There are people who aren’t exactly sure of what architects do; are they builders? What they think they know is architects have these fancy desks and work with auto CAD all day.

These are common misconceptions about the perks of the practice. After an in-depth chat with my friend Gary who works with an Architectural firm in Leeds, I was able to put together some interesting findings.

First things first, what do architects do?

Architects plan, design and manage the construction of buildings. Most architects are required to have a license, specialised education and experience, and pass a tough exam to practice professionally.

The national professional body for architects in the UK is The Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA). It is also internationally recognised for the advancement of architecture under its charter. The RIBA regional award is granted to architectural firms for outstanding works in the practice.

Other things architects would like you to know:

You should be an active part of the project

There are often blurred lines about a building project, and who should do what. No doubt, the actual design work is the responsibility of the architect, but it is your responsibility to be straightforward about your budget, concerns and opinions on any new building project.

Architects and clients should know what to expect from one another. The ideal client is one who is sincere, candid, flexible and decisive. When you are open to suggestions from your architect, and forthcoming with responses on time, the project will progress more seamlessly.

We can coordinate your project from start to finish

If you have a big project to undertake, whether it’s a massive renovation or constructing your ideal home from scratch, it may be daunting to think of how to begin. This shouldn’t bother you– the first person to call is an architect. Architects are skilled and trained in the art of coordinating building projects from conception to design and construction.

An architect’s role in the project will often cover selection of the site and feasibility studies by observing construction and project closeout methods. The client can negotiate the size and scope of service they want in a particular project. The least an architect is responsible for are the design, documentation and approval.

One common misconception: Architects can get you building materials

This is from the confusion that architects are builders of their design. They are not, and hence, not necessarily negotiators of the materials used in a project. While their experience in the industry can expose them to reliable contractors, the best they can do is suggest the quality and likely source of materials to the builders.


One great perk: Our job takes us everywhere

For someone like me, who enjoys travelling a lot, this is a huge perk. Most projects undertaken by architects will take them out of town, and out of the country for large-scale ones. An architect’s work can take them around the world to soak in architectural wonders.

Gary may complain about not having enough time for family (and I agree), but I like to see the sunny side of things. So, in case you have been limiting architect searches to your locale alone, widen your net- they are willing to travel!