to remind yourself that each project has the client’s input behind it, giving each a sense of individuality. Likewise, not all modern architecture needs to be ‘super modern’, and your architect should be able to demonstrate a portfolio giving examples of both contemporary and traditional architecture

I have a strict budget; will my Oxford architects stay within it?

This is another aspect that all good architects should include within their services - how they will approach your budget. Good architects in Oxford will listen to the client’s needs with the utmost respect, and this includes the budget. Within the first meeting, the budget should be discussed and decided upon. Your architect should have an extensive knowledge of materials, building and planning costs and they will easily be able to tell you if your ideas are achievable on your budget. If they feel your budget is not realistic, they will be able to offer alternative suggestions which may suit your needs better.

How can I be sure I will like the finished design?

Committing to the finished design can be stressful in itself. It is a big decision to make. However, by working together, your architect will be able to instil confidence in the finished design using state-of-the-art technology. Here at William Green Architects in Oxfordshire we bring your designs to life through building information modelling (BIM) and virtual reality (VR) fly throughs. This is an effective way of planning the design, construction and management of the site, but it also gives you, the client, the opportunity to accurately visualise your stunning finished property.

We are very sympathetic to how hard it can be, ensuring you choose the right architects in Oxford for you, which is why we are always more than happy to discuss anything with you to put your mind at rest. By contacting us we will be happy to work through any further questions you may have and hopefully help you choose your architects in Oxfordshire.