Do I need an architect for my home project?

If you are you considering a home extension or renovation project, you may be wondering ‘do I need an architect for my home project’?

Unless your project is straightforward, it does make sense to at least talk to an architect for advice before you get going. RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) accredited architects are more than happy to give you some upfront ideas and to chat over your project.

Architects have a unique ability to see things from the widest possible perspective and also focus in on very small things that can make a big difference to the project.

You may be thinking your project is too small to justify involving an architect. That might be true, but architects help homeowners with all sizes of projects.

You should also try to establish your overall budget. This will help you discuss costs upfront with the architect and avoid disappointment at a later stage.

If you need planning permission or Listed Building consent, then it is likely that you will need an architect.

If your overall project budget is looking like it’s going to be more than £50,000, then it’s a very good idea to think about getting an architect involved. For a smaller, fixed fee an architect can help you figure out how to get the best out of your project, regardless of size and whether they are needed later on.

It’s also a good idea to think about what you want from your project before you contact the architect. This is your wish-list for the project. Focus on what you want to achieve, noting down all your requirements and highlighting any problems that need solving. Think in terms of how you will use the space now and in the future, rather than what needs to be built.

Once you’ve agreed your initial project brief and budget, it’s a good time to consult an architect. Most architects offer one-off consultations, and these can be incredibly useful. 

They will give you guidance on all the aspects of your project from design and cost through to planning and construction. In a short space of time, you can gain an enormous amount of valuable information which will help you realise your project.

Architects are highly skilled and professionally trained to turn your aspirations into reality. They will guide you through the design, planning and construction process whether you are constructing a new building or adapting an existing property.

Tonic Architecture is a RIBA registered firm and offers free initial consultations. Choosing an accredited RIBA Chartered Practice will give you peace of mind. They comply with strict criteria covering insurance, health and safety, and quality management systems.

If you are still wondering whether you need an architect for your home project, talk with Tonic today, and they can listen to your ideas and plans as well as share details about similar projects they’ve worked on.

If you’d like further information, we have some downloadable resources to help explain the processes involved on the services page of our website, and the Royal Institute of British Architects also has lots of useful information on their website.

do I need an architect for my home project

The Team

Joe Young


Jess Baker

Architectural Assistant

Daniel O’Brien

Architectural Assistant


Some of what we do


With you step by step

Step 1

The Chat

No commitments, no cost, just a simple conversation to better understand your thoughts.
Step 2

Your Needs

Capturing your requirements, helping establish potential costs and the top level structure.
Step 3

The Brief

Turning your requirements into a working brief that allows us to explore key details and techniques.
Step 4


Using the agreed brief to explore ideas and approaches in the form of conceptual designs and sketches.
Step 5


Taking the concepts further to look at how space is being used, focusing on how people interact.
Step 6


The next level of design, adding the critical details that inform the planning process and the project process.
Step 7


We work with the construction team to manage the approach to the project, from briefing and beyond.
Step 8


Reviewing all aspects of the delivery, checking compliance with the plans and giving you full confidence.
Step 9

In Use

We review with you post completion how the project has gone and how it is working out in use.

Views from Clients and Contractors

Having discussed the project with a number of other architects it was refreshing to find a contemporary but sensitive approach to the refurbishment of a historic building. Their attention to detail throughout the design, planning process and build was excellent.

B Arron

They have overcome many challenging planning issues and technical building problems, navigating the project team through historical building projects while keeping a keen eye on the clients’ wishes for design. It is a pleasure to work with them.

Tom Carter. Director, Stonewood Builders Ltd.